Parallel Society #13 / March 2020
We began Parallel Society #4 by noting that there’s little in the Western world that isn’t controlled, at least substantially or ultimately, by money… and that money itself was controlled by an anonymous cabal. We went on to say that this fact is hidden in plain sight.
This combination of power and obscurity, however, spawns problematic reactions. In particular, those who have recognized the money cabal usually think about it in extreme ways. That is, they see the money masters as both malicious and nearly omnipotent at the same time.
In this issue I want to show you that the situation is far more complex than that, and that the money cabal is in trouble… not just externally, but internally. The cabal, that is to say, ain’t what it used to be.
The mega-bank complex, in fact, has already lost a good deal of power and is almost certainly in some jeopardy. It’s important for us to understand this situation, because if we don’t, we’ll be shooting at the wrong target… fighting the last war instead of the current war.
War, of course, is a questionable metaphor, implying attitudes we should stay away from. But it’s useful in that it leads us to take this seriously. Whether or not we become angry and destructive, we are opposed by devious and powerful forces, and we should give at least occasional thought to their strengths and weaknesses. “History,” advises an old English proverb, “is the triumph of the ruthless over the mindless.” Wanting to avoid both those categories, I think Jesus’ model of being “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” is a good one for us.
But before I jump into details, I want to demonstrate a bit of fairness by noting that the central banking complex does provide legitimate services. Check clearing, bank wires, distribution of physical currency and the maintenance of electronic systems are actual necessities. These systems could certainly be upgraded better and more frequently replaced, but they are crucial systems nonetheless, and they work very reliably. Credit where due.
The Organization of The Money Masters
I’ll be focusing on the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States in this issue, and for two primary reasons: Firstly because I am able to analyze it better than the others. In addition to a lot of documentation, I twice attended meetings with a sitting Fed governor (of regional branches), was able to ask one of them a direct question, and had a significant conversation with his lieutenant. The second reason is simply that the Fed is probably the most powerful of the central banks at the moment.
The “Fed” was created with some intriguing stealth as the Aldrich Plan of 1912, then quietly voted into existence as congress was heading out of town for Christmas of 1913. (Some 30 members of the senate were already gone.) It took full control of the US dollar in 1915 and promptly helped finance World War I. But I’ll pass over the dramatics and simply refer you to The Creature From Jeckyl Island, by G. Edward Griffin.
Although their names remain unknown, the actual owners of the Federal Reserve (or at least their allies) are reflected in the list of primary dealers of US government securities. They seem to take refuge in elaborate ownership schemes and interlocking boards of directors.
The only credible statements I’ve seen from the inside came to us from Professor Carol Quigley (mostly in Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time), who wrote about his dealings with what seems to have been one wing of the cabal, back in the early 1960s. And while he was sympathetic to the aims of this group, he also felt that it might become hazardous.
The Quantity And Quality of The Money Masters
The original owners of the Fed were, ultimately, families. And so they faced succession issues. Each generation of rich kids growing up would present a fresh set of problems to the older generation. The 20 men effectively in charge in 1920 would, by now, have given rise to a thousand descendants. Nearly all of them would have wanted their share of the money, while few of them would have had the right temperament to operate a system like the Fed.
So, the power and fortunes of these families have been under tremendous pressure to disperse, and all the more so from the cultural changes of the 1965-1975 era. Unless very rigid succession processes were ruthlessly held, the banking families have been seriously affected.
Perhaps of more impact than this, however, has been the rising influence of Wall Street since 1980. With more and more of the world economy being eaten up by financialization (see FMP #103), Wall Street, along with counterparts in London and elsewhere, have become larger players. This is especially seen in the mass production of derivatives. Again sheathed in complexity, this is similar to the creation of currency units, with their Wall Street creators taking a skim.
It’s interesting also that Wall Street has far less of a succession issue than do old banking families. Those who embody intelligence and ruthlessness rise and family background matters relatively little.
