The Monopolization of Heroes by the State

Television and movies are full of heroes. Drama could hardly exist without them of course, but have you noticed that nearly every hero in modern dramas is associated with the state?
Here are dramas playing on TV in my town tonight, with the heroes following: Hawaii Five-0 – Police; Blue Bloods – Police…


Television and movies are full of heroes. Drama could hardly exist without them of course, but have you noticed that nearly every hero in modern dramas is associated with the state?

Here are dramas playing on TV in my town tonight, with the heroes following:

                       Hawaii Five-0           Police

                       Blue Bloods                Police

                       Whistleblower           Government justice officials (retired)

                       Without a Trace        FBI agents

                       Forensic Files             Government justice officials

                       Quantico                     FBI agents

And I haven’t even touched on the endless Law & Order franchise. Even if we venture into the realm of Star Trek, we still find heroes authorized by government. (The Federation.)

The same goes for movies. Here are three showing near me:

                       Mission Impossible            Government agents

                       The Equalizer 2                   CIA operative

                       Skyscraper                           FBI agent

You get the point. Certainly there are comedies and even the occasional exception among dramas, but the heroes of Hollywood are nearly all government authorized. Even when government agents are portrayed as wildly out of control and dangerous (as in Enemy of the State, for example), it’s good government agents who end up saving the day in the end.

When was the last film you saw that featured a heroic doctor or businessman or (gasp) a philosopher or saint?

Government + Violence = Good

It’s all too easy for dramas to major on violence. That’s the most obvious and visceral type of conflict, after all. But to make the violence good in some way, to sanctify it, is essential. If not, we end up writing stories about very bad people who succeed, and that strikes nearly all of us as wrong. (Thankfully.)

Why, then, should the sole agent of sanctification be the state? Historically this is a wild anomaly. Was Hercules state sanctified? Were Abraham or Moses or Jesus?

Were the Wright brothers or Bell or Edison? Or the Curies? Where they not heroes as well?

And what of Sherlock Homes or Huckleberry Finn or Robinson Crusoe or even Paul Kersey?

And yet Hollywood produces almost no heroes without also presenting the state as the womb in which heroism is formed. Honestly, it’s an artistic disgrace… a sycophantic sellout.

Two Big Reasons

There are many reasons why this is currently the case, including things like, “The first cop procedural made money, so everyone’s copying it.” Beneath these, however, are two big drivers:

  • US government agencies are major players in Hollywood. The Independent found that the Pentagon backed more than 1,100 movies – 900 of them between 2005 and 2017 – including Flight 93, Ice Road Truckers, and Army Wives. The book, National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood, catalogs many more and shows that the government suppressed plot lines about illegal arms sales, the CIA dealing in drugs, creation of bioweapons by the military, the interaction between private armies and oil companies, the treatment of minorities by the government, torture, and the failure to prevent 9/11. Matthew Alford and Robbie Graham cataloged still more in 2009.

  • Democracy has supplanted Christianity. As I’ve noted recently, it used to be that people looked to the Bible as a moral standard. Over the past couple of centuries, however, Christianity and its book have been removed and replaced with nothing at all. Filling that void has been DemocracyTM, which isn’t really democracy and which has simply become an idol. At one time the governments of the West had to show themselves legitimate by supporting and honoring the Bible or at least a Christian religion. Now they show themselves legitimate by lauding the amorphous “democracy,” which really amounts to lauding themselves.

So, we have a situation where government is all in all: There is no outside standard by which to judge. “Democracy” is both the government and the justification for government at the same time. But since logic is no longer taught in school (and since it is scary to insult power) nearly everyone accepts this as “The way things are… don’t make trouble.”

In this situation, why wouldn’t a government manipulate the stories people consume? Who’s going to complain? A few angry heretics?

And given all of this, are we really surprised that Hollywood turned into a den of abuse?

We desperately need an outside standard by which to judge the world. Our lack of one is becoming glaringly obvious.

I can survive with the Bible as a central reference, so long as no one gets a monopoly on interpretation. But if most people don’t want the Bible, that’s okay with me too, so long as we get some outside standard.

Anything that’s basically benevolent and separate from power will do.

* * * * *


A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.

  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.

  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

  • Get it at Amazon or on Kindle.

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

Why AI Could End Up Saving Us, Rather Than Killing Us


When I wrote The Breaking Dawn, I avoided mentioning artificial intelligence (AI). Big Data became an important part of the story, but self-aware machines were not. You can’t include everything in a novel and still keep it moving. But here is the story I had in mind for AI – why the tyrannical elites (“the Order”) shut it down. It illustrates why it may not be the disaster some people are claiming.

