Non-Participation As An Effective Weapon Against Tyranny

Legitimate revolution takes time, patience and fortitude. Unfortunately, this is a strategic concept that is lost on many Americans today who suffer from a now common ailment of attention deficit disorder and an obsession with immediate gratification. Even many who have their hearts in the right place and who work to defend and resurrect our nation’s founding ideals seem to believe that any action to defeat corrupt oligarchy must be effective immediately, otherwise, it’s not worth the attempt. History, of course, teaches us the opposite.

The American rebellion against the British monarchy was not an abrupt or immediate affair. Anger and unrest over the trespasses of King George simmered for decades. The first British troops stationed with the intent to stifle colonial freedoms arrived in Massachusetts in 1768. The Boston Massacre took place in 1770, and still, the Founders refused to leap into open retaliation. Lexington Green and the “shot heard around the world” did not take place until April 19, 1775. The Revolution took years to culminate into an actual physical war. So what did the colonists do in the meantime? Sit on their hands?

In fact, early Americans employed economic tactics against their enemy long before they picked up muskets and powder. British imports were turned away or destroyed. Clothing and other items normally shipped from Europe to be sold in the colonies were boycotted, while colonists began producing all of their own survival necessities. They refused to participate in the system that was designed to enslave them and this gave them a foundation on which to launch their eventual fight for liberty. Without efforts in economic independence, the American Revolution may not have ever taken place.

I always recall this example whenever I am confronted with a gung-ho liberty movement activist who demands to know when “we” are going to “do something” about criminal government. Or, when I am confronted by nihilists who proclaim that “we” should have “pulled the trigger” long ago, and now it is “too late to do anything.” The Founders had the same doubts and faced the same naysayers, and had the wisdom to act with the correct force at the correct moment.

The methods of non-participation have been repeated in many dissenting actions against despotic establishments, often with much success. This does not mean that one can necessarily topple tyrants simply by refusing to use their goods or their currency. That would be a childish assumption. However, the process of learning to become self sufficient makes each person more effective as an activist or revolutionary, and thus, more dangerous to those who seek control.

Sadly, one of the greatest threats to the American public in 2013 is the possibility that our government will cut off public access to Federal funds. Our society has become so addicted to government money that up to one third of the country relies on some form of paycheck or welfare from the system. If the system breaks, or is deliberately sabotaged, the sickening level of citizen dependency today makes catastrophe inevitable.

The most interesting aspect of the current “shut-down” situation is the fear it is generating, and the partisan fury it facilitates. Republicans and Democrats are nearly ready to tear each others’ throats out all over the continuance or non-continuance of a political body that no longer functions anyway and has become a middle-man for global banks. This interests me because it is an entirely solvable problem, yet the average American appears completely ignorant of the fix.

Most people are either ready to riot, ready to undermine themselves with bad legislation or a Constitutional Convention, or they have become despondent and uselessly morose, when all they really have to do is consider that perhaps they should not be so dependent on such an unstable economic structure or government in the first place.

The real power is in our hands, and has always been in our hands. Federal welfare, and the idea of the loving provider nanny state are the great illusions. The idea of toppling this soulless machine, though needed, is also inadequate by itself.

The mindless drive for infinite spending often associated with the “Left” is a recipe for utter fiscal disaster in the form of suffocating liabilities, massive deficits and a hyperinflated dollar. The mainstream Republican notion that there will be no consequences if debt default occurs, though, is equally foolish. I have been astounded by false assertions from the GOP that American tax revenues will be more than enough to cover interest payments on U.S. debts. There are many conservatives and Liberty Movement analysts that should know better than to use official Treasury Department interest numbers and debt numbers to support their arguments.

Given that the real U.S. National debt including entitlement programs is estimated at around $200 trillion, and real deficit figures stand at around $5 trillion per year, I’m wondering how anyone in their right mind could claim that annual tax revenues of $2.5 trillion (2012 direct revenue numbers) could possibly cover foreign interest payments on top of existing liabilities?

This problem does not take into account the fact that median household incomes have been dropping every year for the past five years, thus diminishing tax revenue opportunities. It does not take into account the massive spike in interest payments that would come with a foreign sell-off of U.S. Treasury debt. It does not take into account the possibility that foreign creditors might refuse to accept payment on interest in U.S. dollar. Nor does it take into account the eventual loss of international faith in the dollar as the world reserve currency, which would rain havoc down upon the U.S. populace in the form of dollar devaluation and exploding prices on every commodity imaginable. Think this cannot or will not happen? The Chinese are now openly calling for it to happen! 

Let’s not delude ourselves, fellow conservatives. There is a steep price to be paid for debt default. Attempting to gloss over the consequences will only make it easier for the mainstream media to demonize us later down the road. There is no way around it. There is no magical silver bullet solution to avoid the pain. We will have to take our medicine, one way or the other…

Whether the White House gets its way, or no-one gets his way and the whole debacle ends in default, America’s economy will face the same destruction on only slightly different timetables. As I pointed out in my last article, The Possible Outcomes Of The Shutdown Theater,  the only conceivable winners will be international banks, who want to dismantle the United States, our economy, our sovereignty and our Constitution to make way for a new global financial edifice.

If there is no way for the average American to win this game because the rules have been written by our opponent, then perhaps we should stop playing the game altogether.

This means millions of Americans must actively pursue a more independent standard of living. This means each and every person must learn to provide all of their own survival necessities, including food, water, shelter, energy and self defense. This means growing a well-planned garden and educating one’s self on raising livestock. This means learning a valuable trade skill that is useful and always sought after regardless of the state of the mainstream economy. This means striving for off-grid status and cutting ties to electric and water utility companies. This means training to keep one’s self and one’s family safe in an atmosphere of violence where state sanctioned law enforcement may not be present to protect you. This means building relationships within one’s neighborhood, town or county that allow for proactive organization without the oversight of government. This means establishing alternative local trade (like a barter market) that is not dependent on the Internet or any other government watched and regulated network.

There are those within the Liberty Movement that are working to make it easier for regular people to transition away from the mainstream, providing outlets for education and organization for those seeking more independence through non-participation. My own website, www.Alt-Market.com, is geared towards helping people network for barter and mutual aid at the local level.

Oath Keepers, a Constitutional organization of veterans, currently serving military, police, firefighters and concerned civilians, has just launched its “Civilization Preservation Program.” It is designed to set up highly adaptable training groups across the U.S. who will teach any interested citizens within their community the survival methods needed to endure disaster, whether natural or man-made, as well as how to rebuild as the storm subsides.

If one is dependent on a tyrant, one cannot hope to defeat that tyrant. The reason so many people are afraid of the results of government shutdown and debt default is because so many people refuse to step away from the system. The reason so many people are afraid to fight back is because they have seen the establishment as their source of income for so long. If more Americans were self-reliant, if more Americans were willing to give up free goodies from the state, if more Americans built their own economic foundations, a collapse of our financial structure would be meaningless. We could simply sit back comfortably and let it die, for why would we care about the funeral pyre of a vicious and reckless political/corporate suicide train?

As things stand at this moment, though, the death of the system is not something to cheer, no matter how much we might wish it to crumble under the weight of its own criminality. The collapse of the existing system will not be the end of our troubles, only the beginning. Chaos always opens doors for evil men, and they will certainly take full advantage of the chaos triggered by shutdown, default or continued inflationary debt spending.

We must make ourselves ready to resist by making ourselves separate from the monster we plan to fight. Crisis waits for no one, and on the path our nation now walks, crisis is assured.

- Brandon Smith

Note from the Editor: Hyperinflation is becoming more visible every day—just notice the next time you shop for groceries. All signs say America’s economic recovery is expected to take a nose dive and before it gets any worse you should read The Uncensored Survivalist. This book contains sensible advice on how to avoid total financial devastation and how to survive on your own if necessary. Click here for your free copy.

The Possible Outcomes Of The Shutdown Theater

Only a week ago, the consensus among most mainstream economic analysts and even some alternative analysts was that a government shutdown was not going to happen. The Republicans would fold in the shadow of President Barack Obama’s overwhelming drive for socialization, spending would continue to grow unabated, and the debt ceiling would be vaulted yet again to feed the bureaucratic machine with more fiat. Today, there is no consensus, very few people continue to be so blithely self-assured and even the mainstream is beginning to wonder if a much bigger game is afoot here.

One rule I try to follow whenever possible is to always be open to possibilities beyond the expected and never assume that today’s dynamic will be the same as tomorrow’s dynamic. In a world of staggering political and economic manipulation, one has to grasp hold of certain fundamental truths in order to survive. In my time working within the liberty movement and outside of the mainstream, these are a few of the cold, hard truths that have served me well.

It’s Always About Globalization

Every action the elites within our government take pushes the U.S. closer to globalism and away from sovereignty. We may not always see the bigger picture in the heat of the moment, but a look back tells us much. Seemingly simple changes in financial legislation render devastating fiscal shifts a decade later (as with the progressive erasure of Glass-Steagall). Shocking disaster events that appear random suddenly open doors for totalitarian legislation that had been prepared years in advance. Wars end with further calls for world “unification.” Nothing, and I mean nothing, happens within government that does not revolve around the desire of establishment oligarchy to achieve total global economic, political and social control.

The Bankers Did It

Central banks and international banks are the bedrock of globalization, and all greater political decisions eventually stand on this bedrock. One need only examine the cabinets of the past four U.S. Presidents; there you will find a regular carnival freak show of banking elites who would go on to revolve in and out of government and back into the international financial sector. Private central banks like the Federal Reserve dominate the very currency (and thus the economy) of most nations on the planet. Most wars and man-made disasters of the past several centuries have served only to further enrich and empower the merchant class, and the same holds true today. If you want to understand why a certain calamity has occurred, first look to who benefited most. Invariably, you will find the banker class smiling when all is said and done.

America’s Two-Party System Is Actually A One-Party System

If you do not yet understand that the elite of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party share the same foundational philosophy of globalism, then you will never understand why our government does what it does. Public battles of words and legislation are nothing but rhetorical cinema. Ultimately, the goals of neocons and neolibs revolve around the centralization of power. All legislation is used either to further centralization or as a smokescreen to confuse the public while centralization is taking place. When has the leadership of either party, for instance, ever demanded a full audit of the Federal Reserve? When has the leadership of either party ever attempted to dismantle the Patriot Act or the despotic provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act or the President’s openly admitted assassination list? They may seem to disagree violently at times, but do not be fooled. The disagreement is likely just another means to gain more dominance.

The Goal Is To Destroy The American Economy

What you believe to be political blunders are often actually calculated and engineered events. What you believe to be chaotic disasters of coincidence are often actually deliberate acts of attrition warfare against the common people disguised as random catastrophe. Those you believe to be heroes are actually villains in friendly masks. Those you are told to be villains are actually good men and women who refused to be enslaved by the system. That which you see and hear is never exactly as it appears.

Nearly every concrete action our government and central bank have taken in the past several decades has led to the further erosion of the American economy. If this is all just the consequence of “stupidity” or “childish greed,” you would think our so-called leadership would have at least made a few good decisions by mistake; but they are incredibly adept at choosing all the wrong paths.

The reality is that collapses on the scale we are now witnessing in America rarely happen by accident.

The destruction of Glass-Steagall was a carefully crafted coup. The Federal Reserve deliberately and artificially lowered interest rates in order to allow banks to generate massive toxic debt through the derivatives markets. The Securities and Exchange Commission did little to nothing to stop the spread of cancerous mortgage instruments and ignored numerous calls for investigation. Ratings agencies like Moody’s and Fitch examined all of these toxic assets, knowing exactly what they were, and rated them AAA anyway. And banks like Goldman Sachs, knowing that the market was a sham, sold these bad assets around the world and then secretly bet against them later. Either this is economic warfare implemented with precision, or it’s all a string of coincidental blunders. I don’t believe in such coincidences.

America is being destroyed by design to make way for a new global system administered by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as a new global currency tied to the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights.

If you are able to accept this, the confusion surrounding events like the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate withers, and everything becomes clear. With that clarity in mind, we can now examine the possible outcomes of the shutdown theater.

Republicans Surrender At The Last Minute

Of course, since both parties are essentially one party, the idea of “brinksmanship” on the part of either is absurd. The GOP will surrender, or “stand fast,” because its serves the interests of the globalist establishment. There is no political battle here, only the empty chest-beating of a staged wrestling match.

Bets on a last-minute Republican reversal were in the majority for the past week of the shutdown, but that is slowly changing — and for good reason. Obama has stated that the Affordable Care Act is off the table in negotiations, while Republicans like Ted Cruz and John Boehner are now stating with surprising candor that debt default is on the table if Obama refuses to compromise.

Gee, it would seem we are at an impasse. In the meantime, the GOP is also moving to wrap the debt ceiling debate into the shutdown fight, making a “diplomatic compromise” even less likely to make sense to the public. (Those who argued that the shutdown and the debt ceiling were two entirely separate issued should accept this reality and move on.)

If I were writing this bit of fiction, I would say I was writing myself into a corner and that a last-minute Republican white flag would be illogical to my audience. That said, not all stories are well-written stories, so a Republican rollover remains an option for the time being. The primary reason I can see for the establishment to instruct the GOP to retreat would be to set the stage for a new stimulus event, like a war, which still leaves the U.S. dollar on track to lose its world reserve status — just not as fast a track.

Default Occurs By Winter

This plot twist makes far more sense to me given the way our story has progressed so far. Why? Because it provides perfect cover for an economic collapse that was going to occur anyway, except in this version the banking elite avoid all blame.

Just look at all the angry rhetoric being thrown around in the mainstream media; red team versus blue team has returned as the pervasive American sitcom.

Conservatives blame liberals and Obama. Liberals blame conservatives and the Tea Party. We’re all too happy to blame each other. Certainly, both elements of our government share responsibility for any debt default or subsequent collapse. But who started this avalanche to begin with? What about the Federal Reserve? What about Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citigroup, etc.? What about the globalists?

Debt default is no small matter. Such a disaster would indeed fuel a flight from U.S. Treasuries by foreign investors and eventually lead to the complete abandonment of the greenback as the world reserve standard. Austerity measures would be implemented at break-neck speed. Cuts to entitlement programs, pensions, State funding, etc. will hit the American people like a freight train.

The way in which the MSM is already painting “Tea Party” conservative as saboteurs should a default occur is actually a very practical strategy. Not only do the elites get their economic collapse, but they manipulate the general public to believe that Constitutional conservatives, their mortal enemies, were the cause of the pain, rather than the banks.

Order From Chaos

Should the establishment decide this is the moment to pull the plug on our financial structure, expect some rather insane-sounding solutions to be presented as rational alternatives. When Obama was asked by reporters if he considered the 14th Amendment as an option to end the debt ceiling debate, Obama did not rule out the idea.

This should raise some eyebrows. By the 14th Amendment I can only surmise that they mean Section 4, which states:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Some people, including CNBC’s Jim Cramer, think that this gives the President the power to raise the debt ceiling regardless of what Congress decides. 

And Obama doesn’t appear to be dismissing the notion either. However, Section 5 of the 14th Amendment says:

The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Nowhere in Section 5 does it say that the President has the power to enforce the provisions of the 14th Amendment, but this may not stop the White House from twisting the law to insinuate more expansive controls.

Beyond the 14th Amendment, there are numerous executive orders and continuity of government programs that the White House could cite as authority to implement national emergency standards. This would probably start as a kind of “soft” martial law, and then grow from there. Each action will be rationalized as necessary for the greater good of the country, but will serve only the interests of the establishment oligarchy.

On the Republican side, there is another disturbing development that may be presented as a solution in the face of crisis — namely, the idea of instituting a Constitutional convention.

A Constitutional convention is essentially a complete rewriting of the document in the name of rebooting a government that has strayed too far from the wishes of the people. The concept is being promoted avidly by certain neocon talking heads and scholars, even on the FOX News circuit.

It sounds very noble on the surface, and neocons use very pretty language to candy coat the idea for Constitutionalists; but it is truly the most foolish action our country could take, opening the door to a complete erasure of Bill of Rights protections while offering no assurances that any meaningful provisions will be respected by the Federal government. If the liberty movement is suckered into a Constitutional convention, we will have been lured into writing our own destruction.

The most dangerous solution that will inevitably be paraded for the public will be a petition for aid from the IMF. The IMF has a long history of loansharking to indebted nations and then subsuming them and their natural resources in the process. The ignorant illusion that the United States is the sole power behind the IMF will be exposed all too late when a defaulting American Treasury is told to collateralize infrastructure to pay off creditors, while the dollar is bled completely dry and absorbed by the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket currency.

Whether default occurs or is avoided, watch vigilantly over the next few weeks. Do not blink. Do not be conned, and do not let fear or bias blind you to the bigger picture. The shutdown could amount to nothing immediate, or it could amount to everything we have warned about for the past five years. I personally believe the month of October may be a major turning point in America’s history. Whether it be for good or ill depends on how mentally and physically prepared we are.

–Brandon Smith

Obamacare: Is It A Divide-And-Conquer Distraction?

In March of 2010, Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as “Obamacare”) into law amid a host of economic uncertainties and unwanted Federal Reserve bailouts. Two years before, Washington had confirmed the passage of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) measures that had already met with disapproval from, according to some polls, more than 80 percent of Americans. In the meantime, the Occupy Wall Street movement was gaining momentum, involving elements of both traditionally Republican and traditionally Democratic organizations. Self-proclaimed “conservatives” and “liberals” were beginning to find common ground on issues ranging from the overall fiscal system to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The consensus was clear: Government had grown corrupt, power-hungry and ultimately destructive to every citizen regardless of his political affiliation.

However, certain hot-button issues always seem to flood government rhetoric and the mainstream media whenever the U.S. citizenry begins to unify, causing renewed rifts and luring Americans to fight among themselves while the cruise ship on which we are floating sinks into the abyss. Those on the left believe Obamacare is a genuine attempt to institute socialized medicine, and they love it. Those on the right believe Obamacare is a genuine attempt to institute socialized medicine, and they despise it. But what if Obamacare’s government-controlled healthcare plan is only a secondary pursuit, while cutting America down the middle is the first goal?

Consider this: The launch of Obamacare comes at a time when the official national debt of the United States is about $17 trillion and the national deficit is some $1 trillion per year. Keep in mind that when Obama was elected in 2008, the official national debt stood at only $10 trillion. That means the Obama Administration has added more than $7 trillion in debt in only five years.

While mainstream talking heads with low IQs proclaim victory for the Obama camp because of a supposedly “shrinking” deficit, what they either fail to mention or are too stupid to understand is that the official reporting of the deficit does not account for real deficit expenditures each year. The official deficit does not include what government number crunchers call “unfunded liabilities,” like Social Security and Medicare, or off-book agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The average taxpayer suffers the costs of such expenditures yet is never counted in official statistics. If one were to tally our true national debt, including “unfunded liabilities,” it would stand anywhere from $120 trillion to more than $200 trillion. The true deficit skyrockets to more than $5 trillion per year (and growing) when such programs are included.

It is hard to say whether Obamacare costs will be openly included in official debt numbers or hidden like most entitlement programs. The point is the government has been lying for quite some time, under multiple Presidents, about the real state of the U.S. economy.

When the White House claims in its talking points that government-assisted healthcare will require a net payment of only $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years, what method of accounting is used? Is this the total cost or just the “official cost” minus off-book liabilities? Even if this ends up being the full and complete spending required, how can Washington afford to burn another $1.1 trillion on top of $5 trillion a year already in the red?

If our national debt continues to climb exponentially, as it has in the wake of the Administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, will we see another $7 trillion or more added to the “official” number in the next five years?

According to The Washington Post, Obamacare is now a fact of life, even in the face of a government shutdown.

But is this claim really true, or is it just empty posturing? You may like Obamacare, or you may hate Obamacare; but the fact remains that we cannot afford Obamacare at this time. So my first question to proponents of socialized medicine would be: Where is the money going to come from? More taxes? How can Obamacare be funded by increased taxes, when the average median household income has fallen every year for five years in a row.

How about more taxes for the super rich? Four hundred of America’s top earners brought in an average adjustted gross income of $202 million in 2009. If each of these people were taxed 100 percent of his annual income, the resulting $80 billion in revenue would still not be enough to fund Obamacare, let alone our already existing massive debts.

If taxes won’t do the job, what about foreign treasury investment?

U.S. Treasury holdings by foreign creditors witnessed a record sell-off in June of this year, and subsequent purchases have not covered the loss in recent months.

The majority of all Treasury purchases by foreign investors are short-term bonds, meaning international faith in America’s ability to cover its debts has fallen considerably. Creditors now want only bonds that mature quickly, so that they can be liquidated at a moment’s notice. Foreign investment in the United States is currently either static or dropping, depending on the country, meaning no extra cash flow for Obamacare.

At bottom, Obamacare is doomed to failure. The money simply does not exist in order to cover the cost. The math does not add up. Period.

Now, I can understand hard-core socialists being too unintelligent to wrap their heads around this problem. After all, the average socialist thinks government funds will infinitely expand to meet the needs of infinite demand, as long as public wealth is “harmonized” in the process. Socialists are utterly unable to imagine that the money may run out one day, thus decimating the economy.

But what about the establishment? Is the establishment really unaware that Obamacare is unsustainable? I think not. The government creates our false economic reality on a daily basis. It receives the hard financial data and then spins it to suit its particular needs. Government officials are the people who are exposed regularly to our dire fiscal position, yet we are supposed to believe that they are “not aware” of their own crimes. Obama and the banking elites who pull his strings are fully conscious that our economy is on the verge of complete collapse, and they are aware that Obamacare will never survive. So why continue with the charade if there is no mathematical possibility that the program will succeed?

