Thomas Jefferson: “We Failed”

Thomas Jefferson failedThomas Jefferson – one of my long-time heroes – was convinced that he and his friends blew the chance they had to establish true freedom in America. I know that a hundred thousand self-praising textbooks, speeches, pundits and songs claim that Jefferson and the rest established freedom, but that’s NOT what Jefferson thought, and that is NOT what he said. (You can choose whom to believe for yourself.)

Nearly fifty years after the Declaration of Independence, he was of the opinion that the founders did not fully live up to the moment presented to them.

Here is a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Cartwright on June 5th, 1824. Jefferson’s words are in plain text and my modern paraphrasing of the lines are in italics:

Our Revolution presented us an album on which we were free to write what we pleased. Yet we did not avail ourselves of all the advantages of our position.

The Revolution gave us a shot at real liberty, but we blew it.

We had never been permitted to exercise self-government. When forced to assume it, we were novices in its science. Its principles and forms had little entered into our former education. We established, however, some (but not all) of its important principles…

We weren’t prepared for what we had to do.

We think experience has proved the benefit of subjecting questions to two separate bodies of deliberants. But in constituting these bodies, [we have] been mistaken, making one of these bodies, and in some cases both, the representatives of property instead of persons.

We thought our legislative structure would protect us, but they were bought-off right away.

This double deliberation might be obtained just as well without any violation of true principle, either by requiring a greater age in one of the bodies, or by electing a proper number of representatives of persons, or by dividing them by lots into two chambers, and renewing the division at frequent intervals, in order to break up all cabals.

What we really needed was something that would break up parties and factions.

George Washington said almost the same thing about parties, by the way. Here is a section from his Farewell Address of September 17, 1796, with my paraphrasing again:

All combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character…are of a fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction; to give them an artificial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party.

All political groups are fatally dangerous. They gain inappropriate force and displace the will of the people.

A small but artful and enterprising minority of the community, and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans, digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

Small groups of clever and dedicated men will corrupt the actions of government, making it serve their own ends.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then address popular ends, they are likely to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to usurp for themselves the reins of government.

No matter if these groups do some good things, they will still take over government.

I think history says that Washington was right; parties did destroy the public good, and continue to do so.

And here’s what Samuel Adams thought about the citizens allowing small groups of men (like parties) to choose candidates for them:

I hope the great Business of Elections will never be left by the many, to be done by the few; for before we are aware of it, that few may become the Engine of Corruption–the Tool of a Junta.–Heaven forbid!

And to confirm the corruption of Congress that Thomas Jefferson mentioned, here is a letter that Samuel Adams wrote to his friend Richard Henry Lee on January 15th, 1781:

Is there not Reason to think that even those who are opposed to our Cause may steal into Places of the highest Trust? I need not remind you that Men of this Character have had Seats in Congress from the beginning.

And just to add one more voice, here is what Benjamin Franklin said to the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787:

I believe, farther, that this [constitution] is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.

There is more that could be said on this subject, but it is almost superfluous. What matters is that we get the primary point:

The best of the American Founders were fully convinced
that their shot at freedom would fail or had failed.

So, what does this say about all those fancy speeches and songs about “the land of the free“?

And if we don’t have freedom, what is it that we do have?

Paul Rosenberg
Thomas Jefferson: “We Failed”
FreemansPerspective.com

Don’t Fear The Collapse: The Future Will Be Better

future will be betterYes, we’ve all seen scary post-apocalyptic films like Mad Max, or TV shows like Jericho. A real collapse, however, will be quite different from such dramas. And beyond that, there’s a good chance the future will be better.

From where I now live, you could draw a 25 mile arc which would include competent people of almost any imaginable specialty: The guys who know how to build and repair refrigerators, machines of all types, cars and roads and houses and windows and computers and a thousand other things.

So, I’m not overly worried about the dollar going to zero – as long as these guys have two critical things:

  1. They must be able to communicate with each other.
  2. They must be left alone, with no one telling them “you can’t do that without our permission.”

If either one of these two things are missing, we’re screwed, but as long as we have them, we’ll be okay. Sure, there will be some bad days, a few tragedies, and a surfeit of terror from the fear factories (that is, the mainstream media), but in general, we productive people will be okay.

I knew men who ran a business through the Great Depression, in precisely my specialties (contracting and engineering). We discussed the difficulties they faced and how they coped with them. They worked through the depression end to end, and did some pretty impressive projects – with absolutely no credit available anywhere.

They paid for things creatively – in sections, with barter, and on trust – but they also got the job done, from the beginning of the depression to the end.

Our period of difficulty (which most of us presume will be coming somehow or another) will be different from the Great Depression, but so long as we retain the two items mentioned above – and I will tell you precisely how we can keep them below – we’ll get through it.

