Plan B for the Internet

I’ve been a wild advocate for the Internet since the beginning, and I still believe in it as a massively liberating technology… but not in the current, popular form. The Internet that we know has been recaptured by the power mongers with a massive assist from hucksters. It is, to be very honest about it, all but finished. And considering the massive inertia and mindless obedience of the dominant 9/11 culture, it won’t be saved.

planb

I’ve been a wild advocate for the Internet since the beginning, and I still believe in it as a massively liberating technology… but not in the current, popular form. The Internet that we know has been recaptured by the power mongers with a massive assist from hucksters. It is, to be very honest about it, all but finished. And considering the massive inertia and mindless obedience of the dominant 9/11 culture, it won’t be saved.

So, we need a Plan B. Many people don’t want to think about such a thing, and while I understand their hesitation, I can’t endorse anyone taking the ‘ostrich position.’

That being the case, I’ll start right out with the naked truth:

Big Brother is now called “Internet.”

Using the existing Internet, as most people do, involves Big Brother reading your mind and sticking his fingers into your brain. And that’s not something that is ‘coming soon’; it is something that is here NOW… and it’s getting worse all the time.

I’ll pass up the details in this article; I’ve covered them repetitively in the past. Whoever doesn’t want to believe me is entitled to his or her choice.

Plan A2

Plan A2 is the one I’ve been talking about for a decade or more: protecting your Internet traffic. I should warn you, however, that this gets harder every day. And that means that fast, easy, and cheap is not possible. To be clear: If you’re using cut-rate protection, you’re not protected.

Yes, I have a dog in this fight – I manage the Cryptohippie Service – but what I’m writing is true all the same. Cheap privacy services are not going to protect you these days. You need professional systems (with their own private key infrastructure, multiple hops, DNS, etc.).

You can still protect yourself (see this guide) but it’s real work… as in spending hours of focused effort, and consistently.

Beyond these things, you MUST stop using free services, especially Google and Facebook. They are the tele-screens from 1984 and are in some ways worse. Like it or not, that’s the truth.

The problem with Plan A2 is that you have to pay for it. It does still work (which is why Big Brother’s operators would like to outlaw anonymity services), but it isn’t free.

Plan A2 flies in the face of the triumphant Internet hucksters who have conned nearly the entire planet into believing that there really is such a thing as a free lunch. And reason be damned, the planet has fallen for it.

Ah well.

Plan B

Plan B is far simpler and easier than you’d guess: It’s to build our own networks. Here are the two major pieces:

Mesh networks. Meshes are local networks built with standard Wi-Fi components. They are cheap and fairly easy to build, especially after the first one or two. And they can cover large areas. In fact, a rural mesh network in Spain connects some 30,000 users. Here’s a list of mesh networks around the world.

Connections. Connecting networks can be accomplished by any number of means: fibers, radio links, phone lines, and so on. The one method that I particularly like is packet radio.

All sorts of things can be added to this base. Here are two that I like:

Ferry nodes. These are individual nodes (computers) that connect to both a mesh and the big Internet, ferrying data between the two: emails, page updates, etc.

FidoNet. FidoNet is a system for sending and receiving messages. But unlike the standard Internet, it doesn’t require real-time transmission. In other words, it is perfect for a mesh network that synchs with remote email servers only four times per day, for example. (This breaks the Big Brother Internet’s ability to correlate traffic… to read your mind so easily.)

You could easily go far beyond my short list, but this is a strong start. The External Links section of the Wikipedia mesh page would be a great place to start looking for further information and ideas.

The leading edge and the oppressed are already getting busy with mesh networks. This is where intelligent and ethical energies need to be spent, because the existing Internet is all but gone for anyone who wants some distance from Big Brother.

If you’re looking to start doing something that matters, I can barely think of a better area in which to start. If you have any technical skill at all, you’ll find it accessible. Building mesh networks requires fairly little cash and it is of major importance.

So, I recommend that you jump in and start building and start communicating with other people who are doing the same thing.

Then, once you understand what you’re doing, start innovating.

