Ideas are the foundation of the brain standard, one of which is that only individuals have rights. This cuts through the collectivist dreck that passes for thought among most of the world’s so-called intellectuals. The variations of collectivism all disguise nothing more than brute force hiding behind propaganda. Their inevitable failures stem from their essential flaw: those that control the collective claim rights that negate those of the individual.
There are grounds for hope. From the ruins of impending collapse there will be some who reject collectivism and are committed to rebuilding on a foundation of individual rights. How they will protect those rights and whatever territories they stake out are what theoretical physicists sometimes call “engineering problems.” One advantage they’ll have, though, as the brain standard constituency—they’ll be smarter than their adversaries. Attention, imagination, and intelligence will be keenly focused on building from the ruins and protecting what they’ve built.
Here’s a thought experiment. Imagine someone invents a cheap, portable device that defends its bearer and his or her property from all violence from all sources, but has no offensive capability. The device is so cheap that virtually everyone can buy it, and charities are set up to donate it to those who can’t. The device is universally available and creates a world without violence.
How would such a world function? People would have to produce to survive, but absent mutual agreement no one would have an enforceable claim on anyone else’s production. There would be no coercive transfers of money or property. Disputes would be settled by negotiation and mediation. A body of civil law similar to English common law would develop. Surely such a society would figure out a way to deal with nonviolent crime.
The negation of violence would eliminate government’s nominal rationale: protecting citizens from violence. In the absence of government (and its violence), individuals and society as a whole would be free to advance as far as their capabilities will take them.
This extreme hypothetical offers a stark contrast with the absence of anything resembling freedom anywhere in the world today. Government and collectivism are top-down codependents based on violence and coercion. Their current manifestations are replaying the dreary and what should be the common knowledge lesson of history: they inevitably fail, often after a great deal of bloodshed.
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In the current jockeying among collectivist governments for the things over which they jockey, Russia’s and China’s are doing a better job than the U.S.’s. The former are the co-leaders of the Eurasian alliance and represent substantial politic and economic power. The latter is bankrupt, embroiled in yet another war it won’t win, and stands accused of sabotaging its most important European ally’s oil pipelines. At home, the U.S. government and its fellow travelers are in thrall to brain-dead ideologies that hasten the country’s disintegration.
It’s a difficult trick, but our would-be rulers think they make us think we’re free while they take away our freedom. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
If you live in one of the so-called free democracies of the western world, the worst mistake you can make is to buy into the hype. To believe you are a free individual in a nation that respects and protects your freedom and individuality.
Whenever I broach this subject I always get a deluge of objections along the lines of, “Well I’d much rather live where I live than under an authoritarian regime like in Iran or China! You would never be allowed to criticize your rulers the way you do if you lived in one of those places!”
And I always want to ask them, what do you think drove you to make that objection? Why are you falling all over yourself to defend your country and the people who rule over you, while condemning foreign countries that your own government happens to dislike? Could it be because that’s how you’ve been trained to behave from a young and impressionable age, and that your objection is arising from the same place as a cult member’s objections to criticisms of their cult?
Because that’s ultimately what holds power structures together in the US-aligned nations of the global north: indoctrination. The same thing used to program religious extremists and cult members. The only difference is that rather than scripture and religious leaders, the means of indoctrination is school, mainstream media, and Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation.
He thought he was fighting for freedom as a Green Beret. Now’s he fighting for freedom with Bitcoin. From Adam R. Gebner at bitcoinmagazine.com:
This is an opinion editorial by Adam R. Gebner, a Green Beret and West Point graduate.
The opinions expressed throughout this piece are mine alone, and in no way reflect official policy or opinions of the U.S. Army or the U.S. Department of Defense. Though I am by no means a writer, I hope that by publishing this, more service members consider working in the Bitcoin industry and Bitcoin companies consider expanding their efforts to hire Veterans. Additionally, I am always learning more about Bitcoin, how it works, and the potential value it may bring to our world. Please let me know where I am off base, thanks!
