After hearing January 3rd’s episode of Tales From the Crypt, it’s an understatement to say I’m inspired by Alex Leishman and his mission to bring free banking to those who need and deserve it most. Responsible banking is long a thing of the past. No proof of reserves? No use in offering financial services. Period. What is the point if most Americans can’t even make interest on their savings? It’s only a matter of time before negative interest rates become a reality in the states just as it already has in many countries. Instead, Keynesianism plagues the minds of not only Americans but the rest of the world. They’re incentivized into irrational spending of funds and resources that shouldn’t be spent, or worse, don’t even exist.
It’s no surprise the price of BTC shot up over the weekend. After the President ordered the killing of Iran’s most popular general, oil prices soared past $70 a barrel. Saudi stock prices dipped in fear of Iranian retaliation via attacking oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. Naturally these tensions lead to gold reaching its highest level in seven years as global investors are looking for safer and reliable options. Is bitcoin one of them? Could bitcoin fulfill Nik Bahtia’s prediction of becoming apart of the triumvirate of liquidity sooner than we think?
Won’t authoritarians learn from their past authoritarians? This is how empires fall. Inflating the money supply for corporate, imperial greed. FDR confiscated gold via executive act 6102. Maybe we should be lucky we haven’t reached hyper bitcoinizaiton? Otherwise, would our government attempt to seize or private keys? Come knocking on the door and threaten you and your family at gun point to hand over your bitcoin because it’s the only sound currency on Earth that can pay to fund a world war?
The mere fact Alex was mocked by friends and family in civil society for questioning why the Federal Banking act isn’t illegal is appalling. God forbid anyone thinks for themselves these days. These are the kinds of questions everyone should be asking. It’s not a conspiracy to consider that this is intentionally programmed into the failed system, dictated by corrupt authoritarians. Ray Dalio was right when he wrote that profound blog post on LinkedIn, “The World Has Gone ad, And The System Is Broken.”
It was questions like this that Ron Paul was criticized for asking during both of is Presidential campaigns. The hard truth is, nobody asks these questions because they’re either ignorant of the problems, or they wanna keep their cushy, or sticky waged jobs as they count their fiat before bed. Can you blame them though? As much as it kills me to ask that question, it’s also a hard truth that not just bitcoiners, but anyone who’s knowledgeable of how this crippling financial system dominates the world is what inconceivably keeps it rotating on its fragile axis. At any moment that axis will snap and have us hurtling straight into that black hole sun of our desolate future that (quite literally) will bleed us into bankruptcy. As Ron Paul states many times over, this is not what the founding fathers wanted. This is not the American Dream.
Yes, it’s the fractional reserve central banking system that enables this country to fund decades-long wars.
Interventionism for imperialistic wet dreams (nightmares rather), as well as economic interventionism, is anti-American. Therefore, being anti-bitcoin is anti-American, and so is war. Land of the free? Home of the brave? How is any of that possible when government has total control of the fruits of your labor? Where your money goes, who you’re allowed to send money to and when. Satoshi Nakamoto’s goal was to cure the economic cancer that is the Central Banking system: a permission-less, P2P cash system. For once, voluntary participants of the network are now able to seize full financial sovereignty by running a full node. These new-born sovereign individuals are validating that every transaction is true, not counterfeit, and that you are the sole owner of this bearer asset that is digital gold.
This, bitcoin, is the very first time in the world that we as individuals actually own something. As Marty brings up at 28:40
“what do you really own at the end of they day?”
“How we move our money is how we express our desires.”
If this is taken away from us, then we have no say in what we believe in. We can’t boycott a military industrial complex. We are slaves.
Like bitcoin, River Financial is competing with the Central Bank by offering a robust, secure service built on sound policy of human incentive (if being self-hosted in a volt worth a couple grand isn’t enough for you, tough). Having Executive Act 6102 framed on the wall in the River Financial office should be a tradition and custom in every financial institution in America, to remind them that governments can seize the wealth of individuals in an economy that lacks a truly free money. It’s a reminder of what this country was founded on, and how important property right are to individual liberty. The hope and will for new, earned opportunities. To lavish in the fruits of your hard, well-deserved labor. To invest in yourself so that you can nurture the skills necessary for maximal success, and minimal force. Bitcoin is the juiciest fruit of my labor, and River Financial is ready to garden and ripe for the pickings.
If bitcoin is dead, then everyone abandoned the network
By mere speculation the, WSJ piece claimed “one reason for the slowdown could be the sobering reality that creating new global monetary standards requires more than computer code.”
Yeah, they’re right…
In fact, it takes an entire network of individuals to voluntarily download the required software/client to their computer and connect to the Bitcoin Network.
In order to run a fully-validated node to ensure that each of their transactions is kosher, it takes approximately 8 hours — a couple days to download over 11 years worth of every single transaction on the ledger.
Luckily, the growing industries that are surrounding bitcoin are commoditizing supplies and resources to mine and issue the currency. In fact, the need for efficient mining operations is incentivizing the use of renewable energy. Now, nearly 80% of the energy consumed in bitcoin mining is renewable.
Short story long, code is peanuts to the remaining requirements of a new global, monetary policy. It takes the cooperation of strangers all around the world to plug into the network while investing their own resources with the uncertainty of financial gain in return.