Social division is the only plausible answer. Universal healthcare has been a longtime pursuit of the left, and many Democrats are willing to forgo or completely ignore other dangerous political developments surrounding the White House as long as they finally attain socialized medicine. I have personally engaged in numerous debates with Obama supporters, pointing out his transgressions against the Constitution and the Mideast, his close relationships with the banking elite, and his willingness to throw aside his own promises. Amazingly, some of his supporters admit that Obama is monstrous in many respects, but they still defend him on the basis that “at least he’s going to give us free healthcare.”

In this way, the establishment has retained about 30 percent of the American population as political cannon fodder to be exploited at will by the Obama Administration. And if a government shutdown takes place over Obamacare measures, that percentage may climb as citizens are duped into believing that Tea Party Republicans and their “unwillingness to compromise” are to blame for the situation.

The establishment knows that a financial crisis is upon us, but it wants you to believe that the collapse was caused by “political gridlock,” foreign fiscal schemes or “conservative hubris.” It does not want members of the public to draw any connections between their suffering and the international banking elite behind the greater catastrophe. Obamacare is a red herring, smoke and mirrors, a distraction. While we battle over a program that will never find adequate funding anyway, the rest of the economic system crumbles.

–Brandon Smith

Is The Fed Ready To Cut America’s Fiat Life Support?

It is undeniable that America is thoroughly addicted to fiat stimulus. Every aspect of our economy, from stocks, to bonds, to banks, and by indirect extension main street, is now utterly dependent on the continued 24/7 currency creation bonanza. The stock market no longer rallies to the tune of increased retail sales, growing export markets or improved employment expectations.

The Federal Reserve building in Washington. Credit: UPI

In fact, “good” economic news today is met with panic and market sell-offs! Why? Because investors and banks still playing equities understand full well that any sign of fiscal improvement might mean the end of the private Federal Reserve’s QE pajama party. They know that without the Fed’s opiate-laced lifeline, the economy dies a fast and painful death.

All mainstream economic news currently revolves around the Fed, as pundits clamor to divine whether the latest signals mean the free money will flow, trickle or dry up.

Most expect the central bank to make an announcement today on the details of its reduction in stimulus initiatives. Generally, the Fed does not have a tendency to slip information to the media on the possibility of a policy change unless they plan to follow through. Every bailout and QE announcement over the course of the past five years has been preceded by weeks and even months of “rumors” acclimating the mainstream and the markets to the idea of each action long before it was ever implemented. If the Fed avoids clarity on the taper in the coming week, I expect that they will still assert stimulus cuts before the end of fall.

Certain developments, though, are giving false hope to the markets that the stimulus fantasy will go on forever. The resignation of Larry Summers from the “running” for Fed Chairman (as if Obama isn’t being told exactly who he is to pick for the position) has so far put a dash of cheer into the Dow Jones. Strangely, investors seem to believe that without Summers, continued quantitative easing is assured. The reality is that the decision to cut stimulus has likely already been long established and the face of the new chairman will have little relevance.

The idea of the Fed being divided by “hawks” and “doves” is absurd propaganda designed to give the public a false impression that central bank decisions follow some kind of democratic course. Central banks are highly centralized and highly coordinated corporate entities, not governmental councils prone to “debate.” And like any corporation, it is certain that decisions are handed down from the top of the pyramid in totalitarian fashion.

Who is at the top of the pyramid when it comes to the Fed? Only a FULL audit would reveal the truth, and a full audit has never been enforced in the 100-year history of the bank (the only meaningful partial audit ever conducted examined the TARP bailouts, uncovering over $16 trillion in crazed currency printing in that program alone). The point is, the Fed is not a public institution (nor “quasi-public”), it is private, and this private bank is now dominating every miniscule fluctuation in the health of our financial system, openly.

Two questions loom like a black cloud over the stock exchange picnic:

1) Will the Fed cut stimulus soon, and if so, by how much?

2) If the Fed continues stimulus, how long can it last before the dollar’s value is decimated?

As I have been saying since the bailouts began in 2008, the Fed has conjured a perfect Catch-22 scenario for the U.S. economy. If the Fed cuts QE while conditions remain tenuous, the stark reality that we have been living on borrowed time will be revealed. If the Fed continues stimulus the catastrophe will take longer to unfold. But eventually, foreign creditors will finish their strategy of dumping the dollar in bilateral trade and our economy takes a dive anyway. Cancel stimulus and we croak. Continue stimulus and we croak.

Obviously, given the total dependency the investment world has shown towards QE, the markets will plummet without stimulus. Some predict a “manageable” break in stocks, while others predict freefall. In any case, those who think QE reductions are already priced into the markets are fooling themselves. Keep in mind that before QE3 was announced in September of last year, the Dow was struggling due to a lack of any credible recovery signals within the system. Nothing has changed since. There are no new developments that give clear indication that our economy is any better off than it was a year ago, let alone five years ago.

One thing I have learned over the years is to never underestimate the power of blind human optimism. With a QE taper announcement this week, it could take months before the general public and the investment sector finally grasp the fact that the carpet has been pulled out from under them.

There are many people out there who actually believe the recovery hype being promoted in the mainstream, and I have to say, things are getting a little schizophrenic. Some pundits are focusing on negative data because they think it will influence the Fed to keep QE alive.

Others organizations appear to have a different agenda. Ratings and analytic firm Moody’s, for instance, has recently released a report claiming that all risk of returning recession has been essentially eliminated in the U.S.

This is, of course, news to most of us in the field of alternative economic analysis, being that according to the fundamentals, we NEVER LEFT the original recession which officially began at the end of 2007. I would also point out that Moody’s was one of the same agencies that played a considerable role in the derivatives collapse. Would you trust a company that stamped every toxic derivative it examined with a AAA rating to tell you what shape our financial structure is in?

Now, maybe it’s the “conspiracy theorist” in me, but I find the release of this Moody’s report rather suspicious, just as I have found the majority of the Labor Department’s overly optimistic unemployment reports suspicious. It is highly likely that these fabricated numbers hailing green-shoots recovery are being released in order to give the Fed false precedent to begin cutting stimulus while distancing themselves from blame over the eventual catastrophic results. In fact, I guarantee that the Fed will cite reports like those produced by Moody’s in order to vindicate taper actions.

So, why would the Fed use erroneous data to justify QE cuts today, knowing that our system is addicted to fiat and will shrivel like a raisin in the sun without it? Here’s the thing: The world is changing rapidly, and the course of the next decade (if not the next century) may be decided before this year is out.

The Syrian crisis is far from over. In fact, Russian diplomatic measures have only raised the stakes. Russia’s overt involvement proves beyond a doubt that any military action on the part of the U.S. will create escalation. The conflict is no longer only about President Barack Obama vs. Bashar Assad. Now, it is the U.S. vs. Russia, Syria, Iran, China, etc. If diplomacy fails (the White House and Israel appear intent to ensure it fails), the dire results will be clear to the majority before this winter is over.

SEC regulators have called for the establishment of exchange “kill switches”, which will be finalized over the course of this winter. A recent Nasdaq shutdown caused by what regulators label a “software glitch” is being used as the excuse for this centralized kill option which will remain in the hands of… nobody knows yet. I would note though that a streamlined kill switch option for stocks would be useful in the event that a market crisis occurs and the establishment wishes to control how much value in equities is lost from day to day:

China has recently announced that a “second economic revolution” will be set in motion this coming November. While the details of this policy shift are not yet certain, the Chinese have established that they plan to move away from export reliance and place more energy into consumer growth. This means FAR less interest in the U.S. consumer and the U.S. dollar as a world reserve currency.

Ben Bernanke’s term as Fed Chairman is set to end in January of 2014, and it is my observation that detrimental policy changes commonly take place while the responsible organizations are in transition, or just past transition. Any debilitating consequences of QE cuts can be placed at the feet of Ben Bernanke, while the Federal Reserve as a whole remains shielded from reproach. And why should he care? Old Ben will be sitting on a beach in the Caymans sipping mojitos while the rest of us are suffering through dollar devaluation and market chaos.

In the meantime, the U.S. may be in the midst of global economic war, or a shooting war, drawing all attention away from the central banks as the culprits behind America’s fiscal demise.

Ultimately, QE cuts will be detrimental because they are MEANT to be detrimental, and this is in pursuit of one of only two possible goals: Either the Fed is seeking to deliberately undermine the U.S. economy in order to set in motion a final collapse, or, the Fed wants to create just enough desperation in order to force the American people to beg for more stimulus, and thus force us to accept partial responsibility for the eventual inflationary demise of the dollar. In either case, the Fed serves one purpose – to secure the globalization of America by any means necessary. A wounded America is more liable to embrace centralization and abandon sovereignty than a strong America. I’ll let George Soros explain one more time just to drive the point home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBO34qcnoqM

The process of globalized economic and political governance has been a long and carefully planned one and the existence of a prosperous U.S. is not a part of the program. There have been many events over the past several decades that we can look back on objectively and understand the role they played in the destruction of the U.S. as a sovereign nation. At the edge of the Federal Reserve’s 100th anniversary, it is vital that we see the current developments for what they really are – history changing, in a fashion so violent they are apt to scar America forever.

 

- Brandon Smith

Are The Real Enemies In Syria Or Washington?

“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”–Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The definition of what makes an “enemy” may vary from person to person. But I would say that, generally, an enemy is one who has an active ability to do irreparable harm to you or your essential values. He is motivated by destruction, the destruction of all that you hold dear. He is capable and motivated. He is a legitimate threat. He will not compromise. He will not waver. He will do anything to wound you. He will not stop. He is possessed.

Americans have spent the better part of a century being told who their enemies are with very little explanation or substantiation. We have blindly rallied around our patriotic prerogative without knowing the root cause of the conflict or the nature of the target we are told to annihilate. We have been suckered into war after war, conjured by international interests in order to lure us into accepting greater centralization and concentrated globalism. As a culture, I’m sorry to say, we have been used. We are a tool of unmitigated doom. We are the loaded gun in the hand of the devil.

This paradigm has done terrible harm to our standing in the eyes of the peoples of the world. But until recently, it has done very little harm to us as a society. We have allowed ourselves to be used like a bloody club, but we have not yet felt the true pain or the true cost. We have been insulated from consequence. However, this exalted situation is quickly coming to an end.

When one applies the above definition of “the enemy” to Syria, one comes away with very little satisfaction. The Syrian government poses absolutely no immediate threat to the United States. In fact, the civil war that now rages within its borders has been completely fabricated by the American government. The insurgency has been funded, armed, trained and ultimately directed by the U.S. intelligence community. Without U.S. subversion, the civil war in Syria would not exist.

So, the question arises: If Syria is not the real enemy, who is?

I point back to the core issue. That is to say, I would examine who poses a legitimate threat to our country and our principles. The Syrian government under Bashar Assad clearly has no capability to threaten our freedom, our economic stability, our social stability or our defensive capabilities. There is, though, a group of people out there who do, in fact, pose a significant threat to the American way of life on every conceivable level. These people do not live on the other side of the world. They do not wear foreign garb or speak another language. They do not have pigmented skin or Asian features. They look just like you and I, and they live in Washington.

If the so-called “debate” over a possible military strike in Syria has done anything, it has certainly brought the American public’s true enemies to the surface. Men who posed as liberal proponents of peace now salivate over the prospect of bloodshed. Men who posed as fiscal conservatives now clamor for more Federal funding to drive the U.S. war machine. Men who claimed to represent the citizenry now ignore all calls for reason in the pursuit of global dominance.

I have warned of the considerable dangers of a war in Syria for years — long before most people knew or cared about the Assad regime. Being in this position has allowed me to view the escalating crisis with a considerable amount of objectivity. In the midst of so much chaos and confusion, if you know who stands to gain and who stands to lose, the progression of events becomes transparent, and the strategy of the true enemy emerges.

So what have I observed so far?

If you want to know who has malicious intent toward our Constitutional values, simply move your eyes away from the Mideast and focus on our own capital. The ill will toward liberty held by the leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties is obvious in the Congressional support of the banker bailouts, the Patriot Acts, the National Defense Authorization Act, the President’s domestic assassination directives, the hands-off approach to National Security Agency mass surveillance, etc. But even beyond these litmus tests, the Syrian debate has unveiled numerous enemies of the American people within our own government.

The catastrophe inherent in a Syrian strike is at least partially known to most of the public. We are fully aware that there will be blowback from any new strike in the Mideast, economically as well as internationally. So if the average American with little political experience understands the consequences of such an action, the average politician should be more than educated on the dangers. Any representative who blatantly ignores the calamity ahead is either very stupid or has an agenda.

I find it fascinating that politicians and bureaucrats from both sides of the aisle are now coming out of the woodwork to cheerlead alongside each other for war and the state.

For those who are predominantly obsessed with Barack Obama as the source of all our ills, I would gladly point out that Republican leader and House Speaker John Boehner has thrown his support behind a Syrian strike, even before the U.N. investigative report on Syrian chemical weapons use has been released.

In the meantime, self-proclaimed Republican stalwarts like John McCain (R-Ariz.) have argued that Obama’s “limited strike” response is “not enough.” This is the same man, by the way, who has been instrumental in the monetary and military support of al-Qaida in Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who not long ago ran for President on the platform of being an anti-war Democrat, now regularly begs the American people to back further war based on the same dubious evidence for which he once criticized the George W. Bush Administration. In fact, Kerry has made it clear that even if Congress votes “no” against a strike, he believes Obama has the right to set one in motion anyway.

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), the man who openly admits in mainstream interviews that he believes the President has the right to indefinitely detain or assassinate American citizens without trial or oversight, has loudly indicated his support for a war on Syria. His criticisms parallel McCain’s in that he believes the Obama Administration should have attacked without Congressional approval or should commit to an all-out military shift into the region. Graham consistently fear mongers in the mainstream media. He warns that without a hard, immediate strike against Syria, catastrophe will befall Israel, and chemical and nuclear weapons will rain on America.

All I have to say to Graham is, if chemical or nuclear weapons are used against the American people, it will be because the establishment allowed it to happen — just as it has allowed numerous attacks in the past to occur in order to facilitate pretext for a larger war (Gulf of Tonkin, anyone?).

For those out there in the movement who are hoping for reason and logic to prevail during the Congressional debate on the Syrian issue, I would suggest that they do not hold their breath. This vote was decided before Obama ever allowed it to go to the Hill. The vote has been cast. The debate is a sideshow designed to make the American people feel as if their system of government still functions as it should. Remember, no Congress in the history of the United States has ever refused the request of a President to make war.

The more than 150 Congressmen who demanded a vote on the Syrian crisis did so because they wanted to be included in the process, not because they necessarily opposed a war. That leaves nearly 300 representatives who had no problem whatsoever with Obama attacking Syria unilaterally without any checks or balances. The Senate panel that initiated the voting process on the strike plan passed the initiative 10-7. I have no doubt that Obama has the votes to confirm the use of force.

But let’s say Obama does not get his Congressional approval; his office has asserted on numerous occasions that he has the authority to trigger war regardless. A “no” vote in Washington means nothing today. The probable scenario, though, is the most common scenario. Congress will most likely authorize the “use of military force” without directly declaring war on the Assad regime. This is exactly what Congress did in the wake of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There was no evidence of an al-Qaida support structure and no evidence of weapons of mass destruction, but war rolled forward nonetheless. Congress gave Bush a blank check to do whatever he saw fit, and I believe this is what it will do for Obama.

America is being set up to look like the bad guy or the fool. Our political leadership is devoted to the ideology of globalization, not sovereignty or U.S prosperity. A Syrian strike places the United States in tremendous peril, the likes of which have not been seen since the Cuban missile crisis. Syria itself is a vacuum of death, a black hole swirling in a void of economic and sociological interdependency. Where the United States enters, so follows Iran, so follows Israel, so follows Saudi Arabia, so follows Lebanon, so follows Jordan, so follows Egypt, so follows Russia, so follows China and on and on.

In my analysis of Syria over the years, I have exposed the domino effect of war as well as the calamities of economic chain reaction. Escalating war in Syria will eventually lead to the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and the collapse of the U.S. financial system. Knowing that this is the ultimate result of a strike in the region, many people would ask why the White House and so many prominent figures in Congress would be so hell-bent on setting the wheels in motion. I would stand back from the chaos and ask what I always ask: Who gains the most from the disaster?

The demise of American currency dominance and the degradation of the American spirit do indeed benefit a select few. For the most part, central banks and globalists have taken a hands-off approach to the Syrian debacle. Perhaps that’s because doing so makes it easier for them to survey the inevitable collapse from a distance and swoop in later as our “saviors,” ready to rebuild the globe according to their own ideals. Having a debased and desperate U.S. populace certainly makes the transition to total globalization and centralization much easier.

My original query was: Who is the real enemy? No matter what happens in the coming months and years, never forget that question. Who poses the greatest threat to our freedom: Syria or the political ghouls trying to convince us to decimate Syria?

Who claims the power to take everything we have? Who claims the power to take our liberty and our lives at a whim? Who claims the power to kill innocents in our name? Who disregards the checks and balances of constitutionalism at every turn? Who truly threatens our future and the future of our children?

Do not be distracted by stories of foreign monsters so far away when the real monsters lurk so quietly under your bed. If we can find a way to pressure Congress into avoiding a Syrian conflict, remain vigilant. America is one global hiccup away from oblivion. And if this is what the establishment wants, they will find a way to make it happen. The threat of U.S. catastrophe will end only when the poison is removed from our very veins, and that process of purification begins with the removal of the criminal political structures and banking structures in Washington.

–Brandon Smith

What Do We Stand For?

At the very edge of oblivion, some men reflect; others snivel and cry. I have spent many years now studying the societal strengths and failings of modern American culture, and I have to say that most citizens within our once grand Republic will do far less reflecting and much more crying when the bell tolls. This is not to say that I believe the fight is lost. Far from it. In fact, I would consider myself an optimist amongst many of my peers in the liberty movement as to our chances of defending Constitutional freedom today. There is a very strong core within our country that still embraces the ideals of individualism and independence. The problem is that those who are awake face each day surrounded by lunatics and the giggling blind. It’s difficult to find solace within the asylum of the “mainstream,” so we begin to assume we are alone.

Even worse, we sometimes have to deal with misguided and biased people who join the liberty movement not to stand upon any solid fundamental principles, but to attempt to impress their own twisted world views upon us as if they “know better.” You would think that the concept of freedom would be simple to understand and grasp. But for some people, it is like plunging into a trigonometric wonderland of confusion.

As the United States, led by the Administration of President Barack Obama, moves toward yet another possible war in the Mideast, using covert terrorists as proxies and enacting violent policy based on dubious or nonexistent evidence and far-flung accusations, I realize that with all the blathering voices out there telling us what to think, what to do, what to fear, whom to admire, whom to worship, how to live and what to aspire, perhaps it is time for each of us to solemnly question what we stand for and what America is supposed to stand for.

Really, think about it. What are we here for? What purpose do we serve in the grand scheme of things? What are our defining principles?

Have we lost track of ourselves as Americans so completely that we cannot even explain in a reasonable fashion what kind of people we want to be and what kind of world we want to live in? Are we so busy squabbling with each other that we have no time to examine the foundation upon which we all rely?

I think it is safe to point out that for many decades the actions of our government have not represented or reflected the ideals of the public. I can’t say I’ve met very many people who would voluntarily or happily cheer the course of our Nation. Much of what is done in our name is not done for our benefit or for the benefit of our children. Most of the crimes committed by our government are crimes we would never want to be remembered for as individuals.

If this is the case and if deep down we all want a much different legacy than what is being created for us, what would this legacy be? I believe that most Americans would not argue with the following list of virtues.

Enduring Individualism

Most Americans want to be in control of their own destinies. The sad reality, though, is that many Americans believe themselves to be in control of their own destinies when they are not. They believe they are informed when they are actually ignorant. They believe they are rich when they are actually poor. They believe they are self-sufficient when they are actually as helpless as newborn babies. They believe they are courageous when they are actually cowards. And they believe they are righteous when they are actually guilty of numerous crimes against their fellow man. One cannot be an individual unless he understands himself and his own weaknesses.

True Independence

Americans want to see themselves as independent and self-reliant, yet many of us go about pursuing this independence in backward ways. Socialists view an independent life as a gift granted by society through the tool of government. In other words, they believe that the collective is responsible for supporting and sustaining the individual and that the individual owes the collective allegiance for its efforts. Objectivists tend to treat independence as a kind of “get out of jail free card,” as if true individuals should care only about themselves and their posterity and that there should be no consequences for their own harmful actions.

What both sides can’t seem to fathom is that independence is about responsibility. It’s about responsibility to one’s self, to make one’s own way in life without the constant aid of a nanny state. It is also about responsibility to one’s inner conscience, which warns us not to maliciously violate the life and liberty of others. Whether on the left or the right, Americans have forgotten that real independence comes with strings attached.

