Dissent

Mena- A Model of the Future?

Off the keyboard of George Mobus

Published on Question Everything on July 2, 2013

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Political Unrest – Why?

It is interesting the way the MSM characterize the unrest going on in Egypt. The typical perspective is that the people of Egypt are unhappy with the way the Morsi government has turned out to be almost as autocratic as the Mubarak regime had been. Morsi was elected in the first “democratic” election in the country’s history, but he recently declared himself to have powers that were not part of the bargain. He is from the Muslim Brotherhood movement, a supposed Islamic political party-like organization that supports Sharia Law as the foundation of governance. A large majority of Egyptians appear to prefer secular laws and thought originally that Morsi would honor that position.

Thus to the MSM the unrest is political in nature. They focus on the notion that the Egyptians want democracy and that Morsi has failed to deliver. But what this perspective fails to take into account is that politics ultimately come down to who controls the resources. The irony in Egypt is that they really haven’t got much in the way of resources. They cannot sustain a program of development because they have nothing to develop and nothing to drive such development (e.g. net energy). So Morsi is actually incapable of delivering any of the demands that the people are voicing. What is more important to the people of Egypt than whether their governance is based on Islamic doctrine or not is that they need to eat. They need to have shelter and some income. And there is no regime that can deliver that. Even if Morsi capitulates and a new government is installed, or perhaps more likely, the military takes over again, the needs of the Egyptian people will never be met.

The unrest is not about democracy. We only characterize it that way because we, in the west, think that we have democracy and that it the reason we’ve been so successful economically. If the MENA states could have democracy, the reasoning goes, they too would become economically successful. What remarkably shallow, indeed empty, thinking this is. Democracy did not produce food on the table and shiny new cars. The fact that communism failed to do so is not a proof that it did. Growing net energy per capita did that. It is easy to support something that looks like democracy and free markets when you have oil gushing out of the ground.

We are observing a model for collapse unfolding as country after country depletes whatever resources they had. The entire North African, Middle East, all the way to Afghanistan and Pakistan, are facing the exact same forces. Political unrest derives from physical stress. What other part of the world with significant populations better fit this model? I suspect that India, parts of China, and Mongolia are close behind.

Unrest Moving West, North and South

The US’s and Europe’s problems appear to be financial because these countries were part of the industrialization growth of the 19th and 20th centuries where rapid developments of fossil fuels mirrored that going on in the US. Indeed England led the pack with the use of coal even earlier. But as the net energy per capita available from fossil fuels started first to decelerate in growth and then, around the 1970s peak, the reliance on debt to finance production took over. During the period of rapid growth in industrialization we observed that wherever one was in time one could reasonably expect that even more wealth would be produced in the future, enough extra to pay back the principal along with interest (rents paid for using the capital). So borrowing against the future made sense. What nobody paid attention to is the fact that this experience of growth was based on increasing net energy flows and that the majority of that net energy came from fossil fuels, particularly oil. Also what everybody lacked was an understanding of the fact that the extraction and processing of fossil fuels would become increasingly expensive (in terms of usable energy required). Nor did most pay attention to the well understood and predicted peaking in gross production due to depletion of finite resources. The latter has accentuated the problem with declining net energy per capita.

The western nations are stagnant or in deep recession with unacceptable (by earlier standards) unemployment rates. The blame is being put on financial institutions, corporations, governing bodies, all of the usual suspects have been lined up. I suppose this is a failure of imagination to think there might actually be a deeper and more dangerous cause. Ignorance must play a major role as well.

Unrest is popping up in the Southern European region. Whereas in MENA states the blame is supposed to go to non-democratic governance, in the west it goes to finance and political battles between conservatism (austerity required) and liberalism (Keynesianism required). The US Federal Reserve Bank has been trying to put a band aid on the financial system by buying bad paper (quantitative easing) and thus creating money, essentially. But this is only going to cause the crash to be more severe when it comes. The underlying cause in the west as well in MENA states is fundamentally the same. We are running out of net energy per capita at an alarming rate. The MENA states had a slight advantage over the west in that their populations had very low net energy per capita needs (same story for China and India where jobs were shipped from the US to save labor costs). They were more in touch, as it were, with the physical realities and did not have this veil of financialization to confound their thinking. Right now they very much realize that they are at the precipice and being pushed off.

