Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Thinking About a Nail

When you write for public consumption, even a public as vanishingly small as those who read this, there are many choices to be made.  Many avenues to be explored and the ramifications of each to be outlined.

We are looking hard at a point in American history that may be the equivalent of the other great spasms that have shaken the country; the changeover from the Revolution to the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution(1770-1787), the Civil War(1850-1865), and the Great Spasm (1917 to 1945, This is a moniker of my own making, it describes the First World War, the Great Depression, and The Second World War, In my mind these three "events" are so intertwined that the must necessarily be looked at as a whole).

Now, you will probably notice a kind of rhythm to these things.  The overall time from crest to crest is around seventy to eighty years.  The last one ended around sixty-five years ago.  Each of these periods went from a steadily more nasty run up leading to a spasm running for around 10 to 15 years.  Hmmm, it is not too difficult to imagine 2003 as a starting point for the nasty run up.

So, like most of you, I am thinking that we are getting pretty damn close to a nasty bit in our collective history.   

But it seems that like any conflict, there are strategies and tactics needed in order for the change to be successfully made or resisted.  So right now, I have to think hard about the approach that I am going to be taking over the next little bit.  We are facing an immensely powerful force that has taken over the country (No, it isn't Obama, he is just their Press Secretary).  This Oligarchy has no intention of letting go their chokehold on the system and they are implementing laws that will allow them to safely default on any "responsibility" and to be able to enforce any measures necessary for us to continue lining their wallets.

Now, I have no intention of allowing them to do this to me.  But I think that a straight up fight might not be the best idea.  Despite any desire for a flamboyant gesture, in the current environment, a straight up fight will just get you squashed like a bug.  I believe in my heart that I am a Freeman.  The Oligarchy that is now attempting to run the country wishes me to be a Consumer.

So, I by choosing the path of a Freeman, I feel that my only ethical move is to disallow the Oligarch's plans to make me less than I am.  I must subvert their goals of making me and my fellow citizens their pawns.

So, the inelegant and effective method of subversion and eating away at the supports of the system seem to be an effective way to go.  But what is the system that you are trying to subvert?  Where is the most effective point of attack and what are the tactics that you can use to make the attack.
  • I would argue that the main point of attack would necessarily have to be the finance and banking systems.  They also have the benefit of being the easiest to attack.  Go Cash and Gold.  Doing so will strangle them if enough folks realize that these folks are stealing from them and get out from under them. 
  • Pay off your debt.  Look at your statements.  If it says Interest Due anywhere on the statement, you are paying a vampire for the right to suck your blood.  Don't take out any more debt.
  • Stop wanting everything NOW.  Real people with real lives realize that they have to work and save to get anything of real value.  Spoiled children want things now. Save you money until you can buy cash.  If you can't pay cash, do without and save.
  • Don't pay for anything with any flavor of plastic whatsoever.  It screws you and it screws the person selling stuff to you.  The vendor has to pay the bank for the right to launder the money though bank (read here: Scum sucking parasite), the vendor then raises the price to cover his cost.  You get screwed either way.  The bank gets money for your lack of discipline.  This is a tax, pure and simple, and you can stop paying it. 
  • Get out of the stock market.  It is a mafiosi casino.  The "returns" are nothing more than illusions generated for the gullible.  If you can find a company that pays dividends appropriate to it's revenues and pays it's CEO and management an income less than 20x the income of its line workers, then I would say go for it, but good luck finding one of those.
  • Save money in a safe in your house.  As the banks start toppling, they will take your money with them.  The promises that they give to back your money are as ephemeral as a fart in the breeze.  The government and the FDIC doesn't have that kind of cash.
  • Stop thinking about the money you could have "made" with your investments and your savings with interest.  If you feel that the system is corrupt, you must sever yourself from the shackles of greed by which you bind yourself to this corrupt system.  
  • Start taking less.  My favorite quote from the past is:  "Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."
  • Ruthlessly reduce your energy use.  The current system is based on profligate acquisition and consumption of energy.  If you can figure out how to cut your energy use in half, you are reducing the money flows going into the complex, thus starving the beast.
  • Start providing for yourself.  Start figuring out where you can do this, gardening, raising chickens, walking.  Start providing means where you are self-sustaining and independent of the large scale structures that allow the system control.
  • Barter your produce.  If you can fix someones boat and they give you three or four cases of homebrew, you are strangling the beast.

I think that these simple ideas are do-able.  There are probably a thousand subtle variations on each of these as well as a host of others that I haven't thought of.  Will they bring down the system, probably not.  The analogy that I figure comes closest to the effect each of these will have on the beast is that of a red blood cell.  If you can do one of these, you will take one red blood cell from the beast.  Will that bring it down? No.  But if enough of us get fed up and start doing these simple things, the decrease in the number of blood cells will start having an effect.

These may well make the system unstable enough that it can be taken down.  It will also allow you to develop the skills to transition to the new regime or to weather the interregnum.

But until enough of us are angered when they call us consumers, until enough of us think of ourselves as citizens, the beast will ride us until we founder. 


Mayberry said...

Yep, starve the beast. Though I would say sell the house, it's one of the largest beast feeding vehicles the crooks ever came up with. "The American Dream" TM...

tweell said...

Another Toynbee cyclical history convert!
For the modern version, there's The Fourth Turning by Strauss and Howe. http://fourthturning.com/