Is This Really the Best Way Possible?

WayPossible

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)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Changing the World, Slowly

Those of us who have seen beyond the noise and confusion of the present world system tend to become urgent about other people seeing the same things. And while this impulse may be understandable, it’s not realistic. By refusing to let go of it, we frustrate ourselves and subvert our efforts to help others. It makes no sense to sprint when the race is actually a marathon.

ChangingWorld

Those of us who have seen beyond the noise and confusion of the present world system tend to become urgent about other people seeing the same things. And while this impulse may be understandable, it’s not realistic. By refusing to let go of it, we frustrate ourselves and subvert our efforts to help others.

It makes no sense to sprint when the race is actually a marathon.

The Hurry-Up Method Doesn’t Work

First of all, the “accept everything I say right now” method spawns bitter intellectual battles, requiring people to say, “You’re right and I’m wrong; the foundation of my life is stupid.” People won’t do that, and demanding it turns us into intellectual bullies.

Second, people change in steps, not all at once. And those who do change all at once usually are unstable people who will change in a different direction soon enough.

Third, the demand for fast change drives us into totalitarianism. The only fast way to get everyone to live our way is to force them… which is why hardened ideologues always love a strongman ruler – he can force everyone to do as they wish.

Finally, the demand for instant change – followed by continual rejections of that demand – spawns an “us against them” mindset. And that leads to all sorts of dark places.

What Does Work

What works is the slow, persistent planting of good seeds: showing kindness, expressing clear and pertinent ideas, absorbing the knee-jerk abuse, and persisting in this over many years. Whether we like this or not, it’s the only thing that works.

The seeds we plant do have an effect, but it’s a slow process. We plant the seeds, water them if we can, and still it takes years for the fruit to show up. But again, whether we like it or not, this is what works.

If you’d like a historical example of this, look no farther than the early Christians. At first routinely hated, they persisted in behaving well, loving each other, and loving everyone else. And over time, they won over millions of Romans. The Caesars stopped persecuting Christians mainly because the Roman people (including millions of non-Christians) knew that the Christians were decent people and objected to them being abused.

A Double Illustration

At some point in my 30s, I noticed there was very little elegance left in the world. The only elegance I saw was a fake kind, like dressing in very expensive clothing and showing off at very expensive events. But that’s a demonstration of status rather than elegance.

I remembered real elegance, strangely enough, from the old “Negro” men and women I used to ride the bus with during my youth. These people had little money, riding city busses rather than driving cars, but they had authentic elegance. That is, they sat up straight, spoke clearly and well, and treated me, at perhaps nine years old, with kindness and with dignity. They also dressed nicely. It was easy to respect them.

I’ve never forgotten two of these people in particular, nor the dignity they displayed. So, this is the first illustration. Simple good behavior in daily life – in this case a few bus rides – left a lasting impression on a boy they didn’t know and bore fruit that long outlasted their own lives.

And remembering that elegance led me to my second illustration.

At some point in the 1990s, and probably toward the middle of the decade, I noticed the inelegance of a very common interchange:

How are you?

I’m good.

Grammatically, this is wildly incorrect. Our health may be good, or we may do good, but we ourselves are not good – that would be like saying “I am goodness.” The correct thing to say is, “I am well.” That’s far more elegant that “I’m good,” and it couples very nicely with “thank you.”

So, beginning roughly twenty years ago, I began to routinely say, “I’m well, thank you.” And I found that I liked it a great deal; it added a bit of elegance to my life and to the world around me.

So far as I could tell, however, I was the only person in the city of Chicago – or anywhere else – who was saying this. People looked at me oddly almost every time I used the phrase. They seemed confused, but they did comprehend my meaning. And so, liking the phrase and liking to inject a bit of elegance into the world, I kept using it.

And then, in only the past five years or so, I’ve begun to hear it from strangers. It has, apparently, caught on. Of course it’s unlikely that this change is wholly attributable to me, but it still seems that my persistence paid off.

Things change slowly. In this case it appears to have taken 15 years of persistence.

This is how improvement really works. We have to let go of our demands for instant progress and latch on to the beauty of slow but real change. As the Bible says in one place: By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Persist, my friends; run the marathon; it’s what works.