This is a line of work that’s worthy of your time and energy.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Moritz’s Journey

It was in 2013 that I first encountered freedom philosophy, after randomly stumbling upon this weirdly beautiful term, “libertarianism,” on a blog in some lonely corner of the Internet. An iTunes search later I was listening to a podcast explaining what is now the cornerstone of my personal ethics: the non-aggression principle.

MsJourney

A very thoughtful friend once told me that I had bypassed teaching some important lessons, simply because I had learned them decades before… that they had passed out of my active consciousness and I was taking them for granted.

So, this week, I’d like to publish an article from someone who is currently young. 🙂

This is the story of a young man named Moritz Bierling. I talk a lot about doing, rather than talking, and I’m please to post this because it’s all about doing.

* * * * *

It was in 2013 that I first encountered freedom philosophy, after randomly stumbling upon this weirdly beautiful term, “libertarianism,” on a blog in some lonely corner of the Internet. An iTunes search later I was listening to a podcast explaining what is now the cornerstone of my personal ethics: the non-aggression principle.

Like so many libertarians before me, I learned about the fact that laws are opinions with a gun, that unencumbered human action in entrepreneurship and science was the cause for prosperity, and that government was not there to protect me; quite the opposite. Going down that never-ending rabbit hole was an intense journey of disorientation, as one firmly held belief after another was exposed as a socially conditioned illusion I had fallen victim to; and the journey continues to this day.

But now that I knew all of this, what was I to do about it?

Deciding what to do had been the result of one year alternating between intellectual exhilaration (when learning something new) and extreme bouts of depression (upon realizing the implications). It took me six more months to follow through on my commitment. On the 26th of September 2014, with €2,000 in my bank account and a gold medal in my hand, I boarded a plane to Santiago, Chile, where I would spend the next two months at an entrepreneurship bootcamp.

What I Found

The eight weeks I spent at the bootcamp were the time when I felt the most alive up to that point in my life. I reflected deeply on the power of radical self-reliance with Emerson, stayed up long nights to code an Android app, and started businesses with some of the brightest people I’ve ever met. I lost and won some money, gained a great deal of experience, and in the process:

All of this was only possible because I was willing to leave behind the well-trodden path, was fortunate to work with trustworthy individuals with whom I shared basic values, and trusted enough in my ability to adapt and to put my money (and time and effort) where my mouth was.

Continuing Adventures

Since I’ve taken that step it hasn’t gotten easier. But living a life of integrity doesn’t make all your problems disappear. If anything, it makes things more difficult, because as you start solving all the little problems you have, bigger ones emerge that were previously hidden.

But then again, isn’t that the only thing worth living for? In the end, what’s the point of saying, “F*** you,” to the world if you’re not going to do anything about the problems you criticize? I very much like this thought:

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

In my conversations with fellow freedom lovers over the past year, I’ve noticed an escalating urgency when talking about expatriation. Many of them are looking to go off the grid, both in literal and metaphorical terms. Indeed, a rather sizable market has developed over the last decade to sell easy solutions to libertarians looking to get out of Dodge. Knowing how bad the situation is, many are so desperate to satisfy their thirst for real freedom that, like travelers in a desert, they are happy to buy snake oil just to whet their palate.

However, solutions to difficult problems are always and ever either difficult or expensive – and often both. So if you understand that there are never easy solutions, what concretely can you do about taking that first step?

In any real change of basic patterns of life, the first step is recognizing that there is nothing in the external world that will make your problems go away. That part always has to come from within yourself.

The second (and much harder) step is taking that plunge and trusting yourself to handle whatever comes your way. You have to get out of your head and manifest your values in the real world in a meaningful way in order to make any progress. If all you do to call yourself a freedom lover is read blogs, comment on YouTube videos, and argue with your coworkers about their politics, you don’t really believe in the power of your ideas. Or you are simply not able to back out of commitments made to family or business partners.

