The Lies That Gun Grabbers Tell

When a group or organization seeks to establish any social policy, it helps tremendously if that group remains honest in their endeavor. If its members are forced to lie, tell half-truths or use manipulative tactics in order to fool the masses into accepting its initiative, then the initiative at its very core is not worth consideration. Propaganda is not simply political rhetoric or editorial fervor; it is the art of deceiving people into adopting the ideology you want them to espouse. It is not about convincing people of the truth; it is about convincing people that fallacy is truth.

Nothing embodies this disturbing reality of cultural dialogue more than the ill-conceived movement toward gun control in America.

It isn’t that gun control proponents are impossible to talk to in a rational manner; most gun control activists have an almost fanatical cult-like inability to listen to reason. It isn’t that they are so desperate to paint themselves as “intellectually superior” to 2nd Amendment advocates; intellectual idiocy is a plague upon many ideological groups. What really strikes me as astonishing is the vast and embarrassing lengths to which gun grabbers in particular will go to in order to deny facts and obfuscate history.

I have seen jaw-dropping acts of journalistic debauchery and blatant disregard for reality since the gun debate exploded in the wake of Sandy Hook. I have seen past precedents rewritten in order to falsely diminish gun rights arguments. I have seen dishonest and volatile tactics used to misdirect discussion and attack the character, rather than the position, of those who defend the 2nd Amendment. I have seen gun grabbers use unbelievable acts of deception that border on clinically sociopathic in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

A perfect example has been the assertion by gun control proponents that despotic regimes do not disarm their populations before committing genocide. This primarily stems from the rationalization that the Third Reich did not exactly introduce gun control measures, rather it used measures that were already in existence. Gun grabbers are willing to cherry pick historical references in defense of Adolf Hitler in order to get their way. Sadly, they seem to forget that Hitler’s gun control policies of 1938 disarmed the Jewish people as his “Final Solution” was being implemented. Apparently, gun grabbers do not count the Jews as German citizens victimized by disarmament.

The Nazis did deregulate some firearms as gun grabbers argue, but what they don’t mention is that this deregulation was designed to benefit only those citizens who proved to be loyal to the Nazi Party. Hitler was happy to arm those who swore fealty to the Reich.

In one of the latest instances of gun grabber duplicity and disinformation, I came across an opinion piece by Henry Blodget, the CEO and editor-in-chief of Business Insider and a regular on Yahoo’s “Daily Ticker,” entitled “Finally A Gun Is Used To Stop A Crime Instead Of Killing Innocent People.”

Blodget is primarily an economic analyst, as I am, and is not exactly an unintelligent louse. He is well aware of the proper methods of research and how to present a debate point with tangible evidence. He should know better than to publish a piece with so many inconsistencies and broken pretenses. However, it presents an important opportunity to examine the cognitive dissonance of media gun grabbers and their attempts to influence the populace.

Blodget is asserting that private firearms ownership is not a practical means of self-defense, that instances of self-defense are rare and that this view diminishes the “need” for 2nd Amendment protections. He goes on to proclaim:

In practice, unfortunately, the guns that good guys own to protect themselves from bad guys too often end up killing the good guys’ kids or wives or the good guys themselves (either via suicide, accident, or, in some cases, because they’re grabbed by the bad guys and used against the good guys). Or, as in the case of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, the guns kill people who the good guys think are bad guys but who aren’t actually bad guys.

Blodget never actually qualifies any of the notions contained in this statement. He never provides any statistics on wives and children of good guys being shot. Also, I was not aware that the Trayvon Martin case had already been decided and that Trayvon was found not to be the aggressor. Does Blodget have a crystal ball? Blodget starts off his anti-gun tirade very badly with several unqualified statements that he never answers for. This is highly common among gun grabbers; they feel so righteous in their cause that they spout baseless conclusions in the presumption that their audience will never question their logic.

Blodget then focuses on a single event as an example of the “rarity” of successful gun defense. This instance involved the death of a teen who held a gun on a reserve police officer who was basketball coach. The coach pulled his own personal weapon and fired in defense. Blodget uses some strategic omissions in his description of the event. For instance, he fails to mention that the coach was 70 years old, and that perhaps owning a gun was indeed his only practical means of protecting himself and his players against two young thugs, one of whom obtained a firearm illegally (as most criminals do. According to the FBI, only 8 percent of guns used in a crime are purchased legally at a gun store).

Blodget also uses the smiling image of one of the attackers at the top of his article, as if we should feel sorry for him. Perhaps I’m just coldhearted, but the death of a violent offender at the hands of his intended victim does not bring a tear to my eye.

Blodget then makes these three points:

First, and most importantly, the gun used for protection in this case would be perfectly legal under the proposed new gun-control laws. The proposed laws ban military-grade assault weapons and massive ammo clips, not handguns. And assuming the coach did not have a criminal record, he would still be a legal gun owner.

The bottom line is that no mainstream politician in the current gun control debate is talking about banning the kind of gun used in this incident.

To which proposed gun law is Blodget referring? Many gun grabbers are suggesting that the New York SAFE Act model be applied nationwide. The SAFE Act makes any weapon that can hold magazines of more than seven rounds illegal. Some lawmakers, like Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), have openly suggested a total ban of all firearms that includes confiscation. So, depending on which laws are passed, the coach may not have survived the attack unless, like the criminal, he obtained a weapon illegally.

Second, the coach was a trained police officer. He knew very well how to carry, handle, and use his handgun. And the fact that he used it effectively under the extreme shock and pressure of being robbed at gunpoint shows how well trained he was.

The coach was a reserve police officer, but this is irrelevant to the incident. Aspiring police officers qualify in the firearms segment of their training using a mere 50 to 60 rounds during scenarios that are taught in even the most rudimentary civilian courses, which often use hundreds of rounds during qualifications. Police officers do not get magical training. In fact, many officers are forced to attend civilian-run training facilities in order to get more time and more complex experience. Civilian combat weapons enthusiasts are often far better prepared for a violent situation than the average law enforcement official.

The reason Blodget fixates on the police status of the victim is because, like most gun grabbers, he is a statist. In his mind, a designated state official is given credence by the government and is, therefore, somehow a superhero with amazing gun-wielding powers that us poor civilian mortals could never hope to master. This naïve sentiment is displayed by many a gun grabber who has never actually owned or fired a gun in his life.

Third, this incident could easily have turned out differently–as many similar incidents do. If the coach had been a bit slower or clumsier in pulling his own gun, the attackers could have shot and killed all three of the victims before they had a chance to defend themselves. (In the wild west, when everyone carried guns, it wasn’t always the bad guys that got shot.)

Yes, and a comet could fall from the sky and roast the Earth. Hypothetically, anything could go wrong at any moment, yet, thousands of Americans defend themselves each year with a firearm without killing innocent bystanders or being too slow or clumsy on the draw. Why should gun owners abandon their rights just because some people cannot control their personal fears?

Finally, how much better are an unarmed victim’s chances of survival? Is Blodget really trying to insinuate being armed does not increase a victim’s ability to defend himself unless he happens to be a cop on a government salary? If faced with a gun- or knife-wielding attacker who threatened him or his family, would Blodget turn down the use of a firearm if available? Would he try to shoot the perpetrator, or would he fall to his knees and beg for mercy?

The only tangible evidence that Blodget uses to buttress his opinion that self-defense is not a viable argument for gun ownership is a single FBI statistic on justifiable homicides. Justifiable homicide is a gray area of law, and the number of instances recorded by the FBI in no way reflects the actual frequency in which guns are used in self-defense.

By using this one statistic, Blodget knowingly disregards the fact that many gun defense situations do not end in the death of the attacker. He also disregards the number of criminals who run at the sight of an armed target, as well as the number of crimes that are prevented completely because the criminal is not certain whether his targets are armed.

Most police departments do not keep accurate records of attempted crimes which were thwarted by armed citizens. The only sources of such statistics are surveys held by various organizations and institutions. Blodget quickly dismisses the widely disseminated survey by criminology professor Gary Kleck, which shows that there are far more instances of guns used to thwart crime than guns used to perpetrate crime. Blodget claims that the study is “old and highly flawed.” The study was held in 1994 (hardly ages ago).

Vehement gun control advocate and criminologist Marvin Wolfgang made this comment on Kleck’s study:

What troubles me is the article by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. The reason I am troubled is that they have provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun in defense against a criminal perpetrator.

He went on to say that a conflicting National Crime Victimization Survey did not contradict the Kleck study:

I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology. They have tried earnestly to meet all objections in advance and have done exceedingly well. … The usual criticisms of survey research, such as that done by Kleck and Gertz, also apply to their research. The problems of small numbers and extrapolating from relatively small samples to the universe are common criticisms of all survey research, including theirs. I did not mention this specifically in my printed comments because I thought that this was obvious; within the specific limitations of their research is what I meant by a lack of criticism methodologically.

Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year. This is a conservative estimate compared to Kleck’s 2.5 million, but it is still a far larger number than the amount of annual homicides by gun. The argument that gun murders outweigh gun defense is a defective one. Blodget knows it, which is why he carefully dances his way around so many viable pieces of evidence. He is not interested in the facts, only promoting his own twisted worldview.

Violent crimes (assault, burglary, rape, etc.) have skyrocketed in countries like the U.K. and Australia where stringent gun control has been enacted, simply because criminals know that because of government controls the odds of running into an armed victim are slim. Gun grabbers like Blodget do not care about this, though. They are not actually interested in saving lives. What they are interested in is imposing their ideologies on the rest of us.

The most enticing motive for them is not their hatred of guns per say, but their hatred of gun culture. Being worshippers of the establishment, they do not like our defiance of socialization, collectivism and the corrupt state in general. They do not like our methodologies of decentralization and independence. They do not like that we have the ability to destroy their skewed arguments with ease. And they do not like that we have the physical capability of denying their pursuit of power. Gun control is not a war on guns; it is a war on traditionally conservative Americans, our heritage, our beliefs and our principles. It is a war the gun grabbers will lose.

–Brandon Smith

Global Elitism: The Character Traits Of Truly Evil People

The first dangerous mistake the average person makes is the assumption that “evil” is a kind of subjective concept. We would love to believe that all destructive and malicious behavior is merely a product of bad environment, bad upbringing or mental psychosis. Deviance in the name of “profit” or “status” is often more acceptable to the public, as long as there is a reason we can easily understand and grasp.

What frightens the average American today is not the abhorrent action of criminality; rather, it is criminality without rationality. What frightens the common citizen is the possibility that some people hurt others not because their mommy and daddy “mistreated” them or because they have a psychological deficiency, but because they fully and consciously enjoy doing what they do.

Our society is desperate to make excuses for the monsters of our era, perhaps because we would rather not entertain the possibility that there is a dark side to humanity that, if allowed, could take control in a deliberate and calculated way.

This is why the greatest crimes of our time often go ignored by the public. The idea, for instance, that international financiers and political elites would purposely create economic disparity, social chaos and global war out of a desire for centralized power and a disturbed sense of superiority is simply too much for many to handle. Surely, these terrible events throughout our modern history are merely the result of random coincidence and human error, right?

Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, most catastrophic cultural policies and tragedies can be traced back directly to a subset of people who use their positions of influence for ill purpose and who knowingly engineer calamity not just for personal gain, but also for the gain of their social class.

In the liberty movement, we often refer to members of this group as “globalists” or “elitists.” They permeate the upper echelons of our Nation, and they do indeed have a culture that is entirely separate and disparate from our own. If one studies their literature, initiatives and motives, he would discover another world, driven by outlandish goals and an even more outlandish brand of religious fervor. Here are some of the character traits and beliefs that make these people easy to identify.

Xenofascism 

Global elitists tend to see themselves as a separate breed of human being, a superior class with superior faculties, born to rule over the rest of us. In their writings they often espouse the teachings of The Republic by Plato and the concept of the philosopher kings. They believe that some men and women are endowed with a genetic predisposition to leadership and that the average person does not have the intelligence to determine his own destiny. They see the rest of humanity as a blank canvas and themselves as the artists. We are to be molded, and our social dichotomies are to be manipulated.

In reality, they are no smarter than the rest of us. Rather, they inherit positions of wealth and influence, and they automatically assume this makes them superior. Their ability to mold society is derived entirely from their extensive capital and their complete lack of morality. If they were not in the top .1 percent of the world’s rich, they would be treated like common criminals for their behavior. But sadly, in our day and age, money often buys undue respect. Imagine a group of John Wayne Gacys or Charles Mansons, except with 80 percent of the world’s wealth at their disposal and the means to purchase good publicity and legal immunity. That is essentially what we are dealing with.

Zero Conscience

Elitists believe that conscience is a hindrance to success, instead of a worthwhile virtue. They knowingly and deliberately abandon their moral compass because they see it as an unnatural restriction, an obstacle that makes getting what they want more difficult.  Conscience, however, never quite disappears in anyone. In order to reconcile their wretched mindset with that distant nagging sensation of guilt, they claim that their actions are “for the greater good of the greater number.” They desperately want to believe that they are serving the future of mankind and that we should appreciate their guiding hand, even though the things they do seem far more hateful than helpful. They would call this “tough love.”

They further attempt to avoid the fact of their own dysfunction by trying to elicit criminality in others. If they can convince the masses that morality is relative and that right and wrong are subject to interpretation, if they can convince us to ignore our own inner voices which are inborn, then their monstrosity could be considered normal — even preferable. In a world of moral relativists, the man with a conscience becomes the criminal, the outcast; and the elites become the heroes they always wanted to believe themselves to be.

Promote Collectivism

Top globalists are not necessarily collectivists themselves. In fact, they often swing far to the other end of the spectrum into an aberrant form of individualism. As discussed above, they even see conscience as a restriction on their personal freedom and rebel against it as if rebelling against enslavement. What they do not grasp is that the inherent nature of conscience is a gift, one which has, so far, kept humanity away from the brink of total self-destruction, at least to this point. It is not a prison. Rather, it is protection from ourselves.

The elitist’s insane ideal of pure individualism without self-discipline is a private matter they rarely discuss. In public, they constantly promote the collectivist lifestyle and admonish individualism in common people. If people can be convinced that they are devoid of inherent qualities and characteristics and that their environment is the totality of their existence, then they will hand over all power to anyone who promises them the best possible surroundings. That is to say, when we have no faith in our own individualism and self-responsibility, we will automatically seek protection, usually from a nanny government or dictatorship.

People often confuse “collectivism” with “community.” This is caused by a lack of understanding as well as a lack of experience. Community is a voluntary gathering of individuals for the purpose of mutual aid. Collectivism is the gathering of people by threat of force or loss, for the purpose of consolidating power into the hands of a few. It is the act of destroying individualism in the name of protecting the group. In America today, we have disappearing sense of community, while the “advantages” of collectivism are being sung to the rooftops by global elites.

The Noble Lie

Elitists are very adamant about the idea of the noble lie, the use of a lie to attain a positive goal. In their view, average citizens lack the capacity to understand the bigger political and social picture; so we must be lied to in order to make us do what is best for ourselves. Of course, their version of what is best for our culture always seems to include first and foremost what is best for them.

The noble lie is a logical fallacy of epic proportions, and I often wonder if global elitists secretly doubt its legitimacy. If you need to lie to people in order to get them to accept your ideas, then there must be something terribly wrong with your ideas. Ideas with vitality and honesty do not need to be “sold” to the public through chicanery; the truth takes on a life of its own. Only destructive philosophies need a foundation of lies in order to take root.

Population Reduction

One of the centerpieces of the globalist religion is the concept of population reduction. They not only see themselves as a separate species with superior genetic makeup and a propensity for rulership, they also see the rest of us as cockroaches and “useless eaters,” a herd that needs to be culled. The funny thing about population reductionists is that they always want other people to die in order to save the planet. They never offer their own life as a sacrifice for the greater good. This is because they assume they are too important (ostensibly because they think they are intelligent), while many of us are expendable.

Of course, overpopulation today is an oversold myth that has been disproven in many scientific circles. Population expansion is also not necessarily a bad thing. Greater population means more minds working on more problems. It drives technological advancement and forces us through the survival imperative to invent more efficient methods of production. There are advantages to growth.

In the end, though, global elites do not care about the Earth. They do not believe in population reduction because they want to reduce pollution or the so-called “carbon footprint,” save the poor animals, or even protect finite resources. They want population reduction because first, they are eugenicists who see some people as genetically inferior to others, and second, because a culled population is easier to dominate. Again, fewer minds working means fewer problems solved and fewer individuals to rock the boat when the state abuses its power.

The Source Of Our Pain

Globalists are not the only source of our social pain. We bear some responsibility. When we are not vigilant, when we deny our own ignorance and refuse to learn, when we lie to ourselves and when we cater to personal superficial desires rather than taking the future into account, we open the door for the devil. Evil, like conscience, resides in us all.

That said, global elites are not just randomly terrible people. They have constructed an entire culture of deviance. They are organized evil, and this is a problem we must deal with soon. Good men are defined not only by their adherence to the inner voice of truth, but also by their willingness to act when the truth is threatened. We must educate others and, when the time comes, put ourselves in harm’s way to remove the globalist ilk before they destroy everything in a raging elitist fervor.

–Brandon Smith

Sheeple: Another Look At A Sad Breed

Some phrases are steeped in immediately recognizable symbolism. When we hear them, we instantly know to whom and to what the phrases refer; we can even gain a greater depth of understanding to a particular situation because of them. They cause us to step outside our environment and look at it in an entirely different way. They might make us laugh. They might make us cry. But we are not indifferent to these affecting words.

The term “sheeple” has quickly become a word that defines an era. It is not just a tool for ridicule, though it does indeed seem to hurt the feelings of the ignorant and unaware (which, to my mind, is a good thing; if they can feel shame about their factual inadequacies, then perhaps one day they can be redeemed). No, there is much more going on here.

When one is surrounded by blatant absurdity and total loss of freedom, compassion and humanity, he needs a way to describe the horror, to shed light on the dark insanity of it, to remove the barriers of confusion and to build a clear path to reason. He needs to quantify the threat so that he can move beyond it and toward understanding.

In our modern age, we are absolutely stricken with an epidemic of willful idiocy that bears no rational excuse. A century ago, such behavior in a culture could have been chocked up to a bottleneck in the flow of concrete information. But today, mankind has a veritable buffet of data at his fingertips at any given moment. Facts and truth can be found with a mere modicum of effort and a remedial passion for learning. We can plead “lack of access” no longer.

Yes, our government and our society have become corrupt to the core. Yes, the traditional sources of information in the mainstream media are utterly useless and dishonest. Yes, our public educational system is completely Federalized, and our schools have been warped into lemming factories where young minds are bled dry of all creative power and individuality. Yes, the system we are born into is designed to make us stupid. However, the establishment has not yet been able to extinguish our ability to walk away. We all have a choice: to be taught by others or to learn for ourselves.

At the end of the day, sheeple are sheeple not because they have to be, but because they want to be.

It is the greatest and most exploitable weakness of man: our willingness to sacrifice anything in order to avoid admitting we know nothing. This is the philosophical slum of the common “sheeple.” It is pathetic and ugly, and it is a rampant plague upon the world.

The time is coming (very soon, I believe) when the subpopulation of sheeple will be used as cannon fodder to institute change in America on an unprecedented scale. It has happened many times throughout history. The establishment, seeking unlimited power, brandishes the dimmer subsections of the populous like a political baseball bat, swinging them about wildly in an attempt to smash the ideological enemies of the state. Often, the sheeple are oblivious to the fact that they are being used as a weapon against liberty and truth. They know only that they must participate to survive, even if that survival ends up being a hollow and meaningless life.

Now more than ever it is important for the liberty movement to understand and identify who these people are and what makes them tick. Time grows short, and it is easy for us to become mired in the haze of a glassy-eyed herd. Sheeple can be saved from themselves, but only if they can be made to recognize these particular behaviors as part and parcel of their own folly.

Institutionalized Laziness

Some sheeple are not ignorant because they are unintelligent. Rather, they are ignorant because they refuse to expend any energy in discovering the facts of their world. They have become used to the idea of being taught, rather than going out to learn for themselves. It is easier to be told what to think than it is to develop one’s own worldview. Sheeple often state that they “just want to be left alone” and “don’t want to think about the troubles of the world,” yet nearly all of them at the same time want to feel as though they have an effect on the future. They want the benefits of a sound and balanced society, but they don’t want to put in the work to make such a society possible. They want “other people” to make the system work, and “other people” are certainly willing to take advantage of sheeple inaction.

Arrogance Without Merit 

I have met many people in my life who are not fully aware of how their world works or why terrible things happen to them. This by itself is not necessarily bad. If one is able to accept that he needs to learn more, then he has far surpassed most of society in the strength of his character. Unfortunately, sheeple do not share this attitude. They not only lack remedial knowledge on most issues, but they are also unwilling to admit it. They even viciously attack those who do have substantial information.

Is this due to an inferiority complex? Possibly. They are so invested in the mainstream worldview as presented by media entities and government that they take it as gospel. They live the mainstream ideal; but, secretly, they harbor doubts. They know that they do not have the capacity to defend the system if confronted by an intelligent and well-versed opponent, so they develop a demeanor of arrogance and contempt for those who question it. This uppity manner is a defense mechanism meant to hide the weakness of their arguments. Combined with ad hominem attacks and physical threats, sheeple try to ward off critics so they do not have to engage in a legitimate debate they know they will lose.

Always Worried What The ‘Majority’ Thinks 

Sheeple are steeped in the realm of the mainstream, so much so that they have become nothing but a cog in the machine of the collective mind. Their entire existence is predicated on blind faith in the system. If the system is proven to be flawed, then they are proven to be flawed by extension. They will ignore all reason and defend the system wildly, as if trapped by some cult, because their fragile identity is dependent upon the continued prosperity of the establishment.