* * * * *

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)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

The System Won’t Survive the Robots

SystemWontSurviveRobots

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.

jobs_map

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)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

This Is – by Far – the Biggest Threat to Your Investments

investmants

Have you ever noticed that nearly all the world’s surplus rests on Wall Street… or maybe in the City of London? I think this is something we should pay attention to.

So, let’s face it directly for a moment: All the big investment markets are owned and controlled by the Western aristocracy: by politicians, high officials, mega-corps and deep-state operators. These people are fully in control of the markets; they can close them anytime they like.

And in fact stock and bond markets are closed, and fairly often. NASDAQ has closed repetitively for technical reasons, all the New York markets closed for Hurricane Sandy, and nearly every market was closed after 9/11. The markets reopened each time of course, but only because it was in the best interest of the aristocracy. They didn’t have to reopen them. These people were – and are – in control.

This being the case, I’d like to familiarize you with two words that you have rarely heard but which are likely to be heard far and wide some day: Systemic Risk. Wikipedia defines systemic risk as “the risk of collapse of an entire financial system or entire market, as opposed to risk associated with any one individual entity, group or component of a system….”

My point is this: Your most serious risk is not from the failure of a single stock or even a group of stocks, but a closure of the market itself.

“They’d Never Do That!”

Of course they would… and of course they have.

Don’t we remember what they did to Cyprus, just a few years ago? Haven’t we seen their current campaign to ban cash? Didn’t we see them save the institutions they owned in 2008, selling average folks down the river? And there’s more, including the US Treasury holding meetings on taking control of IRAs and 401(k)s and the IFM discussing “financial repression.”

The truth is that the Western aristocracy does what’s best for the Western aristocracy. If that means keeping the status quo going, that’s what they’ll do. If it means turning the status quo off, they’ll do that. Shutting it down would be a big and risky step for them of course, but if they face a near-certain loss of control otherwise, you can bet that they’ll do just that.

“Oh TINA, Thou Art a Heartless Bitch”

With due credit to William Shakespeare, TINA – There Is No Alternative – may end up being the most heartless wealth-destroyer in history. Why? Because of everything noted above and because of this:

Anyone who has examined the current situation knows that the markets should have tanked years ago and have been held up with massive currency injections from the central banks. They know that the system would crumble if any serious portion of that was pulled out or even if interest rates reverted to the mean.

And yet, people stay right where they are, smack in the middle of the risk zone. And why? Because there is no alternative. Where else can they put a million dollars or a few million euros? How many of us even have savings accounts anymore? With interest rates hovering around zero, they make no sense.

There are options of course, but they all involve extra work. Dump your money into the stock and bond markets, and you can move it from place to place with the click of a mouse; you can get instant charts and graphs; and of course you get crisp, clean accountings of everything. All is clear, all is simplified, all is easy.

And so, 99% of the world’s surplus has fallen into fully undiversified investments: Regardless of ‘market sectors,’ they all stay in the same big pot, controlled by an aristocracy that nearly all of us either distrust or despise.

This, at least in my view, is not a good plan.

But… TINA!

Yes, there are alternatives, but they involve work. Moreover, they also involve us taking responsibility for our failures. And let’s be honest about that too: Having investments ‘in the market’ means that you can blame any number of things for your losses, rather than taking blame yourself.

One option is to invest on Main Street… in a local business. Truthfully, that kind of investing can be far more personally rewarding, but it certainly isn’t sanitized and sanctified by authority like Wall Street is. If you invest in a dry cleaner that fails, your authority-minded ‘friends’ might ridicule you; if your Apple stock crashes, it’s merely “bad luck.”

But while investing on Main Street isn’t point-and-click easy, it’s far more diversified. And it gives you some personal control over your investments. If, for example, the dry cleaner or the grocer you funded is having problems, you can get involved, rather than watching helplessly from the sidelines.

So…?

So, we face choices. My point is that closing your eyes to your greatest risk – merely because it has an “Approved by Authority” banner draped across it – is a foolish thing to do.

* * * * *

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)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Hustled Through Life

Hustled

Most people, sad to say, are too rushed, frightened, and confused to think about what they really want out of life. They are hustled through school, forced into long-term decisions before they’re ready to face them, then held to those decisions by fear and shame. They choose from a limited set of options, and they know that change will be punished.

Eventually they get old and find time to think, but by then they can’t bear to question too deeply; that would jeopardize their self-worth, and they haven’t time to rebuild it.

