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charles hugh smith-Why the Periphery Is Crumbling: The Spoils System Is Cracking

charles hugh smith-Why the Periphery Is Crumbling: The Spoils System Is Cracking.

(February 28, 2014)

Instability starts on the periphery and moves into the core.

While it is clear that the instability in periphery nations is arising from dynamics unique to each nation, there is one unifying causal factor: the spoils system in each nation is breaking down.

Every nation-state, from brutal dictatorships to nominal democracies, ultimately depends on a spoils system that provides the various factions, classes, etc., with sufficient material and status benefits to accept the Status Quo arrangement.

The more a regime relies on oppression for its legitimacy (for example, North Korea or Saddam’s Iraq), the greater its vulnerability to erosion in the spoils system, which naturally favor the military and the regime’s Elites.

In broad brush, the spoils available for distribution are the surplus generated by the national economy. In the case of North Korea, this surplus stems from extortion (of donations from other nations), satrapy (free oil from China) and illicit activities (arms sales and counterfeiting). A common source of surplus is oil (Venezuela, Iraq, Iran) or some other desirable commodity.

The vast majority of surpluses outside oil exporting nations have been generated by three factors: cheap energy, rising productivity and the expansion of credit. If we examine periods of rapid expansion and generalized prosperity, we find these three factors were active: cheap energy, rising productivity and ample credit.

Just look at Europe and the U.S. in the 1950s and 60s, Japan in the 1960s and 70s, and China in the 1980s and 90s for examples.

Any reversal in these factors reduces surplus and the spoils being distributed.Sharply higher energy costs crimp profits and cause recessions, stagnating productivity leads to near-zero growth and institutional/state sclerosis and credit contraction leads to recession and the destruction of malinvestments.

Since ruling Elites are by definition constantly picking winners and losers, any Status Quo operated by Elites is systematically malinvesting on a gargantuan scale. This is the ontological imperative of any Elite: skim as much of the national surplus as possible and funnel it to cronies and loyal toadies. The prudent Elites (and imprudent Elites don’t last long–the spoils system is quite Darwinian) set aside enough surplus to distribute as spoils, effectively buying the complicity of key sectors, classes, factions, etc.

Thus the default policy of any ruling Elite is bread and circuses: supply the potentially disruptive masses with food and entertainment, and they’ll continue their grudging support of whatever arrangement is supplying the bread and circuses.

Any mob that appears threatening can be dissipated with a “whiff of grapeshot.”

In the U.S., the spoils system is almost unlimited: corporate welfare for capital, food stamps and SSI disability for the lumpenproletariat, big-bucks jobs as water-carriers for the Elites for technocrats in the State, finance, think tanks, elite universities and Corporate America sectors, a variety of quasi-secure lower-level positions as enforcers, lackeys, apparatchiks and factotums and a smattering of tax subsidies (mortgage interest deduction, etc.) to placate what’s left of the non-state-dependent middle class.

The spoils system is not only the foundation of every Elites’ political legitimacy, it is the thin layer of plaster that covers all the longstanding ethnic, regional, linguistic, religious and political fault lines that run beneath current nation-state arrangements.

As noted in yesterday’s entry Ukraine: A Deep State Analysis, numerous national borders were drawn after World War II (1945) with little regard for historical divisions between various groups or preceding borders.

Entire nations were penciled into existence by Imperial diktat in complete disregard for existing historical groups–Iraq and Syria being just two examples of many.

As long as the stick of repression and the carrot of the spoils system were sufficiently persuasive, the tectonic plates beneath the regime were masked. But once the spoils system and the machinery of suppression crack, the old rivalries arise anew.

The spoils system can crack for two reasons: either the national surplus declines so there simply isn’t enough spoils left to keep everyone placated, or the spoils diversion to the Elites and their cronies exceeds the tipping point of legitimacy.

Greece and Venezuela are examples of the first dynamic, and Ukraine is an example of the second dynamic. Greece essentially funded its vast spoils distribution system with borrowed money. When the regime’s free-money machine finally broke, the spoils system crashed along with the legitimacy of the Status Quo.

Venezuela is suffering a similar crash, based not on a withdrawal of credit but on the current Elites’ destruction of the nation’s oil industry and what was left of its productive private economy.

In Ukraine, the plundering of the national surplus by oligarchic Elites finally exceeded the populace’s threshold of legitimacy, and once the armed forces and police refused to murder their cousins, brothers, nieces and nephews in the streets, the Status Quo arrangement collapsed.

Now that the spoils system has crumbled, all the historical tectonics and fault lines are emerging in full force. the same can be said of Iraq and many other inherently unstable nation-states/regimes.

Why is the periphery crumbling? It’s simple: the conditions that enabled rising national surpluses and the distribution of spoils is breaking down for three reasons:

1. Energy is no longer cheap (compared to past prices)

2. The low-hanging fruit of higher productivity has all been plucked

3. The free-money flood of cheap, limitless credit is drying up

As regimes find surplus and credit are both contracting, their ability to placate every key group with spoils is also declining, and the conflicts between them can no longer be patched over with bribery or brutality.