The Bad Stuff

Okay, so if we have a complete dollar collapse, what can we expect? Here are a few thoughts:

  • Fear. Scaring the populace will be the first and essential tool of the rulers. Government relies far more on legitimacy than on force, so the rulers will be very keen on using their number one tool to keep people clustering around them for safety. That’s a primary strategy for them.
  • Welfare riots. This is possible, and even probable in some places, presuming that government checks either stop, or no longer matter due to massive inflation. However, we all know which areas are likely to be hit and we can avoid them. (If you’re in one, do something about it now.) And, as horrifying as such a thing may be (and should be!), Americans, Canadians and a serious number of Europeans do have guns, and will eventually shoot rioters as they are beating down their neighbor’s door.
  • Supply chain disruptions. Since the big corporations are so tightly associated with governments, they will not likely adapt as quickly as small companies do. They may lock-up while waiting for instructions. This is why stores of key commodities (like food) and communication will be necessary.
  • War. This is the traditional distraction from disappointments and government failures. Syria seems to be the leading candidate at the moment, or perhaps North Korea or some other distant monster will fit the bill.
  • No credit. As scary as this seems to some people, the reality won’t be nearly as debilitating as imagined (except for the mega-corps); people will adapt and go back to a 19th century way of buying and selling. Adjustment will be required, but farmers will still need to sell their food, and they will find ways for productive people to pay them.
  • Lack of currency. Dollars will fail in this scenario (along with Euros, Pounds, etc.), but there will be not be a debilitating lack of currency, for two reasons:
    • Lots of people have silver and gold, which are always good.
    • We have Bitcoin, which is good currency world-wide.
  • Shuttered fire departments. The rulers won’t close too many police stations, since they want to retain their image as saviors and because they need people to fear them, but fire departments and other things may be let go. (The scarier things first.) But again, so long as we can communicate and adapt, we can just arrange for necessary services in different ways. Remember, most of us are blowing 20-30 hours per week on TV – we have WAY more free time than we think we do.

The Future Will Be Better if We Take Care of THESE TWO BIG RISKS

There are very simple solutions to our two crucial issues. But remember, simple isn’t always easy. Here are the solutions:

They must be able to communicate with each other.

This one is actually easy. The solution is mesh networks. (You can find a nice PDF primer here.) These are local networks, built with simple wifi devices. These, combined with a few longer links, can create a very nice communications network. You won’t be able to use it for videos, but it will work well for basic communications. (Though you really should keep a small electric generator and some gas.)

They must be left alone, with no one telling them “you can’t do that without our permission.”

The solution to this one is very simple: Do it anyway. Whatever you think of your local government, I very much doubt that you think they have a right to starve you – which is what failing to act in your own survival comes out to. If it’s moral, do it. Stop waiting for permission.

So, while the big collapse (assuming that it does come) will be terrifying to inveterate TV watchers, the reality will be far less apocalyptic than promised… assuming that we productive people act like producers.

And as producers, we have so much more choice than the others. Indeed, in one way, we could see the collapse as an opportunity to start fresh. The future will be better if we ultimately say so.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

How I Discovered The Hidden Side of History

Hidden History - Freeman's Perspective1981: I was looking through some old books that somehow ended up at my parents’ house. Among them, I found a set of history books from the 1930s. With an innate interest in the topic, I began reading them, and was absolutely shocked by what I found.

The last book of the series covered what were then modern times, and to my horror, I found lavish praise for – of all people – Benito Mussolini.

These were American books, by the way, beautifully produced by a respected publisher. And there, in authoritative tones, was the story of the great Mussolini, the savior of Italy. Given that I was taught precisely the opposite, a mere 30-odd years later, you can imagine my surprise.

Just to establish my point, here are a few quotes from that time about Mussolini:

What a man! I have lost my heart!
– Winston Churchill

The greatest genius of the modern age.
– Thomas Edison

I am much interested and deeply impressed by what he has accomplished and by his evidenced honest purpose of restoring Italy.
– Franklin Roosevelt

Obviously, these quotes are no longer mentioned in ‘respectable’ circles. And that’s my point: What is inconvenient to the current ruling establishment is dropped from the books.

When I was young, the USSR was famous for horribly twisting history to make themselves look like the great and mighty ones. They even made jokes about it on the original Star Trek. But here was clear evidence that history – in America – had been altered. In this case, parts had not been added, but they most certainly had been taken away. That rather shook my view of history, as it had been taught to me at school.

The Making of… Hidden History

A few years later I came across an even more troubling instance of history being pulled out of the books:

I had been writing a few books for a major publisher, and one of my editors asked me to meet him for dinner, which, of course, I did. We discussed projects that we might pursue and generally had a pleasant evening. At some point we left off discussing our projects and talked about history. Somehow, we ended up at the Armenian genocide. He was surprised that I knew about it (many still don’t), but I had known quite a few Armenian kids growing up, and I had heard their stories.

Then, my editor took a deep breath and said, “then I want to tell you something.” He explained that a few years before, he had been working for one of the big three textbook publishers, and happened to be editing a high school history book. One day, he got a phone call from the US State Department. He was shocked, and asked them why they would be calling him. “It’s about the history book you’re editing,” the man said.

My friend had been raised in about the same way I had, so the idea of censoring a textbook was astonishing to him. “We need you to cut back the section on the Armenian genocide,” the man from the State Department said. My friend was horrified, and complained that it was the true history. “Yes,” said the man, “but we need to keep the Turks happy.” My friend’s 2-3 pages on the Armenian genocide was reduced to 2-3 paragraphs, and it was a victory that he got that much space.