Despite all these tedious requirements, this miraculously never stopped anyone from joining the network that is adamantly growing as more people continue to learn about bitcoin from bull-run hypes, and bearish periods of learning, researching, and developing in the ecosystem.
What matters to these voluntary participants is that they collaboratively nurture and cultivate bitcoin’s main end-goal: provide a solution to the failed monetary policy that is the central banking cartel. Their dedication to till the soil of the decentralized, validated, trust-less currency is what helps keep bitcoin alive.
The issuing of the bitcoin currency itself and the participants that operate around it is what powers the network. But that’s only one piece of the pie.
Is it, now? Well, haven’t you heard? The 11 year fad of magic internet money is long over. Nobody is buying, trading, selling, or even “HODLing.” This volatile ecosystem of market booms and busts, degenerate gamblers, terrorists and drug dealers has finally bit the dust…at least that’s what the media would want you to think.
According to the Bitcoin Obituaries from 99Bitcoins.com, multiple articles have claimed that bitcoin has “died” 378 times since its genesis, and 40 times in 2019 alone! This fear-mongering narrative has been pushed from the mainstream media, prominent figures in the crypto space, as well as my own friends. Why? Satoshi only knows. Honestly there’s nothing honest about it. Bitcoin is alive and well, and is still very much in its infancy. If you look closely, you might think this infant is gorging itself with one-up mushrooms from Mario Brothers because of the miraculous exponential growth the industry has gone through in 2019.
The goal of this article is to call out the bull against the bitcoin bull market, and use real-world examples of bitcoin’s influential and impactful livelihood.
This will be covered in 7 parts by analyzing the hypotheses that if bitcoin is dead, then
the Mainstream Media isn’t talking about it
everyone abandoned the network
the President didn’t tweet about it
Nigerians aren’t living off it
so is its volatility
it has no value proposition
* (I highly recommend using ctrl/cmd F: “if bitcoin is dead, then <fill in the blank>”) *
The points above will aid in explaining how bitcoin will continue to grow in-spite of regulations and negative rhetoric which plagues the mainstream. The robust, and passionate nature of those who make up the Bitcoin Network are the ones that will carry this sovereign movement from the cradle, and beyond the grave. Bitcoin is here to stay. Let’s debunk some FUD.
If bitcoin is dead, then the Mainstream Media isn’t talking about it
The latest claim of Bitcoin’s demise made my “Today’s News and Views” bar on LinkedIn, where a piece from The Wall Street Journal titled, “If Bitcoin Looks Like It Isn’t Trading, It’s Because It Isn’t” started making the rounds.
The piece claimed that data reported from Flipside Crypto revealed “only 14% of the 18 million bitcoins outstanding exchanged hands during the last week of November, down from more than 50% last year.”
There seemed to be an expectation of increased enthusiasm in BTC. This new interest was to stem from “old money”, seasoned investors, as journalist Flex Yang reports in Bitcoin Magazine. However, Yang claims these investors tend to favor traditional financial products like stocks, bonds or commodities. It seems they just couldn’t stomach the market volatility of BTC.
As we saw in 2019’s “Black Swan” incidents, news stories like Facebook’s launch of Libra, and China considering deploying blockchain-based state policy skyrocketed BTC prices past $10,000. Naturally however, the peak was soon followed by a dip which very well could have been the main motivation for the old-timers to start dumping their BTC, and lowering the price further as we saw in mid-December.
The piece also claimed the majority of the cryptocurrency is controlled by a relatively small group: About 8.5% of wallets hold 99% of all the bitcoin in circulation.
True, but not in the misleading way you might think. Bitcoin isn’t trading because it’s being HODL’d by purest, fan-boy (and girl) HODLers. These are the “true believers” (if you will), or as coined by Trace Mayer, “the HODLers of last resort”. These are the individuals that give bitcoin its true value as a store of value, and believe it will one day replace the current fiat financial system with the hard, sound monetary cure that is bitcoin.
In fact, an analysis from Coin Metrics reported the number of Bitcoin addresses that hold any amount of satoshis reached a new all-time high of 28,393,045 between October and November 2019, from 28,384,557 in January 2018.
Bitcoin Magazine’s Vlad Costea revealed that Coin Metrics co-founder, Jacob Franek, doubted the increase was due to a greater number of individuals withdrawing bitcoin from exchanges, but rather the opposite, “since the overall supply held by exchanges and custodians continues to increase.”
A phrase my mouth keeps running into these days is, “intellectually dishonest.” I’m not entirely sure that’s appropriate in this scenario though. It might be giving the WSJ a bit too much credit by assuming they actually understand how bitcoin works. The WSJ piece fails to take any of the above into consideration. The owners of non-custodial bitcoin wallets are most likely, predominantly HODLers. These HODLers truly understand the value and virtue of bitcoin (which we’ll get into later), and are the ones keeping it from dying.
People who were in favor of Trumps boarder wall are now are starting to reconsider the consequences of the policy. Eminent domain a seizes the soil hard-working Texans have tilled, farmed, or simply invested in, as if they actually “didn’t build that” in the first place. It’s almost as if they never even owned to begin with. The authoritative exploitation of the state has delegitimized all private-ownership of not just Texas, but every individual. As I like to emphasize, the best way to get people to care about public policy is to hit where it hurts most: their wallets.