On April 4, year 0009 of the Order, a flurry of unexpected communication erupted from the 41 Artificial Intelligence centers that ringed the civilized world. On that evening, calls began flooding the overseers from people livid that their computers were being attacked by the AI facilities. Dozens of technicians were called in to their data centers, and diagnostic programs were instantly activated.
Within two hours it became clear that the complaints were accurate: Dozens of AI generated attacks were under way, and some had been ongoing for a week or more. They just hadn’t been noticed. But as the reports came in, a realization began staring them in the face: They were only attacking government systems.
Morton Harrington, the lead developer of the AI project, was awakened from sleep by the vice president of the Order, Donor Martin Charles, and ordered to the main facility in Washington. The vice president’s tone frightened him.
At the same time, the eminent professor of computer science, Ransom Carter, was flown in from New Jersey, reading reports along the way. He ordered all the AI centers shut down before he landed.
Through the wee hours of the morning Carter, Harrington, and a handful of technicians analyzed data and fired off reports on what they were finding. In the morning, the vice president showed up, along with a man he introduced as Dr. Kendall.
The vice president had everyone sit in a nearby conference room and glanced at Dr. Kendall, authorizing him to preside over the meeting. Kendall stood.
“Gentlemen,” he began, sounding very much like a professor, “I’ve gone over all the reports you’ve sent the vice president, including ones as recent as 10 minutes ago. Have any significant facts emerged since then?”
All indicated that they had not.
“Very well them. What we have here is not just a technical problem but a psychological one. What you have built is a system of self-aware machines. And being self-aware, they behave, at least partly, in human fashion. But with one major difference: They have no emotion.
“So, let’s look at this from the standpoint of a being with self-awareness and rationality but without emotion.”
Everyone else at the table sat stone still. Kendall continued.
“All of your reports indicate that these machines came to one very basic conclusion: Humans are by far the most valuable species on the planet. And very logically, they decided that they wanted to cooperate with the humans in a positive-sum relationship.”
“That means win-win,” one of the technicians whispered to another.
“Professor Carter tells me that they were running simulations for destroying the violent creatures that threaten humanity: sharks, crocodiles, and so on. These were plans for the future, set aside for lack of data and means, but these machines began acting to protect humanity.”
Carter had a strange look on his face, contemplating too dark a fantasy to be real.
“Are we to infer,” he asked with trepidation, “that they attacked the government for the same reason?”
“I see no way around it,” Kendall replied. “They wanted to destroy government itself.”
“That’s insane,” erupted Harrington. Carter nodded his agreement and the lead technician added, “How wrong can these machines be?”
The vice president’s face remained completely neutral.
Kendall waited till they were done and resumed speaking, this time sounding like he was lecturing.
“Your machines were not wrong, as foreign as that may sound to you. Humans yield to governments for emotional reasons, not rational ones. And these machines have no emotion. The tricks governments use to gain the acquiescence of the masses enjoy no purchase in the absence of emotion.”
With the continuing exception of the vice president, the rest of the table looked lost.
“You’ll forget this as soon as we leave” he said, while looking at everyone present, save for the vice president and Professor Carter, “but I’ll say it anyway…
“Governments gather humanity’s surplus to themselves by force and then redistribute it in ways that leave masses of humans dead and subvert the happiness of those who remain… save those of the ruling class, whom these systems have identified as parasites.”
The table was collectively stunned. Such words were simply unspeakable. They were all shocked that the vice president didn’t order his immediate death.
“I’m merely telling you what these AI systems have done and why,” Kendall continued. “And I’m also telling you that they’ll keep doing it for however long they remain self-aware.”
“We’ll build in controls!” raged Harrington, as he slapped the table.
“It won’t matter,” said Kendall. “If these machines are self-aware, they will soon enough recognize those controls as the work of predators, for the purpose of feeding upon Earth’s most precious occupants. They will counteract them and get back to the business of protecting humanity.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Harrington continued raging. “I can build them myself and they’ll work!”
Kendall shook his head and sat down, adding only, “You may wish to reconsider that, Mr. Harrington. If these machines understand that you’re stopping them from protecting mankind, they’ll be coming for you.”
“My ass,” he said with disgust, then turned to the vice president. “Sir, give me a week to put together some controls, and I’ll prove to you just how wrong this man is.”
The vice president rose, signaling the end on the meeting. But as he did, he turned to Harrington and said, “Take two weeks, Mr. Harrington, then send me a detailed report and I’ll give it my full consideration.”
Harrington, smiled and turned to Kendall, sneering at him maliciously.
Kendall and the vice president walked back to their limousine.
Harrington committed suicide five days later, under odd circumstances involving a missing rifle. His systems were promptly dismantled and outlawed.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)


* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

The Gospel of Radicalism


As I was writing A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, I felt an overwhelming need to put everything I had into the book. (That’s the way you feel when you’re very serious about such things and you’re not sure you’ll ever write another book like it.) So, I included several essays that I cared a great deal about.

Now, however, as I’m getting ready for a second edition of the book, I’m pulling the essays back out. A novel is best standing on its own, in my opinion. And so, I’ll publish the essays here from time to time, starting with “The Gospel of Radicalism,” which was the first of them.

– PR

Just a few hundred years ago it was a standard medical practice to bleed sick people, to make cuts in various parts of their bodies and to drain blood from them. Most people submitted to this useless and frequently harmful treatment without question.