So…

Since making my fateful decision over a year ago, I have come full circle and am now the Hydra Program Manager at Exosphere*. The purpose of our meetings is the same as it has been:

  • To reflect deeply on the most fundamental principles of living a good life through solving your own and other people’s problems;

  • To learn the ins and outs of building and running a business and take the first real steps to get it up and running;

  • To understand and work with several emerging technologies, including virtual reality, drones, biohacking, and 3D printing; and

  • To meet international experts in entrepreneurship, science, and technology.

We only accept people who understand that we don’t have all the answers for them. What we do is offer an environment far away from home where you can focus on building the foundational habits, honing your skills and discipline, and acquiring the network you need to succeed in the long run. Because success is a matter of surviving long enough to get lucky. (And luck can be engineered.)

Adieu

I will leave you with a quote from the post I made the night before my departure from Germany:

My beliefs are simple – yet hard to uphold in a society demanding I cheer for violence. My beliefs are principled – yet no one cares to listen for fear of being a radical. My beliefs are rooted in reality – yet everyone decries me as utopian. My beliefs carry deep emotion – yet I am perceived as uncaring and cold.

Such is the nature of a sick society. Lies are truth, violence is love, sociopathy is leadership, and most important of all, slavery is freedom.

I vow hereby to myself and everyone who cares to know:

I will live to know truth, experience love, achieve meaning, accumulate wisdom, produce value, speak honestly, act virtuously.

**

*Moritz’s Hydra Bootcamp will be held at the Exosphere project headquarters, just off the beach in Viña del Mar, Chile. The camp runs for eight weeks.

As an FMP subscriber you may take advantage of a 10% discount by mentioning FMP on the application form.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Our Future Has Been Commandeered

FutureCommandeered

We should be living in the time of humanity’s greatest flower. But we’re not. Instead, we’re stuck in a condition of permanent war, rising xenophobia, endless fear, perpetual distraction, and suffocating conformity. Worse, we’re living inside of a surveillance state that is morphing into something truly, truly evil.

I’m here to tell you that nearly all of this is artificial. We have more than enough technology to be living among the stars, to fill every hungry mouth on the planet, and to meet nearly every human need.

We already know how to do all those things… and this fact is demonstrably true.

And yet we sit immersed in fear, confusion, privation, and even hate. And why? Mainly because the elites of our civilization have demanded that we sacrifice our wills to theirs, and because most of us have silently complied.

We have space-age knowledge, yet we remain firmly under the domination of bronze-age rulership. And since these rulers would be wiped away by the spread of space-age technologies, they have carefully contained them.

“Thou Mayest Not Go There”

As I write this, we are at the end of the year 2015. Back in 1968 – almost two generations ago – men traveled to the moon. The next year, they landed there. This was well before microwaves, cell phones, and the Internet. It was even before personal calculators. But right there, space travel was stopped in its tracks. In fact, it was first pulled back and then stopped. No human has left Earth’s gravity since 1972.

Have we more technology than we did in 1968 – 47 years ago – or have we less?

Obviously we have far more and far better, but space technology has been commandeered and space has been locked shut. Our future has simply been cut off. Does any reasonable person believe that it would be harder to go to space now than it was before Kevlar and fiber optics and computers that didn’t fill an entire room?

And let’s be honest about this: That future was eliminated by the lords of our world because it would ruin their game. Letting the cows out of the barn would severely undercut their interests.

Many of you should be reading my posts as you sail among the stars, or at least among planets, moons, and asteroid belts. We have the technology… and we’ve have had it since the late 1960s. That’s not even debatable.

Requiem for the Internet

Before the Internet, nearly all information was forced to move through well controlled conduits. Exceptions to that rule were mainly print newsletters. But then came the Internet, which allowed anyone to speak to everyone; it allowed information to move from individual to individual with no gatekeeper. That was a very large and very significant change.

To be honest about it, we got the Internet mainly because the elites screwed up. They could have bottled it up, but they simply failed. (They are not smarter than we are.) Sure, other people would have written an Internet-type of communications protocol soon enough, but that kind of slow rollout would have given the bosses time to limit the technology and keep some bottlenecks in place.