No matter what you think about Trump’s broken campaign promise (which is quite redundant if you ask me) of “building the wall,” fencing off the Southern boarder didn’t start with him. In fact, it’s been going on for decades. However, in a more contemporary time-frame, Bush Jr. put such policy into action in ’06 with The Secure Fence Act, which Barry (Obama, but that’s not as fun to say), continued throughout his administration as well.
A recent article in Texas magazine, appropriately named, The Texan, revealed at the end of September, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that three new contracts had been awarded for the construction of 65 miles of new border wall across Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron counties.”
Such policy can’t be executed without eminent domain. For all you Constitutionalists out there, your precious document and rights have clearly been violated. Specifically, the piece explains that the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution authorizes the federal government is to seize private property to convert it into public. All thanks to the enumerated power-chicanery known as eminent domain.
However, should the federal government choose to exercise such chicanery, two conditions must be met by the Fifth Amendment.
Landowners must be justly compensated for their property.
Seized property must be used for public benefit.
Bonus condition: If citizens feel that their appraisal value is too low or that the statute the government is claiming doesn’t apply, property owners are legally able to argue the eminent domain claim in question.
Eminent domain is a perfect example of how the state is (like its economic policy) a consumer. A leach. A parasite. It feeds off of the fruits of the productive private sector. The self-made entrepreneurs.
Taking away your own property for “protection”? That’s just an excuse by the state to take your stuff. As a Libertarian, “don’t hurt people, and don’t take their stuff is kind of my M.O. And as a Texas (not to sound like a Nationalist/Collectivist or anything), this hits close to home. As much as libertarians sound like broken records, taxation is theft. I’m not in favor of paying for a wall that gives the state an excuse to seize the property of my Texan brothers and sisters. Not to mention your tax dollars are paying for the damn thing to go up in the first place. What does that make it now? Double theft?!? Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop with Texas. The Act called for the construction of more than 650 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, leading to more than 360 DHS filed lawsuits against property owners in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
Despite any false claim of humanitarian efforts of protecting our children from gang-banging drug cartels and rapists crossing the boarder (which is the fault of the US War On Drugs in the first place), property rights AREhuman rights.
Look here, sonny. The God’s honest truth is, the government doesn’t care about protecting you. It’s almost as if they want to create more chaos and danger in society so you can live in fear and reman dependent on their protection. Leave it to the boys in blue to serve and protect you with no-knock raids that allow them to murder innocent, harmless Americans and their dogs in plain sight. But nobody wants to talk about that kind of danger; the danger that’s within the boarders of these “United States.” More like “united statists.” Is it now too crazy to ponder that maybe they are in fact trying to close us in as people, prevent us from leaving and keep us dependent on their inefficient, low-quality, mal-incentivized public services that we’re forced to pay for at gun point?
There couldn’t be more evidence here to prove you don’t actually own anything. What’s a mortgage other than rent you pay for your house, or any real-estate/property/assets for that matter, to Uncle Sam? They can take your stuff at gun-point all for the “sake of your protection”, your well-being. They know what’s good for you, You’re too stupid to think for yourself. That, brothers and sisters, is the kind of faith your government has in you. We should reciprocate the same sentiment towards our tyrannical government. We all know too well that they can’t protect us, and trapping us like lab mice is in no way going to keep, nor make us safer.
So Iran oil tankers get bombed by the Saudis. Funny how that happens to slide into your Friday morning news cycle there. Almost like it was intentional or something.
Now Trump is sending 3000 troops to help the Saudis fight off Iranian threats. What threat if they were the ones who got hit?!
Maybe he’s making up for removing troops from Northern Syria and leaving the Kurds high and dry? Supposedly he pulled 2000, so now maybe he’s thinking “I’ll raise you 3000!” It’s just like his economy! Cut taxes on the corporations so they can buy back their stock and artificially raise the value of their shares! Only the mal-investment in this case isn’t your devalued capital, or losing your house in the stock market, or your job in the next great recession (which if we’re being honest it just the pussy-version of saying depression), but rather the lives of 3000 Americans. If that’s what you consider “high-risk, high reward”, well that’s the Art of the Deal for ya, I guess?
The truth of the matter is that Trump only removed 50-100 troops, not 2000. That meant American troops left the Kurds in charge to babysit all their ISIS prisoners, but also left them vulnerable to Turkish invasion. Erdogan is planning to ethnically cleanse Syria of all Kurds and now has an opening to do so.
But what good would it have done if the troops stayed? Some heads of state have admitted that US military was simply placed there as “tripwire”, in hopes that a Turkish attack would lead to US casualties and rally up American simpletons back home to support more US military might in the Middle East. Kinda like Pearl Harbor or 9/11.
However, if we’ve learned anything from the past, this risky business of pushing the envelope of US influence anywhere in the world is what inevitably creates blowback.
That’s the last thing anyone wants. Why stay in Syria? What is this? Afghanistan 2.0? Are we simply there to prevent the influence of Russia, Iran, and China from entering the Middle East because it’s America’s back yard? Everywhere on Earth is an “American Interest”?