Politicians, of course, are a continuing factor in this: They could, ultimately, dethrone the Fed. They seem, however, to be under control. For example, when Dick Durbin was seated as Senator from Illinois in 1997, his comment of surprise to a friend was, “The banks own this place.” There was also video of bankers discretely approaching Rick Perry, when he made a run for the White House in 2011. So, I think it is a safe to say that the politicians are still in league with the Fed.
But before we leave this section, we should add one further factor: The oil men, particularly in the US. Without oil, the ability to wage war dies quickly, and so, while I don’t understand them terribly well, I try not to ignore them.
Can We Find Confirmation?
The question, then, is how sure we can be. We have reason to think that the central banking families have been diminished, but do we have confirmation?
As it happens, I think we do.
The financial and stock market breakdowns of 2000 and 2008 would have been allowed to pass into depression by the original owners of the Fed. Not terribly long depressions, perhaps, but hard corrections nonetheless. This would have cleared volumes of foolish investments and allowed the system to re-start more solidly. And they had done so as recently as 1981.
Whoever was in charge during 2000 and 2008, however, acted differently than Fed bosses of earlier breakdowns. Instead, they behaved more like stock operators and politicians, focused on the next quarter’s reports, or at least no further than the next election.
Clearly, then, the quality of Fed operations has changed. While this doesn’t give us certainty, it does support our model.
Will And Apathy
Considered together, then, it would seem that the owners of the central banks have been facing serious challenges and an erosion of their power. More than that, their opponents have become active, while the Fed has become reactive.
Remember, please, that the “invasion” of the barbarians into Rome was more like an invasion of will into apathy. (See FMP #52.) Wall Streeters, mega-corps and even politicians have been and are exercising will; the Fed seems to have lost it.
Consider the effort of the Fed to cut back its portfolio of securities in 2018, and how it was forced by politicians, Wall Streeters and giant corporations to reverse course. This, again, argues that they have been diminished.
It was strongly in the Fed’s long-term interest to allow a crash in 2008, which they stood to survive well: They had cooperative politicians, a population whose willingness to believe was still riding its 9/11 surge, and no alternative to the banking system. But they didn’t have the will for it. They wouldn’t or couldn’t.
Now, competitors are planning their invasions. We see this in Facebook and its friends planning a new world-wide currency, and Wal-Mart apparently doing the same. These corporations are getting ready for the dollar to be replaced, and they want to be the ones who replace it. Note also that they advertised their intentions to supplant the central banks. They have will and they are not particularly afraid.
Don’t The Central Banks Have A Plan?
You would think that the money masters would have a plan… that if they patched-up a debt crisis with still more debt, they must have some kind of long-term solution in mind. But that isn’t necessarily so.
Consider that the US military didn’t seem to have a plan for Iraq, once they dethroned Saddam Hussein. I’ve been able to discuss this with people positioned to peek behind the curtain, and they, dumbfounded by it, believed that there had been no plan.
So, it is not unthinkable that the money masters didn’t have a long-term plan in 2008. Since then ideas for an end game have risen, but none of them consistently promoted:
Banning cash combined with negative interest rates has been the most overt of these plans, patched together in papers from the IMF and others, and proudly including “financial repression.” With no way for individuals to protect their money, governments and banks could take over completely. Bans on cash, however, have been unpopular and have sometimes been rescinded or proactively forbidden by local governments. At the same time, negative interest rates seem to be damaging banks and bank-like operations.
The networks of power we described back in FMP #80 function as a type of backup model, but have significant weaknesses. For one thing, they require widespread cooperation. Whereas a few dozen people could make nation-wide or world-wide decisions under the banner of the Federal Reserve, networks of power would require constant decisions regarding dozens of variables, by at least hundreds of operators.
These networks of power have also had trouble with their inter- and intra-group communications. Remember that these are the communications Wikileaks was designed to disrupt, and that they’ve had some success.