Instability starts on the periphery and moves into the core. I have covered this in depth a number of times:

Instability Start on the Margins (October 31, 2013)

The Core-Periphery Model (June 11, 2013)

EU Leaders Throw Europe a Plutonium Life Preserver (October 27, 2011)

Everywhere, the instability from a failing spoils system is seeping from the periphery into the core: the E.U., the U.S., China and India. Two Powder Kegs Ready to Blow: China & India (January 23, 2014)

This erosion of the spoils system has a peculiar characteristic: once the old spoils system cracks and collapses, it cannot be put back together. A new arrangement arises, despite the best self-serving efforts of the current Elites.

Ponzi World (Over 3 Billion NOT Served): The Corporatized Matrix Liquidated the Real Economy

Ponzi World (Over 3 Billion NOT Served): The Corporatized Matrix Liquidated the Real Economy.

We are the human batteries powering the Corporatized Matrix – born into indentured servitude. The Corporate endless growth paradigm cannibalized the real economy, leaving a hollow illusion populated by denatured human drones…

Denatured from Birth
Every aspect of our lives has been denatured and controlled by one soulless corporation or another.
From the Frankenfood-like substance at the grocery store of unknown Monsanto origin, to the Newspeak-like information that we are fed via the corporate media. They control the media, they control the message.
The machine doesn’t like people to ask too many questions, so the human batteries have been steadily dumbed down one episode of South Park/American Idolatry at a time.
When the internet became commercialized in 1995 a la the “World Wide Web”, it was immediately flooded and overwhelmed by mangled, obfuscated, contorted disinformation. A toxic waste sewer of for-profit-only garbage. Hyperlinked bullshit sent attention deficit disorder through the roof where it has grown acute amid texting and mobile handset addiction.
The Sociopathic Corporation (aka. Agency Theory)
As I’ve explained before, agency management assures that corporations remain fixated on their goal of mindless growth at all costs. Any given shareholder may be environmentally conscious or worker friendly, but via the corporate model, the incentives of the agency management are to maximize share price at all costs. Some companies say they support this “good cause” or that one as part of their overall Marketing slogan, but as soon as they miss Wall Street expectations, that other non-profit-related  bullshit goes straight out the window. As I also explained, obscene profits are not adequate, corporations must continue to grow profits at all times or the stock market will vote their shares down in real time, and as the stock price plummets those management options will be rendered worthless. The growth-at-all-costs model does not go in reverse.
Sociopathic Buffoons Running Amok
These country club CEOs and their management lackeys are hardcore sociopaths. They’ve impoverished millions without even the slightest twinge of guilt. They turned the economy into a zero sum game to their own overwhelming personal benefit and in the process turned their companies into call options. Most of them were hatched in Ivy League schools which generated the text book alchemy that gives the all-important specious stamp of approval to this entire fucking fiasco. Harvard et. al. must never be questioned, no matter how self-destructive are their ideas.

Front-Running Democracy
Like HFTs in the stock market, the corporate special interests front-run the public at the polling booth by buying both/all parties ahead of time. The game show hosts in politics with % approval ratings hovering near single digits, bear the brunt of the public frustration while the puppet masters remain out of view. The Lost Boys of the Idiocracy and various other complicit stooges rail away at “evil government” in faux outrage, while the special interest groups who direct all government actions remain fully intact and unquestioned.

Feasting on the Carcass of the Real Economy
In the context of the Fed’s generated Potemkin Village, the real economy no longer matters. The Fed expands the money supply as a proxy for real economic growth and the stock market is now programmed to only go up when the real economy goes down. So the corporate incentive to create organic growth, in aggregate is now negative. Investment in real plant and equipment has been supplanted by speculation in secondary market paper assets. A zero sum game. The one time industrial arbitrage between East and West cannibalized demand while massively inflating supply. The output gap going into this next downturn will be unprecedented in scale.
Those of us corporatized slaves, accept the Fed’s debased dollars without any form of rebellion, because as a society we’ve been bred for docility. The corporate hierarchy is the ultimate passive aggressive breeding ground. Still, some of us know that the special interest groups closest to the printing press benefit at our expense. And those who understand deflation know that this is all just a smoke screen to cover up the ongoing collapse of the real economy. Once that smoke screen lifts, the fully hollowed out devastation will be revealed for all to see.
Dopamine Addicted Zombies
The worst part about this entire fiasco is that we are surrounded by human zombies who have been denatured to the point where they can no longer be happy outside of this corporatized Disneyland. They seek comfort in the illusion being projected onto the paper walls of the Fed’s Potemkin Village. They don’t question it in the slightest.
Granted, they can’t really help it. The human batteries have been turned into dopamine addicts by the Corporatized Matrix. They can’t envision life without McMansions, SUVs, Black Thursday shopping sprees, supercarriers and other trinkets. They are bought in and sold out to the status quo no matter how fake or unsustainable it may be. Therefore, like any other type of junky they will have a hard time surviving when taken off of their consumption-oriented stimulants.
So when it all implodes spectacularly and reality is revealed in all of its natural glory, then it’s highly likely that these zombies will behave in desperate ways that are highly “unpredictable”.
You’ve been warned.

oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: How to Make a Million: Extortion Creates its own Antidote

oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: How to Make a Million: Extortion Creates its own Antidote.

The problem is its own solution. Whether we try to stop the Status Quo, or let it stop, it WILL stop.

Longtime correspondent Eric A. has a new essay describing a key dynamic of the years ahead: Extortion and skimming create their own antidotes. As the costs of skimming, extortion and corruption reach new heights, the savings to be gained by bypassing the Status Quo systems also increase.