Decentralization Of Power

At this very moment, the White House has decided whether it will unilaterally attack a foreign nation that presents absolutely no clear and present danger to the United States. In a play for limited liability and shared guilt, Obama has “offered” to “allow” Congress to vote on the decision to go to war in Syria, while stating openly that as President he has the authority to initiate an attack anyway, without its oversight. The White House is moving to strike Syria because its attempts at covert destabilization and terrorism (again, without the approval of Congress) have failed, and it is trying to erase its mistakes in a hail of missiles. Centralization of power is the exact opposite of what America was founded on. Checks and balances exist for a reason. Such measures are ingrained in the Constitution in order to ensure that our entire country is not led down a path of criminality and destruction based on the decisions of only a few men.

The great allure of centralization is that each political faction within the United States is easily tempted by what it could do if the system were under its control. People on the left and on the right foolishly imagine that if only the dark power of centralism were in their hands, they could use it for “good.” But nothing good ever comes from centralization. Decentralization is the only answer.

Spiritual Freedom

Americans have become increasingly schizophrenic as to what this actually means. Surely, most of us understand and agree that each individual has a right to worship as he wishes and participate in any religion he chooses. The moment we begin to use government as a way to interfere in the worship of one religion, we risk one day having government used to interfere with our own religion. Sadly, this ideal has been turned on its head by some who think that spiritual concerns should be erased from government altogether. Government is not and never will be a purely objective entity. Government is made up of human beings, and human beings always bring their ideals to work. I fail to see the harm in allowing a courthouse, for instance, to post the Ten Commandments on its wall. This is an expression of a predominant spiritual ideal that ultimately harms no one.

By the same token, however if one day a court in another town decided to post the precepts of Buddhism on its walls, there should be no complaints from Christians either. Unfortunately, all sides (including Atheists) seek to apply their own spiritual (or secular) views as if they are in contest with each other, and this leads to all sides attempting to use government as a weapon to enforce those views. I think the Founding Fathers, though many of them Christian, saw the great danger in religious groups battling to force their particular beliefs on each other. The Constitutional protections of religious freedom were thus designed to make spiritualism a personal, rather than political, endeavor. Most of us do not wish to live in a society in which our government has been sterilized of all spiritualism, but we also refuse to live under the insanity of a theocracy. The only answer is the original answer of the Founding Fathers: to believe as we wish to believe and to leave everyone else the hell alone.

Noninterventionism

Our country was built on the philosophy of noninterventionism. But today, those who promote the strategy are immediately accused of being “isolationists” by the mainstream. I think the stupidity of interventionism has been made abundantly clear over the past decade, as our mindless adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Yemen and Syria are falling apart. Nothing has been accomplished in these offensives on the other side of the world except the further erosion of America’s economy, not to mention our credibility.

As polling appears to suggest today, many Americans are once again finally learning to embrace noninterventionism in the case of Syria, and this awakening should be encouraged further. Regardless of the rationalizations given by the establishment, freedom (if that is indeed what the White House is selling) cannot be spread by force of arms or sold like a fast-food franchise. Furthermore, we should be taking care of the liberties being eroded within our own borders before gallivanting around the globe pontificating to foreign nations about their supposed inadequacies.

Constitutional Liberty Before Political Party

Political parties are the bane of American life. They are the primary means by which our population is controlled and distracted. Parties are poison. When I vote, I vote for the individual representative, not his party. His party may argue that only it is the true purveyor of freedom. His party might argue that only it has my best interests at heart. His party may even argue that only it is honest and forthright in its platform. But if the individual politician and his record does not reflect the promises of his party, then what the party has to say is utterly meaningless.

There are no “lesser of two evils.” There is only honorable or dishonorable, Constitutional or unconstitutional, sincere or deceitful. A Republican who breaks his oath to defend the Constitution is no more likely to gain my support than a Democrat who does the same. This is a concept that has been lost on Americans for many years now. The idea that there should be no such thing as “party loyalty,” only loyalty to one’s own conscience, is one we need desperately to return. The dangers we face in our current era are a product of both major parties, and anyone who says otherwise is wearing debilitating blinders. As we creep closer to disaster, it is vital that we remember that at bottom the coming fight is between champions of freedom and proponents of tyranny, whatever party they may claim membership in.

I could continue for a hundred pages on the underlying structure of Constitutionalism that we still value but have been estranged from for so long. As our Nation enters a new stage of social, political and economic unrest, there may be very little left to hold on to. As I stated before, as a country, we can either reflect or snivel. We can take action (beginning with ourselves), or we can complain (starting with others). We can stand firm in our core principles, or we can argue endlessly about the nuances and biases surrounding those principles. We can come together under the banner of freedom in the face of despotism, or we can remain divided and conquered.

–Brandon Smith

Get Ready For The Death Of The Petrodollar

Even after seven years of writing macroeconomic analysis for the liberty movement and bearing witness to astonishing displays of financial and political stupidity by more “skeptics” than I can count, it never ceases to amaze me the amount of blind faith average Americans place in the strength of the U.S. dollar. One could explain in vast categorical detail the history of fiat currencies, the inevitable destruction caused by inflationary printing and the conundrum caused when any country decides to monetize its own debt just to stay afloat — often, to no avail.

Bank bailouts, mortgage company bailouts, Treasury bond bailouts, stock market bailouts, bailouts of foreign institutions: None of this seems to phase the gibbering bobbleheaded followers of the Federal Reserve cult.  Logic and reason and wisdom bounce like whiffle balls off their thick skulls. They simply parrot one of two painfully predictable arguments:

  • Argument No. 1: There is no way foreign countries will ever dump the U.S. dollar because they are so dependent on American consumers to buy their export goods.
  • Argument No. 2: There is no way the dollar’s value will ever collapse because it is the dominant petro-currency, and the entire world needs dollars to purchase oil.

I have written literally hundreds of articles over the years dismantling the first argument, pointing out undeniable signals that include:

  • China’s subtle dumping of the dollar — using bilateral trade agreements with other developing nations and, more recently, major economic powers like Germany and Japan
  • The massive gold-buying spree undertaken by China and Russia — even in the face of extreme market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase and Co. and CME Group Inc.
  • The dumping of long-term U.S. Treasuries by foreign creditors in exchange for short-term Treasuries that can be liquidated at a moment’s notice.
  • The fact that bonds now are supported almost entirely by Fed stimulus. When the stimulus ends, America’s ability to honor foreign debts will end and faith in the dollar will crumble.
  • Blatant statements by the International Monetary Fund calling for the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and the institution of special drawing rights (SDRs) as a replacement.

The second argument held weight for a short time, only because the political trends in the Mideast had not yet caught up to the financial reality already underway. Today, this is quickly changing. The petrodollar’s status is dependent on a great number of factors remaining in perfect alignment, socially, politically and economically. If a single element were to fall out of place, oil markets would explode with inflation in prices, influencing the rest of the world to abandon the greenback. Here are just a few of the primary catalysts and why they are an early warning of the inevitable death of the petrodollar.

Egyptian Civil War

I was recently contacted by a reader  in reference to an article I wrote concerning the likelihood of civil war in Egypt, a civil war which erupted only weeks later.

She asked why I had waited until this year to make the prediction and why I had not called for such an event after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, as many mainstream pundits had. The question bears merit. Why didn’t Egypt ignite with violent internal conflict after Mubarak was deposed? It seemed perfectly plausible, yet the mainstream got the timing (and the reasons) horribly wrong.

My response was simple: The Mideast is being manipulated by elitist organizations towards instability, and this instability is a process. The engineered Arab Spring, I believe, is not so much about the Mideast as it is about the structure of the global economy. An energy crisis would be an effective tool in changing this structure. Collapse in the Mideast would provide perfect opportunity and cover for a grand shift in the global system. However, each political step requires aid from a correct economic atmosphere, and vice versa.

If you want to identify a possible trend within a society, you have to take outside manipulation into account. You have to look at how economic events work in tandem with political events and at how these events benefit globalization as a whole. The time was not right after Mubarak’s overthrow. The mainstream media jumped the gun. If the target is the U.S. dollar and Egypt is the distraction, this year presented perfect opportunity with the now obvious failure of the quantitative easing stimulus paradigm at hand.

As the situation stands, the Egyptian military regime that overthrew Mohammed Morsi has completely cut the Muslim Brotherhood out of the political process and murdered at least 450 protesters, including prisoners already in custody.

Morsi supporters have responded by torching government buildings. But the real fighting will likely begin soon, as the current government calls for a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood itself. Simultaneously, hatred for the United States and its continued support of the Egyptian power base — regardless of who sits on the throne — is growing to a fever pitch throughout the region.

It is important for Americans to understand that this is not about taking sides. The issue here is that circumstances are nearly perfect for war and that such a war will spread and will greatly damage oil markets. The Suez Canal accounts for nearly 8 percent of the world’s ocean trade, and 4.5 million barrels of oil per day travel the corridor. Already, oil prices have surged due to the mere threat of disruption of the Suez (as I predicted). And this time, the nation is not going to recover. A drawn-out conflict is certain, given the nature of the military coup in place and the adamant opposition of the Muslim population.

Strangely, there are still some in the mainstream arguing that the Suez will “never close” because “it is too important to the Egyptian economy,” The importance of the Suez is irrelevant in the midst of all-out revolution. The Suez will close exactly because there will be no structure left to keep the canal open. In the meantime, oil prices will continue to rise and distrust of the United States will continue to fester.

Saudi Arabia Next?

The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia is at once symbiotic and parasitic, depending on how one looks at the situation. The very first oil exploration and extraction deal in Saudi Arabia was sought by the vast international oil cartels of Royal Dutch Shell, Near East Development Company, Anglo-Persian, etc., but eventually fell into the hands of none other than the Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. The dark history of Standard Oil aside, this meant that Saudi business would be handled primarily by American interests. And the Western thirst for oil, especially after World War I, would etch our relationship with the reigning monarchy in stone.

A founding member of OPEC, Saudi Arabia was one of the few primary oil-producing nations that maintained an oil pipeline that expedited processing and bypassed the Suez Canal. (The pipeline was shut down, however, in 1983). This allowed Standard Oil and the United States to tiptoe around the internal instability of Egypt, which had experienced ongoing conflict which finally culminated in the civil war of 1952. Considered puppets of the British Empire at the time, the ruling elites of Egypt were toppled by the Muslim Brotherhood, leading to the eventual demise of the British pound sterling as the top petro-currency and the world reserve. The British economy faltered and has never since returned to its former glory.

On the surface, Saudi Arabia seems to have avoided the effects of the Arab Spring climate, but all is not as it seems. The defection of Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud has brought up startling questions as to the true state of the oil producing giant.

I believe this defection is only the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s troubles and that America largest oil partner is soon to witness domestic turmoil that will disrupt oil shipments around the world. America’s support for a monarchy that is so brutal to its population will only hasten the end of the dollar’s use in global oil trade.

For those who doubt that Saudi Arabia is in line for social breakdown, I would ask why the nation felt it necessary to pump billions of dollars into the new Egyptian military junta.

While the country is surely being used in some cases as a proxy by the West, the Saudi government itself is fearful that success of dissenting elements will spread to its own borders. Little do they understand that this is part of the globalist game plan. Without control over Saudi petroleum, the United States loses its last influential foothold in the oil market, and there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the dollar will fall as the petro-currency soon after. The desperation caused by such an energy crisis will make international markets beg for a solution, which global banking cartels led by the IMF are more than happy to give.

Iranian Wild Card

The U.S. government’s outright creation of the Syrian insurgency and its funding and armament of al-Qaida agents have understandably angered numerous Mideast nations, including Iran. Iran sits on the most vital oil shipping lane in the world: the Strait of Hormuz. About 20 percent of the world’s annual oil exports are shipped through Hormuz, and the narrow inlet is incredibly easy to block using nothing but deliberately sunken freighters. In fact, this tactic is exactly what Iran has been training for in order to frustrate a U.S./Israeli invasion.

A U.S. or NATO presence on the ground or in the air above Syria, Egypt or Iran will most likely result in the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, causing sharp rises in gasoline costs that Americans cannot afford.

Russia/China Oil Deal

Finally, just as most bilateral trade deals removing the dollar as world reserve have gone ignored by the mainstream media, so has the latest sizable oil deal between Russia and China. Russia has been contracted by the Chinese to supply 25 years of petroleum, and this deal follow previously established bilateral guidelines — meaning the dollar will not be used by the Chinese to purchase this oil.

I expect that this is just the beginning of a chain reaction of oil deals shunning the dollar as the primary trade mechanism. These deals will accelerate as the Mideast sees more internal strife and as the popular distaste for the United States becomes a liability for anyone in power.

The Dollar Is A Paper Tiger

The dollar is no more invincible than any other fiat currency in history. In some ways, it is actually far weaker than any that came before. The dollar is entirely reliant on its own world reserve status in order to hold its value on the global market. As is evident, countries like China are already dumping the greenback in trade with particular nations. It is utterly foolish to assume this trend is somehow “random” rather than deliberate. Foreign countries would not be initiating the process of a dollar dump today if they did not mean to follow through with it tomorrow. All that is left is for a cover crisis to be conjured, and existing tensions in the Mideast signal a pervasive crisis in the near term.

–Brandon Smith

Note from the Editor: Round two of the financial meltdown is predicted to reach global proportions, already adversely affecting Greece, Spain and most of Europe. It appears less severe in the states because our banks are printing useless fiat currency. I’ve arranged for readers to get two free books — Surviving a Global financial Crisis and Currency Collapse, plus How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization — to help you prepare for the worst. Click here for your free copies.

How The Corrupt Establishment Is Selling Moral Bankruptcy To America

Morality is a highly misunderstood component of human nature. Some people believe they can create moral guidelines from thin air based on their personal biases and prejudices. Some people believe that morality comes from the force of bureaucracy and government law. Still, others believe that there is no such thing; that morality is a facade created by men in order to better grease the wheels of society.

All of these world views discount the powerful scientific and psychological evidence surrounding Natural Law — the laws that human beings form internally due to inherent conscience, regardless of environmental circumstances. When a person finally grasps inborn morality, the whole of the world comes into focus. The reality is that we are not born “good” or “evil.” Rather, we are all born with the capacity for good AND evil, and this internal battle stays with us until the end of our days.

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Every waking moment we are given a choice, a test of our free will, to be ruled by desire and fear, or to do what we know at our very core is right. When a man silences his inner voice, the results can be terrible for him and those around him. When an entire culture silences its inner voice, the results can be catastrophic. Such a shift in the moral compass of a society rarely takes place in a vacuum. There is always a false shepherd, a corrupt leadership that seeks to rule. Rulership, though, is difficult in the face of an awake population that respects integrity and honor. Therefore criminals must follow these specific steps in order to take power:

Pretend To Be Righteous: They must first sell the public on the idea that they hold the exact same values of natural law as everyone else. The public must at first believe that the criminal leaders are pure in their motives and have the best interests of the nation at heart, even if they secretly do not.

Pretend To Be Patriotic: Despots often proclaim an untarnished love of their homeland and the values that it was founded upon. However, what they really seek is to become a living symbol of the homeland. They insist first that they are the embodiment of the national legacy, and then they attempt to change that national legacy entirely. A corrupt government uses the ideals of a society to acquire a foothold, and when they have gained sufficient control, they dictate to that society a new set of ideals that are totally contrary to the original.

Offer To “Fix” The Economy: Tyrants do not like it when the citizens under them are self sufficient or economically independent. They will use whatever methods are at their disposal including subversive legislation, fiat currency creation, corporate monopoly and even engineered financial collapse in order to remove the public’s ability to function autonomously. They will begin this process under the guise that the current less-controlled and less-centralized system is “not safe enough,” and that they have a better way to ensure prosperity.

Offer To Lend A Hand: Once the population has been removed from its own survival imperative and is for the most part helpless, the criminal leadership moves in and offers to “help” using taxation and money creation, slowly siphoning the wealth from the middle class and raising prices through inflation. Eventually, everyone will be “equal”; equally poor that is. In the end, the whole nation will see the rulership as indispensable, for without them, the economy would no longer exist and tragedy would ensue.

Create External Fear: Once in place, the criminal leadership then conjures an enemy for the people, or multiple enemies for the people. The goal here is to create a catalyst for mass fear. When the majority of people are afraid of an external threat, they will embrace the establishment as a vital safeguard. When a society becomes convinced that it cannot take care of itself economically, little coaxing is required to convince them that they are also not competent enough to take care of their own defense. At this point, the establishment has free reign to dissolve long cherished freedoms while the masses are distracted by a mysterious threat hiding somewhere over the horizon.

Create Internal Fear: They move the threat from over the horizon, right to the public’s front door, or even within their own home. The enemy is no longer a foreigner. Now, the enemy is the average looking guy two houses over, or an outspoken friend, or even a dissenting family member. The enemy is all around them, according to the establishment. The public is sold on the idea that the sacrifice needed in order to combat such a pervasive “threat” is necessarily high.

Sell The People On The Virtues Of Moral Relativism: Now that the populace is willing to forgo certain liberties for the sake of security, they have been softened up enough for reprogramming to begin. The establishment will tell the people that the principles they used to hold so dear are actually weaknesses that make them vulnerable to the enemy. In order to defeat an enemy so monstrous, they claim, we must become monstrous ourselves. We must be willing to do ANYTHING, no matter how vile or contrary to natural law, in order to win.

Honesty must be replaced with deceit. Dissent must be replaced with silence. Peace must be replaced with violence. The independent should be treated with suspicion. The outspoken treated with contempt. Women and children are no longer people to be protected, but targets to be eliminated. The innocent dead become collateral damage. The innocent living become informants to be tortured and exploited. Good men are labeled cowards because they refuse to “do what needs to be done,” while evil men are labeled heroes for having the “strength of will” to abandon their conscience.

Thus, the criminal leadership makes once honorable citizens accomplices in the crime. The more disgusting the crime, the more apt the people will be to defend it and the system in general, simply because they have been inducted into the dark ceremony of moral ambiguity.

The actions of the state become the actions of all society. A single minded collectivist culture is born, one in which every person is a small piece of the greater machine. And, that which the machine is guilty of, every man is guilty of. Therefore, it becomes the ultimate and absurd purpose of each person within the system to DENY the crime, deny the guilt, and make certain that the machine continues to function for generations to come.

Though we have already passed though most of the above stages, Americans are still not yet quite indoctrinated into the realm of moral relativism. This is, though, swiftly changing.

The Current Sales Pitch

Just take a look at the attitude of the Barack Obama Administration and the mainstream media towards Edward Snowden and his recent asylum approved by Russia.

The White House, rather than admitting wrongdoing in its support for the NSA’s mass surveillance of American citizens without warrant, or even attempting to deny the existence of the PRISM program, is now instead trying to promote NSA spying as essential to our well being, and wag a shaming finger at Snowden and the Russian government for damaging their domestic spy network. Obama lamented on Russia’s stance, stating that their thinking is “backwards.”

Did I miss something here? I’m no fan of the Russian oligarchy, but shouldn’t Obama and most of the NSA (let alone every other Federal alphabet agency) be sitting in a dark hole somewhere awaiting trial for violating the Constitution on almost every level? Yet, we are instead supposed to despise Snowden for exposing the crime they committed and distrust any country that happens to give him shelter?

Due to public outcry, Obama has attempted to pacify critics by announcing plans to make NSA mass surveillance “more transparent”. First, I would like to point out that he did not offer to end NSA spying on Americans without warrant, which is what a President with any ounce of integrity would have done. Second, Obama’s calls for more transparency have come at the exact same time as the NSA announces its plans to remove 90 percent of its systems administrators to make sure another “Snowden incident” does not occur.

Does this sound like an agency that plans on becoming “more transparent”?

Second, would Obama have called for ANY transparency over the NSA whatsoever if Snowden had never come forward? Of course not! The exposure of the crime has led to lies and empty placation, nothing more.

In the meantime, numerous other political miscreants have hit the media trail, campaigning for the NSA as well as other surveillance methods, bellowing to the rafters over the absolute necessity of domestic spy programs. Fifteen years ago, the government would have tried to sweep all of this under the rug. Today, they want to acclimate us to the inevitability of the crime, stating that we had better get used to it.

Their position? That Snowden’s whistleblowing put America at risk. My questions is, how? How did Snowden’s exposure of an unConstitutional and at bottom illegal surveillance program used against hundreds of millions of innocent Americans do our country harm? Is it the position of the White House that the truth is dangerous, and deceit is safety?

I suspect this is the case considering the recent treatment of military whistleblower Bradley Manning, who has been accused by some to have “aided Al Qaeda’s recruiting efforts” through his actions.

How did Manning do this? By releasing information, including battlefield videos, that were hidden from the public containing proof of U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Perhaps I’m just a traditionalist and not hip to modern diplomatic strategy, but I would think that if you don’t want to be blamed for war crimes, then you probably shouldn’t commit war crimes. And, if you don’t want the enemy to gain new recruits, you should probably avoid killing innocent civilians and pissing off their families. Just a thought.

So, just to keep track, U.S. government commits war crimes, but is the good guy. Bradley Manning exposes war crimes, and is the bad guy. Moral relativism at its finest. Moving on…

The shift towards moral bankruptcy is being implemented in the financial world as well. Investors, hedge funds, and major banks now surge into the stock market every time the private Federal Reserve hints that it may continue fiat stimulus. When bad news hits the mainstream feeds, people playing the Dow casino actually cheer with glee, exactly because bad economic news means more QE from the Fed. They know that the Fed is artificially propping up the markets. The Fed openly admits that it does this. And they know that our fiscal system is hanging by a thin thread. And you know what, very few of them care.

The Fed created the collapse with easy money and manipulated interest rates, and now, some people cheer them as the heroes of the U.S. financial structure.