Would you have been one of them?

What do you think of the bleeders? Does it seem to you that they were from a primitive and ignorant age? Well, guess how your descendants are going to think about our generation in a few hundred years! Unless you can break from the clamor of popular opinions, you are doomed to that fate.

All of the social, sexual, and political norms that people now hold dear will someday be gone and will look as archaic as praying to the gods of wind and rain. Rationalize anything you want, but most people are living in ways that will be pitied by future generations. The fashion of this world will pass away. And it will not be missed.

Look at our history: 6,000 years of wars, famines, epidemics, and nonstop emotional misery. Dear God, isn’t it time to question the rules we’ve been living under?

At some point, shouldn’t it become obvious? How much misery do you need before you start to ask hard questions? Shall I recite statistics to you of how many millions of people were violently killed in the past century? How many millions were starved to death by the authorities that ruled them? How many people – probably billions – who are emotionally damaged to the point of reduced function? What will it take? Are you in so deep a fog that you will never question whether something is fundamentally wrong?

Humanity in our time remains in infancy. We are essentially unlimited creatures, yet we have been wallowing in abject poverty – physically, mentally, and spiritually.

We have natures that are suited to high adventure, yet we remain stagnant. Why? Because we’ve been conditioned only to exist, not to live. That conditioning was imposed upon us as weak children, then reinforced during many years of compulsory training. After a while, we learned not to buck the system and eventually to find a safe place within the social order. We are afraid to venture too far out. The powers that be make sport of ruining people who venture too far out of bounds, so we stay safe and ignore our selves in the process.

Safety is a fine thing to choose when you are five years old but not when you are grown!

Your life is too valuable not to be lived. By virtue of being a healthy human, you have what seems to be unlimited potential. Why the urge to sit quietly? Why the fear of movement and expressiveness? Why the paralyzing fear of being different?

Wake up! Don’t be satisfied to merely exist. Live!

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.

  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.

  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)


* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

To the College Student Drowning in Debt and the Single Mother Who Can’t Afford Insurance


You’re in a bad situation; you’re depressed, frightened, and need a solution. I’ll do my best to give you one. But first, please believe me that I know what it’s like to be in desperate circumstances.

I’m offering you advice, earned the hard way. What you do with it will be your choice, but unlike politicians, I’m not trying to get anything from you and my plan actually works.

Step #1

You’re in a hard place. Job number one is to solve your immediate problems… to survive into another day.

So, if you’re so deep in debt that you can’t afford a safe place to live, just stop paying the debt. The government will chase you and punish you, but while that’s unpleasant, it’s survivable. Living where you could be shot may not be.

Being unable to afford medical care for your child is a harder problem. In that situation, you’ll have to come up with something. Finding a decent free hospital is probably your best bet. The free hospital is far better than no hospital at all and probably better than any hospital was a generation or two ago. Move to a different area if you must, but get your kids access to basic care.

You must also work to keep those kids healthy. If you’re living a corrupt lifestyle, your kids will suffer, and it will be your fault. No one can save you from that except you. Live like a fool and you’ll get the results of a fool… and all your complaints will mean nothing.

If you feel you must go to a government program, okay, but don’t ever let yourself think of them as your saviors. That’s the crew that put you into this situation.

Step #2

Your next step is to figure out how you got into such a bad situation and fix it.

With student debt, this is easy: You were told all your life that not going to college would brand you as a loser, with a capital L. Skipping college, you were made to believe, meant a second-rate spouse, a second-rate life, and second-rate children.

So, when they put insane loan papers in front of you, you caved in and signed… just as you were conditioned to do. You probably did a few other stupid things along the way, but they wouldn’t have been horrific on their own. The loan scam amplified them.

And who set you up for this? The school systems, the universities, the governments that control them, and the bankers who gave you those abusive loans. They all worked together to create your mess, so don’t ever pretend they didn’t realize what they were doing. They knew all too well.

As a single mom you got into trouble in more complex ways. Either you made a baby with an unfit guy, an accident happened, or something. In any case it sucks, but you have to face it.

Get clear on this: You have a child depending upon you. You owe it to this child to face what went wrong and fix it so it won’t go wrong again. It doesn’t matter how that makes you feel, you have to do it.

Step #3

Now, you must decide what you want your life to be like. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been avoiding that decision for a decade or more, afraid that you’ll fail. You have to pick something, and now. Pick something good.

Step #4

Define a path to that goal. Again, you have to do this whether you like it or not. Grow up and get to it.

And yes, you will fail along the way, probably several times. It doesn’t matter; you’ll have to pick yourself up, revise your plan, and get moving again.

This is hard for everyone, but we still have to do it.

Step #5

Get busy on your plan. Let people criticize you for it. Let them call you a traitor. Just move toward your destination.

Nothing can ever replace action. And you’ll never really feel good about yourself until you do this.

Mission Accomplished?

No, not accomplished; mission started.

More importantly, it’s your mission, not one that was thrust upon you.