In most cases, sheeple are motivated by nothing but fear. In their early years, they likely either caved to the force of peer pressure and learned to diminish their personal pain by constantly conforming to the majority view or sought inclusion in the majority very early on and became addicted to the power that the collective is able to wield over others. In either case, they never actually questioned whether or not the “majority” was right in its behavior. Instead, they decided at some point in their life that the majority is always right simply because it is the majority.

Never Questions The Professional Class

Sheeple are easily impressed by anyone with a nice suit, uniform, lab coat or an embossed diploma or title. They see and revere the costume, regardless of the man inside it. For sheeple, titles and positions of arbitrary authority make the opinions of a man more than opinion; his opinions suddenly become law.

While a liberty movement activist looks for the legitimacy within the individual professional, the sheeple place all faith within the institution that professional represents.  His personal character is of no consequence to them, and the idea that he may have no clue what he is talking about does not occur to them.

Obsession With The State

Because the average sheeple hasn’t the slightest inkling of how to be independent or self-sufficient, they attach their survival to the success of the state. They see the word of the state as sacrosanct, and they have no concept of government by the people. They will sing the praises of democratic elections and the will of the public in general participation; but when the state goes against that will and does what it pleases, they will seek to rationalize this criminality.

For them, government might be fallible (or not), but this fallibility does not change the finality of state authority. The government is not to be interfered with and certainly not to be opposed. To stand against the state is to stand against law; and the law, in their minds, is god. Questions of morality are irrelevant. They have become so far detached from their consciences that there is nothing left but a pitch-black void, waiting to be filled with the demands of oligarchy.

When confronted by men who are willing to fight and die to interfere with the abuse of state authority, they respond with shock and revulsion. How could anyone possibly stand against the will of the mainstream and its government champions? How dare they defy the establishment?

Predictable Responses

Sheeple are highly predictable, two-dimensional creatures. When confronted with their own failings, they will follow a pre-programmed list of responses meant to divert and confuse discussion.

They will claim that “everyone thinks they are smarter than everyone else” and that the “truth is relative.” History does not support this twisted view, however. There are always moments in which some people are morally and intellectually correct, while many others are dangerously misguided. Some people make decisions that lead to chaos and destruction while others make decisions that lead to prosperity and creation. The truth — the cold, hard truth — is not relative. It is unyielding, uncompromising and final. To be successful as human beings requires us to be on the right side of truth more often than we are not. To assume that the truth is malleable to our particular desires of the moment is to always be on the wrong side.

Sheeple rely primarily on character assassination and belligerent disregard for logic in order to derail debate. They do not attack your position so much as they attack you personally. They scoff, giggle and taunt like children; but when it’s all over, they usually say very little of any substance.

Finally, they will use the weapon of majority opinion as a get-out-of-jail-free card; and, in most cases, this is not a ploy. They really do believe that if the larger percentage of the public accepts a conviction, then that conviction automatically becomes fact. Their goal, therefore, is to constantly ride the wave of majority opinion so that they will always be in a position of righteousness. Of course, this way of thinking has in the past led to some of the worst atrocities in history. The collective mind has no concern for individual freedom, including the freedom to live in peace. Violence in the name of conformity is very common in such cultures.

Sheeple are puppets in the game of political reconstruction, and it’s their job to cheerlead the establishment and to drown out all honest voices. They are generally remorseless as long as they never have to face tangible consequences for their blind support of the system. They seek to strengthen the bars of the prison because the outside world of free thought and expression intimidates and paralyzes them. In an environment where survival is dependent on individual merit and principle, sheeple hold no currency, no capital. This might explain their overt hatred of individualists. When we in the liberty movement seek to unchain and decentralize the world, we indirectly cut the umbilical cord to them. They see our fight for freedom as a threat to their very lives. Sadly, their comfort is derived entirely from our enslavement.

–Brandon Smith

A Message To The ‘Left’ From A ‘Right-Wing Extremist’

Some discoveries are exciting, joyful and exhilarating, while others can be quite painful. Stumbling upon the fact that you do not necessarily have a competent grasp of reality — that you have, in fact, been duped for most of your life — is not a pleasant experience. While it may be a living nightmare to realize that part of one’s life perhaps was wasted on the false ideas of others, enlightenment often requires that the worldview we were indoctrinated with be completely destroyed before we can finally resurrect a tangible identity and belief system. To have rebirth, something must first die.

In 2004, I found myself at such a crossroads. At that time, I was a dedicated Democrat, and I thought I had it all figured out. The Republican Party was to me a perfect sort of monster. It had everything: corporate puppet masters, warmongering zealots, fake Christians, Orwellian social policies. The George W. Bush years were a special kind of horror. It was cinematic. Shakespearian. If I were to tell a story of absolute villainy, I would merely describe the mass insanity and bloodlust days of doom and dread wrought by the neocon ilk in the early years of the new millennium.

But, of course, I was partly naïve.

The campaign rhetoric of John Kerry was eye-opening. I waited day after day and month after month for my party’s candidate to take a hard stance on the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I waited for a battle cry against the Patriot Act and the unConstitutional intrusions of the executive branch into the lives of innocent citizens. I waited for a clear vision, a spark of wisdom and common sense. I waited throughout the campaign for Kerry to embrace the feelings of his supporters and say with absolute resolve that the broken Nation we lived in would be returned to its original foundations and that civil liberty, freedom and peace would be our standard once again. Unfortunately, the words never came, and I realized he had no opposition to the Bush plan. He was not going to fight against the wars, the revolving door or the trampling of our freedoms. Indeed, it seemed as though he had no intention of winning at all.

I came to see a dark side to the Democratic Party that had always been there but which I had refused to acknowledge. Its leadership was no different than the neocons I despised. And many supporters of the Democratic establishment had no values or principles. Their only desire was to win, at any cost.

There was no doubt in my mind that if the Democrats reoccupied the White House or any other political power structure one day, they would immediately adopt the same exact policies and attitudes of the neoconservatives and become just as power-mad, if not more so. In 2008, my theory was proven unequivocally correct.

It really is amazing. I have seen the so-called “anti-war” party become the most accommodating cheerleader of laser-guided death in the Mideast, with predator drones operating in the sovereign skies of multiple nations raining missiles upon far more civilians than “enemy combatants” — all at the behest of Barack Obama. I have seen the “party of civil liberties” expand on every Constitution-crushing policy of the Bush Administration, while levying some of the most draconian legislation ever witnessed in the history of this country. I have seen Obama endorse enemy combatant status for American citizens and the end of due process under the law through the National Defense Authorization Act. I have seen him endorse the end of trial by jury. I have seen him endorse secret assassination lists and the Federally drafted murder of U.S. civilians. I have seen him endorse executive orders that open the path to the declaration of a “national emergency” at any time for any reason, allowing for the dissolution of most Constitutional rights and the unleashing of martial law.

If I were still a Democrat today, I would be sickly ashamed.

However, it is not my intent to admonish Democrats (at least not most of them). I used to be just like them. I used to believe in the game. I believed that the rules mattered and that it was possible to change things by those rules with patience and effort. I believed in non-violent resistance, protest, civil dissent, educational activism, etc. I thought that the courts were an avenue for political justice. I believed that the only element required to end corruption would be a sound argument and solid logic backed by an emotional appeal to reason. I believed in the power of elections, and I had faith in the idea that all we needed was the “right candidate” to lead us to the promised land.

The problem is, the way the world works and the way we wish the world worked are not always congruent. Attempting to renovate a criminal system while acting within the rigged confines of that system is futile, not to mention delusional. Corrupt oligarchies adhere to the standards of civility only as long as they feel the need to maintain the illusion of the moral high ground. Sometimes, the only solutions left in the face of tyranny are not peaceful. Logic, reason and justice are not revered in a legal system that serves the will of the power elite instead of the common man. The most beautiful of arguments are but meaningless flitters of hot air in the ears of sociopaths. Sometimes, the bully just needs to be punched in the teeth.

This philosophy of independent action is consistently demonized, regardless of how practical it really is when faced with the facts. The usual responses to the concept of full defiance are accusations of extremism and malicious intent. Believe me, when I embarked on the path toward the truth in 2004, I never thought I would one day be called a potential “homegrown terrorist,” but that is essentially where we are in America in 2013. To step outside the mainstream and question the validity of the game is akin to terrorism in the eyes of the state and the sad people who feed the machine.

During the rise of any despotic governmental structure, there is always a section of the population that is given special treatment and made to feel as though they are “on the winning team.” For now, it would appear that the “left” side of the political spectrum has been chosen by the establishment as the favored sons and daughters of the restructured centralized United States. However, before those of you on the left get too comfortable in your new position as the hand of globalization, I would like to appeal to you for a moment of unbiased consideration. I know from personal experience that there are Democrats out there who are actually far more like us Constitutionalists and “right-wing extremists” than they may realize. I ask that you take the following points into account, regardless of what the system decides to label us.

We Are Being Divided By False Party Paradigms

Many Democrats and Republicans are not stupid and want, above all else, to see the tenets of freedom respected and protected. Unfortunately, they also tend to believe that only their particular political party is the true defender of liberty. The bottom line is that there is very little, if any, discernable difference between the leadership of the two parties. If you ignore all the rhetoric and only look at action, Republican and Democratic leaders are essentially the same animal working for the same special interests. There is no left and right, only those who wish to be free and those who wish to control.

Last year, the left and the “right” experienced an incredible moment of unity after the introduction of the NDAA. People on both sides were able to see the terrifying implications of a law that allows the government to treat any American civilian as an enemy of war without right to trial. In 2013, the establishment is attempting to divide us once again with the issue of gun disarmament. I have already presented my position on gun rights in numerous other articles, and I believe my stance is unshakeable. But what I will ask anti-gun proponents or on the fence Democrats is this: How do you think legislation like the NDAA will be enforced in the future? Is it not far easier to threaten Americans with rendition, torture and assassination when they are completely unarmed? If you oppose the NDAA, you should also oppose any measure that gives teeth to the NDAA, including the debasement of the 2nd Amendment.

Democrats Are Looking For Help In The Wrong Place

Strangely, Democrats very often search for redress within the very system they know is criminal. For some reason, they think that if they bash their heads into the wall long enough, a door will suddenly appear. I’m here to tell you: There is no door.

The biggest difference between progressives and conservatives is that progressives consistently look to government to solve all the troubles of the world, when government is usually the cause of all the troubles in the world. The most common Democratic argument is that in America the government “is what we make it” and we can change it anytime we like through the election process. Maybe this was true at one time, but not anymore. Just look at Obama. I would ask all those on the left to take an honest look at the policies of Obama compared to the policies of most neocons, especially when it comes to Constitutional liberties. Where is the conflict? And before you point at the gun control debate, I suggest you look at Obama compared to Mitt Romney and John McCain; there’s almost no difference whatsoever.

If the two-party system becomes a one-party system, then elections are meaningless and government will not help us.

Democrats Value Social Units When They Should Value Individuals Instead

Democrats tend to see everything in terms of groups: victim status groups, religious groups, racial groups, special interest groups, etc. They want to focus on the health of the whole world as if it is a single entity. It is not. Without individuals, there is no such thing as “groups.” And groups change and disperse without notice. Groups do not exist beyond shared values. Even within a group, the individual is still more important in the grand scheme of things.

As a former Democrat, I know that it is easy to fall into the trap of collectivism. It is easy to think that what is best for you must be best for everybody. This Utopian idealism is incredibly fallible. Wanting the best for everyone is a noble sentiment, but using government as a weapon to force your particular vision of the “greater good” on others leads to nothing but disaster. The only safe and reasonable course is to allow individuals to choose for themselves how they will function in society if they choose to participate at all. Government must be left out of the equation as much as possible, and its primary job should be to safeguard the individual’s right to choose how he will live. You have to get over the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect social order; even if there were, no government is going to make it happen for you.

Democrats Can Become As Power-Mad As Any Neocon

I think it is important to point out how quickly most Democratic values went out the door as soon as Obama was placed in the White House. You cannot claim to be anti-war, anti-torture, anti-assassination, anti-surveillance, anti-corporate, anti-bank, anti-rendition, etc. while defending the policies of Obama. This is hypocrisy.

I have heard some insane arguments from left-leaning proponents lately. Some admit that Obama does indeed murder and torture, but “at least he is pushing for universal healthcare.” Even if it did work (which it won’t), is Obamacare really worth having a President who is willing to murder children on the other side of the world and kill citizens here at home? Do not forget your moral compass just because you think the system is now your personal playground. If you do, you are no better than all the angry blood-crazed Republicans that bumbled into the Iraq War while blindly following Bush.

There Is A Difference Between Traditional Conservatives And Neocons

Neocons are not conservative. They are, in fact, socialist in their methods; and they always expand government spending and power while reducing Constitutional protections. The liberty movement, of which I am proudly a part, is traditional conservative. We believe that government, especially as corrupt as it is today, cannot be trusted to administrate and watch over every individual in our Nation. It has proven time after time that it caters only to criminally inclined circles of elites. Therefore, we seek to reduce the size and influence of government so that we can minimize the damage that it is doing. For this, we are called “extremists.”

Governments are not omnipotent. They are not above criticism or even punishment. They are merely a collection of individuals who act either with honor or dishonor. In the liberty movement, we treat a corrupt government just as we would treat a corrupt individual. We do not worship the image of the state, nor should any Democrat.

Liberty-Minded Conservatives Are Not Terrorists

There will come a time — very soon, I believe — when people like me are officially labeled “terrorists.” Perhaps it will be because we refuse gun registration or confiscation. Perhaps it will be because we develop alternative trade markets outside the system. Maybe it will be because some of us are targeted by Federal raids and we fight back instead of submitting. Maybe it will be because we speak out against the establishment during a time of declared crisis and speech critical of the government is labeled “harmful to the public good.” One way or another, whether you want to believe me now, the day is coming.

Before this occurs, and the mainstream media attack us viciously as conspiracy theorists and monsters, I want the left to understand that no matter what you may hear about us, our only purpose is to ensure that our natural rights are not violated, our country is not decimated and our republic is governed with full transparency. We are not the dumb, redneck, racist, hillbilly gun nuts you see in every primetime TV show. And anyone who acts out of personal bias and disdain for their fellow man is not someone we seek to associate with.

Many of the people I have dealt with in the liberty movement are the most intelligent, well-informed, principled and dedicated men and women I have ever met. They want what most of us want: to be free to determine their own destinies; to be free to speak their minds without threat of state retribution; to be free to defend themselves from any enemy that would seek to oppress them; to live within an economic environment that is not rigged in favor of elitist minorities and on the verge of engineered collapse; to live in a system that respects justice and legitimate law instead of using the law as a sword against the public; to wake up each day with solace in the knowledge that while life in many regards will always be a difficult thing, we still have the means to make it better for ourselves and for the next generation; to wake up knowing that those inner elements of the human heart which make us most unique and most endearing are no longer considered “aberrant” and are no longer under threat.

–Brandon Smith

How To Win The War For Your Mind

All battles, all wars, all fistfights and bar brawls, all conflicts in every place and in every time (except those conflicts in which both sides answer to the same puppeteer) begin and end as battles of the mind. No struggle is determined on strength of arms alone.

In fact, the technologically advanced adversary with all his fancy firepower is often more vulnerable than his low-tech counterparts. This fact is, of course, counterintuitive to our Western manner of thinking, which teaches us to believe that the man with the bigger gun (or the bigger predator drone) always wins. Sadly, we have had to suffer through multiple defeats and overdrawn occupations in Asia to learn otherwise. One of the great unspoken truths of our era is the reality that the modernization of warfare has changed little the manner in which wars are won. Since the beginning of history, intelligence, force of will and guiding principles are the dominant factors in any campaign.

Therefore, it only stands to reason that the most vital battle any of us will ever face is the psychological battle; for success in the mind will determine success in all other endeavors.

Unfortunately, very few people ever consider the importance of the mind war, let alone know how to defend themselves against psychological attack. As with any method of self-defense, constant training is required.

For the past century, at least in the United States, a subversive and secret cold war has been waged against the people in the form of psychological subjugation. This cold war is designed to weaken our resolve, our heritage, our self-belief, our confidence and our integrity in preparation for a “hot war” against our time-honored Constitutional rights. The power elite know well that the most effective strategy for victory in any battle is to convince your enemy to surrender before the fight even begins. Today, the American populace is being conditioned to lie down and die a mental death, to give up the inner war, so that when the outer war comes, they will already be defeated.

Corrupt governments rely heavily on what they call “psyops,” which are primarily propaganda initiatives meant to demoralize their target (usually the citizenry). In the case of a despotic regime, psyops involves the insinuation of lies, half-truths, threats and brutality that is choreographed to elicit a very specific response. It is used to instigate strong emotional responses en masse that will work in favor of the oligarchy. The following guidelines can shield you from the arrows of deceit, allowing you to maintain control and avoid being unconsciously influenced to labor against your own cause:

Do Not Fear Hypothetical Dangers

Fear is the weapon of choice when it comes to totalitarian proponents. Conquering armies and bureaucracies are notorious for exaggerating their strength and numbers in order to squelch the fighting spirit of those they intend to rule. Genghis Kahn, for instance, used the tactic of exaggerated numbers, along with vicious genocide, to strike terror in regions he had not yet attempted to overtake. Upon his arrival, the Mongol hordes had received such a reputation (some of it fabricated) that many regions surrendered immediately without question.

When becoming an activist against a criminal establishment, it is very common to be the target of fear campaigns. Today, those of us in the liberty movement hear warnings from “random” concerned parties constantly telling us that our efforts are “all for nothing,” that we are “making ourselves targets.” That the globalist system is far too strong and far too advanced to be defeated.

Their hope is to make us afraid of hypothetical situations which can neither be confirmed nor denied. To undo this tactic, you must remain focused on your objective regardless of the possible danger. That is to say, the strength of the enemy, whether real or fantasy, is irrelevant. It is meaningless. Goliath is nothing but an obstacle, and all obstacles can be dealt with. Move forward toward the objective and never stop.

Do Not Be Distracted By Minor Inconveniences And Personal Problems

At the height of communist power in East Germany, the Stasi secret police deployed a tactic which they called “Zersetzung,” which means to “corrode” or “undermine.” The Zersetzung policy involved the use of subtle manipulations of a particular person’s life in order to interfere with his ability to function normally and participate fully in dissenting activities. The Stasi would send agents to a person’s home to rearrange items or fake a break-in. Often, they would attempt to create emotional conflicts between the dissident and his wife, family and friends and to damage business relationships. The purpose is to force the target to divert his attention from his political and social work to more minor inconveniences.

Personal firestorms are destructive only when you give them too much credence and attention. Some people become utterly obsessed with their own private soap operas, and this weakness is often exploited by government elements.

The truth is, our home lives and the tensions in them are secondary when it comes to defending our principles and our culture against enslavement and oblivion. Woman troubles, family arguments and invasions into our private lives are not important. Only the mission is important; and in the liberty movement, our mission is to awaken the public, disrupt the indoctrination of the masses and, if necessary, physically remove the elites from power. Family and friends who get in the way or are manipulated into getting in the way should be ignored.

Do Not Be Seduced By Gifts     

Tyrants love to offer gifts to the populace, especially at the onset of their rise to dominance. It may be the promise of new jobs, better infrastructure, free healthcare, more food, more safety or even free cellphones. The point is to entice citizens with something for nothing, or at least the lie of something for nothing. If a government official (or anyone else for that matter) is pouring gifts into your lap, it is time to become suspicious.

Governments do not “pay” for the gifts you receive. You pay for the gifts you receive either through taxation or inflation. Free goodies should never influence the mind warrior to endear himself to any bureaucratic or corporate entity. Never allow yourself to be bought.

Never Trust The Media Machine; Always Verify Information

There is no such thing as “objective journalism” in the mainstream media anymore. What you see and hear is not the truth but a facsimile of the truth, twisted to benefit the establishment alone. Media outlets today do not investigate events. Instead, they obstruct investigation by promoting only one side of every story and attacking anyone who questions their asserted narrative. The “official version” of any news story is almost always a fabrication that protects the oligarchy from harm.

No one who considers himself an intelligent human being should accept the official narrative at face value. It is important to question always that which we are told and to investigate using independent or original sources. Never allow yourself to be “taught.” Always examine the facts on your own.

Do Not Concern Yourself With Ridicule

Our personal pride is not important. Safeguarding our egos is not important. Trying to please everyone all the time is impossible and also not important. Ridicule is used not only to discredit activists; it is also used to make them question their own resolve. If you cannot be embarrassed or browbeaten, then you cannot be made afraid and you cannot be defeated by mere words.

Accept The Risk Before Confronting The Enemy

I am still amazed by those dissenters and freedom fighters who act as though they are surprised when the potential wrath of the system is directed at them. Did they not understand the risk when entering into the battle? Did they really believe it wouldn’t be all that bad?

In any conflict against a larger and more ruthless opponent, always assume that you will have to go through hell to accomplish anything. Accept that your life will no longer be peaceful or comfortable. Know that you may not survive to see the fruits of your efforts. Realize that you may have to walk through fire and embrace pain. Otherwise, you will remain a pathetic and laughably inadequate fighter in the mind war.

Understand Your Own Weaknesses  

Pretending as if you have no weaknesses is the best way to help your enemy. If you are prideful, your overconfidence will be used against you. If you are spiteful, your jealousy will be exploited to distract you. If you are easily angered, your rage will be used to lure you into destroying yourself. Examine yourself as deeply and as thoroughly as you would the enemy. Though it might sound like a cliché, you actually can become far worse an enemy to your own cause than any army your opponent can muster.

Do Not Buy Into Petty Authority

Perhaps it is in our tribal nature, but many people seem to suffer from an insatiable desire for hierarchy and leadership — even if that leadership is based on falsehoods. The ultimate protection against corruption is to become one’s own leader, rather than waiting around for a miraculously infallible overseer to guide the way for you. Relying on others to choose your path for you opens the door to having your right to choose removed from the picture completely.