For an intelligent, creative, and expansive species like ours, this rush to nowhere is among the greatest of evils. And yet it continues, mostly unquestioned. At no point in the usual Western life do we stop, take some serious time for ourselves, and think about the overall:

  • What’s life about anyway? What’s the point of what we do?

  • What’s the purpose of a career? Why should I care about it above everything else?

  • Why should I glorify the existing system? Why should I agree to support it?

  • Who paid for everything I learned in school?

  • Should I have a family? If so, why? If not, why not?

  • What do I think is fun? Does it really coincide with the beer ads on TV?

  • What’s the purpose of being like everyone else? Why am I so afraid to be different?

We don’t address such questions. Rather, we’re pushed past them. Even in a church or synagogue – places where larger questions are supposed to be addressed – the person in the pulpit wants us to become and/or remain a member of the congregation; their job depends upon it. There are true ministers and rabbis, but for most it’s all too easy to push their audience into what’s convenient.

As a result, we see little motivation in the modern West, save for the basest of motivators: things that match a line from the Bible that says, “Whose god is their belly.”

Mind you, I’m not against wealth, good food, or sex. I think those are fine things. They are not, however, the whole of life. We are much bigger than that. We ought not be limited to belly-level aspirations. But when we’re rushed, that’s all we’re able to see.

Status and Fear

The two big motivators we face in this rush through life – fear and status – are both negative.

Fear is a manipulation technology; people who make you afraid are hacking your mind. They want you to ignore reason and obey them fast. (I wish I could cover this in depth here, but we haven’t space. Please see issue #54 of my subscription newsletter.)

When we’re afraid, we make our worst choices. Put plainly, fear makes us stupid. But we encounter it on a daily basis… and it destroys us by inches.

Status is the compulsion to compare ourselves with others, and whether we’re looking for the ways we’re better than others or looking for our shortcomings, it is deeply destructive. It’s also irrational, but the advertising business would crash without it and advertisers currently own the collective eyeballs of humanity.

Fear and status are, in a broad sense, drugs, and if you had a choice between smoking pot every day or being on fear and status every day, I’d definitely recommend the pot.

Confusion

Let’s be clear on something: Nearly every adult in the West will agree that politicians are liars and thieves… and yet they obey them without question. Is there any possibility we’d do such things if we weren’t harried and confused?

When we are confused, we pass over our own minds and their deliberations. There’s an old joke: “Who are you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?” But that’s precisely what confusion does to us, and under the pressures of confusion and authority, most people will ignore their own eyes.

Such things do not happen to people who are calm and confident. But the existing hierarchies of the West couldn’t function with a calm and confident populace; their operations require people to be frightened, confused, and blindly chasing status.

As a Result…

As a result, most of us hurry through life, never knowing why. We live as others do, simply because that path is streamlined for us, exposing us to a minimal level of fear and shame. But that path does something else: It keeps us from experiencing ourselves.

Seldom has this problem been put more succinctly than in this quote from Albert Einstein:

Small is the number of them who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

Stop following the crowd. Turn your back on the popular script. Stop feeding at the same trough as everyone else. Break away and learn to see with your own eyes, to feel with your own heart.

Don’t conform. Let people criticize you. Decide for yourself what your life will be about. Make it matter.

* * * * *

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)

* * * * *

TheBreakingDawn

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Centralization vs. Decentralization

While the 20th century unequivocally belonged to the centralization of resources and capital, both human and monetary, we are now undergoing a shift of seismic proportions in the 21st century. And understanding this is so utterly crucial to your personal wealth. The issue of decentralization is one of the most important discussions of our time.

centralization

While the 20th century unequivocally belonged to the centralization of resources and capital, both human and monetary, we are now undergoing a shift of seismic proportions in the 21st century. And understanding this is so utterly crucial to your personal wealth.

The issue of decentralization is one of the most important discussions of our time. It is being thrust upon individuals, corporates and governments alike as waves of capital shift at increasing speed.

And as a side effect, this is also creating an ever increasing gap between those who fail to understand how, why and from where this new inexplicably threat comes from to the few who understand and are taking advantage of it usurping old systems and in the process creating wealth.

In some instances this is life changing wealth. Just consider the most valuable companies in the world today and what makes them valuable.

(It’s not in fixed assets such as infrastructure, mines, railroads or the like.)