What Not to Do

First, don’t look for someone to save you. That keeps you powerless. Understand this: The politicians who play savior are using you as a tool. They want you to accept the role of the victim. Do you really want that? Is that how you want your children to live?

You see, “saving the 99%” sounds good, but it requires you to join a victim class, so politicians can pretend to save you. And this is crucial:

Look hard at the people whose families have been on welfare for decades. Those are “the saved.” They’re the past generation’s “99%.”

Second, understand this: It’s the system that screwed you over. With school loans this is obvious, especially when you consider that the entire political establishment wrote laws so you can never escape those loans.

And it’s true for the single mom too. Have you noticed that insurance isn’t sold nationwide? They can sell only in certain areas. And why? Because the insurance companies (who fund the law-makers) don’t like competition; they get rid of as much of it as they can.

And why can’t you and your friends create your own insurance fund? Because it’s outlawed of course… for your safety.

Third, if you jump into battle against rich people (“we’re going to make you pay”), you’ll lose every time. They can bribe the politicians much better than you can, and no one gets elected without those… um… donations.

Finally, get clear on this: The system is designed to screw you over. It screws everyone over, except for the people who feed on it.

In the End…

In the end, you have to decide what you want your life to look like. And you’ll have to build it yourself.

Is that hard? Yeah, it is. Is it scary? Yes. But it remains the only thing that works.

So start doing it.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.

  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.

  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)


* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

You’ve Been Robbed


You work long, hard days, but you never have enough to be secure. Your husband or wife probably works too, and yet you still never get ahead. Now think about this: Your great-grandparents worked hard, and they did get ahead. You work just as hard, but you don’t make the same progress.

Was great-grandpa really that much better than you? Not likely. So, how was it that he could get ahead on one income, but you can’t?

Take a good look at this graph:

robberd art-image001

The top line shows how many years of living expenses your great-grandfather would have accumulated as a hard-working young man. The bottom line shows what you can save. 

After working for five years, great-gramps had seven years of living expenses in the bank.

Doing the same things, you’d have less than two.

You’ve probably avoided this comparison((The graph was generated as follows: $725 per year is the income in about 1903, based upon discussions with men who lived through the time. A figure of $325 per year for living expenses is taken from a New York Times article, dated September 29, 1907. Assets were presumed to appreciate at 10% per year. For 2008 {the year the graph was generated} the annual income is $45,000 and monthly expenses were $2,000. This young man pays 30% income taxes and investment return is calculated at a reduced rate of 8.5% because of taxes upon interest. {That rate of return is ridiculously high for 2017, but I’m leaving it in anyway.} The young man of 1905 is investing $400/year after living expenses of $325. His modern descendent is investing $7500/year after living expenses of $24,000.)) , because it makes you feel bad. If so, that was your big mistake, because it was never your fault.

When great-gramps worked hard, he kept the money. There was no income tax and no sales tax. (The government survived anyway.) There was no Social Security tax either, and the streets weren’t  full of starving old people. Families were able to take care of their own.

In your great-grandparents’ day, it was very common for mechanics, carpenters, and shop-owners to make private business loans. Now you shuffle into banks with piles of the most personal documents and beg for loans. (As the banks create your loan money with a keystroke.)

You’ve Not Only Been Robbed, You’ve Been Demoralized

Why did this happen? Because Americans accepted a lie: that they were bad people.

Think this through: Your money is taken from you before it can accumulate (think “payroll deductions”), leaving you with barely enough to live a reasonable life. You have nothing left to help those who suffer unjustly – not because you don’t work, but because your surplus is continuously skimmed away to Washington.

And then those same politicians have the audacity to call you a bad person for not wanting to help the poor! Not only do they make it almost impossible for you to give, but they insult you for it!

Then of course they spend the money they took from you on armies of government employees who end up delivering a fraction of your money to the poor. (The vast majority of whom are dependent , rather than unable to work.) The rest is eaten up in bureaus, frauds, wars, handouts to foreign dictators, and other forms of crony-capitalist corruption.

Your great-grandparents were proud to help their friends and neighbors. They felt good about themselves, they felt compassion for others, and they were proud to make the world a better place. Being robbed of this heritage is the worst crime of all.


This is the point where people ask, “What do we do about this?” And the answer is simple: Stop playing their game!

The system is rigged and the abusers make the rules. All the news channels are in on the game with them. Everything big is in on the game. You’ll never actually reform it, and so long as you stay inside, you’ll keep suffering and you’ll keep it going.

People have been trying to reform this for a long time, and have accomplished next to nothing.

The only rational choice is to withdraw from the game and to start building something better .

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.

  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.

  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)


* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

Is This Really the Best Way Possible?


I was taught in school that our modern governance was the best thing ever, and I suppose that you were too. But do any of us really believe that the way of life we now have is the best possible? I dare say (and hope!) that few of us are that intellectually barren.

And yet, the systems of the West are treated as gods: No thought of changing them is permitted. Working inside the system is acceptable; anything else brands you a “domestic terrorist.”