States to the further east are soon to follow. China, using their low energy requiring citizens as enticements and some healthy savings, has succeeded in convincing their population that they SHOULD want to consume more energy! And now that work force is starting to demand more in wages so they can do so. Unfortunately China’s leaders did not really understand the net energy per capita source problem. When they became vaguely aware of it they started scrambling to import oil and coal from other regions. Instead of realizing that depletion would soon render that strategy moot, they blindly go ahead with their ambitions because they are trying to avoid the political unrest that will ensue when their people, promised the “good life,” realize they not only won’t achieve that but that life will get worse (especially for the many who gave up farming for the cities).

Russia has never really recovered from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Putin probably has dreams of glory but he has no investment stream to put into developing what resources they have. Russia does have richer biological and mineral resources but in climate and terrain-challenged areas that would require substantial capital for development. Their oil exporting appears to have peaked and if they allow foreign oil companies to participate in further development they have to realize their revenues from export will drop. They are between a rock and a hard place. Their only possible advantage is that the people have already been through a collapse/contraction and probably don’t have the same kinds of expectations that the Chinese and Indian people have for the future. They may simply resign themselves to a worse future.

Will the Earlier Collapse of MENA Trigger the Rest?

Since ME states like Saudi Arabia are still supplying oil to the west it is very possible that major troubles in that region could disrupt the flow of an already declining one. Any sudden shutting off of the spigot is likely to have devastating effects on the western nations.

A lot of people in the US think they are buffered from such a catastrophe. There is a meme floating around the MSM about how the US (with Canada’s help, of course) will achieve energy independence. The tight oil and gas reserves along with the tar sands in Alberta are touted as providing us with huge energy sources into the future. President Obama is making noises about investing in alternative energies, especially to reduce coal-fired power plants to reduce CO2 emissions. It is all wishful thinking. The production profile on tight oil and gas wells suggests (strongly) that they will never produce the abundance being promised. Moreover all of these non-conventional sources have terrible EROIs that cannot be sustained long. Already the companies exploiting these resources are running into financial problems. They cannot fund further development out of profits because their profits are being squeezed tightly. Costs of development are too high — a reflection of the low EROIs. As long as they can hype the investment community they might eke out a little more working capital, but that will not last very much longer.

There is nothing supporting our huge bubble. All it will take is a trigger event, either like the collapse of MENA states, dragging Europe along, or an internal event in the financial markets. My favorite scenario is that graduates who cannot find meaningful employment will simply stop paying back their education debt. That will burst a 1.2 trillion dollar bubble and could take the rest of the financial system down with it.

It is somewhat ironic that Greece was one of the first EU countries to experience severe hardships and the start of collapse. It gives new meaning to the phrase “Greek Tragedy” that the whole world is now embroiled in a demise crafted by our own flaw in character. We are not bad as a species. But we are clearly merely biological when it comes to trying to obtain more resources and grow. We evolved great clever brains that enabled us to do so with abandon. We did not evolve adequate sapience to moderate that cleverness and dampen the biological mandate. That is the flaw — lack of wisdom in pursuing our future. Now we have none, for the most part.

I still won’t make any predictions as to timing of, say, major events that would be clearly signs of collapse well under way. I think collapse is starting and is gaining momentum as we witness unrest spreading around the globe. Some regions, like MENA, will likely collapse very rapidly, possibly taking others with them in a domino effect. Other regions may drag it out a bit as oh-so-clever masters of the universe try more tricks to keep the dream alive. But they can’t do it forever.

All I will say is that if you want to see what collapse looks like on the ground (and this is for every region eventually) watch what happens in Egypt. And for you American readers, enjoy your celebration of the Fourth of July commemorating winning your democracy!

July 3, 2013

How Long Will it Take for the Egyptians to Realize…

… that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were not the root cause of their problems? Now he is out and the military has taken over. They are claiming they want new elections so are still convinced that a democratic government can somehow fix their broken nation. They still think there is a political solution to a physical problem. If only people are free to make choices and live their lives as they want. If only political stability were to return then investment money would come flowing in and tourists would return to the pyramids.

If there was enough time those magical wishes might actually start to come true! After all there are still much richer people in the world who are always looking for an angle to make a buck or have discretionary funds to go on vacation – at least for a while. Unfortunately I don’t think they have the time. People on the ground are already hurting and need relief now. It takes a long time to set the wheels in motion for establishing a truly stable government, time I don’t think their society has.