Petty authority is authority derived from false pretenses, rather than earned respect and recognition. No man, regardless of title or uniform, is above the truth; and he is certainly not more worthwhile than you. If anyone wants to determine whether you go left or right, he should be put to the most stringent tests imaginable. He should have to prove that he has your best interests at heart.

Acknowledge The Power Of Symbolism And Myth

Oligarchs use theater and pageantry to influence the collective unconscious because the human mind gravitates toward rituals that feed our inherent need for myth and symbol. Psychologist Carl Jung often referred to the inborn symbolic processes of the psyche as “archetypes,” which exist in the art, dreams and spiritualism of every society regardless of time, place, religion or culture. Knowing these universal symbols and how we react to them emotionally allows a person to prevent himself from being conditioned or influenced by them.

Not all fantastic events in history are spontaneous. Some are staged as a means to appeal to a particular side of a nation’s collective psyche. These “false flag” actions very often revolve around a symbol that is culturally valued. The construction or destruction of this symbolic edifice, famous person, social mechanism or loved representation of the future leaves a lasting and deep-rooted impression on thousands, if not millions, of people. They become emotionally invested in the event — frantic, fearful or furious — without having the slightest inkling why. In the end, they can be conned into acting in disastrous ways just to appease the inner imbalance. They can be led to war, to enslavement and to death — all on the promise of preventing a myth from appearing or disappearing.

The secret is to explore our inner life with more vigor than we waste on outer fantasy. By discovering our own internal myth and, thus, our own individuality, we make ourselves impervious to false-flag conditioning. Our emotions remain within our control, our biases become non-existent and our fears become irrelevant. The theater of the mind loses its power; and from that point on, we choose our own destinies.

Facing down an adversary with arms or with fists is an easy thing to grasp. Facing down a lie, or an idea meant to destroy one’s mental capacity for resistance, is incredibly complex. When an opponent attempts to play mind games, though, it is a sure sign that he does not have the capacity to thwart you with physical strength alone. The fact that our government and the power structure behind it has so desperately relied on such strategies for so many years shows that they believe they cannot enact centralized authority over our Nation and undo our freedom imperative on the shoulders of military indifference and ignorance. No gun, no matter how big, will get them what they want. So they continue to play the game.

In order to prevail, we must make ourselves immune to the game. We must walk away, separating ourselves from it completely. We must relinquish all unnecessary fear, doubt and hatred and do what we know needs to be done. If we cannot take lordship of our own psychological world, we are doomed to failure in every other fight that envelops us. Without impervious will, we cannot overcome, and we cannot find peace.

–Brandon Smith

Global Economic Slowdown Signals Sad New Year

The markets, as most people reading this should now well know, no longer reflect in any way the true economic health of our country. If one were to measure the financial “recovery” of this Nation by the strength of global stocks, he would likely come to the conclusion that the collapse of 2008 was mere hiccup in the overall success of the worldwide economic system. However, electronically traded equities with little more to back their value than scraps of receipt paper and numbers on a screen have no bearing on what is going to happen to you and to me over the course of the coming year. The stock market is a sideshow, a movie, a façade. The real drama is going on behind the scenes and revealed in fundamentals that mainstream analysts no longer discuss.

The only advantage of a long, drawn-out disintegration of the overall system is that as the years pass, it becomes possible to discover a pattern through which we can gauge where we really stand today and will stand tomorrow. Unfortunately, the pattern now in motion suggests that the next year will be exactly what we have been predicting over the past several months: dismal.

The mainstream media refuse to discuss it at great length, but all signs show an epic global slowdown in demand and production, especially in the final quarter of 2012. This is exactly as I predicted in January of this year using the Baltic Dry Index as a guide. During that first quarter, the BDI fell to record lows, indicating an extreme decline in shipping demand around the world, which, in turn, indicates a fall in demand for raw goods, which, in turn, indicates a fall in demand for consumer goods. Mainstream pundits sought to distract the public from this fact by claiming that the BDI was collapsing due to an “oversupply of ships,” not rescinding demand. This disinformation was proven incorrect in the beginning of the third quarter of this year, when export nations from China to Japan to Germany all began reporting abysmal manufacturing numbers and steep faltering in overseas purchases.

Of course, we all know what happened next: The markets began to tank, losing 1,000 points within the span of a week. Not so unpredictably (since I also predicted it at the beginning of the year) the Federal Reserve leapt into action with its announcement of a third round of quantitative easing.

QE3 has done little to change the problem of falling global demand, but it has certainly defibrillated stocks. In fact, I think it is safe to say that a majority of QE fiat funds are flowing (directly or indirectly) into the Dow, and not much else. International trade and consumption are starting to feel the pain, and respective countries are no longer able to hide it. Keep in mind that this slowdown is occurring right at the height of the Christmas season, when consumption is usually supposed to reignite.

China’s export growth fell far more than expected in November, something which many Chinese economists are attributing to the complete lack of resurgence in American markets.

Manufacturing in the U.K. went into steep decline almost simultaneously, showing that sinking demand is striking both the East and West .

Germany, the largest economy in the EU and the only country still holding the absurd political entity together, has been shocked to discover that Bundesbank is forecasting a contraction in growth to near zero in 2013.

Japan’s economy suffered an annualized decline in gross domestic product in November greater than that which occurred during the Fukushima disaster.

This contraction has recently caused Japan to install a new, revamped government during elections this month, which unfortunately will be instituting almost identical policies.

Finally, Brazil, a developing export nation with very important significance as a litmus test for world consumption, posted near zero growth in the third quarter of 2012, far below expectations but in line with the bigger picture. The global financial machine is disintegrating, right under our very noses .

In order to understand what is happening, I want you to imagine a diminishing cycle. Imagine that in 2008, America was on the edge of a whirlpool and was suddenly caught in the current. Today, we have circled the epicenter several times, each rotation becoming smaller and more volatile than the last. Eventually, the whirlpool will reach an end, and our economy will be sucked into the funnel. One can see evidence of this decline in the BDI:

Baltic Dry Index D1

Notice how each year since 2008 there is a spike in shipping rates, indicating a rise in demand for materials at the onset of the Christmas season. Yet also notice that this spike in demand grows smaller with each passing year. In 2012, the increase has been almost nonexistent, meaning that we are likely very close to going down the drain.

Some pundits may argue that November’s Black Friday sales were tremendous, and this signals a recovery in spending and consumption. I would point out that such numbers are deceiving. High sales during the most discounted day of the Christmas buying season is not necessarily a good thing. What it shows is that a majority of shoppers were looking for the lowest prices possible because of a lack of funds. Full season numbers have not yet been released; but when they are, I believe we will see a fantastic spike in sales on Black Friday followed by a complete flatline for the rest of the year. Obviously, high consumption has not been sustained; otherwise, manufacturing and shipping would be in much better shape.

The issue here is one of priorities. With multiplying distractions going on around the world, including the fear of mass murders at home, will the public be able to keep track of deadly financial tidal waves just off the coast or will people even care with so many sharks in the water? The next two months will be very revealing. The so-called “fiscal cliff” is on the way, and the question of whether the U.S. government should kick the can down the road or take the sour medicine it needs and move on has arisen once again. This debate is and always has been an illusion. Whether we continue to increase government spending, taxation and inflation or we cut all spending and shut down the fiat presses, there is still going to be a collapse.

This collapse will not be due to the indecision or partisan bickering of our politicians. They are in much closer agreement than the MSM would like to admit. Instead, the monolithic Catch-22 of our age will be the direct result of the actions of the private Federal Reserve and the peripheral international banking cartel. What I fear most is that the results of the fiscal cliff negotiation along with other triggers around the planet will be used to veil the already imploding system and eventually be exploited as scapegoat events for a disaster that has been in the making for decades, not just a few years. The omens are not good for 2013, and we can only circle the drain for so long.

–Brandon Smith

Some Preppers Will Make Surviving The Apocalypse Even Less Fun

Being forced to endure and survive a catastrophic macro event like a monetary or social collapse is perhaps one of the worst experiences I could imagine. Such a crisis leads to just about every crime and inhuman action in existence, and the time required for a culture to right itself and rebuild is severely protracted. A hurricane, earthquake or tidal wave is a short-lived calamity that is easy in comparison. As survivalists who are preparing to make an economic endgame scenario as comfortable to live through as we can, it is incumbent upon us to consider the kind of company we keep during the gambit. Some allies will make that mad world bearable; others will bring the madness to your doorstep.

Many preppers are aware of the dangers inherent in our progressively deteriorating Nation. Unfortunately, some of them are completely unaware of the dangers inherent within themselves. Building a solid community of people to rely on during a collapse is absolutely essential, and the larger the group of liberty-minded neighbors the better. But if certain ground rules are not established from the very beginning, a rainbow of personal issues and character flaws could very well destroy years of effort. Care must be taken by all parties involved to ensure that internal conflicts remain at a minimum and that, when they do arise, each person is wise enough to resolve issues in an adult manner.

I hate to say it, but you will inevitably run into some folks who are beyond compromise and beyond hope. Working with them is like pulling teeth — shark’s teeth — from your jugular. Here are just a handful of powder-keg personalities who will make the apocalypse more than a living hell for you and your friends if they manage to latch onto or take leadership in your survival watch.

The Assumed Leader

The assumed leader is not actually a reliable or practical leader; he just thinks he is. And he loudly reminds everyone that he is whenever he can find occasion. He does not generally do this by screaming, “I am your leader!” Instead, he attempts to micromanage every aspect of the survival group and shows early signs of control issues. The assumed leader will first make forceful suggestions to test the waters, scoffing angrily whenever people do not strictly follow his advice. If he gains traction, his suggestions turn into orders, and he begins to act as though he is somehow in a superior position to the rest of the community.

He seems to have an answer to every question or concern, which would be nice if he actually knew what he was talking about half of the time. Usually, this is not the case. He may have expertise in a certain field, like farming, building, engineering or even defense; that expertise is indeed valuable. However, his mastery of one area of knowledge has inflated his ego to massive proportions and he now pretends as if he is some kind of hyper-educated elitist potentate. When approached with alternative options and methods, he will respond with ridicule as if you have no clue what you are talking about. When his ideas are criticized, he will react with fury and try to remove dissenters from the community entirely.

The best way to avoid these people is to discover them early in your prepping project, and to make certain that no one becomes a de facto dictator. Every person with particular expertise within the community should be deferred to in that particular field, but not given authority over all decisions. The experienced farmer should lead when it comes to farming, but step aside when it comes to defense and vice versa. Keep in mind that the best leaders always ask those around them for aid and advice before coming to any conclusion. The worst leaders assume they already know everything.

The Feudal Lord       

The feudal lord is an assumed leader who has managed to lure other preppers into a commune rather than a community, and there is a considerable difference. He is often a well-off survivalist who has suddenly realized that he is basically defenseless to protect all his money, land and supplies and that he needs an organized group to protect his bounty. He entices other preppers into the fold with ideas that he is building a legitimate and fair community. Since he has land available, many take interest. The problem is that the feudal lord believes that since he owns the land the group is defending, he’s automatically the grand poobah. He sees the other preppers not as equals, but as servants and serfs.

The reality is, the feudal lord’s land and supplies are utterly meaningless without security and without aid. His survival riches can be taken in an instant by a mere handful of looters or even one experienced raider. Without other people, treated as equals in survival and ready to lay down their lives to protect each other and him, he has nothing. He is foolhardy to think otherwise.

This is not to say that all landowners who try to centralize a group on their property are seeking to become mini-kings of a mini-kingdom. If rules and agreements are made early on and everyone understands their role, then such an arrangement could work. But if the landowner purposely avoids set agreements, appoints roles to people without asking them and changes the plan regularly to suit himself, then it’s time to walk away before it’s too late. Eventually, he will use his position as landowner as a means to dominate and will threaten to cast out people who disagree with his methods.

The best way to avoid these characters and the commune situation altogether is to not centralize on a single piece of land, but to organize in a neighborhood fashion wherein everyone maintains sovereign control of what they do and all aid is voluntary.

The Moral Relativist

There is, sadly, a small subsection of survivalists out there who do not plan to live off their own preps; they plan to confiscate the preps of others by force and solve every problem at the barrel of a gun. In their mind, a crisis situation calls for the abandonment of conscience and the application of a “survival of the fittest” mentality. They believe that morals are all well and good when civilized society remains, but a source of weakness during catastrophe. Their philosophy is: Only the strongest of men will be able to set aside principle and “do what needs to be done.” That is to say, they believe you must become the monster to defeat the monster.

In fact, only men who are able to hold onto their principles during the worst moments are strong. Weak men run away from conscience, using the excuse that times are “different and difficult.” They are not survivalists; they are terrorists in every sense.

These people should be avoided like the plague. They will make enemies wherever they go, ask you to do questionable things and push your community into annihilation. Eventually, somebody is going to put them out of their misery, and it’s best to not be around when that happens.

The Obsessive

The obsessive is a person whose drive is initially impressive but also ultimately destructive. His entire life revolves around survival prepping and impending doom. Certainly, it is better to be overly concerned about the economic crisis on the horizon than to be utterly oblivious. A smart man over-prepares. But there is such a thing as overkill, even in the world of survivalism.

No one can ever do enough fast enough in this person’s eyes. He will whine constantly about how he is the only one taking preparations seriously and how everyone else is a lazy bum. He will become frantic on a daily basis, admonishing the group or community on their lack of urgency. In a leadership position, this person is a nightmare, creating constant waves of tension and panic instead of calmly offering solutions or constructive criticism.

The obsessive’s motto is, “Let me tell you how you are wrong and why you are lazy,” instead of, “Tell me how I can help you fix this.”

We all need a break once in a while from the horrors we know are waiting for us. To step back and enjoy what we can of a beautiful day or good people is not the same as being a freeloader or a backslider within your prepper group. Survival is about more than sustaining the body; it is also about sustaining the heart and the mind. Otherwise, what is the point of living?

The Ulterior Motive Drama Queen         

The drama queen is loosely interested in survivalism but wants to join your community for other reasons — and these reasons may cause many members dismay. The opposite of the obsessive, you’ll notice a strange non-involvement on his part or lack of interest as far as participating in survival discussion and decision making. He will often hand over all his survival preparation plans to others while hovering like a gnat around the community searching for that special something.

The drama queen may be looking for friends and social recognition. He may be afraid of collapse and simply trying to lock into any group regardless of whether he fits, becoming disenchanted later. He may enjoy the excitement of feeling like he is involved, and he is living vicariously through the accomplishments of others. He may just be looking for a date. Ultimately, his primary objective is not to build a working community, but to get something out of the community beyond safety.

If he does not get what he wants, he raises hell, using whatever excuse happens to be handy without ever admitting his real motivations. He will deliberately start unnecessary drama, attempt to create divisions, focus on one person as the cause of all his troubles or blame the whole group for the heartache in his life. He will attempt to draw everyone into his personal soap opera in the hopes of becoming the focal point, sharing strange and extremely private issues with anyone who accidentally offers to listen.

Eventually, he will be seen for what he is and will lose the ear of the other preppers, who obviously have better things to worry about, but only after wreaking some havoc in the process.

The Zealot                

The zealot has a perfect picture in his mind of how his survival community is going to look — absolutely perfect. The problem is that all people are imperfect and all have different conceptions of life, and this disturbs and disrupts the zealot’s fantasy. It is one thing to be careful about whom you associate with when assembling a prepper organization, but it is entirely another to hold everyone to insane standards that even you cannot meet.

The zealot generally wants to be in charge so that he can vet and control each member of the group, but this is not always the case. Zealots are also sometimes highly antisocial, showing interest in a group for a short time and then suddenly walking away as if no one is up to par. He may base his zealotry on a misplaced religious fervor or philosophical inflexibility, but he will not be happy until everyone sees the world the way he does or until others meet his grandiose brand of moral flawlessness. For him, it is not enough that the community of preppers around him shares a love for liberty and a disdain for tyranny, the preppers must also be “spiritually pure” in his eyes.

One mistake or disagreement by a member of the group earns him a black mark on the zealot’s list which he never forgets. From then on, that member is the enemy, and the zealot will engineer conflict after conflict until the person gives up and goes away or until he can convince the group that the person is more trouble than he is worth.

The great dilemma for any survivalist is to balance personal freedom and a peaceful home life with the reality he will not last long without relying on a group. Other people bring talent, friendship and safety to our lives, but they also bring baggage. The key is to work with those who know how to manage as much of their own baggage as possible, who are aware of themselves and are willing to police their own quirks and who have not leapt off a cliff into extreme disturbia. No survival community can withstand the savage assault of national collapse otherwise.

–Brandon Smith

Statist Thugs And The Rocks They Crawl Out From Under

A mass exodus from ignorance and organized opposition to tyranny is the dream of every freedom-loving person within the liberty movement today. We would like nothing better than to put an end to the expanding establishment police state in the most peaceful manner possible. We dream of a day when a transition back to the Constitutional values that once made America brilliantly unique in the world is possible, and when it can be accomplished without incredible pain or terrible bloodshed. We long for that once-in-a-century uprising, that great march, that spontaneous eruption of the citizenry demanding a more truthful government. At the same time, though, we realize that such events are rare and that few, if any, great changes in the history of man are made without sacrifice and without direct confrontation.

The reason why peaceful and popular activism almost never occurs successfully, the reason why good people are made to stand and suffer, falls not only to the establishment elites who seek out and abuse power; others share in the blame. Regardless of the age, the culture or the social conditions, there is always a percentage of the general populace that embraces the totalitarian dynamic. There is always someone in our neighborhood, workplace and within our family who finds vindication or advantage in supporting the state, even if the state has turned viciously criminal. They are not only useful idiots; they are conscious participants in the process of pacification and enslavement of their own society. They understand their role perfectly, and they enjoy what they do.

In his examination of the rise of violent fascism in Germany as well as the collectivist surveillance state in communist Russia, psychologist Carl Jung theorized that there is in fact a certain percentage of people in any given epoch that carry within them a latent ability to abandon conscience. That is to say, there is always hidden within a portion of the multitude an inborn potential for sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies. These tendencies remain dormant for many people under most circumstances. But, every once in a while, a society falters to the point where such diseases of the soul are encouraged, and the monsters are allowed to come out and play.

Is it possible that some men are more apt toward truth and freedom while others take more naturally to dominance and deceit? Perhaps. I find that under certain circumstances even the best human beings can make catastrophic errors in judgment. However, there is a difference between those who misstep in life and those who savor destruction. For these people I reserve the label of the “statist thug,” a ghoul in common man’s drag just waiting for the opportunity to scrape out a spoonful of petty authority and assert his will over others. These folks are the day’s damned. And, what’s worse, though they may have been born with a predisposition towards despotism, they still had a choice and they chose villainy. They deserve no special treatment from us.

As America faces down wave after wave of fiscal difficulties, a government gone rogue with false left/right politics and policies that disregard civil liberties for the sake of centralized authority, I believe the statist thugs of our time will soon flow out of the dark recesses and rotten sputtering gutters of our society like a river of septic putrescence. We all know them when we see them, but do we really understand what makes them tick? Here are some common psychological attributes of the overzealous statist, the failings and inadequacies that make him what he is.

Statist Thugs Thrive During Immoral Times

The worst statists are utter screw-ups and failures in normal or semi-normal environments. They barely have the ability to function without constant surrounding chaos and desperation, which they use to camouflage their spastic and childish characters. They are often seen as the dregs of a culture during peaceful years and climb to prominence only when crisis overtakes the nation. When a social environment turns tenuous or explosive, the statist excels. Corrupt governments require the aid of questionable individuals in order to tighten control at the local level, so anyone willing to set aside morality and principle automatically becomes a highly valued commodity. Statists will flock to government employment during national “emergencies” or unjust wars and use the inbred system to their advantage.

Statist Thugs Want Respect, Even If They Don’t Deserve It

Statists demand respect, and they will pursue authoritative positions just so they can remind people of the respect they are supposedly owed. Some of them realize that legitimate respect is earned through valuable works, knowledge, experience and generous creativity. They know it cannot be bought and that it cannot be conned through clever talk, boastful discussion and theatrical chest-beating. So instead of attempting real achievement or taking the risk of falsely playing a part and being exposed, they look for a title and a uniform to fill the void. They eventually attain respect derived by force through institutions within the system. This title will likely be a miniscule part of the overall government conglomerate, but the statist will act as if he is the emperor of Earth once you wander into his narrow jurisdiction. The slightest hint of defiance will send him into fits of rage.

Statist Thugs Understand Only Violence

Keep in mind that not every person in a uniform is a statist; identifying a statist is more a matter of examining behavior than outward appearance. There is no such thing as reason, logic or even law in the realm of the statist thug. You cannot discuss a matter of conflict with him. You cannot point out that the legal structure he claims to represent does not support his views. You cannot calm him using words and solid philosophy. The only thing he understands is power, and the only thing that he regards is strength. When faced with overwhelming reason, the statist will attack rather than think. This attack, unfortunately, will be silenced only by an equal or greater display of force.

Statist Thugs Savor Weakness In Others

Show any signs of fear or weakness, and you have given the statist exactly what he has always wanted. He does not desire an equal fight. In truth, he avoids situations in which his opponents are fairly matched. This is because, deep down, all statists and powermongers are cowards. Anyone who is so desperate to control every aspect of his environment even to the point of hurting and enslaving others is obviously afraid of a great many things. Attempting to be quietly diplomatic or grasping for mercy only encourages them to take their maliciousness to the next level. Statists seek easy prey to satiate their thirst for dominance. They will abuse women, children, the elderly and the disabled, anyone who cannot defend himself. As soon as the goon encounters a person willing and able to fight back, however, his smug façade disappears and the hidden coward emerges.