More than that, networks of power cannot survive a serious counter-culture. And at present we have not only general counter-cultures bubbling up, but an economic counter-culture that is becoming muscular.
“Growing our way out of debt,” is more prayer than plan, and fails to account for the exponential nature of the debt expansion, as well as the fact that each new unit of debt is creating less and less growth.
“Growing our way out” also fails to consider that China has stolen most of the African continent from the West. The corporations of the West got rich by taking the “third world” from dirt streets to highways brimming with modern cars. Africa is next in line but China is now its leading influence. They will control who builds what.
How The Game Ends, Rolling Over To Something Else
While the forever-more-debt game can continue in the virtual economy of asset inflation, the non-financial economy is being hollowed out. Small-town America, for example, is becoming a disaster zone; there are almost no opportunities save for government employment. And that boils down to the military, law enforcement and government schools… more or less a trifecta of entropy. The only solutions promoted are quaint shops the locals can’t afford.
Worse, the politicians and other “leaders” consider the small-town populace degenerate, making little effort to restrain their disgust.
The elites of the West have thrown away the non-urban, non-technical populace. They are holding the top few percent of asset holders and even, tragically, the desperately aspirational who are approximating success with debt. Still, more and more people are being spat out of this model.
As a result we’re seeing the rise of “populism,” which will both continue and increase as long as the financialization of the Western economy continues. This will cause continuing problems for central controllers, as it is already.
The money bosses are directly driving political instability. This bears a direct comparison to the failure of the Roman empire in the West… something Will Durant summed up in Caesar and Christ, noting that the established system “generated chaos” on its way to failure.
We’ve already had Mr. Trump, the Yellow Vests, Italian mayhem and Brexit. And if the hollowing out of the non-elite economy continues, we’ll get worse, such as the socialists who are presently rising. Everyone in the small town understands that the elites despise them. But having been trained all their lives that government is life itself, they’ll go for different kinds of government before they’re ready to give it up altogether.
Whoever is driving this system, then, is shortsightedly pulling it apart. And the situation in Europe is no better.
It’s worth adding that any attempt on the part of the money masters to reverse course is fairly well doomed. The chairman of the Fed talks tough from time to time, but an actual return to the old ways would crash the world economy. The politicians would bail out almost immediately.
At the moment the system is locked into a surprisingly fragile confidence game. The West is not like Japan, where pain is borne as a cultural duty. Americans will go along quietly so long as a minimum of consequences are felt. Once the suffering gets serious, however, they will not bear it well. At that point the acquiescence of the populace will drain away.
What happens then will be a highly complicated set of reactions to a highly complicated situation, but the general outcome will be a rollover from the present status quo to something else. And it very likely means a rollover from the dollar as the world’s primary store of value to something else… and perhaps to a number of other things rather than one in
This graph from J.P. Morgan shows how reserve currencies have shifted from time to time.
I think the dates shown are a little off, but the point stands. Currencies continually burn themselves out and their stored value rolls over into others.
The Fragilities of Wall Street
Wall Street, the rising power, has problems of its own. First, perhaps, is its persistent short-term focus. The obsession with quarterly reports seems deeply ingrained, predisposing them to long-term errors.
Second, Wall Street is almost a perfect target for anger and envy. This is something they’d already be working on if they were less insulated and had a long-term perspective. The fact that Wall Street has not addressed its image problem, despite having more than enough time and money to do so, tends to confirm, rather strongly, these weaknesses.
Wall Street, then, is behaving like a simple predator, over-feeding until their prey are wiped out, whereupon they will starve. (See FMP #13.) This correlates rather directly to the hollowing out of rural Americas mentioned above.
This graph from J.P. Morgan shows how reserve currencies have shifted from time to time
How We Can Use This Situation
We are players in this situation, and thus we have every right to make use of it. And so I think we should be clear on how we’d like things to go. And as I see it – and I think nearly all my readers will agree – the best result would be a rollover from centralized fiat currencies to decentralized currencies. This will not be an ugly process, of course, but nothing in this situation will be pristine; our choices range only between more and less difficult.