According to all I learned in school, such things did not happen in America. According to all that is self-promoted about academia, they are the sworn enemies of such things. But they do happen – a lot.

I’ve encountered the same thing on museum walls: descriptions that are clearly misleading, but which glorify the rulership of our time.

There is much more to this, but I’ll let the point stand as I’ve made it thus far: History is manipulated. You can find the truth if you dig through old books and artifact records, or from some specialists, but not from schoolbooks. The books aren’t filled with lies, they just remove the facts that don’t make their bosses look good.

And this is not a trivial thing; it affects a lot more than school children. As Adolf Hitler was starting his aggression against the Poles, the London Times quoted him as saying: Go, kill without mercy. After all, who remembers the Armenians?

What is deleted from history can teach us nothing, and those who have this power use it to glorify themselves. This is a very dangerous thing, and it rules the schoolbooks of America and the Western world in general.

I’ll close with a line from Paul Simon’s song, Kodachrome:

When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school,
it’s a wonder I can think at all.

What you learned in school was a partial, cartoon version of history. You learned what made the big bosses look good, and no more.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

Abusive Government: The Good Guys Are NOT Coming To Save Us

Abusive Government: The Good Guys Are NOT Coming To Save UsA lot of Americans know that the US government is out of control. Anyone who has cared enough to study the US Constitution even a little knows this. Still, very few of these people are taking any significant action, and largely because of one error: They are waiting for “the good guys” to show up and fix things.

Some think that certain groups of politicians will pull it together and fix things, or that one magnificent politician will ride in to fix things. Others think that certain members of the military will step in and slap the politicians back into line. And, I’m sure there are other variations.

There are several problems with this. I’ll start with the small issues:

  1. It doesn’t happen. A lot of good people have latched on to one grand possibility after another, waiting for a good guy to save the day, and it just doesn’t happen. Thousands of hours of reading, writing and waiting are burned with each new “great light” who comes along with a promise to run the system in the “right” way, and give us liberty and truth. (Or whatever.) Lots of decent folks grab on to one pleasant dream after another, only to end up right back where they started… but poorer in time, energy and finances.
  2. Hope is a scam. It’s a dream of someday, somehow, getting something for nothing. People who hope do not act – they wait for other people to act. Hope is a tool to neuter a natural opposition: they sit and hope, and never act against you. Even the biblical meaning of hope is something more like expectation (or sometimes waiting) than the modern use of hope.
  3. Petitioning an abuser for compassion. The “good guys” are considered to be a few people inside the abusive government. But if the good guys were really good, wouldn’t they have dissociated themselves with an abuser some time ago? By pleading for the good guys to rise up, people are asking one sub-group of the abusers to save them from the rest of the abusers. However, they all work for the same operation; they all get paid out of the same offices; according to the same rulebook. And if the good guys are so willing to turn against their employers, why would they have waited until now?
  4. Movies. We all grew up in the company of movie heroes who rode in at the last minute to save the noble victims. From John Wayne to Star Trek to Bruce Willis, the story line differs little. These are pleasant stories, of course, but cinema is not reality, and hoping for it to become reality is something that we should get over prior to adulthood.

But, as I say, those are the smaller issues. Let’s move on to the serious ones.

The Magic System

A lot of Americans believe that the American “Founders” created a system that automatically fixes itself. They talk about the “balance of powers,” and think that it will always save them from a tyrant. The balanced powers of the US Constitution, however, were trashed within fifteen years and doubly-trashed just a century ago.

In the Constitution, the states balanced the power of the national government (the one now in Washington, DC.) Not only did the states control half of the legislature, but they decided if and how they would implement the edicts of the national government. And that included deciding whether a law was constitutional or not.

This changed in 1803 with the Marbury v. Madison ruling. This ruling – taught as a work of genius in American schools – was a fraud against the US Constitution. In it, the Supreme Court held that they understood the Constitution better than James Madison, the man who wrote it!

But worse than even this, they held – with absolutely no basis – that it was they who would decide what was constitutional or not. The states were tossed aside. Even the sitting President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, called it “a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

Marbury’s Judicial review (the Supremes ruling on constitutionality) merely involves one branch of the national government providing a check on the other branches of the national government. After Marbury, no one could check the national government.

Washington DC was unleashed with Marbury v. Madison. What made it almighty was the 17th Amendment of 1913, which took the powers of the states and transferred them to Washington, by mandating the popular election of senators.

With senators being elected directly by the populace, the states were cut-out of the equation. In their place, political parties gained massive power, and nearly all power was consolidated in the city of Washington.

And so it is today. Washington is an unfettered beast. The system will NOT fix itself; the mechanisms to do that were lost a long time ago.

The Easy Way Out

Standing up against a beast like Washington DC is scary, to be sure. Understandably, not many people want to do such a thing. But if the beast is abusing you, what other choice do you have? You can certainly avoid or evade the beast, but we all know that the beast hurts people it catches avoiding it, so the risk of doing this isn’t zero either.

So, what’s a person to do? They hate their abuse, but outright disobedience would be scary. Unfortunately, many people have come up with a third option: Get someone else to do it for you.