Now, after a couple of decades, the Internet has been substantially retaken by the elites. Already, nearly everything is being funneled into Google and Facebook, both of whom have whored themselves out to the rulers. (See this, for example.) It will probably be a matter of a few years until unapproved content starts to be pushed out. Matt Drudge, for example, claimed recently that a Supreme Court justice told him so personally.

Putting information back into controlled channels is massively in the interest of the rulers, and there is no one to oppose them. Their populations are among the most compliant in all of human history.

On top of that, the Internet is already a surveillance system, with the aforesaid Google and Facebook being major components of it. Since Snowden, that’s not debatable either.

Worse, that surveillance system (that is, the Internet) is quickly being turned into the most effective manipulation system in all of human history. In other words, the Internet has been more than commandeered; it has been weaponized and turned against its users.

I could go on, but I won’t: More facts won’t change more minds. Opposition to these truths is psychological, not intellectual.

It’s All About Will

We can have our future back, but only if we stop laying our minds and wills at the feet of rulers… rulers whom most of us acknowledge to be liars and thieves, by the way.

So long as we reflexively obey the people who stole our future, they will never, ever give it back. And why should they? That future isn’t in their interests, and so long as everyone obeys them, why should they change?

In the end, it comes down to the issue of will: Do we believe that we have a right to live and act according to our own minds? Or do we simply evade such considerations?

The usual unexamined slogans (“We have to work through our democratic institutions.”) merely lock us into place as will-less cogs in a hierarchy that hasn’t changed in any of our lifetimes. Truthfully, it’s just obscured slavery: “Pay attention to the flashing lights and keep doing as we say.”

There are answers to all our problems, and we are more than capable of reclaiming our future. But that will never happen if we keep surrendering our wills to the same elites who took it from us.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

We Don’t Really Know What’s Happening

ReallyKnow

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
www.freemansperspective.com

What You Need to Know About Microsoft’s Spying Ways

microsoftI had a conversation the other day with the best and most knowledgeable computer guy I know. After discussing privacy threats, he made this statement:

Everybody buying a Windows computer today is a traitor to humanity.

Now, this is a very technically oriented guy, and he quickly agreed with me that most people don’t have a clue about such things. Still, the primary point stands: Whenever any of us buys a Microsoft product, we are supporting the tools of our own slavery.

Here’s the problem:

Because people keep buying Windows, computer manufacturers are forced to buy and provide “Licensed for Windows” products. And those products include a lot of bad things. As I’ve pointed out before, Microsoft cooperates massively with the NSA to provide them with records of your thoughts and actions. But the problem my friend referred to was something else… something called TPM,

Trusted Platform Module.

It’s a little chip in your computer that is, in my friend’s words, “way evil.”

Microsoft’s goal (with Apple following in their footsteps, by the way) is to kill the general purpose computer. Combining this Trusted Platform Module with Windows provides something that Microsoft and their government pals have been after for a number of years: something called Digital Hygiene.

If that sounds slightly Nazi-ish to you, I’m glad, because it is.

Digital Hygiene means that unless Microsoft approves of all the software on your computer – or any number of other factors, to be determined in the future – your Internet access will be instantly cut-off.

Here’s what Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Trustworthy Computing was quoted as saying (by multiple sources, at a conference in Berlin) in 2010:

Infected computers should be quarantined from the Internet, and PCs should have to prove themselves clean with a digital health certificate in order to access the Internet.

Now they are doing it, and my friend is right to raise an alarm.

More and more computers cannot run anything except a “signed” operating system – signed by Microsoft or the hardware manufacturer. In other words, if they haven’t given the A-OK that what you’re using is as it should be, you get cut off. Moreover, the “we certify it or what you bought won’t work” extends to every program you run.

This is already inside any computer that is sold as “Ready for Windows 8.” When you install Windows 8, these capabilities are automatically activated.

Once that’s done, you will need major computer skills to wipe it off your machine and install something better.

What this all means is that, in the not too distant future – if you use a Windows machine – you might be limited to a small selection of pre-approved, pre-sanitized, privacy-questionable programs.