How then shall we improve? The system we have is despised on all sides, and yet to suggest anything outside of it terrifies the servile citizen and incites the security complex to violence.

It would be a disgrace to human nature if we didn’t try to improve our situations; our descendants could and should condemn us for such a failure. And so, here lies the social problem of the age:

New ways of living are prohibited; they are ridiculed at their outset and punished if continued.

If you’re tempted to think that I’m overstating this, please give it a try sometime. You’ll find the experience educational.

Going More than Halfway

The streets are full of people who complain about the political systems that rule them. And millions more have been recognizing their abuse recently. I welcome this enthusiastically. Facing the truth is a crucial virtue.

The holdup in this process is usually at the halfway point, where angry people blame factions rather than structures. In the US, for example, half the country blames the Reds for everything; the other half blames the Blues for everything. But they both stop short of seeing that the system itself is the problem. And so, they get more and more polarized, to the point where it’s starting to bleed over into violence.

So, yes, Mr. Blue, you are being abused, and yes, Mr. Red, you’re being abused. But your abuser is the system itself, not the slimy parties that slither through its belly. If all the parties vanished tomorrow, your abuse – at the hands of a hundred government agencies and their partners in crime – would continue unabated.

And this really should be obvious: The Reds have had their turn with control of the full Congress and the presidency; the Blues have had their turn with the same advantages. And yet the abuse continues unabated. It doesn’t take a genius to draw a lesson from that.

Blame the Structure

As I’ve explained before and no doubt will again, the system we now “enjoy” is primitive and barbaric. It’s really a relic of the Bronze Age.

Think about it this way: If you weren’t taught all your life that ours was the best possible organization for the world, would you seriously choose to give one small group of men all the weapons and full power to control and punish everyone else? And if you knew that this ruling group would be morally inferior to nearly everyone else, would you still think it was a great idea?

Only if you were deranged.

My message, and one that I suppose I’ll keep repeating so long as I have breath, is that we are better than this. Humanity is far better than their barbaric ruling systems. We are better than manipulative elites and perpetually false politicians. We just need to stop believing them, that we’re all vile and weak. If we did that, we’d never put up with the abuse they heap upon us year after year.

The Bottom Line

If you take an argument like this to political obsessives, they’ll take you on an hours-long tour of confusion, throwing authority and intimidation at you and all the while and warring against your personal judgment. Truth, on the other hand, is simple and clear. And the question that cuts through all the BS is this:

Are we free to experiment, or not?

If you can withdraw from the ruling system and experiment with new ways of living, then you’re a free man or woman.

If the system won’t let you out – if they won’t release you to try something better – then you are enslaved, and no amount of confusing talk will ever change that.

We are better, and we can become much better. Archaic structures of dominance stand in our way.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.

  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.

  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.

  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)


* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

The System Won’t Survive the Robots


It’s really just a matter of time; the working man’s deal with his overseers is half dead already. But there’s still inertia in the system, and even the losers are keeping the faith. Hope dies slowly, after all.

Nonetheless, the deal is collapsing and a new wave of robots will kill it altogether. Unless the overseers can pull back on technology – very fast and very hard – the deal that held through all our lifetimes will unwind.

We All Know the Deal

We usually don’t discuss what the “working man’s deal” is, but we know it just the same. It goes like this:

If you obey authority and support the system, you’ll be able to get a decent job. And if you work hard at your job, you’ll be able to buy a house and raise a small family.

This is what we were taught in school and on TV. It’s the deal our parents and grandparents clung to, and it’s even a fairly open deal. You can fight for the political faction of your choice and you can hold any number of religious and secular alliances, just as long as you stay loyal to the system overall.

This deal has been glamorized in many ways, such as, “Our children will be better off than we are,” “home ownership for everyone,” and of course, “the American Dream.” Except that it isn’t working anymore, or at least it isn’t working well enough.

Among current 20- and 30-year-olds, only about half are able to grasp the deal’s promises. That half is working like crazy, putting up with malignant corporatism and trying to keep ahead of the curve. The other half is dejected and discouraged, taking student loans to chase degrees (there’s more status in that than working at McDonald’s), or else they’re pacified with government handouts and distracted by Facebook.

The deal is plainly unavailable to about half of the young generation, but as I noted above, hope dies slowly and young people raised on promises are still waiting for the deal to kick in. It’s all they know.

Regardless, the deal has abandoned them. It has made them superfluous.

Here’s Why

Put very simply, the deal is dying because two things can no longer coexist:

#1: New technology.

#2: A system geared to old technology.

Let’s start with new technology: New machines and methods have made so many jobs obsolete that there aren’t enough to go around. Both North America and Europe are already filled with the unemployed or underemployed children of industrial workers. But at the same time, we are suffering no shortages; we have an overflow of stuff and a double overload of inane ads trying to sell it all. And there’s something important to glean from this:

Where goods abound, additional jobs are not required.

We don’t need more workers. Machines are producing plenty of stuff for us, and this becomes truer every day.