Lots of writers have done this, for example: Write flamboyantly about the abuses people face and stir them to “rise up against the power.” Fairly seldom does the writer take big risks himself – he just stirs up others to do the scary stuff.

Something very similar happens to basically moral people who don’t want to risk pain and suffering: they imagine good guys riding in to save them.

But, as I say, these are genuinely decent people, and they are willing to take smaller risks to help the good guys: They will spend time and money promoting them, and they will even accept name-calling in many cases. They just don’t want to become full-blown rebels and outcasts.

The result of this is predictable: abuse by the political class. If the politicians show them a viable possibility every election cycle, they’ll keep voting their way forever… and the hero never really has to show up.

The Sad Truth

Let’s just say it:

No one is going to ride in and save you.

If you want things to get better, then YOU will have to make them better. YOU will have to stand up and take the arrows, yourself. Liberty, at this stage of human development, requires risk and pain.

I trust that you will remember the end of Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount: That it is not those who call upon his name who will be saved, but only those who DO the things he said.

Likewise in this situation, our only hope of salvation lies in DOING.

Paul Rosenberg
Abusive Government: The Good Guys Are NOT Coming To Save Us
FreemansPerspective.com

Boiling Frogs, Sheep and Lemmings…

boiling frogsPeople who accept and welcome change are always frustrated by those who oppose and condemn it. Somewhat understandably, they tend to make unattractive comparisons between the stasis people and dumb animals, such as calling them lemmings, sheep or, boiling frogs. And while these comparisons may not be without some basis, they are less than useful.

After all, if you call someone a lemming, they are not likely to consider your arguments very warmly. Instead, they will reflexively and vigorously defend their current position. So, fitting or not, animal comparisons don’t help much.

It is also true that such comparisons are often untrue. Ostriches, for example, do not hide their heads in the sand. The image is evocative, but it is fictional.

One such image that has become popular in our time is that of the boiling frog. You must have encountered it by now. The story goes that if you drop a frog in boiling water, he will immediately jump out of it. But, if you put him in a pan of water and raise the temperature slowly, he will stay where he is and eventually boil to death. Then, it is said that some people act like the slowly boiling frog.

Leaving behind the question of utility (is calling someone a boiling frog helpful?), the next question is this:

Is it really true that a real frog will let itself boil to death if cooked slowly enough?

How Fast do Boiling Frogs Boil?

Several European scientists in the late 1800s did experiments to answer this question, which did show that with a slow enough temperature rise, a frog will stay in a pot and die of heat. Some modern scientists have vehemently claimed that this is false, but I’ve not been able to find any more proof than “I’m a famous biologist and I say so.” So, while further experiments would be necessary to close the debate (and I certainly don’t want to do them), the weight of experiment says that the boiling frog story is true.

Just for the record, here are a few of the details:

In 1872, an experimenter by the name of Heinzmann demonstrated that a frog would not attempt to escape if seated in water that was heated slowly enough. Heinzmann heated his frogs at a rate of less than 0.2°C per minute to get this effect. His work was replicated and verified in 1875 by a man named Fratscher. The author of a psychology text in 1897, Edward Scripture, says that “in one experiment the temperature was raised at a rate of 0.002°C per second, and the frog was found dead at the end of 2.5 hours without having moved.”

One experiment to the contrary was done by a man named Goltz, who raised the temperature of the water at 3.8°C per minute, during which the frogs attempted to escape.

In 1888, a professor at MIT named William Thompson Sedgwick commented on these experimental results:

The truth appears to be that if the heating be sufficiently gradual, no reflex movements will be produced even in the normal frog; if it be more rapid, yet take place at such a rate as to be fairly called “gradual,” it will not secure the repose of the normal frog under any circumstances.

The comment on “the normal frog” is a response to still other experiments, performed on altered frogs. I have not mentioned those experiments above.

Modern authorities have disputed the boiling frog theory with comments such as “If a frog had a means of getting out, it certainly would get out,” and “The legend is entirely incorrect!” They have not, however, produced experimental results; instead, they quote theoretical maximums. (Which end up not contradicting the 1872 and 1875 experiments, though it seems that no one bothered to check those numbers.)

Remember that experiment always trumps authority. Here’s how the great physicist Richard Feynman explained it:

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.

Of Frogs and Humans

A frog fails to jump out of hot water when the change in temperature fails to reach what is called a reflex response level. If the change in its surroundings is too slow, no response is triggered.

A similar effect shows up in humans when slow changes lead to no response in them. For whatever reasons, they have trained themselves not to respond, and they don’t.

For example, a very gradual rise in government tyrannycombined with no reference to an independent standard – generates zero response in many people. Then, because humans are intelligent, they understand that to respond after putting it off would contradict their previous choices and set themselves up to be shamed. So, such people tend to defend their position and to numb themselves as required with television, booze and drugs.

The reference to an outside standard mentioned above is important. If people judge themselves only by other people and the norms in their area, and if they’ve been trained that morality doesn’t matter, they will go along with the crowd quite readily. On the other hand, if they can refer to a separate set of ideas and other ways of deciding, they are often able to stand up to tyranny and say, “this is wrong.”

