Is There a Limit to the Government Abuse Americans Will Accept?

GovernmentAbuseAmericans

Any student of history learns that people will put up with horrific government abuse before they do anything about it. And so I’ve been watching for years, waiting to see how much abuse the Western world, and Americans in particular, will accept from government before they admit that they’re being abused.

In dark moments, I’ve even wondered whether this time was different, whether the natural human reaction against pain had somehow been eliminated. People in the past have rebelled against far less.

But I’ve also come to understand we have, in our times, a unique driver of compliance. By that, I refer to the most sacred of our public idols, “democracy.”

Notwithstanding that no modern government is actually a democracy, ‘“democracy’” has proven to be the greatest cloak for government sins in all of human history. After all, if the government is everybody, there’s really no one to blame. That’s plainly a scam, of course, but lots of people have bought into it… and after they’ve mouthed their worship to “democracy” a few times, they can be counted on to defend it.

Still, there must be some limit to the abuse Americans are willing to take. The problem is that it hasn’t shown up yet. And if you think of how desperately Americans are abused by their government, it’s a bit stunning. Here’s a short list of abuses:

  • A currency regime that allows private banks to skim from every dollar as it’s created.

  • The indenture of newborn children to unpayable debts, thanks to “democracy” and politicians.

  • Permanent, massive, and “legal” systems of open political bribery.

  • Forced subservience to laws that have been purchased (and often written) by private businesses.

  • More laws than any person, including lawyers, can remember or even understand.

  • Endless wars and several permanent, standing armies.

  • Continuous and universal surveillance of nearly all correspondence, including telephone conversations, Internet use, and the electronic transmission of documents.

  • Warrantless invasions and searches of autos, businesses, and even private homes.

  • A militarized (and publicly worshiped) police enforcer class… who are trained to lie and intimidate people.

  • Tens of thousands of intensely violent SWAT raids every year.

  • Outright (and massive) stealing by police departments, under the guise of “guilty property,” rather than guilty people.

  • Millions of people jailed for nonviolent, victimless crimes.

  • A combined tax rate of more than 50%.

  • Child Service bureaus that are empowered to steal children from parents and then absolved of blame for the thousands of children who are abused in their custody.

I could go on, but I think the point is made: Americans are getting the crap kicked out of them on a continual basis. And not only that, but the people abusing them expect to be thanked for it.

I watch in wonder.

Are There Signs of Change?

There have always been people who condemned these abuses, of course, but most of them have been sucked into the “democracy” game and rendered harmless to the system. As a result, the system is worse now than it was 50 years ago.

Still, there are some who remain outside the system and condemn the abuse directly. And I must admit their number seems to be growing. So, that’s one hopeful sign. But such people still constitute a small percentage. Joe and Jane Average – if provided with any kind of excuse, no matter how transparent – will still fight to avoid seeing it.

You might think the young generation, stripped of opportunity and coerced into permanent debt by a supremely arrogant educational system, would rebel against it. But so far, they seem to be taking their abuse just as passively as their parents.

Some people are opining that the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump phenomena are evidence Americans have had enough. And while there may be some truth in that, Bernie blames the Red team and Donald blames the Blue team. And so long as everything is blamed on the “other team,” the system as a whole, with all its abuse, chugs right along, never missing a beat.

In addition, “I’ll make other people pay for your stuff,” and, “I’ll kick the crap out of foreigners,” are strong components of the “Bernie and Donald” appeal, and those kinds of impulses can lead to some very dark places.

So…

I’d like to think Americans will wake up at some point and stop living as pin cushions. The average working American is simply better than his or her rulers. On top of that, they know their rulers are liars and thieves. I frequently discuss this with people I meet, and I’ve found disgust for politicians to be nearly universal… and throughout the entire Western world, not just in the US.

And yet, these same people consent to being abused by their inferiors. They are robbed, searched, spied upon, and held in subservience. They praise SWAT-team thugs and the officials who cage marijuana users. They advocate theft, if it funds their pet projects. They cheer wars as if they were athletic events, rather than death, dismemberment, and mass impoverishment.

Once upon a time, Thomas Jefferson wrote this:

[M]ankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

I know he was right, but I would have guessed the descendants of 1776 would have been “abolishing forms” before now.

Alas, Western Man sits, his fingers in his ears and his eyes on a flashing screen, avoiding the obvious.

Ah well.

* * * * *

If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.

It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world into two parts. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.

You may never look at life the same way again.