Here are a few of Eric’s previous essays:

A Brief History of Cycles and Time, Part 1 (May 13, 2013)

A Brief History of Cycles and Time, Part 2 (May 14, 2013)

Generation X: An Inconvenient Era (May 23, 2013)

The essence of my key analytic concepts, neofeudalism and neocolonialism, is that debt and other state-cartel schemes enclose and imprison the bottom 90% while leaving the illusions of liberty, democracy and “prosperity” intact so the debt-serf inhabitants of the home-country neocolonial plantations love their servitude.

Eric’s point is that the incentives to escape the home-country plantation are rising in parallel with the skimming of the state-cartel Elites.

Here’s is Eric’s provocatively insightful essay:


Concerning the Middleman-Skimming Economy, I’m here to tell you, it’s not all bad! The oppressive system you describe of graft, fraud, theft, and extortion creates its own antidote.
Banking, for instance. Problem: they have created an enormous skimming operation, and one that puts users at personal and financial risk, as well as annoying the heck out of customers for no reason. But that means the problem, stated simply is, “they make too much money.”

But that means that ANY ONE who goes around them in ANY WAY, has enormous payoff. Also creating a solution, like micro-loans, digital clearing, etc, has enormous incentive.

Simply put, so long as the out-sized pay exists, the out-sized incentive to avoid them, ignore them, go around them, re-think them, will always exist. Every minute, to every participant. So they’re really creating the solution as fast as they can.

Same with these other issues. Health Care? The kickoff of ACA (Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare) was the starting gun for cash-only medical care which until now only lived in the slimmest shadows. Since basically the co-pay alone is more than paying in cash–and the entire premium is 110% of direct welfare to the health lobby (a business model usually called “extortion”)– there’s no possible incentive not to ignore the system entirely and pay cash. The penalty would have to be 2x, 3x, 5x higher to come anywhere near tipping the balance. And thanks to a decade of previous screwing, the young people don’t actually HAVE the money, so even if the penalty were raised, it would have no practical effect.

Although college, with their 3x more admins, paid 2x more is a clear example, it’s the same with military, government, all these. All we have to do to save 50%, 90% or more is ignore them and let them collapse.

What do you think Detroit is doing for their present residents? As far as I can tell, basically nothing–and that’s true for cities nationwide. All we have to do is tell them to cease existing, go bankrupt, for-the-love-of-God stop helping, and we’ll all save 50% of our money and scarcely have a lower level of service. I mean, you can hardly exceed abominable.

The NYC school system is a great example: something like 66% of students drop out, while many of the remainder are uneducated and illiterate. What possible harm would it be to close the school system and stop paying for it altogether? With rates that bad, basically only the students who would study at home and pass anyway are passing now. Teachers, administration, programs, are therefore measurably providing ZERO benefit over the baseline. So it’s easy to see that we can’t possibly do worse, BUT WE CAN SAVE 100% OF OUR MONEY.

That’s incentive. Especially when most of us haven’t got a nickel to spare. By demanding ALL THE THINGS, they have only destroyed themselves.

Unfortunately, they’ve taken most of us with them.

Just for anecdote, a friend of mine works for a group home. They had a resident with a 105-degree fever who had been to the E.R., but had returned as his heart was racing–a thing easily noticed by pre-nurses and healthcare-oriented staff.

This patient had chest pains as well, and although hard to quantify it was worrisome stuff. So they took him back to the E.R. and waited 2 hours to be seen because there were… wait for it… two patients that evening.

The doctor prescribed Motrin. … I didn’t skip over a part there, the doctor heard the healthcare employee say the patient had chest pains with an irregular heartbeat, refused to hear it, refused to examine, said they’d seen the patient yesterday and they had a cold. Yes, they’d been in already. Because they didn’t diagnose it the first time. The hospital then forgot to fill the prescription Motrin and issued an empty envelope, releasing the patient on a Sunday, presumably to DIE OF HEART ARRHYTHMIA, and/or fever, and/or whatever it was they might have had, which they didn’t know, because they never looked.

If we were in a log cabin, in 1820 Kentucky, and I spent 2 hours walking my sick Pa down to the neighboring cabin and said, “Well Billy-Joe, Pa’s been sick and now his heart sounds funny,” what do you think you would do? You’d probably say, “let me listen and see if you’re right.” We’ve descended below the level of instinctual primate behavior here, and are into some sub-basement reserved for PhD’s.

Doctors and mis-prescriptions are now a leading cause of death–26x more deadly than firearms, 800,000 vs. 30,000/yr.

Death by Medicine (Estimated Annual Mortality and Economic Cost of Medical Intervention)

Gun violence in the United States

Granted that as people see doctors when already ill, the numbers are not neatly comparable. However, medicine is considered “safe” or “exemplary”, we are encouraged to use it, while guns are often considered the standard for “unsafe” and “dangerous.” While many would die without medicine, this suggests the baseline is that 800,000/year would be saved by banning medicine altogether. In short: We’re doing it wrong. Considering we pay twice (on a per person basis) what other developed nations pay for care, net-net could we really do much worse by having no doctors or medicine whatsoever?

Not really an unusual case either. They tried to kill someone a few weeks earlier and a different patient that weekend. They have tried to kill family members several times. I’m sure most readers have a similar scare stories. But death by neglect is still fatal, the fault of just not giving a damn.

Surely I exaggerate?

800,000 people were statistically killed via paid-for quack science that incorrectly (and illegally) promoted statins in Europe.