Shockingly, decentralization is an issue which gets less attention than a nipple slip from one of the Kardashians or some such celebrity who, as far as I can tell, is famous for being famous. This is how the world has always worked, proving Pareto’s law with the repetition of a Swiss clock. Incidentally this allows for the few who understand the forces in motion to prepare, and prosper well ahead of the masses.

Make no mistake: decentralization is changing the playing field as I pen this to you.

Think about it for a moment… everything from politics down to personal lifestyle choices is affected. And while possibly not immediately obvious to the casual observer, even the recent Apple versus FBI fight is an issue of centralization vs. decentralization.

So, with all that in mind, I recently caught up with our friend Paul Rosenberg.

Paul is not only the founder of Cryptohippie but he is an adventure capitalist and a man who knows a heck of a lot about a lot of things. That is actually an understatement since his experience run the gamut from philosophy, theology, history, psychology, and even physics. He has also written several books and has just published his new book The Breaking Dawn, which has been compared to Atlas Shrugged for a new generation.

Paul was one of the speakers at our Seraph event two years ago in Aspen where he left us all with a presentation which I know sparked at least one “a-ha moment” from each person present in the room.

As you can imagine we’re therefore very excited that Paul will be joining us once again at our upcoming Seraph Global Summit in June.

The world belongs to those who take action and Paul is a remarkable example of this. I encourage you to grab one of the remaining spaces as Seraph events are very bespoke with attendance strictly limited.

We do this in order to ensure that quite frankly we’re not at some massive conference with hundreds of attendees who’s names we will never remember and who will be lucky to get 5 minutes with our guest speakers and ourselves. We’re hosting this in the US which is somewhat unusual for us so if you’re in country then now is the time to come participate in what I suspect will be one of the highlights of your year.

To get an insight into the richness of Paul’s ideas and depth of his viewpoints, I invite you to tune in to the recording of the aforementioned conversation I had with Paul a few weeks ago. I think you’ll find it insightful.

Pretty powerful, right?

I think we can agree there’s a seismic global trend underway here. As mentioned the 20th century was about centralization, but the 21st century will be all about decentralization. As investors, there are some very compelling ways to ride that wave.

I’ll be touching upon centralization vs. decentralization in my writings over the next few weeks, and it is a core theme we’ll be covering extensively at the Seraph Global Summit.

I’m curious to hear where you stand on this. And, more importantly, have you considered how this will affect your life and your investment portfolio?

– Chris

“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” – Charles de Gaulle

 

This article was originally published by Capitalist Exploits.

50 Years of Failure

Politics

Several decades ago, Saul Bellow wrote this:

For the first time in history, the human species as a whole has gone into politics. Everyone is in the act, and there is no telling what may come of it.

At this point, however, we can say what has come of it: failure. Politics has failed to deliver on nearly every promise it has made since the 1960s, and I think it’s time to hold it to account.

50 Years In

I was still a child in 1966, but I remember it fairly well. And I remember a good deal of the politics of the era, because my mom was involved with it. In fact, she helped to rewrite the Illinois State Constitution during those years. (Adoption came in 1970, but there were several years of work preceding it.)

So, I know what people in that time were hoping to get out of politics… what they firmly believed they would get out of politics. Here’s the list:

  • A solution to the race problem.
  • An end to a pointless war.
  • A solution to the Middle East problem.
  • To improve education.
  • A solution to the problems of poverty and welfare.
  • An elimination of police brutality.

Bear in mind that the people who were seeking these things were decent, well-meaning people. They truly wanted the world to be better, and they believed politics would make it happen.

And to their credit, they worked to make it happen. Not only that, but their children and grandchildren have kept the faith and continued the fight. We now live in a world of all politics, all the time. And so, half a century in, I think we need to take a hard look at the results, which are these:

The race problem

Race problems have shifted over the past 50 years, but they are still very much with us. And when I say “shifted,” I mean this: If you go to the towns of the American South that were considered the cores of racism (in those days it was called “bigotry”), you’ll find that black and white people generally get along pretty well; far better than they did in the 1960s.

Where racial tension survives and thrives these days is in the realm of the political and because of political actions. The typical white hater of the ’60s derided Negroes as being bad by nature. The “angry white men” of modern times are upset that their money, jobs, and opportunities are stolen via politics and handed to other people. (There is of course a residue of just plain hate.)