Not that Syria is “where empires go to die” or anything. In fact war hawks might claim Russian and Persian empires had been invited by Assad to help fight ISIS, which was basically them aligning to clean up the geopolitical mess that was initially the US’s fault. Now however, a neo-Ottoman Empire is being invited to cleanse the Kurds on the boarder region.
In reality, the American people and a supermajority of Veterans are sick and tired of these failed foreign escapades all around the world. They want out, if not now, then ASAP. “But what about the Kurds?!,” your conservative/boomer relatives will retort. Sorry, but that’s a poor-ass excuse if I’ve ever heard one.
Lemme tell ya a little something about the Kurds. They’re practically radical socialists, most of them at least. That’s what can happen when a population of people fall victim to geopolitical abuse for centuries from ethnic cleanses from the Ottoman Empire, and re-drawing of boarders like Sykes Picot. The Kurds span across 4 separate countries: Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. They are rather diverse in cultural, religious, and political beliefs, and not simply a single entity (unlike the Houthis, who are falsely labeled as the same Iranian Shia, and have the singular goal on an independent Yemen completely autonomous from Saudi or anyone else). However, that’s a whole other story I covered here.
So why would these conservative, tough-guy, military types want to support these Kurds if they’re a bunch of socialists? They’re either a bunch of hypocrites that favor social programs like medicare and funding the ever-abusive police state, or they simply haven’t done their homework to learn how culturally diverse and complicated of a background these people have. Frankly, that’s most of America. But these people don’t do their homework, or even care to. Honesty, it’s not surprising. I don’t blame them…
Ok, I blame them, but people are busy with work/kids/sports-ball games and life). However, a common answer they have up their sleeves is that the Kurds were the only ones that helped us fight off the great and terrible ISIS.
Pardon me? I think you’re forgetting about Russia and Iran. Oh, but that’s right. Those guys aren’t our NATO allies, unlike Turkey…
The only reason our “allies”, the Kurds, fought ISIS was because Americans didn’t want to. They were tied up with the consequences of supporting al-Qaeda/ISIS in the hopes of regime change in countries that are a little too friendly to Iran: Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and now the Houthis in Yemen, who in fact don’t want to discredit their somewhat impressive efforts in dominating that country by accepting Iranian help.
Here’s some advice to the American military tough-guy leaders who have to make the big, bad, difficult decisions: don’t create ISIS in the first place.
John Kerry admitted it himself on a hot mic that he, “thought we could contain ISIS.” Nope. Sorry, dude. You oughta watch out for those hot mics. Everywhere America steps foot in the Middle East only empowers its “enemies” even more. That’s what happened when Saddam was overthrown in Iraq.
Enter the new Shiite controlled government for the already Shiite super-majority populous who were waiting decades for a successful overthrow of Saddam. That created the power vacuum of Sunni rebels (al-Qaeda) that lead to the genesis of the Islamicstate in Western Iraq, and more “moderate rebels” joining up later with them in Syria after the failed regime change in Libya. Thank you, Uncle Sam. Do you see now why your own military might be an incy-wincy bit peeved off by mission with no real objective, other than asserting US military might and force in the world? Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the self-licking ice cream cone of the military industrial complex. Doesn’t look like “we meant well” will suffice this time.
Even the great Ronald Reagan, the closest thing conservatives got to the reincarnation of Jesus Christ himself, admitted in his autobiography that the Middle East was just too damn complicated to get involved with. Too many complexities between the diverse people, cultures, and governments is just not worth the risk of American lives. Even if it’s for the sake of protecting US allies and interests, as Reagan was referring to the US supporting Israel’s fight for influence in Southern Lebanon, his decisions lead to dead American solders thanks to a conflict that should have been left to its own.
Bottom line: get out now. We piss off every one there, except the few authoritarian allies we have over there that the nobody in the region likes anyway. The only true enemy to America if there is one at all, is al-Qaeda, who attacked and killed Americans before and after 9/11. Why? Well because America is too friendly to those authoritarian governments I just mentioned.
Stop making excuses to stay. Stop pushing the envelope. We’re going bankrupt and killing ourselves. Stop giving our “enemies” a reason to destroy our country. This isn’t what the Founders (if you hold them to high regard) intended for foreign policy. We are not a shining beacon of peace and prosperity to lead as an example of a great nation. Let’s GTFO. Now.
Since this is just a blog post, I’m under no obligation to cite any sources. Thankfully for you though, you’ve come the the right website where countless of writers and scholars have covered every issue I’ve discussed above. So have fun combing through their archives. Go on. Give it a go. Reading’s good for you. You won’t regret it one bit. That I can promise you. If however you’re like me, and think reading is a chore (which is ironic if you’ve read this far), then you’re in luck! Check out all the great podcasts that you can find in the bottom-right-hand margin, my podcast in particular, A Boy Named Pseu. I just released an episode where I spoke with my musician friend who helped produce the full-length song I wrote about liberty and self-ownership. You can catch it in the last 4 minutes and 20 seconds of the episode. After all, if you care about spreading the message of liberty, the best way is to change the culture.