Medicine Or Mass Murder? Guideline Based on Discredited Research May Have Caused 800,000 Deaths In Europe Over The Last 5 Years (Forbes)
The earlier paper demonstrated the potentially large and lethal consequences of the current European Society of Cardiology guideline recommending the liberal use of beta-blockers to protect the heart during surgery for people undergoing non cardiac surgery. There is, it has now become clear, a general lack of concern and response to evidence of scientific fraud and misconduct.

This was quickly followed by a few thousand probable deaths of blood clots due to a newer configuration of the Pill.

Have 800 women been killed by the Pill? The alarming dangers of taking so-called third generation contraceptives (Daily Mail, U.K.)

(Note that 800 deaths are only the U.K.) –Just two random articles in the last few days, probably hundreds of others with millions of deaths if I looked. The over 60,000 deaths from provably corrupt research authorizing Vioxx comes to mind.

I somehow feel that if I killed 800,000 people through fraud, abuse, or neglect, that the police would be –I don’t know– MAD at me or something. Or killed even one group home patient by refusing to lift a finger. There were once quite a number of laws concerning it: neglect, reckless endangerment, manslaughter–murder even.

But that’s so 20th Century. Consequences, I mean. Laws and enforcing them. Like so many, we’re now considering flying out of the country for healthcare, but unlike so many we don’t have money for 5-star hospital spas in Goa or Singapore. So we were thinking maybe the Belgian Congo for better medical care than rural NY. I hear they may have stethoscopes there.

THAT’S what I mean when I say you could close the whole system and have it be a measurable benefit to mankind.

The problem is its own solution. Whether we try to stop, or let it stop, it WILL stop.Because anything that can’t go on, won’t. When you’re at 100% costs and 0% benefits, congratulations, you’ve reached the Singularity.


Thank you, Eric, for an insightful look at the benefits of bypassing or ignoring the Status Quo systems, and the benefits that will accrue from their inevitable collapse. The idea that the next arrangement will be better, cheaper, more equitable and sustainable is not yet dominant, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Celente Warns Of Coming Riots: “The Collapse Is Engulfing The World”

Celente Warns Of Coming Riots: “The Collapse Is Engulfing The World”.

riots-engulf-world

He accurately predicted the trends that have shaped the last decade. Ahead of the collapse of 2008 his Trends Journal newsletter issued a forecast that stock markets, which had just hit all time highs, would buckle in the first quarter of the year and that an unprecedented recession would blanket the global economy. He said the decline in  financial markets would then be followed by disillusionment in America’s political and economic systems, leading to the rise of a third-party and widespread protests across America. And while officials the country over tried to assuage fears in the populace, he cautioned that the middle class would continue to be destroyed through taxation, regulation and fiscal incompetence.

His foresight was 20/20.

Now, renowned trend forecaster Gerald Celente warns that, despite establishment claims of recovery and growth, things are about to get a whole lot worse.

Celente isn’t suggesting that a massive collapse is going to happen in the future.

He says we’re already in it – and it’s taking hold right before our eyes across the entirety of the globe:

This selloff in the emerging markets, with their currencies going down and their interest rates going up, it’s going to be disastrous and there are going to be riots everywhere…

So as the decline in their economies accelerates, you are going to see the civil unrest intensify.

If you want to know a business that will thrive in 2014, it may well beguillotines because these are ‘Off with their heads’ moments.

Meanwhile, they just passed laws in Spain to stop people from protesting.  But all the laws in the world do not feed starving people. All the laws in the world do not put roofs over people’s heads. 

That’s why you are going to see heads roll.

you can already see chaos engulfing the world as the Fed’s global financial scheme is collapsing.  This collapse is engulfing the entire world, from Russia, to South Africa, into China and emerging markets across the globe. 

Full Interview at King World News (also available in audio broadcast)
via Steve Quayle

Should protesters in the U.S. threaten the status quo in any way they will be dealt with like the people who took to the streets in the Ukraine, Egypt, Iran, and Greece.

In fact, a Federal court recently upheld Congressional legislation passed in 2012 that allowed the herding of protestors into so-called “free speech” zones, and to charge those who assemble at “official functions” designated as areas of “national significance” with federal crimes punishable by one year in prison.

Under that verbiage, that means a peaceful protest outside a candidate’s concession speech would be a federal offense…

Carefully controlled protests involving individuals who have been bused in by their respective political party or union leaders are often televised by the mainstream media in an effort to give Americans a false sense of freedom.

When these protests turn to uprising and riots because millions of people can no longer keep a roof over their heads or food in their bellies, you can bet that those involved will be dealt with swiftly and behind the cloak of terrorism secrecy laws like the National Defense Authorization Act which essentially gives the government the right to detain anyone, for any reason, for an indefinite amount of time.

But the real question here is, why would the government need laws like this?

Why would they be war-gaming and simulating economic collapse scenarios and civil unrest?

Why are they continuing to borrow trillions of dollars from foreign creditors and injecting the domestic economy with tens of billions of dollars on a monthly basis?

The only plausible answer, given the current economic climate in America and sentiment on Main Street, is that the authorities at the highest levels of our government know that something very bad could happen.

And they confirmed this in two letters issued by two different Treasury Secretaries over the last several years. Most recently, the Treasury department noted that failure to satiate our nation’s never ending appetite for debt would have a “catastrophic effect” on our economy:

Credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, US interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.

