Legionnaire has written:
Governments are, for all intents and purpose, a sedentary gang that controls a large area. King. President. Warlord. Chieftain. The difference is one of semantics, not particularly of kind.
The difference in power is what renders this conflict asymmetric. Gangs are not usually strong enough to take on the might of the government. …
The past 200 years have seen organized gangs survive by stealth in the face of the Leviathan.
Gangs, which waned in power with the rise of the powerful, centralized nation-state, are ideal units for the coming age of conflict, and will return in prominence as the future plays out.
This will become especially true the more Orwellian western countries become. As more and more people pull away from viewing the state as their benevolent protector, alternative options are going to become increasingly more attractive. People in danger of “vibrant enrichment” will perhaps be the first to band together, but thoughtcriminals and those increasingly unable to make ends meet will also feel the tug of the männerbund as a means to achieve their ends. A dramatic collapse of some sort would certainly expedite this process, but a slow decay over time would also produce much the same results in the end.
Regarding the nature of the modern centralized state, particularly in the USA, Zerohedge wrote:
Within his 1848 Communist Manifesto, Marx outlined a list of ten short-term demands. These, he thought, would be the precursor to the ideal stateless, classless communist society.
Ironically in today’s world, Marx’s demands look pretty much mainstream.
That is because nearly every single item on the list has been implemented to varying degrees in the United States.
Think that couldn’t be possible in the Land of the Free? Just take a look.
1. Topping Marx’s list is the abolition of private property.
True, private property exists, but only until the state wants to take it. With its powers of eminent domain, the government can and does confiscate people’s property when it wants for public use.
Your property isn’t unconditionally yours. Just think of property taxes, for example.
If it’s actually YOUR private property, then why would you need to pay tax on it? And why do they have the authority to take it from you if you don’t pay?
2. Likewise, while we haven’t seen the complete abolition of inheritance (another Marx demand), the government can take up to 40% of your estate when you die.
So ultimately your estate is not your own. You don’t get to control what happens to your wealth and possessions when you die. It’s just a matter of proportion.
3. and 4. Marx also demanded the centralization of transportation and communication. Check, and check.
Try broadcasting over the airwaves in the Land of the Free without a license and special permission.
Practically the entire electromagnetic spectrum is tightly controlled by the state, centralized by a handful of government agencies.
Same with the network of roads and highways. Because, after all, without government, who would build the roads…
5. Another point of Marx is state-guided agricultural production and combination of agriculture and manufacturing.
And the Land of the Free does not disappoint. Though its activities may not be as prominent in the news, the US Department of Agriculture is easily one of the busiest government departments.
With a budget of $146 billion a year, and much more for subsidies, USDA tirelessly works to dictate every major and miniscule activity in the sector.
6. Next on the list, is equal liability of all to labor. If you have at any point wondered, as I have, why politicians are always pushing jobs for the sake of jobs, rather than value and wealth creation—now you know why.
Between minimum wage laws and the constant stream of legislation that promises jobs for all, it is clear that politicians have wholly internalized this Marxian ideal.
Now, you might think that this is just a fluke, just a coincidence that some US policies resemble what’s on Marx’s list of demands.
But then you see these demands, which have not only been fully implemented in the US already, but are thoroughly entrenched in the national psyche:
7. First, there’s free education for all children, to enable the uniformity of thought. Check.
8. Then there’s a heavy progressive income tax. Yep, I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with this one, which has actually become so mainstream, that to have any system other than this would be considered revolutionary. Check.
9. Third, is the confiscation of the property of emigrants (expatriates) and rebels.
Between the IRS bullying of political opposition groups and the imposition of exit taxes for those that renounce their citizenship, the United States is firmly set up to discourage dissent and escape. Check.
10. And last but not least, the centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank. Check.
Remember, Karl Marx thought central banking was a great idea—the same guy who thought that individual success and private property were evil.
Note that the trend of 21st century technology is to decentralize, but Marxist governments desire centralization.