It is probably the case that both Mubarak and Morsi made matters worse in being so autocratic at a time when people were expecting some more “freedoms”. But you can’t blame their failures strictly on their incompetence, which extends to corruption and cronyism; those surely didn’t help. But as I said in my prior post Egypt’s and the whole MENA region’s troubles go much deeper than lack of democracy. In fact, ironically it is probably an autocratic rule, which does not automatically mean corruption, etc., that would lessen the woes. Democracies have a great deal of difficulty making timely decisions in this crises world. Look at the US Congress as a prime example of what happens when you let a lot of very foolish people with big egos try to agree on important decisions.

Autocrats, if they are competent and wise, can get the right things done in a more timely fashion. But since there are no philosopher kings in the waiting room… This is what makes this predicament intractable. There are no solutions that don’t involve massive population reductions in short order. If a region cannot support its own population and has absolutely no skills that would add sufficient value to what other regions that can produce food need, well, put bluntly, they are screwed.

How long will it take the Egyptian people to discover that things are not getting better? How long will they, and the rest of the world, continue to blame it on a “stalled revolution?” How long will they continue to belive that democracy and a stable government would save them?

So, keep your eyes on Egypt and carefully observe what transpires. You may be looking at your own situation within the next decade if things devolve at an accelerating rate.

How to Defeat Tyranny

Off the Keyboard of Brandon Smith

Published originally on Alt-Market on August 16, 2012

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It is inevitable. There comes a point in the development of every crisis, every catastrophe, every impending disaster, every act of methodical dictatorship, in which the generations selected by fate or destiny to endure the trial must attempt to look beyond the intellectual and the psychological, to deeply consider the greater philosophical or spiritual questions of their epoch. Certain moments in history demand that truly free individuals relinquish their cynicism, and embrace that inherent world of form and conscience that exists in each of us but remains largely unexplained. Without this act of “faith”, or intuitive knowing, good cannot exist, inspire, or prevail.

To understand what we face in our age of encroaching technocracy draped like glistening silicon across the face of a third world American cesspool, we must accept certain realities; the first and foremost being the existence of “evil”. Not the evil of ignorance, that is easy to recognize. Not the evil of apathy and moral relativism, though the stench of both sharply permeates the sour underside of our culture. No, I am talking about pure, unbiased, unflinching, perfectly conscious and fully absorbed evil. The kind that they tell stories about. The kind that history books speak of almost in awe, as if it is miraculous in nature. A dark tide. A prehistoric leviathan. An unbelievable and seemingly inhuman myth made manifest by astonishingly vile despots.

This evil is so overwhelming that many people today scarcely imagine it possible. It is our society’s greatest weakness; the denial of ultimate malice.

Our current governmental system has adopted a policy of open theater, in which the two sides of the false paradigm now barely hide their farcical opposition to each other. Their rhetoric no longer obscures their acts of political collusion in the destruction of our founding principles and Constitutional protections. In the past several years they have acted in the best interests of corporate minorities and moneyed elites without hiding their intentions towards globalism and the destruction of sovereignty, fearlessly spitting on the redresses of the public. All of this while they arm themselves to the teeth with billion-plus round stockpiles of ammunition and Orwellian surveillance technologies. Yet, foolish subsections of our populace still argue that the government is a “product of elections”, and is “made up of Americans for Americans”. Even if we do not see them as an enemy, they certainly see us as such.

Our financial system is a stampeding procession of nightmare fueled blood-drenched circus freaks dancing in an ether driven haze of pungent absurdity. It is as if our economy has become a morbid parody of itself, like a queasy piece of horror/comedy cinema. We are so far along in the collapse of our markets that the banksters no longer see the need to hide the fraud. With the advent of the Libor Scandal, governments, central banks, corporate financiers, all flaunt their criminality with pride. Yet, some Americans still clasp their naïve hopes to a chance of fiscal recovery.

To fight against an evil of this magnitude takes more than anger, or physical preparation, or organization. It takes personal exploration, a steeling of one’s heart, and a conquering of one’s shortcomings.

Tyranny, true tyranny, thrives on our selective awareness, and our ability to bend our minds and our vision to avoid seeing that which is really there. In the end, victory over tyranny is less about guns, bombs, mass dissent, and civil fury; it instead requires an acceptance of the dark side of the world, and the unwavering will of honorable men ready to face it. That is to say, the defeat of tyranny begins and ends in the mind.