Statist Thugs Love Law For The Law’s Sake

Statists revel in bureaucracy and red tape. They love laws and regulations regardless of application. They feel safe within a highly structured and contained system because most of them are followers, not leaders. The idea that they may one day have to blaze their own path without the aid of a vast government machine cradling them like lost infants is terrifying to them. Statists are not able to survive without someone telling them what to do and when to do it. On the other side of the coin, they also enjoy the manner in which the modern legal framework can be twisted to fit whatever disturbed logic happens to strike them. The more a society is cluttered with overt legalities, the easier it is to misinterpret and exploit the distraction and confusion they create.

Anyone Can Be A Statist

Many people (myself included) have never found much solace in the establishment and its parade of self-importance. For me, most methodologies of government have always been a sick kind of joke. Elaborate buildings and ceremonies, nice suits and uniforms, the money and the celebrity, the news shows and talking heads: It’s all costume. It’s a parade of drunken clowns and carneys dipped in glamour, glitter and pomp.

The very concept of government is in itself an abstraction. It is an artificial social edifice that seems to give weaker men a sense of security (or false security), even when it is at bottom a threat to them. The assumption is that the establishment (meaning the power elite) must exist at all costs. The statist cannot imagine otherwise. He is at once a fan of the totalitarian game and an avid bouncing, giggling cheerleader. His greatest dream is to be a part of the beast, to share in the “glory” of the empire and live vicariously through its conquests.

A statist thug can be anyone, from the overweight and overzealous Transportation Security Administration agent at the airport to the brutally nosy and vicious old woman next door. Some participate in tyranny directly by wearing the uniform and wielding the baton, while others participate behind closed doors and curtains by informing on their neighbors. Regardless of their demeanor, each statist has one thing in common: an obsession with the continuance of the system to the point of madness. There is absolutely nothing the state can do to make them second guess their love affair — no crime too shocking, no attack too unjust. During the blackest moments of mankind, they are the willing tools of oppression. They make revolution — physical revolution — necessary. With them, oligarchs take root. Without them, oligarchs take shelter or disappear altogether.

–Brandon Smith

Election 2012: How The Winner Will Destroy America

The United States has suffered through hollow and uninspired elections over the past several decades. One might think that at some point long ago the American public would have finally struck a plateau of disenfranchisement, that we could sink no further into despondency and that there is a saturation limit to the corruption of our voting process. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

In all honesty, I have never seen more people gut jumbled and disgusted with our electoral system than I have in 2012. Sure, there is still a hyper-gullible segment of the populace that continues to play the game; but even those idiots are beginning to admit that the choices offered are dismal at best and catastrophic at worst. The fog of the false left/right paradigm is starting to lift. In its wake are lost, wide-eyed, flabbergasted followers without a coattail or a talking point to cling to. Sudanese refugees have a better chance of survival than those people do.

Even in the more obvious of fraudulent past elections there was at least an attempt by the establishment to present a pageant of conflicting ideologies (George W. Bush vs. John Kerry comes to mind). There has always been the Democrat who pretends to be anti-war, the Republican who pretends to be small government, the Democrat who pretends to defend our right to privacy, or the Republican who pretends to be pro-2nd Amendment. But in 2012, even the theater of rhetoric has disappeared. Both major party candidates seem to be sharing the same teleprompter.

So now, the average American is asking a new set of questions. He does not wonder how these men will change things for the better. Not at all. Instead, he wonders which one will do less damage while in office. This is the terrible reality we have come to understand in our society today. It is a sad awakening, but a necessary one.

As you read this, the new President of the United States is being “chosen” or has been chosen. Whoever the “winner” happens to be is ultimately irrelevant. He does not count.

The candidates are mascots — middle-management cronies running through the motions to distract the masses while enacting the policies of their superiors. They are fry cooks serving greasy, overpriced democracy with no real sustenance.

What does matter, though, is what comes next. I’m sorry to say that the idea that one man will do less damage than the other is a naïve sentiment. Whether Democrat Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney wins, the crimes and calamities wrought will be exactly the same.

Take a look into my crystal ball and see the future. Here is how the winner will destroy America:

He Will Continue The Policy Of Dollar Devaluation     

Neither candidate has expressed any interest in protecting the value of our currency, and both candidates have supported steps toward quantitative easing and fiat printing in order to delay an inevitable national debt crisis. Both Romney and Obama have sung the praises of Ben Bernanke and the private Federal Reserve despite the consistent failures of that despotic institution to produce any tangible economic results with its Keynesian methods.

Over the next four years, the dollar will see a vast devaluation and a loss of world reserve status, leading to stagflation (a combination of the worst elements of deflationary and inflationary crises in the same event). Skyrocketing prices and crumbling unemployment will be the highlights of the winner’s Presidency, because he will never take measures to reign in or dismantle the primary root cause of the problem: the Federal Reserve itself.

He Will Continue Extreme Government Debt Spending

Neither candidate has offered a practical or operable solution to the $16 trillion official national debt problem we now face, let alone the tens of trillions of dollars in entitlement obligations that the Treasury Department never talks about. A nation can live off food stamps and credit for only so long before it implodes like a wet paper sack. We have become a nation of debt addicts and money hounds searching for our next fix of foreign or central bank cash.

The fact is: Both Obama and Romney would increase spending while using fiat injections to buttress an ever-weakening economy in the name of “stability.” The new President will claim that if spending cuts are initiated, it will send the U.S. financial system into a tailspin and a “return” to recession conditions. (Of course, that will be a lie. We have not left recession/depression conditions since 2008.)

He Will Support And Expand Wars In The Mideast

There is no such thing as a mainstream anti-war candidate in 2012 — not even a fake one. Obama’s measures of state violence and complete lack of respect for the sovereign internal matters of foreign nations surpass the madness of George W. Bush. Obama has even gone so far as to assert that his office has the right to assassinate American citizens without trial, evidence or due process of the law. Not only has he asserted the right to this power, he has used it. Romney’s position, hilariously, is that Obama has not gone far enough. Either way, the winner is going to leap like a vile locust into new countries and unleash a plague of laser-guided death. The next President will be a war-hungry President.

He Will Lock Down The Web And Limit Internet Speech

Both Romney and Obama have expressed a desire to establish cybersecurity measures that include vast new governmental authority over the functions and operations of the Internet. The ultimate goal? To gain legal precedence for the right to dictate Web content, up to and including the ability to label any website a subversive threat to national security or a recruitment tool for “extremists.”

With the establishment spreading completely baseless accusations of cyberthreats coming from every corner of the globe (but mostly from Iran), it would seem that they are conditioning the public for a future encounter with a cyberevent and telling them whom to blame when it occurs. The problem is that the most prominent cybersecurity threats to the Internet in the past few years have come not from the Mideast, Russia or China, but the United States and Israel. (Remember Stuxnet?) Keep this in mind when our new President blames the next cyberattack on a convenient political target and then uses the event as an excuse to regulate the Web.

He Will Erase American Civil Liberties

The next President will find or create a reason to diminish Constitutional protections, including our right to trial and due process. Both candidates have offered unflinching support for the National Defense Authorization Act and its provisions for indefinite detainment. Neither man has ventured any concerns over the broad nature of the language involved in the labeling of “terrorists” and “extremists.” Literally anyone can now be categorized as an enemy combatant and a threat to national security for almost any reason, and that appears to be the way Obama and Romney like it. That is to say, they both want totalitarian powers; or, at the very least, they have made no effort to turn them down.

It is important to note that there has never been a government in history that sought out such powers and did not actually use them. Only a fool would assume his favorite elitist candidate in 2012 will not use the extreme authorities now amassed for the executive branch over the past decade.

He Will Embrace A Globalist Dynamic And Abandon American Sovereignty

Both Obama and Romney are surrounded by “advisers” who are also members of the Council On Foreign Relations — an institution that, on a regular basis, openly calls for the dissolution of American sovereignty and the creation of a centralized global system dominating the financial, social and political life of every nation in the world. With the economic stability of the United States on the verge of oblivion, it is very likely that a historic crisis will ensue during the next President’s and that he will respond by suggesting a new global system as the solution.

This system has already been created, in part, by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in concert with member governments. It revolves around the issuance of a new world reserve currency (Special Drawing Rights) as the centerpiece. I can guarantee with absolute certainty that the next President will promote an IMF rescue package coupling the dollar to the SDR and turning over full economic control of America to an international body. He will make it sound rational, reasonable and even advantageous; but, in the end, he will be selling the globalist snake oil he was conscripted to sell before his election campaign ever started.

In 2012, it will not be about voting. It will not be about winning. It will not even be about getting to the next election. It will be about survival. As big a joke as the 2012 elections have become even to the generally unaware, I am not laughing. I do not need to look at the promises of either candidate. I do not need to weigh their half-assed quick-fix policies. All I have to do is look at the current downward trend and understand that the President, whoever he is, will continue it.

If anything is to truly change, it will be because we, as Americans, finally walk away from the game, enacting our own solutions and our own opposition instead of handing over our power every four years to sniveling errand boys wrapped in flags, expensive suits and self-righteousness. This election will mark the beginning of upheaval and renewal for better or for worse. It is certain that the next guy in the White House, Republican or Democrat, is going to be a part of the problem — nothing more.

– Brandon Smith

Martial Arts For The Survivalist

Physical strength, endurance, flexibility, adaptability and mental discipline are all attributes of a true survivor. Unfortunately, they are also attributes that are often neglected by the average survivalist.

The popular assumption is that if you have sizable food storage and can shoot straight, you are ready to rock and roll. But the first and most important weapon in any prepper’s arsenal is his own strong, healthy body. If a person is weak and unhealthy, no amount of gear is going to save him in the middle of a crisis situation.

Preppers who have spent all their lives enraptured in the world of firearms sometimes view hand-to-hand combat training with cynicism. The common retort is “Why use my hands when I have my Glock?” Indeed. Why should we? Perhaps because one day we may not have a weapon in our possession during a dangerous circumstance. Should a survivalist simply give up because he loses his gun or runs out of ammunition? I think not.

Survival in the midst of collapse and calamity does not necessarily depend on having all the right tools at all the right times. Sometimes, you have to improvise; and the only tools you can always count on are your hands and your brain. Martial arts training hones and refines these assets to perfection and teaches the mind to deal with the stresses and fears associated with combat. In fact, 95 percent of success in martial arts revolves around learning to accept the idea of someone trying to kill you so that you can move past the terror of the scenario and deal with it calmly and logically. Adrenaline, tunnel vision and unchecked emotion are the true enemies in any fight. We defeat ourselves long before our assailants ever touch us.

Another concept within martial arts that I find fascinating is the philosophy of Bushido, which is often mistaken as a brand of Eastern religion. Instead, it is a kind of warrior’s code, a way of dealing with adversity in one’s life. Struggling with obstacles — whether self-created or created by others — requires balance and the ability to take control of the problem and apply one’s own terms instead of the terms other people try to set for you. It is about leading the battle, instead of being led, while staying true to your conscience. In the end, we should feel no need to prove anything to anyone but ourselves. Traditional martial arts still contain elements of Bushido within their methodology, and I believe such practitioners are some of the few people left in the world who operate on a legitimate warrior’s code — something we desperately need in our culture today.

I have studied multiple forms of martial arts for more than 26 years, and I have found many methods that would work well for the worst survival situations and plenty that would be utterly useless. When I started my training classes for liberty movement individuals and families in Northwest Montana, my idea was to combine all the strategies that I felt were intuitive, easy to learn and quick to use. My goal was to help students to become physically capable of self-defense within a very short period of time, without running slapdash over important factors like mental strength and intelligent application. The program has done very well so far, and I would like to share some of the styles and strategies I now use in my classes with the rest of the liberty movement.

Shotokan Karate: Shotokan is a Japanese martial art using movements derived from defense methods common in Okinawa and streamlined for easier application. At first glance, Shotokan seems stiff and impractical, but that is not the case. Shotokan training is extremely intense, and the sparring matches can be brutal. Deep stances and sharp strikes train the body to hold ground even against a larger opponent. Shotokan practitioners can take physical damage unlike any other style I have seen beyond perhaps Thai Kickboxing. As the student advances, the stiffness disappears, and their strikes become coldly logical and precise. Shotokan is a perfect foundation art for beginners in self-defense. If they can handle this style, they can handle anything.

Thai Kickboxing: Thai is world-famous for its fast, devastating steamroller-type strikes and the ability of its practitioners to take a hit and keep on going. For a crisis situation, it is imperative that the survivalist be capable of absorbing and moving past the pain of a fight. In a SHTF scenario, it will always be a matter of life and death. There is no such thing as a hand-to-hand fighter who can avoid every attack and come out unscathed. Plan on getting hit. With the heavy arm-to-leg blocks of Thai Kickboxing that act as a kind of self-made brick wall, along with devastating leg sweeps and knee breaks, this art form is perfect for the dangerous possibilities of collapse.

Western Boxing: It’s not an Eastern martial art, but Western boxing teaches incredible punching power. Eastern martial arts focus on speed in order to inflict damage, but Western boxers hit harder because they assert more body weight behind their punches. Of course, it is more important to learn speed and timing before learning to hit hard. The most powerful punches in the world are useless if all they do is sweep the air. Western boxing is an incomplete fighting style, but a fantastic addition to the survival martial artist’s repertoire.

Jiu Jitsu: Jiu Jitsu is a grappling martial art from Japan, though you wouldn’t know it by the way the Brazilians have commercialized and franchised it. Jiu Jitsu is indeed the flavor of the decade for self-defense; and, though I feel it has been way overhyped, it is an incredibly effective style for ground situations. That said, let’s be clear: Jiu Jitsu is actually a very limited fighting style, especially when you’re not in a cage and you are confronted with more than one attacker. Survivalists should learn grappling techniques so that they know how to defend against takedowns and return to their feet. In a real combat situation, you never try to go to the ground on purpose. Multiple opponents will decimate you within seconds while you are trying to put a choke hold on the guy in front of you.  Add a knife into the picture, and purposely jumping into close quarters with the intent to “grapple” will be a death sentence. Successful fighters will always combine Jiu Jitsu with other art forms in order to round out their abilities.

Hapkido: Hapkido in my view is the perfect antithesis to Jiu Jitsu and any other grappling art. It should be at the top of every survivalist’s list of fighting methods. Hapkido focuses on joint locks, joint breaks, using centrifugal force, pressure points, eye gouges, throat attacks, etc. Generally, it is very difficult for someone to grapple with you if you break his fingers or wrists, hyperextend his kneecaps, or crush his windpipe. One twisted wrist could put a dedicated grappler or wrestler completely out of commission. Knowing how to counter grappling using grappling is fine, but knowing how to utterly disable a grappler is better. As a survivalist, it is important to learn both.

Taekwondo: A Korean style, Taekwondo has received a bad rap over the past few years as an “ineffective” martial art, but usually this comes from people who have never actually practiced it. Like Jiu Jitsu, it is a style limited to a very particular range of attacks and scenarios. Taekwondo focuses on kicks to the extreme. Sport Taekwondo is not a practical measure of the style’s use, and this is where its tainted reputation comes from. In truth, Taekwondo has the fastest and, in many cases, the most devastating kicks in the world. The use of kicks depends on the mastery of the fighter. If he is fast and precise, then his strikes will make his opponents feel like they’ve just been hit by an oversized utility van. If he is slow and unfocused, he will be tackled to the ground like a rag doll and pummeled in an embarrassing manner. That said, one well-placed kick can crush ribs, crack skulls and knock an opponent into dreamland before he ever knew what hit him.

Jeet Kune Do: Created by the venerable Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do’s philosophy is to adopt what works and set the rest aside. It is essentially a combination of the short-range tactics of Wing Chun combined with the long-range tactics of Japanese and Korean styles. Jeet Kune Do’s goal is to be a truly complete martial art; so far, it has proven itself in this regard. If you can practice only one style of self-defense, this should be it.

Ninjitsu: The brilliance of ninjitsu really dwells in its “think outside the box” mentality. There is a sort of cleverness and unpredictability to it that makes it so dangerous. Ninjas in feudal Japan were assassins, but they were also the guerilla fighters of their age. The combat methods of ninjitsu revolve around surprise and misdirection, which are factors that always work in the survivalist’s favor.

There is no way around it. The Martial arts make a survivalist better at his job, which is to thrive in the very worst possible conditions. It’s not just about fighting; it is also about developing a fighting spirit. Beyond the utility of self-defense, we survivalists must strengthen our inner world as much as our outer shells. It takes time, patience and a willingness to struggle. Any person who masters a martial art has not only shown a dedication to his own physical prowess, but he has also proven he has a mental toughness that will carry him through any catastrophe. That kind of toughness is a rare commodity in America today and, when found, should be greatly valued and encouraged — especially by the liberty movement.

–Brandon Smith

It’s Not America Anymore

Many of us in the liberty movement find ourselves searching for a distinct root cause of the trials and tribulations of American culture — the Holy Grail catalyst that, if unraveled, would save this country and heal the septic wounds covering the landscape of our hobbled society. The obvious answer would be to remove the global elites who are poisoning the well from the picture entirely. Yes, this has to be done eventually. However, we must also identify how those elites have been able to so thoroughly con the masses of this Nation for so long.

What inherent weakness has made us susceptible to manipulation? For this question, there are no easy answers. If I had to choose a single frailty of our collective psyche as paramount to our downfall, I would say that Americans most of all are confounded by their own patriotism. We often embrace the ideal without knowing what it really means.

There are in fact two kinds of patriotism: the concrete and the imagined. Many Americans fall haphazardly into the fantasy of being patriotic. They define patriotism upon the exploits of the mainstream and of the government in control at the time. They become cheerleaders for the establishment instead of stalwart champions of their country’s founding principles. In fact, true patriotism is not about blindly defending one’s nation or leadership regardless of its trespasses; true patriotism is about defending the philosophy that made one’s nation possible in the first place — even if that means standing against the power structure in place today.

I often hear the uneducated and unaware claim that America and its principles have been a bane to the rest of the world. They say America is at the center of the vampire squid, flailing its vicious tentacles against innocent foreign civilizations. This is an oversimplification at best. The crimes that these well-meaning but naïve activists scorn cannot be attributed to “America” because the American ideal has been completely abandoned by those in the seat of power in our modern era. We do not live in “America” — at least, not the America that the Founding Fathers and authors of the Constitution created.

America has been ransacked and deformed into a hideous lampoon of its former self. This has been done for the most part through the destruction of the guiding principles we pretend we still hold onto as a culture, but in reality have abused and cast aside. If we are ever to undo the damage that has already been done, we have to rediscover what the original design of America was. Wailing and growling about the inadequacies of the present do nothing unless we establish where it is that we have fallen from grace. What is America supposed to be? What did the Founders truly intend?

America Is Supposed To Be Controlled By The People

The concept of a republic revolves around a reversal of the traditional narrative of power. Throughout most of history, government stood at the top of the pyramid, where the hands of a few dominated the destinies of the citizenry. The future was a matter for the elites, not the peasants, to be concerned with. The American republic, as designed by the revolutionary colonists who defeated the old oligarchy, flipped the role of government to servant rather than master. The goal was to make government tangible and accountable rather than abstract and untouchable. The America of today has no such accountability anymore.

We have a two-party system that pursues the mechanizations of globalism in tandem, not in contest. When both parties have the same desires and goals, when both parties collude to remove civil liberties rather than protect them, and when both parties are funded by the same corporate backers, there is no such thing as change through the process of elections. Anyone who claims that government corruption can be punished through the ballot box hasn’t the slightest clue how our system really functions. They think we are still living in the original “America,” one that values the voice of the people.

When the government decides to push through banker bailouts, the Patriot Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, etc., all while ignoring opposition by a vast majority of citizens, it is clear that the paradigm has shifted and the American value of representation by and for the people is lost.

America Is Supposed To Prosper Through Free Markets

One of the first acts of the American Revolution in the fight against British tyranny was to decouple from British economic dominance. They stopped relying on goods produced in England and peddled by the European merchant class and began making their own. From homespun clothing to homemade rifles, Americans created a legitimate free-market environment. Free markets are systems controlled by the people, thriving on the natural functions of supply and demand. They are not administered by bureaucracies or corporate hierarchies that manipulate the economy to fit preconceived political and social ends.

Free markets are decentralized markets. Corporations were never meant to exist, according to Adam Smith, the architect of traditional free markets. Today’s framework operates on centralization and the removal of options and choices, which is facilitated by the imbalance and lack of accountability in the corporate legal structure.

I have to laugh every time I hear someone attack “capitalism” and free markets as the source of all our ills. America has not had the pleasure of free markets for at least 100 years (since the construction of the private Federal Reserve, a collusion between banking and government interests). No one alive today has ever seen an actual American “free market.” So to blame free markets for our modern failings is rather thoughtless.

America Is Supposed To Have A Reserved Foreign Policy

The Founding Fathers specifically sought to keep America out of foreign entanglements and haphazard alliances. They knew from experience that the elites and monarchies of Europe often used wars as a means of consolidating power and keeping populations in relative fear. They were well aware of the methodologies of Niccolo Machiavelli and knew that forced alliances were a trap used to ensnare nations into unnecessary conflict and financial dependency while keeping the masses subservient through false patriotism.

Today, our government has utterly violated the original principles of reserved foreign policy, especially in the past century. The excuse always used is that “we are under attack,” yet we usually discover later that these “attacks” were actually fabricated by our own leaders. From the sinking of the USS Maine, to the sinking of the Lusitania, to the Gulf of Tonkin and beyond, for the past 100 years, Americans have been presented with false flag threats used as leverage to convince us to become entangled in foreign engagements. This strategy has become so common that elitists now openly admit their intentions to commit future false flags in order to draw us into yet another war, this time with Iran.

The current policy of “exporting democracy” has not only been a complete failure (just look at Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.), it is also a total affront to the foundation of the American dynamic. Patriotism in the name of interventionism is foolhardy and decidedly un-American.