Not only might the economic consequences of default be profound, but those consequences, including high interest rates, reduced investment, higher debt payments, and slow economic growth, could last for more than a generation…

The fall-out from our current economic climate is going to be unprecedented. For those who deny this is happening, understand that the above warning comes directly from our Treasury Department. They’re the money guys. And they are telling us what’s going to happen.

And be assured it won’t just be stock markets that drop precipitously.

What we’re talking about here is the collapse of the economy of the United States of America – the richest nation on Earth. 

The consequences will be devastating on every level and those of us on Main Street will be taking the brunt of the impact.

Imagine a situation where jobs continue to be shed by the hundreds of thousands every month without abatement. A situation where the price of basic essentials like energy and food rise without restraint. A situation where medical care is so expensive that average Americans will go bankrupt trying to pay for government mandated coverage. A situation where whatever money you do have in savings becomes worthless because our currency loses credibility around the world.

This is what’s happening right now.

The scary version: There is no way to turn this around. It’s just going to get progressively worse.

If you haven’t taken steps to prepare – to insulate yourself for an economic end of the world as we know it – then life for you and your family is going to be horrific.

This is the depression.

Random Acts of Revolution |

Random Acts of Revolution |.

oprevolution

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery.  This means that if you are a slave today, it’s either illegal, or you have voluntarily accepted your servitude.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

You have a Constitutionally protected right to be free. If you aren’t free, then revolution is your duty.

Many people believe that revolution requires that they lead a march, stand in front of a crowd with a bullhorn, or form a militia. They feel like it’s a job for the Alex Joneses, the Adam Kokeshes,  the James Wesley Rawleses, and the Bradley Mannings of the world.

They’re wrong.  You don’t have to be a person with thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook .  You don’t have to be a person with a military leadership position on  your resume. You need not get yourself arrested on the steps of the White House, got to prison forever for telling the truth about your unit in the army, or stare down a bunch of scary-looking thugs in jack boots.

But you do have to do something.

You can’t just sit there and complain unless you are really just another armchair Rambo.

The way you lead your life every single day can be an act of revolution.  By refusing to concede your natural rights, quietly and resolutely, you are performing an act of revolution. Walking the walk doesn’t always require civil disobedience or militia membership (although those actions definitely have their places).  It requires your consistent determination not to be infringed upon.

It doesn’t matter if you are a soccer mom from the suburbs, a college student in a dormitory, a church-going dad and husband, or a person who has found themselves homeless through the ongoing economic crisis – by living resolutely, you are performing an act of revolution.

Don’t get me wrong – we need the Alexes, the Adams, the militias, the Bradleys, and the JWRs.  We need the people who stand in protest.  We need those who expose wrongdoing.  We need the organizers, the shouters, the big personalities, the quiet strong types, and the leaders. But these are not the only ways to revolt.  If every single person was off organizing their own rally, there’d be no one left to march in it.

What it is imperative upon us to do is to find our compass and follow it.  We must make ourselves immune to control by not needing what “they” hand out.  We have to be armored against the way everyone else lives and choose our own paths.  We must stubbornly refuse to participate in the hoop-jumping that is everyday life in North America.  By all of us who believe in liberty doing this, we form an army of stubborn non-participants in the status quo.

Here’s an example. It’s a small thing, a battle that today only affected my daughter and me.  My daughter is not vaccinated.  She attends a public school where the kids must be vaccinated, or hoops must be jumped through. I filled out the initial forms stating that I had an objection of conscience to vaccines.  I was contacted by a representative of the school system who suggested that I sign instead the form that stated a religious objection, because that was “easier”.  I refused, because my objection is NOT one of religion, and I felt like that was a cop-out. I knew that I was within my rights to have an objection of conscience, and I felt that it was important to make a point that might make it easier for the next parent.  I was then told that I’d have to pay $25 and get a statement notarized to allow her exemption on my basis.  I said I’d be happy to get a statement notarized, but not at my expense. I pointed out that nowhere does our local law state that I should have to pay any money for my child to NOT do something.  Lo and behold, after 5 months of politely going back and forth,  being escalated through numerous different superiors of superiors in the school board and public health system, my daughter is still unvaccinated, I have not spent $25, and she was not suspended from school.  The point I’m making is not about vaccines, but about not stepping back from your rights, for your convenience or for the convenience of others. This requires that you read the relevant laws and understand them.  It requires a certain degree of persistence and a willingness to be a pain in the butt.

There are valid reasons for revolution.

One of the benchmarks of tyranny is the dizzying arrays of laws on the books, with more and more added every single day.  It is humanly impossible not to break multiple laws every single day.  Regulations are revenue builders and/or control mechanisms. If the “authorities” can ALWAYS find a law that you’ve broken, then they can ALWAYS give a “reason” for punishing you.  Punishment might include incarceration, hefty fines, or the removal of some privilege (like taking away your driver’s license or not allowing your child to go to school).

If the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

~ James Madison, Federalist Papers 62

The police state is growing at a dizzying rate, and often the news makes it look like we live in Nazi Germany. It is now or never.  Like cockroaches, “they” – the thugs in jackboots and their masters – multiply in the dark, and will soon overtake us if we don’t put a stop to it right now.  They want to take our guns because that would make our resistance more difficult.  They keep buying up ammo and now have more than enough to kill every man, woman, and child in America multiple times. The NDAA means that any person can be indefinitely detained. There has been a sustained attack on the Bill of Rights and one by one our rights are being submerged beneath the desires of those who would demand our submission.