Get it now at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

* * * * *

TheBreakingDawn

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

The New Era of Surveillance is Here

surveillanceSome have said it’s better to make decisions under the influence of alcohol than under the influence of fear.

But in late 2001, Americans made an entire set of decisions under the influence of fear… and created a monster.

We all remember what happened: A frightened public allowed politicians, secret agencies, and militaries to spend any amount of money and build any kind of system they wanted, to “protect us from the terrorists.”

To cash in on the new zeitgeist, new TV shows practically worshiped military and police forces; thousands of churches gave themselves over to the glorification of soldiers; and corporations scrambled for government money to build these new systems.

10 years on, it’s not just the “paranoid crackpots” anymore who can see that Orwell’s Big Brother of 1984 is terrifyingly real and more sinister than even he could have imagined.

The reality is this: Americans now live under the largest and most invasive surveillance state in the history of the world. This has been confirmed and admitted, even by the talking heads of the mainstream press.

I know there have been too many stories, passing too quickly, for most people to see this in all its gory detail, so I want to clarify and simplify a bit.

First, I’ll give you a list of recent stories (all since mid-May), with links, so you can check any of them you want to. Then, I’ll give you a brief, simple summary of where Americans stand now.

To Sum Up

The list above contains only recent and major stories. There are many others, but I want to keep this brief.

So here’s where we stand now:

  1. There are no more legal protections that matter. The 4th amendment is (was) “the law of the land,” and it is very clear. But that doesn’t matter: A pile of court rulings have been given precedence, and the Constitution no longer applies.
  2. The US military can – if and when it wants to – arrest and imprison anyone (foreigner or citizen) for as long as they want, without a trial.
  3. Acts of torture (“advanced interrogation techniques”) are legal, and secret courts are in regular operation.
  4. The US government (through many agencies, most notably the NSA and FBI) is collecting nearly every email, text, chat, phone call, and web site surfed. This information is already being used in government prosecutions.
  5. Government officials lie to citizens with impunity. Citizens who lie to officials go to jail. (Ask Martha Stewart, and a thousand less-famous people.)
  6. You are physically tracked 24/7 by your cell phone and car license plates.
  7. Large corporations are helping the US government run the most complete surveillance state in the history of the world.

Is this is something you would agree to, if given an option?

Is this what you want your children or grandchildren to grow up in?

Do you think Thomas Jefferson would agree to this? Would Abraham or Moses support this? Would Jesus?

What Now?

The first thing we have to do is to gain moral clarity: to be clear on the fact that this is morally wrong. Not legally wrong, but morally wrong.

Because if it is morally wrong, then it remains wrong, no matter how many high-and-mighty authorities proclaim it to be right.

In other words, you need to believe that morality is more important than legality, which is really the core of the Judeo-Christian ethic that underpins our society. (You can deny it if you want, but that doesn’t make it false.)

Once we are morally clear on this subject, the rest follows naturally. But you have to get clear on this, inside of yourself. Writers like me can provide you with facts, but no one can do your internal work for you.

So, do you think this is morally wrong? And if so, why?

Be clear about the answer to this question. It’s the starting point to the struggle for personal freedom.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

The Systemic Abuse of the Productive Class: It Ends When We Say it Ends

productive classThe productive people of this world are being abused. We all know it and we all complain about it. And most of the things we complain about (taxes, stupid laws, politicians and bureaucrats doing ridiculous things) are backed by large, powerful systems. That is why I chose “systemic abuse” for this article’s title.

The idea of a system being abusive by nature often bothers people in a deep and obscure way, but that characterization is true. If we try to blame “one bad actor,” we are lying and we know it.

I’m not going to waste time on the abuses of the current world systems. You must be aware of them, and you can get lists of complaints from many other sources.

Instead, I want to explain how we producers are really the controlling group in the world, even though most of us don’t know it. We as a group can end our abuse whenever we change our minds about it, and we as individuals can do a lot to bring that about.

But in order to face a life without abuse, each producer will have to do some serious soul searching and adjustment. That sounds strange, I know, but it is true. It will become clearer as we proceed.

Knowing Ourselves

Let me begin with this: You don’t have to be a superstar to count yourself among the producers. In fact, you don’t even need to have a job. What matters is that, given a choice, you would rather create than live off of the production of others.

If you feel good coming home from an honest day of work; if you like pointing at something and saying “I made that;” if you care about your work as a carpenter, trucker, housewife, nurse, welder, shopkeeper, clerk, farmer, rancher, engineer, or any of a hundred other professions, you are a producer.