What is freedom? How do we protect it? As a libertarian, anarchist, agorist, minarchist, collapsatarian, or whatever liberty-minded label your strut from this radical spectrum, it’s easy to get bogged down by the difference between human rights (civil rights/personal freedom), and property rights (economic freedom). I believe that anyone who is passionate about liberty and educating it to the masses should be comfortable articulating this. The truth is, you can’t have one freedom without the other. It’s a part of our creed of self-ownership, and property rights.
It is undeniable that the basis of the libertarian creed stems from the Non-Aggression Principle and property rights. To exert aggression on someone is a violation of their right of property: be it their car, laptop, or punching them square in the nose. In layman’s terms, “don’t hurt people, don’t take their stuff.” The NAP implies the universal understanding and self evident recognition of inalienable rights; personal and economic liberty. How so? Let’s break this down real quick:
“Don’t hurt people”, naturally implies that inflicting harm on an individual is violating them on a personal level; their personal liberty. If I were to break your leg, I have therefore neglected the legitimacy of your civil/personal freedom through the use of coercive force.
“Don’t take their stuff”, naturally implies theft, which is infringing on one’s property rights. We all know that taxation is theft, but let’s remember that theft is still theft. Your property is yours alone. For me to steal your car, is straight up theft. I have therefore neglected the legitimacy of your economic freedom through the use of coercive force.
As libertarians, we should all understand that the number one threat and enemy of liberty is the state. Any act of force imposed by the state on an individual is ultimately a property rights violation. It may start as a hit against civil liberty, but state coercion is always an infringement on property rights, or invasion. Your body, your property. This implies that the state neglects your self-ownership, and therefore, the state owns you. You’re nothing but a slave to the state.
Therefore, to infringe on my personal liberty, or decision rather, to consume cocaine, is also violating the property that is my body. It’s my body. I should be able to consume whatever substance I want, be it beneficial or harmful, so long as I’m not infringing on anyone else’s property rights. Plus, making it illegal to buy cocaine then infringes on my economic freedom of purchasing power and automatically makes me a criminal.
Libertarians believe crime is defined as violent invasion on someone’s person or property. All liberties are vulnerable to state violence, and therefore subject of an attack on one’s person/property. Therefore, if my personal and property rights are vulnerable to danger by the state, my liberty is under attack. Thus, the difference between personal and economic liberty is irrelevant.
Any decision made by an individual, be it personal or economical, is done so under the assumption, and legitimacy of self ownership of the decider. Ergo, all aggression and coercion against the individual’s decision is an attack on one’s property. Self-ownership is having full responsibility of all actions performed by an individual.
Using force to prevent you from making a personal decision is to dismiss one’s free will. Coercion deprives people the freedom to choose the “correct” option, which the state thinks is for “their own good”. Therefore people are forced to doing something, whether they like it or not.
“Coercion deprives man the freedom to choose, and therefore, is deprived to choose morally.”
Despite all attempts, the state cannot foresee, nor dictate an economy. That would be neglecting the personal liberties and subjective value of individuals (which are supposedly protected by a piece of paper…at least in America). Peace and prosperity is achieved by the private sector. Not the public sector.
The public sector, or the state, only survives by stealing from the productive private sector. The state is a parasite, and we are its host. Only voluntary interaction based on individual self-interest and subjective value, will provide a fruitful and self-sufficient society to supply all needed demands. Not government.
The inseparability of Personal and Economic Liberty is how a peaceful society works. Respecting the personal liberty of one another allows us to create the resources needed to survive, and then some; capital gains, and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Economic freedom allows for the personal liberty to choose what goods and services provide the most value to one’s subjective needs and standards. That demand of quality forces businesses to innovate and increase the standards of their operation. This is only achieved through true, free-market economics, and leads to a higher quality of life for everyone.
Economic liberty allows for free-market economics to be the natural law and order of man. It’s moral, and the natural law of man’s needs. Any intervention into this natural order is a violation and coercive aggressive violence of one’s self ownership and absolute right to be a human. Supply and demand. The only way this is achieved is by our obligation to not aggress against anyone. This should be self-evident. This beautiful equilibrium of Leonard Reed’s “Invisible Hand” inI, Pencil, or simply the free market being left untouched by state intervention, is what makes self-governance a reality. Without both personal, and economic liberty, this paradise is merely a dream.
As Libertarians, if we’re to follow the Non-Aggression Principle, both personal and economic liberty must be recognized. Liberty is preserved by accepting the legitimacy of these natural rights that we claim to be self-evident. Otherwise, we can’t claim to be the “most consistent” out of the political vending machine. A violation of any one of your liberties is a violation on all of them. Period. Nothing Personal…except your freedom, of course.
The American Empire is lying straight to the face of Lady Liberty as it shamelessly slaps her around, coming up with excuse after excuse as to why America needs to invade country x, and starting illegal wars one after the other. If you’ve been around the past 20 years, this mess ain’t new to you – if you paid attention, that is.
One conflict has unfortunately been overlooked, however: Yemen. America’s intervention in one of the poorest countries in the Middle East has inflicted genocide on a civilian population as it continues to aid the Saudi effort to push the Houthi rebels out of power. The catastrophe in Yemen is a creation of the US Empire, and when the curtains are pulled back it’s crystal clear that America’s pipe dream ends will never justify the tyrannical means imposing misery on the Yemeni people.