And I can almost guarantee all the tools we use now to protect ourselves from the reach of digital snoops will be blocked too, leaving us naked and vulnerable.

But there is a solution.

Buy a Linux machine. Not only will it protect you against the above, but it’ll be cheaper, and doesn’t have all the problems that Windows does (e.g., the blue screen of death).

Here’s how to get started:

  • Buy an older model computer with an AMD processor. They’re cheaper and still offer WAY more power than you’re likely to need. Just be sure to ask if the thing comes with “vPro,” “CompuTrace,” or a “TPM chip.” If it has any of these, don’t buy it!
  • Install Linux Mint on it; a user-friendly version of the program.

Most likely, unless you’re technically minded, you’ll need to enlist the help of your local independent computer retailer. Do so – they will be a great resource as you shift to a non-Microsoft world.

Remember, Microsoft is a traitor to their customers, relying upon their ignorance to keep the game going.

Don’t be their zombies!

microsoftSource: Edward Snowden

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

Silk Road Died, Bitcoin Crashed. So why am I so happy?

silk roadYou may have heard that Silk Road – the truly free online market – was taken down today, by the FBI. In response, the price of Bitcoin crashed 24%.

Yet here I am – just a few hours later, feeling very optimistic. Why? Because the philosophy of freedom just showed itself to be massively stronger than statism and its “don’t think, just obey” philosophy.

Here’s What Happened

As I was finishing my lunch, I saw a story posted on the takedown/crash. I did a bit of checking and conversed with a friend, and then hustled over to a place I know where crypto-anarchists hang out online.

These guys were already talking about replacing Silk Road, and doing a better job of it.

Forget about the drugs aspect of this – I don’t care for drugs and neither do the people I listened in on – they just want to build free markets.

Contrast that to a financial site, where I found a couple of Bitcoin haters, a Fed trying to supercharge as much fear as he/she could, and several people trying to buy Bitcoin at its lows, or lamenting that they were out of extra cash to buy right away.

But here’s the interesting part: In the face of an orchestrated attack (and you can be sure that the Feds arranged the day’s events for maximum fear – that’s what they do), even these people, within minutes, were walking forward, not backward.

A Better Philosophy Wins Out

Arguably, the greatest triumph of a new philosophy has to be that of the early Christians (of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries AD), they simply would not be stopped, no matter what was thrown at them.

And why wouldn’t they turn back? Because the Roman way was ridiculous and barbaric. Their gods were vile, vain, sometimes stupid and often cruel. Who wants to worship that? These Christians – whatever their faults or virtues – had found a God who loved them, who wished to help and enlighten them, who said they were meant to be free and prosperous.

Which way would you choose?

The Romans persecuted them and sometimes killed them, but they would not be turned around. These people chose the better philosophy, and in the end, they won.

Today, I saw the same thing, wrapped in modern circumstances.

Freedom-minded people are not stopping, are not abandoning their views. And why should they? Shall we go back to the idiocy and self-contradictory life of worshiping the state? Of pretending that robbery is somehow – magically – not robbery when the government does it?

Our minds have been removed from the state’s intimidation and conditioning. Shall we go back to believing lies and repeating vapid slogans for the rest of our lives?

There are real reasons why individuals move from bondage to liberty, but very seldom the reverse.

The Bottom Line Facts

At the end of all the discussions, all the fears, all the questions, all of the explaining to newbs and concerned friends, stand these facts:

Our philosophy is better than theirs. We offer men and women truth, understanding, compassion (the real kind), and strong, direct relationships. The state offers punishment, fear, an occasional promise of plunder, and intrusion into every relationship in your life.

Our people are better than theirs. Not because we were born better, but because finding and living according to truth produces better people than blind obedience and fear of the lash.

We are not quitting. We can’t. We won’t.

Yes, there may be bruises and even blood along the way, but like the first Christians, our people do not turn back – they continue regardless.

