It’s Not America Anymore

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

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

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

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

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

America Is Supposed To Be Controlled By The People

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

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

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

America Is Supposed To Prosper Through Free Markets

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

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

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

America Is Supposed To Have A Reserved Foreign Policy

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

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

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

America Is Supposed To Respect Individual Rights

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

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

What Have We Become?

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

The New American Guardians

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

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

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

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

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

Fighting For Truth In An Age Of Lies

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

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

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

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

True Patriots Versus Fake Statists

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

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

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

No Fear, No Regrets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Return Of Freedom’s Protectors

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

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

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

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

Syria And Iran Dominos Lead To World War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syria And Iran Will Join Forces

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

Iran Will Shut Down The Strait Of Hormuz

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

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

Israeli Action Will Draw In The United States

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

Syria Will Receive Support From Russia And China

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

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

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

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

Economic Implosion Will Become Secondary To The Banksters’ Benefit 

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

Bad Economic Signs 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multiple Central Banks Issuing Policy Changes Simultaneously 

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

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

Trade Volume Collapsing

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

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

The Libor Scandal

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

The Socialization Of America Is Economically Impossible

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

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

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

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

Socialism Is Failure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The United States is no different.

Forget Universal Healthcare, The U.S. Is Bust

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go Ahead, Try To Enforce Obamacare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

Community Vs. Collectivism

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

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

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

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

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

Common Aspects Of Collectivism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common Aspects Of Community

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Building Community In A Modern World

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

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

–Brandon Smith

Defiance: A Lost Virtue?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Brandon Smith

The Life Of The Survivalist

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

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

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

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

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

Taking Responsibility For Your Own Life

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

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

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

Independence Is Not The Same As Selfishness

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

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

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

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

Why We Fight

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

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

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

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

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

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

How The U.S. Dollar Will Be Replaced

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

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

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

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

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

The Dollar A Safe Haven?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dollar Dump Has Already Begun

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

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

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

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

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

What Will Replace The Dollar?

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

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

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

How States Can Protect Themselves From Financial Collapse

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

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

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

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

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

Step 1: Stop Accepting Federal Funding

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

Step 2: Enforce 10th Amendment Nullification

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

This strategy could be used for multiple State conflicts with the Federal government to effectively nullify their ability to lord over and interfere with specific needs of the people of a particular region. The future economic prosperity of the various States will depend greatly on their ability to take decisive fiscal action without constantly having to ask permission from the Feds.

Step 3: Set Up A State Bank

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

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

Step 4: Resource Development

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

Step 5: Adopt Alternative Currencies

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

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

Step 6:  Encourage Localized Markets

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

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

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

–Brandon Smith

The Oil Conundrum Explained

Oil as a commodity has always been a highly valuable early warning indicator of economic instability. Every conceivable element of our financial system depends on the price of energy, from fabrication to production to shipping to the consumer’s very ability to travel and make purchases. High energy prices derail healthy economies and completely decimate systems already on the verge of collapse. Oil affects everything.

This is why oil markets also tend to be the most misrepresented in the mainstream financial media. With so much at stake over the price of petroleum, and the cost steadily climbing over the past year returning to disastrous levels last seen in 2008, the American public will soon be looking for someone to blame. You can bet the MSM will do its utmost to ensure that blame is focused in the wrong direction. While there are, indeed, multiple reasons for the current high costs of oil, the primary culprits are obscured by considerable disinformation.

The most prominent but false conclusions on the expanding value of oil are centered on assertions that supply is decreasing dramatically, while demand is increasing dramatically. Neither of these claims is true.

The supply side of the oil equation is the absolute last factor that we should be worried about at this point. In fact, global oil use since the credit crisis of 2008 has tumbled dramatically. This decline accelerated at the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 all while oil prices rose.

In its February Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast a reduction in the growth of demand into the spring of 2012, despite reports from the MSM that oil prices were spiking due to “recovery” and “high demand.” Simultaneously, the IEA reported that petroleum inventories rose to the highest levels since October 2008.

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), which measures global shipping rates and the demand for freight in general, has fallen off a cliff in recent months, hovering near historic lows and signaling a sharp decline in world demand for raw materials used in production. On multiple occasions in the past, a fall in the BDI has been a predictive indicator of stock market chaos, including that which struck in 2008 and 2009. A sharply lower BDI means low global demand, which should, traditionally, mean decreasing prices.

So, supply is high across the board, inventories are stocked and demand is weak. By all common market logic, gasoline prices should be plummeting, and far more Americans should be smiling at the pump. Of course, this is not the case. Prices continue to rise despite deflationary elements, meaning there must be some other factors at work that are causing inflation in prices.

