Atlas Collapsed, by Robert Gore

One of humanity’s enduring fantasies is luxury and wealth without effort—Midas, manna from heaven, alchemy. If half the energy that has been put into the quest for something for nothing had been directed towards productive endeavors, society would be several centuries more advanced than it is. Fortunately, nature and markets yield nothing to dreams unconnected to thought, curiosity, exploration, experimentation, testing, ingenuity, invention, integrity, work, and production. Unfortunately, man has devised ways—theft and slavery—to coercively separate production from its producers, to which, in the interest of self-preservation, producers must yield. The more that’s stolen the less they produce. In extreme cases, they meet only the subsistence requirements necessary to avoid the whip, jail cell, or firing squad.

All manner of philosophies have attempted to justify theft and slavery, and here, religion falls under the rubric of philosophy. Producers have supposedly owed a debt to a deity or deities, or, more accurately, to their anointed representatives on earth. Religion has often been conjoined with the state, so producers supported both priests and rulers, who have frequently been one and the same. Of course that support was not a matter of voluntary choice. When producers got a relatively good “bargain,” they were allowed to keep more than a subsistence portion of their own production, and the coercive force employed against them was also deployed to protect them from criminality and external invasion.

Historically, governments, whether run by holy men, enlightened despots, or brutal thugs, have always failed, felled by hubris, rapacity, depravity, and incompetence. One constant has been that their tyranny, corruption, and wars eventually required more resources than they were able to expropriate from their producers. Failed governments have invariably been bankrupt governments.

Despite the claims of their progenitors, there was nothing new about nineteenth and twentieth century collectivist philosophies. They were merely variations on time worn justifications of theft and slavery. Dictatorships of the proletariat replaced the divine right of kings, but the reality was still governments forcing producers to hand over what they produced. What was new, blossoming in the nineteenth century, was the astonishing productivity unleashed by capitalism in those countries that moved away from the older kleptocratic formulations, notably the US and Great Britain, by affording producers an unprecedented degree of freedom and protection of property and contract rights.

Capitalism was revolutionary not just in its productive bounty, but more importantly, in its philosophical implications. Those implications were grasped at an instinctive and emotional level by its critics long before Ayn Rand connected the dots for its would-be proponents in her seminal philosophical novel, Atlas Shrugged. Capitalism is the economic system that flows from the premise that an individual’s life is his or her own, not the property of the state. If individuals’ lives are indeed their own, then they must be free to either keep or voluntarily trade that which they produce. These are the logical consequents of the Declaration of Independence’s assertion, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Securing those inalienable rights has proven devilishly difficult. In 2015, the earth’s inhabitants are living under governments guided by a mishmash of incoherent precepts from which only one constant emerges: individuals’ lives are not their own, they are the property of the state. The ideals embedded in Jefferson’s declaration and Rand’s opus are more revolutionary now than when they were penned and typed, respectively.

The consequences of theft and slavery are predictable. In Western welfare states, governments have stolen and enslaved under a banner of faux humanitarianism that has enhanced only the welfare of governments. As power and resources accrete to them at the expense of individuals’ liberty, rights, and wherewithal, the robbed and the enslaved’s incentives to produce dwindle. There is, as Adam Smith noted, much ruin in a nation, but even capitalism’s bounty can be completely ransacked.

The sputtering of the global economy, its dying gasp before it descends into depression, are not the result, unfortunately, of a conscious shrug among the world’s Atlases, but rather their staggering—to be followed by their collapse—under the weight of taxes, regulations, corruption, enforced transfer payments and government-provided services to the unproductive, permanent war, and the maintenance of massive military-industrial-security complexes. Unable to limit their rapacity to the fruits of the current generation’s labor, governments have plunged into debt, stealing from future generations and consigning them to debt slavery until they either collapse or repudiate.

Bankruptcy and war will fell the current constellation of governments. While government failure is nothing new, the scale of the impending collapse will be unprecedented. Debt, fiat currencies, and taxes only allow so much fraud and theft. To survive and thrive, governments must be able to acquire real resources with their phony scrip and expropriation. The world’s public and private debt is a lien, often a literal one, on the world’s real resources, and its nominal value of around $225 trillion is about three times world GDP. That nominal value understates the true extent to which present and future assets and production are encumbered. Welfare state pension and medical promises dwarf current governmental debts. Add entitlement promises to existing debt and even that gargantuan number falls well short of the notional amount of financial derivatives, all of which incorporate some sort of debt. Estimates of their size range from $700 trillion to over a quadrillion dollars.

