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The World Is Wrong

Here is something that was thrown in my face at a relatively early age, as I began to think seriously and independently: So, the world is wrong and you’re right!?

But as it happened, I was more or less right. And very definitely the world was wrong.

The hierarchies of the world are trying to freeze everything and everyone in place. That means they will always be wrong. Even when they say the right things – like “murder is bad” – they’ll always be doing it for twisted reasons, with twisting effects…


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The Replacement Religions Of The West

Western civilization formed in the wake of Rome, based mainly upon Christian ideals. And because of those ideals, Europe became vastly different from Rome. Most overtly, Western civilization ejected slavery from Europe. To put it simply, European Christians replaced slavery (the economic driver of Rome and of more or less every civilization up to that time), with a version of free-market capitalism.

These facts aren’t honestly arguable, presuming that one looks at the facts rather than beloved dogmas. The population of the Western Roman Empire was roughly 25% slave in 476 AD, the traditional date of its end. By 1000 AD that percentage was down to roughly zero.

The reason slavery was ejected from Europe was clearly not Roman or Greek ideas: those were proud slave societies. Slavery was ejected because Christianity insisted that all men were brothers. The usual muddiness and complications of human behavior aside, it was this ethic that made it happen.

Western civilization, then, was a Christian capitalist civilization, and remained so for a long time. This is not to say, of course, that European Christianity was ever pure. The teachings of Jesus were deeply compromised by the end of the first century, let alone the fifth or eighth or twelfth.  Nonetheless, this religion carried important ideas, and those were enough to deliver progress.

The Big Change

The big change to Western civilization began in the late Middle Ages. There is far too much to explain here, but a primary factor was the Church (the centralized one in Rome) losing legitimacy and the rising states (previously wildly decentralized) fighting to capture it.

Into this mess came religious and scientific revolutions, both of which were used by centralizing powers to champion themselves. The religious revolutionaries fought to change Christianity and the newly arising states fought to disempower the Church. (Though some joined with it.)

The scientific revolutionaries first treated religion as a personal matter. Then, after about 1750, the destruction of religion came to the fore, and of Christianity in particular. Personal choice was no longer enough and attacking belief was required for membership in the club.

This is a tremendous simplification, of course, but as a general description it stands. And since that time Christianity has been steadily pushed out of Western civilization.

The Problem

Such a movement, and especially one embodying the urge to tear down, involves many problems, but the crucial one is this: It pulled down Christian ethics and replaced them with almost nothing.

I can well understand complaints about the Church and what was portrayed as Christianity, but tearing down is juvenile and barbaric. A sensible person does not seek to tear the heart out of a civilization and to replace it with nothing.

Nonetheless, this is what the late Enlightenment did and what its intellectual heirs have continued. As a result, the philosophies that replaced Christianity in the West’s centers of learning have been Marxist-Leninism, cultural Marxism, postmodernism and deconstructionism. To call these ideologies misanthropic would be a tremendous understatement.

Enter The Replacement Religions

Carl Jung made a very important point when he wrote this in The Undiscovered Self:

You can take away a man’s gods, but only to give him others in return.

Whatever reasons stand behind this, it is a broadly true statement. Moreover, the post-Enlightenment philosophies that have reigned in Western institutions have negated the individual: atomized them, minimized them, and made their individual lives meaningless.

As a result, Westerners have gone after one replacement religion after another. These weren’t called religions, of course (that would be the brand of death in the current environment), but they were clearly religions in substance.

The first was the French Revolution, but we won’t take time for that. The next big one was communism/socialism, which ended (we may hope) with the greatest death toll in human history.

In recent times we’ve had several flavors of “save the planet,” with a quasi-scientific clergy (hint: consensus is not science) and lots of harsh dogma, leading as it does to heretic hunting. Disagreement is now being punished and echoes of the Middle Ages are coming forward.

For all its errors, Christianity generally maintained that all humans were children of God, a belief that elevated and dignified the individual. None of the replacement religions have done that. Rather, they glorified and dignified the collective or the institution, relegating individuals to outer realms of stupidity and depravity.

And Now?

Now we can choose.

We can join with the new dogma and continue in its long parade of tearing down and collectivizing. Or, we can return to the dignity of the individual.

If we wish, we can work to upgrade Christianity or its close cousin, Judaism. Or, we can choose any number of decentralizing ventures, which, by their very nature, disempower the collective and dignify the individual.

In other words, we can think for ourselves and choose from an unrestricted pallet. Then, once our understanding improves, we can choose again. And as it improves yet more, we can choose again.

But perhaps most importantly, we can recognize our mutual dignity and value: The beauty and potential of the individual, separate from and above any institution and any collective.