Peer-to-peer Bluetooth communications are already important for democracy
From the WSJ:
A new mobile messaging app that enables users to communicate in the absence of cellular or Internet connections is seeing a surge in downloads among Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.
The free FireChat app, which launched in March, was downloaded 100,000 times in Hong Kong between Sunday morning and Monday morning, said Micha Benoliel, co-founder and chief executive of San Francisco-based Open Garden, which developed the app.
Two of the three founders seem to be heavily involved in BitTorrent:
Ron Paul has written:
Devolving government into smaller units promotes economic growth. The smaller the size of government, the less power it has to hobble free enterprise with taxes and regulations.
Centralization is very expensive, as Noland has written (mostly quoting Gross):
From Gross: “A credit-based financial economy (as opposed to pure cash) depends on an ever-expanding outstanding level of credit for its survival. Without additional credit, interest on previously issued liabilities cannot be paid absent the sale of existing assets, which in turn would lead to a vicious cycle of debt deflation, recession and ultimately depression. It is this expansion of private and public market credit which the Fed and the BOE have successfully engineered over the past five years, while their contemporaries (the ECB and BOJ) have until now failed, at least in terms of stimulating economic growth. The unmodeled (for lack of historical example) experiment that all major central banks are now engaged in is to ask and then answer: What growth rate of credit is enough to pay prior bills, and what policy rate/amount of Quantitative Easing (QE) is necessary to generate that growth rate? Assuming that the interest rate on outstanding debt in the U.S. is approximately 4.5% (admittedly a slight stab in the dark because of shadow debt obligations), a Fed governor using this template would want credit to expand by at least 4.5% per year in order to prevent the necessary sale of existing assets (debt and equity) to cover annual interest costs… if credit needs to expand at 4.5% per year, then the private and public sectors in combination must create approximately $2.5 trillion of additional debt per year to pay for outstanding interesting.”
Bill Gross’ number is “approximately $2.5 trillion” to ensure sufficient new system Credit to service existing system debt. I’ve posited the U.S. system needs in the neighborhood of $2.0 TN of annual non-financial debt growth.
In addition to ruining the monetary economy, centralized power degrades and dehumanizes its human “capital”:
You read about the horrible workhouses of the 18th century where people worked off their “debts” until the day they died and wonder how on earth the government could allow the banks to turn their citizens lives into a living hell in which the only thing they had to look forward to was the release of the grave.
The Old Testaments advice for a jubilee every 49 years was the least mercy you would expect in this world from anybody who was a child of God.
I swear if I were in charge I’d have a jubilee every 12 years, around the length of a long term bond. …
The people who run the world ultimately are not as interested in money as they are in causing misery. If they had to forfeit a lot of money just to insure a lot more misery they’d take the loss.
Usurers wreck nations. Jubilees liberate men from usury and recharge their batteries full of hope. Mankind needs hope like a fish needs water. Without a teleology of the future, men despair and waste away. Most people don’t realize it but survivalists are people with a teleology that tries to charge them with hope where other men just get drunk from sheer pain, frustration and hopelessness. The survivalist would have to be considered a kind of man or woman who does not give up as easily as others do.
However, bear in mind that most “survivalists” might bear little resemblance to Texas Arcane. Perhaps many of them will resemble Mark Vaughan:
A – Gangs are a fundamental expression of human tendencies toward tribalism; the world is becoming a place in which gangs flourish.
B – The modern West is centralized in a manner foretold by Karl Marx.
C – Populist movements are already using peer-to-peer technologies to avoid centralized censorship.
D – Centralized economic planning has been pushing the limits of exponential growth for years.
E – The modern “utopia of the usurers” will lead to a backlash of “survivalists” who have a different idea of money and debt.
My conclusion is that the USA’s highly centralized economic system must encounter some kind of crisis in the near future.
Incidentally, I disagree with Legionnaire’s interpretation of 4GW and 5GW, but that is a topic for another post.