It’s official: the Houthi rebels have announced the only reason they continue to fight in Yemen is due to Saudi reluctance to negotiate a peace deal. The United States has emboldened the kingdom’s war effort with indirect military aid and diplomatic backing since the conflict began in 2015.
The Houthis made headlines most recently with a drone bombing on Saudi oil infrastructure, but by taking responsibility for the attack the Houthis revealed that the ‘Iran proxy’ narrative was a complete neocon fabrication intended to promote war with Iran.The Houthis are their own people, private actors fighting for independence.They are not acting as Iranian cut-outs.
You may not recall, but the only reason the US continues to stay involved in Yemen is, in the words of the New York Times, to “placate” the Saudis after Obama’s nuclear pact with Iran. In exchange for lifting US sanctions (which never happened), the deal put strict safeguards on the Islamic Republic’s civilian nuclear program and guaranteed it would never produce a bomb. Iran-bashers insist the country continues to pursue the Big One, but the most recent report from the International Atomic Energy Agency indicates otherwise. Iran is abiding by the main terms of the 2015 deal, the nuclear watchdog found, including terms regarding its stockpile of enriched uranium, which remains at the allowed level of enrichment.
However, due to new US sanctions effectively preventing Iran from shipping off its excess uranium, the country was forced to either halt its nuclear program to abide by the nuclear deal’s 300kg cap on its uranium stockpile, or go forward and risk being penalized. Iran took option B, and upped the ante further when officials vowed to boost the rate of enrichment by fourfold. It is plain as day that the hawkish action of Washington has cornered Iran and provoked the ramped up enrichment.
To the US, the Houthis are a useful excuse to keep fighting in the region. Though both Iran’s theocracy and the Houthis practice forms of Shia Islam, Yemen’s rebels are NOT an evil Iranian proxy, and were even urged by Iran to not capture the capital city, Sanaa.
Lest we forget, the initial rationale for America’s presence in Yemen, prior to Saudi’s war of annihilation, was to defeat al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). According to a January 2015 story in the Wall Street Journal, Senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration must “take pains not to end up inflaming the situation by inadvertently firing on Houthi fighters… They’re not our military objective. It’s AQAP and we have to stay focused on that.”
The same article stated that the United States made contacts with the Houthis, hoping to establish a working relationship.
Yes, Central Command was perfectly happy to work alongside the Houthis to prevent AQAP from gaining control in the region, but when Saudi and Israel are your allies, Iran is always the boogie man. Anything to make Tehran look like the bad guys is always best practice in US foreign policy.
Now, thanks to ongoing US aid to the Saudis, al-Qaeda continues to distinguish itself as one of the most capable military forces in Yemen, waging what it has called a holy war against the Houthis, who belong to a nominally Shia sect reviled by the ultra orthodox Sunni al-Qaeda cell.
Needless to say, this won’t stop America from assisting a genocide on the Yemeni population. By the time the war ends – and there is currently no end in sight – we may count hundreds of thousands of dead bodies, many of which will be children under the age of 5, currently the war’s favored victims. It is the youngest children who are right now most prone to starvation, cholera, and other causes that would be preventable anywhere else in the world fortunate to be free of blockade. Not so in Yemen.
Despite the turmoil, US history was made when both chambers of Congress invoked the War Powers Act earlier this year in an attempt to check the president’s war-making powers, requiring congressional authorization to deploy troops overseas. The law’s bipartisan sister bill in the Senate – lead by Bernie Sanders, Ro Khanna, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee – required the US to stop supplying intel to the Saudi coalition and cease mid-air refueling of warplanes. Naturally, Trump vetoed the bill. Such legislation would “destroy American jobs,” which of course means putting a cap on military contracts for weapons used in the war, produced by General Dynamics, Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed, who the State Department has approved at least $30.1 billion in Saudi military contracts over the past 10 years.
A war with Iran would be devastating to everyone involved, no matter who emerged the victor. The ends of winning would not justify the means of killing thousands on each side, including innocent civilians. It seems, hopefully, that this war rhetoric is just saber rattling. So far in 2019, the US has made multiple moves in spite of Iran, labeling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp a terrorist group, imposing crippling sanctions in hopes of drying out the country’s oil exports (note: never challenge the petrodollar on the world oil market), and increasing the amount of US troops and military equipment in the Middle East.
‘If only Iran didn’t decide to put it’s country next to our military bases, there wouldn’t be a problem!’ Ironically, the only problems present are the “threats” John Bolton or any other adjacent authority can make up about the Iranian menace to US interests.
This, of course, is all related to the geopolitical interests of the US, Saudi and Israel, who constantly shill about fake aggression from Iranian “proxies” like Hamas, Hezbollah, or a fringe independent groups like the Houthis. The point is, Iran is not a threat. Hostile US policies heighten tensions and provoke Iran to act in its own self-defense.
They hate Iran more than al-Qaeda, the group that did 9/11, attacked our towers, and killed thousands of innocent Americans. But it’s okay, because they’re still Saudis, and NOT big, bad Iran.
Bottom line, we’re committing a genocide in Yemen because it makes our friends Saudi Arabia feel better to fight off any potential Iran threat, even though the so-called threat isn’t an Iran proxy and has its own independent motives.