Scarily enough, people who stay inside of one frame of reference, and who experience slow change, can be brought to accept horrible things without rebellion. Indeed, the boiling frog metaphor, no matter how disturbing, sometimes seems to be the right one for the world we live in.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

The Triumph of The Manipulators: The Entire “First World” Financial System is Manipulated

The Triumph of The Manipulators - The Financial System is ManipulatedThe entire “first world” financial system is manipulated. This is no secret – the manipulators not only admit it, but are proud of it. And yes, I am referring to central banks: manipulation is what they do. I really don’t have any inside information on this, except that I’ve heard a lot of confidential stories from Comex traders. (Don’t trust Comex for a second.)

So, manipulation is a given. What I’m referring to is the fact that the manipulators are succeeding beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Joe Average knows in his gut that everything is smoke and mirrors, but he is unwilling to look. He prays that the manipulators can keep the game going until he is dead, when he can no longer be held accountable.

The success of the manipulators has reached such levels that their victims are unwilling to complain. In fact, their victims defend them! It’s a type of Stockholm Syndrome, spread over continents.

I got an email two days ago, from a friend who happens to be one of the world’s great investment analysts. He was at wit’s end over the markets. Not because of price moves – his charts predicted those – but because people no longer cared about reality.

Here’s what I wrote back to my friend:

They are winning. There is no question about it. They are printing like mad with minimal inflation, stealing from millions at once with no riots, stoking raging bull markets based on no reason whatsoever, creating paper silver and gold without limit and without consequences, while keeping all the foreigners in line and obedient.

This is the ultimate, screaming triumph of the political and banking elite – their highest high in the history of civilization. And yet, no matter how badly they abuse the world, they enjoy complete obedience.

To quote a scientist from the early 1980s, upon seeing a photo of braided rings around Saturn: “It’s stark, raving mad, but it’s there.”

We are living through a moment of madness that future historians will write about: Black is white, down is up, rehypothecation is prudence, naked shorting is benevolent, abuse is love, theft is mercy. And all the while, humanity just sits and accepts their abuse. Following is courage, thinking is threat, and no one dares a sideways glance at the insanity, for fear that it will break.

All cling to a system that grinds them up and all walk together into the sea as they are told, singing hymns to governments and central banks as they go.

It’s sick; it’s evil; it’s disgusting; but for now it is also true.

And the rest of the world is allowing it. You’d think that the Russians or the Chinese, at least, would make some self-interested moves, but they don’t.

Either something breaks, or humanity tires of this insanity, or it continues until all the world is North Korea, worshiping photos of a vile little man, never lifting their eyes and thanking the vile little man for the deaths of themselves and their children.

And if something does ever break, they’ll need a war – a big, nasty war – the kind that really scares people – not tanks rolling through a desert.

That’s the world as it stands today. Perhaps everything will change tomorrow, but for now, the manipulators are at peak success.

“The madness of crowds” is here. If, somewhere, there is a successor to Charles Mackay (who wrote the classic book of that title), he must be a very busy boy.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

Bitcoin Should Get Ready For an Attack

bitcoinBitcoin – poorly understood and frequently talked about ignorantly – is a wonderful new financial tool… and a very timely one. But because of its virtues, it is about to be attacked.

But before I explain how, why, and my recommended responses, let me get everyone up to speed on what this stuff really is:

  • Bitcoin is digital cash. You do not get an account, you get a wallet. Holding Bitcoin on a computer is the same as holding government money in your wallet.
  • Bitcoin is distributed. There is no central office and no central computer… anywhere.
  • Bitcoin can’t be printed up, like national currencies. It has to be ‘mined’, and this requires special computers, lots of calculations, electricity and a bit of luck. It’s neither free nor easy.
  • Bitcoin is limited. Only 21 million of these things can ever exist, and they can only be mined on a very specific schedule. (About 11 million exist now.)
  • Bitcoin can’t be changed. Bitcoin is a specific computer program and cannot be changed by any single party. It is a specific set of rules cast into a computer program, and since that program is open source, it can be checked by anyone to assure that there are no secret back doors.
  • Bitcoin is pseudonymous. Every transaction is recorded, but real names are not. While it is not properly anonymous, it can be used anonymously if you do simple things like never using the same address twice. (There are even ‘laundries’.)
  • Bitcoins are oblivious to borders, laws or rules. This is simply computer code – nothing else matters.

Why The Fiat Masters Must Attack Bitcoin

I say that Bitcoin will be attacked for the simple reason that it is the anti-fiat currency… and a lot of very powerful people have their entire kingdoms built upon fiat currency and its central banking game.

It is actually very similar to gold and silver in its overall effect: If Bitcoin, or gold, or silver – or any combination thereof – ever became dominant, no one could play games with the world’s money and skim from millions of people at once… or run welfare states in defiance of economic reality.

The bankers do not want to lose their positions, and if they let this alternative currency take over, they will. So, they will have to attack. In fact, I am sure as I can be that they are doing it already.

I should add that there are socialist types who love this development because it could destroy the greedy bankers, but I don’t expect them to deter the attacks to any significant extent.

The Attacks

It is important to understand that the system is not invulnerable. It’s certainly not easy to attack (like a Cyprus bank account), but attacks both small and large are possible.