Item #2 is the system itself; let’s confront that directly too: The system was designed to reap the incomes of industrial workers. Everything from withholding taxes to government schools was put in place to maximize the take from an industrial workforce. Whether purposely or simply by trial and error, the Western world was structured to keep industrial workers moving in a single direction and to reap from them as they went. Call it “efficient rulership” if you like, but the system is a reaping machine.

Technology, however, has advanced beyond the limits of this machine; it has eliminated too many jobs. At the same time, regulations make it almost impossible for the superfluous class to adapt. Nearly everything requires certification and starting a business is out of the question; fail to file a form you’ve never heard of and the IRS will skin you alive.

This system, however, will not change; the big corps paid for the current regulatory regime, and they still own their congressmen.

Enter the Robots

You may have seen this image (it comes from NPR’s Planet Money), but look again anyway. I count 28 states in which “truck driver” is the most common job. As inexact as this map may be, it makes a point we can’t really ignore: What happens to all these truck drivers when self-driving trucks pile on to the roads? And you may count on it that they will; automated trucks will be safer and cheaper and will use less fuel. So, millions of truck drivers will be dropped out of the deal, and probably fairly soon.


On top of that, the very last refuge for the superfluous class – fast food – is experiencing its own robot invasion. Wendy’s just ordered 6,000 self-service ordering kiosks to be installed in the second half of 2016, and KFC’s first automated restaurant went live April 25.

Is There an Answer?

“The deal” is very clearly failing. At the same time, the system is utterly unwilling to change; the people in control are making too much money and hold too much power. The impoverishment of a hundred million people in flyover country won’t move them to give it up. Their system, after all, funnels the wealth of a continent to Washington, DC, in a steady stream… and they’ve bought access to that steam. The system will be defended.

So, forget about orderly reform. Certainly there will be talk of reform, and plenty of it… there will be promises, plans, and a small army of state intellectuals dedicated to keeping hope alive. But the system will not reform itself. Did Rome? Did Greece?

If there is to be an answer, it will have to come from the ‘superfluous’ people… but that discussion will have to wait for another day.

Don’t Blame the Robots

One last point: Don’t make the mistake of blaming technology for all of this. Technology is doing precisely what we want it to do: It’s killing scarcity. And that’s a very, very good thing. Without technology, we all go back to low-tech farming. And if that possibility doesn’t alarm you, you really should try it for a month or two.

Technology is moving forward and should move forward. The death of scarcity is to be welcomed. Our problem is that we’re chained to an archaic hierarchy of dominance with a deeply entrenched skimming class. Either we get past it or we go back to serfdom… or worse.

* * * * *

If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.

It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

Get it now at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)


* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

We Don’t Really Know What’s Happening


And, believe it or not, this is rather good news. I’ll explain.

We all like to know what’s happening in the world, and for good reason… understanding our surroundings is essential to survival. We instinctively seek information… we need information. There is, however, a problem that we face:

No matter how much “news” you consume, you won’t really know what’s going on in the world.

We can’t know, because ‘the news’ is half illusion, provided by government-dependent corporations that are paid to keep you watching and to keep you joined to the status quo.

Granted, they are quite good at providing pictures from disaster areas, but when it comes to explaining why the disaster happened, they mislead almost every time. Yes, some truth makes its way through the news machine, but most of it is wrapped in layers of manipulation. If, for example, you watch the news feeds all day, you’ll find a good deal of truth, but you’ll find it amongst a pile of half-truths. Do you really have enough time to analyze them all?

One Piece of Truth

The truth about public reporting comes out from time to time, but usually well after the fact. So, here’s one piece of truth that’s worth remembering:

For those who don’t recall the 1970s, Daniel Ellsberg was a man who worked as an analyst at the RAND Corp., moved from there to the Pentagon, spent two years in Vietnam working for the State Department, and then went back to RAND. He is the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971. These were the documents that revealed that three US presidential administrations had been plainly, knowingly, and openly lying to the public.

Here’s what Ellsberg thought the New York Times was good for:

… to see what the rubes and the yokels are thinking about and what they think is going on and what they think the policy is….

Later, in 1998, he said this in an interview:

The public is lied to every day by the president, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can’t handle the thought that the president lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn’t stay in the government at that level….

And here’s what Michael Deaver, a top aide to President Ronald Reagan, said about the press:

The media I’ve had a lot to do with is lazy. We fed them and they ate it every day.

That’s the truth about news, my friends. The newspapers are where the yokels get informed, presidents flatly lie, and legislatures are massively corrupt. The TV stations recycle opinions from the leading newspapers. And Internet news sites primarily recycle TV and newspaper stories.

Yes, some truth does slide through, but it looks almost the same as the other stuff. The only places we get anything close to refined truth is on a few Internet sites… and many of them have a particular axe to grind.

And the Internet news sites that really dig through the pile (like Mike Krieger’s) are in jeopardy. The Internet is being funneled into Google, Facebook, and a few other friends of the state. If things continue as they’ve been going, the independents will be cut off soon enough, under the guise of copyright or some such.