America Is Supposed To Respect Individual Rights

The Founders witnessed the extreme abuses of government firsthand: invasion of privacy, invasion of property, wrongful arrest and imprisonment, loss of representation, overt and malicious taxation, thuggish law enforcement, and the targeting of those who dared to dissent in their speech. The excuse used by the British for their tyrannical behavior was, essentially, national security. In the end, though, the elites’ actions had nothing to do with security for the populous and everything to do with what they saw as opposition to their hegemony. Our government has become a mirror image of the elitist power-mongers of Britain in the days of the revolution. Absolutely everything the colonists fought against has been re-established by the globalists in our political structure today, once again, all in the name of national security.

We have seen the enslavement of our money supply and general economy by the Federal Reserve; invasive and violent taxation through the Internal Revenue Service; loss of privacy through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance and the Patriot acts; loss of property rights through multiple agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, the Environmental Protection Agency, the IRS, the Food and Drug Administration, etc.; the militarization of law enforcement through the Department of Homeland Security and Federally dominated fusion centers; potential loss of habeas corpus through the NDAA; and even wrongful arrest against those who merely speak openly of their discontent (look into the case of Marine veteran Brandon Raub for a taste of what is to come).

What Have We Become?

Those who rally behind the America of today rally behind a façade — an empty shell devoid of the heart and soul that gave life to this once great experiment. I do not support what America is. I support what America was and what it could be again if the truth is adequately smashed into the faces of the currently oblivious public. If this country is content to suckle from the putrid teat of globalism and forsake the moral force of conscience that gave it life, then it has become another place — an alien land.

I have heard the argument that America is meant to be a kind of chameleon meant to change its stripes and adapt to the demands of the era. I have heard it argued that the Constitution and the principles of the Founding Fathers are outdated and inadequate for our new age of technological wizardry and terrorist ideologies. This is pure intellectual idiocy. The principles of freedom never expire. Individual liberty is inherent and eternal. It is the driving force of every great accomplishment in the history of mankind. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights embody the spirit of the eternal battle of individual liberty. There is no adaptation. There is only freedom or tyranny.

It is time for us to decide what kind of Americans we wish to be: the deluded rah-rah puppets of a desiccated totalitarian society or the watchmen on the wall. Will we be the keepers and protectors of the vital core of the American identity or will we be fly-by-night consumers of the flavor-of-the-day political carnival, eating every sample from the elitist platter in an insane attempt to replace our free heritage with a sleek, sexy rehashed form of top-down feudalism?

–Brandon Smith

The New American Guardians

People no longer believe in the existence of heroes. By heroes, I do not mean synthetic pop culture icons and sports stars, or mass media-generated two-faced chimera politicians. I do not mean those fraudulent public figures and false idols that are thrust into the establishment limelight and into our collective faces every day. By heroes, I mean those ordinary men and women throughout the ages who stood firm against extraordinary corruption and overwhelming social evil. I mean those who had the will to risk everything for truth and an honorable tomorrow, often receiving no recognition for their sacrifice. Today, such heroes are considered a distant memory, a mythology from days long since drowned in the tides of history. How we yearn for those tides to turn.

In our modern era, the shadow of elitism appears to have cast across the whole of the world and permeated every facet of this culture. Many Americans have become so overwhelmed in the face of such unrelenting and widespread government and corporate criminality that they have collapsed in on themselves, hiding behind cynicism, narcissism and nihilism. They see the horrors of modern life as some disturbed comedy designed for their entertainment. They escape into fantasy worlds and chemical dependency in order to numb the shame they feel, the crushing inadequacy of being unable or unwilling to determine their own destiny. They feel like ghosts, hovering through life as insignificant wisps of vapor. Deep down, they know they have failed themselves; but still, they blame everyone else.

However, for every negative force that exists in nature, in physics and in the psychology of the human mind, there always arises a positive and opposing strength. It is an undeniable law of the universe. I believe it has taken so long for men to rally against the evils of elitism because the elites have taken special care in making sure they could not be easily defined. They have hidden behind organizations, political parties and money — for decades, if not centuries. Good people cannot fight back against an enemy they cannot clearly see, and heroes cannot rise to occasion against an opponent that has no face and no name. Thanks to the efforts of the liberty movement, though, the obscurity of elitists and globalists has come to an end; we now know who the true enemy is.

The next step requires the reformation of the defenders of old — the re-institution of legitimate American stewardship, founded by the Constitutionalists and free thinkers at the birth of this country. Though there is much to fear in the path our society has recently taken, even now I see a return to clarity and principle. Even now, I can see the rebirth of the old American guard.

In this article, we will examine just some of the qualities that distinguish these men and women.

Fighting For Truth In An Age Of Lies

When men first hear the truth of a thing (the unfiltered, unfettered truth), their most common and predictable reaction is invariably one of disbelief. A wise man, or even a moderately intelligent one, would expect that new truths will arise from the ashes of dead notions. They would expect that there are vast reaches of knowledge in this world we have yet to tap and that, every once in a while, our previous assumptions about life will be dashed against the rocky shores of reality. However, most people in today’s culture of mental and philosophical “leisure” are not intuitively wise; and, in some cases, their ability to rationally observe any situation is highly questionable. The truth, for them, is less like an inspirational moment of empowerment and more like a blood-curdling shark attack. For those with a narrow and manipulated world view, the truth is a terrifying threat.

Often, human beings tend to classify truth through “repetition,” instead of through objective observation and evidence. What this means is that we tend to assume that the viewpoint we hear the most every day must be the correct view, regardless of whether it is supported by fact. When new information — correct information based on solid data — breaks into the light of day, those who base their entire worldview on repetition will be left in the dust, wondering how everything could change right under their noses. Sometimes, these people cling to their once widely accepted presumptions for the rest of their lives. For them, the Earth is flat forever.

What we have seen in the past decade or so, though, is a great movement toward embracing the truth despite the wailing of the now-dying mainstream. Millions of Americans are turning off their televisions and actively seeking out information for themselves through alternative sources outside the influence of corporate globalists. In the “New America” (which is really just the return of the old America), the proliferation of disinformation is unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated. Guardians today are those people who have chosen to stand against our cultural misconceptions and propaganda, facing ridicule, censorship and even physical harm. They tear into the great lie like attack dogs locking their jaws and never letting go. They are shaken about and beaten, yet they hold on until, finally, the lie exhausts itself and fades away. The New American has rediscovered the perseverance of his forebears and the will to endure.

If this is to continue, the ideal of transparency in government must be instituted as strict social policy, and the pursuit of the truth must be ingrained into our national consciousness. A respect for self-awareness, individuality and personal honesty must become the foundation of our civilization. The current system — which makes paths for the dishonest, cradles the vicious, coddles the weak-spirited and rewards those who lack conscience — must be cut away. It is up to the New American to do this.

True Patriots Versus Fake Statists

Patriotism is a highly abused and misappropriated term. The exploitation of the methodology is evident in the propaganda of the neoconservative movement (an elitist construct), especially during George W. Bush’s two terms in office. Interestingly, it has been real conservatives, as opposed to neocons, who have now sought to rebalance and reintroduce the concept of patriotism once again. The internal conflict of the Republican Party at this time, between the rising liberty movement and the falling neocons, illustrates the true nature of patriotism well.

In the past, we have been wrongly instructed to treat patriotism as a political weapon, a tool for shaming those who question the status quo. We have been taught that to be patriotic, one must become blindly nationalistic. This is not what the Founders intended. A country is nothing without principles. A government that does not represent the root standards and principles of the country it is meant to lead is not a government that we the people are meant to follow. A nationalist ignorantly places government on a pedestal as the symbol of a people; a patriot places the solid founding principles of his Nation above all else and dismantles any government that does not. A patriot demands that government adhere to the will of the people. A nationalist demands that people adhere to the will of government.

The New Americans, taking the torch from the old guard, are putting the manipulation of patriotism to an end. We are no longer allowing the establishment to define our beliefs for us. We are forcing the establishment either to adopt the Constitutionalist methods which originated this country or to relinquish power. No longer will we be fooled into associating the twisted philosophies of a corrupt government with our own national identity.

No Fear, No Regrets

The New American answers to no one but his own conscience. All other directives are secondary. Because of this way of life, he rarely has any reason to regret any decision he has ever made.

He does not pander at his workplace. He is never a yes-man or a leech. Nowhere is he a servant. He is a person who demands to be treated with the same respect he gives and openly gives respect where it is deserved. In his daily life, he absolutely refuses to follow the herd. The cesspool of groupthink is abhorrent to him, and fake people hiding behind two-dimensional personas make him physically ill. Bullies and people with an outrageous sense of entitlement need a good punch in the mouth, not a turn of the cheek; and the New American looks forward to the day when it is once again socially acceptable to pay thugs and weasels the refund of heartache they have inflicted on others.

The New American has abandoned the false left/right paradigm in U.S. politics. He understands that the leadership of both major parties, Democrat and Republican, have the exact same goals and support nearly identical legislation. Their purpose is to give us the illusion of choice, as well as to consolidate and centralize power and dissolve the sovereignty of the United States. Their openly stated objective is to force Americans to accept a global economy and global governance, virtually erasing our Constitutional freedoms and any ability we may have left to participate in the political process. The New American has set out to overtake and reclaim the political process from globalists and to use it as a tool in support of limited government and individual liberty once again.

For the New American, authority is derived from experience and earned respect. Petty authority derived from corruption is to be either laughed at or scorned. For instance, a police officer or politician who does not follow or understand Constitutional law is a liability to society, not an authority. As such, he does not deserve respect. The New American is not impressed by uniforms, titles, expensive Ivy League degrees, old money, celebrities or pop-culture fluff. To him, the people who are impressed with these things are rather repulsive. To get his attention, you need to have an honorable reputation, legitimate intelligence and, for heaven’s sake, a backbone.

Gullibility in others is endured only to a point. Knowledge, self-knowledge and an understanding of one’s surroundings are paramount. The New American has seen too many catastrophes transpire because of the complicity of morons. The ignorant have a tendency to threaten not just themselves but also those around them. Their stupidity makes them malleable and easily influenced by those who seek power. They become unwitting accomplices in tyranny. The willfully uneducated are the second most dangerous people on Earth.

The primary threat — not just to the New American but to every living person — is elitism. There is nothing more vile than an elitist, who demands fealty from the masses despite hating and despising the common man. Elitists are fully aware of their conscience, but see it as a hindrance to their pursuit of dominance and so ignore it. They fancy themselves as “godlike” and imagine themselves to be intellectually superior to the rest of us, even though they have proven on numerous occasions to be rather foolish. Their egomania is so immense that they are virtually incapable of recognizing the fallibility of their philosophies. And they are willing to sacrifice anything and anyone except themselves to get what they want, meaning they are the worst kind of cowards exacting the worst kind of oppression.

As horrifying as elites are, the New American is unfazed. He knows that an uncompromising sense of despotism can be met only with an uncompromising sense of liberty. He knows that because he is confident in his values and refuses to negotiate them away, elitists fear him. They recognize that men who are defending their home, who are wise, who hold the moral high ground and who are unafraid are difficult, if nearly impossible, to defeat. More than anything else, the elites quake at the thought of the New American guard.

The Return Of Freedom’s Protectors

It is in the worst of times that the best of men make their presence known. Some of them have felt for most of their lives that they were meant to make a difference — to sway the flow of events toward a greater purpose, a better future. Some have yet to realize their latent potential. Many of these men play unassuming roles in their normal lives. Carpenters, clerks, factory workers, investors, farmers and soldiers, it is always the seemingly inconspicuous that surprise us when the nightmare falls. The counterfeit champions, those the public once invested all of their faith in, quickly turn and run, while the true defenders stand unyielding against the coming tempest. They are the old men of the mountain, weathered by the storm but unshakable in their resolve. They are not simply warriors, but also scholars and social healers. They are modern-day paladins in the most brutal of epochs.

There are two kinds of people in this world: history makers and spectators. Spectators allow the throes of events to propel them wherever they may. They wait for the crosswinds of fate to determine their final home, their final occupation and their final resting place. During great upheaval, these are the people who fall by the wayside of time and whose children despair in the wake of their parent’s failure. These are the people upon whom the elite feed.

History makers are defined by a beautifully simple decision: the decision to participate in the making of their own providence. They decide to actually live, instead of playing at life. True history makers are not often chronicled in books. Their tales are not often told for posterity. But none of that matters. What matters is the contribution they make to the good in all of us, the tremors they send through the underlying foundations of humanity. Their presence is felt, even if their names are not known. By this measure, the New Americans will definitely make history.

The responsibility that lies ahead of us is daunting. While a global awakening is certainly taking place, the epicenter is right here in our own backyard. All eyes will be watching us and waiting. The world is relying on us to make a stand, to prove that the fight is far from over. If we do not, then everything is lost — not just for ourselves, but for every generation after we are gone. No matter what obstacles the elites unleash (whether nuclear disaster, economic collapse or yet another war), we must not falter. The world is waiting. They are waiting for heroes. They are waiting for the old guard to return.

–Brandon Smith

Editor’s note: It’s time to make your submissions for this month’s You Sound Off! feature, which will run Sept. 26. Get your submission in by Sept. 24. It should be no more than 750 words (if it is longer, we probably won’t read it). We will select the one or two we think are the best of the week to publish. We reserve the right to edit for grammar and style but will try not to alter the meaning.

Send your submissions to yousoundoff@personalliberty.com. Please include your name, address and telephone number (only your name will be published) so we can contact you if we need to clarify something. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.–BL

Syria And Iran Dominos Lead To World War

Almost three years ago, I wrote “Will The Globalists Trigger Yet Another World War?” on the concept of the deliberate engineering of wars by elitists to distract the masses away from particular global developments that work to the benefit of the establishment power structure.

In that analysis, I concluded that since at least 2008, the powers that be (whether posing as Republicans or Democrats) had set in a motion a series of events that revolved around Iran and, most disturbingly, Syria that could be used to trigger a vast global war scenario. Today, unfortunately, it seems my concerns were more than valid, and circumstances evolving in that particular region are dire indeed.

Some people may argue that circumstances in the Mideast have always been “dire” and that it does not take much to predict a renewal of chaos. Admittedly, for the past six years, the American public has been treated to one propaganda campaign after the other testing the social waters to see if a sizable majority of the citizenry could be convinced to support strikes against Iran. The U.S. and Israeli governments have come very close on several occasions in rhetoric and in the buildup of arms to just such an event. However, I would submit that the previous threats of war that came and went are absolutely nothing in comparison to the danger today.

Syria’s civil war has developed into something quite frightening, well beyond the blind insurrections of the so-called “Arab Spring.” So many outside interests (especially U.S. interests) are involved in the conflict that it is impossible to tell whether there are actually any real revolutionaries in Syria anymore. This unsettling of the country’s foundation has taken a turn that I warned about recently: namely, the removal of U.N. monitors from the area, which was announced only days ago.

The removal of U.N. monitors is a sign that some kind of strike is near the horizon.

Accusations of potential “chemical weapons stores” in Syria are being floated by the Department of Defense as a clear-cut rationale for invasion, and Israel has essentially admitted that an attack on Iran is not only on the table but beyond planning stages into near implementation. Even Israeli citizens are openly worried that their government is “serious” this time in its calls for pre-emptive attack, stockpiling gas masks and even protesting against the policy.

The tension of the atmosphere surrounding this crisis is unlike anything the Mideast has seen in decades, and that includes the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

But before we can understand the true gravity of this situation, we must first confront some misconceptions.

First, I realize that many people have natural and conditioned inclinations towards the hatred of Muslim nations. Just as many people are inclined to distrust the intentions of the government of Israel. Both sides make good points on occasion, and both sides also have a tendency to get lazy. They paint with a ridiculously broad brush and blame all the woes of the world on one side or the other so that they don’t have to think through the complexities of globalism and the one-world technocratic club or accept that al-Qaida is not the biggest threat to peace and stability. It’s much easier to convict an entire race or an entire religion than it is to comprehend the mechanizations of an elite minority that plays both sides off each other.

Whatever side you may favor, simply know that, in the end, the sides are irrelevant. We could argue for months about who is just, who is right, who was there first, etc. Again, it’s irrelevant. What does matter, though, are the potential consequences of an exponential conflict in the region, which no one can afford.

Sadly, plenty of Americans still believe the United States is the “richest nation on the globe” and that it has finances beyond reckoning with which to wage endless wars.

Here’s what will happen if the United States, NATO or Israel enters into a war with either Iran or Syria.

Syria And Iran Will Join Forces

In 2006, Iran and Syria signed a mutual defense treaty in response to the growing possibility of conflict with the West. Both countries are highly inclined to fulfill this treaty, and it would seem that Iran is already doing so — at least financially — as Syria spirals into civil war. In fact, the U.S.-supported insurgency in Syria was likely developed in order to strain or test the mutual aid treaty. Given that the Council on Foreign Relations is now applauding al-Qaida for its efforts in destabilizing the country, I hardly find it outlandish to suggest that the entire rebellion is being at least loosely organized by NATO interests to either draw Iran into open military support of Assad and a weakening proxy war or to remove Syria from the equation in preparation for a strike on Iran itself.

Iran Will Shut Down The Strait Of Hormuz

With all the grandstanding at the Department of Defense, you would think that the Hormuz is a non-issue. This is a mistake. The strait is about 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, which lays right off the coast of Iran. However, of that 21 miles, only two safe shipping lanes are available, each measuring a miniscule 2 miles across. Hormuz is one of two of the most vital oil transit checkpoints in the world; about 20 percent of all oil produced passes through it. The logistics for blocking the two working shipping lanes on the strait are simple, given the existence of the new Ghader missile system, which Iran tested successfully this year. The weapon is specifically designed as a “ship-killer” with the ability to travel at Mach 3 and evade most known radar methods.

In the tightly boxed-in waterways of the Hormuz, a large-scale and difficult-to-track missile attack would be devastating to any navy present and would turn the sea lanes into a junk yard impossible to navigate for oil tankers. The result would be a catastrophic inflationary event in oil around the world, making gasoline unaffordable for most people and most uses.

Israeli Action Will Draw In The United States

Forget what the Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says; the United States will absolutely involve itself militarily in Iran or Syria following an Israeli strike. To begin with, there is no way around a supporting or primary role, especially when Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz. With 20 percent of the world’s oil supply on hiatus, at least half of the American populace will be crying out for U.S. military involvement. That’s guaranteed. Dempsey’s claim that Israel may not get American support is simply a charade meant to imply that the subversion of Syria and Iran is not necessarily a joint venture, which it absolutely is. There is zero chance that an Israeli strike will not be met with frantic calls by the Pentagon and the White House to open the floodgates of U.S. military might and protect one of our few “democratic allies” in the Mideast.

Syria Will Receive Support From Russia And China

The Russian government has clearly stated on numerous occasions that it will not step back during a strike against Syria. Russia has begun positioning naval ships and extra troops at its permanent base off the coast of Tartus, Syria, a development I have been warning about for years.

Tartus, Russia’s only naval base outside the periphery of its borders, is strategically imperative to the nation. Action by the United States or Israel against Syria would invariably elicit, at the very least, economic retaliation, and at the most, Russian military involvement and possible widespread war.

China, on the other hand, will likely respond with full-scale financial retaliation, including a dump of U.S. Treasury bonds (a move it has been preparing for since 2005 anyway). With oil prices skyrocketing due to increased Mideast distress, multiple countries including the BRIC trading bloc nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and most member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations trading bloc will have the perfect excuse to dump the dollar, allowing the International Monetary Fund’s newly revamped SDR (Special Drawing Rights) global currency mechanism to take hold.

Syria is the key to what I believe will be an attempt on the part of globalists within our government to actually coax a volatile conflict into being — a conflict that will create ample cover for the final push toward global currency and, eventually, global governance.

Economic Implosion Will Become Secondary To The Banksters’ Benefit 

In the minds of the general public, the economic distress we will soon face regardless of whether there is ever a war with Iran and Syria will be an afterthought, at least for a time, if the threat of global combat becomes reality. The fog of war is a fantastic cover for all kinds of crimes, especially the economic kind. Sizable wars naturally inhibit markets and cause erratic flux in capital flows. Anything can be blamed on a war, even the destruction of the U.S. economy and the dollar. Of course, the real culprits (international and central banks) that have been corrupting and dismantling the American fiscal structure for decades will benefit most from the distraction.

Syria and Iran are, in a way, the first dominos in a long chain of terrible events. This chain, as chaotic as it seems, leads to only one result: Third World status for almost every country on the planet, including the United States. That will allow the financial institutions, like monetary grim reapers, to swoop in and gather up the pieces that remain to be fashioned into a kind of Frankenstein economy. A fiscal golem. A global monstrosity that removes all sovereignty whether real or imagined and centralizes the decision making processes of humanity into the hands of a morally bankrupt few.

For those on the side of Israel, the United States and NATO and for those on the side of the Mideast, Russia, China, etc., the bottom line is: There will be no winners. There will be no victory parade for anyone. There will be no great reformation or peace in the cradle of civilization. The only people celebrating at the end of the calamitous hostilities will be the hyper-moneyed power addicted .01 percent who will celebrate their global coup in private, laughing as the rest of the world burns itself out and comes begging them for help.

–Brandon Smith

Disinformation: How It Works

There was a time, not too long ago (relatively speaking), that governments and the groups of elites that controlled them did not find it necessary to conscript themselves into wars of disinformation.

Propaganda was relatively straightforward. The lies were much simpler. The control of information flow was easily directed. Rules were enforced with the threat of property confiscation and execution for anyone who strayed from the rigid socio-political structure. Those who had theological, metaphysical or scientific information outside of the conventional and scripted collective world view were tortured and slaughtered. The elites kept the information to themselves, and removed its remnants from mainstream recognition, sometimes for centuries before it was rediscovered.