The bottom line here is that politics is keeping racism alive. And if the truth is to be honestly faced, this is because a large number of political operatives would have no job if racial prejudice evaporated. It behooves them to keep it going.

Verdict: Fail.

Pointless war

Vietnam goes, Iraq and Afghanistan come, and Syria may be next; ho hum, just another season in the long march of the military-industrial complex.

Verdict: Fail.

The Middle East problem

Israel, the Arabs, bombs, terrorists, dictators… which decade’s headlines are these?

Verdict: Fail.

Education

Test scores since the 1960s have steadily fallen; teachers’ unions have become ever-more rapacious and arrogant, colleges ever-more expensive. Metal detectors now adorn school buildings, teachers are forbidden to adapt the curriculum to the students, etc.

Verdict: Fail.

Poverty and welfare

More people are on more welfare programs than ever before… and in the face of ever-declining scarcity in the world. And again, armies of political operatives would lose their jobs if these problems ever went away.

Verdict: Fail.

Police brutality

Eric Garner, intensely violent and overly used SWAT teams, and an ever-increasing list of innocent victims.

At the same time, every evening’s television shows laud “law enforcement” as our true and great saviors. Police departments are laden with bigger, deadlier tools and massive budgets. All of this while Acton’s dictum (“Power corrupts…”) remains.

Verdict: Fail.

We See, but Can We Perceive?

There’s nothing secret about the facts itemized above. We’ve all seen them. The question is this: How many of us are able to accept them?

Most people hate the reality that forces them to change their opinions. They fight it, cleverly and persistently. If the first reason to reject reality doesn’t work, it’s followed by a second, third, and fourth. And if excuses fail, anger, accusations, and wild displays may follow.

Still, reality is what it is. And this particular slice of reality is that politics has failed. Profoundly.

We may have leapt into politics with the best of intentions, but our efforts have failed to produce beneficial results… save of course that they allowed us to feel righteous. As far as changing the world, we’d have been better off gardening; that, at least, would have provided good food for people we cared about.

We can either face reality or fight against it. But if we really care about the state of the world, we need to face the truth: Politics has failed miserably.

* * * * *

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)

* * * * *

TheBreakingDawn

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

14 Words to Teach Your Children… If You’re Honest

TeachYourChildren

Imagine a pretty spring day, you’re standing on your front porch or some other pleasant vantage point and looking out at a sunlit landscape: trees, grass, and singing birds. Then your five-year-old child or grandchild walks up to you and tugs on your hand to get your attention. You turn and the child asks, “What kind of world is this?”

What do you reply?

This innocent child deserves the truth. You won’t be able to use fancy words or long explanations, but truth doesn’t require those things. This child is ready to hear the truth about the world – he or she is primed for it. This is the kind of moment that comes along haphazardly, and you can’t be sure if or when another might show itself. Your answer may affect this child for the rest of his or her life. What do you say?

The 14 Words

First I’m going to tell you the 14 words, then I’ll explain further. But as you stand on the porch, away from everything but nature and your child, the only intimidations, biases, and slogans present will be those inside of you… and your child should be insulated from such things. You have to speak truth. And as I say, it doesn’t have to be long and complex; in fact it can’t be, if you want to help a five year old.

Here are the 14 words:

We are a beautiful species, living in a beautiful world, ruled by abusive systems.

Later – after true words have sunk into the young mind – you can explain that we’re not a perfectly beautiful species, that most people are often confused and that a few are just plain bad. You can further explain that volcanoes and hurricanes and grizzly bears exist. But if you value your child enough to tell them the plain truth, you’ll tell him or her the 14 words first and let them sink in before getting to the small print.

Now, with that said, I’ll move to some explanation for the adults.

A Beautiful Species

11,000 or 12,000 years ago, humanity – perhaps five million of them – stumbled out from an ice age and began to spread across the earth, most of them having nothing in the way of science and technology. Since then, we’ve learned to fill the earth with food, build machines that race across the face of the earth, sail oceans and streams, and fly through the atmosphere at fantastic speeds. Imagine trying to explain these things to the people coming down from their receding glaciers.

And not only this, but we’ve cured the vast majority of diseases, figured out the smallest parts of the machinery of life, built compendia of human knowledge, made them available anywhere and everywhere, and landed men on the moon.

We are a magnificent species. If that triggers “Never forget the darkness!” voices in you, please hang on to “We are a magnificent species” until they subside.