The world is at peak debt; it’s broke. In effect, every real asset on the planet is subject to one or more claims; every financial asset is somebody’s debt (or equity, which is only a residual and contingent claim behind debt), and income streams are less than total debt service. This unsustainable load will grow more unsustainable.

Deleveraging, mostly from insolvency and write-offs, has barely begun, and so far has only occurred in the natural resource sector. The ongoing constriction of opportunities in developed world welfare states has been met with a reduction in family formation and birthrates. Denied the opportunity to produce, would-be Atlases are not marrying or procreating, either. This means aging populations and increasing draws on old age “entitlements” will be funded by a shrinking pool of producers. Measured in dollars, world GDP started contracting last quarter and will continue to do so as recession, debt contraction, falling asset prices, excess capacity, and rising unemployment spread from Canada, Brazil, and many emerging market countries to the rest of the world.

Predictions of some sort of emergent global government and a new world order should be met with skepticism. Not that there aren’t plenty of people out there who wouldn’t like to see such an outcome, but governments require resources, and the bigger the government, the more resources it requires. Governments propose; individuals dispose. Bigger, more powerful, intrusive, and repressive government will also be more expensive government, hastening Atlas’ collapse. A global superstate can steal every asset and institute slavery, but the world’s productive individuals, denied their rightful incentives, will produce enough to subsist and no more.

The result will not be an imposed “order,” but chaos, as the dream of world government crashes on the reality of producers who cannot and will not sustain it. The most dangerous predictions of the future are straight line projections of the past. A straight line prediction that governments will continue to grow, get more powerful, and perhaps consolidate into a still bigger and more powerful government may be the most dangerous prediction of all. Imposing order requires energy, and government as an institution is already spent and exhausted. The future is not likely Orwell’s totalitarian nightmare, but rather the human entropy that has engulfed the Middle East and Northern Africa and is migrating to Europe. Say hello to the gathering world disorder.

DANIEL DURAND: AN ATLAS WHO DIDN’T SHRUG OR COLLAPSE

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AMAZON

KINDLE

NOOK

22 responses to “Atlas Collapsed, by Robert Gore

  1. Supposedly, Obama is going to make a big play in 2016 against the Second Amendment. If he does, the response of the citizenry could be a major indicator about how this “human entropy movement” performs in the US. I also think that the demographics, development, and military in China and India will protect them from the internal and external entropy of this unnamed force. Furthermore, this movement is not cohesive, often resembling random Brownian motion. So this “world disorder” should have more than one major player–>outcome?

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  2. “Movement” may have been the wrong choice of a word, in that it implies something organized. It was meant ironically, in that chaos is disorganized, and that is what I see coming. So it most certainly resembles “random Brownian motion.” World disorder will have billions of players, although I don’t know that any of them will be “major.” The outcome of disorder will be disorder, although there may be, and I certainly hope there will be, enclaves of the kind of order that stems from ordered liberty and the protection of individual rights.

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  3. Pingback: SLL: Atlas Collapsed | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  4. Obamas big play against the 2nd is a well thought out strategy, whose first real move is rumbling in the congress right now in the form of a new House Bill. Should this ploy fail then he can say he tried one last time to follow constitutional protocol. After that he’s going to do what ever he wants “for the children” or some other drivel. But either way enforcement will be impossible and the first attempt at enforcement will result in both the burying of many guns and the death of many law enforcement officers. This violence will lead to martial law and a suspension of elections “till things calm down”. That’s when the real fireworks will start. Make Ready.

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  5. What makes you an expert? Check Johnny Cash Goin by the Book.

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  6. 2nd Amend play. Folks the cat is already out of the bag. 2015 will end with 21.5m background checks. Since 2008 there have been 131m+ background checks. That is more than the population of Calif, Texas, New York and Florida. Were Obama to decree tomorrow that there shall be no gun sales, the fact is the country is already armed to the teeth.

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  7. Great post Robert , when you write about ” imposed order” who better to impose that order than the United Nations ? When a friend warned me that the UN has active chapters all over America I had to Google it .

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  8. I wouldn’t count the globalists out just yet. The energy required to implement a “global” government has already been expended. Inertia alone may allow it. I think that the “globalists” believe that upcoming chaos can be limited, and that that chaos will prompt individuals to give that initial inertia an added kick (based on most individuals’ preference for “security” over liberty).
    That’s not to say, though, that an Orwellian super-state will have enough energy (inertia) to consolidate its power. Nor that it would last long, even if it managed to establish itself.
    The control of public sentiment is a massive power source. In fact, the greatest power source. If they retain it while crushing all dissent, who can say what they (those shadowy “globalists”) might be able to do?