This desire for production is in us from childhood and perhaps from birth. It is natural to beings who have the ability to perceive, to will, and to compare before/after results. Even infants get satisfaction from willing and succeeding. Buckminster Fuller said it well: Every child has an enormous drive to demonstrate competence.

With these being the essential characteristics of producers, it would seem natural for them to generally feel good about themselves and to be generally confident. You would expect them to be proud of being the source of all the products and wealth in the world.

This, however, is not what we see. Rather, we see producers who are morally timid, who shrink when someone accuses them of being offensive, who fear being envied. Most modern producers don’t feel they have full rights over their own lives. They believe it in measure, of course, but they also believe that other people (namely the operators of institutions) have a legitimate right to tell them how to drive, educate their children, spend their money, ingest substances, report their business dealings, and on and on and on.

As we’ve said a lot recently, this comes back to a perverse root assumption:

It is right for other people to order me around.

It is easy to see that so long as producers keep believing this, those who order them around will abuse them without end.

On the other hand, if the producers ever stop believing that their role in life is to be ordered around, the world changes in an instant – radically and dramatically for the better. The values of production, if ever dominant in the world or any section of it, generate not only prosperity, but morality.

The System and the Productive Class

As long as the productive class think it’s right for systems to order them around and siphon off their production, the producers will be abused forever. It is as simple as that. So, let me say something clearly and even with indignation, which I think is warranted:

We build the system’s roads, we build their monuments, we supply their banquets, we build and drive their limousines, we build their governor’s mansions, and we cut their grass and install their air conditioning and repair their roofs. We pay their policemen and their firemen and their tax men. We pay for their cars and their gas and their guns and their bullets and their uniforms.

Without us, they have nothing but words. If we ever decide not to play their game, they are done. It doesn’t matter how many enforcers they have on their payrolls – the moment we stop complying, those enforcers will see the end of their paychecks and will return home at night to face strong questions from us, their neighbors.

We producers are manifestly unhappy about what the systems of the world are doing to us, but most of us don’t think we have any right to dictate to them. The truth, however, is this:

Without us, they are destitute, and we don’t need them.

How This Happened to Us

What has happened is that we’ve been demoralized. We understand quite well that our wealth has been damaged; we understand much less well that our souls have been damaged.

In all of our lifetimes, the inherent dignity of work has been absent. Since the industrial revolution, when people took boring jobs simply for better pay, work has become something that most people try to escape. This has been a mistake.

Work is the insertion of creativity into the world. Creating things, improving things, or making it possible for other people to create is rewarding and important. Work is good, noble, and deserving of respect.

In our times, however, work has been replaced as something to respect by status, a gorilla-level instinct. It was a devolution.

We all learn about status at an early age, hearing stories about the rich, handsome prince and the most beautiful woman in the kingdom. We are told that only the exceptional few count.

All through our lives we are shown images of the unique and the few. For example, fashion models are not chosen merely for beauty, but for exclusivity. There are plenty of short, beautiful women, but they never show up in the ads, for the simple reason that they are many. Only the 1/50th of 1% who are exceptionally tall and good-looking are shown. The rest of us are then provided with products to make us feel we are approaching their exclusive level.

We have been living through a period dominated by hierarchy – where people who order other people around are important, and all others are an undifferentiated mass.

All of this is fraudulent and manipulative. Worse, it has left most of us with an inferiority complex. We are the unnamed peasants, the mundanes, the “workers.”

There are many types of beauty in the world, many types of greatness, many reasons for respect. We can all partake, not just the rarest among us.

The importance of work should be judged by its creativity and by the benefit it brings, not by how much it controls. People should esteem others because of their virtues, not because of their positions. People should do good deeds based on their personal sense of benevolence, and this should not be limited to things that are chosen by ‘leaders’ in high positions.

What the productive class needs most is to have their confidence restored. They need to see status and exclusivity as the barbaric and manipulative ideas that they are.

We can be much more than we have been, and we would enjoy it a great deal. The problem is that we haven’t considered ourselves worthy. After all, we’re not the people in high places who get to order everyone else around.

We need to get over this.

[Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from our flagship newsletter Freeman’s Perspective – Issue #14: “The Systemic Abuse of the Productive Class: It Ends when We Say it Ends.” If you liked it, consider taking a risk-free test drive. Not only will you gain immediate access to the rest of the issue (which includes 3 ways in which you can just “opt out”), but you’ll also be able to enjoy the entire archive – more than 520 pages of research on topics of importance and inspiration to those looking for freedom in an unfree world. Plus valuable bonus reports and all new issues as well. Click here to learn more.]