The American narrative is quickly changing. There has long been criminality and degeneracy within our government and the corporate cartels surrounding it, but I believe what we are witnessing today is the final step in the metamorphosis that is totalitarianism. The last stage accelerates when the average citizen is not just complicit in the deeds of devils, but when he becomes a devil himself. When Americans froth and stomp in excitement for the carnival of death, and treat the truth as poison, then the transformation will be complete.

 

-Brandon Smith

Gold Markets Get Strange: Is Economic Danger Near?

Traditionally, metals markets are supposed to be a solid fundamental signal of the physical and psychological health of our overall economy. Steady but uneventful commodities trade meant a generally healthy industrial base and consumption base. An extreme devaluation was a signal of deflation in consumer demand and a flight to currencies. Extreme price hikes meant a flight from normal assets and currencies in the wake of possible hyperinflation. This is how gold and silver markets were originally designed to function. However, I welcome you to the wacky world of 2013, where bad financial news is met with the cheers of investors who believe stimulus will last forever, where foreign investors dump the U.S. dollar in bilateral trade while mainstream dupes argue that the greenback is invincible, and where everyone seems to be buying precious metals yet the official market value continues to plunge.

Is this weird? As Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman said in “Ghostbusters”: “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”

The reason our entire fiscal system now operates in a backward manner is due to one simple truth: Every major indicator of our economy today is manipulated by our central bank, which uses its printing press to prop up everything from equities to treasuries to municipal bonds. Federal Reserve officials openly admit to it. They are proud of the fact. They swagger about as if they are the heroes of the day. They act as if we should be thankful. But what is reality here?

First, let’s lay out some very straightforward undeniable facts about our economic situation that no one with any intelligence could argue against:

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Fact No. 1: Our Economy Is Supported By Federal Reserve Stimulus

For the past few years, the Fed has created dollars out of thin air to fill the debt void in corporate banks, in U.S. Treasury bonds, in city and State municipal bonds, in stocks and even in foreign banks in the EU. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and current branch head Richard Fisher have both admitted in mainstream interviews that stock markets are essentially sustained by the central bank, and that this has been done to give people the psychological illusion of economic health. This stimulus has been relatively constant in one form or another, from Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailouts to Quantitative Easing 1 (QE1) to QE3. Fed interest rates on bank lending have been artificially reduced to near zero, meaning international banks can borrow money from the Fed (which it creates from thin air) at almost no extra cost. The fiat is flowing nonstop.

Fact No. 2: Our Economy Is Addicted To Stimulus

Anytime the Fed suggests it might end or “taper” stimulus measures, the stock market takes a dive. Anytime there is a semblance of good economic news, the stock market takes a dive. Anytime conscientious government representatives (what few there are) suggest that uncontrolled Fed printing is dangerous and should be stopped, Fed or Treasury officials claim that without such stimulus measures, everything will collapse.

Anytime there is detrimental economic news in the mainstream, the stock market rises as investors take bets that the Fed will continue stimulus for just a little longer. I think it is safe to say that it is a fact that our financial culture has become utterly addicted to money printing from the Fed.

Fact No. 3:  Stimulus Has Done Little Or Nothing To Improve Our Economic Situation Since 2008

Where are the tangible benefits of the Fed printing bonanza? Yes, our debt crisis has been stretched out for a few extra years, but has it been solved? Of all the trillions of dollars in national debt accrued through government spending, where has the money actually gone?

Have lending standards been relaxed, and are private loans (not corporate loans) anywhere close to pre-2008 levels?

Have real jobs with sustainable incomes actually been created? Or have millions of full-time, high-paying jobs been replaced with part-time, low-paying slave jobs? Is the Labor Department counting temporary jobs with three month turnovers created by big box retailers like Wal-Mart as real jobs? (Hint: The answer is yes.)

Has the housing market actually improved, or are private owners disappearing as big banks and corporate investors swoop in to snatch up insolvent properties for pennies on the dollar and then putting them back on the market as rentals? (Hint: The answer is an emphatic “yes.”)

Is the stock market really on solid footing; or if stimulus stops, will it completely implode?

What has stimulus actually accomplished other than sacrificing the stability of our currency for the sake of five years of financial doldrums?

Fact No. 4: Stimulus Cannot Continue Forever

This is one fact the average mainstream financial analyst does not seem to grasp. I hear the argument that foreign exporters need the United States and the dollar, and that they will “never” dump the greenback. I’m sorry to have to break it to those folks, but they are already dumping the dollar in bilateral trade with each other. China — the second largest economy in the world, the largest exporter/importer in the world and the largest foreign investor in U.S. dollars and treasuries — has been slowly but surely removing the dollar as the reserve currency in most of its international trading:

I could go on and on and on. The latest news announces that China has just signed a new deal with Russia supplying China with 25 years’ worth of petroleum. The oil will not be purchased in dollars, meaning the greenback’s status as the petrodollar is being openly challenged.

Foreign investors are moving away from the dollar. This is a fact, and it will inevitably lead to the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and, thus, the end of the dollar as we know it. At that point, stimulus would be useless, as our currency’s overall value crumbles and the Fed is forced to hyperinflate just to pay the bills. Stimulus will end one way or another. And when it does, the results will be the same: moderate to severe collapse, followed by skyrocketing prices on all goods. The longevity of the event will depend on how it is handled.

Gold And Silver Go Three Dimensional

As I pointed out earlier, metals markets are supposed to reflect certain fundamental trends in our fiscal system. However, as has been thoroughly documented, international banks like JPMorgan Chase and companies like CME Group have gone far out of their way to manipulate precious metals markets. JPMorgan has been caught red handed using coordinated short positions to force down silver. Gold and silver certificates (otherwise known as exchange-traded funds or ETFs) have been issued by banks for literally tons of metals that don’t exist. There is no vault where these metals are held. JPMorgan’s physical holdings are limited. When they finally run out, the scam will be exposed, and the ETF market will go down like the Hindenburg.

Official market prices for gold and silver have seen a heartbreaking drop in the past few months, yet foreign central banks around the world are buying like they know something average Americans do not. China is set to become the largest holder of gold reserves in the next two years.

Russia continues to stockpile gold every month for the past nine months.

Sales of U.S. Mint gold and silver coins are hitting record highs in 2013.

So, if demand is high and purchases are high, why is the market price on metals going down? I believe this conundrum has much to do with something I warned about years ago as a sure signal of coming economic breakdown — namely, the decoupling of paper metals from physical metals.

Investors are beginning to shun ETFs and fake gold and are beginning to buy only physical holdings. The official market value is based almost entirely on the flow of ETFs. People stop buying paper metals, and paper metals go down. But this is absolutely no reflection of the real value of physical coins and bars on the street. This trend is dangerous for the manipulation game headed by giants like JPMorgan. The more physical gold investors buy, the less they have to back their fake ETFs. Eventually, they will be exposed; and metals trade will break through the two-dimensional world of paper trading into three-dimensional physical supply and demand.

This is probably why JPMorgan has suddenly announced it will be leaving commodities trading entirely.

The news comes conveniently as multiple large banks, including JPMorgan, come under scrutiny by regulators for everything from energy price manipulation to shadily run “metals warehouses.”

Both China and Russia have begun discussing a new Bretton Woods-style agreement, which would back the Yuan with gold and change the very fabric of the international monetary system. This concept falls right in line with developing nations’ demand for a replacement of the U.S. dollar and the International Monetary Fund’s new special drawing rights currency, which is partially valued in gold and backed by the IMF’s unaudited gold horde.

JPMorgan fleeing commodities markets, paper gold decoupling from physical gold, China and Russia suggesting a new Bretton Woods: Is this a signal for something monolithic on the horizon for the global economy? If there is a sudden shift by developing nations away from the dollar and toward a basket currency system partially valuated in gold, this would be disastrous for the American fiscal structure. I have been tracking the slow dump of the greenback since 2006, and I’ve never seen escalation like I have seen in the past year. If foreign central banks are planning to drop the dollar as the world reserve, their behavior in metals markets suggests they may be ready to act soon.

–Brandon Smith

Is The Safety Of The State Really Worth More Than The Truth?

It’s a strange and terrible tragedy when a culture forgets its own history and identity. It is even more tragic when that culture becomes deluded enough to think it can replace its heritage from scratch, that it can conjure political and social reformations out of thin air and abandon the centuries upon centuries of accomplishment and failures of generations past. To think that one can live without the lessons and principles of one’s ancestors is a disease — a mental disorder of the highest caliber. It is an insanity that leads to terrifying catastrophe.

There is no such thing as “starting over” or “rising anew.” There is no such thing as pure and unadulterated “change.” All shifts in human civilization are a product of that which has come before; and, therefore, each of these shifts retains the ideas, accomplishments and dreams of our forefathers. No matter how ingenious we think we are today, most grand schemes and wondrous plans for the world have already been discovered, rediscovered and applied over and over again by industrious men, great men and even nefarious men century after century.

Unique ideas are very rare. The American republic, as a sociopolitical structure, is such an idea.

The concept of citizen self governance is extremely uncommon in the annals of humanity, namely because there has always been an establishment of elitists within any given epoch that has sought to destroy it. There have always been organizations of the power hungry who make it their mission to suppress free thought and free peoples, and these organizations certainly exist today.

Though we have been given an astonishing guide map in the form of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the establishment attempts to sell us on a very different value system. In their world, true self governance is impossible, because only the elect will ever receive the political and monetary support needed just to join the ranks of those who might be elected. The common man has no place within the halls of the Federal oligarchy, and the elite like it that way.

In their world, leaders do not owe allegiance to the citizenry. They do not answer to the public. They do as they wish, whenever they wish. And as long as they can wrap their tyranny in the costumes of so-called patriotism, justice or safety of the masses, they can continue uninterrupted. The system is their playground, not ours.

Those people allowed to operate as government employees are treated as indentured servants of the state. Their first loyalties, the government claims, are not to Americans, but to the corporate apparatus that America has become. That is to say, they are supposed to protect the integrity of the system before they protect the lives and liberties of the people.

CIA Director John Brennan’s “Honor the Oath” campaign makes this position clear. In Brennan’s words, the oath government employees take is not to the Constitution, but to the “corporate culture of secrecy.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s response to the Snowden leaks on National Security Agency mass surveillance is also rather revealing in regard to how the establishment views the exposure of truths, especially when those truths involve the government’s systematic targeting of innocent Americans. The Hill reported:

“I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it’s an act of treason,” the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee told reporters.

The California lawmaker went on to say that Snowden had violated his oath to defend the Constitution.

“He violated the oath, he violated the law. It’s treason.”

I would also point out that this same twisted viewpoint has been expressed by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Top Democrats and top Republicans want Snowden’s head on a platter.

Now I can see a certain (but very selective) logic to the belief that defending the government structure from attack is the same as defending the American public from attack. Undoubtedly, an outside force seeking to undermine our safety and our freedoms should be stopped; and some people believe we need watchmen to ensure this is done. However, what happens when the greatest threat to our way of life is coming from the watchmen themselves?

The Federal government was created by the Founding Fathers, begrudgingly, to serve one primary purpose: The defense of individual liberty. But what happens when the Federal government no longer pursues this function? What happens when the government becomes the very enemy it was designed to defend us against? Has it not then violated the charter that made it legal in the first place? And if so, should it not then be exposed and disbanded as a broken tool, a useless piece of hardware that no longer does any good for the people overall?

The problem is that the “watchmen” were institutionalized and bureaucratized. We were supposed to be the watchers and defenders, each and every one of us, but we handed over that power to elitist interests and secretive entities. We have handed over our eyes and our hands to men who care only for their own private societies and not American society. We have fallen asleep on the job and dark-minded doppelgängers have taken our place.

Even so, this does not mean our responsibilities have disappeared. As the actions of a handful of government whistle-blowers (including Snowden and Bradley Manning) have shown, the requirements of honor and conscience are not void simply because you now receive a government paycheck. In fact, for any government employee who considers himself honest and principled, whistle-blowing is not “treason,” as the White House would have us believe. Rather, it is a duty.

There are two kinds of law. The first is natural law; those laws follow the dictates of our hearts and our inborn moral compass. The Constitution upon which our nation was built is a perfect written representation of natural law. The second is self-serving law; those are the laws that one group of people in power use to control another group of people without power. Most legal structures that exist in writing today are sadly a product of self-serving law.

Legitimate treason is essentially the abandonment of the true well-being of one’s culture in order to gain something for oneself. Maybe the enticement is monetary, or maybe the enticement is to aid a foreign interest. Or maybe it is to satisfy a dangerously selfish ideological ego. In any case, the end result is severe harm to one’s homeland.

The question is: Is it “treason” to tell the truth to the American people? Is the truth harmful to our culture, or is it just harmful to the establishment? Is the survival of the establishment irreconcilably intertwined with the survival of our society, or is that only what they want us to think? If the establishment dies because it is revealed as corrupt, do we all die with it; or could we carry on without it?

As I pointed out before, without our heritage and our history, America fails to be. Without the lessons of the past, we are nothing. Our Federal government today has separated itself from the people and elevated itself to a godlike position in our personal lives, as many despotic governments throughout history have done. Our leadership has formed alliances with private elitist interests and forsaken their responsibilities  in an effort to cement their political dominance rather than protect the common good, the kind of action that has invariably led to the totalitarian monstrosities of the past. Further, our government has deemed that which is moral “unimportant” or “dangerous,” and that which is immoral a matter of national security, and thus sacrosanct. We are now expected to maintain “faith” in the benevolence and good graces of government and damn to hell the very voice within our souls. We are expected to pray for the continued longevity of the machine and rage against anyone who might enlighten us to the evil within it.

Many people who now work for the machine are not necessarily like the machine. They are not bent on the destruction of free civilization. They are not the enemy of life or the deeper good of man. But under the long-cast shadow of tyranny, the path they have chosen eventually ends; and it will end with an incalculably difficult decision: to do what is right or to do what is safe. To remember what it is our government is supposed to stand for or to forget all that came before.

Loyalty is not and never has been unconditional: loyalty to government most of all. Loyalty to the system is dependent upon the nature of the system and the people who sit at its apex. The system must reflect the higher aspirations of the society it seeks to manage or protect. It must be held to the highest possible standard and totally transparent in its nature. It is the job of government whistle-blowers to make this possible. If they do not, then criminality will remain painfully felt but officially unconfirmed. Our country will continue to crumble into fascist oblivion, and all that will be left for the citizenry is revolution.

We must remember what we believe in and allow that to be enough. Our fears, our biases and our superficial desires are all irrelevant. In the end, the only thing that matters is what we leave behind. For those within government today, this could mean a legacy of desperation and sadness or a legacy of strength, truth and enduring peace. Time is running out.

Brandon Smith

Get Ready For The Next Great Stock Market Exodus

In the years 2006 and 2007, the underlying stability of the global economy and the U.S. credit base in particular was experiencing intense scrutiny by alternative economic analysts. The mortgage-driven Xanadu that was the late 1990s and early 2000s seemed just too good to be true. Many of us pointed out that such a system, based on dubious debt instruments animated by the central banking voodoo of arbitrary fractional reserve lending and fiat cash creation, could not possibly survive for very long. A crash was coming, it was coming soon, and most of our society was either too stupid to recognize the problem or too frightened to accept the reality they knew was just over the horizon.

The Federal Reserve had cheated America out of an economic reset that was desperately needed. The 1980s had brought us utter destruction disguised as “globalization.” Our industrial center, the very heart of the American middle class that generated enormous wealth and decades of opportunity, had been dismantled and shipped overseas to the lowest bidder. It was then that the U.S. economy actually died; we just couldn’t see it. From that point forward, Americans were fully dependent on the charity of central bank money creation and international bank lending standards. The collapse that should have occurred in the 80s was delayed and thus made more volatile as the Fed artificially lowered interest rates and allowed trillions upon trillions of dollars in dubious loans to be generated. Free money abounded, and average citizens were suckered royally. Their greed was used against them, as they collateralized homes they could not afford to buy more crap they didn’t need. Of course, you know the rest of the story.

Today, credit markets remain frozen. Lending is nowhere near the levels reached in 2006. The housing market is showing signs of life; but that’s only because most home purchases are being made by banks, not regular people, for pennies on the dollar, as bankrupt properties are then reissued on the market for rent rather than for sale. If you are lucky, maybe one day you’ll get to borrow the keys to the house you used to own. And millions of higher-paying full-time jobs have been lost and then replaced with lower-paying part-time-wage slavery. The image of American prosperity carries on, but it is nothing but  a farce; and anyone with any sense should question how long and false image can be given life before the truth dawns.

The novice will question why it is necessary to re-examine all of this information. Is it not widely known? Am I not simply preaching to the choir a message heard over and over again since the crash of 2008? Maybe, or maybe it is time for us to finally apply some foresight given our knowledge of the recent past.

Why did 2008 creep up on so many people? Weren’t there plenty of economists out there “preaching to the choir” back then? Weren’t there plenty of signals? Weren’t there plenty of practical conclusions being made about the future?

The truth is human beings have a nasty habit of ignoring the cold, hard facts of the present in the hopes of using apathy as a magical elixir for future prosperity. They want to believe that disaster is a mindset, that it is a boogeyman under their bed that can be defeated through blind optimism. They refuse to believe that disaster is a tangible inevitability of life that pays no heed to our naïve, happy-go-lucky attitude. The American people allowed themselves to be caught off guard in 2008, just as they are setting themselves up to be caught off guard again today.

Again, the reality is clear; the Federal Reserve has propped up equities and bonds using money created out of thin air — so much so that both markets have become totally reliant and disturbingly addicted to fiat injections. The distribution of this fiat threatens the continued dominance of the dollar as the world reserve currency and will invaribly lead to currency collapse and hyperstagflation. This process is much more likely to climax in the near term given the accelerated rate of quantitiative easing within our system to date and the accelerated rate at which our primary lenders (namely China) are dumping the dollar in bilateral trade with each other. The endgame is obvious, yet I still fear millions of people within this country and around the world will be shell-shocked once again by a renewed crash.

The argument is always the same: “Yeah, things might get dicey, but it won’t be as bad as all the doom-mongers claim, and probably not for many years.”

Similar statements were made by naysayers before the Great Depression and before the 2008 crash. So why are the skeptics wrong again this time around?

The Stimulus Fantasy

Let’s put this in the simplest terms possible: Stimulus is now the lifeblood of our economy. There is nothing else sustaining our Nation. Period. Stimulus in the form of bailouts and QE are keeping the stock market and bonds afloat. And now, in recent weeks, the Fed is announcing its intentions to shut down the life-support machine and let the patient drown in his own fluids.

Day traders and common investors are not very bright, but they do understand well that no stimulus means no stock market and no bond market. In response, indexes have become erratic, shifting on the slightest rumor that the central bank might continue QE for a little longer. Pathetically, the Dow Jones now rallies upward whenever bad financial news hits the wire, as insane investment groups pour in money in the hopes that dismal economic developments might cause the Fed to extend the bailout bonanza.

This is, of course, horribly backward; and clearly, it cannot last. Stocks are supposed to perform based on the true profitability of individual businesses as well as the political and social health of the overall culture. The wild printing of paper money by private banking magnates is not a catalyst for a successful economy. Whether the Fed actually ends QE is ultimately irrelevant. No fiscal structure can survive when it abandons fundamentals for fantasy. Either QE continues, becoming less and less effective in staving off negative results in equities, leading to a crash, or QE ends, exposing the inevitability of negative results in equities, leading to a crash.

But every crisis has a defining moment, a moment in which the tide turned overwhelmingly sour for a majority of the public. The question now becomes what, exactly, will trigger the avalanche?

Crushing Energy Prices Coming Soon?

While China continues a careful strategy of decoupling from the dollar and the U.S. consumer through bilateral agreements and trading blocks, another issue is arising: the issue of energy. I would like to note that despite globally diminishing oil demand caused by the 2008 credit collapse, gas prices have experienced little to no deflation.

This has not been caused by a lack of supply, as many American-based companies ramp up production. (I am aware of all the arguments behind peak oil. As soon as a peak oil proponent can show me an example of oil demand not being met because of a legitimate lack of supply, then I’ll be happy to consider that peak oil is the main cause of price increases.)

The fact is current regressive global demand and ample supply should have led to lower gas prices, not higher. If speculation was the cause, then price shifts within the oil market should have been far more volatile, with increases lasting weeks or perhaps months, but certainly not years.

I believe the next market exodus may be triggered by the weakening effects of stimulus (or the removal of stimulus altogether) along with extreme energy prices cause by steady inflation and a global political crisis in the near future.

China, being strangely and consistently prophetic when it comes to economic calamity, has recently established an astonishing oil trade deal with Russia, which plans to supply China with an alternative petroleum source for the next 25 years. (This news went almost completely unnoticed by the mainstream media.)

Now, keep in mind that in 2010, China and Russia signed a bilateral trade agreement completely removing the U.S. dollar in bilateral trade. The dollar has been the world reserve and the only currency used to purchase petroleum for decades. The Russia/China oil deal changes everything. It sets a trend toward the end of the petrodollar. This news flies in the face of dollar proponents who consistently claim that the currency’s ties to oil make it invincible. Apparently, there are some weaknesses in the armor.

Ongoing social unrest in Egypt has also made oil markets jumpy, being that the Suez Canal oversees the transfer of a significant portion of the world’s oil shipping.

Meanwhile, the engineered civil war in Syria continues to go exactly as I predicted in my article The Terrible Future Of The Syrian War.