We’ve come out of the state’s cultivated darkness, and we are moving into more and more light. Why would we want to go back to where we were? Even if we tried to do it, could we really stick with it? Could our minds really fit back into their old restraints?

This is why freedom will win, my friends: The genie is out of the bottle, and the Internet has spread the message to the four corners of the Earth. It’s a better message. It produces better people.

And in the end, we will win.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

The Other (Worse) Side of the PRISM Scandal

prism online surveillanceThe fallout from the PRISM scandal has reached Stage Two, where faces in front of television cameras promote memorable slogans to give people reasons to accept their abuse and to pretend that everything is okay. And, overall, these slogans and their promoters break down into to two primary models –  predators and battered women.

Let’s start with the predators.

These abusers –  who are building the largest blackmail archive in all of human history – keep coming back with the same old hateful slogan:

If you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.

Understand this clearly: these are the words of a predator speaking to his hostages.

As you sit, his gun pointed at your chest, he says, “As long as you keep the rules, I won’t shoot.” This phrase is intended to hold you in that position, under the complete control of the gunman.

The trick of this evil phrase is that it takes the first position – with you as a hostage – as a given; as an assumed starting point. The phrase allows no possibility of you existing without a gun pointed at you.

Your captor says, “Don’t transgress me and I won’t kill you.” But all the while he maintains that it is righteous for him to keep you in permanent fear of the SWAT team breaking down your door at 3 am and sticking their automatic weapons in your face.

But, of course, it’s never “terror” when they do it, and you can be sure that, after you’re taken in, their friends at the TV stations will call you “suspected terrorists.”

Never accept a predator’s right to say this to you. Don’t accept his right to hold such a position over you. Instead, say something like:

I don’t grant you that position.

You’re not my master.

Why would I want you (or your bosses) to hold such a position over me?

Whoever throws this phrase at you is justifying your position as a hostage and is locking you into it.

Now, let’s move on to the equally disturbing issue of battered women.

The sad truth is that quite a few women have been beaten by their boyfriends or husbands, and they stay, rather than leave. Instead, they find ways of justifying their abusers, saying things like:

We’re working it out.

It wasn’t like it seems.

If I just ease up a little on him, it’ll be alright.

It’s not that bad. At least he doesn’t…

He said he’s sorry.

I can’t manage without him.

This is ugly stuff, but spousal abuse is, sadly, not uncommon.

But notice that people routinely use variations of the same “it’s not so bad” slogans to justify government abuse:

Mass surveillance is good because it also collects the data to prove people to be innocent!

I’d rather trust a computer and algorithm to spy on me than a human.

The primary job of the state is providing security for its citizens.

Surveillance on financial data is a whole different subject. That is about taxes, not free communication.

And there are many other variations.

So, we have hit the season of a two-fold attack on reason:

  • First, we have the predators trying to lock everyone into place in front of their guns.
  • Second, we have the sycophants trying to convince us that it’s okay – that we really do need our abusers.

This is the other side of the PRISM scandal, the one that most people don’t (or don’t want to) see: the subtle manipulation of our minds to ultimately turn us into sheep… those that will accept the role of the abused without question or complaint.

And to me, that’s the most disturbing side of all.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

Paul Rosenberg on RT: Online Surveillance in the US

online surveillance in the usYou will probably be quite familiar with the idea that the government has a nasty habit of spying on Americans who haven’t done anything wrong.

Until recently, most of us have been called kooks, conspiracy nuts and worse… But, as the scandals keep coming, the general public is starting to wake up to the abuses.

One leading voice in the effort to help people recognize and make sense of what’s going on is outside the Matrix author Paul Rosenberg. A few days ago, media network RT invited him into the studio to talk about these things.

Paul Rosenberg on RT: Online Surveillance in the US

Click here to watch the video on youtube.com: Paul Rosenberg on RT: Online Surveillance in the US

Westphalia’s End Part 2: Legitimacy & Information

Westphalian OrderIf you have not read Part 1 of the Westphalian Order series, please do that first: You’ll need it to understand what I cover here.