Here are two passages from G.K. Chesterton’s book, The Defendant, that bear upon dark, automatic thoughts:

There runs a strange law through the length of human history – that men are continually tending to undervalue their environment, to undervalue their happiness, to undervalue themselves. The great sin of mankind, the sin typified by the fall of Adam, is the tendency, not towards pride, but towards this weird and horrible humility.

Every one of the great revolutionists, from Isaiah to Shelly, have been optimists. They have been indignant, not about the badness of existence, but about the slowness of men in realizing its goodness.

You can find the same thing in the Bible, by the way. Theologies be damned, this is what Psalm 82 says, and which Jesus repeated:

You are gods; all of you are children of the most High.

A Beautiful World

This is a beautiful world. Get out and look at it: lay outside on a summer night and gaze at the stars for an hour; explore the wilderness. Don’t watch it on TV; go out and experience it.

It is beautiful. Perhaps not perfectly beautiful, but one flaw among fifty beauties does not negate those beauties.

Abusive Systems

We all know the systems that rule mankind are abusive. I’m not going to go through itemized lists, since we complain about these things every day. You already know. The problem with most of mankind is not that they can’t recognize abuse; it’s that they’ve been trained to think they deserve it.

So, I’m going to make one short statement, then set this point aside:

Unless you think your children deserve to be abused, you can’t tell them government is okay, much less good.

Now, let’s be clear on another thing: Rulership requires us to stay focused on evil. They have to frighten people and portray their competitors as “evil Huns.” They have to publicize threat levels and convince people they need to be saved from impending death. And of course, their dear friends in the media promote evil-consciousness 24/7.

Do you think, just maybe, that all this fear has bad effects upon us?

The Truth

We are surrounded, every day, by people who cooperate, who assist one another, and who care about one another. But those aren’t the things we think about – those are things we’ve learned to ignore. The flashing images of evil surround us and scream at us, after all: The Russians are going to attack, the other candidate is going to destroy all you hold dear, SARS (or bird flu or swine flu or Ebola) is about to kill us all! It’s a long, dark symphony of manipulation.

The truth is we’re a beautiful species, living in a beautiful world.

The systems that wish to rule us are quite otherwise.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Status, Evolution, and Human Nature

As we move into a new year, I’d like to post something that I feel has fundamental importance. I hope you can take the time to read it carefully. Status is generally defined as a person’s condition, position, or standing relative to that of others. Please read that definition again and consider this: Status automatically creates division and conflict. Status forces us to think in terms of position, hierarchy, and dominance, and …

HumanNature

As we move into a new year, I’d like to post something that I feel has fundamental importance. I hope you can take the time to read it carefully.

Status

Status is generally defined as a person’s condition, position, or standing relative to that of others.

Please read that definition again and consider this:

Status automatically creates division and conflict.

Status forces us to think in terms of position, hierarchy, and dominance, and can’t possibly do otherwise; it is built solely upon our standing relative to others.

In other words, status is a poison. It causes us to think of others as adversaries and to compulsively compare positions.

To be very blunt about it, status is a primate model of seeing other beings. But it’s even worse than that: Not only does status poison our inter-relationships, it poisons our self-image. After all, it requires us to think of ourselves as above or below every other person.

Here are the two central problems with status:

  1. Status is plainly irrational. We are massively complex beings, at the same time better and worse than the next person in a dozen ways.
  2. Status forces us to see each other as adversarial. Status seeds hate, malice, and war.

Evolution

Status stands before us as an evolutionary hurdle. If humanity is to rise as a species, it absolutely must transcend status. Until we do, humans will continue to think primate thoughts, and human history will remain centered on conflict.

Status is a continuous, pervasive, and internalized culture of man versus man. And most human minds do hold this as a central concept. How many people like to see themselves as richer, prettier, taller, or more powerful than others? By so thinking, they build the foundations of envy, abuse, and violence.

Our present world is dominated by status-based structures. Whether kingdom, democracy, theocracy, or whatever, status-based structures set one man or group of men above all others. These people of a “higher” position-relative-to-others collect the production of the “lower” people, issue edicts they are forced to obey, and punish those who do not.

In other words, the ruling systems of the present world are incarnations of status… they are “status made flesh,” to paraphrase a famous scripture. This is a primary reason why the world is perpetually at war. The very model on which our society is built sets man against man and group against group, automatically and unavoidably.