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

Government Against the People: It Gets Worse In the Late Stages

government against the peopleAll governments – communist, capitalist, fascist, monarchy, theocracy, whatever – survive on the skim. They take money from productive people, by force or threat of force. However prettied-up or justified this fact may be, it remains the central fact of rulership.

It’s a simple but disturbing truth: A late-stage state’s modus operandi must always be “government against the people” – an MO that is inherently predatory. And it’s not because the participants are all sociopaths (though many are).

At most times, governments try very hard to skim quietly, as with payroll taxes, where the producer’s money is taken away before he or she ever holds it in their hands. That’s also why tariffs were a traditional tax – the average person never saw it, and didn’t feel violated.

But when governments are massively over-extended, they lose the luxury of the quiet skim and become more aggressive. This is simply what happens in long-established, monopolistic institutions, like governments. They spend wildly to make themselves look good, then find they need more money. Not willing to cut their spending, they have two choices:

  1. Debasement of the currency, which they always do first. But this trick never works for very long, since people do engage their minds when conducting commerce and adjust their prices to counteract the debasement.
  2. Squeeze the producers dry, any way they can.

The Problem of Legitimacy

You may wonder why the governments don’t just cut their spending. That would seem an obvious choice. But they can’t cut spending without tarnishing their image as the mighty protector and the great fount of human compassion. People pay taxes willingly because of this high and mighty image; lose the image and you lose tax compliance.

Think about it: the governments of the West portray themselves as the saviors of the weak, the healers of the sick, and the fixers of every problem. But if they stop paying off the poor, there will be riots, and the producers will get hurt. No longer being protected, they may no longer consent to having their money taken away from them day by day.

Governments function on legitimacy more than force. If they lose their legitimacy, they are done. Therefore they cannot cut spending.

The Philosophy of “Government Against the People” at Work

Our Western civilization is at a late stage, just like Rome in the 5th century, or Greece in the 3rd and 4th centuries BC, or like the Egyptians and Sumerians before them. The same basic suite of problems engulfs them all at these stages, but we will use Rome as example, since that is the closest to us in both time and temperament.

Take a look at the two graphs below.

This one shows the Roman debasement, which involved mixing cheap metals (such as lead) into their silver coins:

government against the people

Now look at this one, showing the debasement of the dollar, which involved the creation of debt-based currency:

government against the people

 These are essentially the same chart, showing the same phenomenon.

What came next for Rome was the abuse of the producers.

Rome taxed in very different ways than modern governments, so I won’t take pages to describe it all, but I will give you a few highlights:

  • The local elites who were charged with collecting taxes couldn’t keep up with Rome’s demands and started running away. Rome couldn’t find anyone willing to accept these very high positions, no matter how much prestige was attached.
  • People adapted to avoid taxes, and Rome passed new laws in response. (This helped create the serfdom of the middle ages.)
  • People ran away to the Germanic and Frankish areas that surrounded Rome. To illustrate that fact, here’s a quote from a man named Salvian the Presbyter, from about 440 AD:

Thus, far and wide, they migrate either to the Goths or to the Bagaudae, or to other barbarians everywhere in power; yet they do not repent of having migrated. They prefer to live as freemen under an outward form of captivity, than as captives under the appearance of liberty. Therefore, the name of Roman citizens, at one time not only greatly valued, but dearly bought, is now repudiated and fled from, and it is almost considered not only base, but even deserving of abhorrence.

I could go on at length, but I think you get the picture. There were taxes on income, taxes on sales, arbitrary taxes, farm taxes, plain confiscations, and so on. If you had a friend close to the emperor, you had a chance to be ignored, but if not, you were mercilessly bled dry. (And even a friend with the emperor’s ear might not help.)

Your Choices Now

I think it’s quite clear that we’re in the same civilizational stage as late Rome. What happens to us won’t be identical, but it will be similar. The one great advantage we have now is information. If we pay attention, we are able to see what is happening before it hits. We can also adapt to avoid most of the consequences. We may not like it that we have to adapt repetitively, but history doesn’t give us many options – late stage mega-institutions will behave like late-stage mega-institutions.

And in the short term, the “Government against the People” philosophy is not going to disappear. In fact, it’s likely to get much worse. Our choice is to get out of the way, or not.

Paul Rosenberg
FreemansPerspective.com

[Originally published at Nestmann.com]