9/11: The Greatest Gift the Status Quo Ever Got


I’m not saying that 9/11 was anything but a sick, evil disaster. Nor am I placing blame for it on any person or group; I’m not interested in wasting time in that quagmire.

What I am saying is that the status quo in America – compliance without question, shutting our eyes to abuse, and forever finding reasons to believe – was aided by the 9/11 event more than anything else in our lifetimes.

This has had consequences and will continue to have consequences, and not good ones. A compliant populace is an open doorway to abuse, and the American populace has set an all-time record for compliance since the event.

Who Benefited?

Whatever the reasons behind it, we have to admit that the ruling classes in the US played 9/11 to the hilt. Consider:

  • The warfare industries have seen their greatest and most prolonged boom times ever. The war in Afghanistan (not to mention Iraq, the War on Drugs, and all the small ones) has gone on for 17 years – as long as US involvement in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam combined – and has kept an ocean of money flowing through the war industry’s coffers. Young Americans are still being killed and dismembered for no clear reason, but the money keeps flowing. And every significant sporting event begins with a worship service to the military. These are the times of legend.

  • A huge number of aid agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are drinking deep from the streams of war funding. I’ll forgo details, but those with experience know.

  • The myriad bureaus and agencies of government are funded like never before, have more exorbitant pensions and benefits than ever before, and are questioned less than ever before. Concerns about “big government” are far behind us; this is the era of mega-government. And it reigns inviolate.

  • The Fed and big banks have more power and protection than ever before. Bailouts are made first and laws changed afterward. Banks borrow at nearly 0% and buy Treasuries at about 3%. The Fed purchases trillions of dollars’ worth of houses and stocks.

  • The investing class, as a result of Fed purchases, has been provided with massive gains in both stocks and bonds. The tax man has taken in record amounts as a result.

  • The PATRIOT Act – literally pulled out of a drawer and passed in record time after the 9/11 event – has continued unabated for 16½ years. Spy agencies are funded beyond all previously imaginable limits. The number of spy units has exploded, and the number of consultant firms has exploded even more.

  • Major corporations have been strip-mining the American populace. In the face of mute compliance, they simply pay for laws and regulations to be written as they like. Easy-peasy. Are we to believe it’s accidental that our health insurance rates are skyrocketing while the quality of care tumbles? Are the doctors suddenly worse? Did all the nurses suddenly go crazy? Of course not; the mega-corps – from insurance to pharmaceuticals – paid politicians to write laws their way, leaving a helpless populace to cover the bills. Like taking candy from a baby.

  • The news channels became cultural influences like never before. These outfits (and I mean this very literally) addicted millions of Americans to fear and politics. And they have profited thereby.

  • The enforcer class (police departments, etc.) has been worshiped as perma-heroes, has had rivers of money and military toys thrown at them, and has been authorized to force Americans to prostrate themselves. That’s a lot of ego-cocaine.

Trend Without End?

The beneficiaries of the 9/11 event will most certainly try to keep their good times going, but in the end it all rests upon the unquestioning compliance of the populace. And so we ask:

  • Can the military-industrial complex rely upon ever-more terrors? And if not, won’t the necessary fear fade? Will their partnership with evangelical Christianity hold forever?

  • Will government officials reverse the course of history, with more power producing less corruption? And if not, won’t corruption matter again someday?

  • Can the mega-corps strip-mine the populace even worse?

  • Can cops (or their bosses) get the populace to enjoy being intimidated, searched, and raided?

  • Can Hollywood and government schools produce yet another generation in the baby boom model?

We’ve been at peak compliance for nearly 17 years, and it’s hard to see the trend continuing forever. “Trend without end” is one of the worst bets in history after all.

It’s time to move on.

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Joe Stalin Would Thrive in Corporate America

It’s almost useless to use the word capitalism these days. Its meaning has been so distorted, so polarized, so manipulated, that almost every time I pull it out, I have to stop and define it first. And even then, knee-jerk reactions continue.

So, I’m generally abandoning the word. In its place, I’m using commerce. But that raises yet another issue:

It’s entirely wrong to describe a mom-and-pop store with the same word we use for General Motors.

Did Stalin Support Capitalism?

No, of course not; Stalin was a Marxist. But at the same time, he was a major supporter of industry. For example, check out this very typical poster of his era:


So, what gives? Stalin hated capitalism but strongly supported industry. What’s the difference?

The difference lies is the exercise of will:

  • Commerce—capitalism of the mom-and-pop variety—involves individuals choosing to perform productive actions, such as growing food and making shoes.
  • Industry—capitalism of the corporate variety—involves the domination of individual will. Sure, the corporate suite and their government partners get to exercise will, but mere corporate employees are forbidden from exercising theirs. So, 1%-2% get to use their wills to some effective extent, and 98%-99% are restricted.

Stalin killed people of the first type and rewarded people of the second type. I think that also helps to clarify the distinction.

What About Now?

So, what about our current situation? Are mom and pop being rewarded, or at least left alone?

No, they’re not; they’re being ground into the dust. No matter how much governments and their sycophants swear that regulation is good for business, every small businessman, myself among them, knows the truth. People are getting out of businesses in droves and telling their children to find something else to do. As one small businessman I know says, “It’s just not fun anymore.”

Did you know that fewer small businesses are being created than destroyed? And there’s a one-word reason for it: regulation.

Stripped of the self-righteous lies that surround it, regulation is simply a restriction of will. It involves the biggest bosses telling everyone else what they can or cannot do. And here’s the rub: Big corporations can get regulations written as they like; small businesses can’t. The result is this:

Corporate numbers are up because their small competitors have been squeezed out. Mom and pop’s cash flow has been transferred to the corporation.

Stalin would thrive in this environment. He’d find a prominent place in the corporate takeover of America.

On the other hand, Stalin could never survive in a world where mom-and-pop capitalism was the order of the day. He’d be a rank hoodlum, and eventually some shopkeeper would shoot him.

But Wait, We Need Regulation!

Some of the sadder news stories I see are those involving small business alliances sucking up to the big imposers of will, saying things like, “We recognize the necessity of some regulation, but…”

Yes, I know that they mean well (and Lord knows I’ve had my own share of “meant well” mistakes), but commerce is contrary to regulation by its very nature.

Commerce (and I’m tempted to christen it natural commerce) is a liberated-will strategy. Cuddling up to people who impose controlled-will strategies is not helpful.

I covered this entire subject in much more detail in my newsletter (issue #29), but I would like to make one point on the “necessity” of regulation here. Please take a look at this map:


What you’re looking at are the Near East trade routes of 7000 BC. Let me put that into some perspective for you:

This is a record of self-motivated individuals, traveling hundreds of miles to trade with foreigners. (And there is much more to be discovered.)

And when were these people doing this?

  • 4,500 years before the pyramids of Egypt.
  • 4,700 years before Stonehenge.
  • 3,000 years before the Sumerians (depending on how you pick their start date).
  • 6,200 years before Homer and the beginnings of Greek civilization.

You get the point.

So, all those history-book passages about “necessary organization and administration” and “an appropriate bureaucratic infrastructure” were simply false.

From time immemorial, humans exercised will and solved problems to make commerce work. They didn’t need pompous parasites telling them what to do and what not to do.


So, commerce—natural commerce; mom and pop commerce—is, by its very nature, born free. It evades regulations and controls, because it serves its own will, not the wills of rulers.

For this reason, Joe Stalin killed its practitioners. For the same reason, he rewarded industrial operations.

On Main Street, Joe Stalin would knife mom and pop. In the corporate tower, he would thrive.

That’s something to think about.

Paul Rosenberg

This article was originally published by Casey Research.