Now, having (I hope) established that the Westphalian order of states is in some trouble, I will proceed to another reason for my pessimism.

The Obedience Game

All states of all periods share a common foundation: a group of subjects who accept rulership. Without this, no state can endure. That applies to democratic regimes, socialist regimes, republics, monarchies, theocracies and any other ruling arrangement. If the people are unwilling, the state will fail soon enough.

Though they seldom mention it in public, the operators of states know this. That is why they want to control information flows, and why, in a crisis, they will shut them down. Contrary voices undercut legitimacy, and the states cannot survive without it.Think of it this way: If a state had no more legitimacy than the local Rotary Club, attempts to collect taxes would be widely rebuffed; people might not buy government bonds, obey orders, or even choose to repair government equipment. That state would collapse.

A pristine image of legitimacy is essential to the state, even more so than power. The proof of this was the Church in the middle ages: They had no power to speak of, yet they ruled for a millennium. They were able to do this for one reason: They maintained a monopoly on legitimacy. (I write on this at length, by the way, in Production Versus Plunder.)

The Lost Heyday of Info-Control

The peak of information control came in the mid-20th Century, when perhaps 98% of all American news came out of one or two zip codes in Manhattan. (About the same was true for London and other capital cities.) Furthermore, the people who produced mass-market news were a fairly homogenous bunch. Some of them did excellent work, but there were not many dissenting voices. Party A always fought Party B, but thoughtful questioning of the larger operation was not heard. (Crazy people questioning the larger operation were welcomed, since that helped legitimacy.)

Even cable television didn’t add many dissenting voices, but something else did:

The Accidental Internet

A strange thing that happens when politicians get scared: They grudgingly call in the smart guys and let them loose. Most of us learn about this in elementary school: The smartest kid in the class is more or less abused until the class gets into real trouble; then they run straight to him and promise to do whatever he says. That’s how the Internet was born.

The event that scared the politicians was Sputnik. Russians surging ahead of the US into space meant that they had to pull out all the stops. The resulting Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was where the Internet began.

The Internet is not really a control technology. Designed by the smart kids rather than political types, it is purposely decentralized. That makes it hard to control.

Almost no one saw the Internet coming. Its  explosion in about 1993 surprised almost everyone. And, before long, a lone news geek exposed Bill Clinton as a willful liar and “guys in jammies” brought down the mighty Dan Rather. The game had been changed.

Governments are presently retaking control of the Internet and using it for mass surveillance, but they are treading carefully, and it may be some years before they (along with their mega-corp friends) can clamp down on it altogether. In the meanwhile, ideas that question or oppose state legitimacy are spreading. There is no more gatekeeper.

Publishing

There is also a serious decline of gatekeeping in the publishing business. Rather than requiring the approval of a major publisher (with friends in broadcast media and government, needing publicity help and attending the same cocktail parties), the rogue author can publish himself: either at zero cost as a blogger, or at zero initial investment as a print-on-demand publisher.

Newspapers also are in a state of flux. They began the Internet era by giving away their stories and have suffered continuing losses. Now, they seem to be moving to a pay model. This may save some of them, but it also breaks up what we may call the info-matrix. Once people are cut-off from ‘free’ news, they will begin to choose. And since they are paying this time, they will choose more carefully. This will favor newsletters and other providers of superior content. And, again, the state-friendly gatekeeper is removed from the equation.

Competition

Although it is not widely known, foreign nations are spreading money around Washington and New York to influence media coverage, and some of them are spending shocking amounts. (I strongly suspect that the same is happening in other countries.) So, the state that wants to influence the media in its own country now has competitors, and some percentage of the time, a media outlet will lean toward the foreigner who is paying better.

To retain proper control and influence, a state needs more than some of the intellectuals to comply with them; it needs substantially all of them. The state’s version of events must be the only sane version to be seen; any competing views must be seen as crazy and dangerous. Once truth outside of the authorized stream becomes possible, people will begin to wander, and the state’s brittle legitimacy can be broken.

To continue reading, visit Westphalia’s End Part 3.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com