Syria remains an explosive trigger point for regional war which will, in the end, draw in Iran and result in the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, which annually handles the shipping of about 20 percent of the world’s oil. All trends point toward higher gas prices over the horizon, and the U.S. economy is barely able to survive on the cost of energy we have today.

So Close They Can’t See It

Reduced stimulus combined with adversely high oils prices may very well be the tumbling boulders that bring down the mountain. We are very close now. Beyond the undeniable economic factors, the very fabric of American government is crumbling. Corruption is openly rampant. Scandals are exposed daily. The establishment leadership is unapologetic and grows even more despotic with each truth that escapes into the open air. They are becoming more bold, not less bold, and those of us who seek transparency in all things, from politics to economics to surveillance, are being attacked as the source of the problem, rather than the cure. Collapse, from a historical perspective, seems to occur when the searchlights of the individual mind are dimmest, when the threat is the greatest and when we are most comfortable in our ignorance. In 2008, the populace was mostly oblivious to the danger, and they we painfully stung. Today, I hope that the liberty movement, the alternative media and alternative economic analysts have created a window of opportunity by which millions of people can this time see the writing on the wall and prepare accordingly. At this point, there is no question that Americans have been warned. Whether they pay heed, is out of our hands.

Brandon Smith

True Defiance: I Challenge You To Survive The Coming Collapse

Every Fourth of July, the temptation for many writers within the liberty movement is to reflect on the despair of freedoms lost, the philosophical ideals of generations gone by and the rage we all feel at the tyrannical mechanizations of the power elite operating with impunity today. It is easy for us to get caught up in the analysis of the thing. It is easy for us to live within the theoretical and intellectual boundaries of our own heads, to debate the merits of that which has already come to pass and hypothesize over crises yet to come. As disturbing as the ongoing collapse of America truly is, for many people, experiencing it academically feels much safer and easier than placing our feet on the Earth and dealing with it in a concrete manner.

This Fourth of July, I grow weary of the intellectual mind games and political postulations of ideological purists and sunshine patriots. It has never been enough to simply fantasize about reduced government, free markets, third-party candidates, protected civil liberties, etc. It has never been enough to simply back a Libertarian candidate, march around with signs and slogans, or even march around open carrying one’s firearm. These are not solutions to the problem. They are not true acts of defiance, because they are all tactics that function only within the parameters of the game. To defy the game, one must stop playing the game. The activist methods currently in play today serve only to make ourselves feel better about the darker truth of our situation. They give us false hope, not real hope.

This Fourth of July, I’m not going to talk about what we have lost. At this point, anyone worth a damn already knows what we have lost. Those who remain oblivious, in light of the recent avalanche of government scandals being exposed and the brash and unapologetic admissions of the political elite, are oblivious because they wish to be so. They are a waste of time and oxygen. If they really wanted to know the fate of this country, then they would be reading this article now and working to change things for the better.

There is no excuse for ignorance today. The unadulterated facts are right at their fingertips, right out in the open air. The stench of criminality and corruption is curling the hairs in their noses and triggering their gag reflex. They know it is there instinctively. The churning in their stomachs tells them it is there. If they do nothing, they do so because it suits them. They do so because to do something tangible, to do something real, is either too frightening for their tiny spirits to handle or too exhausting for their weak bodies to pursue.

I want to talk about what you can do, right now, to change the course of the future. I want to challenge you to remove yourself from the game. I want to challenge you to stop waiting around for some white knight on a horse to come and save you from the shadows. I want to challenge you to stop waiting around for other people to give you a plan. I want to challenge you to create your own plan, build your own solutions and act as a legitimate individual for the sake of liberty. I want to ensure that you have at least the bare minimum tools you will need to set your own course and determine your own destiny.

I hear far too much talk lately within the movement of grand schemes, legal schemes, political schemes and activism schemes with no finite goals. These schemes rely on top-down strategies and centralize the energy and efforts of the movement into the hands of a few who in the end may or may not be trustworthy. It is this kind of apathy that put us in the terrible position we now wallow in.

We must stop waiting for other people, no matter how well-spoken or prominent, to fight our battles for us. With oligarchy and big-government despotism accelerating out of control, it is time for proponents of freedom to make themselves ready or shut-up. Anyone who has not, at the very least, taken these basic steps toward his own survival independence is in no position to complain about the state of the world, for he has done absolutely nothing to make himself ready to do anything about it.

These are the absolute minimum preparations you will need to fight back against the collapse of our nation and our culture.

Store A Six-Month Supply Of Food 

There are far too many people, even within the liberty movement, who talk a big game when it comes to defeating tyranny, yet have little to no means of providing their own sustenance. I don’t care what your financial situation is. The world hasn’t fallen apart yet, and anyone can find a way to set aside enough money for a primary food source that will last half a year.

Six months of stored food is not much, but it will give you time to arrange for alternative sources as well as last you until growing season.

Those who focus only on ammo and firearms and forsake food storage believing that they will be able to “take what they need” or “hunt what they need” are already dead. They will do nothing to advance the cause of freedom and are, frankly, too stupid to survive. Sorry, but there it is.

Beginners should focus on the Mormon Four: hard red winter wheat, powdered milk, sugar or honey, and salt (not sea salt). It wouldn’t be fun, but a human being can indeed subsist on these four simple foodstuffs. Add in a few wild edibles or garden vegetables, and you will have all the nutrients and calories you need to live — and to make a difference. All of these items, or similar items, can be bought cheaply in bulk. There is no excuse not to have a six-month supply stored away.

Find A Water Source

Water filtration must be accompanied by a steady water source. If you have consistent rain in your region, then there is no problem. If you live in a place that stays dry for weeks on end, then you won’t last long. Find a water source now, or store 55-gallon drums in your home. A human being needs about 1 gallon of water per day just to stay hydrated, let alone clean. It takes only three to seven days for a person in need of water to die. Without clean water, you are useless to the fight. This means, at minimum, storing three 55-gallon drums of water per person for about a six-month supply of water.

Buy A Rifle

Plenty of people own a “gun.” But if you do not own a military caliber rifle, preferably of high capacity and accurate past 200 yards, you aren’t ready. Even with today’s exploding prices, if the average person gave up cable TV, his high-priced cellphone bill and a few other amenities, he could easily purchase one within a few months. If you can’t adequately defend yourself, then you cannot defend others, and you certainly can’t defend the dying principles of a nation.

Buy 1,000 Rounds Of Ammo

Anyone who shoots avidly, or who has been in actual combat, knows that 1000 rounds of ammo is not much, and could be easily expended in a single firefight.  That said, it is the minimum you will need to live through an altercation during collapse; 500 rounds to practice before an event, 500 rounds for defense, and that’s only if your training is incredibly versatile.  The practice is more important than the ammo stockpile.

Buy Proper Clothing

You must have at least one pair of waterproof or water-resistant boots, one strongly stitched cold-weather coat, two pairs of non-cotton utility pants, two non-cotton utility shirts, three pairs of wool socks, two sets of thermal layer clothes (if you live in a colder climate), one wool cap, two pairs of warm gloves (I recommend bow hunter’s gloves with Thinsulate), and one sleeping bag rated to the extremes of your particular area. These items should be earth-colored to draw little attention.

Sanitation

Take a look at the history of any modern collapse and you will find an immediate breakdown of infrastructure services, including electricity, water and sanitation. Planning a means of sanitation will allow you to remain healthy and give you and your family a sense of comfort. When people live like animals, they start to think and act like animals. They forget themselves and react stupidly, or desperately. The act of keeping oneself and one’s living environment clean could make all the difference in one’s overall success in a post-collapse world.

Grow A Garden

If you have a yard, you should have a garden. If you have a sliver of a yard, the entire sliver should be planted. If you live in an apartment building, you should have already asked the owners if you can start a raised-bed garden on the roof. If you have ample property, you should be ashamed if you do not already have ample vegetables growing right now. Again, there’s no excuse. Make it happen.

Find Two Neighbors Who Are On Board

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people whine about operations security (OPSEC) and how no one should know anything about your prepping lifestyle for fear folks may come calling during collapse.  My position and the position of anyone with any sense is that without mutual aid, no amount of OPSEC is going to save you. If you don’t have a neighborhood watch, you have nothing; and all your secrecy will have, in the end, sabotaged you.

Find two neighbors. They don’t have to live right next door. But they should be close by, and they should have their own preps. If they are on the fence, convince them otherwise. If they are on board but not stocking enough goods, show them this article and make them see the error of their ways. This doesn’t mean you have to give them the grand tour of your pantry or your gun safe, but you do have to share your philosophical position and at least some of your knowledge.

Find One Barter Partner

Find at least one other prepared person who also has a trade skill or who produces a viable necessity, and build a trade relationship with him now. It takes only two people to start a barter market. That core trade network will grow as the crisis grows. It is inevitable. Barter markets have become the primary trade markets in every country in the world in the midst of severe financial volatility today. They are the natural state of the free market and the only means by which the American economy could be rejuvenated.

Find One Retreat Location

There is no such thing as a perfectly secure homestead. There is no such thing as an infallible plan. A backup is not only practical, but essential. It should be far enough away from your current location to give you distance from the kind of threat that would actually drive you out of your home, yet close enough to be reached under labored conditions. There should be water nearby, as well as natural sheltering land features.

There is no shame in retreating from an unwinnable scenario and living to fight another day.

Bury One Survival Cache

There are no guarantees in survival except those guarantees we make for ourseleves. Never assume that the gear you have in your hands will always be there. There may come a situation in which you could be separated from all of your goods. A cache makes this horrifying situation a survivable situation. Food, water, first aid, clothing and a means of self-defense should be included.

You Should Be No More Than 20 Pounds Beyond Your Ideal Weight

A small spare tire can give you extra energy in the event that food is scarce. A large spare tire is a liability that will make you slow, clumsy and easy to kill. You should know your ideal weight given your height, and you should never allow yourself to grow fat beyond a 20-pound limit. Without personal health, you have nothing.

The list above constitutes years of survival experience and knowledge coupled with my realization that most people tend to do the minimum required in any given situation. When it comes to prepping for collapse, however, many people do not know what the “minimum” actually is, so they do nothing. I’m sure there are plenty of other survivalists out there who would disagree with the requirements above and either increase or decrease them accordingly. I’m not interested. The time for debate is over.

At this point, the only thing that matters is whether each individual can make himself ready to live without government aid, and thus ready to defy the objectives of a dangerous rogue establishment. If every single American took the above steps (these very simple and easy-to-afford steps), I would have no concerns for the future of our society. In fact, I would be absolutely certain of the downfall of any entity seeking to undermine the freedoms and principles of this country. As a nation, we would be at least marginally equipped to handle any event, no matter how heinous. But to hope for every citizen in this day and age to take such measures is a pipe dream. My only goal now is to make sure that the people who preach the doctrine of freedom, the people of the liberty movement, are actually ready to turn their words into action.

–Brandon Smith

The Dark Future Of America’s Surveillance Culture

Surveillance is the act of removing transparency from one person while operating under a veil of secrecy yourself. Surveillance is a one-sided exploitation of cultural violence, like a street mugging backed by ideological rationalizations. To be able to invade the life of another human being at will; to catalog his hopes, dreams and weaknesses; to put yourself in a position to judge him from a discreet distance or undermine his future entirely: This is what surveillance is truly about. Make no mistake, mass surveillance is not about safety; it’s about power. It is a means of enslavement.

When a government chooses to assume the role of watcher and godlike arbiter in the affairs of the citizenry, there is always a specific motivation; and that motivation is usually self-preservation. Government elites spy on the public because they have done or are about to do things that will trigger resentment and rebellion within the population. They keep tabs on us because they fear what we will eventually do to them. They watch us because they plan to hurt us, and they want to be sure they get away with it.

There are no other reasons for random sweeping infringements of the public’s right to privacy. There is no other rationale for treating every person as a threat without warrant, without legitimate judicial oversight and without probable cause. Only criminal governments desire the legal authority to remove the barriers of personal privacy, because only they have something to gain through the action.

America as a society is at perhaps the most dangerous crossroads faced by any nation in history. We must decide — right here, right now — if we are going to embrace absolute government intrusion on a technological level never before seen by man or if we are going to fully revolt against it. Now, some people might suggest that there is a line that will not be crossed, that the establishment will respect certain boundaries and that the surveillance apparatus we have now will be the apparatus that stands forever. I’m here to tell those people that they have no idea what they are talking about.

Take a good look at any government in modern history that has been allowed the kind of surveillance powers our government is currently demanding. Did Soviet Russia respect any particular boundaries dealing with individual liberty? Did the East German Stasi ever draw a moral line in the sand when it came to their suffocating network of informants and eavesdroppers? Did Mao Zedong’s China choose to simply “observe” political dissidents without using those observations to destroy them? The surveillance machine only moves forward. It never stands still — not for anyone or anything.

The recent exposure to the general public of National Security Agency mass phone tracking (and tapping) programs have caused a groundswell awakening. What we in the liberty movement already knew years ago has finally struck the lackadaisical senses of the mainstream like a bucket of ice water. However, as terrible and bewildering as the surveillance grid is today, it is nothing compared to what lies ahead if we allow the establishment even one foothold tomorrow.

The Nightmare Has Just Begun

Without transparency or oversight by the citizenry, the technology in existence today and being perfected over the coming years will lead to nothing short of the total subjugation of humanity. Forget the NSA’s wiretapping random phone lines or all phone lines; imagine every waking moment of your life recorded and filed. Imagine every thought you ever uttered or typed scrutinized for “keywords” and analyzed to discern whether you might dissent. Imagine an invasive machine engineered not just to place you under a microscope, but also to mold your very behavior with the constant threat of bureaucratic retaliation.

Perhaps this sounds like science fiction, but for many people, the NSA’s sifting through the phone and email records of more than 300 million people daily used to be science fiction. Here are some of the surveillance advancements I believe the establishment will use next on a wide scale — for our own safety, of course.

The perpetual tap: If this doesn’t exist already, it will soon. The NSA’s process of “interception” (the monitoring of Internet and phone traffic for keywords and key phrases) might seem like an impractical strategy, given the incredible amounts of data they are required to sift through. That said, many corporations and clandestine services already have powerful software that is able to filter through mass communications and discover patterns in real time. With computing power reaching levels never before dreamed of, the possibility of perpetual real-time monitoring of hundreds of millions of individuals with the intent to record everything they say and do electronically is fast arriving. Website habits, speech patterns, purchasing habits, mood swings, relationship issues, psychological attachments and detachments would all be noted and stored. Keywords and pattern recognition would allow spies to build elaborate profiles on every American — updated daily, if not hourly. One could not even be privately discontent in such a world.

A surveillance device in every home: It’s sad when Yakov Smirnoff  becomes a prophet of your era, but the old joke applies today: In soviet America, TV watches you!

The next stage in consumer technology is often called the “Internet of Things.” This refers to the new lines of Web-connected appliances being progressively introduced onto the market. These include everything from televisions that record program-watching habits and video game consoles equipped with camera technology, all the way down to alarm clocks that record sleeping habits and doorbells that monitor how many visits you receive per day. The argument for such tech presented by corporations is that the Internet of Things will help them to better service the public by identifying and catering to more specific consumption habits. However, former CIA Director David Petraus reveled in the idea of the Internet of Things and its usefulness to the CIA, stating in 2012: “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters—all connected to the next-generation Internet using abundant, low cost, and high-power computing—the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.”

I believe that, one day, such smart appliances with surveillance capabilities will be mandated, either at the manufacturing level or at the home level, by the Environmental Protection Agency, using “environmental concerns” as an excuse.

Pervasive RFID: Most people have at least heard of radio-frequency identification chips. Many people, though, do not seem to understand the malicious nature of such technology. RFID chips, the size of a grain of rice, will soon be embedded in every conceivable consumer item, allowing each purchase to be cataloged and even tracked. Buy a pair of shoes with RFID and forget to remove the chip, and every time you walk by a scanner in the mall or on the street your presence could be noted and filed. But this is just the beginning of RFID.

Initiatives have been suggested multiple times by various government agencies and politicians to include RFID technology in ID cards, Social Security cards and even citizenship cards (an idea meant to use citizen concerns over illegal immigration as a way to lure us into accepting RFID). RFID has also been suggested for use in the medical field on many levels, which brings us to our next surveillance abuse.

Surveillance by doctor: There are literally hundreds of problems with Obamacare, and universal healthcare in general; but a primary threat that is just beginning to surface is the use of medical surveillance as a political weapon. Already, the Federal government has tried to establish rules for physicians requiring them to note patients who, in their opinion, might be psychologically unstable and should be denied the right to firearms ownership.

I believe the Obamacare structure is ultimately not meant to build even a poorly run socialist health system. Rather, it is meant to build a highly effective surveillance system using healthcare professionals as informants and opening private medical records to incessant bureaucratic overwatch. Today, it’s mental stability and gun rights. Maybe tomorrow it will be any loose-lipped expression of dissent or distaste for authority. The obvious next step, following the surveillance cultures of the past, would be for government to draft the professional class into the fold by using them as eyes and ears.

Drone planet: We are all aware of the exponential use of drones around the world, and many people are even educated on the U.S. government’s intentions to launch at least 30,000 drones into America’s skies for domestic surveillance in the near term. The problem is not existing drone technology, though; it is the drone technology about to be released.

Micro-drones are already being fielded by the U.S. military for use in operations, and small drones are being issued to law enforcement departments for riot control. Micro-drones, though still dependent on line of sight, are cheaper and easier to produce than larger varieties. A swarm of such drones could be unleashed for the cost of a single predator model, and would have the capability to provide clandestine monitoring of hard to reach areas. All I can say is, for those who plan any practical activism or revolution, study in electromagnetics will be essential.

Biometric roadblocks: Naked body scanners, which were used by the Transportation Security Administration until May 16, stored biometric data on all passengers foolish enough to not opt out, as was proven time after time. Many people in the liberty movement have long suspected that the cattle-call manner in which the TSA collected this private information was only a warm-up to a much wider net to be cast over the streets of America. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Maryland v. King to uphold police ability to take DNA samples during an arrest (even if charges are never filed) supports this suspicion.

The next step is random DNA recording at roadside blocks and then on sidewalks in your town. This process will be implemented in tandem with new ID laws, which will give a more substantial legal rationalization for random seizures of genetic property. Biometric surveillance will be the ultimate destruction of the 4th Amendment. It removes all anonymity, until every person becomes nothing more than a data set and a file; and unless a person finds a way to change his own genetic characteristics, that file will follow him forever.

These are only a handful of examples on how our current surveillance grid will become far worse than most Americans expect. The point is clear: there is no end to this game. It never stops. It never gives a moment’s peace.

The arguments in support of the surveillance state always assume that there will be no consequences for those who do nothing wrong. How many times have we heard this dismissal: “The government can watch me all they want. They’ll just get bored because I have nothing to hide.”

What these apologists do not seem to grasp is that government surveillance is not a passive tool, but a vicious weapon. Surveillance maims and kills free society — first psychologically, then physically. It forces acceptance of prior restraint, making thought crimes punishable and concrete activism impossible. If we do not stop the institutionalization of surveillance here and now, every single citizen, whether he believes himself innocent or not, will find himself a target.

Brandon Smith

Learn A Post-Collapse Trade Before It’s Too Late

There comes a point in the analysis of any problem when its escalation turns so blatantly obvious that the disaster is self-explanatory. The economic crisis in the United States and around the globe is one of those problems. While there are still plenty of people out there who remain ignorant to the immediate danger, I think we are very close (at least in America) to a point of maximum velocity. The more accelerated the awakening, however, the faster globalist interests will pull the plug on what remains of our financial system.

Most citizens are at least vaguely concerned with the state of our country and are attempting to learn more. The survival methodology has gone mainstream and grows in popularity daily. Even the annual Bilderberg meeting — a confab of the world’s most influential economic and political power mongers, which mainstream media entities have long refused to publicly acknowledge — is finally being exposed to the light of day.  We are now in a race, a mad dash to shape the future battle space before the elites position themselves for the final conflict.

Further economic analysis would merely reaffirm what most of us in the liberty movement already know, but let’s recap our situation for the sake of clarity.

Full-Spectrum Fiscal Disaster Is No Longer Theory; It Is Certain

The U.S. stock market is now in the midst of perhaps the largest artificial bubble in world history. Virtually all movements in the Dow are now determined by the stimulus actions of the private Federal Reserve. Agents of the Fed, including former Chairman Alan Greenspan and current branch head Richard Fisher, have openly admitted in separate interviews that the central bank’s primary directive has been to prop up equities to give the public the illusion of stability, rather than to revamp consumer credit markets as originally promised. Because of the system’s dependence on Fed fiat, whenever the smallest rumor of a possible reduction in stimulus is heard, the markets tumble.

To illustrate how detached and absurd our economic reality has become, investors now actually rally around the Dow whenever bad financial news is released because bad news means there is higher likelihood that the Fed will continue fiat printing.

For example, Reuters reported on June 4: “A report released on Monday showed the Institute for Supply Management’s index of U.S. factory activity fell to its lowest since June 2009 and tempered expectations the Fed would retrace its stimulus measures.”

This indicates that our current economy is so fragile that it is utterly incapable of sustaining concrete investment without the Fed creating dollars out of thin air 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In fact, I have to laugh anytime a mainstream analyst suggests we have entered a phase of recovery. Let the Fed stop all stimulus, and then we’ll see how much legitimate “growth” is actually taking place.