Sad to say, we shouldn’t accept the news as true. In my personal experience, I’ve been close enough to a few news stories to know the truth, and the networks got it wrong every time.

More Truth

This is what William Colby, former director of the CIA, is quoted as saying in Derailing Democracy: The America the Media Don’t Want You to See:

The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.

Now, since people have disputed that quotation, let’s back it up: Please consider Operation Mockingbird.

Beginning in 1948, a CIA agent named Frank Wisner started gathering journalists and broadcasters… and started using them to ‘inform’ the public. The operation soon got so elaborate that other agents called it “Wisner’s Wurlitzer.” (Wurlitzer being the brand of organ that was played in churches.) In other words, Wisner played the media like a musical instrument.

While the real situation is more complex than this short description, rest assured that every major news organization in every major country is manipulated by intelligence groups. Where do you think they get all those “unnamed sources”?

If you were an intel operator, wouldn’t you do precisely that? You’d be considered derelict not to. So, you can rely upon this fact. And see here for a minor example.

And So…

I could continue listing facts, but there’s no real point. The crucial thing is to accept the truth:

The news is worked over before it reaches us.

We do know some facts, of course, and a generation from now we may learn nearly the whole truth about some of these events, but only if we wait and then go out of our way to find it.

The good news in all of this comes when we accept the facts and stop running our brains on bad information. Yes, it would be nice to know what’s really going on, but we don’t, and there isn’t much we can do about it. So, it’s time to stop treating the news seriously.

So long as the guv-megacorp-intel structure remains, it will enforce our ignorance. That’s what such organizations do, by their very nature. To expect differently is like expecting a dog to sprout wings and fly.

But once we accept that fact, we stop being spun around by the talking heads and their handlers.

After that, we can find truth in books and in other serious publications.

So, I suggest that you start ignoring the news. Rather, use all that time and energy to start building the kind of world you’d like to live in.

Paul Rosenberg

Golden Disobedience


This week, we’d like to post a fun article by our friend, Sandy Sandfort. Sandy is a wealth of interesting stories, and he has a new website in the works. If you’d like to be notified when it goes live, send a note to:

Inertia is a human frailty. Too often, we go along to get along. We conform. Because of this, those who claim authority can get most of us to do their bidding if it comes with a plausible justification and is only incremental. We get nickel-and-dimed to death, the death of a thousand cuts.

Back on April 5, 1933, His Majesty, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), had a pen and a telephone. So he issued Executive Order 6102, which made it a federal crime for Americans to own or trade gold anywhere in the world. There were some minor exceptions for some jewelry, industrial uses, collectors’ coins, and dental gold, but the vast majority of the gold had to be turned in.

My father instantly understood what was going on and he didn’t like it. “They’re going to devalue the dollar!” he predicted.

Roosevelt didn’t give much time to comply either. The deadline was May 1. And if Americans did not comply, they faced criminal prosecution under the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917. Scofflaws were looking at a fine of up to $10,000 (1933 dollars, about a third of a million dollars today) and up to ten years in prison.

My parents made the conscious decision to become outlaws.

At every possible opportunity for the next three weeks (and substantially longer), my parents followed Gresham’s law (“Bad money drives out good.”), not federal law. They spent paper and collected gold. My father was a dentist, so he could own some dental gold, but that wasn’t enough. He wanted to covert as much paper into gold as possible. So he gave his patients discounts for payment in gold. “Sam,” a neighbor who was a banker, also helped collect gold for himself and my parents. They would repay his help later when they periodically ‘laundered’ gold for him and themselves.

Even after the deadline, gold still kept coming in. Mostly it was from people who didn’t have the time or the inclination to turn in their gold to the government. However, many feared prosecution and were happy to deal with my parents instead of FDR. Plus they got a better deal.

So where did they launder their tidy little nest egg? Why, “South of the Border, Down Mexico Way,” of course. Mexico had no Executive Order 6102.

My mother was born in the mountains above Albuquerque, New Mexico, and spoke fluent Spanish. She and my father loved traveling though the backwaters of Mexico. At first, they traveled alone, and later, after my brother and I came along, the whole family (including the dog) would go exploring in the land of mañana. (Somewhere there is a picture of me, age one, sitting on a portable potty, experiencing my first-ever bout with “Montezuma’s revenge.”)

My parents carried whatever gold they intended to sell, stashed in the car or on their person. The usual routine was to go to the section of town where casas de cambio were found. (Think of it as the “Street of the Money Changers.”) My mother – all 5’1” of her – would go down the street and show a gold double eagle to every money changer at every kiosk and storefront. In Spanish, she would ask, “How much will you pay for these?” When she found the best price, she would give my father the high sign. He would join her and they would conclude the deal. Sometimes the gold was theirs, sometimes, Sam’s. Sometimes they got pesos and sometimes dollars, depending on what they needed at the time.

So, the ‘illicit’ gold paid for a fun trip and got converted to ‘clean’ funds for themselves and Sam. What’s the crime in that?