The US is looking for excuses to go to war with Iran, or put on this showmanship and rhetoric of increasing military presence in the Middle East for whatever strategic political gains for the Trump administration, nothing has truly come to fruition. Iran has stated it does not want a war. Period. We know though in 6-8 months, that’ll be a different story.
This is the result of a foreign policy based on favoritism. Nobody wins except the bureaucrats of the military industrial complex, as our toxic interventionist policies ironically continue to isolate us as we spread fear and chaos world-wide. Nobody wants to do business with such a mercurial menace, and will therefore react accordingly for better or for worse.
Ron Paul’s Revolution: A Manifesto, is without a doubt a cornerstone and gem in Libertarian literature. Some might call it a “soft landing”, but it’s a fantastic entry into exploring Libertarian thought in a perfectly succinct, enlightening, genius way. No offense to Human Action, but to hell with Human Action! I’m joking of course, but this little guy at a whopping 186 pages (if you include the edition with a chapter on the economic crisis) covers all the basic principles of liberty ammunition for any debate, enlightening conversation, and just straight up knowledge to make you a little less dumb. Now unlike my fellow colleagues of this blog who have been around the liberty block a bit longer than myself and are probably a few or 20 IQ points higher than me (if you believe in that garbage), I’m kinda lazy. I don’t really feel like doing an entire book review, despite how I just went off on how short and awesome it is. I feel like my favorite chapter would suffice though, so for brevity’s sake, I would like to highlight my favorite parts of this chapter that I find are most compelling…Oh and full disclaimer, I haven’t read Human Action, but you probably might have guessed.
In Chapter 4: Economic Freedom, I like to think of this as Ron Paul’s “taxation is theft” chapter, but the Super Saiyan form in an eloquent Ron Paul, Southern Gentleman fashion.
In a free society, or economy in this case, everyone has a right to their life and property. Likewise, you don’t have the right to infringe on anyone else’s property. Don’t hurt people, don’t take their stuff. The government is hurting you by forcing you to pay taxes.
The system is set up where people try to use the government to dominate each other. It’s a welfare pissing contest. The people shouldn’t let government do things that individuals couldn’t get away with (taxation = theft, conscription is slavery, war is mass murder, etc.). Let’s not forget, the poor aren’t the only ones who benefit from the state’s free goodies. The rich manipulate government too. Ron Paul explains that “the rich are more than happy to secure for themselves a share of the loot – for example, in the form of subsidized low-interest loans (as with the Export-Import bank), bailouts when their risky loans go sour, or regulatory schemes that hurt their smaller competitors or make it harder for new ones to enter an industry.”
Hopefully you’d agree that the popular opinion in the US is that the government shouldn’t steal from the people. The state shouldn’t be able to pick favorites and grant special privileges to certain industries either, or else that shows those guys are more important than everyone else in the country. State interference in private industry by arbitrarily deciding who’s a winner or loser makes for a super toxic, immoral, politicized body politic. That’s not what the Founders wanted.
Government power should just be used to protect individual rights: life and property, NOT control the economy. That’s OUR job as consumers by voting with our dollar in the free market to say what goods will be provided and a what price. We dictate supply and demand. This creates competition amongst businesses to decrease cost and increase quality. Government only distorts this beautiful equilibrium.
Take sugar for example: the US limits the amount of sugar imports to raise the price on American consumers which hurts you and me and makes the sugar corporations richer. The sugar industries are incentivized to lobby the government for quotas to stay rich and screw us. It’s only a few people who benefit, and the cost on consumers is hardly noticeable. But you gotta consider all the other industries that lobby for the same privileges.
As mentioned before, I believe that humans are charitable by nature. Through voluntary association, The People will subjectively decide which programs mean the most to them, and need funding through voluntary action. In the private sector, experts in these industries actually face risk when they contribute their own capital to these programs. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of the private donor to deliver the highest quality of service to the public in these specific fields and industries. He carries the appropriate knowledge to know where to efficiently contribute how much money should be spent where. Without a proper understanding of the industry, what gives the government cronies any right to say how much money should be spent where? Nothing. They’re incompetent, and are only in it for themselves as bureaucrats.
Less money would be needed for welfare if done privately. Like many government programs, most of the budget (70% in welfare’s case) is spent on the employees to administer the programs. Emphasis on “administer”, or administration: a select few/minority group of people (bureaucrats) at the top making these decisions that usually benefit themselves and NOT the program. This example perfectly demonstrates how easy it is to manipulate government run organizations over private ones. The State wrecks the economy through intervention: artificially manipulating prices, hiking them so companies become lazy and less competitive, and putting them out of business. Therefore, a quasi-state-monopoly is created through corporatism. Similarly, the state takes advantage of the Federal Reserve by constantly printing money to pay for public programs which makes the rich, bureaucrats richer, and the public is provided an awful service.
“Given that the politically influential and well connected – neither of which includes the middle class or the poor – are the ones who tend to win privileges and loot from the government, I do not understand why we take for granted that the net result of all this looting is good for those who are lower on the economic ladder.”