I’m not going to describe large attacks, as I don’t want to give anyone ideas. You can either believe me that they are possible, or not. These big attacks, however, would not be easy, and would have side-effects. So, I don’t expect to see them first. First, Bitcoin’s enemies have to win the PR war.

There was a great line in the movie Gladiator that applies right now:

You have a great name. Before they destroy you, they will have to destroy your name.

I’m not sure it’s fair to say that Bitcoin has a great name among the general populace, but it certainly does among the best and brightest of the younger generations. And this great name is spreading rapidly in places like Cyprus, and among people who fear a Cyprus-style mass theft coming to their area.

Gold and silver are the traditional ways of avoiding predation, but trying to cross a national border with precious metals these days is to invite theft and punishment. (This was not much of a problem before the 20th century.) Bitcoin, on the other hand, can be moved world-wide, instantly, from the comfort of your chair.

So, the first attacks will be combined with a PR war. The point will be to scare people away. “You’ll get ripped-off!” will be their emphatic meme.

Do not underestimate fear, by the way: Humans are hard-wired to over-respond to it. Fear works, which is why power-mongers always use it. And these people also own, influence or control the broadcasting systems that consume nearly all of the Western world’s attention.

So, the first attacks will be those that we are already seeing: Malicious hackers breaking into whatever clustered systems they can and stealing. (Or running Distributed Denial of Service [DDoS] attacks.) They are attacking exchangers, wallet hosting services, and so on – anything largish that can be hit. They are already publicizing these attacks, but I expect more and better.

The coming attacks will be publicized rapidly – with stories and releases prepared ahead of time – and will paint the worst possible picture. Afterwards it will be seen that the first loss estimates were wildly high, but that won’t matter to the people who see the headlines on the evening news. Joe and Jane Obedient will believe the worst.

This is all manipulation, obviously, since people are being ripped-off in government money, on gigantic scales: millions of thefts at once. Heck, every productive person in the West has about half their earnings taken from them every year in the form of taxes, not to mention the 5-10% they lose every year in the form of inflation. To compare these things to a few stolen wallets is a sick joke. But, such is the state of the West at this sad moment: The large abusers are sanctified and the innovators are demonized.

What to Do About It

Here’s my list:

  1. Be prepared. Don’t let it shake you. Don’t compromise your beliefs.
  2. Tell others to prepare. Tell people to expect attacks and a PR war. Tell them to upgrade their security and to be personally ready. Bitcoin will be called all sorts of things: A Ponzi, a fraud, a tool for terrorists, a threat to civilization, and so on. It’s not fun to have those accusations hurled in your face, so expect it and get ready for it.
  3. Prepare for the worst. At some point we may need an alternative to the government-owned Internet. Setting up our own systems will not be hard or expensive, but it will require action on our parts. Learn about mesh networks (PDF) and packet radio. Those who can code should think about writing new high-latency protocols, or reviving old ones like FidoNet.
  4. Do not rely on Internet exchangers. We should all be grateful to Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox and the others, but they are vulnerable and will soon enough be compromised or shut. The future lies with over the counter (OTC) exchangers.
  5. Keep having fun! Bitcoin has been a gas – don’t let go of that. Adapt, improvise, overcome! Yes, there will be more bad days from here on, but don’t let them steal your joy for any length of time. Hold to the good, reject the fear. Do what resonates within you; do what makes you feel good and creative and productive.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

Christianity and War: Do they go together?

christianity and war

Yes, I know that there are some churches and individual Christians who don’t approve of war, but a huge wing of Christianity in the US has put itself in service to a warfare state. Listening to them, you’d think that Christianity and war were natural bedfellows. If you’ve spent time in Red State America, you know what I mean.

Please understand that I am not endorsing the Blue State line of crap either (I reject both wings of the Party), but that’s not my subject today.

Red State Protestants have given themselves over to “the virtues of defense,” seemingly without limit. They endlessly laud cops, firemen, and especially soldiers: anyone authorized by the state to use force. State force has become unquestionably righteous – especially if it is overseas. To these people, the US military can do no wrong.

This involves killing strangers, you understand… by Christians… people whose Holy Book say that they should love the outsider, turn the other cheek, and that every government belongs to the Devil.

Red State Religion as a Mix of Christianity and War Philosophy

Red State Christianity has become a State Religion, a Warfare Religion. So, since “judgment begins at the house of God,” let’s be harsh:

These churches are sucking up to the state for tax breaks, to follow a popular course, and to get lots and lots of members. It’s the new successful pattern, and they are following it without hesitation… to the point where they invent reasons to justify the killing of children. (“Collateral damage,” that is, not “killing.”)

A huge number of Red State churches have become whores to the US military culture, paying endless obeisance to uniformed state agents. According to them, all agents of the state are noble, are to be respected, and are most definitely to be obeyed without question. (Tell that to Sam Adams or Tom Jefferson!) All opinions to the contrary are discarded, condemned or ridiculed, without serious consideration.

This War Christianity is definitely at odds with the New Testament, which treats both war and state as barbaric relics.

I am not, by the way, opposed to stopping actual killers. What I am opposed to is telling someone to kill another person that he knows nothing about, guided by a superstition that “we’re automatically the good guys.”