How can you be an everyday revolutionary?

The most revolutionary act is to be self-sufficient and in need of nothing that the government can provide for you in exchange for some small liberty.  When there is nothing that you require enough to submit, then bullying you becomes much more difficult.

This list of suggestions is by no means comprehensive.  Please, add your own random acts of resistance in the comments below.

  • Question absolutely everything you hear on the news.  Always be a skeptic. All major media goes back to just a few conglomerates.  The “news” is now all a propaganda ploy to help the rich get richer and the powerful remain in power.  The media can make or break a candidate with unholy zeal in less than a week.  These people and others like them are the ones that decide what “we the people” get to see.  If they feel like a candidate or a news item might upset the status quo, they black it out by refusing to cover it.
  • Call out the media.  Let everyone know that the mainstream media is the enemy of the people.  When you see coverage that is clearly biased, take a moment to call out the media about it.  Take the time to comment on mainstream media websites and point out the unbalanced coverage.  If you use social media, share this information and post on the media outlet’s social media pages as well.
  • Get out of the banking system. By opting to “unbank” or “underbank” there is a limit to what can be easily stolen from you.  When you have physical control of your financial assets, you are not at as high a risk of losing those assets, and therefore, less likely to be dependent on “the system.”
  • Turn your savings into precious metals or tangible assets.  On the same note as unbanking, you definitely don’t want to rely on a 401K or savings account to provide for you in your old age. Ask the people of Cyprus how well that worked out for them.  Diversify with assets you can touch.  Purchase tangible goods like land, food, ammo, and seeds. Once you are well supplied, move on to precious metals to preserve your wealth.
  • Educate others.  At the (very high) risk of people thinking you’re crazy, it’s important to let people know WHY you do what you do. If you are an anti-Monsanto activist, teach others about the dangers of GMOs.  If you object to a municipal policy, speak at a town meeting or send a letter to the editor of your local paper.  By ranting incoherently or by keeping your mouth shut, you influence no one. By providing provable facts, you can open minds and awaken others to tyranny.
  • Get others involved in the fight.  For example, if you are fighting with the city council that wants to rip out the vegetables growing in your front yard, let  your friends and neighbors know, post a notice at the grocery store, and write a letter to the editor.  When injustice occurs, use the power of social media to spread awareness. Often a public outcry is what is necessary to get the “authorities” to back down.  Look at the case of Brandon Raub, the veteran who was kidnapped and taken to a mental hospital for things he posted on Facebook. Raub was not charged, but he was detained in the psych ward involuntarily. His friends and family immediately mobilized and spread the videos of his arrest all over the internet.  It snowballed and alternative media picked it up – soon Raub was released, and all because of a grass roots and social media campaign to bring the injustice to light.
  • Grow your own food.  Every single seed that you plant is a revolutionary act.  Every bit of food that you don’t have to purchase from the grocery store is a battle cry for your personal independence.  When you educate yourself (and others) about  Big Food, Big Agri, and the food safety sell-outs at the FDA, you will clearly see that we are alone in our fight for healthy, nutritious foods.  Refuse to tolerate these attacks on our health and our lifestyles. Refuse to be held subject to Agenda 21′s version of “sustainability”.
  • Take control of your health.  It is imperative that you not blindly trust in the medical establishment.  Many members of this establishment are merely prostitutes for their pimp, Big Pharma.  Millions ofchildren are given powerful psychotropic drugs to help them fit into the neat little classroom boxes, and the numbers are growing every day.  Americans spent 34.2 BILLION dollars on psychiatric drugs in 2010. (Source) Big Pharma is an enormously profitable industry that only pays off if they can convince you that you’re sick.  Learn about the toxic injections and medications, weight the risks and benefits, and always look for second and third opinions before making a medical decision.  Maintain your health by avoiding toxins, exercising, and ditching your bad habits to reduce the number of doctor’s visits that are necessary.
  • Refuse to comply.  If you know your natural rights, which are guaranteed under the Constitution and its Amendments, then it makes it much harder for “authorities” to bully you.  You don’t have to let them search your home without a warrant, you don’t have to answer questions, and you don’t have to comply with laws that are in conflict with the Constitution.
  • Learn.  Every day, spend time learning. This shouldn’t stop once our formal education ends. Fill your mind with history, with current events, with constitutional law, and information about the natural world.  Learn about health, study economics, research things that interest you, and unravel the complicated conspiracies that are afoot.  To pursue unbiased knowledge is to free your mind from the prison of propaganda and indoctrination.
  • Don’t consume chemicals that cause you to be dumbed down.  Avoid chemical-laden food with brain-killing neurotoxins like MSG and aspartame.  Don’t drink fluoridated water.
  • Embrace your right to bear arms.  Be responsible for your own safety and security.
  • Don’t be in debt.  No one can be free if they are in debt. If you are in debt, you are forced to work in whatever conditions are present, for whatever amount is offered, complying with whatever criteria is necessary to keep your job.  in order to either pay your debt or face penalties. As well, the high interest rates that you pay only serve to make the bankers more wealthy.  Instead of borrowing, save until you can afford something or realize that if you could actually afford it, you wouldn’t need to borrow money to have it.
  • Be prepared for disaster.  Have enough food, water, and supplies to take care of your family in the event of a natural disaster. Don’t expect FEMA to take care of you.
  • Be involved in your children’s education.  For some, this means homeschooling or unschooling, and for others this means being on top of what they are learning in a formal school setting. Join the PTA and actively volunteer if your child goes to school.  Be an advocate for your child and insist that the teachers teach. If your child goes to school, supplement this at home with discourse about current events and outings that help them learn about the world around them.
  • Be the squeaky wheel. If you see something wrong, don’t just ignore it. Say something about it, and keep saying something until it changes.  Whether this is some process that infringes on your privacy, a job requirement that impedes your health, or another injustice, pursue it relentlessly. Ask questions publically, write letters, and use social media to bring pressure to encourage a change.
  • Reduce your consumer spending.  Spending less helps to starve the beast by reducing the sales taxes you pay and withdrawing your financial support to big conglomerates. If we vote with our dollars, eventually there will, of a necessity, be a paradigm shift that returns us to simpler days, when families that were willing to work hard could make a living without selling their souls to the corporate monoliths. A low-consumption lifestyle reduces your financial dependency, which allows for more freedom.
  • Ditch popular culture.  If reality TV isn’t a tool for dumbing people down, I don’t know what it is.  My daughter recently begged to watch an episode of a popular reality TV show that “everyone” was watching.  She managed about 15 minutes of it and then said, “This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.”  She decided to read a book instead.  Popular entertainment is a media tool used to change our perspectives about our personal values, and to tell us how to think and feel about issues.
  • Buy locally.  Support local small businesses to help others who are fighting for independence from the system.  You might pay a little bit more than you would at your big box store, but the only people benefiting from your purchases made at the corporate stores are those with the 7 figure annual bonuses.
  • Develop multiple streams of income.  Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  Figure out several ways to bring in income.  Not only does this free you from being a wage slave, but it allows you to hire friends or family members.  You are less entangled in the system and not subject to corporate whims.  If one business fails, or becomes subject to regulations that make it no longer worthwhile, you are not forced to comply just to keep a roof over your head.
  • Say thanks, but no thanks.  There is no such thing as a benevolent hand out.  Nearly anything offered for free (particularly by a government entity) has strings attached.  Maybe there is a handy-dandy registration form that you need to fill out. You might be influenced to vote a certain way just to keep the freebies coming. You might have to pee in a cup every two weeks. Perhaps one day you’ll need to have a microchip embedded in your hand.  Either way, by accepting handouts from those in “authority”, you become beholden to them or you need them, and someone who is free is neither beholden nor needy.
  • Don’t take the easy road.  The PTB like to seduce people with simplicity.  ”If you just sign this paper, it will be much easier,” they say.  ”This chip is for your convenience,” they tell you.  ”By giving up this, it lets us take care of you and you will be much safer.”  The easy road only gets you to Slave Street a whole lot faster.  Take the difficult road and be responsible for yourself.  Don’t take shortcuts that compromise your beliefs. Go to court to fight a ticket, read the laws and defend yourself, and know that anything you give up, you will never get back.