The wealth of most Americans is down 55 percent since the “recession” officially began in 2008. Job creation remains dismal. In 2010, 58.7 percent of working-age Americans were employed. In 2013, that number fell to 58.6 percent (according to official statistics), meaning there has been no improvement in the jobs sector of the U.S. economy following the 2008 collapse, despite all the claims by the Fed and the Administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama that bailout dollars and quantitative easing measures would bring jobs back to life.

Also, keep in mind that a rating of 58 percent employment may have been acceptable in the 1950s and 1960s when the U.S. population was half what is today. However, 42 percent unemployed working-age Americans in a population of 350 million is a dangerous prospect. Add to this the fact that, in those days, high-paying manufacturing jobs were the norm. Today, blue collar business has been replaced by burger-shoveling-wage slavery.

Unknown trillions of dollars have been printed, the dollar has been inflated and devalued, national debt is skyrocketing, and there’s absolutely nothing to show for it.

In the global political sphere, tensions continue under the surface between North Korea and South Korea, while the conflict in Syria appears to be spreading like a plague, drawing in multiple nations and promising a high probability of widespread warfare. Any broad-based disaster at this tenuous time will trigger a breakdown in the U.S. fiscal system. A crisis is inevitable.

Once we accept this fact, we must then ask ourselves a simple question: What can we, as individuals, do about it? In the liberty movement, most activists agree on the causes of our current dilemma as well as the eventual direction we are headed. Unfortunately, the movement completely diverges when it comes to solutions.

Fight Tyranny From The Bottom Up

Though there are as many “silver bullet” ideas as there are people, I would divide the argument over solutions into two basic camps:  top-down proponents and bottom-up proponents.

I have heard numerous theories fielded, from suing the Fed to voting Republican to impeachment to leaving the country to marching on Washington, D.C., with rifle in hand. These are what I call top-down solutions, none of which take into account the need for localized independence. If you cannot even sustain yourself where you live and if you are unable to provide your own survival necessities, then what good is voting, suing, impeaching or marching abroad going to do?

The problem with the average solution put forward by well-meaning, but sometimes naïve, activists is that they cannot seem to free themselves from the top-down mentality. For them, all big sociopolitical changes must be made at what they believe to be the epicenter and often by working within the controlled paradigm. They think they can play the game better than the men who created it. They forget all about the periphery, the foundation of localism. They forget that to give independence to the world, they must first give independence to themselves. I am consistently astonished by the number of liberty movement activists who don’t even have food storage, a decent rifle or a worthwhile barter skill, yet seem to think they are ready to march weapon-bound to Washington.

Let’s be clear about something: Even if the masses coalesce to overthrow our currently corrupt political matrix of puppet middlemen, we are still left with an international banking oligarchy as well as a collapsing economy. The fight doesn’t end when you boot out the paid-off politicians; the fight has just begun. It is childish and foolish to believe otherwise. Therefore, one must plan ahead if one wishes to be victorious in the battle for a decentralized society.

This decentralization starts with you — in your personal life and within your community. The last thing the establishment wants is for individuals, neighborhoods and towns to decouple from the mainstream system and provide for themselves. This is what they truly fear — not empty marches without tangible goals or intelligent planning.

One thing that every American can do right now to bolster and inspire real revolution would be to learn a trade or skill that would be highly valuable in a post-collapse environment. If you cannot sustain yourself, then you cannot thrive and you cannot fight. If your neighborhood or town is unable to produce necessities for barter, then there is no trade, no organization, no cooperation and, thus, no organized will to fight. That is to say, global liberty stems from local industry.

During a debt and currency crisis, barter will probably be the most accessible form of local industry. The following is a list of examples of post-collapse skills and trade models that you could learn or construct within the next six months in order to ensure you are a sought-after partner in your own community when breakdown occurs:

  • Fresh Water Storage And Filtration: Clean water is a precious commodity, especially in a collapse situation when central treatment plants stop functioning. Whether urban or rural, many people are not equipped to provide ample water supply that is free of contaminants. Those who choose to boil whatever stagnant pools they find still have to contend with disgusting tastes and smells. Fresh, clean water will be sought after, and stockpiling filtration equipment ahead of time means you have a ready-made barter business in place. As long as you have the means to protect that business from looters, you have cemented your position as a vital barter hub within your neighborhood or town.
  • Solar Power Bank: Use a well-maintained solar power array to charge deep-cycle batteries for your barter network. The need for electricity will not disappear post-collapse. There are literally hundreds of tools people will need, from flashlights to food dehydrators to night vision. Not everyone can afford to set up his own solar array, but most families can afford to purchase a few deep-cycle batteries. If you have the means to charge those batteries, then you have a valuable service to barter.
  • Seed Saving And Storage: The ability to grow food is a talent. A good gardener is a godsend to any survival community. That said, a person who knows how to effectively save and store seeds is even more important. Most people never consider that seed availability (especially heirloom seeds) might dissipate. One person with knowledge could take one good crop and turn it into dozens, or even hundreds. Learn to do this professionally, and you will never be without barter customers.
  • Gunsmithing: The establishment has been quite open about its intentions to continue pursuit of gun legislation and, eventually, confiscation. There may come a day very soon when the guns we have in our hands are the only guns we’ll be able to find. We will have to think less in terms of replacing items and more in terms of repairing them. Learn how to fix weapons and invest in the machinery to fashion new parts from scratch, and you will be one of the most sought-after members of your barter network.
  • Ammunition Production: I don’t have to tell you that the ammunition market is bone dry lately. I have never seen anything like it in my life, and neither has anyone else. Even during the “assault weapons ban” of the 1990s, parts and ammo were far more available than they are now. In response, smaller companies across the United States are starting to spring up to fill the void, producing higher-quality ammo at affordable prices, but with a reduced output. I would take this model down to the local level. If every survival community had a dedicated ammo smith (or at least a reloading expert), then regional and nationwide supplies might be rejuvenated (unless the Department of Homeland Security buys another 1.6 billion “practice rounds”). Making ammo can be slow and tedious (starting with scratch brass and lead is even more so). Output would be limited, but having some is better than having none. Also, I have no doubt that ammo will be treated like a currency in the near future.

There are numerous trade skills that one can learn to become more viable within a post-collapse economy. No one can provide every necessity or foresee every eventual need. Therefore, a barter community of tradesmen is essential and is the foundation of a truly free and prosperous society. The pursuit of a post-collapse skill should be at the top of every survivalist’s to-do list. It is not something to be put off or shelved for a later date. Learn one today — not tomorrow. This solution is within your power to make happen now. Do not waste the opportunity, especially in pursuit of top-down schemes that serve only to give false hope and zero returns.

–Brandon Smith

The Terrible Future Of The Syrian War

The last war America fought openly through proxy was the Vietnam War. The idea was not necessarily “new”; General Smedley Butler’s exposé on his career as a conqueror-for-hire, titled War is a Racket, uncovered a long history of bloodshed by U.S. government and corporate interests in third world countries designed to destroy sovereign nations and plunder their resources. This was done through the use of mercenaries for hire, military men acting covertly or guerilla forces with a pre-existing agenda supplied through back channels.

The sad and disturbing reality is that most wars fought by our country over the course of the past century have not been fought on principle. Instead, they have been fought for profit and for the consolidation of power and oligarchy.

Vietnam was a break in the tradition of secret puppet conflicts, sending the U.S. into the realm of openly admitted proxy. The establishment wanted the American people to know that we were supplying funding and weapons to the South Vietnamese nationalists, meddling in a civil war which had absolutely no bearing on U.S. international relations or domestic policy. The rationalization then was that America had to stop the spread of communism. Ironically, the communists of North Vietnam were a minimal threat compared to the elitist communists within our own borders sitting in positions of political power.

Ultimately, the Vietnam War had absolutely nothing to do with fighting communism, and everything to do with manipulating the public into accepting the concept of foreign intervention. That is to say, we were being conditioned to think of interventionism as a perfectly normal U.S. policy.

The war in Vietnam was achieved in stages. First, the U.S. aided then abandoned the government of Ngo Dinh Diem, who was assassinated during a military coup inspired partly by Diem’s despotic mistreatment of the Vietnamese populace. Money was then sent to cement the power of the military junta in the name of countering the rise of the communist North. Soon, weapons and heavy ordinance were being shipped to the South. Then, U.S. “advisors” were sent to train South Vietnamese soldiers.

Full intervention was successfully avoided by the John F. Kennedy Administration until his assassination, after which President Lyndon B. Johnson launched into a full-spectrum U.S. invasion which the mainstream referred to as a “police action.” Simultaneously, Chinese and Russian interests began supplying the North, though their involvement never officially led to boots on the ground.

I rehash this history because I think it is important to note that the Vietnam theatre seems to have been recycled in Syria today, though the cast of characters has been rearranged slightly. This time, the U.S. and Europe has supported the insurgency. The government of Bashar al-Assad has been cast as the “villain”. Russia and China are now playing the role of mediators and peacemakers, while the West now sends men like Senator John McCain to throw money and weapons into the hands of a rebellion permeated with members of al-Qaida, who decapitate and eat the hearts of prisoners on video, and who, last time I checked, were supposedly our enemy.

saigon-execution-by-edward-adams
Edward Adam’s “Saigon Execution” epitomized not knowing who is who in war.

The process and escalation of the conflict has been very similar to our adventures in Southeast Asia. Money has been openly sent to the rebels. Weapons have likely been covertly sent (evidence suggests that this program was perhaps a part of the reason for the Benghazi incident and subsequent cover-up). Now, certain parties within the U.S., Israel, and the EU have suggested open armament of the insurgency, while destabilization of the region is blamed on Assad by the Western media.

In response to the accelerated armament of what many now consider an entirely fabricated revolution, Russia, Iran, and Lebanon have offered aid to Assad. Russia has supplied Syria with weaponry for years, though shipments have increased in recent months, including a new shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles which has infuriated Israel (Israel has claimed it has no intention to escalate, even thought it has twice used airstrikes within Syria’s borders — their anger over S-300 shipments only shows that they intend to continue such aggression).

Iran has a longstanding mutual defense pact with Syria and has stated that any further direct incursions by the West will result in Iranian involvement (though I think it likely that they are already involved sending arms and advisors of their own). Lebanon has supplied actual ground troops to Assad through Hezbollah. They are aiding the Syrian army in what appears to be a successful campaign against the insurgency. Hezbollah was very effective in repelling an invasion by Israel in 2006, causing the United Nations to step in to provide face-saving resolutions and an excuse for Israeli retreat. I believe their involvement in Syria will be a game changer.

I have been writing and warning about Syria’s potential as a catalyst for an expanded global war for years, long before most people had ever hear of Assad, and much of what I have predicted in the past is now coming true. Whether you believe the Assad regime is good or evil, it is important to realize that our government’s involvement in the region has nothing to do with Assad. This conflict is about setting off chain reactions in the Middle East, and, perhaps, even triggering a world war. You can read more about this in my article “Syria And Iran Dominos Lead To World War.”

Using Vietnam and other proxy wars as a reference, here is how I believe the war in Syria is likely to progress over the coming months:

  1. Heavy weapons will be supplied to the insurgency, including anti-aircraft weapons, leading to increased casualties, especially civilian casualties.
  2. Assad will respond with expanded and deadly airstrikes and ground troops will advance with the aid of Hezbollah.
  3. Iran will begin openly supplying arms, and step up covert supplies of advisors and ground troops.
  4. Russia will increase arms shipments even further, including anti-ship, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles in order to dissuade U.S. and Israeli interests from sending their own forces into the area.
  5. Syrian insurgents will begin losing ground quickly. The UN will offer to “mediate” a ceasefire, but this will only be designed to allow the insurgents time to regroup, and for the U.S., EU and Israel to position themselves for attack.
  6. The UN ceasefire talks will be a wash, if they even take place. Israel will begin regular airstrikes in the name of stopping Iran and Hezbollah from interfering in the war, or to stop them from obtaining “chemical weapons.” The strikes will be aimed at Syrian military facilities and Syrian infrastructure. There will be many civilian casualties.
  7. Syria will respond with ground to air and ground to ground missiles. Israeli cities will see far more precise targeting than the scud missiles used by Iraq during Gulf I and Gulf II. Civilian deaths will be much higher than expected.
  8. A no-fly zone will be announced over Syria, enforced by U.S. and Israeli planes, along with anti-aircraft batteries.
  9. A violent attack will take place in Israel, likely against a civilian population center (I would not be surprised if chemical weapons are involved). The attack will be blamed on the Assad government, or affiliated allies. It might be a real attack or it might be a false flag. In either case, the result will be the commitment of Israeli ground troops.
  10. I think it highly probable that Israel will be the first Western country to invade Syria. However, their involvement will immediately draw a declaration of war from Iran, and, increased ship movements from Russia, which maintains a strategic naval base off the coast of Tartus.
  11. Israel will be swallowed up in a strategic quandary, and will demand U.S. military action. The U.S. will supply that action. Combat will spread into cross-border battles in countries not directly engaged in the fight (as it did in Cambodia during Vietnam).
  12. China will respond with economic retaliation, dumping the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency. Russia will respond by reducing petro-product exports to Europe and staging a massive naval presence in the region. From this point, all bets are off…

Now, the temptation here is for one to immediately take sides and to look at this conflict through the lens of “East vs. West.” This would be a mistake. The Syrian government has in the past acted in tyrannical fashion (though much of the latest accusations appear to be propaganda designed to lure the American public into rallying around another war).

Russia is just as restrictive an oligarchy as the U.S. or the EU. China’s society is a communist nightmare state and the average globalist’s aspiration for what they want America to become one day. Iran has many oppressive policies and is certainly not the kind of country I would ever want to live in. The Syrian insurgency is a mixture of immoral and unprincipled death squads and paid covert wet-work agents. The U.S. government is immorally supplying the cash and weapons for them to operate in the name of fighting the same kind of tyranny that is being instituting here at home.

The point is, there are no “good guys” in this story. There are no heroes; only the insiders, the outsiders and the general public. It has been the habit of the public to ignore most past proxy wars and then flip on the patriotism switch during the rare occasions that American troops are actually deployed. Given time for adequate contemplation (as well as significant American losses), the citizenry eventually turns sour against the paradigm and demands a change. This time, however, there may be no time for such contemplation. I believe that any forward ground action in Syria on the part of the U.S. or Israel will result in a very fast moving global war.

Such a war would seem like insanity, but it serves a vital purpose for certain special interests. It would provide perfect cover for a global economic crash which is about to occur anyway, except in the midst of war, international bankers can divert blame away from themselves. It would provide a rationalization for overt domestic security and the reduction of civil liberties in the name of public safety. It would allow an excuse for a government crackdown on activist groups, who can be labeled “traitors” who aid the enemy simply by speaking ill of government policy. It would give credence to the ideology of globalization and centralized governance. The elites could claim that sovereignty must be erased and all nations must come together under a single banner so that such a “terrible catastrophe” will never happen again.

The war in Syria will not be about Syria. It will not be about the freedom of the people. It will not be about dethroning Assad or establishing democracy. It will not be about defusing violence in the region. Syria will not be the target; we will be the target — our society, our rights, our nation.

America is in the middle of the most insidious consolidation of power in history and Syria is merely a stepping stone in the game. If we cannot maintain our vigilance and allow ourselves to be sucked into the proxy war façade, the elites will get their global conflict with little to no home opposition. The globalists will win, and everyone else will lose.

-Brandon Smith

Is America’s Economy Being Sovietized?

The foundation of the Soviet model of trade and investment was centralization. The entire goal of communism in general was not to give more social and political power to the people, but to extinguish alternative options and focus power into the hands of a select few. The process used to reach this end result can vary, but the goal always remains the same. In most cases, such centralization begins with economic hegemony, and it is in our fiscal structure that we have the means to see the future. Sovietization in our financial life will inevitably lead to sovietization in our political life.

Does the U.S. economy’s path resemble the Soviet template exactly? No. And I’m sure the very suggestion will make the average unaware free market evangelical froth at the mouth. However, as I plan to show, the parallels in our fundamentals are disturbing; the reality is that true free markets in America died a long time ago.

The Tyranny Of Planned Economy

The characteristics of a free market society defy the use of centralized planning. Adam Smith’s original concept of free market trade stood as an antithesis to what was then referred to as “mercantilism,” a select few “joint stock companies” (corporations) monopolizing production while using government ties to destroy any new competition. Unfortunately, there are to this day economists and politicians who believe that corporate centralization is a “natural” function of a free market. In reality, corporate monopolies are an unnatural creation of collusion between governments and big-money interests designed to suffocate any entrepreneurship outside of their sphere of influence. Over time, as we now see in the United States today, government power and corporate power begin to hybridize, until one can barely be distinguished from the other.

The bottom line is that you cannot have planned structures, monopolized production or controlled capital flow within an economy and still claim it to be a “free market. There are no exceptions to this rule.

The Soviet system was the ultimate in centralization. Every aspect of financial life was dictated by the communist government, from industrial input and output to investment to food production and rationing to wages and retail prices. Some people might argue that this structure is a far cry from what we now have in the United States, but let’s look at the fundamentals.

Controlled Money Creation

One of the primary tenets of The Communist Manifesto was the creation of a central bank meant to keep tight controls over currency issuance. The existence of a central bank immediately disrupts any chance of a true free market. Central banking without competition allows an oligarchy, whether corporate or political or a meshing of the two, to manipulate interest rates as well as adjust prices through inflation. Lending standards (which the central bank determines arbitrarily) built on fractional reserve banking opens the door to murky debt instruments and toxic financial products that are further used to either fabricate a “high” standard of living (as we saw in the U.S. in the 90s and early 2000s) or execute a bubble implosion causing a lower standard of living (as the U.S. is experiencing today).

Since the establishment of the Federal Reserve through subversive collusion between banking interests and corrupt politicians in 1913, America has not had a free market system. From that point forward, every boom and bust, every interest rate disaster, every inflationary increase in prices has been scientifically engineered.

Dominance Of Industry

Soviet controls on industrial output are legendary. Every part of the resource allocation process became subject to bureaucracy, and this led to stunted manufacturing growth as well as a culture of misrepresented economic data. In the United States, the establishment has taken a slightly different approach but with the same end result.

Heavy taxation on business ventures within the U.S. against entrepreneurs not lucky enough to run in elitists circles has erased incentives for manufacturing experiments within our borders. In the meantime, members of the corporate glee club receive government subsidization while they simultaneously outsource industrial projects to Third World nations. Controlled industry within communist Russia was meant to force the population to depend upon the government for every means of survival. In the United States, dependency on government has been replaced by interdependency on the globalized model in general. Necessities are now compartmentalized, and only select international businesses with cooperation from government have the ability to bring all the pieces together to keep our domestic economy running smoothly. Our society has been so distanced from self-sufficiency that many people now consider the globalist dynamic indispensable.

Bureaucracy And Food Production

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, based on dubious junk science and often instituted on high without congressional oversight, further erode business possibilities, especially for young companies as well as private agriculture, while giving free reign to elitist entities like Monsanto, an organization the government actually protects through specialized legislation making it nearly immune to civil litigation.

While farms in the United States are not exactly “controlled” by the Federal government in the Soviet sense, many of them are subsidized through welfare on the condition that they grow only particular kinds of crops, raise particular animals or grow nothing at all. This subsidization is an indirect form of price control, creating engineered scarcity or abundance. At the same time, agricultural empires like Monsanto make private farm ownership increasingly difficult by using their government protection to harass and squeeze out independent food producers.

This destabilization of private resource management by common citizens has culminated in the passage of President Barack Obama’s executive order National Defense Resource Preparedness, which allows under a “national emergency” (which the President can declare for any reason) the confiscation of any and all private resources, including farms and businesses, to be redistributed by the government to ensure security conditions. This is the Stalinist model, pure and simple.

Centralized Control Of Investment

We now know that since at least 2008, the U.S. stock market, often presented by the mainstream as a paragon of free market prowess, has actually been propped up and inflated by Federal Reserve fiat. Both former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and current branch head Richard Fisher have openly admitted in separate news interviews that the central bank spends considerable energy in “artificially sustaining” equity markets. This has been done, I suspect, with full knowledge of the U.S. Treasury and the Obama Administration.

The Soviet model for investment was to remove all uncertainties from their domestic markets, often in the name of preventing manipulation by “speculators.” The speculator rationale was generally a distraction away from the attempt to dictate the natural forces of supply and demand. The idea was that if the government could dismiss legitimate demand or lack of demand or hide excess supply or lack of supply, the perception of a balanced economy could be conjured for the population. This led to strict redirection of capital to areas where manipulation was needed to artificially pump up (or deflate) a particular part of the economy. The government became the sole investor of the Soviet system and, thus, the sole determinant of the success or failure of any particular market.

This is exactly what is going on in America today. Federal Reserve fiat is being printed and dumped into every financial mechanism that supposedly maintains our country’s fiscal health, including stocks, Treasuries and municipals, while trade volume remains low and private investment disappears. The Federal government now owes its very existence to the continued support of central bank dollars, and the Dow Jones does as well. If this is not the Soviet ideal, then I don’t know what is.

Labor Oppression, Dismal Living Standards And Government Dependency

Poverty levels within the United States are at record highs. Nearly 50 million Americans are now dependent on government-subsidized food stamps for their survival. Nearly 100 million Americans receive welfare (or Social Security) in one form or another from the establishment. That is almost one-third of our entire population that relies on the system for at least a part of their sustainment. If Obamacare is fully realized, millions more Americans will also be conditioned to become dependent on government-designated healthcare providers. The point is not to pass judgment on those people who get money or services from the government, only to make clear our progression away from freedom and into centralized servitude.