And yes, I know that no one, in the midst of fire and confusion, has enough skill to avoid accidentally shooting an innocent. My complaint is with worshiping a government that places 18 year old boys in that position. These kids are being told to kill strangers, without any real evidence that the people they kill deserve it.

Is “because a politician said so” really sufficient?

These boys are coming home in pieces, or with pieces missing – and committing suicide in droves – for what? To magically turn Afghanistan into a western state? Does anyone seriously think that will happen?

And as someone who cares about history and theology, I am especially opposed to Jesus’ name being abused – yet again – by credentialed shepherds who are devoted – first and foremost – to gathering the largest flock possible, while not giving a damn that distant brown people die.

At this point in American history we are being treated to a continuing and twisted spectacle: Defenders of indiscriminate death pretending that they care about “love.”

They lie. So says me and so says John the Apostle.

Let me be clear about this: Christianity is an anti-state religion. It always was. So was the Judaism that came before it. All arguments to the contrary are fallacious, at least if we are to take the Bible as a serious reference.

But it will change…

Sooner or later, some American Christians will remember that theirs is an anti-state religion. It will doubtless begin with meetings in living rooms, barns and job sites, and will include a lot of good and talented young people. But they will make themselves despised outsiders, opposed by the current generation of Christian leaders, who have dedicated themselves to the state and haven’t any inclination to admit their errors.

In other words, the new, honest Christians will become the next link in a long and proud chain of heretics. They will be brave and committed people who are right, while all the institutions are wrong.

Are we really to believe that there is virtue in sending machines to rain indiscriminate death upon foreign people… at funerals? (Look it up!)

Must we really defend repetitive torture as being righteous?

Now, to be honest, the Red State Christians don’t say these things. Actually, they avoid facing them altogether. And that is the problem. Many of them have become, as Jesus’ friend Simon Peter said, “willingly ignorant.”

The US war machine is killing and torturing, and American preachers are straining their every muscle to thank them for it, in the name of Christ.

I’ve read Jesus’ words too many times to be suckered by this game, and I don’t think Jesus is pleased with it either.

Let’s hope that some young Christians can pull their act together and do better than the generation that preceded them. War and Christianity don’t belong together. They never have and they never will.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com
Christianity and War: Do they go together?

Death by Government 20x More Common than Death by Criminal…

Death by Government 20x More Common than Death by Criminal - Freeman's PerspectiveBefore I shock you with disturbing “Death by Government” facts, let me ask you a question: How important is reality to you? That’s a strange question, I know, but think about it for a second. If reality makes you uncomfortable, what should you do?

Should you ignore it? Should you face it anyway? Should you find reasons to get rid of it? Should you attack the person who showed it to you?

You will find nothing in this article about amendments, laws and judges. What you will find here is a fact that has been passed-over by the entire gun control argument.

Here it is; it’s really simple, so think about it for a few seconds:

The anti-gun arguments presume that the state is morally superior to individuals.

Even though they seldom say it explicitly, the gun control proponents believe that average people are too violent and erratic to hold guns. They want the government – the state – to take our guns away  because only the state is responsible enough to handle serious weapons.

There is, however, a gigantic problem with this: States are far more dangerous than individuals.

20x more dangerous…

That’s a demonstrable fact, by the way, not merely an opinion. I ran the numbers, and it isn’t even close.

According to the UN’s statistics, total number homicides in which guns were involved in 2010 (or the most recent year reported) were 93,414.

I am as sure as I can be that those numbers are juiced – I have too much experience with the UN (another set of stories, for another day) to think that they left their agendas outside as they crunched these numbers – and I am going to ignore the inclusion of thousands of deaths in Mexico and other places that should be attributed to the US War on Drugs. I’ll accept the numbers as they are.

So, let’s say that guns are legitimately and primarily involved in all of these 93,414 cases. Maybe you think that’s a pretty bad argument for the moral superiority of individuals. But if so, take a deep breath and gather your moral courage. You ready?

The death rate for states is more than 20 times as high.

This figure has been well-documented, by the way. If you want to check it, start with political scientist R.J. Rummel’s Book, Death By Government.  (The actual figure may be higher than 200 million.)

So, 93,414 x 100 = 9,341,400 people killed with guns over a century. That’s a bad number, but it’s less than 1/20th of the 200 million who were killed by governments.

Not possible, you say? Sorry, your beliefs are clashing with reality, and your devotion to reality is at risk.

Also, the 200 million deaths attributable to governments were over the course of the entire 20th century, when the average population was far less than what it is now. Population-adjusted, states are probably at least 30 times more deadly than individuals.

If you think I’m misstating this, run the numbers yourself! The fact is…

Death by government is far more likely than dying during a criminal attack

You know this from your personal experience too:

How many fistfights have you seen among the 200 people who live closest to you in the past couple of years? Maybe one? Maybe none?

Among the 200 or so states in this world, there have been at least 30 fights over the same time.

The numbers say that states fight much, much more frequently than do individuals. And they certainly kill far more people when they do fight.

By any objective standard, states have to be considered far more aggressive and violent than individuals. So, who is it that should be really holding the weapons?