Decentralized currencies include Bitcoin and its children, of course, but they also include silver and gold, or could if people holding them used them for daily commerce. In addition, there are and could be many other types of decentralized currencies.
Our actions, then, should help people move from centralized to decentralized money, and not a lot more. Simple and benevolent is the best thing, applied with patient repetition.
And the new way is better. Consider the advantages:
Under the new model, no politician, tax collector or anyone else has the ability to use the system against you. It’s your money, and they have no say about who you trade with.
There are no permissions required. You don’t have to show papers and get permission to transfer your money. If you own any kind of half-modern cell phone (plenty of new ones are available for $50. or less), you have everything you need. You don’t even need a telephone number, as these phones work just fine over wifi.
Already silver and gold are practically untraceable, and as we move forward the tracking of cryptocurrencies will become less and less effective.
Politicians cannot create massive debts with these currencies, nor do they allow for the prosecution of wars without paying for them as they go.
So, there are great reasons for people to move into decentralized currencies. All that really restrains them are fear and inertia. On the surface people fear that the new thing won’t work and they’ll be ripped-off, but on a deeper level they fear that authority will punish them, or that they’ll look stupid and be ridiculed. As pain mounts, however, such fears will evaporate.
As noted above, the whole thing is really a confidence game, and if confidence fades, the mighty system becomes vulnerable. That’s when we step into a moment of opportunity… a strange and rare thing.
Remember, please, the money masters have already lost the confidence of their convictions. These days the economic players with confidence are Bitcoiners and other crypto advocates. Wall Streeters can be ruthless, but that’s not the same thing.
What Precisely To Do
We have a few fundamental tasks in front of us, if we want a general rollover from centralized to decentralized currencies:
Build a decentralized economy so there is something to roll-over to. We’ve been doing that, of course, but we still have some way to go. The currencies were the easy part; building a full economy, operated by real people, each with their own quirks, is quite another chore.
We need to become the mature, responsible economic choice. Our opponents may trash themselves, but we need to be better than them regardless… visibly better.
We need to remain positive, resolute and reasonable. “I told you so” and all its variants are simply ways to shoot ourselves in the foot.
Finally, it’s important that we make as much progress as possible before the pain really hits. We want to work out the kinks before our neighbors pile in. One last quote seems fitting here, again from Will Durant:
The future never just happened. It was created.
That’s what sits before us. The shape of the next system will be determined by active will. We have it, and it will be far better for mankind, as well as for us, if we use it.
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What’s Going On
My original draft for this issue’s What’s Going On? began with “The preparations have been made, the actors are warmed up and the stage has been set. Now we wait for the action to begin.” Over the past two weeks, however, the action seems to have begun.
The Legacy Economy
As of March 4th, the best numbers I can find on coronavirus (Covid-19) show 80,000 confirmed cases leading to 2,600 deaths. Those numbers define a lot of human suffering, and that, obviously, is a horrible thing. The scope, however, even considering that these numbers will rise, isn’t nearly as bad as advertised. Consider that to the numbers for the seasonal flu, which stand at about 15 million cases and 8,200 deaths so far this year. In fact, the usual number of flu deaths each year runs in the 300,000-600,000 range. (The vast majority of these deaths, as with coronavirus, are among the elderly.)
And for what it’s worth, the Chinese, and particularly Chinese men, are biologically predisposed to this virus about four times more than are Westerners.
The effects of this pandemic, however, look to be far broader than the disease. We’ve all seen stock markets go wild and money flood into US Treasury bonds, which are believed by most investors to be their ultimate safe haven. But as important as these things may be, it’s the follow-on effects that are likely to matter more.