In America today, many minds are not ready to handle the trials ahead. Maybe it’s the ease of several generations of uninterrupted prosperity. Maybe it’s the Babyboomers. Maybe it’s Generation X. Maybe it’s the public education system. Maybe it’s the water. Maybe it’s all of the above and more. At this point, we have little time to debate symptomatic culprits. It is time to go to the root of the problem, and cut it out.

What we need is a foundation, a set of “personal rules for combat” when engaging a tyrannical establishment. This “code” should above all else provide a way of mentally and spiritually confronting one’s own weaknesses and presumptions. Dictators and oligarchs are not our primary concern. Our inner state is.

Rule #1: Stop Waiting For Others To Fight The Battle For You

If you want to put an end to totalitarianism, you can’t sit around waiting for other people to solve the problem for you. The greatest downfall of any political campaign (even when led by a liberty minded candidate) is the centralization of popular focus on a single man. There is no knight in shining armor coming to lead the Liberty Movement to the promised land. These unrealistic expectations will only end in disappointment and nihilism. The solution starts not with others, but with YOU. Where do you contribute to freedom? What actions have you taken? Who have you inspired? What ideas have you offered? What project have you organized, struggled for, sweat for? Take the reigns of your own destiny and finally join the fight instead of perusing the internet longing for a guru to hand you a mission.

Rule #2: Believe In Something Greater Than Yourself – Abandon Childish Cynicism

This is where we get all “spiritualized”, which for the typical cynic is a rather gooey and uncomfortable affair. If accepting a higher purpose to the universe and your own existence is too much for you, then at least consider deeply the future of humanity in general. Think not of what mankind is today, but what mankind could be tomorrow if you make it so. Know that there is an indelible good within us, though it may be difficult to see at times. Cradle that spark, and champion its return. It is not enough to oppose tyranny. One must know exactly what he is fighting for in order to triumph.

Cynics do not make history, or change a country for the better. They are the forgotten dust wafting about in the wayward attics of time.

Rule #3: Deal With Your Fear, Or It Will Be Used Against You

A subjugating government’s size, military might, technological superiority, and overall gravitas are irrelevant. The fight will come whether we want it or not. Accept the fact that the fight is coming to YOU; your fear of it does not change the eventuality of it. Wars, especially those waged for freedom, are won by the will, not by arms or technology. Not by laser guided missiles and predator drones. Tyrants always have the advantage. They always have the upper hand. They win when they are able to convince the masses that this advantage makes them invincible and that resistance is a futile exercise. They lose when the people could care less about the size of the guns pointed at them.

All men are afraid to take risks, especially mortal risks. However, great men understand the necessity of risk in the pursuit of that which is right. Fear should play no part in your life, ever.

Rule #4: Understand The Nature Of Tyrants

Overcoming fear is one thing. Being overconfident is another. Understand that the evil you face is capable of absolutely any depravity in its lust for absolute control. Understand that the crimes you will one day witness in your battle to dethrone the autocrats are designed to rattle your will and eradicate your resolve. Know that to attain a free country you must struggle through social, economic, and physical carnage you never thought possible before. Be ready, psychologically and emotionally, for anything…

Rule #5: Dump Nihilists And Obstructionists By The Wayside

You can’t save everybody, and you certainly can’t impart a sense of greater purpose on cowards, weaklings, and nihilists. These people are inherently self centered, and seek only to prolong the ease and length of their own existences regardless of the cost to others. Nihilists in particular are so inwardly and subconsciously ashamed of their own weaknesses that they go out of their way, often obsessively, to project those weaknesses on the whole of the movement. They have to believe that if they are not capable of fighting back, no one else can be either, and they will shriek to the rafters about the impending doom of us all.

Nihilists and Obstructionists are dead weight on any dissenting activist movement, even though they pretend to support the cause, and should be tossed to the curb immediately. A revolution for liberty requires foresight, and courage. If a person does not meet both these criteria, they will eventually bring you down with them.

Rule #6: Find A Love For Humanity Once Again

I know as well as anyone how hard it is today to care about most people given the amount of utter stupidity so many display on a daily basis and the costs this behavior has accrued in our society over time. Get over it. Recognize that when you fight for freedom, you fight for EVERBODY, even people who have not earned your efforts. If you fight only for yourself, or your immediate circle, you will lose. Look at the bigger picture, and know the real breadth and consequence of this undertaking. Fight for all, or you might as well crawl into a shallow hole and pull the dirt over your head now.