Early in my life, I knew I wanted to be a Green Beret officer. Fighting to liberate oppressed people by working by, with, and through local populations was at the core of my motivations to choose this path. I saw the Special Forces’ mission as a cost and risk-efficient way to prevent large-scale conflict while enabling people to defend themselves and secure their own freedom. After graduating from West Point in 2014 and serving with the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) for three years, I ultimately earned my Green Beret and an opportunity to lead a detachment of America’s Chosen Soldiers. Now that I’ve accomplished what I set out to do with my military career by commanding an “A-team” for two years, I am looking forward to the next mission in my professional life: contributing to the adoption and integration of the best freedom-protecting innovation in modern history — Bitcoin.
Like so many others, I had a few touch points with Bitcoin before seriously considering the validity of the technology. In 2010, during my first year at West Point, I overheard a few Computer Science majors discussing this “internet money” and I foolishly dismissed it without trying to learn anything else. Then in 2013, when I started learning about investing and economics, I stumbled across bitcoin again. I read a little bit more into it, but not enough to understand how it could replace gold as a sound money system (thanks Peter Schiff…).
In a sea of faceless mediocrities, Nigel Farage stands out as one of the few European who speaks his mind, and speaks it rather eloquently as well. From Namcios at bitcoinmagazine.com:
The former Member of the European Parliament drew parallels between leading a “political insurgency” with Brexit and the opposition Bitcoin experiences today.
Any new idea automatically faces the opposition of the establishment, said former Member of the European Parliament, Nigel Farage, on a panel at Bitcoin Amsterdam on Thursday.
That argument served as the introduction to Farage’s point throughout the conversation, as he drew parallels between Bitcoin and his experience pushing the then-unpopular idea of Brexit, the exit of the U.K. from the European Union.
“I led a political insurgency, I took on the establishment,” Farage recounted. “What I think is happening with Bitcoin is we’re seeing a similar type of insurgency, an economic insurgency that is being driven and led by people who are worried about the sheer size and scale of big government.”
The subject was ignited by fellow panelist and “What Bitcoin Did” podcast host Peter McCormack’s initial question. “What are you doing at a Bitcoin conference?”
Farage concluded that because of the links between his past experience and the Bitcoin movement today, it was “a perfect and natural place to be.”
The politician expanded on his argument, detailing more of his views of the establishment and why it can be difficult to challenge it. Those who are part of and maintain the establishment, he argued, “own and set the status quo, they are very comfortable… and they don’t want anything to come along and disrupt.”
Is an autonomously ordered anarchy possible, an anarchy far different than most people’s conception of anarchy as pure chaos? From Gary D. Barnett at lewrockwell.com:
“Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a ‘Great Leap Forward’ that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children.
In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.”
~ Robert Higgs
Language is of such great importance as to be critical to the survival of mankind. While this may sound exaggerated, it is certainly not. The idea of our language, and the root systems from which our language originated, are not able to be altered at will to suit the state or any other individual or entity attempting to create a position based on the fraudulent restructuring of the meaning of words and phrases for their benefit. This is always and only done, to create confusion or to advance an agenda, and usually both. Anytime the state actors decide to control language in their favor, they are intending to steer mass opinion, and contradiction, hypocrisy, and control are the prevailing result. This has never been more apparent than with the term Anarchy, which is the absolute antithesis of state tyranny.
“Consent of the governed” are not just words. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:
The failure of law enforcement at all levels — local, state and federal — to protect 19 children who were slaughtered by a madman in Uvalde, Texas, in May has raised serious questions about the role of police in our once-free society. Admittedly, the Uvalde case was extreme, as 376 armed police officers did little or nothing to stop the slaughter perpetrated by one madman. There was no command and control; the decisions made on the scene were chaotic and farcical; and the essence of what law enforcement did was to shield itself from harm, rather than stop the harm.
The killer in Uvalde began his rampage by shooting randomly at the school building from a parking lot across the street as he walked toward the school. He apparently entered through a door that officials presumed was locked. It wasn’t. The police themselves waited 44 minutes to obtain a key to this unlocked door, which none of them even tried to open. The commanding officer at the scene was not in electronic communication with his team, his dispatcher or the 24 other police agencies present.