According to the Declaration of Independence,  ”Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

That means that you don’t have to accept the unjust laws. That means you don’t have to quietly take it, muttering under your breath that it isn’t right, but not daring to raise your voice.  That means that “they” are only in control of you if you allow it.

There are nearly 316 million people in the United States. (source)

Only 3% of the population fought in the Revolutionary War, and 10% actively supported them.

If 9,480,000 people quietly and peacefully revolted by withdrawing their consent to be governed by tyrants we could not be silenced.

If 31,600,000 people supported those revolting, we could not be stopped.

The government might  be watching us, but we can watch them right back.  Make the way you live your life a revolutionary act.

What random act of revolution did you commit today?  Please share it in the comments section below.

This essay was originally published on June 1, 2013. The principles outlined here are worth a reminder. Live your life every day as a quiet act of revolution against those who seek to enslave you.

About the author:

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

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Ponzi World (Over 3 Billion NOT Served): The End of the Status Quo: aka. Mass Consumption

Ponzi World (Over 3 Billion NOT Served): The End of the Status Quo: aka. Mass Consumption.

The End of the Status Quo: aka. Mass Consumption

What Comes Next Will Obliterate Globalization

The days of borrowing from Third World wage slaves to enrich billionaires are coming to an end…
The stock market casino is merely a circus side show. The real action, similar to 2008 is in the credit markets. That’s where billionaires stash their trillions flowing from the ongoing East/West industrial arbitrage aka. globalization.
Since 2008 global debt has grown by $33 trillion, meaning it was uninterrupted. There was barely a hiccup in the status quo debt accumulation after the malfeasance of the global credit crisis.
Current global debt/GDP stands at 350%
The status quo is merely supported by ongoing debt accumulation and hence the confidence of investors. Total debt now stands at ~$200 trillion globally, most of which is wholly unsecured debt backed by nothing.