If you want a deeper understanding of these issues, see:

FMP issue #70

FMP issue #90

Parallel Society issue #5

Production Versus Plunder

Discourses On Judaism, Jesus And Christianity

Paul Rosenberg


“White Privilege” Is A Racist Enterprise

White Privilege” Is A Racist Enterprise


Most of the time I live in my own little world, trying to understand and to build good things. But once in a while new pollutions seep in and require my attention. And so it has become with “white privilege.” 

It is now common (and I can hardly believe I’m writing this, even though I know it’s true) to hear “I hate white people” in supposedly educated circles… among people with university degrees.

And so I’ll deal with this new barbarity and get it out of my way:

White privilege is a verdict. It is a conclusion, not a question and not an argument. It claims abuse on the part of the white person… on the part of all white persons. 

The verdict is based wholly on skin color. Understand, please, that this is the same as any other ethnic slur, up to and including the so-called n-word. It applies directly to skin tone, condemning a billion individuals at once.

White privilege is absolutely divisive. It claims that white skin defines an individual as a recipient of stolen goods, as a thief, as an abuser, and as an unenlightened ignoramus. All white people are defined this way by the term. It is yet another in the long stream of us-them divides that foment violence. From petty crime to total war, this is the root.

White privilege is anti-mind. It displaces observation, reason and balance. It barbarically shoves a billion people into a single mold and condemns the lot of them.

White privilege is dogma. The use of white privilege dances past reason and steps quickly past the slow and thorny process of trying facts and discovering justice. Rather, its user gets instant status by upholding the dogma that white people are inherently flawed, poisoned, stupid and inferior.

White privilege is full-blown arrogance. The user of the term claims to know everything relevant about you, your history and your soul. And this stands upon group-think and self-aggrandizement. The user surrounds him or herself with a chorus of fellow dogmatists, and jointly they undertake to praise themselves by degrading others.

White privilege is envy, sublimating into hate. White privilege is ultimately the slogan of people who hold painful opinions of themselves. Wishing to be free of those feelings is understandable, but envy weaponizes the pain and freezes it in place. And what one envies, one soon enough hates.

Someone who thinks of himself or herself as a competent actor in the universe does not require the degradation of others (much less an entire race) to feel good about themselves. Rather they work, they build, and they seek to cooperate with other people of goodwill. Calling white privilege is an attempt to subdue people that its user sees as above them; to bring them down and to supplant them, ending up with their stuff. It is a crime very much like communism, and if left unchecked it will have similar results.

White privilege is a weapon. Make no mistake, calling out white privilege is an attempt to maim, to diminish and to inflict anguish((Occasionally, I suppose, it’s an attempt to fit in, making it a lead-in to the desire to injure.)).

Ultimately, white privilege is devolution. It is the road back to ritual slaughter and killing the other simply because he or she is other.

All Racism Is Poison

Racism is despicable wherever it appears. We are all individuals. Skin color, language, etc. are trivial differences. More than that, they are accidents.

One of the oldest civilizing truths is that justice should be blind. White privilege is precisely the opposite of that. As is any other flavor of racism.

All forms of racism are dark, degrading and devolutionary. This one included.

Paul Rosenberg


How The Google Model Leads To Socialism

There has been a lot of concern about a resurgence of socialism lately, and understandably so. But there is one aspect of it, and perhaps an important one, that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Here it is.

Some Basics

The socialists, we must admit, have two big things going for them:

  1. They are excellent at complaining.
  2. They are able to convince people their system will solve every problem.

What that means, of course, is that they’re selling magic to people who want magic to be real((And for the sake of empathy, please remember that most of us, at one time or another, also wanted magic to be real.)). 

Socialism, then, is a religion. And it is operated by a clergy that habitually becomes so disconnected from feeling that it sends its flocks into torture and death.

It should also be noted that the present rise of socialism, particularly among the young, is a stunning condemnation of government schools. That socialism, the deadliest ideology in all of human history, could find such a toe-hold a mere thirty years after it’s fall… In a more honest world, government-operated schools would be consigned to the trash heap of history.

Let’s Get Back To Google

Having made our introductory points, let’s look at how Google can honestly be blamed for this.

I’ve described the surveillance capitalism model of Google and Facebook as parasitic, and I stand behind that description. It’s a dishonest and ultimately destructive model of organization((You may wish to read Life After Google, by George Gilder.)). And its application is leading people to socialism.

To be specific, what leads people to socialism is a belief, based upon observation, that magic works. And Google has clearly taught the young that they can get something for nothing, which is pretty close to a definition of magic.

What Google, Facebook and their acolytes have done is to create the illusion of free stuff. Free email, free search, free storage, free translation and the rest are not really free, but they appear that way.

Google promotes the “free” side of the exchange at the center of the stage under bright lighting. The other side of the exchange, however, takes place behind curtains and in the shadows, just out of view. That’s where they gather oceans of data that are used for personalized manipulation.