The Texas Legislature condemned the police response; and now heartbroken parents are left without a remedy. This is so because the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the government and its agents have no duty to interfere with crimes that are in progress and no general duty to protect innocents. Under this line of cases, collectively called the DeShaney doctrine, the police can physically observe a bank robbery, a rape or a murder, and lawfully do nothing.
SPRINGFIELD, MA—According to sources, Merriam-Webster quietly updated its definition of the word “Freedom” to match its definition of “Slavery,” which the prestigious dictionary claims is more in line with modern use.
Freedom was previously defined as “the quality or state of being free” along with a set of sub-definitions. Now, however, anyone attempting to research the word will find only two words: “See Slavery.”
“At Merriam-Webster, we have to update definitions all the time,” said William Wordle, a researcher with the dictionary. “This is nothing new. Stop calling me the ‘Thought Police.’ Words hurt! I should know—I work with words!”
Critics of the change claim there’s a big difference between updating a definition and changing it entirely. “Freedom does not—and never has—been a synonym for slavery,” said word expert and Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak. “This is a politically motivated change and nothing more.”
Representatives with Merriam-Webster have suggested anyone upset about how they handle the English language is more than welcome to start their own dictionary. But then they might change the definition of “dictionary.”
In addition, the definition of Slavery was updated to include “Of or pertaining to the NFL” as a 4th possible definition.
Lately even the illusion of freedom is slipping away. From John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead at rutherford.org:
“Rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away. They’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. Sooner or later, the people in this country are gonna realize the government … doesn’t care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety… It’s interested in its own power. That’s the only thing. Keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.”— George Carlin
We’re in a national state of denial.
For years now, the government has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with the American people, letting us enjoy just enough freedom to think we are free but not enough to actually allow us to live as a free people.
International Man: The US has been diverging from its founding principles for a long time.
However, in recent years, that trend has gone parabolic.
How did the US get here, and where is it headed?
Doug Casey: It’s the natural course of events. I draw your attention to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which among other things, states that over time all systems wind down and degrade.
That certainly includes the ideas that the US was founded on. The founding principles of America were unique and different from those of any other state. But their degradation started very early with the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798. The government started to violate the country’s founding principles almost no sooner than the ink on the Bill of Rights was dry. Since then, the US Government has consistently proved itself to be not the defender of individual rights and liberty but their main enemy. That’s to be expected, of course. It’s the nature of government.
Think of an activity that’s essential for a government bent on subjugation: censorship and the suppression of expression. Governments on both sides of the present conflict have further jacked up their efforts to control expression from the plateau reached with Covid. Russia just passed a law imposing a 15-year prison sentence for anyone spreading “fake news” about its invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. and European governments and lapdog legacy and social media have blanketed populaces with official propaganda. Just as with Covid, questions and deviations from the approved narrative are stifled, censored, and punished.
It was all so much easier back in the post World War II, pre-internet good old days. In the U.S. and Europe, there were several “papers of record” that had been infiltrated by intelligence agencies, and state-licensed radio and television stations. In the Soviet Union there wasn’t even that, just a few official propaganda organs.
Yet even with that degree of control, government repression wasn’t wholly effective. In the U.S. the truth got out about the Vietnam War. The Soviets could stop everything but people talking with each other, albeit in hushed tones. The cynical humor became legendary. (“They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work.”) Humor always contains an element of truth, which is why statists can’t do humor. The number of citizens red-pilled to Soviet corruption and incompetence and the comparative freedom and wealth of the West reached critical mass and the government fell. It took way too long, but it happened.
Today, there are billions of potential journalists and video producers—anyone with a cell phone and access to the internet—and trillions of text and email communications. People still occasionally engage in face-to-face conversations. The infrastructure needed to monitor all this is complex, gargantuan, and costly. Only algorithms and artificial intelligence can sort through it to identify threats to the state. Once identified, a separate infrastructure is necessary to apprehend, arrest, process, incarcerate and perhaps execute those engaged in wrongthought, wrongspeak, wrongwrite, and wrongact.
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