With the advent of anti-feudalism, and most importantly the success of the American Revolution, elitists were no longer able to dominate information with the edge of a blade or the barrel of a gun. The establishment of Republics, with their philosophy of open government and rule by the people, compelled Aristocratic minorities to plot more subtle ways of obstructing the truth and thus maintaining their hold over the world without exposing themselves to retribution from the masses. Thus, the complex art of disinformation was born.

The technique, the “magic” of the lie, was refined and perfected. The mechanics of the human mind and the human soul became an endless obsession for the establishment.

The goal was malicious, but socially radical; instead of expending the impossible energy needed to dictate the very form and existence of the truth, they would allow it to drift, obscured in a fog of contrived data. They would wrap the truth in a Gordian Knot of misdirection and fabrication so elaborate that they felt certain the majority of people would surrender, giving up long before they ever finished unraveling the deceit. The goal was not to destroy the truth, but to hide it in plain sight.

In modern times, and with carefully engineered methods, this goal has for the most part been accomplished. However, these methods also have inherent weaknesses. Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly.

In this article, we will examine the methods used to fertilize and promote the growth of disinformation, as well as how to identify the roots of disinformation and effectively cut them, starving out the entire system of fallacies once and for all.

Media Disinformation Methods

The mainstream media, once tasked with the job of investigating government corruption and keeping elitists in line, has now become nothing more than a public relations firm for corrupt officials and their Globalist handlers. The days of the legitimate “investigative reporter” are long gone (if they ever existed at all), and journalism itself has deteriorated into a rancid pool of so called “TV Editorialists” who treat their own baseless opinions as supported fact.

The elitist co-opting of news has been going on in one form or another since the invention of the printing press. However, the first methods of media disinformation truly came to fruition under the supervision of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who believed the truth was “subjective” and open to his personal interpretation.

Some of the main tactics used by the mainstream media to mislead the masses are as follows:

Lie Big, Retract Quietly: Mainstream media sources (especially newspapers) are notorious for reporting flagrantly dishonest and unsupported news stories on the front page, then quietly retracting those stories on the very back page when they are caught. In this case, the point is to railroad the lie into the collective consciousness. Once the lie is finally exposed, it is already too late, and a large portion of the population will not notice or care when the truth comes out.

Unconfirmed Or Controlled Sources As Fact: Cable news venues often cite information from “unnamed” sources, government sources that have an obvious bias or agenda, or “expert” sources without providing an alternative “expert” view. The information provided by these sources is usually backed by nothing more than blind faith.

Calculated Omission: Otherwise known as “cherry picking” data. One simple piece of information or root item of truth can derail an entire disinfo news story, so instead of trying to gloss over it, they simply pretend as if it doesn’t exist. When the fact is omitted, the lie can appear entirely rational. This tactic is also used extensively when disinformation agents and crooked journalists engage in open debate.

Distraction, And The Manufacture Of Relevance: Sometimes the truth wells up into the public awareness regardless of what the media does to bury it. When this occurs their only recourse is to attempt to change the public’s focus and thereby distract them from the truth they were so close to grasping. The media accomplishes this by “over-reporting” on a subject that has nothing to do with the more important issues at hand. Ironically, the media can take an unimportant story, and by reporting on it ad nauseum, cause many Americans to assume that because the media won’t shut-up about it, it must be important!

Dishonest Debate Tactics: Sometimes, men who actually are concerned with the average American’s pursuit of honesty and legitimate fact-driven information break through and appear on T.V. However, rarely are they allowed to share their views or insights without having to fight through a wall of carefully crafted deceit and propaganda. Because the media know they will lose credibility if they do not allow guests with opposing viewpoints every once in a while, they set up and choreograph specialized T.V. debates in highly restrictive environments which put the guest on the defensive, and make it difficult for them to clearly convey their ideas or facts.

TV pundits are often trained in what are commonly called “Alinsky Tactics.” Saul Alinsky was a moral relativist, and champion of the lie as a tool for the “greater good”; essentially, a modern day Machiavelli. His “Rules for Radicals” were supposedly meant for grassroots activists who opposed the establishment and emphasized the use of any means necessary to defeat one’s political opposition. But is it truly possible to defeat an establishment built on lies, by use of even more elaborate lies, and by sacrificing one’s ethics? In reality, his strategies are the perfect format for corrupt institutions and governments to dissuade dissent from the masses. Today, Alinsky’s rules are used more often by the establishment than by its opposition.

Alinsky’s Strategy: Win At Any Cost, Even If You Have To Lie

Alinsky’s tactics have been adopted by governments and disinformation specialists across the world, but they are most visible in TV debate. While Alinsky sermonized about the need for confrontation in society, his debate tactics are actually designed to circumvent real and honest confrontation of opposing ideas with slippery tricks and diversions. Alinsky’s tactics, and their modern usage, can be summarized as follows:

1) Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.

We see this tactic in many forms. For example, projecting your own movement as mainstream, and your opponent’s as fringe. Convincing your opponent that his fight is a futile one. Your opposition may act differently, or even hesitate to act at all, based on their perception of your power. How often have we heard this line: “The government has predator drones. There is nothing the people can do now…” This is a projection of exaggerated invincibility designed to elicit apathy from the masses.

2) Never go outside the experience of your people, and whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.

Don’t get drawn into a debate about a subject you do not know as well as or better than your opposition. If possible, draw them into such a situation instead. Go off on tangents. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty in your opposition. This is commonly used against unwitting interviewees on cable news shows whose positions are set up to be skewered. The target is blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address. In television and radio, this also serves to waste broadcast time to prevent the target from expressing his own position.

3) Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.

The objective is to target the opponent’s credibility and reputation by accusations of hypocrisy. If the tactician can catch his opponent in even the smallest misstep, it creates an opening for further attacks, and distracts away from the broader moral question.

4) Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

“Ron Paul is a crackpot.” “Gold bugs are crazy.” “Constitutionalists are fringe extremists.” Baseless ridicule is almost impossible to counter because it is meant to be irrational. It infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage. It also works as a pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

5) A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.

The popularization of the term “Teabaggers” is a classic example; it caught on by itself because people seem to think it’s clever, and enjoy saying it. Keeping your talking points simple and fun helps your side stay motivated, and helps your tactics spread autonomously, without instruction or encouragement.

6) A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.

See rule No. 5. Don’t become old news. If you keep your tactics fresh, it’s easier to keep your people active. Not all disinformation agents are paid. The “useful idiots” have to be motivated by other means. Mainstream disinformation often changes gear from one method to the next and then back again.

7) Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.

Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. Never give the target a chance to rest, regroup, recover or re-strategize. Take advantage of current events and twist their implications to support your position. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

8) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

This goes hand in hand with Rule No. 1. Perception is reality. Allow your opposition to expend all of its energy in expectation of an insurmountable scenario. The dire possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.

9) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

The objective of this pressure is to force the opposition to react and make the mistakes that are necessary for the ultimate success of the campaign.

10) If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.

As grassroots activism tools, Alinsky tactics have historically been used (for example, by labor movements or covert operations specialists) to force the opposition to react with violence against activists, which leads to popular sympathy for the activists’ cause. Today, false (or co-opted) grassroots movements and revolutions use this technique in debate as well as in planned street actions and rebellions (look at Syria for a recent example).

11) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. Today, this is often used offensively against legitimate activists, such as the opponents of the Federal Reserve. Complain that your opponent is merely “pointing out the problems.” Demand that they offer not just “a solution”, but THE solution. Obviously, no one person has “the” solution. When he fails to produce the miracle you requested, dismiss his entire argument and all the facts he has presented as pointless.

12) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.

Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. The target’s supporters will expose themselves. Go after individual people, not organizations or institutions. People hurt faster than institutions.

The next time you view an MSM debate, watch the pundits carefully, you will likely see many if not all of the strategies above used on some unsuspecting individual attempting to tell the truth.

Internet Disinformation Methods

Internet trolls, also known as “paid posters” or “paid bloggers,” are increasingly and openly being employed by private corporations as well governments, often for marketing purposes and for “public relations” (Obama is notorious for this practice). Internet “trolling” is indeed a fast growing industry.

Trolls use a wide variety of strategies, some of which are unique to the internet, here are just a few:

  1. Make outrageous comments designed to distract or frustrate: An Alinsky tactic used to make people emotional, although less effective because of the impersonal nature of the Web.
  2. Pose as a supporter of the truth, then make comments that discredit the movement: We have seen this even on our own forums — trolls pose as supporters of the Liberty Movement, then post long, incoherent diatribes so as to appear either racist or insane. The key to this tactic is to make references to common Liberty Movement arguments while at the same time babbling nonsense, so as to make those otherwise valid arguments seem ludicrous by association. In extreme cases, these “Trojan Horse Trolls” have been known to make posts which incite violence — a technique obviously intended to solidify the false assertions of the think tank propagandists like the SPLC, which purports that Constitutionalists should be feared as potential domestic terrorists.
  3. Dominate Discussions: Trolls often interject themselves into productive Web discussions in order to throw them off course and frustrate the people involved.
  4. Prewritten Responses: Many trolls are supplied with a list or database with pre-planned talking points designed as generalized and deceptive responses to honest arguments. When they post, their words feel strangely plastic and well rehearsed.
  5. False Association: This works hand in hand with item No. 2, by invoking the stereotypes established by the “Trojan Horse Troll.” For example: calling those against the Federal Reserve “conspiracy theorists” or “lunatics”; deliberately associating anti-globalist movements with racists and homegrown terrorists, because of the inherent negative connotations; and using false associations to provoke biases and dissuade people from examining the evidence objectively.
  6. False Moderation: Pretending to be the “voice of reason” in an argument with obvious and defined sides in an attempt to move people away from what is clearly true into a “grey area” where the truth becomes “relative.”
  7. Straw Man Arguments: A very common technique. The troll will accuse his opposition of subscribing to a certain point of view, even if he does not, and then attacks that point of view. Or, the troll will put words in the mouth of his opposition, and then rebut those specific words.

Sometimes, these strategies are used by average people with serious personality issues. However, if you see someone using these tactics often, or using many of them at the same time, you may be dealing with a paid internet troll.

Stopping Disinformation

The best way to disarm disinformation agents is to know their methods inside and out. This gives us the ability to point out exactly what they are doing in detail the moment they try to do it. Immediately exposing a disinformation tactic as it is being used is highly destructive to the person utilizing it. It makes them look foolish, dishonest and weak for even making the attempt. Internet trolls most especially do not know how to handle their methods being deconstructed right in front of their eyes and usually fold and run from debate when it occurs.

The truth is precious. It is sad that there are so many in our society who have lost respect for it; people who have traded in their conscience and their soul for temporary financial comfort while sacrificing the stability and balance of the rest of the country in the process.

The human psyche breathes on the air of truth. Without it, humanity cannot survive. Without it, the species will collapse, starving from lack of intellectual and emotional sustenance.

Disinformation does not only threaten our insight into the workings of our world; it makes us vulnerable to fear, misunderstanding, and doubt: all things that lead to destruction. It can drive good people to commit terrible atrocities against others, or even against themselves. Without a concerted and organized effort to diffuse mass-produced lies, the future will look bleak indeed.

–Brandon Smith

Bad Economic Signs 2012

In January, I wrote “Baltic Dry Index Signals Renewed Market Collapse,” an analysis of the record-breaking low hit by the Baltic Dry Index and its implications for the global economy; namely, that it signaled a steep decline in true demand around the world and that similar declines in the index’s past have almost always prophesied a crisis event in financial markets.

The mainstream media attempted to write off the implosion of the index as a fluke tied to the “overproductions of cargo ships” instead of a warning sign of deteriorating demand. The past six months have proven that assertion to be entirely false.

Manufacturing has tumbled in the United States, the EU and Asia simultaneously as orders drop back to the dismal levels last seen in 2008-2009 after the credit crisis first took hold, as reports Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, The Manufacturer and The Tokyo Times.

Despite the astonishing amount of manipulation that goes into our fiscal system by major banks, there are still a few fundamental rules to economics that never change. The bottom line is that demand around the world is derailing. Where demand goes, so goes the economy.

Economies of multiple nations move into a widely felt crisis event about eight to 12 months after the index crashes.

There is a strange delayed reaction between the initial exposure of weakness in the financial system and the public’s realization of the truth, much like Wile E. Coyote dashing off a cliff only to continue running in mid-air above the abyss below. It is a testament to the fact that, beyond the math, there is an undeniable power of psychology in our economy. The investment world naively believes it can fly, even with the weight of endless debt around its ankles; and for a very short time, that pure, delirious, oblivious belief sustains the markets. Eventually, though, gravity always triumphs over fantasy.

In May, I also discussed the impending disaster in the EU in light of elections that would obviously lead to a clash between proponents of austerity and proponents of endless stimulus spending. I suggested that this clash would trigger a possible remodeling or breakdown of the EU in the near future.

Today, I do not think that it would be outlandish to suggest (even to the casual market observer) that the EU has indeed been fractured, though the establishment still strives to maintain the façade.

Spain and Italy have both requested bailouts from the European Central Bank, finally exposing a problem that alternative analysts have warned about for years. While the mainstream media have bicycle-kicked the thoroughly dead horse of Greece, the much more detrimental problems of the rest of the EU have been ignored completely. Only now are investors beginning to understand that there is no such thing as a “Greek contagion,” and that the whole of Europe has been quietly suffering through a debt malaise that surpasses the Greek issue.

Central banks pushed the idea that Greece was the gangrenous toe of the EU; it had to be cured or amputated, or the infection would invade the entire body. But the truth is Europe has been host to a systemic disease from the very beginning. Greece is just a side note.

The U.K. has openly admitted that it has “returned” to recession. Mass credit downgrades have been issued by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service in primary EU economies, including France and Spain. Italy’s credit rating has been cut only two notches above junk status, and its bond sales have turned to Jell-O. Spain has declared austerity cuts that include the confiscation of employee pension funds. Does this sound like an economic body near “recovery,” as was the rhetoric spouted by the MSM a year ago, or does it sound like the EU has gone off the deep end?

In the meantime, China continues to court its global trading partners with bilateral trade agreements designed to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency, and recent events appear to be hastening this process. With American and European demand faltering, Chinese manufacturers are threatened with the same export breakdown they saw in 2008. It is only a matter of time before the BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China — and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations fully solidify their trade partnerships outside of the West and away from the dollar.

This year has been the most startling as far as financial news has been concerned. It has been vastly more startling to me than 2008. This time around, the corruption has been utterly blatant and disturbingly nonchalant. The central and corporate banking interests are no longer trying to hide the fact that the entire edifice is a cheap magic trick. When criminals are no longer concerned with hiding their crimes, it is time for the rest of us to start worrying. The current behavior of the establishment leads me to believe that a new phase in the crisis is about to arise.

Three recent events in particular should be noted by those who wish to gauge the acceleration of financial hazard around the world.

Multiple Central Banks Issuing Policy Changes Simultaneously 

Only a week ago, the supposedly independent and sovereign central banks of China, the U.K. and the EU made multilateral policy changes including cutting interest rates to zero and reinstituting stimulus measures within the same hour of each other.

This is a disturbing and open admission by central banks that they not only dominate the economic structure of their host countries, but they do so in a coordinated fashion. In the past, central bankers have made a point to at least pretend that they do not work in tandem with each other and are not centralized around a global methodology or hierarchy. Today, they do not seem to mind if the public is aware of how they really operate. I feel that this is the start of an expedited trend toward full centralization of sovereign economies and that central banks will act soon as if single broad-spectrum global monetary policy measures and global economic governance are “commonplace.”

Trade Volume Collapsing

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has generated the worst market volume in more than a decade. Small-market investors are fleeing away from stocks in droves, leaving only the big players to dominate the field.

This extreme lack of volume will facilitate a return to volatility, and we are about to see the same kind of massive stock spikes and drops we saw three years ago.

The Libor Scandal

Like the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers that heralded the credit crisis, the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) scandal has the potential to rock the pillars of the banking world. The average person needs to understand three things about LIBOR:

  1. The manipulation loans and credit swaps through the LIBOR interest rate mechanism allowed big banks to hide the true extent of their incredible debts. Some mainstream economists are actually calling this a “good thing.” According to them, the lie of LIBOR fooled investors into supporting the markets where they may not have otherwise if they had known the truth, thus the lie “averted Armageddon.” Frankly, this is idiotic. LIBOR has saved nothing, and the lack of transparency and honesty from corporate banks has only postponed an inevitable calamity that will be even worse now because it was allowed to continue on for years longer than it should have.
  2. Barclays and other institutions have claimed they had to use LIBOR fraud. Why? Because every other major bank used it. They had to lie in order to remain competitive. Even if you buy this rationalization, you have to acknowledge the deeper problem: Barclays essentially is pointing out that every major bank uses Libor to hide the fact that they are in dire straits. The system has openly confessed its own insolvency.
  3. Finally, regulators and central banks on both sides of the ocean, from the United States to the U.K., from the Federal Reserve to the Bank of England, knew about the LIBOR fraud being conducted by numerous banks as early as 2008 but kept their mouths shut. This shows not only that central banks have been complicit in financial criminal activities, but governments have played along as well. This fits right in with what I have stated for years: The economic collapse could not possibly be a “random” event. Its culmination requires the collusion of so many corporate and government entities that it would be foolish to call it anything other than conspiracy.

What comes next? According to the path I predicted back in January, the economy is near a climax event. Perhaps an announcement of a third round of quantitative easing, perhaps another bankruptcy by a “too big to fail” conglomerate or perhaps even the exit of certain countries from the EU will occur. Perhaps all of this and more will happen. The point is: Keep your eyes fixed on the financial sector as we move into fall and winter. There is a bleak harvest on the horizon.

–Brandon Smith

The Socialization Of America Is Economically Impossible

I understand the dream of the common socialist. I was, after all, once a Democrat. I understand the disparity created in our society by corporatism (not capitalism, though some foolish socialists see them as exactly the same). I understand the drive and the desire to help other human beings, especially those in dire need, and the tendency to see government as the ultimate solution to all our problems.

Let’s be honest: Government is just a tool used by one group or another to implement a particular methodology or set of principles. Unfortunately, what most socialists today don’t seem to understand is that no matter what strategies they devise, they will never have control. And those they wish to help will be led to suffer, because the establishment does not care about them — or you. The establishment does not think of what it can give; it thinks about what it can take. Socialism, in the minds of the elites, is just a con game that allows them to curry the favor of the serfs.

Other powers are at work in this world, powers that have the ability to play both sides of the political spectrum. The monied elite have been wielding the false left/right paradigm for centuries, and to great effect. Whether socialism or corporatism prevails, the elite are the final victors, and the game continues onward.

Knowing this fact, I find that my reactions to the entire Obamacare debate are rather muddled. Really, I see the whole event as a kind of circus, a mirage, a distraction. Perhaps it is because I am first and foremost an economic analyst. When looking at Obamacare and socialization in general, I see no tangibility. I see no threat beyond what we as Americans already face. Let me explain.

Socialism Is Failure

A country that feels the need to socialize has, in my view, already failed culturally. It is an open admission by the public that it is unwilling or unable to take responsibility for its own prosperity. If a county cannot function in a healthy economic manner without its government creating an artificial and precarious balance using fiat stimulus and overt taxation, then the people of that country are not remotely independent and self-sufficient. That is to say, only a Nation filled with pathetic, overgrown children would actually need government to enforce mandatory charity: welfare, healthcare, etc. A truly healthy society supported by strong and self-sustainable individuals would not beg to be parented by government. If a country is so unbalanced as to stoop to socialism, then its ailments already extend far beyond anything government (even good government) could ever hope to cure.

Obamacare, its tentative application and those who blindly support its introduction in the United States, are an example of a weak people groveling for handouts they do not work for nor deserve. Socialism is defeat. It is a waving of the white flag by a society and the trading of that culture’s liberty for the illusion of fiscal security. It is the act of an adolescent and naïve populace groveling for an allowance from their “motherland.”

If one wants to consider what a socialized America would actually be like, why not examine the track record of the EU, a group of nations that have dabbled extensively in the principles of collective centralization and various levels of socialism, including the extremes of communism and fascism (and yes, folks, both are derived from a socialist/collectivist foundation, despite what pseudo-intellectuals and propagandized academics will try to tell you).

What success have they accomplished in the course of their utopian endeavors?

Well, more than half of the states of the European Union have already reached debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratios well beyond the limit required to retain membership.

Several countries — including the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece — are in the midst of severe debt crises. The euro is on the verge of disintegration. And it’s likely the EU charter will be re-examined and changed. The central bankers will blame European countries and their “insistence” on maintaining sovereign control over their finances for the failure of the EU. But, ultimately, sovereignty is not what strangles the EU. Instead, the ridiculous supranational status that is entirely misapplied has created a state of interdependency that has weakened every member nation to the point of disaster.

It should be painfully clear to anyone considering socialism as a viable option for America that this kind of system requires fiscal discipline and a vast amount of savings. Notice I say “savings” and not “money.” Money is a carnival ride — an illusion of wealth that can be printed from thin air. Savings is an actual concrete storage of real capital, an ongoing surplus of manufacturing and production capability resulting in the stockpiling of working credit and ample employment. Most of the countries of the EU do not have such savings and never did. In fact, most European countries have operated for decades on a loss. They have never been able to live with the direct and indirect investments of outside players. Because of this, EU countries are utterly unable to keep up with the grand concepts of socialism, and have buried themselves under the crushing debts generated by entitlement programs.

The United States is no different.

Forget Universal Healthcare, The U.S. Is Bust

There has been a pervasive delusion among pro-socialism movements in the United States that we are the “richest country in the world.” They claim it is “absurd” that the establishment system does not pay for our healthcare with such riches at its disposal. They consistently rant about Canadian healthcare and its record of universal treatment. The problem is they ignore the details.