Ironically, stock market activity in the Dow Jones industrial average has now come under threat from this inflationary trend in oil. Rising energy costs have essentially put a cap on the epic explosion of equities, and many mainstream analysts now lament over this catch-22. The problem is that these investors and pundits are operating on the assumption that the Dow bull market is legitimate, and that the rally in oil is somehow an extension of a “healthier economy.” This version of reality, I’m afraid, is about as far from the truth as one can stretch.

In the candy-coated world of Obamanomics, high-priced stocks are a valid signal of economic growth, and oil is rising due to demand that extends from this growth. In the real world, stock values are completely fabricated, especially in light of record low trade volume over the past several months.

Low trade volume means very few investors are currently participating in active trade. This lack of investment interest in the markets allows big players (such as international bankers) to use their massive capital to swing stocks whichever way they choose, even to the point of creating false market rallies. Throw in the fact that the private Federal Reserve (along with the helpful hands-off approach by our government) has been constantly infusing these banks with fiat money printed from thin air, and one can hardly take the current ascension of the Dow or Standard & Poor’s 500 index very seriously.

Another issue that should be stressed is renewed tension in the Mideast — namely, the very distinct possibility of an Israeli or U.S. strike in Iran, and the possibility of NATO involvement in Syria (which has extensive ties to Russia and Iran). Certainly, this is a tangible danger that would have unimaginable consequences in global oil markets. However, the threat of growing war in the Mideast is in no way a new one, and has been ever present for the past decade. It hardly explains why, despite hollow demand and extreme supply, the price per barrel of oil has been an unstoppable rising tide.

This schizophrenic disconnection between the stock market, oil, and true supply and demand is a symptom of one very disturbing illness lurking in the backwaters of the U.S. fiscal bloodstream: dollar devaluation.

We all understand that the Federal Reserve has been engaged in nonstop quantitative easing measures in one form or another since 2008. We don’t know exactly how much fiat money the Fed has printed in that time, and we won’t know until a full and comprehensive audit is finally enacted. But we do know that the amount is at the very least in the tens of trillions of dollars. (Be sure to check out page 131 of this GAO report to find their breakdown of Fed QE activities. This is just the money printing that has been admitted to, in excess of $16 trillion.)

The dollar is being thoroughly squashed. Why is this not showing in the foreign exchange (FOREX)? The way the dollar is represented in FOREX is yet another example of a useless market indicator, because it measures dollar value relative to a basket of world fiat currencies, all of which also happen to be in decline. That is to say, the dollar appears to be vibrant, as long as you compare it to similarly worthless paper currencies that are being degraded in tandem with the greenback. Once you begin to compare the dollar to commodities, however, it soon shows its inherent weakness.

The dollar’s only saving graces have long been its status as the world reserve currency and its use as the primary trade mechanism for oil. This, however, is changing.

Bilateral trade agreements between China, Russia, Japan, India and other countries — especially those within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations trading bloc — are slowly but surely removing the dollar from the game as these nations begin to replace trade using other currencies, including the Yuan. I believe commodities, especially oil, have been reflecting this trend for quite some time. Even after the release of strategic oil reserves in the summer of 2011 in an effort to dilute prices, and the announcement of an even larger possible release of reserves this month, oil has not strayed far from the $100-per-barrel mark. High Brent crude prices have held for years, even after numerous promises from government and media entities admonishing what they called “speculation” and promises of a return to lower energy costs. Not long ago, $100 per barrel oil was an outlandish premise. Today, it is commonplace, and some people even consider it “affordable” compared to what we may be facing in the near future — all thanks to the steady deconstruction of the last pillar of the U.S. economy, the dollar, and its world reserve label.

Ultimately, no matter how manipulated and overindulged the stock market becomes and no matter how many fiat dollars are injected to prop up our failing system, the price of oil is the great game changer. As inflation is reflected in its price and energy costs burn out of control, the Dow will begin to fall, regardless of any low volume or quantitative easing. In all likelihood, this conundrum will be blamed on as many scapegoats as are available at the moment, including Iran, China, Russia, Japan, etc. All Americans, especially those involved in tracking the economy, will have to remind themselves and the public that the Federal Reserve created the conditions by which we suffer, including currency devaluation and high oil prices — not some foreign enemy.

The one positive element of this entire disaster (if one can call anything “positive” in this mess) is the manner in which the high price of oil tends to dash away the illusions of the common citizen. It is an issue they simply cannot ignore, because it affects every aspect of their lives in minute detail. Costly energy awakens otherwise ignorant people and forces them to see the many dangers lurking on the horizon. Hopefully, this awakening will not be too little too late.

–Brandon Smith