Rule #7: Remain Adaptable To The Circumstances Of The Environment

Absorb what works, and cast off what doesn’t. Be stubborn in your principles and your resolve, but not in your strategies. Vulnerability comes with predictability. Blaze trails the tyrants don’t expect. Show them something they’ve never seen before. Be bold, or go home.

Rule #8: Retain Your Principles Or You Will Fail

The philosophical doctrine being peddled by elites in our military today states that “in order to defeat a monster you must be willing to act like a monster”. This is insanity. Forgoing one’s principles and adopting dishonorable and vicious methods is not the way of a warrior; it is the way of the tyrant. Remember what you are fighting for. This is not just about our personal survival, but the survival of a worthy ideal. Abandoning that ideal may give us the illusion of short term success, but in the long run, the cost will bankrupt our movement, demolish our moral high ground, and make hollow any victories we do achieve.

The Real Fight Is Within

Some may have stumbled upon this essay with the expectation that it would outline a kind of step-by-step instructional guide to crippling the globalists. Sorry to dissatisfy if that was the case, but it is better that we all comprehend now that there will never be such guide. As much as globalists and collectivists with aspirations of world dominance and total financial centralization are a threat to our way of life, the real fight, the fight that matters most, is not without, but within. We will overcome them only when we overcome our own failings.

I imagine many wish, as I surely wish, that simple days and comfortable times could continue on forever. The difficult truth is that history tests man, and sets the extraordinary apart from the mundane. Sometimes these tests are so epic in their scale that one wonders if anyone will step forward to weather the storm. Someone always does, and we owe those brave souls a debt of gratitude which can only be paid with our own stand in our own era. At the end of all things, we will either open the door to a better world, or we will cut our own throats. Tyranny is nothing but an opportunity for the best in all of us to rise.

Americans Are Being Prepared For Full Spectrum Tyranny

Published originally on Alt-Net on Thursday, 28 June 2012 02:58 Brandon Smith

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 Totalitarian governments, like persistent forms of cancer, have latched onto the long history of man, falling and then reemerging from the deep recesses of our cultural biology to wreak havoc upon one unlucky generation to the next.  The assumption by most is that these unfortunate empires are the product of bureaucracies gone awry; overtaken by the chaotic maddening hunger for wealth and power, and usually manipulated by the singular ambitions of a mesmerizing dictator.  For those of us in the Liberty Movement who are actually educated on the less acknowledged details of history, oligarchy and globalized centralism is much less random than this, and a far more deliberate and devious process than the general unaware public is willing to consider.

Unfortunately, the final truth is very complex, even for us…

One cannot place the blame of despotism entirely on the shoulders of globalists.  Sadly, the crimes of elites are only possible with a certain amount of complicity from subsections of the populace.  Without our penchant for apathy and fear, there can be no control.  That is to say, there is no power over us but that which we give away.  We pave the road to our own catastrophes.

In the end, a tyrant’s primary job is not to crush the masses and rule out of malevolence, but to obtain the voluntary consent of the citizenry, usually through trickery and deceit.  Without the permission of the people, subconscious or otherwise, no tyranny can survive.

As with the oppressive regimes of the past, America has undergone a dramatic transformation, heavy with fear and ignorance.  Our tradition of elections has been corrupted and negated by the false left/right paradigm, and the leaderships of both defunct parties now seek only to elevate a select minority of men bent on globalization.  Our Constitutional liberties have been dismantled by legal chicanery.  Our principles have been diluted by intellectual games of rationalism and moral relativism.  Our country is ripe for conquest.

Americans battle over whose side is most to blame; Democrat or Republican, while ironically being disenchanted with both entities.  For some people, the thought of holding each party equally accountable, or accepting that they are essentially the same animal, never crosses their minds.