Canada, a country of about 34 million people, has a national debt of about $1.1 trillion. The United States, a country of about 313 million people, has a national debt of about $15 trillion. The two countries are entirely different. To clamor for a Canadian-style healthcare program for a country with completely opposite economic parameters is idiocy, lunacy or both.

Officially, our economy has already broken the 100 percent debt-to-GDP threshold. Unofficially, but more accurately, the U.S. national debt exceeds $120 trillion.

This number accounts not only for public debt, but “intragovernmental” debt and “implicit” debt, meaning the debt obligations the government has committed to for the near future.

I would also like to quickly note that mainstream economists were predicting in 2011 that the United States would reach 101 percent of GDP by 2021. Just one year later, we have already crossed the 101 percent marker.

Add to this the projected costs of Obamacare ($17 trillion in estimated long-term unfunded obligations), and what you get is a broke country.

The only factor which has stayed the tide of a full-blown macro-implosion of the United States is the world reserve status of our currency. The dollar is all we have left. Period. But don’t count on that for much longer either. With multiple nations, including China and Japan (our largest foreign debt holders), quietly forming bilateral trade agreements that cut out the use of the greenback, it will not be long before its world reserve status disappears as well. When that happens, we are on our own. The private Federal Reserve can print all it wants; but if other countries no longer need dollars to facilitate cross border trade, then what we will get is hyperinflation, or stagflation. Obamacare only expedites this process by generating even more liabilities we cannot cover, thereby giving the central bank even more excuse to churn out dollars with wild abandon.

To put it plainly, all those people who believe America is the “richest country in the world” are living in la-la land. We are broke. Bust. In the red. In the hole. Insolvent. And we can’t all move back in with our parents like so many Obamacare proponents I have met.

Go Ahead, Try To Enforce Obamacare

We have no money. Therefore, the debate over universal socialized medicine is ultimately pointless. It is mathematically and economically impossible to implement. What the Supreme Court says on the subject of socialization certainly matters in terms of principle, and they have failed Americans spectacularly in every respect. But, in terms of finance, the Supreme Court’s shocking decision means nothing.

One of Ron Paul’s primary arguments against the ongoing wars in the Mideast is that whether one agrees with these conflicts is irrelevant. The United States does not have the means to fund them. Eventually, we will break the bank and the dollar to maintain our presence in the region, and thus, the wars will end one way or another. The same philosophy goes for Obamacare and every other socializing program presented in America.

They will say that taxation will cover the costs, but how do you raise taxes on a populace that is growing more destitute every year? How do you take money from people if they do not have it? This tactic doesn’t seem to be working very well for Europe. Also, keep in mind that as population and inflation grow exponentially, so will costs. The taxation will have to expand as fast or faster than the expenditures. This is why so many opponents of Obamacare voice concerns over population reduction programs and rejected care; they are an inevitable end result. When you institutionalize health and life under the auspices of bureaucracy, you must also invariably institutionalize death. Population and life suddenly become a numbers issue to the state, rather than a moral issue.

They will say that the penalties to those who refuse to participate will cover the costs of the rest. Again, how to you take money from people who do not have it? What if millions of people simply refuse to participate and refuse to pay penalties?

They will say “tax the corporations,” and we could. But, as the derivatives crisis has proven, most major corporations in the United States are on the government take just to survive. We cannot have corporate bailouts and increased corporate taxation at the same time. The bailouts would have to end, the companies would collapse and we would be right back where we started. Just like our government, most corporations also operate on false wealth. They will not be paying for Obamacare anytime soon.

They will say that it is all for the greater good, but since when has the establishment been qualified to define what the “greater good” is? Is Obamacare really a matter of conscience? Or is it a farce flaunted about as if it is a matter of conscience?

They will say that people must be forced to do what is right for the group. I say such hubris has always led to catastrophe. Usually, the select beneficiaries of tyrannical cultures call for the might of the central government to be wrought upon the rest of the citizenry — not to do right by conscience, but to satiate their desire for control. Men love government as long as it is imposing their particular worldview, and as long as the tables never turn.

They will say that current medical practices and costs are terrible and something must be done. I agree. However, Obamacare is not the answer.

Principles and existentialist debates aside, the primary question remains: Where is a realistic plan to pay for this monstrosity of a program? I have yet to see a single grounded solution to the quandary. How does one pay for something he will never be able to afford? If there are no means, there will be no Obamacare.

–Brandon Smith

Community Vs. Collectivism

Tyranny thrives by feeding on human necessity. It examines what sustains us, what we hope for, what we desire and what we love, and it uses those needs as leverage against us.

If you want safety, tyrants will take it away and barter it back to you at a steep price. If you want to raise a family, then you must accept the state as a part-time parent. If you want independence, then you are simply labeled as a threat and done away with altogether. Autocratic rulers are first and foremost salesmen; they convince us that life itself has a cost, that we are born indebted and that all bills must be made payable to the establishment. First and foremost, we are sold on the idea that in all of this, we are ultimately alone.

It is within these manipulated concepts of cost and isolation that we discover the foundation of all totalitarian cultures: collectivism.

Collectivism is a psychological prison derived from a beneficial instinct as old as humanity itself: the instinct to connect with others, to share experiences and knowledge, to build and create together. It is an instinct as essential to our survival as breathing. Collectivism uses this instinct as a weapon. It is a corrupted and poisoned harnessing of our intuitive nature. It is an inadequate and cancerous substitute for something that normally invigorates and supports healthy culture: true community.

In this age, our ideas of what constitutes “community” have been tainted and confused with the propaganda of collectivists. Our instincts tell us that the world we have been presented is hollow, while our controlled environment tells us that the world is just as it should be (or the best we’re going to get, anyway). How then, are we to tell the difference between natural community and destabilizing and destructive collectivism?

Common Aspects Of Collectivism

Looking back at the single-minded and highly dominating collectivist experiments of the past, it is easy to see the common threads between them. Certain methods are always present. Certain actions are always taken. Certain beliefs are always adopted. Here are just a few:

The Blank Slate: In order for the state to elevate itself in importance above the individual, it must first promote the idea that the individual does not exist, that your uniqueness or inherent character are only a byproduct of your environment. There are many methods to propagating this mindset. Junk science and establishment psychological theorists often treat the human mind as a mere bundle of chemicals and synapses.

Existentialism attacks individualism from the philosophical end, suggesting that all actions and reactions are random results of a purely chaotic universe, while at the same time peddling moral relativism and apathy.

Religious organizations that choose to abuse their positions of trust also feed collectivism by standing in the way of personal awareness, or even making it taboo to value the individual over the collective (though people tend to wrongly blame the concept of religion itself, rather than the corrupt men who sometimes misuse it).

Each one of these tactics is a tool in the arsenal of collectivists meant to degrade our social admiration for individual thought. Yet as desperate as elitists have been through the years to build an environment devoid of independent thought, they have met only with failure.

Centralization Instead Of Cooperation: Cooperation in society is often spontaneous and dependent on a number of underlying factors working together at the right place and at the right time. It takes a noble endeavor and even more noble leadership to inspire the masses to step onto the same path toward the same direction. This is why legitimate, large-scale cooperation is so venerated in the annals of history; such events are truly rare and miraculous. Tyrants and elitists have no endeavors that rank as “noble.” They serve only their own interests. So, instead of trying to encourage cooperation they won’t receive, they centralize various systems by coercion. If you can’t convince the public to abandon their own paths for yours, then forcefully remove all paths until the people have only one choice left.

Economic centralization is very indicative of this maneuver. While we in the liberty movement see a whole spectrum of possible options for markets and trade, many other people see only what is right in front of them: the same crooked fiat money system controlled by the same gaggle
of fraudulent central bankers. A large portion of our populace has been convinced that there is only one way to participate in the economy; thus, they act collectively and blindly.

Another obvious example is the false left/right political system. While there are as many political views as there are people, most people tend to affiliate themselves with one of two: Republican or Democrat. Even if you were to believe that the two major parties are honestly opposed,
you have still allowed the establishment to narrow your choices down to two. Add the fact that both major parties actually support nearly the same exact policies and goals, and now your choices have been narrowed to one. Millions of people jump on this one bandwagon every four years, thinking that they are cooperating voluntarily, when they have instead been centralized, and collectivized.

Constant Fear, Constant Threats: Fear and survival are powerful motivators. Without ample self-awareness and strength of character, these basic instincts can overwhelm rationality and conscience. Every collectivist feudalist system ever devised has used a “common enemy” or an iron hand to quell dissent in the citizenry and to forcefully unify them not under the auspices of an honest cause, but a terror so profound as to drive them to malleable despair. After a period of constant danger and distress, even fascism can feel comfortable for a while. Collectivist systems are always clashing with the bubbling tides of individual freedom. Because of this, they must continuously qualify their usefulness. There must always be an imminent threat over the horizon; otherwise, the strangling regulations of the state serve no purpose.

Individualism Equated With Selfishness: One of the inevitable conditions of collectivism is the demonization of free thought. In a collective, every person becomes a cog in a great machine. The majority begins to see itself not as a group of individuals acting together, but as a single unit with a single purpose. Any person who chooses to step outside of the box and point out a different view becomes a danger to the whole. A machine cannot function if all the parts are not working in harmony. Disagreement in a collectivist system is not considered a civic duty; it is considered a crime that places everyone else at risk. As a dissenter, you are not a person, but a malfunction that must be dealt with.

It is easy to tell when your Nation is turning toward collectivism; you have to gauge only how often you are accused of “selfishness” every time you question the needs of the state over the needs of the individual.

Promises Of A Fantastic Future: “Innovation” and “progress” are alluring dreams that can easily be realized in a free society made up of intelligent individuals thinking in ways that go against the norm. The more unique insights present in a culture, the more likely it is to surpass itself and succeed. Strangely, though, it always seems to be collectivists who throw around visions of high-tech trains, floating cities and sustainability as benefits to relinquishing certain freedoms. The insinuation is that if people set aside their individualism, their society becomes stronger and more productive, like worker bees who strive for only one thing: the perfect hive.

Common Aspects Of Community

Now that we have explored the intricacies of collectivism, let’s take a look at what it is designed to destroy. What makes real community? What are its benefits and its weaknesses? How does it begin? How does it end? Why is it such a threat to collectivists?

Real Purpose: Communities develop in light of meaningful exchange. Their purpose is natural and common. Their goals are not fixed, but evolve as the community progresses. The beneficiaries are the citizenry — sometimes even those who do not directly participate, rather than a select minority of elites. Communities work best when purpose and destiny are self-determined.

Voluntary Participation: There is no need to force people to participate in a system that operates on honesty, conscience and individual will. In fact, many people today long for a
system like this. When men and women apply their energies to something they believe in, instead of something they are manipulated into following, the results can be spectacular. Progress becomes second nature — an afterthought instead of an unhealthy obsession.

Legitimate Respect: The purpose of a true community is not to keep tabs on the personal lives of its participants, nor to mold their notions. The rights of the individual are respected above all else. Again, the more varied the insights of a population, the stronger it becomes. For a community to attempt to stifle the viewpoints of its citizens would be to commit suicide. There is
strength in numbers, but even greater strength in variety. Individualism takes effort, time and dedication. A society made up of people who have made this journey cannot help but esteem each other.

Flexibility Leads To Stability: A wise man adopts what works and throws out what fails. He does not dismiss methods out of hand, nor does he hang onto methods that disappoint simply because he cannot let go. He educates himself through experience. Adaptability, flexibility and agility in thought and in policy create solid ground for a society to build. Communities survive by being able to admit when a mistake has been made and by being open to new options. Rigid systems, like collectivist systems, cannot function unless the people conform to the establishment and its deficiencies. Communities function best when the establishment conforms to the people and the truth.

Mutual Aid: Collectivist systems are notorious for promoting the idea that “we are all one.” However, they usually end up becoming the most antisocial and uncaring cultures to
grace the planet. You cannot centralize or enforce charity because then it is no longer charity, but slavery. Citizens of communities, on the other hand, actually seek to help each other — not because they expect immediate returns or because it’s “good for the state,” but because they value an atmosphere of benevolence. The generosity of community helps individuals detach from dependence on government, or bureaucracy. The less dependence on centralized authority, the stronger and safer everyone becomes.

Mutual Defense: While collectivism sacrifices its participants for some undefined “greater good,” communities defend one another, knowing that if the fate of one’s neighbor is ignored, the fate of oneself may also be ignored by others. No one is “expendable” in a community. Everyone is expendable in a collective.

Building Community In A Modern World

The task of constructing meaningful community today is daunting, but crucial. In an increasingly centralized and desensitized world, the only recourse of the honorable is to decentralize and to reintroduce the model of independence once again. This starts with self-sufficient communities and solid principles. It starts with unabashed and unwavering pride in the values of sovereignty and liberty. It starts with a relentless pursuit of balance and truth. It starts with an incredible amount of hard work.

The trappings of collectivism sometimes seem insurmountable. The mindless devotion of our friends and family to a system that harms them can cause us to lose hope and to lose focus. We must remember how collectivism operates: by removing the power of choice from the equation. If we return that power, then many people who we may have once deemed “lost causes” might awaken as well. By exposing the masses to another option, a better option, we undo years of lies and lengths of chain. If there was ever a perfect moment to begin this battle, now is the time. Americans are still searching for solutions, and they are not too fearful to pursue them once they are found.

–Brandon Smith

Defiance: A Lost Virtue?

It was Aug. 19, 1920. A military detachment of Red Army soldiers led by Bolshevik authorities steamrolled into the Russian town of Khitrovo to implement a policy known as “Prodrazvyorstka”; resource allocation in the name of national security which led to the confiscation of vital grain supplies and the starvation of millions of peasants.

To be sure, multiple excuses were used to rationalize the program, all in the name of the “greater good.” But in reality, Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks saw the farming culture of Russia not as human beings, but as mechanisms for feeding city residents and the army; the power centers of the newly formed Communist government.

This attitude of collectivism (and elitism at the highest levels) and the treatment of the food producing subsection of the populace as slaves to the machine predictably generated the desire for civil unrest and even rebellion. By the time the Red Army had entered Khitrovo, the region was already a tinderbox. After they had taken everything of value and began to beat elderly men in public view as an example to the rest of the town, a war had ignited.

At the height of what was later called “The Tambov Rebellion,” between 50,000 and 70,000 Russian citizens took up arms against their oppressive government. These included Red Army soldiers who left their posts to join the cause.

Vastly outnumbered, and technologically outclassed in every way, the guerilla fighters managed to infiltrate multiple levels of Bolshevik society and government and strike debilitating hits against Russian infrastructure. So great was the threat that Lenin, along with Red Army leadership, ordered chemical warfare to be used in the forests where guerrillas were thought to be dug in, as well as summary executions of civilians, many of whom were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Concentration camps were built; mostly to house women, children and elderly people thought to be related to insurgents and to be used as bargaining chips. Eventually, the rebellion diminished, but not before Lenin was forced to end the policy of Prodrazvyorstka along with many other directives that had angered the Russian public.

The Soviets later attempted to erase all memory of the event, destroying records and removing public figures who might recount what had happened. However, the fight against collectivist control and state power continued through numerous movements until the break-up of the empire decades later.

Now, many historians and cynics would label the Tambov Rebellion an overall failure. They did not succeed in removing Lenin and the Bolsheviks. They did not defeat the Red Army. They did not directly put an end to Prodrazvyorstka, though they did trigger a chain of dominos which forced Lenin’s hand. There was no glowing victory as there was during the American Revolution centuries before.

The freedom fighters were mostly forgotten until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the release of documentation that had survived the purge. However, what these men and women did accomplish was to set an example; to remind us of the ongoing and inevitable battle between oppressive establishments and the people they seek to dominate.

Even in the nightmare world of communist Russia, from the conquests of Lenin, to the terrors of Stalin, even in the face of organized and energized tyranny, people decided to fight rather than quietly live in servitude. The lesson we are taught by the Tambov Rebels is that there is no such thing as unassailable empire, that free thinking people will ALWAYS exist, that the drive for independence is inborn and inherent, and that no oligarchy will stand unopposed for very long.

Another lesson we learn is that defiance is a virtue unto itself. It is its own means and its own end. Wherever people seek truth and honor, no consequence is foreboding enough to stop them. Defiance takes no notice of the threat of death.

Some may question the example of the Tambov Rebellion and its relevance to our times. “Surely,” they will say, “the days of concentration camps, martial law, food confiscation and general war against the people by most governments are long gone. We are living in more ‘civilized times,’ where technology and reason prevail.”

The gullibility of this worldview is hard to ignore. In fact, Americans today may very well bear witness to similar or far worse tragedies in the coming years, if current Presidential directives and Congressional legislation are any indication. It has become obvious that the USA Patriot Acts which many in the public rolled over for (under some protest) was a mere warm-up to policies like the following:

  • The John Warner National Defense Authorization Act: A Bush-supported action allowing the President to unilaterally declare a “public or national emergency” for any reason he wishes without Congressional consent and institute martial law policies aimed at suppression of the populace (the President is required by the act to “inform” Congress of his intentions after 14 days, but does not give Congress the power of oversight). It also solidifies the erasure of Posse Comitatus.
  • Presidential Directive 51: Signed in private by George W. Bush. Allocates further power to the President to declare a national emergency for any reason he sees fit and to institute Continuity of Government Policies (martial law, among other things). This directive was only partially released to the public, but the entire document remains classified, even to members of Congress!
  • National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2012): Incorporates policies outlined in Senator John McCain’s and Senator Joseph Lieberman’s thoroughly rejected “Enemy Beligerents Act.” Allows the President along with the Department of Homeland Security to label anyone, even an American citizen, an “enemy combatant” under the laws of war. It opens the door to the complete dismantling of Habeas Corpus, giving military authorities the ability to arrest U.S. citizens without warrant, without due process, without trial by civilian jury, to be held indefinitely: in other words, rendition and black-bagging of U.S. citizens regardless of civil liberties or the Constitution.
  • Assassination Programs: President Barack Obama has not only claimed the right to assassinate American citizens, he has executed such orders. This policy works as an extension of the NDAA, meaning anyone can be labeled an enemy combatant without trial and can be detained or killed as such. These actions have been opposed by civil liberties unions and politicians alike, but because they have so far only been used against U.S. citizens working with al-Qaida, the general public remains on the fence or oblivious to the dangerous precedent. The Constitution specifically outlines what is to be done with Americans who aid the enemy in times of war in the Treason Clause. The Treason Clause allows NO assassination or detainment without trial. In fact, it REQUIRES a trial by jury along with two witnesses testifying to the overt criminal act. The Treason Clause has been utterly ignored by the Obama Administration thus far.
  • National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order: Obama recently signed this executive order which allows the President and the DHS to commandeer or confiscate public and private resources (any resources) in the name of national security and even allows for what essentially amounts to forced labor of U.S. citizens in the name of the “national good.” This is an almost exact replication of the powers claimed by Lenin and the Bolsheviks that triggered the Tambov uprising.
  • Internment And Resettlement Operations: A secret Department of Defense document recently leaked to the public outlines extensive planning on the part of the government to use DHS and FEMA to “relocate” U.S. citizens and detainees to internment camps for processing. Triggers for such a policy could include natural disasters, man-made disasters and terrorist attacks, among many others. The document specifically requires “special exceptions” to Posse Comitatus, allowing for military operation of the camps in question.

The response to many of the disturbing provisions listed above has so far remained in the legal and political realm. A considerable portion of those aware of the dangerous path our government has taken just over the past decade is to approach the problem from the top down. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to realize or understand the greater crisis at work.

Politically, there is very little recourse outside of full State nullification under the 10th Amendment. At the pace these executive orders and draconian bills are being churned out and slapped with a stamp of approval, the American people would have to unseat the President and almost every sitting Senator and Representative, replacing them with true Constitutional statesmen and revamping Washington D.C. in the span of a few years in order to prevent the inevitable totalitarian abuse of the legal powers that now exist. This is not going to happen. Given that almost every President and Presidential candidate for the last few decades has supported identical policies as far as expanding government power, voting in one party or the other (at least at the national level) does not appear to make much difference anymore.

Legally, every avenue is being explored, but with little progress. The recent block on the NDAA by 4th District Court Judge Katherine Forrest was a moment of hope among anti-NDAA proponents, but the end result was obvious to some of us in the Liberty Movement. So far, the Obama Administration has stated that her ruling is basically of no consequence to them and that they will continue to implement the NDAA as they see fit.

Apparently, the Judicial Branch now only has a say in matters of government when it agrees with the position of the President or DHS. This shows conclusively that the government intends to ignore court-based decisions that are contrary to desired policy and that while the legal fight should be pursued, we should not expect much in the results department.

So, where does this leave us? If we cannot redress our grievances through elections, or through the courts, what is there for a freedom loving American to do? Though the thought causes some to shudder, it is not only logical but imperative that we look at the existing alternatives seriously. Invariably, if a government was to enforce any or all of the policies listed above, the result would be citizen dissent, peaceful or militant.

When a social system becomes so corrupted that its only prerogative is its own survival and self perpetuation, even at the cost of the life and liberty of the people it was originally tasked to defend, the populace has no choice but to question whether that system should continue to exist any longer. Conflict, is unavoidable.

As clear as this fact is to anyone with any sense, though, I find that many seem to treat the idea of physical action as astonishing, or shocking. Some even laugh as if the concept is outdated and absurd. Yet, they never seem to have an answer to the primary underlying question: What else is there? If working within the system only results in wasted effort and wasted time, what do the naysayers plan to do? Curl up in a ball and die? Or perhaps join the venomous establishment they could not subdue?