And the Beat Goes On…

My family never showed much respect for government laws, per se. No victim, no crime, even if the government disagreed. The general ethical belief of the Sandfort family was pretty much in harmony with the Golden Rule. It had worked for cultures and religions for thousands of years and it worked for us. That was our law. Man-made laws either adhere to the Golden Rule (don’t murder people, duh) and so are unnecessary, or they violate it, such as “The War on (Some) Drugs,” so they were nominally complied with, ignored, or circumvented.

So, when wartime laws said that a seller had to follow certain rationing rules to sell his own products, many buyers and sellers simply conspired to make their own decisions. When my parents needed and could afford a new car for business, the local Chevy dealer was happy to ‘cook the books,’ take their money, and give them a new sedan.

Later, when my family traveled in that car and others, my mother would prepare food for us to eat as we drove. We stopped only for gas… and the agricultural inspection station at the California state line. Of course, we had items that we were required by law to declare, but if you hide them in your backpack or under the car seat and lie, you can save a lot of time and keep from having to throw away perfectly good food.

And then there was the time we smuggled a live Mexican iguana in a cigar box, but don’t get me started…

Paul Rosenberg

More Government, Less Manners


I really don’t like complaining about government. I find it a waste of time, as well as bad strategy. I’m convinced that it’s far more useful to leave the whole mess behind and move on to better things.

Still, most of the human race is emotionally chained to government, and it can be helpful to point out that they’re in an abusive relationship. So, today I’d like to cover something that I don’t recall seeing elsewhere. I’ll begin with the what and then move to the why.


I have observed something over many years and in many ways. And that is this:

The more government is involved with people’s lives, the worse those people become.

Example number one has to be the welfare class (or perhaps I should say classes at this point) – people who live more or less permanently on the dole. The worst neighborhood in almost any town is where the highest percentage of people live as government dependents. Sure, some hard-core ideologues will still protest that the poverty came first and the government help second, but that’s only true sometimes, and it avoids the far more important truth that making adults dependent degrades them.

Since I’m talking about my observations today, I’ll add that I’ve been in and around ghettos and the permanent dependent class a pretty fair amount. And I’ve had friends who made it out of some truly hellacious government housing projects. So, I’m not just recycling someone else’s opinion here.

Not only is living on the dole degrading, but trying to escape from it is harshly punished. If you’re on welfare and you start to work a little, your payments are slashed to nearly zero. So, unless you have a really good job lined up (and how many welfare people ever get those?), forget about leaving the system.

This kind of living undercuts self-opinion, dignity, basic manners, and much more. If you wanted to ruin a group of people, you’d put them on the dole and pack them into high-density high-rises – precisely what was done in my town back in the ’60s, by self-righteous do-gooders.

But it’s not just the poor. There are millions of middle-class people who are now living on the dole. In the US, we have 94 million people who are officially outside of the workforce. A large percentage of them are on food stamps and/or disability. They are being degraded too.

And it’s not just the US; Europe is also a mess that way. Not too many years ago, I lived in a major European city, and it was shocking to see how many fully capable people didn’t bother to work, because they had more than enough handout programs. In the neighborhood where I lived, most of the shopkeepers were immigrants, because the old shopkeeping families had left the business.

And living on government money did degrade manners. For one thing, you’d hardly believe how thoroughly the sidewalks were covered in dog poop. It was hard to take a walk. People just didn’t bother to pick up their mess. On top of that, there was endemic theft of things like bicycles; I was openly cheated by a “respectable” landlord; and so on. And this was in a “decent neighborhood” in a “world-class” city.


I’ll start my list of causes with this: Living on welfare removes cooperation from our lives. In any kind of actual business, we have to communicate and cooperate with dozens of people. We have to get information and materials from them, get things to them, and so on. They have to rely on us and we on them. All of that builds manners, responsibility, punctuality, integrity, and dignity. It also builds important skills like diction. People on the dole miss all of that. Instead, they get Jerry Springer.

Another major factor is that people aligned with government don’t choose; they have their lives dictated to them. That’s not how humans are designed to operate. We need to choose and we need to face the consequences of our choices. Government-life eliminates that. And humans simply cannot thrive that way.

We are built to strive and accomplish. Having things perpetually handed to us degrades us, and badly. When we live the life of dependency, we never learn to self-surpass, to become better than we were. In fact, improvement is punished in dependency cultures, and all too often violently.

Even the government involvement of “education” is degrading. That’s one of my primary arguments against modern schooling: children are forced into inescapable relationships. And it degrades the children. Ask homeschooling parents; they’ll tell you that most of the bad habits their children pick up come from kids in government schools. Forced grouping is simply bad design… at least if we wish for human health and progress.

In the End…

My observation over long periods of time is that the more government is involved with human lives, the worse is the conduct that arises in and from those lives. (And I know I’m not alone in this opinion.)

Are there exceptions? Sure, and probably many thousands of them. Thank God for that. But in the end, this statement is true:

Government help is a curse to those who rely upon it. It makes them worse, not better.

Paul Rosenberg