Consider the corporate CEO who has been carefully hiding his/her bad news. It can now be admitted, blamed on corona, and the CEO’s reputation is likely to survive. After all, how can he or she blamed for a plague? And so, we’re likely to see a fair amount of earnings disappointments over the next two quarters. That’s speculative, of course, but the incentives are in place and Anheuser-Bush seems to have started the ball rolling.
Also worth considering is the central banks, et al, running full-tilt into yet more easy money and lower interest rates. Whether or not it results in price inflation this time, it blows away all but the blindest faith in monetary management.
A Shift of Eras?
The longer and more significant the effects of coronavirus, the more like it will be a sort of marker for a change of eras. Already some significant number of people are feeling a shift, mentally, from the old era to a new one. And that means they need an event to mark it. This may be involved in the immense amount of attention corona is receiving.
The ‘big event,’ however, serves not only as a marker, but as a “blame sink” (compare that with heat sink). The event can be blamed for the change, rather than having to admit that we let things spiral out of control. People are very sensitive about admitting they were wrong, even if it’s only a tacit admission. ‘The event’ eliminates such a necessity.
And, if we’re lucky, the coronavirus ‘event’ will help people turn from living by wants back to living by needs. As we’ve noted before, the mass media complex of the 20th century built a “wants” economy. As the boss of Lehman Brothers wrote in 1927, “People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old has been entirely consumed.” Hunkering down to survive a virus is a stark break from living by wants. And to whatever extent it sticks, it brings people back to a rational economic life, rather than chasing the proverbial carrot.
And as I say, blaming the virus allows all this to happen without having to admit personal error.
The New Economy
Slowly, piece by piece, the new economy continues to form. New adaptations continue unabated, new-world assets continue to rise erratically, and every week more people are introduced to the new economy.
Quietly, consistently, we are building. Regardless of whether it’s exciting, it’s both the right thing to do and the effective thing to do. Our job is to just keep doing it.
Political Idiocy of Some Effect
Mr. Trump has come out the other side of a ridiculous impeachment process, and may unleash his fury. The Democrats would like to retrench after leading their followers into abject craziness for a few years. Bernie Sanders is being removed and Bloomberg is already gone. Arguments are being made that a stage is being set to bring back Hillary, and that may be true. Nonetheless, Trump is probably a shoe-in in the upcoming election, because the Democrats really do despise a majority of Americans, and all those people know it.
Elsewhere, Brexit finally happened, no disaster followed, Mrs. Merkel’s political alliances are unraveling and Turkey is threatening millions of new refugees. And so Europe remains at a slow boil and we wait to see what unravels next.
Culture stands at a turning point, waiting. The continually-extended 1970s really have nowhere to go; transgenderism and drag queens thrust into kindergartens don’t leave a lot of room for the apostles of anti-tradition; people are reaching their limits. And still more shouting over global warming is becoming tedious. And so again we wait for something better.
But here also, pieces are coming together, no matter how little public exposure they get. And that’s perhaps for the best… that’s the way you get solid growth, not mere flash.
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The Parallel Society Portfolio
Things continue well for us. As you can see below, our recommendations are up between 25% and 101% for Bitcoin, Litecoin and Monero, even with the coronavirus panic. We’re still down a bit with Zcash and Dash, but less than we were. Here are the particulars:
Average recommendation: $4,539.57
Current price: $9,123.
Litecoin (LTC): $
Average recommendation: $49.96
Current price: $62.25
Monero (XMR): $
Average recommendation: $52.90
Current price: $69.81
Zcash (ZEC): $
Average recommendation: $57.65
Current price: $52.60
Dash (DASH): $
Average recommendation: $121.76
Current price: $91.35
As I’ve been saying a lot over the past year, my recommendation is to hold. The Bitcoin halvening is coming in two months and I still think the long-term prospects for Bitcoin are tremendous.
I like the prospects for our other cryptos as well, just not quite as much as for Bitcoin. I think Monero and Zcash are especially important for the sake of privacy. I think Dash is a fascinating governance model with a strong community, and I think Litecoin is a great auxiliary currency.