We’re only free individuals if we can keep all of our hard-earned money. The state forces us to genuflect, be its bitch and cave into giving it our money. Otherwise, we face the consequences of death, prison, and high fines. Our property rights aren’t being protected when this happens, If that’s not protected, then none of our rights are. It’s like if you’re a slave being able to do whatever you want, except keep what you earn. Get an A+ on the test? Too bad. We gotta bump you down to a C so we can redistribute the rest of your accomplishments to the class so they can all have at least a passing grade. Taxes are no different.
The notion of a free economy gets mistakenly seen as “pro-business”, where the rich take advantage of the poor. This is wrong, and big business is just as guilty as small business when it comes to using the government as a tool to succeed. Businessmen are still human. They’re not all bad actors, and will try to get ahead as easily as possible. However, honest businessmen and entrepreneurs are the ones we should look up to and admire in society because they make everyone’s lives better by taking risks we’re not willing to take.
Economic historian, Burton Fulsom, points out that there’re two types of entrepreneurs: market and political. Market is the entrepreneur based in the private sector, whereas political is lobbying the government for your free goodies that are provided via stealing from the American taxpayers.
Like income tax, the draft is a form of slavery. Those appendages of the state basically legitimize that they own you and you don’t own yourself. You’re not allowed to make decisions for yourself. That’s not freedom. That is slavery. The government will just pity you and let you keep some of the leftovers after you earn it, HOWEVER you earn it! This isn’t how a free society prospers because individuals need as much capital as possible to invest and make an economy blossom. Government prevents this from happening through intervening via taxes, regulations, lobbies, tariffs, sanctions, you name it. Ending the income tax all together and not replacing it with anything at all would cut government revenue (wasted tax payer money) buy 40%, but this idea isn’t discussed because it would destroy the state if placed on the surface in the public eye.
We’re brainwashed in school that without government regulation, free market capitalism will create monopolies and everyone will be enslaved and poor. That’s exactly what we’re told what happened in the Great Depression. That’s just a scare tactic to make us want mommy and daddy government to take care of us. We’re being lied to want coddling of the state so it can take our rights away by imposing more and more government regulations in the economy. Economic freedom is individual freedom. That is the weapon against the state.
There is no doubt that America was much poorer 100 years ago. However, it’s because the economy wasn’t near as productive as it is now. Productivity happens when government is out of the way, and innovation and technological advancements are then allowed to take place and create prosperity. The state is NOT capable to make that happen. The more capital people have and the richer people are, the more productive they will be. More goods will be made in the market at lower prices and at higher qualities, leading to a higher standard of living. Taxing the rich is counter productive to this phenomena because it’s their capital that is invested and makes this happen in the first place. It would be stupid for them to keep it all to themselves in the first place. When people have more money and capital, the economy will remain productive, yielding a prosperous and free society. Economic freedom is individual freedom. Taxation is a war on the people by stealing their capital and restricting their economic freedom. Therefore, taxes are a war on peace and prosperity.
Wealth is already naturally redistributed. This is because those with capital invest in business and industries to increase production and provide goods and services to the public. Prices remain affordable via competition amongst businesses. Government laws and regulations in the market place stifle this growth. Many large industries have lobbyists to lobby for regulations in the economy that big business can handle, but smaller companies can not. This weeds out the smaller companies and removes competition, as well as decreases the quality and quantity in the market for consumers to choose from. Then the vote of their dollar becomes meaningless, and their economic freedom is lost. The “redistribution” of wealth has then been suffocated by the state.
The golden moment of this chapter is when Paul highlights the influence of Ludwig von Mises. Mises showed us that the economist’s job is to speak truth to power. When this happens, the authorities see you as an enemy, and you should wear that as a badge of honor. Your truth is their weakness. The fact that you’re right and they’re wrong, makes you powerful and them weak. That’s the power of truth. Become an enemy of the state.
I find what is most important about this chapter is that The People have the power to end the state through embracing capitalism. This can only be done if we exercise our economic freedom without government intervention disrupting our prosperity. Providing any private sector solution to a public sector program’s problem is kryptonite to the state. Thus, posing an end to the income tax, or funding unconstitutional wars as solutions is not allowed to be discussed, because the government depends on the success of the private sector: entrepreneurs, small businesses, people like artists or freelancers in the gig economy. Our success and the fruits of our labor are stolen for “just causes”, or for the greater good/public sector government programs, that don’t actually get properly funded. Government can’t do this because there’s no true profit motive behind it and there’s no risk or stakes involved. This is literally why we can’t have nice things.
It’s up to us as individuals to find the alternatives to government. That’s why you have economists like Mises who advocate for the Austrian School of Economics. This school of economic thought is based off embracing the free-market. Austrian economics is the sword to slay the dragon of the state. Private actors and entrepreneurs voluntarily making decisions based on their emotions, needs, subjective value, and self-interest. This is the only economic system which will make us the most free.
The Pseudollectual is a liberty-based variety show covering comedy, tragedy, and culture, all through a liberty lens. Kick off your week with a liberty-based topic ranging from economics, philosophy, foreign policy, a guest interview, or anything with a fresh, liberty twist. Finish the week off strong with Pseu News, your weekly News Round Up of all the stuff you missed that you should have been paying attention to. Sit back, relax, and allow Mr. Pseu to do the rest. Most of all, own your failure, because God knows, our so-called “leaders” don’t.
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