    The current order, both globally and domestically, is dissolving and will dissolve. TPTB must offer something substantially different, if they want to remain TPTB. As the snake-oil salesmen that they are, what they offer need not exist in reality. As the Mafiosi that they are, what they promise will be paid for (through the nose) by the promissees, … plus enough to “wet their beaks”.
    Whether what is offered is truly “global” or not, neither economic reality, nor even the laws of physics, has ever kept the mass of people from jettisoning one tyranny in favor of a greater tyranny.

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  9. Pingback: Atlas Collapsed, by Robert Gore | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC « Los Diablos Tejano

  10. CARE & FEEDING

    Those on the Left possess a timeless vision of Utopia. Simply stated, this Utopia is envisioned wherein all inferiors are equal in possessions; equal in an erroneous and perverted definition of “rights;” and equal in their access to “care & feeding”- all the while squatting at the alluring hands of those claiming benevolence, as they, our politically empowered “benefactors,” determine the particulars of said care & feeding.

    No matter how many times these people might be presented with real-life attempts to implement such a Utopian vision; no matter how many examples of squalor and carnage such attempts ultimately produce, they persist at never questioning their moral premises lying at the root of their imagined Utopia.

    December 29th will come and pass without remark or fanfare. It will arrive on a Tuesday, following Christmas, in growing anticipation of the arrival Friday, of the New Year.

    There will be nothing noteworthy or special marking the day on the news. You see, the winners always decide history, noting only those events of perceived importance and pride, disregarding those that might be contrary to their notions of such things.

    December 29th will mark the 125th anniversary of the slaughter of 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These 297 people, herded onto a reservation for their care & feeding, were killed by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry. The government had come to confiscate their firearms – ostensibly “for their own safety, protection, and well-being.” The slaughter began after the majority, though not all, had peacefully turned in said firearms. When the final bullet had been fired, two hundred of the dead were women and children.

    Around forty members of the 7th Cavalry were killed, over half of which were estimated to have been cut down by friendly fire from the Hotchkiss guns of their overzealous comrades-in-arms. Disgracefully, twenty members were deemed “national heroes” and awarded Medals of Honor!

    I do not wish to simplify the complexities at work as the political values claimed to represent individual freedom crosses paths with tribalism – much of it nomadic. However, to anyone who understands human nature, the slaughter at Wounded Knee should offer two clear and concise lessons.

    The first is inspiringly articulated in a scene near the conclusion of an entertaining movie starring Clint Eastwood, “The Outlaw Josey Wales.” The scene takes place between Josey, played by Clint, and the Indian Chief “Ten Bears,” played so powerfully by Will Sampson. If you have not seen it or if you have seen it but not taken particular note of the dialog, I would highly recommend that you do so. In its three minutes are spoken eloquent and timeless truths, especially relevant today.

    Those truths dissect the idea that some groups of individuals, in this case the Indians, require that they be benevolently “cared for” by Government – by the rest of us. Not their rights protected as individual citizens mind you, but as a group of inferior human beings in need of the oversight that comes from seeing them as less-than-worthy or “unfit.”

    At the same time seeing their perceived short-comings as a nuisance, or as in the case at Wounded Knee, a continuing potential threat to be “properly” dealt with (vengefully in this case – the soldiers were, after all, composed of the remnants of Custer’s 7th cavalry).

    Our modern seekers of Utopia should study the history of such ideas as they politically fabricate individuals into protected groups, needing special considerations and privileges, justified as necessary for their “well-being.” Wounded Knee, literally and figuratively, with its attendant hopelessness, equality of misery, and ultimate carnage, is the inevitable outcome of such visions.
    .
    The second lesson of Wounded Knee, and it flows logically from the first, is that it was likely the first federally-backed firearm confiscation attempt in United States history.

    Take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of the Second Amendment – the right of the people to possess and take up arms in defense of themselves, their families, and their property, in the face of danger – natural and man-made. The argument that the Second Amendment only applies to hunting or target shooting is asinine. Such things could only be cited with a straight face if one is either a fool, or more likely a charlatan.

    When the United States Constitution was drafted, “hunting” was an everyday chore carried out by men and women to put meat on the table each night. Target shooting was an almost unheard of concept, musket balls being a costly commodity in the wilds of early America, certainly not to be wasted on “target shooting,” except perhaps by only the wealthiest among the colonists.