While this irrelevant farce of a debate rages on, the true culprits plotting the demise of our Republic gain momentum, and implement policy initiatives that the public should and must take note of.  In the past year alone, many blatant steps towards the Orwellian gulag have been openly administered.  A carnival of peddlers and freaks and greasy popcorn overwhelms our senses, but the stench of this cheap circus still tickles our noses, and if we use our eyes for even a moment, certain dangerous trends reveal themselves.  Here are just a few recent events that bear a dire warning; the ultimate assault on freedom in this nation grows near… Acclimation To Subservience

Every totalitarian state worth its salt has its own goon squad.  The Nazi’s had the “Brownshirts”, the Soviets had the “Militsiya” and the “Voluntary People’s Brigade”, the Communist Chinese have the “Chengguan”, etc.  In America, however, all tyrannical measures are given innocuous bureaucratic labels to mislead and distract the masses.  In this country, we have the Transportation Security Administration…

The TSA has become the most hated alphabet agency in the U.S. in perhaps the fastest time on record.  It has violated the personal rights of more people on a daily basis in my view than the IRS, DEA, and the ATF combined.  Clearly, this slobbering demon child of the Department of Homeland Security is being molded for something quite terrible and grand.
When confronted by the public on the use of irradiating and intrusive naked body scanner technology, the agency responded by allowing their blue handed ghoul army to molest our nether-regions.  When confronted by state and local governments on their absurd tactics, the TSA threatened economic blockades and airport shutdowns.  The organization then began expanding its jurisdiction to bus and train stations and even our highways when it introduced the VIPR program and implemented random roadside checkpoints in Tennessee last year.  But, this behavior is nothing compared to what is next on the horizon: a compromise…

Beware of government agencies bearing gifts.  The TSA along with the International Air Transport Association has announced a new methodology of “less intrusive” passenger screening measures, in order to address the concerns of the public over pat downs and irradiating naked body scanners.  This SOUNDS like a step in the right direction, and a proper response to the grievances of the citizenry.  Instead, it turns out to be a refined example of totalitarianism in motion, and a perfect lesson in how the masses can be duped into handing over their inherent freedoms.

Revamped security protocols call for biometric data collection, including fingerprint and retina scans, and a tunnel which combines multiple detection systems into one area (who knows how radioactive this will end up being):
http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/story/2012-06-19/Faster-better-airport-security-checkpoints-not-that-far-off/55693916/1

The mainstream article above makes this development sound like a win/win scenario for everyone, painting biometric data collection as a matter of convenience, but it also reveals the true design of the system; to illicit voluntary subservience:
“The key to speeding up checkpoints and making security less intrusive will be to identify and assess travelers according to the risks they pose to safety in the skies. The so-called riskiest or unknown passengers would face the toughest scrutiny, including questioning and more sensitive electronic screening. Those who voluntarily provide more information about themselves to the government would be rewarded with faster passage…” They enforce destructive anti-personal rights policies then pretend to acquiesce by replacing them with a technocratic nightmare grid which requires the cataloging of our very genetic essence in order to function.  The only remaining injustice left would be to apply this grid to the rest of the country outside of the airports and train stations, which I assure you, they plan to do.  Militarization

Last week, I covered the disturbing use of armored vehicles (APC’s or urban tanks) in open training regiments on the streets of St. Louis by the U.S Army, despite the fact that all of their exercises could have easily been accomplished on any number of military bases across the country.  The action is an obvious attempt to condition the American populace to the sight of military units operating in a policing capacity:

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/866-military-tanks-on-st-louis-streetsbut-why

I received multiple letters from current serving military who stated that in all their years in the armed forces they had never seen such a brash mishandling of public relations or an overstepping of bounds when it came to the restrictions of Posse Comitatus.  It was encouraging to hear from military men and women who did not agree with or condone this kind of psyop activity on the part of our government.

Though the St. Louis event is not isolated, I believe it does represent an escalation.

Remember the controversy over the Mayor of Toledo and his refusal to allow 200 Marines to conduct urban combat drills on the public streets of his city in 2008?  The media clamored to crucify this public official; one of the few who had any sense whatsoever in his head:

http://voices.yahoo.com/toledo-mayor-faces-backlash-ousting-marines-896105.html

Or the tactical exercises using helicopters and combat troops over LA and Chicago early this year?

http://www.lapdonline.org/newsroom/news_view/50045
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/04/17/city-black-hawk-helicopter-flights-were-just-a-training-exercise/

During each one of these events, city officials and local media attempted to inoculate the public with claims that they were “simply exercises”.  This argument misses the point entirely.  Whether or not these are “exercises” is not the issue.  The issue is that this training could be done ON BASE.  Using public streets and running drills within cities is absolutely unnecessary given the vast resources already available to the military, unless, of course, the goal is to BE SEEN by the public and to influence them to view the sight of armed troops around them as “normal”.