For a Soviet structure to thrive, poverty among common citizens has to be institutionalized. Dependency requires a constant state of desperation. In America, this has been accomplished through a combination of inflated prices and reduced wages in conjunction with the destruction of labor options.

At the height of the communist machine in Russia, employment was ample; but the kind of employment one could apply for was dependent on bureaucratic red tape and availability based on a worker’s record. Only the academic “elite” within the government-run cesspools of Soviet universities and military schools had their choice of employment; even then, they were often pressured into particular specialized fields, depending on the kind of labor the state needed done at that particular time.

In the United States anyone can certainly aspire to do whatever job he hopes to do. But again, options have been removed economically; and the same academic elitism pervasive in Soviet Union labor markets exists in America today. In a recent installment of his weekly radio show, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it was better for “so-so” high school students to pursue a career in plumbing rather than go to college.

Though I rarely agree with Bloomberg on anything, my initial reaction was surprise at his willingness to steer American youth away from university indoctrination centers. However, upon further examination, it became clear that Bloomberg was not trying to save the next generation time and money. Instead, he is promoting a shift in the labor dynamic of the U.S. economy toward a Soviet-style foundation. Bloomberg knows well that the U.S. labor market will never return to its former glory, partly because he is a supporter of the globalist policies that ruined our economy in the first place. Instead of suggesting ways to reverse the trend of progressive poverty and the lack of high-end jobs that engender ingenuity and invention, elitists like Bloomberg are saying “forget your dreams and get used to being a drone.”

In a 70 percent service and retail economy, where job availability is increasingly degraded and independent business is discouraged, Americans will have two choices:  Excel in the world of federally funded and propagandized education and sell your soul just for a chance at obtaining a professional career in a field of influence or settle for the leftovers. For some people, being a plumber is a fine thing; but it should not be the only thing. In a true free market, a smart man can make his own way, even if he does not conform to the ideologies of the educational racket. In a Sovietized market, a smart man is prohibited from accomplishing anything unless he conforms to the ideologies of the educational racket.

In the end, the Soviet economy was so utterly fraudulent that the final collapse of the system came as a complete surprise to many in political and economic fields. Centralization is an absolute affront to the natural laws of supply and demand and an oppressive hindrance to the innovation that humanity thrives on. Such systems require constant theft from the populace in the form of reduced jobs, reduced wages, reduced resources, increased taxes, increased price controls and a highly ignorant citizenry in order to function even for a short time. Sadly, the United States is well on its way in all of these areas, lending itself to a global economic tyranny in which all of us work much harder, for much less and all for a government that uses our very labor against us.

–Brandon Smith

Lions And Tigers And Terrorists, Oh My!

The debate over what actions actually constitute “terrorism,” I believe, will become one of the defining ideological battles of our era. Terrorism is not a word often used by common people to describe aberrant behaviors or dastardly deeds; however, it is used by governments around the world to label and marginalize political enemies. That is to say, it is the government that normally decides who is a “terrorist” and who is a mere “criminal,” the assertion being that one is clearly far worse than the other.

The terrorist label elicits emotional firestorms and fearful brain-quakes in the minds of the masses. It causes the ignorant and unaware to abandon principles they would normally apply to any other malicious enterprise. They begin to reason that a criminal should be afforded justice, while a terrorist should be afforded only vengeance, even though the act of branding a person a “terrorist” is often completely arbitrary. This vengeance is usually pursued by any means. Thus, the terrorist moniker becomes a rationalization for every vicious and inhuman policy of the establishment, as well as for the citizenry.

Dishonorable and foolish people claim the existence of terrorism essentially gives license for the rest of us to become criminal, willfully trampling on individuals’ rights to privacy, property, free speech, due process, civic participation, etc. Mass criminality against the individual in the name of social safety is the glue that holds together all tyrannical systems, triggering a catastrophic cycle of moral relativism that eventually bleeds a culture dry.

Historically, the expanded use of the terrorist label by governments tends to coincide with the rising tides of despotism. A government that quietly seeks to dominate the people will inevitably begin to treat the people as if they are the enemy. Those citizens who present the greatest philosophical or physical threat to the centralization of power are usually the first to suffer. I do not think it is unfair to say that any system of authority that suddenly claims to see terrorists under every rock and behind every tree is probably about to rain full-on fascism down upon the population.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the legal extension of this process, with a vaporous gray language that allows the government to interpret it in any manner it deems useful, which conveniently allows it to interpret a wide range of “offenses” as acts of war against the state.

The Department of Homeland Security’s “If You See Something Say Something” campaign is the social extension of the process, by which it creates the framework for a paranoid self-censored surveillance culture.

The fusion center network is the enforcement extension designed to surround local and State police with an atmosphere of indoctrination and federalized dogma, teaching common cops to profile according to a template that is so ambiguous that literally any activity could be considered suspicious or terroristic.

All that is left for the establishment is to force the vocabulary of fear into mainstream consciousness. This means constant propaganda. This means furious hype. This means an utterly shameless barrage of false associations, misdirections and fantastical fairyland lies. This means that we have reached a point in the grand totalitarian scheme in which the American populace is about to be bombarded with an endless drone of terrorism brainwashing — not demonizing a foreign enemy, but demonizing the hypothetical extremist next door. In fact, the Boston Marathon bombing seems to have been the signal for an escalation of such rhetoric. The high-speed conditioning has already begun.

In Middlefield, Ohio, James Gilkerson, an unemployed man taking care of his elderly mother, was pulled over during a routine traffic stop only to exit his vehicle firing an AK-47 at police officers. The action was obviously unprovoked; the police responded with deadly force, and rightly so. I would have done the same. Gilkerson’s attack was crazy, yes. Criminal? Yes. But Middlefield Police Chief Arnold Stanko’s remarks to the press bring a whole other dark side to this already tragic event. Stanko stated that: “He got out of the vehicle, intending to kill my officers. We don’t know why he did it… He was a scumbag and a terrorist, and he’s dead.”

Stanko doesn’t know why Gilkerson fired at police, but he is certain that the man was a “terrorist.” What if Gilkerson was depressed or overmedicated or he just snapped that day? Terrorism denotes certain premeditation and planning. This attack was clearly not part of a malicious scheme, yet the label of “terrorist” is being thrown around nonchalantly, almost as if law enforcement has been trained to use such rhetoric whenever it suits them.

In Montevideo, Minn., the FBI recently raided the home of Buford Rogers, who was convicted of felony burglary in 2011. Authorities had received reports that Buford was in possession of a firearm, which is illegal for convicted felons. The raid did indeed produce firearms, as well as items the FBI dubbed “explosive devices.” They did not specify what these “explosive devices” were or if they actually posed a significant threat to anyone. After the bust, headlines read “FBI Thwarts Terror Attack.”

Again, there is absolutely no indication here of a planned attack. There’s no indication that Rogers had any intent to hurt anyone or even any ideological motivations to hurt anyone. Yet the terrorism label is used again to describe a routine criminal arrest.

In Tempe, Ariz., 18-year-old Joshua Prater was arrested after a maid found an “explosive device” in his closet and turned it in to authorities. Prater claims he built the device, consisting of a carbon dioxide cartridge, a fireworks fuse, gunpowder, match heads and fireworks, eight years ago; and he claims he was not aware it was dangerous. Police did not call Prater a terrorist, but they did refer to his device as an “IED,” which, as we all know, is the abbreviation used by U.S. soldiers to describe an “improvised explosive device,” the favorite weapon of insurgents and “terrorists” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Such terminology is not coincidental. Make no mistake; this is a calculated effort to introduce the language of the battlefield to the streets of America.

Seattle police are now holding simulation drills at local schools in which law enforcement officials fight against gun-wielding proxy opponents posing as “angry parents.”

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xsPaFjslZM&w=420&h=315]

 

These kinds of drills are a part of a larger DHS program implemented through fusion centers which, in my view, is designed to desensitize law enforcement to violence against common citizens. Said drills have simulated conflicts with constitutionalists, home-schoolers, patriots and so on. Let’s be clear here; the “terrorists” that the police are now being trained to fight against are people like you and me. We are being painted as the future enemy.

Just to solidify this reality, I will also point out the recent exposure of a DHS training program series available on the Federal Emergency Management Agency Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program website, which includes a media section designed to provide teaching aids to agency heads and law enforcement. The series includes a fabricated news broadcast that covers a hypothetical raid on a “militia headquarters.” The video shows semi-automatic firearms, rifle scopes, night vision, flak jackets — all perfectly legal in the United States today — as illegal “contraband,” while painting gun owners and militias as chemical weapon-wielding terrorists.

 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn5Qh9QLCnA&w=420&h=315]
 
What started as an appeal to the average American’s sense of Islamophobia after the 9/11 attacks has now evolved into the full-spectrum theater of random domestic terrorism that culminates in what the establishment calls “self-radicalization.”

The concept of self-radicalization is a very interesting propaganda tactic. Rather than limiting the public’s fear only to some outside foreign enemy like al-Qaida or some domestic activist organization like the liberty movement, the establishment has now composed a narrative in which each and every one of us might one day catch the extremist virus of dissent, defiance or ideological violence and suddenly decide to kill, kill, kill.

The more naïve subsections of our society will accept unConstitutional methods against the “radicalized” out of fear and conditioning, without realizing that the machinations of bureaucracy being used against those they hate could just as easily be used against them in the future.

If the elites achieve the social endgame they desire, legal and political wordplay will become so broad that anyone could be targeted. If you are a citizen who defies the establishment power structure, then you are an extremist. If you are an extremist, then you are a terrorist. If you are a terrorist, then you are an enemy combatant. And, under the NDAA, if you are an enemy combatant, you are no longer a citizen and you no longer deserve Constitutional protection. The circular logic is maddening, not to mention outrageous. But it is also very useful when an abusive government needs a pretext to silence or destroy dissent. Under totalitarianism, all people become terrorists. It starts with the mistreatment of the worst of us, and it ends with the mistreatment of the best of us.

–Brandon Smith 

Statists Use Twisted Logic To Attack The Bill Of Rights

In the war for the continued existence of our Nation’s Constitutional principles, I had long wondered whether statists were simply confounded by the Bill of Rights and ignorant of its function or whether they were maliciously inclined, knowing exactly what it means but seeking its destruction anyway. In recent years, I have decided it is a combination of both faults.

Statists are people who view every aspect of society through the lens of government power. If you want to know the primary difference between Constitutionalists and anti-Constitutionalists, you have to understand that some people in this world only want control over their own lives, while other people desperately clamor for control over other people’s lives. Why do they do this? Usually, it’s fear. Fear of the persistent unknowns in life. Fear that they do not have the intelligence or the will to take responsibility for their own futures. Fear that they will be forced to take care of themselves. Fear that their ideologies will be found lacking. Fear that if others are allowed freedom, they will one day indirectly suffer for it.

This fear makes statists easy to manipulate by the establishment and easy to use as a tool for the expansion of government dominance. Because statists are so weak-minded and fainthearted, they become very comfortable with the idea of other people making their decisions for them; and they will always attempt to answer every perceived problem with more government control.

When confronted with a proponent of liberty, the statist typically reels in horror. He has so invested himself in bureaucracy that he sees himself as a part of it. To attack the bureaucracy is to attack him. To deny the validity of the bureaucracy is to deny the validity of his existence. His very personality and ego are tied to the machine, so he will spit and rage against anyone who refuses to conform. This is why it is not uncommon at all to find a wild collection of logical fallacies within the tirades of the average statist. Statists act as though they are driven by reason; but in reality, they are driven by seething bias.

A perfect example of this insanity is the article “There Are No Absolute Rights,” published by The Daily Beast.

Let’s first be clear about the kind of rag we are dealing with. The Daily Beast was launched by Tina Brown, a former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker who was also a British citizen until 2005. I would say she’s a kind of female Piers Morgan. For anyone who might take that as a compliment, trust me; it isn’t. Brown and Morgan are European collectivists who immigrated to America just to tell us how our Constitutionally conservative heritage of independence is outdated; meanwhile, the EU is in the shambles of failed socialism. We used to drive such people into the ocean, and now they breathe our oxygen while telling us what is politically “fashionable.”

In 2010, The Daily Beast merged with Newsweek, a magazine notorious for its statist crush on the Federal government (and now out of print). To say that The Daily Beast is a socialist platform and a mouthpiece for the Administration of President Barack Obama is an understatement, but I would point out that the website also tends to agree with politicians and judges on the right that also promote a “living document” interpretation of the Constitution. Whether right or left, if you believe that the Bill of Rights is up for constant interpretation and revision or outright destruction, then you are the bee’s knees in the eyes of The Beast.

The article focuses on gun rights and how silly conservatives foolishly cling to the idea that some lines in the sand should never be crossed in terms of personal freedom. In a rather mediocre and rambling analysis, The Beast uses two primary arguments to qualify this stance, essentially asserting that:

  1. Compromises have already been made to the Bill of Rights; therefore, nothing is sacred.
  2. Even some Republicans agree with compromises to the Bill of Rights when it comes to other Amendments, so why are we being so childish about “reinterpreting” the 2nd Amendment?

First, the revisionist methodology of the Bill of Rights consistently ignores the history of its writing. The colonists and Founding Fathers of our Nation, having successfully triumphed in a bloody revolution against what many then considered the most advanced elitist military empire on Earth, had absolutely no trust whatsoever in the concept of centralized government. Many of the colonials were anti-Federalists who believed that an overly powerful central government was a threat to future liberty. They felt that an immovable and unchangeable legal shield had to be created in order to ensure that a tyrannical system never prevailed again.

Thomas Jefferson said: “[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”

This statement includes modern governments as well. Technological advancement does not change the rules surrounding timeless inherent moral principles, as much as statists would like to argue otherwise.

The colonials demanded the inclusion of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution as a prerequisite for the establishment of the Federal government. This means that the Federal government owes its entire existence to a very strict agreement made on the Bill of Rights. By extension, if the Bill of Rights is politically diluted or denied, then the legitimacy of the Federal government must also be denied, for it has violated the very charter that gave it life.

The writer of the article, Michael Tomasky, lists numerous transgressions against our Constitutional protections; but he does not do so in the spirit of activism. Rather, he lists them as examples of how “compromise” on our freedoms is necessary (or somehow inevitable) in the name of the collective good. He claims Republicans are perfectly willing to sacrifice certain liberties, like freedom of speech, privacy or even Miranda rights, in the name of political expediency.

I wholeheartedly agree that our civil liberties have been whittled away by the establishment. I also agree that many so-called Republicans have betrayed the founding values of our culture and even voted to diminish or destroy the 2nd Amendment. But let’s think hard about the faulty logic behind Tomansky’s position. Do two wrongs or hundreds of wrongs really make a right? Tomansky is saying that because we have failed as a society to fully protect our freedoms and because our government has been successful in criminally neglecting them, we should simply give in and relinquish all freedom.

He would respond to this accusation by claiming that he is not calling for the relinquishment of all liberties, only the liberties he thinks are dangerous to society. The problem is, that is not how the Constitution was designed. Amendments can be made, yes. But amendments contrary to the Bill of Rights are not Constitutional as per the original agreement made after the revolution. The Bill of Rights was meant to be sacrosanct, untouchable — period. No Federal law, no State law and no Amendment can be enforced that violates those protections. The Bill of Rights was not created as a rule book for what the people can do; it was created as a rule book for what government cannot do. Once you remove hard fast restrictions like the Bill of Rights from the picture, you give the government license to make its own rules. That is how tyranny is born.

As far as Republican attacks on the Constitution are concerned, Tomasky has obviously never heard of the false/left right paradigm. He finds solace in the totalitarian actions of neocons because neocons are not conservative; they are statists. Ultimately, there is no right or left. Only freedom and decentralization, or slavery and collectivism exist. There are those who revel in control and those who rebel against control. The rest of the debate is nonsense and distraction.

Tomsky opines: “Imagine what conservatives would think of a group of liberals who insisted, while threatening an insurrection, on a pure and absolute interpretation of the Fourth or Sixth Amendment–and imagine how ridiculous they would look to average Americans.”

Actually, any true conservative would be standing right beside those liberals, as many of us in the liberty movement have done in the past in activism against the transgressions of fake conservatives like George W. Bush or Mitt Romney, with his dismal anti-Constitution voting record. Frankly, who cares what “average Americans” think about our battle for what is right? Does Tomasky base all of his personal convictions on what happens to be popular at the moment? I think so.

What statists also don’t seem to comprehend is that there is a factor in the fight over Constitutional law that goes far beyond the Constitution itself.

The Constitution, as a document, is not what we as Americans and human beings obtain our rights from. The Constitution is only a written representation of the inborn freedoms derived from natural law and inherent conscience. We are born with a sense of liberty and that includes a right to self-defense from any enemy, foreign or domestic. No amount of political gaming, twisted rationalizations or intellectual idiocy is ever going to change these pre-existing rights.

Tomasky insists that: “[T]he idea that any right is unrestricted is totally at odds with history, the law, and reality.”

He uses the tired argument that some restrictions on personal liberty, including restrictions on gun rights, are “reasonable” given the circumstances of the times. And, it only follows that he and other statists should be the ones to decide what is reasonable.

I disagree, along with millions of other Americans; and believe me, this is a serious problem for statists. If Tomasky and The Daily Beast want to impose their collective worldview on the rest of us and dismantle our individual freedoms guaranteed in natural law and the Bill of Rights, then I’m afraid they’ll have to fight us for them. In the end, legal precedence is irrelevant. Political precedence is irrelevant. Political party is irrelevant. Historical precedence is irrelevant. The theater of words is irrelevant. Statists need to understand that there is no alternative. There is no “silver bullet” argument that will make us forget what is fundamentally true. There is no juxtaposition of logic that will muddle our resolve or confuse our principles. Some rights are indeed absolute; and we will not yield them, ever. The statist “reality” is a far cry from what actually is; and soon, I’m afraid, they will learn this lesson the hard way.

–Brandon Smith

The Goal Is To Destroy All Constitutional Culture

In America, our cultural method of debate tends to divide individual issues into carefully separated spheres of discussion. This hyperfocus on single issues, from gun rights to illegal wars to invasion of privacy, draws us away from looking at the bigger interconnected picture, otherwise known as the “macro.” Each social or political conflict is compartmentalized by the mainstream, the dots are left isolated and the overwhelming overall threat to our foundational principles is marginalized.

The problem with this civic philosophy is that the general public is left without peripheral vision and unequipped to comprehend that there is a process in motion, an overarching plan that is eating away at the edges of our liberty from every angle, one small piece at a time. That is to say, we have been conditioned to obsess over the pieces and ignore the plan.

I want you to imagine the globalist establishment and the useful socialist idiots it employs as a hive of ants lurking in the grass around a bountiful picnic basket you (or your forefathers) worked very hard to procure. Now, one ant snatches a single crumb and races away, and you think to yourself that losing that one crumb is not such a sacrifice. A few more ants pilfer crumbs, and you shrug it off. A dozen more arrive, and you start to worry a little but are still too lazy to pull out the Raid. The rest of the hive sees your apathy and attacks, gobbling everything in a swarm of single-minded destruction. Left with nothing, you sit dumbfounded and hungry, wondering where you went wrong. The truth is, you went wrong with the first ant.

Not only are personal wealth and property ransacked by the collective in this way, but also personal freedom.

Every time a smaller attack on liberty is exposed or openly announced by the cult of statism, elitists invariably respond with a false face of rationality and common sense. They claim that they respect the line. They claim that they will take only the minimum. They claim that they are pursuing only a reasonable compromise. They expound on the “virtues” of their motives. They sing songs of unity, brotherhood and the greater good. They appeal to our diplomatic side; and if that doesn’t work, they try to shame us instead for being “selfish” or “ignorant” of so-called “social progress.” But this never has been and never will be about social progress.

Their goal is not to introduce greater understanding or awareness. It is not about public good or public safety. And at the very core, it is not about truth. If they cared about truth or principle and if their objectives were honorable, they would not feel the need to constantly lie, cheat, steal, manipulate and threaten in an effort to impose their own worldview on the rest of us. If their purpose was as righteous as they pretend, then deceit and subversion should be beneath them. Their philosophy should be able to carry itself, without their convoluted efforts.

The power elites and the people who blindly follow them are not interested in being on the right side. They are interested only in being on the winning side, and the two are certainly not the same. In the end, the result they covet most is not to achieve compromise on Constitutional ideals, but to achieve total and unequivocal destruction of those ideals. They seek to erase our heritage from history, along with those of us who value it. They want to annihilate Constitutional culture.

Through the efforts of the liberty movement, many Americans are now at least loosely aware of such issues as the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the designation of anyone — including American citizens — as enemy combatants subject to the laws of war, thus destroying the Constitutional right to due process and trial by jury. They have witnessed the vicious trampling of the 4th Amendment and our right to privacy through legislation like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They have been confronted with the gross tyranny of Barack Obama’s executive assassination lists and predator drone fetish. They are aware of the existence of Department of Defense efforts to remove all vestiges of Posse Comitatus and allow standing military authority in the United States through the U.S. Northern Command (Northcom).

All of these things are clearly part of a violent war on our Constitutional rights, but what about the more subtle poison being introduced under the surface? The first place to look is always in your child’s school.