So, if you need to sell for some specific purpose, pay some attention to the prices and hit the Sell button when you must. Just be prepared to see the price go much higher afterward… because it probably will.
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Our Seed Statements
A fundamental part of our work is planting seeds in friends, neighbors and associates. This is done with short, clear, uncomplicated statements. We make our point and we move on. We do not try to convert people to a cause and we don’t have an ideology to buy into.
Here is our current list of Seed Statements:
To obey authority is to disregard one’s own mind and conscience.
Everything Hitler, Stalin and Mao did was legal.
Every law is an authorization to use violence, otherwise it would be a suggestion.
So, as long as it’s worse in North Korea, we’re free?
A lot of adults are still obeying Teacher.
And yet we obey. Why is that?
Compulsion displaces compassion.
Our group is always great, and the others are always monsters.
Where the money is, there shall the thieves be gathered.
It’s your life; you can live it yourself or let other people live it for you.
It is not right for important people to order us around.
Our obligation to others ends at “do no harm.” More than that comes from the goodness of our hearts, and we deserve credit for it.
We are more charitable, compassionate and noble than the systems that take our money.
We don’t have to cower before imposers of guilt.
The values of productive people are better than the values of politicians.
Everyone should be left alone to do what they want, so long as they don’t hurt others.
Cooperation and good faith make life livable.
I respect productive people.
Whatever you don’t want to see as corrupt or wrong is precisely what can be used against you corruptly and wrongly.
Even a dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.
We don’t know anything properly until we’ve favorably consider its opposite.
Fort Worth March 12-14
San Francisco March 27-28
Vienna April 15-16
Cincinnati April 16-18
The Trading Show
Chicago May 6-7
Magical Crypto Conference
New York May 9-10
Ontario June 18-20
Jacksonville June 25-27
Miami July 22
The New World Top 40
6. Four Hands
12. Robot Restaurant
13. Flashmob Carmina
14. The Best Internet Page
18. Underwater Drone
19. Beethoven, Op. 59, No. 1
34. The End of Kings
37. Flatland (PDF)
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Memes of the Month
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A Final Thought
If the events of the past few weeks really are the beginning of real changes, it behooves us to ride this opportunity for all it’s worth. Seasons like this don’t come along often, and we who are able and aware are the right people to take action… though not big actions. Rather, we need to take innumerable smaller actions… actions that seem almost trivial.
Small, daily actions are what really change the world, and these are the actions that are most needed. Things like talking to our neighbors and friends about things that matter, the things that are legitimately on our minds.
To do this, we need to be very clear that it is good and right for us to inject our wills into the world; to mold the world according to our wishes. FMP #23 and PS#2 should be particularly useful to you in this regard, and so I’ll recommend that you read them again.
More than even that, however, we should have fun with this. If indeed a clear change of eras is upon us, we should be the ones dancing. We should be the positive, upbeat and hopeful people. Sure, there will be things to complain about, even to oppose, but the truth is that the next era stands to be better than this one.
Change scares people because they feel they riding the ragged edge of survival and prosperity. That is, they’re afraid. That’s understandable, of course, since the present system inculcates life-long fears of many types: Fear makes rulership easier.
Our best message during the change is, “Once we get through this, things will be better than ever.” And they really will be. All the things we’ve covered… all the organic human advancements that have been held down by the dominance hierarchies… they’ll find space to operate.
So long as we avoid the dark scenarios of FMP #59 and FMP #80, we really are stepping into a better world.
We can’t over-promise, of course… and whole categories of problems will remain until humanity itself is substantially upgraded… but things will definitely get better, and will not be rebuilt as they were before.
It’s too early to be sure, but if this begins a change in eras, we’re reasonably well prepared for it. And the better we can do the simple things like loving one another, the more likely we are to use the moment well.
And if this is not the beginning of the change, we’ll keep doing the same things anyway, working toward the moment when it does arrive. Because eventually it will.