As discussed earlier, the Tambov Rebellion and examples like it impress upon the narrow-minded visions of failure. To them, defiance, real defiance, leads only to death and disaster. The key to their extraordinary mistake is that they assume that defiance is about the “assurance” of victory. There are never any assurances. There were no assurances of victory for the Founding Fathers, there were no assurances for the Tambov Rebels, and there are no assurances for us if we one day have to draw a line in the sand against the very system we were born into.

At bottom, the debate over solutions within the system versus solutions from without is irrelevant. On our current course, there is no other choice for the average American but to say no, regardless of the law or the threat of its violent enforcement.

Rebellion, in all its forms, is as natural as the cycles of the Earth. It reoccurs time and again, sometimes suppressed, but not for long. The horrors of governments gone rogue are no secret. We have so many examples in history to draw from it is difficult to imagine any crime that despots have NOT visited upon innocents. Frankly, if control-thirsty elites can refine tyranny down to a science by examining the mistakes of the past, there is nothing stopping us from refining defiance down to an art form as well. Again, what other choice do we have, but to take heart in the knowledge that though there is no assurance of victory, there is also no assurance of defeat.

-Brandon Smith

The Life Of The Survivalist

We’ve all seen the stereotypes depicted in TV and film: a lonely, semi-frustrated man with a knack for carpentry, barbecue and ammo reloading. He stockpiles guns and food in his secret log cabin in the hills near his home and awaits — even anxiously anticipates — the inevitable end of the world. He believes only he will survive, because everyone else is an idiot. Oh, and he’s “crazy.” All survivalists are.

But is this stereotype in any way honest? Does one have to take on all these cumbersome characteristics in order to be a survivalist, or does one choose to become a survivalist and suddenly is stricken with angry redneck’s disease?

I became a survivalist three years ago, and I can say without a doubt: One does not have to live the stereotype.

Survivalism is not about taking on a new identity; it is about being prepared. It is not about paranoia and fear. It is about awareness, responsibility and common sense.

The average American today is often so disconnected from his own survival and self-defense that when confronted with the idea of “preparedness” he becomes incredulous, as if the entire concept is so fantastical it should be buried in a book of folklore along with fairies and unicorns. The fact of the matter is: True survival will soon be the first thing on many Americans’ minds instead of the last. Every man, whether he be a farmer in the country or a yuppie office jockey in the suburbs, will have to decide immediately what he is going to do — mentally above all else — to be ready for what is coming.

Taking Responsibility For Your Own Life

A survivalist understands that until he is self-reliant, he cannot help others. His life is his own. If he fails to protect it, he has only himself to blame.

No survivalist expects others, including the government, to save him from peril. No true survivalist will find himself after an inflationary collapse of the dollar crying on a street corner demanding free food and a job. He knows he will not get those things anyway, that anything he does get will come only through his own struggle and sacrifice.

Being truly free is a double-edged sword. While the possibilities of life become endless, one must be capably independent in order to make use of those possibilities freedom presents. This means taking one’s destiny into one’s own hands. It means hardship and heartbreak. It means striving, never stopping, always moving forward through any obstacle regardless of how seemingly impassable. It means having the will to fight back against oppression that appears insurmountable. Your world begins and ends with you, and the same goes for your problems. You are the maker of your own epoch.

Independence Is Not The Same As Selfishness

While it is impossible to be a survivalist without breaking free of our dependence on society, this does not mean we leave society in the dust. Survivalists are very aware and insightful people. When confronted with the ignorance of the average person, we often reel in horror and disgust. We can become jaded and uncaring for those who do not see the trouble coming, taking on an attitude of complacency when confronted with the plight of those we tried to warn. The cold Darwinian mantle “Survival of the Fittest” can take hold of us and make us lose our humanity. Some of us may even stop trying to warn people.

“Let them find out the hard way,” we think. “What’s the point? If they haven’t figured it out by now, they never will.”

But this is pure rationality, not wisdom; and there is a very big difference. While the survivalist movement is often linked with the “objectivist” philosophies of Ayn Rand and such philosophies lean toward the “every man for himself attitude,” wisdom dictates that this is simply not practical. It is, at the very least, an exaggeration of the truth. Human beings have an inborn sense of individualism. Cultivating this is at the very core of survivalism. However, we also have an incredibly strong inborn sense of compassion and connectivity to our fellow man. It is a part of our conscience, and it is something we cannot escape. It is in the nature of those who are aware of danger to try to protect those who are not.

The survivalist is not an island, and there is something much greater at work in the universe than the narrow mechanics of pure logic. The human heart must be heeded, lest we face the dire consequences; and the heart tells us that all life has a meaning — even the life of a stupid, useless man.

Why We Fight

Saving our own lives and the lives of our family is, of course, of optimal importance, but this alone is not enough. What is worth living for? What is worth dying for? What is the point of it all?

Do I personally feel a great sense of “admiration” for the large part of humanity? Certainly not! Nine out of 10 people I meet on a daily basis are earth-shatteringly ignorant, self-absorbed, egotistical, self-centered, socially backward products of the pop-culture sewage pit.

But do we condemn them to death for this? No, we do not. Instead, we fight for them every day.

We do not fight because of what humanity is. Most of us despise what humanity is. We fight for what it could be. We fight for the very real possibility of something far better than what we now know — a world where individualism is the norm and where elite minorities of men bent on dominion are given no ground, no foothold, no quarter. We fight for a world where original thought is encouraged instead of crushed, logic and emotion are given equal importance instead of generically separated and compartmentalized, honesty and courage are rewarded instead of mocked, and the love of our fellow man is natural and real, instead of fabricated and forced for the sake of appearances.

We fight for a world we may never live to see, not because it is “reasonable,” but because every impulse at our very core tells us it is right. It is necessary. It is one of the reasons we are here, now. The survivalist is not just a self-reliant and insightful man of resolve; he is the levy upon which the ripping torrential waters of history collide. He is the wall that stays the tide. If the survivalist collapses, then nothing can hold; but if he remains, as solid as stone, then there is a chance for everyone.

Whether we like it, in times of pain the world turns to those men who have either the conviction and great strength of an honorable soul or those who are clever and evil enough to fake it. By becoming a survivalist in such times, one also inadvertently becomes a symbol to others. Ironically, by breaking free of the masses, in a sense we also become partly responsible for them. The example we set could determine the very direction of the future. The way of the survivalist becomes a steadfast light in the darkness, until finally, all men can see.

How The U.S. Dollar Will Be Replaced

The great frustration of being actively involved in the liberty movement is the fact that many people are rarely on the same page (or even the same book) during political and economic discussion. Where we see the nature of the false left/right paradigm, they see “free democracy.” Where we see a tidal wave of destructive debt, they see a “responsible government” printing and spending in order to protect our “best interests.” Where we see totalitarianism, they see “safety.” Where we see dollar devaluation, they see dollar strength and longevity. Ultimately, because the average unaware citizen is stricken by the disease of normalcy bias and living within the doldrums of a statistical fantasy world, he simply has no point of reference by which to grasp the truth when exposed to it. It’s like trying to explain the concept of “color” to a man who has been blind since birth.

Americans in particular are prone to reactionary dismissal when exposed to facts that disrupt their misconceptions. Our culture experienced a particularly prosperous age, not necessarily free from all trouble, but generally spared from widespread mass tragedy for a generous length of time. This tends to breed within societies an overt and unreasonable expectation of ease. It generates apathy and laziness.

Several economic events are likely to take place this year, including the exit of peripheral countries from the European Union, the conflict between austerity and socialist spending in France and Germany, the development of bilateral trade agreements between China and numerous other countries that cut out their reliance on the U.S. dollar and the announcement of quantitative easing III (aka QE3) by the Federal Reserve. All of these elements are leading in one direction: the end of the greenback as the world reserve currency.

Some people question how it would be even remotely possible that the dollar could be replaced. The concept is so outside their narrow worldview that they cannot fathom it.

The question is a viable one. How could the dollar be unseated?

The Dollar A Safe Haven?

Believing that the dollar is a safe haven is lunacy based on multiple biases. For some people, the dollar represents America. A collapse of the currency would suggest a failure of the republic and, thus, a failure by them as individual Americans. By extension, it becomes “patriotic” to defend the dollar’s honor and deny any information that might suggest it is on a downward spiral.

Other people see how the investment world clings to the dollar as a kind of panic room, a protected place where one’s savings will be insulated from crisis. However, just because a majority of day-trading investors are gullible enough to overlook the greenback’s pitfalls does not mean those dangerous weaknesses disappear.

There is only one factor that shields the dollar from implosion: its position as the world reserve currency. Without this exalted status, the currency’s value vanishes. Backed by nothing but massive debt that cannot be repaid, it sits frighteningly idle — like a time bomb waiting for the moment of ignition.

The dollar is valuable only so long as foreign investors believe we will pay back the considerable debts we owe, and that we will not hyperinflate in the process. If they ever begin to see their purchases of dollars and treasuries as a gamble instead of an investment, the façade falls away.

The epic dysfunction of the dollar is rooted in its reliance on perception instead of tangible wealth or strong fundamentals. Indeed, it is like any other fiat mechanism, with all the inevitable pitfalls built into its structure.

Ironically, the value of the U.S. Dollar Index is measured not by its intrinsic buying power or its historical buying power, but its arbitrary buying power in comparison with other collapsing fiat currencies. The argument I hear most often when pointing out the calamitous path of the dollar is that it is the go-to safe haven in response to the crisis in Europe. What the financially inept don’t seem to grasp is that the shifting of savings back and forth between the euro and the dollar is just as irrelevant to our currency’s survival as it is to Europe’s. Both currencies are in decline, and this is evident by the growing inflationary pressures on both sides of the Atlantic. Ask any consumer in Greece, Spain, France or the U.K. how shelf prices have changed in the past four years, and they will say the exact same thing as any consumer in the United States: Prices have gone way up. Therefore, it makes sense to compare the dollar’s value not to the euro, but something more practical, like the dollar of the past.

In 1972, just as President Richard Nixon was removing the dollar from the last vestiges of the gold standard, a new car cost an average of $4,500. A home cost about $40,000. A gallon of gas cost 36 cents. A loaf of bread cost 25 cents. A visit to the doctor’s office cost $25. Wages were certainly lower, but they kept much better pace with the prices of the era. Today, the gap between wages and inflation is insurmountable. The average family is unable to keep up with the pace of rising prices.

According to the historic buying power of the dollar, the currency is a poor safe-haven investment. With the advent of bailout efforts and debt monetization through quantitative easing, its devaluation has been expedited dramatically. The question then arises: Why do foreign countries continue to buy in on the greenback?

The Dollar Dump Has Already Begun

One of my favorite arguments by those defending the dollar is the assertion that no foreign country would dare to dump the currency because they are all too dependent on U.S. trade. The reality is that foreign countries are calmly and quietly dumping the dollar as a global trade instrument.

To those people who consistently claim that the dollar will never be dropped, my response is, it already has been dropped! China, in tandem with other BRICS nations (members of the bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), has been covertly removing the greenback as the primary trade unit through bilateral deals since 2010. First China and Russia turned their backs on the dollar; the entire ASEAN trading bloc (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and numerous other markets, including Japan, have followed suit.

China in particular has been preparing for this eventuality since 2005, when it introduced the first yuan-denominated bonds. The bonds were considered a strange novelty back then, especially because China had so much surplus savings that it seemed outlandish for them to take on treasury debt. Today, the move makes a lot more sense. With the proliferation of the yuan and the conversion of the Chinese economy away from dependence on exports toward a more consumer-based economy, the Chinese have effectively decoupled from its reliance on U.S. markets. Would a collapse in the U.S. hurt China’s economy? Yes. Would it survive? Oh, yes — far better than America would, at least.

In 2008, I warned of this development and was attacked on all sides by more mainstream economists and Keynesian proponents who stated that such a development was impossible. Today, it’s common knowledge that our primary creditors are “diversifying” away from the dollar, though mainstream media talking heads and those who parrot them still claim that this is not a threat to our economy.

The true threat to the dollar’s supremacy is not the constant printing by the private Federal Reserve (though that is a nightmare in the making), but the loss of faith in our currency as a whole. What’s the bottom line? A dollar collapse is not “theory” but undeniable fact, driven by concrete action on the part of the very nations that have until recently propped up our debt obligations. It is only a matter of time before the dollar diminishes and fades away. All signs point to a loss of reserve status in the short term.

What Will Replace The Dollar?

My next favorite argument in defense of the greenback is the assertion that there is “no currency in a position to take the dollar’s place if it falls.” That assertion is based on a naïve assumption that the dollar will not fall unless there is another currency to replace it. I’m not sure who made up that rule, but the dollar is perfectly able to be flushed without a replacement in the wings. Economic collapse does not follow logical guidelines or the personal pet peeves of random economists.

But, to be fair, there is actually a replacement already conveniently ready to roll forward. The IMF for a couple of years now has openly called for the retirement of the dollar as the world reserve currency, to be supplanted by the elitist organization’s very own “Special Drawing Rights” (SDRs).

The SDR is a trading mechanism created in the early 1970s to replace gold as the primary means of international trade between foreign governments. Today, it has morphed into a basket of currencies that is recognized by almost every country in the world and is in a prime position to take the dollar’s place in the event that it loses reserve status. This is not theory; this is cold, hard reality. Even the U.S. Post Office now uses conversion tables that denominate costs in SDRs.

Men who promote the philosophies of globalization greatly desire the exaltation of a global currency. The dollar, though a creation of a central bank, is still a semi-sovereign monetary unit. It is an element that is getting in the way of the application of the global currency dynamic. I find it rather convenient (at least for those who subscribe to globalism) that the dollar is now in the midst of a perfect storm of decline just as the IMF is ready to introduce its latest fiat concoction in the form of the SDR. I find the blind faith in the dollar’s lifespan to be rife with delusion. It is not a matter of opinion or desire, but a matter of fact that currencies in such tenuous positions fall and are replaced. I believe the evidence shows that this is a deliberate process, leading toward the globalist ideal: an unaccountable economic or governing body that operates an economic system utterly devoid of transparency and responsibility.

The dollar was a median step toward a newer and more corrupt ideal. Its time is nearly over. This is open, it is admitted, and it is being activated as you read this. The speed at which this disaster occurs is really dependent on the speed at which our government and our central bank decide to expedite doubt. Doubt in a currency is a furious omen, costing not just investors, but an entire society. America is at the very edge of such a moment. The naysayers can scratch and bark all they like, but the financial life of a country serves no person’s emphatic hope. It burns like a fire. Left unwatched and unchecked, it grows uncontrollable and wild until there is nothing left to fuel its hunger, and it chokes in a haze of confusion and dread.

–Brandon Smith

How States Can Protect Themselves From Financial Collapse

The States of America are, truly, children of the Constitution. The legal framework that is the foundation of State sovereignty and internal administration was unprecedented when the United States won its independence. States were designed to decentralize and keep in check the power of the Federal government. They were meant to be the guardians at the gate, the barrier to the formation of oligarchy or outright dictatorship. This, of course, has changed drastically.

The battle over centralized versus decentralized authority and economy has been going on for quite some time. It is undeniably critical in our current climate of crisis, under a government that is bankrupt in every sense and a currency that is on the verge of calamity.

A vast shift in State independence was definitely caused by the reformations of the Civil War, but the progressive erasure of financial sovereignty in the States was really placed on the fast track after the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. That’s when the enforcement of new taxes fueled the establishment machine, including Social Security (from which the government constantly steals). Also in 1913, the income tax (which does not pay for any State infrastructure) came to life. By the end of that year, the Federal government could borrow fiat money created at will by the private central bank from thin air and it could tax the populace to feed the Federal Reserve in a cannibalistic circle of doom. This dynamic has grown our government to a size so massive that it is now forced to monetize its own debt just to survive.

Setting aside the inevitable collapse of the dollar and our economic system as we know it, a considerable goal has been achieved by centralists: With so much free money at the disposal of the Feds, they could wipe away the last vestiges of State sovereignty by simply buying State compliance. Through agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency; Food and Drug Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; etc., 10th Amendment checks and balances are trampled constantly without any regard for local laws or the will of the people. State governments and citizens would be in a far better position to deny such agency intrusions if they didn’t gobble every dollar that Washington, D.C., waves in their faces. In our era of tenuous fiscal stopgaps and imploding economies, the need for Americans, and especially States, to decouple from the Federal government and the mainstream system is more important than ever.

The following is a step-by-step method that States could use to accomplish the task of insulation from financial crisis and Federal control. Much of it hinges on a willingness by State governments to actually pursue independence, which might seem like a naïve dream to most of us. But in the wake of a major breakdown and the fall of the greenback, I believe many States will seek a way to weather the storm, if only out of a desire to survive. This includes walking away from their ties to Washington:

Step 1: Stop Accepting Federal Funding

For States already drowning in debt, this is probably an incomprehensible idea (there is no financial escape for California or Illinois that I can see). But for those States that have some responsibility and lower debt levels, Federal funding is not necessary. Much of the money the Federal government collects comes through State cooperation. The money is then handed back to the States through various avenues with strings attached. The rest of the capital Washington pumps into States is attained through printing without even the pretense of originating at the State level. The fiat money carries the high price of dollar devaluation and the hidden tax of inflation. The fact is States are not required by law (yet) to accept Federal funds. As long as States do so anyway, they expose themselves to Federal influence. As the dollar goes, so shall all those tied to it. States should take a lesson from Asian bloc nations like China or Japan and begin distancing themselves as far away from U.S. currency and debt as possible. In the long term, those that do will endure. Those that don’t will be dragged under the water along with the sinking ship.

Step 2: Enforce 10th Amendment Nullification

Once States are no longer beholden to Federal monies, they have more leeway to obstruct intrusions by alphabet agencies and to deny dangerous legislative programs (like Obamacare) that put them at financial risk. Nullification takes many forms, and numerous issues have the potential to become vehicles for the assertion of 10th Amendment rights. One very fascinating political method was devised by Idaho State Representative Phil Hart (R-Hayden), who used the power to declare emergencies by States themselves to devise a piece of legislation which would allow Idaho to trump Federal and EPA restriction of the local wolf problem. As the bill flew through the Legislature, interestingly, Congress delisted the wolf as an endangered species. Obviously, the Federal government did not want the issue to become a success for 10th Amendment rights, so it defused the situation by pulling back the EPA. Essentially, the Federal government blinked.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWPXiSf1tV8&w=560&h=315]
This strategy could be used for multiple State conflicts with the Federal government to effectively nullify their ability to lord over and interfere with specific needs of the people of a particular region. The future economic prosperity of the various States will depend greatly on their ability to take decisive fiscal action without constantly having to ask permission from the Feds.

Step 3: Set Up A State Bank

There is certainly some controversy over the idea of a State bank. In the end, any institution can be twisted for devious ends, and a State bank is no different. However, this system has worked well in North Dakota, where a State bank has been in operation for more than 90 years. Some from the “left” (whatever that means anymore) often attempt to use the institution as an example of “socialist banking,” which is not exactly accurate and gives the strategy a bad name. Yes, the bank is State-owned, but its purpose is to invest in and encourage free market enterprise within the State, not create a State-owned and -operated economy.

A State bank would be especially effective in a resource-rich area, where a State government can invest in local projects run by local companies that employ local people. This is the opposite of what we see so often today, where international corporate entities are given monopoly over resource development within a State. They siphon away most of the profits and jobs from the region, while the Federal government thwarts the growth of competing small businesses through concerted taxation and regulation. This goes on because States often do not feel they have the funding capability to encourage local business efforts. The problem diminishes drastically with a State bank, if done correctly, honestly and with oversight from the citizenry.

Step 4: Resource Development

As mentioned above, resource-rich States will have a noticeable advantage in the event of a primary system collapse. As the dollar continues to tumble and inflation rises, trade methods will eventually revert to raw goods and materials. This has taken place in nearly every recorded modern economic crisis. It was especially prevalent during Weimar Germany, when debtor nations began refusing the hyperinflated deutschemark as payment and demanded natural resources from the Germans instead. States with heavy resources will be in a perfect position to decouple from the failing establishment and build their own systems (which is probably a main motivation behind Obama’s National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order).

Step 5: Adopt Alternative Currencies

There is a lot of debate over the “legality” of a State coining its own money, so I recommend cutting out the debate entirely and merely adopting metals like silver, gold and copper as recognized methods of payment within the State. Many State governments are considering measures for alternative currencies. Some States, like Utah, have passed bills on precious metals. The problem is that most of these bills do not go far enough. States are going to have to complete the economic chain by paying out precious metals into the system and encouraging businesses to do likewise. It’s not enough for residents to be allowed to pay in.

States that rely on the dollar as their only trade mechanism will fail. States that decentralize currencies by adding other options into the mix will survive. It’s really that simple.

Step 6:  Encourage Localized Markets

States will be only as healthy economically as their individual communities allow. Small communities can become independent trade networks on their own, but the right State help and encouragement would make the process move along much faster. The more self-reliant towns and counties become, the more insulated they become from wide-spectrum disaster. During any national breakdown, redundancy is the key. It will mean the difference between a total nightmare scenario and large-scale tragedy, or a minimal system shock followed by rapid rebuilding. Barter must be reintroduced to the American lifestyle, and States have the ability to help nurture network growth. Trade skills and micro-industries can easily be promoted through State programs.

This is the kind of constructive government involvement that is needed. It seeks to open doors and then gets out of the way, rather than closing doors and grasping for more control. Unfortunately, policies like this are not possible under the current Federal construct, but they still could be possible within the States.

In the event that your State government is not receptive to the idea of independent economy, not all is lost. Each of the steps above can be accomplished in reverse at the neighborhood, town and county level. Over a period of time and with relentless drive, solid alternative networks will spread, link and take over a State regardless of what the local government approves of. The secret is this: If you provide for yourself and others what the mainstream system will not, eventually, it will either have to conform to your logic because it works, or it will try to stop you with violence and expose its inherent tyranny, building greater resistance. In either case, you win.

–Brandon Smith