We can’t honestly believe that Google takes in well over a hundred billion dollars per year by giving things away, can we? And in fact we know that they manipulate their users and want to manipulate them more: Why else would they make sure you have no choice but to give them so much personal information?

Billions of dollars worth of manipulation aside, the reason Google leads millions toward socialism is because they teach people that the unreal can indeed be real.

There is no such thing as a free service. Someone, somewhere is always paying. But Google has convinced the world that free is real… that magic can be real. And that plays directly into the hands of the socialists.

When Your Hear “Social”…

One of my little sayings is, “When you hear the word ‘social,’ put your hand on your wallet, because it’s even money that someone’s trying to snooker you.” Hearing “social” is a good indication that you’re about to encounter a clever bypass of reality.

Social justice, for example, is payback based upon the assertions of propagandists. There are reasons why we’ve held trials (“trying the facts”) before assigning penalties, but social justice leaps right past them.

Socialized medicine is another example. It involves a belief that economics won’t apply to a large enough group.

I could go on, but there’s no point. All of these revolve around magical imaginings, and while we’d all like things to be easier, socialist dreams end in starvation.

(At this point, those who are unfamiliar may wish to inquire about the millions of people who were knowingly starved or otherwise murdered by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pot and other sellers of this particular belief in magic.)

The Bottom Line

The “free stuff” providers, Google and Facebook leading the way, have taught the young that free is possible; that magic is real. And after being trained in that – day in and day out over nearly all their conscious lives – should we really be shocked that socialism’s appeals to magic have found new ground in which to grow?


If you want a deeper understanding of these issues, see:

FMP issue #102

FMP issue #7

The New Age of Intelligence

Paul Rosenberg


Farber's First Essay

This podcast (published originally in an appendix to A Lodging of Wayfaring Men) was composed twenty years ago, while working in a difficult and even dangerous cypherpunk project. It expresses the things that were on our minds as we stepped away from the status quo and dared to build afresh outside of it.


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The Economy of Bandages, Splints and Duct Tape

I’ve written an unusual amount about the financial systems of the world over the past month. Honestly, I’ve felt that I’d be derelict not to.

Please understand that I’m not giving you prescriptions. I trust that you are capable of making your own plans. My concern is that by living inside the present financial system, people can easily believe nothing will ever really change.

You might also keep in mind that I dislike the present financial system for philosophical reasons. I would much rather build a decentralized economy than to remain in a rigged, corporatist economy.

My message to you today is really a simple one: We’re not in our fathers’ economy anymore.

All Is Bandage and Splint

The financial systems of the Western world are standing only because of emergency measures.

Since 2008, the central banks of the West have spent literally trillions of dollars and Euros to keep their economies functioning. And they haven’t been able to cut that back, even though they’ve tried. If we went back to the “normal” of 1970, 1980 or 1990, the system would collapse into a heap.

So… bandages and splints.

A huge portion of all government bonds in the West, on the order of $10 or $15 trillion worth, are yielding negatively. Put in $10,000. and get $9,800. back. It’s almost an insanity((Short term bond traders can still make money on such bonds if the market goes even more negative in the future. Then, they can sell their bonds at a mark-up since they are “less bad than the new ones.”)). This has never happened before, and no one is sure about its effects over time.

More bandages and splints.

Interest rates have been lower and longer than ever in recorded history. This has artificially inflated everything from house prices (who cares about anything but the monthly payment these days) to stock prices (the CEO takes a ridiculously cheap loan, buys back his company’s stock, the price goes up, and he gets a huge bonus).

Yeah, more bandages and splints.

Governments, at the same time, are running deficits like they never have before((You can find short passages where they did worse in the middle of wars, but nothing really analogous to this.)). They keep doing it because profligate spending keeps things from crashing, and because insanely low-interest rates keep them from facing the consequences.

So, still more bandage and splint. I’ll stop here, even though I’m quite sure I could go on for some time.

And Beneath That…

Please bear in mind that all those bandages and splints are the surface rigging. The structural rigging is a mess too.

Gold used to be what kept the system honest: If you played games with your currency, the gold trade would nail you. But even the possibility of that ended in 1971.

Stock prices, back in the day, were based on what were called fundamentals. Nowadays they depend on central banks, tweets and algorithms.

Also back in the olden days, people retired on dividend income. That is, on the actual profits earned by companies. Nowadays, they retire based upon the aforementioned stock prices, which are more or less untethered from things like profits and losses. The secure retirement of millions, then, rests upon the whims of others.

And perhaps worst of all, John and Jane Doe are hip-deep in the Debt game. Everyone’s playing it, after all. They have loans for everything, cultivate their credit scores like their lives depend upon it, and have more or less no hope of paying off their debts in their lifetimes. And whether or not people acknowledge it (your friends are playing too… don’t be rude), the collateral damage from this is serious.