    No, the Second Amendment was written by people who fled oppressive and tyrannical regimes in Europe, who then fought for their independence from such things in early America. It was reasoned as necessary so as to assure the right of American citizens to be armed for defensive purposes should such tyranny arise in the newly-established United States.

    Increasingly, the Right to keep and bear Arms is now “on the table,” and will most likely continually become threatened with revocation or legal impotence. Before any American politician advocates or supports whatever new firearms legislation is about to be passed (“so we will know what is in it!!”), they should stop and think about the endless tyrannies of history, as well as the slaughter at Wounded Knee.

    The greatest human tragedies on record and the largest loss of innocent human life can be attributed to governments. Who do governments target? Enemies and scapegoats defined by groups within their own borders. Such groups, after they have been disarmed and no longer possess the means to pose a threat to the political class itself, are then dealt with in whatever manner the authorities (their “superiors”) deem appropriate.

    Ask any knowledgeable Native American, and they will tell you it was inferior technology and lack of arms that contributed to their demise at the hand of the American government. Ask any Armenian why it was so easy for the Turks to exterminate millions of them. Ask any Jew what Hitler’s initial step prior to the mass murders of the Holocaust was. Recently, though not reaching the conclusion of the other examples, ask any American citizen of Japanese descent who was rounded up, disarmed, and then interred following Pearl Harbor – presided over by that great American benefactor of the Left, FDR.

    Wounded Knee, though a largely forgotten episode of slaughter, remains a prime example of why Government promises of care & feeding should never be trusted; why the Second Amendment exists, and why no American with any knowledge of human nature or history should ever endorse, in exchange for alleged safety and “security,” the surrendering of their individual rights, among which is their right to defend themselves.

    Once such surrender take place, the stage will again be set. A stage whereupon those who, in order to retain their power on their journey to their endlessly-imagined Utopia, will attempt to do so under the guise of “necessity.”

    Ultimately, the necessity of care & feeding – executed in the manner done at Wounded Knee creek; Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota; United States of America; December 29th, 1890.

    Dave
    ————————————————————————
    LOVE Daniel, The Pinnacle, and your site!

    Dave

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    • Thank you for this thoughtful analysis; it’s spot on. And I’m glad you like my novel.

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      • As a further response, I think there will likely be “enclaves” of relative order, arising from the historical acceptance and embrace of traditional values found in swaths of the populace identified as “red” on electoral maps. There will also be the manifestations of disorder that arise in the populace identified as “blue” on electoral maps.

        How the former might, to whatever degree, insulate themselves from the latter is, of course, the sixty-four thousand dollar question.

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    • Dave, while most of what you say is true, your description of the 2nd Amendment is somewhat generous. The 2A is, in reality, vague and ambiguous, else it would have been written in far more concise terms. It was however written in its present form as a result of much argument between two opposing factions, within that group of individuals we so fondly refer to as the founders. The globalists were present then too, and they brought ambiguity of laguage to the party that resulted in the “ratification” of the constitution. The 2nd Amendment means nothing to me, neither as a license, nor a guarantee to my personal armament. The ability to go armed, and thus protected, in the world is my choice, and no other’s. This physical and moral state of armament cannot be guaranteed, or even allowed by anyone other than me. All those who profess to protect my “2nd Amendment rights” are would be thieves and liars, end of story. They only wish to be perceived as protectors of rights, so that they will eventually be perceived as the grantors of said rights.

      I only make this distinction because I see so many in the world of today failing to do so, which is a very dangerous thing to engage in.

      Merry Christmas folks. May God grant you courage, and grace.

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      • Thank you for your response to “CARE & FEEDING.”

        I harbor few illusions. My explicit understanding of my right to my own life as I see fit, puts our founding and, among other important political acknowledgements, the 2nd Amendment, in its proper context.

        However, one should never allow the perfect to become an enemy of the good. in that context, Jefferson’s marvelous Declaration, with its implicit acknowledgements, can be said to be “wanting” when contrasted to an explicit articulation of same.

        As long as one maintains the absolutism of reason, thereby recognizing that all knowledge is contextual, failure to achieve the perfect will never render the good as superfluous or redundant.

        The 2nd Amendment, though equally unnecessarily superfluous in your mind as the 1st, is, nonetheless an important acknowledgement on the path to what, for those of us who presume to understand such things, acknowledgement of our right to our own life.