In Duvall County, Fla., the father of a 10-year-old boy discovered his son had been asked by a teacher to write and sign this statement as part of a school project: “I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure.”

When questioned on the purpose of directing fourth-graders to sign such a statement, the school district argued that the students participated in the activity of their own free will and that the lesson was designed to “create an awareness of the five rights contained in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution” and help students “determine their opinions on which rights they value most and least.”

First of all, let’s be honest; I went through public schooling, and anyone else who went through it knows as well as I do that almost nothing within the public school system is treated as voluntary. Threats, fearmongering and mob mentality are all used by State teachers all across the country daily to manipulate and terrorize children into submitting to the program. As a nostalgic refresher, re-examine the incident in a North Carolina school in which a teacher screamed down a student who criticized Obama, claiming that people “could be arrested” for speaking ill of the President.

Secondly, if the teacher in Duvall County was looking to encourage students to “think critically” about their Constitutional rights, then perhaps it would have been helpful to educate them on what those rights are. Unfortunately, the children had not been given practical lessons on their rights before being asked to abandon them for “safety.”

This is a perfect example of the indoctrination process in action. While the gun rights issue has brought the politicization of public schools out in the open, with federalized education centers punishing children across the Nation for merely playing with imaginary guns or talking about toy guns, the real target is not the gun issue for the establishment.  The real target is all Constitutional thought.

Perhaps this is why the methodology of home-schooling has been so demonized by the mainstream, and why Ron Paul’s latest home-schooling initiative is already being attacked as “Christian fundamentalism.” The real reason the establishment’s panties are in a twist is simple; they do not like the idea of parents being able to compose their child’s own curriculum and, thus, remove anti-Constitutional conditioning from their daily lives.

The erasure of Constitutional culture has spread far beyond schooling, however.

The city of New Rochelle, N.Y., has demanded a local veterans’ post take down its Gadsden flag, a flag in existence since the Revolutionary War, because it has been adopted as a symbol of the Tea Party. The city council, led by Democratic Mayor Noam Bramson, voted to remove the flag after voicing concerns about the flag’s message.

Obama sycophant and hardcore big-government mouthpiece Bill Maher this week stated that the left (neo-liberals) needs to stop being afraid of its true goal in the gun debate — to dissolve the 2nd Amendment — rather than play at compromise.

“I’m so sorry, but this is the problem with the gun debate — it is that it’s a constant center-right debate,” Maher said. “There’s no left in this debate. Everyone on the left is so afraid to say what should be said, which is the Second Amendment is bullshit. Why doesn’t anyone go at the core of it?”

My response would be: “Yes, please do admit your true goals, gun grabbers and opponents of civil liberties. At least be honest about your fascist intentions so that we can stop playing games and have a real eye to eye debate (or fight) on the subject.:

And finally, NASCAR has come under siege by anti-2nd Amendment legislators as well as the media in general for allowing the National Rifle Association to endorse races. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called on broadcasters to block transmissions of the NRA 500 because it would bring national attention to gun rights while the Senate is legislating for gun control (which, in his opinion, is bad).

Perhaps this is purely coincidental, but the timing of this stance against NASCAR’s support of gun culture has arisen right as Oath Keepers, a Constitutional organization dedicated to teaching current serving military, veterans and law enforcement about civil liberties and the affirmation of their oath, announced it is working with racecar driver Jeffrey Earnhardt to bring an Oath Keepers-sponsored vehicle to the NASCAR track.

While some people may not care less about NASCAR or even the 2nd Amendment, I would point out that through the gun issue, the establishment is ultimately undermining the holy grail of the 1st Amendment. If gun rights speech and culture can be silenced in the name of “safety” or “compassion,” then why not any other belief?

Incidents like these by themselves do not necessarily seem like an imminent threat to the freedoms of average citizens; but, taken together as a flurry of strategic movements, they represent a full spectrum attack on the very pillars of our founding structure. Throughout history, when conquerors wished to fully dominate a population, they would seek to slowly subsume the people’s mythology and principles. They would attempt to co-opt cultural ideas and values, twisting them into something completely different or wiping them from memory altogether. When the people lose their traditions and heritage, they become easier to mold and rule. This is exactly what is happening in the United States today: an ideological colonization that views Constitutional life as a mortal enemy and hopes to obliterate it from the pages of time.

–Brandon Smith

Will Globalists Use North Korea To Trigger Catastrophe?

Whenever discussion over North Korea arises in Western circles, it always seems to be accompanied by a strange mixture of sensationalism and indifference. The mainstream media consistently presents the communist nation as an immediate threat to U.S. national security, conjuring an endless number of hypothetical scenarios as to how they could join forces with al-Qaida and attack with a terroristic strategy. At the same time, the chest puffing of the late Kim Jong Il and the standard fare of hyper-militant rhetoric on the part of the North Korean government in general seem to have lulled the American public into a trance of non-concern.

In the midst of the latest tensions with the North Koreans, I have found that most people are barely tracking developments and that, when confronted by the idea of war, they shrug it off as if it is a laughable concept. “Surely” they claim, “The North is just posturing as they always have.”

The high-focus propaganda attacking North Korea on our side and the puffer fish methodology on their side have created a social and political atmosphere surrounding our relations with the Asian nation that I believe places both sides of the Pacific in great danger. North Korea has the potential to become a trigger point for multiple economic catastrophes, and there are people in this world who would be happy to use such crises to serve their own interests.

The mainstream view being espoused by globalist-minded politicians and corporate oligarchs with an agenda is that North Korea is a nuclear armed monstrosity ready to use any subversive means necessary to strike the United States. The idea that the North is working closely with al-Qaida has been suggested in everything from White House briefings to cable news to movies and television. The concept of pan-global terrorist collusion and the cartoon-land “axis of evil” has been prominent in our culture since the Administration of George W. Bush. It has even been making a resurgence lately in the MSM, which presented countries like Iran, Syria And North Korea as the primary culprits behind the failure of the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.

Of course, what remains less talked about in the mainstream is the fact that these nations refuse to adhere to the treaty because carefully placed loopholes still allow major powers like the United States to feed arms into engineered insurgencies. Why would Syria or any other targeted nation sign a treaty that restricts its own sovereign ability to trade while giving teeth to internal enemies trained and funded by foreign intelligence agencies?

The establishment brushes aside such facts and consistently admonishes these countries as the last holdouts standing in the way of a new world order, a worldwide socioeconomic cooperative and pseudo-Utopia. The path to this wonderful global village is always presented as a battle against stubborn isolationists, non-progressives who lack vision and cling desperately to the archaic past. The values of personal and national sovereignty are painted as outdated, decrepit and even threatening to the newly born world structure. The image of North Korea is used by globalists as a kind of straw man argument against sovereignty. North Koreans’ vices and imbalances as a culture are many; but this is due in far larger part to their communist insanity, rather than any values of national independence. It is their domestic hive-mind collectivism we should disdain, not their wish to maintain a comfortable distance as a society from the global game.

As far as being an imminent physical threat to the United States, it really depends on the scenario. The North Koreans have almost no logistical capability to support an invasion of any kind. The nation has been suffering from epidemic famine for well more than a decade.

To initiate a war outright has never been in the best interests of the North Koreans, simply because their domestic infrastructure would not be able to handle the strain. However, there is indeed a scenario in which North Korea could be influenced to use military force despite apprehension.

With the ever looming threat of famine comes the ever looming threat of citizen revolution.  When any government is faced with the possibility of being supplanted, it will almost always lash out viciously in order to maintain power and control, no matter the cost. Sanctions like those being implemented by the West against North Korea today, at the very edge of national famine, could destabilize the country entirely. I believe the North would do anything to avoid an internal insurgency scenario, including attacking South Korea to acquire food stores and energy reserves, as well as other tangible modes of wealth.

North Korea’s standing army, obtained through mandatory conscription, is estimated at about 1.1 million active personnel, very close to the numbers active in the U.S. armed forces. But North Korean reserves are estimated at more than 8 million, compared to only 800,000 in the United States. If made desperate by economic sanctions, the North Koreans could field a massive army that would wreak havoc in the South and be very difficult to root out on their home turf. Asian cultures have centuries of experience using asymmetric warfare (the kryptonite of the U.S. military), and I do not believe it is wise to take such a possible conflict lightly, as many Americans seem to do. It is easy to forget that the last Korean War did not work out so well for us. At best, we would be mired in on-ground operations for years (just like Iraq and Afghanistan) or perhaps even decades. Like North Korea, we also do not have the logistical economic means to enter into another such war.

The skeptics argue that we will never get to this point, though, because North Korea has brandished and blustered many times before, all resulting in nothing. I see recent events being far different and more urgent than in the past, and here’s why:

  • The West needs to realize that North Korea is under new leadership. The blowhard days of Kim Jung Il are over, and little is known about his son, Kim Jong Un. So far, the young dictator has followed through on everything he said he would do, including the multiple nuclear tests that the West is using as an excuse to exert sanctions. To assume that the son will be exactly like the father is folly.
  • Many people claimed that North Korean threats to abandon the Armistice in place since 1953 were empty, yet they dropped it exactly as they said they would at the beginning of March.
  • The North has begun cutting off direct communication channels to the South, including a cross-border hotline meant to help alleviate tensions through diplomatic means.
  • The North has officially declared a state of war against the South. This has been called mere “tough talk” by the U.S. government, but the speed at which these multiple developments have occurred should be taken into consideration.
  • At the beginning of this year, silver purchases by the North from China surged. For the entire year of 2012, the government purchased $77,000 worth of precious metals. In the first few months of 2013, North Korea has already purchased $600,000 in silver. The exact size of the North’s precious metals stockpile is unknown. Though seemingly small in comparison to many purported metal holdings by major powers, this sudden investment expansion would indicate a government move to protect internal finances from an exceedingly frail economic environment.  Metals are also historically accumulated at a high rate by nations preparing for war or invasion in the near term.

Again, all that is needed to instigate an event on the Korean Peninsula are tightened sanctions. The establishment knows this, though another Gulf of Tonkin incident (an openly admitted false flag event) may be on the menu as well.

Given that the chances of a shooting war are high if sanctions continue, it might be wise to consider the consequences of conflagration in Korea.

Dealing with a large army steeped in asymmetric and mountain warfare will be difficult enough.  In fact, an invasion of North Korea would be far more deadly than Afghanistan, if only because of the sheer number of maneuver elements (guerilla-style units) on the ground. But let’s set aside North Korea for a moment and consider the greatest threat of all: the dollar collapse.

As I have discussed in numerous articles, China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, has positioned itself to decouple from the American consumer and the dollar. This is no longer a theoretical process as it was in 2008, but a very real and nearly completed one. Mainstream analysts often claim China would never break from the dollar because it would damage their export markets and their investment holdings. The problem is, China is already dumping the dollar using bilateral trade agreements with numerous developing nations. It isn’t just talking about it; it is doing it.

The development of a decoupled China is part of a larger push by international banks to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency and replace it with a new global currency. This currency already exists. The International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) is a mechanism backed by a basket of currencies as well as gold. The introduction of the SDR on a wide scale is dependent on only two things.

First, China has been designated the replacement consumer engine in the wake of a U.S. collapse. They have already surpassed the United States as the No. 1 trading power in the world. However, they must spread their own currency, the Yuan, throughout global markets in order to aid the IMF in removing the dollar. China has recently announced a program to sell more than $6 trillion in Yuan denominated bonds to foreign investors, easily fulfilling this need.

Second, China and the IMF need a scapegoat event, a rationale for dumping the dollar that the masses would accept as logical. A U.S. invasion of North Korea could easily offer that rationale.

While China has been playing the good Samaritan in relations with the United States in dealing with North Korea and has supported (at least on paper) certain measures including sanctions, China will never be in support of Western combat actions in the Pacific so close to their territory. The kind of U.S. or NATO presence a war with North Korea would generate would be entirely unacceptable to the Chinese, who do not need to respond using arms. Rather, all they have to do to get rid of us would be to fully dump the dollar and threaten to cut off trade relations with any other country that won’t do the same. The domino effect would be devastating, causing U.S. costs to skyrocket and forcing us to pull troops out of the region. At the same time, the dollar would be labeled a “casualty of war” rather than a casualty of conspiratorial global banking designs, and the financial elites would be removed from blame.

Ultimately, we should take North Korea seriously not because of the wild-eyed propaganda of the mainstream media and not because they are “doing business with terrorists” or because they are a “violent and barbaric relic of nationalism,” but because a war in North Korea serves the more malicious interests of globalization. No matter what happens in the near future, it is important for Americans to always question the true motives behind any event and ask ourselves who, in the end, truly benefited.

 –Brandon Smith

Time To Plan For The Worst Rather Than Hope For The Best

Preparation for disaster, whether natural or man-made, should be as vital as any ideal found in the various practices of religion and spiritualism. Preparedness should be treated with reverence, discipline and duty. The drive for preparation should be seated in the very heart of humanity. As individuals and as a society, we should hold preparedness dear, for it is an expression of the desire for survival and the key to maintaining our inherent freedoms. Without self-sufficiency, we set ourselves up for endless failure and enslavement.

Preparedness must be approached with passionate resolve; otherwise, there is no point. Halfhearted survivalists are just as likely, if not more likely, to get themselves killed as the average oblivious urbanite and suburbanite. Unfortunately, even in the liberty movement, I have come across many halfhearted and lazy survivalists who would rather hope for the best than prepare for the worst.

The primary issue has always been one of “distraction.” Even those who are fully informed of the very real and immediate dangers to our economy and our Nation as a whole find it difficult not to get wrapped up in the concerns of the old America. Mind-numbing job environments, superficial family dramas, television hypnosis, Facebook narcissism, consumer addictions, improving one’s perceived social status: all of these things waste precious time in our daily lives, making us weak and sapping our resiliency. They encourage us toward apathy. Always, we are telling ourselves: “I did nothing today, but tomorrow will be different.”

I hear many excuses and conflicts in my work as an economic analyst and preparedness adviser. Some come from people who are already in the liberty movement and should know better. Others come from people who for one reason or another seek to dissuade us from personal preparation. Here are just a handful of the many irrational arguments against survival planning that I am confronted with on a daily basis.

Prepping Is For ‘Crazy People’ And ‘Chicken Littles’

Catastrophes occur all the time. Sometimes they are regional, sometimes they are national, and sometimes they are global. Since the age of the baby boomer, America has been spared widespread disaster for the most part, and this has bred in us a deep-rooted normalcy bias. We wander about in ignorance, thinking that tomorrow will always be just as comfortable as today and that because we have never witnessed real pain and suffering, we likely never will. To me, this attitude is far more unbalanced and insane than the forward-thinking mindset of the average prepper.

Hilariously, survivalists are called “crazy” simply because they refuse to operate on foolish assumptions like the rest of society. We know from modern historical example — from the Great Depression to Weimar Germany to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Bosnia, Argentina, Greece, etc. — that the prepared and independent live, while the rest often die. We refuse to assume, especially in light of recent events, that such calamity will not occur in the United States.

Survivalism Is Stigmatized By Unpleasant Associations

It’s true, propaganda organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center have gone out of their way to attack and marginalize survival culture. They seek to draw false associations between us and racist, extremist domestic terrorist, blah, blah, blah. In the end, none of this matters. The SPLC is an irrelevant entity clamoring desperately for relevance, and America’s survival communities continue to grow despite their subversive activities. The truth, once recognized, has a way of steamrolling over groups of liars.

Individual preppers and potential preppers need to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and do what they need to do to ensure the longevity of themselves and their families. Labels are only as powerful as the credence we give them.

My Family Is Not On Board

I hear this one all the time; and, really, it doesn’t matter. If you can’t take preparatory actions without constant approval from your family, then perhaps you need to examine your family dynamic rather than throwing away your survival plans. Doing the right thing is not reliant on the affirmations of a spouse or relative. Doing the right thing means taking action regardless of the obstacle, even if that obstacle is family.

It might not seem like it now, but survivalism is worth all those late-night quarrels, angry stares and sarcastic rolling eyes. If they can’t accept that preparedness is a part of your life, then that is ultimately their problem, not yours. You can continue in the knowledge that, one day, they will thank you for ignoring their ankle-biting and self-absorption.

I’m Always Too Busy

No one is too busy for preparedness. Much of what the average American does each day is designed to distract and entertain him, rather than enrich him in a useful way. The sad reality of the American lifestyle is that it revolves around the desire to avoid being alone with our own thoughts. In fact, the consumer ideology thrives on people’s need to fill the vacuum with incessant entertainment and diversion. Much of what we call being “busy” is actually a self-created matrix of illusory and shallow amusement designed to help us forget the more important and vexing matters of the world.

Turn off the TV, skip a few parties, rethink the career you hate, take your eyes off your damn iPhone for a day and consider what is really important. Stop worrying about what is comfortable and accept that very soon all the conveniences you now find yourself attached to may disappear anyway. Wean yourself off the teat of the establishment now or be forced to go cold turkey later. These are your options. Get used to it.

I Can’t Afford To Prepare

In some cases, I find this to be true. We are, after all, in the midst of an economic collapse, and many Americans are indeed falling into poverty. However, in at least half of the instances where I hear this excuse, it turns out not to be true.

Every survivalist starts out with nothing. He first builds a foundation, usually with a storage made up of essential bulk foods, and then expands. Food is the greatest Achilles’ heel of our culture. With the freight system our country has in place, grocery stores keep little to no real inventory and only a normal week’s worth of supplies on the shelf at any given time. During a crisis, this food disappears within hours, not days. Any imbalance in our freight system (like an explosion in gas prices) would result in a complete loss of national supply. A mere six weeks of disruption (as things stand today) would likely wipe out about 80 percent to 90 percent of the U.S. population through starvation.

Today, a single paycheck ($600 to $1,200) could be used to purchase enough dry bulk foods to last a family of four close to a year. Though variety may be lost, at least starvation is averted. Yet, many people, including those in the liberty movement, do not have even a year’s supply of basic staples, despite their low cost. If every family in the United States used one paycheck to purchase a food foundation, the effects of an economic collapse would be vastly minimized.

I Like The Convenience Of The City, Even Though It Will Be Dangerous During Collapse

The city is a distraction addict’s paradise. There is always something to mesmerize the senses at any given hour. On top of this, many cities are slathered with Federal funds, which the cities use to pour into beautification projects that give residents the illusion of economic improvement and progress. On a recent speaking tour in the Los Angeles area, I was reminded of the conundrum of the city environment. Millions of people on welfare and food stamps, exponential homelessness, massive potential for violence and destruction: yet they are surrounded by sharp, sleek, new shopping centers and refurbished business districts. The reality of many cities is that they are financially imploding, but on the surface everything glows like gold. This gives the average person and even some preppers a false sense of security.

If they refuse to move away from their beloved metropolis, preppers should at least have a retreat location relatively far from the area — at minimum, a day’s drive away and several days’ walking distance. If you do not have this, you are not prepared. The bottom line is: more people, more problems. Anyone who claims otherwise has never studied the collapse histories of other modernized nations.

What’s The Point Of Preparing? You’re All Going To Die Anyway

This is the nihilist argument, and it’s my favorite. Nihilists are weak-minded and weak-spirited people who realize, at least subconsciously, that they are incapable of struggle and survival. Deep down, they feel shame and self-loathing. But they would never admit to this openly. Instead, they project their weaknesses on the rest of humanity. In their mind, if they can’t survive, nobody can survive. By assuming that their weakness is everybody’s weakness, they protect their own fragile ego and avoid admitting that they are the only ones that have no chance of weathering a disaster.

Stop Living In Fear: Humanity Is Adaptable, Technology Will Save Us

This is probably the most idiotically pretentious philosophy being peddled around the liberty movement today, and it stems from what I call “delusional optimism.” You see, looking into the abyss and accepting the fact that you are about to be pushed over the edge is a difficult thing to do. Some people respond to the terror through fantasy. They imagine that the worst could not possibly happen, that there will be no consequences, that the pain of hitting the bottom will not be so bad, that in mid-drop someone will come along and teach them to fly. They search and search for that silver bullet solution that will save them from the wretched horror of full-blown social destruction.

This delusion manifests itself in many ways, but lately I have seen it coalesce in a movement toward technology worship.

Hell, I’m a fan of new technologies, too. And I certainly believe that many of them are suppressed by the establishment to keep the masses physically and psychologically dependent. That said, I am not foolhardy enough to believe that the mere presence of these technologies will save us from fiscal collapse and totalitarianism. Given time (lots of time), new technologies could help the masses break away from the mainstream system. This is time, I’m sorry to say, that we do not have. As I have discussed in recent articles on our economic situation, any tremor in the global system will be enough to send the entire edifice crashing down.

Hoping for a slow steady grind until we are able to adopt fantastic new tech is pushing the envelope of logic.

We already have the technological capability for the average person to live comfortably off the grid with electricity and other amenities we have grown fond of; yet the establishment elites are still in power, and they are still engineering numerous misfortunes. Until they are removed from power, no amount of invention is going to change a thing.

Finally, survivalists do not do what they do out of fear. We do what we do out of love. We love freedom. We love the principles of liberty that founded this country. We love our children and seek to secure their futures. We are not afraid of collapse, because we are ready for collapse. We do not need to con ourselves with false optimism and false hope, because we have already strengthened our souls with reason and courage. True survivalists are exactly what every American should be already; honorable individuals steeped in the confidence of their own ability to handle any adversity, no matter how monstrous it may be.

–Brandon Smith