And so, at this level it isn’t all bandage and splint, it’s also rusted beams, wood bracing and super-sized duct tape.

Last Words

Again, I’m not telling anyone to do anything. What I’m really doing is unburdening my conscience. I have a small public platform here, and I’ve felt obliged to make people aware of this situation.

Do as you wish, but do it with your eyes open.


If you want a deeper understanding of these issues, see:

FMP issue #7
Parallel Society #4
The Breaking Dawn

Paul Rosenberg


Commerce Has Been Polluted

I am a long-time advocate of free markets. Voluntary commerce is more or less the only moral way for humans to cooperate on a large scale; everything else involves coercion. And as a bonus, free markets work better than anything else.

That does not, however, mean that free markets deliver perfection, or that private businesses can’t be criminal. Private businesses can be abominable, and sometimes are. Understand this, please:

Markets are neutral structures. The only morality they have is the morality we bring to them.

What I want to talk about today are the three ways commerce has been polluted over the past century or so. Commerce has never been perfect, of course, simply because we aren’t perfect. (See that passage above once more.) But we’ve had three major pollutants over the past century, and I think they should be specified.

Pollutant #1: Mega-Government

Bureaucrats offering favors for money goes back to the very first bureaucrats, of course, but under the mega-governments of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, this trick has reached astonishing proportions.

Consider Obamacare: The legislation was written by fronts for the biggest companies in the medical and insurance businesses, who have made huge profits while most Americans are paying far more for worse coverage.

Consider also the innumerable “free trade agreements.” Actual free trade involves governments getting out of the way. Modern “free trade” means government consortia writing deals that favor their friends and donors.

The public goes along with the charade, of course, but it’s pollution all the same.

And for today I’ll overlook the immense corruption of the war industries. Eisenhower warned everyone about that back in 1961 but still pretty much no one wants to hear it.

Pollutant #2: Mega-Corps

Back in World War I, as I’ve been told by businessmen older than myself, American companies made a killing in war production. Once that wound down, however, things got painful for them, and the biggest of them decided that they had to increase demand artificially. And so the bright lights of the era decided that they needed to turn the American people into a flock of suckers, perpetually buying things they didn’t need.

Here’s the signature quote, from Paul Mazur of Lehman Brothers, writing in the Harvard Business Review of 1927:

We must shift America, from a needs to a desires culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old had been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality in America; man’s desires must overshadow his needs.

To put it succinctly, these corporate chieftains started using the weaknesses of their fellow men and women to extract money from them. And bear in mind that Sigmund Freud’s son-in-law, Edward Bernays, was the leading strategist for them. Here’s one of his thoughts:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society…

Understand what Mazur, Bernays et al, did: They waged a purposeful campaign to take advantage of human weaknesses. That, obviously, is also a pollution of commerce.

It would be illuminating to know what percentage of American spending is more or less needless. I’ve yet to see a good study, but I’d guess that it’s in the range of 20 or 30 percent. That’s an abomination. Commerce should bless the world, not drain it dry with status symbols, excess for the sake of excess, and empty trinkets.

Pollutant #3: Surveillance Capitalism

A lot of people don’t want to hear this, but it’s true all the same: Facebook, Google and the rest have used the oldest scam in the book – “Look little boy, I have free candy in the car” – to suck them dry.

These companies are malicious, vampire parasites. And if I had stronger words to use that didn’t involve profanity, I’d use them. They are stealing the essence of people’s lives (I could almost say stealing their souls) and are now bringing in hundreds of billions of dollars per year from it.

Many people still don’t want to see it – they’d have to admit their past errors, and they haven’t the guts for that – and so they’ll be manipulated all their lives. They’ll buy whatever beer the pretty, televised people are drinking, vote for candidate A or B, soak in the stories their manipulators give them, and walk toward the grave with “all of their thoughts mis-given,” as Led Zeppelin used to sing.

What To Do?

We all know what has to be done, but I’ll specify it anyway:

  • Stop accepting anything that’s “free.” Just don’t.

  • Treat status markers as signs of weakness and desperation, because that’s what they are.

  • Stop treating government as necessary until it proves itself so, empirically.

  • Aggressively do not buy anything thrust at you.

Commerce is essential to us. It’s time to clean it up.

And if you don’t think anything you do will matter, start building afresh in the crypto economy. Most everything matters there.


If you want a deeper understanding of these issues, see:

FMP issue #59
FMP issue #80
The New Age of Intelligence

Paul Rosenberg


Men Are Idolaters

“Men,” wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., “are idolaters, and want something to look at and kiss and hug, or throw themselves down before; they always did, they always will; and if you don’t make it of wood, you must make it of words.”

Idolatry is a frame of mind. We’ve all experienced it, though we haven’t been clear on what it was. But once you do recognize it, you’ll be at least half immunized against it, and probably for life.


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