        The perfect, after all, is the final manifestation of the good…………

        Dave

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I think even your predictions are a little Pollyannish, Robert, LOL! Farmland, topsoil, and most important, fresh water aquifers, are diminishing steadily, even as population in the 3d world continues to soar. I am predicting a massive food crisis by the 2040s, to be followed by an energy crisis as accessible fuels are depleted….North America and the southern half of South America will be the best areas for survival…

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  12. “Predictions of some sort of emergent global government and a new world order should be met with skepticism. Not that there aren’t plenty of people out there who wouldn’t like to see such an outcome, but governments require resources, and the bigger the government, the more resources it requires.”
    Today’s remote control tech allows all-knowing, remote-control via data, weaponry and covert actions. This needs to be factored in here. Nothing is straight forward anymore. The tech enables a global control unprecedented, as well as depleting the population of “undesirables.” Killing fields become every place, a home, a public place, with remote capabilities to impact one or groups. Do not doubt this already exists. Do not doubt such tools will be used. The game is changed behind most people’s backs. It is the back door and it is wide open. Equipment to sense, shielding and intelligence will be necessary. We are ill prepared.

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  13. You sure write well and with reason about things Mr. Gore. I always come away with a new bit of wisdom or insight. And that is inspiring indeed. It is fundamental how circular history is, and the reason to never ignore or discount it’s lessons and requirement to keep in mind its cautionary lessons. Like the timeless saying about those who ignore history take the dirt nap first. Many things are not going to end well as consequences of what is being done to obtain unlimited power and wealth by those with their hands on the levers of tyranny and its inherent corruption.

    I think what you wrote above speaks very well to what John Mosby said below in his axiom about what you can do as an individual and becoming as self reliant and self determining in your life. That is the important thing I think.

    “Remember:
    The fundamental human right to self-defense and its tools does not stem from any piece of parchment or other act of man.
    It is much more elemental than that.
    I have more principled reasons for my stand on owning firearms, and I don’t care one whit in the world for the Second Amendment. It means nothing to me. My rights have nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution, and when it dawns on people that it has finally been erased — the principal danger of all political premises posed as “social contracts” — my rights will still validly exist, even if I die defending them. I own firearms because I have a right to private property. That is the First Thing.
    …As the Regime takes off the gloves, every day it creates tens of thousands more American Patriots who realize yes, it really probably is going to get that bad, so really, they may not have that much to lose after all.
    So why not stop being afraid and stand up to the Regime?
    Join the honorable Resistance, or make your own. Garden, cook at home, teach your children, and get right with the Lord. Cut expenses, avoid taxes, learn new skills, and build savings of tangible real assets. Train, stockpile, recruit, prepare, guard, protect, and defend.
    Make this your finest hour.” -John Mosby

    That is inspiring to me. Resistance is always noble, never futile. You have to stand up for what is right, with virtue, no matter the odds your faced with. Never loose sight of that truth.

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  14. Russell Means, a true Patriot. Will we understand in time? Time will tell our story, either to our Infamy or to our glory.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Daniel Greenfield’s below article describes what ISIS needs to expand, US included:
    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2015/12/muslim-immigration-is-what-isis-wants.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FromNyToIsraelSultanRevealsTheStoriesBehindTheNews+%28from+NY+to+Israel+Sultan+Reveals+The+Stories+Behind+the+News%29

    “Bloodland” by Dennis McAuliffe, Jr. describes how the superior white man attempted to extinguish the inferior Osage Indians for the oil on their Oklahoma reservation acreage. The book documents the check list that our government and other minions use to protect us from treachery and slavery, even though we are inferior.

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  16. Excellent essay, sir. Tweeted.

    I read The Golden Pinnacle this year, also. I enjoyed it immensely, and recommend it energetically.

    “To survive and thrive, governments must be able to acquire real resources with their phony scrip and expropriation.”

    Yep. Don’t discount the big kill-off playing a role in that new-world vision, either.

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  17. THERE IS NO PUBLIC DEBT!
    Bold statement you say?
    No one can pledge you as a debtor without your consent!
    There is no authority in either the legitimate original federal Constitution Nor its corporate byproduct for the entities constructed to become debtors in any manner whatsoever.
    The belief that there could be a national debt is the illusion founding the self destruction of the American experience in liberty.
    Believing that the public, you and me could be debtors, is the proof of self impose slavery.
    In the commercial world the issuer is always liable for the debt. No issuer can attach their debt to you or me without either consent or deception.
    No one may be deceived unless they participate in the deception.
    In short we are responsible for the mess because we refuse to be responsible for the use of our own properties!
    I certainly never transferred any of my personal real or chattel property to anyone for their use and benefit above my own.
    Did you or do you know anyone that ever did?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: A GEOGRAPHY OF SCARS - BRUCE HANIFY

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