Add to this the fact that many of these military training exercises are being conducted in tandem with local police departments, and you have a recipe for the utter militarization of our society, turning peace officers into combat soldiers, and combat soldiers into law enforcement mechanisms; a juxtaposition that will soon lead to unmitigated disaster.

Arms Race Against the People?

When a country is quietly preparing for war, the first signs are usually revealed by a disclosure of armaments.  If stockpiling is taking place without a warranted threat present from a legitimate enemy, there is a considerable likelihood of aggression on the part of that nation.  America has gone well beyond the psychological process of militarization and has begun the extensive arming of particular agencies whose primary purpose revolves around the domestic.

The DHS, for instance, placed an order for over 450 million rounds of hollowpoint .40 cal ammunition in April of this year:
http://rt.com/usa/news/dhs-million-point-government-179/

And it placed an order for over 7000 new semi-automatic combat rifles chambered in .223 (5.56 by 45mm NATO) immediately after:
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=d791b6aa0fd9d3d8833b2efa08300033&tab=core&tabmode=list&=

While local police through federal programs (like the 1033 Program) are being given millions of dollars in free military equipment, including body armor, night vision equipment, APC’s, aircraft, first aid supplies, weapons, surveillance equipment, Kevlar helmets, gas masks and filters, vehicles, etc.:

http://www.ogs.state.sc.us/surplus/SP-1033-index.phtm

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/06/cops-military-gear/all/

All of this equipment, though issued to state agencies, is still heavily tracked and regulated by the federal government, making it clear that these “gifts” come with strings attached:

http://www.newsherald.com/articles/program-103291-state-law.html

And finally, new FAA regulations will soon allow the dispersion of tens of thousands of predator drones with armament capability in the skies of the U.S. over the course of the next few years: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/7/coming-to-a-sky-near-you/
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/10/nation/la-na-drone-arrest-20111211
Now, anyone with any logic would ask who it is that the government is arming itself and local police to fight against?  Al Qaeda?  Let’s not be naïve…

The passage of the NDAA and its provisions for the indefinite detainment of ANY person, even an American citizen, under the laws of war has ended the debate over government intent in terms of domestic action.  FBI Director Robert Mueller’s admission that he “did not know” if assassination programs would be used against American citizens also heaped evidence on the matter.  The bottom line?  Our government wishes to label and treat citizens as enemy combatants.  Of course they would then organize armaments to follow through on their policy.

Pulling The Trigger

All despotic systems have another distinct similarity; they each began with a series of trigger events which opened the door to tighter controls over the population.  The most immediate trigger event for the U.S. is the looming peril of a collapsing economy followed by inevitable civil unrest.  With the EU currently in debt shambles, global markets are on the verge of a considerable breakdown.  The Federal Reserve response will be predictable; QE3 and massive stimulus all around to mitigate the crisis.  This time, though, the go-to Keynesian quick fix will not work in the slightest.  In fact, it will make matters more untenable by placing the world reserve status of the dollar at risk.

Everything that has happened so far in the markets this year has been easy to foresee.  Alt-Market predicted the economic slowdown around the world and the collapse of overall demand using the Baltic Dry Index as a gauge back in January:
http://www.alt-market.com/articles/540-baltic-dry-index-signals-renewed-market-collapse

We also predicted the accelerated turmoil in the EU in light of the recent election results in France and Greece:
http://www.alt-market.com/articles/765-economic-alert-if-youre-not-worried-yetyou-should-be

If alternative economic analysts can predict these developments despite the manipulated statistics spewed out by the government every month, then I think the government and our central bank has a tremendously transparent view of what is coming down the road in terms of financial distress.  I believe the establishment is very well aware of a potential crisis event, economic or otherwise, that is barreling down upon the U.S.  I believe the evidence shows that they are preparing for this eventuality in a command and control fashion, without alerting the public to the coming implosion.  I believe they will use the despair that flows forth from the fiscal wreckage as an excuse to institute martial law.

Call it “crazy”.  Call it “conspiracy theory”.  Call it “coincidence”.  Call it “fear mongering”.  Whatever you like.  I find it far more insane to shrug off the strange and twisted behavior of our power structure, and simply hope that it’s all irrelevant to the future.  Whenever I run into starry eyed historical romanticists who look back in astonishment at the tyrannies of the past and wonder out loud, “How could those people have not known where their country was headed?!!”, I think of where we are today…

You can contact Brandon Smith at:
brandon@alt-market.com

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