The usual argument to the contrary, by the way, goes like this:

GuvBoy: Okay, maybe lots of people were killed by governments, but there were different leaders then!
Freethinkin’Boy: And the morals of politicians have improved? Have their operations substantially changed? They still have the same capital city, right? And they still have a small group of men gathering up all the taxes and ordering everyone else around, right?
GuvBoy: Yeah, but now we have modern, enlightened democracies!
Freethinkin’Boy: I see… please tell me this: Precisely how and when did they become enlightened?
GuvBoy: <Silence>

Such arguments, of course, actually have to do with people being irrationally devoted to governments and too afraid to consider otherwise.

The fact is, most people don’t want to hear that the powers in charge are violent – no matter how well documented death by government really is. If reality were ever to matter, it would be the flawed individuals who got the guns, not the mega-flawed states.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

Will Government Tyranny Be Completed Before Humanity Wakes Up Again?

government tyrannyAll of our lives have occurred in an era of peak somnambulism (aka sleepwalking), and those of us who enjoy being awake have suffered mightily because of it. Using your mind has come with a price in our time, which is pretty sick, really. You can thank growing government tyranny for that.

Humanity, however, does not sleep forever. Eventually humans get tired with the permanent suspension of thought. I know that none of us have ever seen that in our lifetimes, but I study history, and trust me, it has happened in the past.

Can you imagine people traveling a hundred miles on foot, over muddy roads and fields, with bad shoes, and sleeping outdoors, just to listen to a teacher who the authorities had recently defrocked for immorality and cast out of the city? And this teacher wasn’t a religious guru or the leader of a revolution: he was teaching things like history, philosophy and logic.

Well, hundreds of people, even thousands, did this in the early 12th century. (The teacher’s name was Peter Abelard, and he wasn’t the only one.) Europeans had been cut off from learning by their ruling systems for hundreds of years, and yet at this moment they remembered that they were human and woke up.

I’m promising that this will happen again anytime soon, mind you, but it does happen on occasion.

History Shows the Way

From the 12th century through the 19th century, Europeans and Americans generally used their brains, and life in the West improved massively; far beyond anything ever seen in the historical record. But then, it changed. Knowledge didn’t go away, but humanity forgot that it mattered and decided that sleepwalking was easier and better.

It’s not often that you get personalities as diverse as F.A. Hayek, Virginia Woolf, Ayn Rand, and the Bohemian artists of London to all agree, but there was one subject on which they did concur: All of them said that there was a distinct change in the nature of humanity in 1911 or thereabouts. Virginia Woolf, for example, was very precise, placing it in December of 1910 and writing that “human character changed.” Ayn Rand, who was very young at the time, placed it “before World War One” and said “the West lost its nerve.”

Whatever it was that happened, it is very clear that since that time, the men of the West have tried very hard to sleep and have fought to remain in their slumbers. Yes, they were scientifically trained to be that way in government conditioning centers (aka schools). And yes, they spent decades of their lives in factories where thinking was taken as a threat. And yes, it’s true that they were subjected to millions of advertisements that grasped at their minds and wills. But even all of that doesn’t account for a hundred years of slumbers.

There’s a Reason it’s Called the Idiot Box…

The big factor in all of this was the great god of the age: Television. After all, to most people, television is simply what we do. Try telling people that you don’t watch TV some time and see what happens – they’ll treat you like a space alien. And if you persist, they’re likely to see you as a threat.

TV is simply what modern humanity does. Americans watch better than 150 hours of TV per month these days – on average. And when they’re not watching flashing images on their awesome new flatscreen (bigger than their neighbor’s!), they’re plugged in to some kind of iPod, iPad, or some other trendy new iGadget. Anything to avoid thinking.

And the more bizarre the world gets – like presidents and courts agreeing that droning citizens to death without a trial is not a Constitutional problem – the more they avoid thinking. The more the need to think sits in front of their faces, the more they crawl into TV, music, tabloids, booze, and anything else that will allow them to avoid it. Their ignorance must be preserved, or else they’ll have to face the thing they’ve been running from all their lives: responsibility.

But, as I say, this will not last forever. Whenever it is that the hypnosis breaks, those who have been using it as a slave drug will have a problem.

And that may be why they’re in such a hurry to build a fast, cheap tyranny. Once humanity turns again, the elite life-skimmers will need the ability to remove troublemakers quickly and easily, and to lead with it on the nightly news… presuming that anyone still watches the insulting drivel. There are signs of humanity waking up, after all.

Who would have dared to predict thousands of young people following an old doctor like Ron Paul around the country, eagerly waiting to hear about the Federal Reserve scam? I’m not at all sure that will be enough, but it did involve numbers of young people opening their eyes, and it was a real surprise.

Government Tyranny in Action

So, if this continues, the power-mongers will need cheap control, which is why they’ve been procuring drones and computers. Drones and 24/7 monitoring make for excellent, cheap tyranny: A world-wide surveillance web to see what you are thinking about, a world-wide manipulation system to nudge you in the ‘right’ directions, and drones to intimidate you… and, if necessary, to take you out. (Once your worst texts and emails have been worked into an appropriate story, of course.)

So, we’re in a race between cheap government tyranny, and humanity deciding that a hundred semi-comatose years were enough, and that it’s time to wake up.

Which side will win the race? I dunno.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com