Gold Markets Get Strange: Is Economic Danger Near?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fact No. 2: Our Economy Is Addicted To Stimulus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fact No. 4: Stimulus Cannot Continue Forever

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

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

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

Gold And Silver Go Three Dimensional

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brandon Smith

Get Ready For The Next Great Stock Market Exodus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Stimulus Fantasy

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

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

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

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

Crushing Energy Prices Coming Soon?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Close They Can’t See It

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

Brandon Smith

True Defiance: I Challenge You To Survive The Coming Collapse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Store A Six-Month Supply Of Food 

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

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

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

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

Find A Water Source

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

Buy A Rifle

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

Buy 1,000 Rounds Of Ammo

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

Buy Proper Clothing

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

Sanitation

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

Grow A Garden

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

Find Two Neighbors Who Are On Board

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

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

Find One Barter Partner

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

Find One Retreat Location

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

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

Bury One Survival Cache

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

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

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

The Dark Future Of America’s Surveillance Culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Nightmare Has Just Begun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brandon Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fight Tyranny From The Bottom Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

The Terrible Future Of The Syrian War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Brandon Smith

Is America’s Economy Being Sovietized?

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

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

The Tyranny Of Planned Economy

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

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

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

Controlled Money Creation

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

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

Dominance Of Industry

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

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

Bureaucracy And Food Production

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

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

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

Centralized Control Of Investment

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

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

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

Labor Oppression, Dismal Living Standards And Government Dependency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

Lions And Tigers And Terrorists, Oh My!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 
 
What started as an appeal to the average American’s sense of Islamophobia after the 9/11 attacks has now evolved into the full-spectrum theater of random domestic terrorism that culminates in what the establishment calls “self-radicalization.”

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith 

Statists Use Twisted Logic To Attack The Bill Of Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

The Goal Is To Destroy All Constitutional Culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

Will Globalists Use North Korea To Trigger Catastrophe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 –Brandon Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Survivalism Is Stigmatized By Unpleasant Associations

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

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

My Family Is Not On Board

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

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

I’m Always Too Busy

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

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

I Can’t Afford To Prepare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

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