Japan: Locus of the Next Crisis?
The epicenter of the coming meltdown could well be Japan where on a GDP-adjusted basis, debt monetization is occurring on a pace far greater than the U.S. or Europe. All of that hot money goes somewhere, and the most likely destinations are the surrounding Asian nations having bond yields above those of Japan. A weak yen – the byproduct of Abenomics is driving the carry trades and also fuelling global risk appetite.
Dollar/Yen (red) (inverted) with S&P 500
 
 
Dollar Yen (red) with the Japanese Nikkei (stock market) (black)
One and the same
 
 
Municipal Bonds Locus of Risk in U.S. Credit
Here in the U.S., municipal bonds are likely to be the epicenter of the coming credit crisis:
Liquidity, Solvency, and the Unavoidable Minsky Moment
The past five year rally in global credit was driven by liquidity flows and carry trades. Zero percent interest rates subsidized highly leveraged lending to the riskiest of sovereign borrowers. As long as the liquidity flows continued, the underlying solvency was never put into question. When liquidity flows inevitably reverse due to risk aversion, pricing of debt/credit/bonds will be based solely upon ongoing solvency of the underlying borrower. At that point in time, the Minksy Moment will arrive seemingly out of nowhere.

History’s Largest Circle Jerk
Third World wage slaves produce the goods. Over-leveraged Western consumers borrow from the wage slaves (via recurring trade deficits) to buy the goods, billionaires capture the arbitrage profits between rich and poor which they then lend to sovereign governments to service non-amortizing debts. Central Banks provide 0% liquidity to paper over the latent insolvency. All while policy-makers and the dunces at large pretend that this can go on indefinitely.

Borrowed Time and Money
The bottom line is that the status quo is running on the fumes of borrowed time and money. The collapse will be sudden and extremely violent and will bring about an end to the fakest era in human history.
 

 

Guest Post: The Gathering Storm | Zero Hedge

Guest Post: The Gathering Storm | Zero Hedge. (source)

Doing more of what failed spectacularly will not save the day a second time, as the scale required to create yet more phantom collateral and more asset bubbles will collapse the system.

The financial storm clouds are gathering, ominously darkening the horizon. Though the financial media and the organs of state propaganda continue forecasting blue skies of recovery and rising corporate profits, the factual evidence belies this rosy forecast: internal measures of financial and economic activity are weakening across the globe as the state-central bank solutions to all ills–massive increases in credit creation, leverage and deficit spending–have failed to address any of the structural causes of the 2008 Global Financial Meltdown.

This failure to address the causes of 2008 Global Financial Meltdown is disastrous in and of itself–but the status quo has magnified the coming disaster by scaling up the very causes of the 2008 Global Financial Meltdown: excessive credit expansion, misallocation of capital on a grand scale, an opaque shadow banking system constructed of excessive leverage and a dependence on phantom collateral, i.e. risks and assets that are systemically mispriced to skim stupendous profits for financiers, bankers and their political enablers.

This is what I have called doing more of what has failed spectacularly.

Extremes inevitably lead to collapse, but even the most distorted system has some feedback mechanisms that attempt to counter the momentum toward disaster. Just as the body will try to mitigate the negative consequences of a diet of greasy fast food, our grossly distorted financial and political systems still retain some modest feedback loops that attempt to mitigate rising risks.

These interactive forces make it impossible to predict the moment of collapse, even as systemic failure remains inevitable. Precisely when the heart of an obese, unfit person who eats nothing but fast food will give out cannot be predicted, but what can be predicted is the odds of systemic failure rise with every passing day.

Doing more of what has failed spectacularly–inflating new asset bubbles in housing, stocks and bonds via quantitative easing, obfuscating financial skimming operations with thousands of pages of new regulations, and so on–is the equivalent of pushing an obese, unfit person to run uphill. Rather than repair the system, doing more of what has failed further stresses the system.

But even if the financial system were cleansed of bad debt and phantom collateral, the status quo would remain only partially repaired. For it’s not just the financial system that has reached the point of negative return: the entire economic foundation of the developed world–credit-dependent consumerism–is as bankrupt and broken as the financial system that fuels it.

The state’s response to this economic endgame is depersonalized welfare, both corporate and individual. When favored sectors can’t succeed in the open market, the state enforces cartel-capitalism that enriches the corporations at the expense of the citizenry. When the cartel-state economy no longer creates paying work for the citizenry, the state issues social welfare benefits, in effect paying people to stay home and amuse themselves.

This destroys both free enterprise on the corporate level and the source of individual and social meaning, i.e. the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to one’s community, family and trade/skill.

The status quo is thus not just financially bankrupt–it is morally bankrupt as well.

The status quo is as intellectually bankrupt as it is financially bankrupt. Our leadership cannot conceive of any course of action other than central bank credit creation and expanding state control of the economy and social benefits, paid for with money borrowed from future generations.

Let’s take a wild guess that the obese, unfit person won’t make it up the second hill, never mind the third or fourth one. The status quo responded to the financial heart attack of 2008 by doing more of what had failed spectacularly. That injection of trillions of dollars, euros, yen, renminbi, quatloos, etc. revived the global financial system in the same way a shot of nitroglycerin resolves a life-threatening crisis: it doesn’t fix the causes of the crisis, it simply gives the system some additional time.

The next global financial storm is already gathering on the horizon. Doing more of what failed spectacularly will not save the day a second time, as the scale required to create yet more phantom collateral and more asset bubbles will collapse the system.

Intellectual, moral and financial bankruptcy all go hand in hand. There isn’t just one storm gathering on the horizon–there are three, each adding force and fury to the other two.

 

 

oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: That Which Is Incapable of Reforming Itself Disappears

oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: That Which Is Incapable of Reforming Itself Disappears.

 

charles hugh smith-Why the Status Quo Is Doomed

charles hugh smith-Why the Status Quo Is Doomed.

 

oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: An Abundance of Bad Decisions

oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: An Abundance of Bad Decisions.

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