Human Nature

Status is not “us.” It may be something we’ve been trained in for dozens of generations; it may be something that has influenced us all our lives; but it is not “us.” It is, rather, a dirty and old habit.

Individual humans tend to transcend status fairly well when they exert effort on it. They usually learn, for example, to drop the concept among people they love. And therein lies the proof that it is not truly “us.” We are better than status.

The truth is that humans can and do demonstrate non-oppositional thinking and living. And in this we see that human nature has been sold short.

Humans, even while immersed in the poisonous and persistent mindscape of status, still demonstrate love and charity.

That fact speaks extremely well of us. Human nature is better than we thought it was.

It’s time to start stripping status from our minds and lives.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Big Brother Is in High Gear

bigbroSocial media and smart phones don’t have to be evil – there’s nothing bad about talking to your friends, after all – but right now social media and “Big Brother in your pocket” phones are very clearly servicing evil. It wouldn’t be hard to build non-evil alternatives, but for the moment, the evil versions enjoy a monopoly. (At least with search engines, there are non-evil alternatives.)

However we choose to look at it, Big Brother is on the greatest roll in all of history. No Pharaoh, no Caesar, no commissar ever had anything approaching the surveillance and manipulation capacities of modern rulers. And in support of it all stand Jane and Joe Average, ever-compliant, who simply don’t want to know. Give them the slightest excuse to close their eyes, and they will.

This kind of thing doesn’t often end well.

Two Recent Outrages

Not that many people will actually be outraged, of course; there won’t be a great deal of that so long as ignorance remains possible. Joe and Jane have already forgotten about Snowden, after all. Still, I will continue to do my part.

One of the hundreds of US government offices, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently announced that they developed a system to predict the psychological status of smartphone users. They’re in the process of farming this out to businesses now.

This system tracks your location, tracks your psychological state, and when necessary, will “deliver an automated intervention.” In the NIH’s typical gov-speak, it sounds like this:

Continuously collected ambulatory psychological data are fused with data on location and responses to questions. The mobile data are combined with geospatial risk maps to quantify exposure to risk and predict a future psychological state. The future predictions are used to warn the user when he or she is at especially high risk of experiencing a negative event that might lead to an unwanted outcome…

This is all couched as “help for drug addicts,” of course. (Is “do it for the children” already out of the rotation?) No thinking person, of course, believes that this system will be used only “for good” and by beneficent angelic beings. And if not, then how shall it be used?

The second recent outrage was a long list of manipulations that were cataloged by The Washington Post. They make it very clear that the US government is actively manipulating its populace. Their list is only a small fraction of the whole, of course, but I was grateful to see it.

And from the Glorious United Nations…

Yes, the shining white knights at the UN are chiming in with their new plans to protect us from all evil.

As Mike Krieger reports, the UN (to protect women from harassment, of course),

proposes both that social networks proactively police every profile and post, and that government agencies only ‘license’ those who agree to do so.

So, if you wish to run any kind of “social” network (do comment boards count?), you’d have to be licensed. And if not, you’ll be a law-breaker. Granted, the UN pushes out destructive ideas all the time, and many are never implemented but some of them are. And this isn’t the first idea like this I’ve seen.

From Here, It Gets Ugly

A few months ago, I devoted an entire issue of my subscription newsletter (#59) to the subject of what’s coming next from the Big Brother crew, and it’s not comforting.

Do you remember old episodes of Star Trek where a civilization became controlled by computers and eventually no one moved without the system moving them? Well, that’s where Big Brother is headed, and their new Big Data systems are capable of reaching that kind of result.

Yes, I know it sounds farfetched. So did the lectures I was giving in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, and even earlier. And then came Snowden, and it didn’t sound so farfetched anymore.

My job is to deliver information. What you do with it is up to you. Still, to provide some backup, here’s a reminder of the infamous Facebook experiment that came and went from the newsfeed in early 2012:

Facebook ran a troubling set of experiments on 689,000 of its users, to determine if they could tweak their news feeds and purposely change their users’ emotions. And it turned out that they could… and that those emotions spread to their friends.

What they’ve been doing along these lines since then, we don’t know. We learned about this experiment more or less by accident.

So…

And so, I’ll close here. I feel I have discharged my duties. Make of it what you will.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com