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SOVEREIGN MAN

I for Inevitable

Guy_Fawkes_by_Cruikshank

November 5, 2012,
Dallas, Texas.

Just over 400-years ago today, a group of 13 conspirators was caught trying to assassinate King James I of England and blow up the House of Lords in what became known as the Gunpowder Treason.

If you’ve ever seen the movie V for Vendetta, you know the story. Guy Fawkes was found underneath the House of Lords with three dozen barrels of gunpowder… and to this day, his effigy is still burned annually in commemoration of the event.

Fundamentally, the Gunpowder Treason was about freedom. The English monarchy at the time was controlling nearly every aspect of the economy and their subjects’ lives– from what they could wear to how they could worship.

“Sumptuary laws” which regulated private behavior were commonplace. Elizabeth I, for example, re-introduced a beard tax on all facial hair grown in excess of two weeks. She also published long lists, categorized by social class, dictating precisely what color and type of garment her subjects were required to wear.

It turns out these sumptuary laws were just an early form of state-sponsored corporate welfare; the English textile industry had paid Elizabeth huge sums of money in exchange for royal decrees about knitted caps and woollen socks.

As a consequence, a great deal of English labor and disposable income was mis-allocated towards silly garments instead of being put to more productive uses… and the country was in an almost perpetual state of stagnation.

Not to mention, English finances deteriorated under Elizabeth. By 1600, state expenditures were 23% greater than tax revenue, which would be the equivalent of a $550 billion budget deficit in the US today. Not exactly a trivial figure.

James I, Elizabeth’s successor, continued to spend extravagantly and in-debt the English economy, often showering taxpayer funds on a handful of favored nobles.

By the time James’s successor Charles I came to power, the monarchy’s credit was running so thin that Charles had to force people to loan him money; those who refused were imprisoned and had their property confiscated.

Unsurprisingly, civil war broke out in 1642. Charles I was executed in 1649, and the genocidal dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell dominated England for the next decade.

When you think about it, this collapse was inevitable. For decades prior, the entire English economy was under the control of a single individual who massively indebted the state, impeded growth, and reduced people’s individual freedoms. Not exactly a recipe for long-term success.

The Gunpowder Treason of November 5, 1605 may have been a failure for the conspirators, but given enough time, a system so screwed up, so unsustainable, was destined to collapse on itself.

Curiously, we’re not so different in the west today. We have our own sumptuary laws, regulating everything from tobacco consumption to what foods we can/cannot eat. We have our own state-sponsored corporate welfare. We’re comically indebted.

And just like the English monarchs, we have a tiny elite that controls absolutely everything about our economy– taxation, regulation, and the supply of money.

Needless to say, this is also unsustainable. And history shows that these types of unsustainable systems will always collapse under their own weight. We’re not so different… and tomorrow, I’ll mathematically prove it to you. More to follow.

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Neal-Wyatt/1104489568 Christopher Neal Wyatt

    As all humans are born with free will, there is nothing that is absolutely inevitable. However, it does seem that TPTB are deliberately engineering the economic collapse of the West. Moreover, we also have strong evidence that the purpose of this collapse is to firmly cement corporate ownership and control of the entire World. Many have attempted to control the World in the past, and all of them have failed. I feel that it is not the economic collapse of the West that is truly inevitable, but only the failure of those who are behind it.

    Read also “The Self Destruction of the 1%” via the New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/opinion/sunday/the-self-destruction-of-the-1-percent.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=0

  • glub

    Enlightening. Thanks.

  • Jae Mender

    “And just like the English monarchs, we have a tiny elite that controls absolutely everything about our economy– taxation, regulation, and the supply of money.”

    The difference is: the English knew whose head to cut off. Today’s tiny elite is relatively anonymous. All we can do is try to get out of their way and not be noticed.

  • superman

    The system is unsustainable. This has become quite evident in the events of Hurricane Sandy which have wiped out infrastructure, and incredibly vital resources such as gasoline. People are lined up for hours on end waiting to fill their vehicles. In regards to food, people are scavenging dumpsters where restaurants are leaving behind their leftover refuse. Also, there is a shortage of clean water; people are taking water from the sidewalk water pumps and boiling it to drink. This is all going on in the U.S. Imagine if they had been prepared rather than solely dependent upon the standard and vulnerable resources.

  • http://www.datamonks.com vlhorton

    whatcha doin in Dallas?

  • JR Dunbar

    Excellent commentary Simon… not one pitch for overseas bank accounts, accumulating multiple passports, investing in outer Mongolia, or stashing gold away in Hong Kong or Singapore… thanks again

  • StuckInUK4Now

    The English State not only mandated woollen garments for the living, they made it compulsory for the dead as well. Acts of Parliament passed in 1666, 1678 and 1680 required corpses to be buried in shrouds made only from English-origin wool. The laws remained in force until 1814.
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burying_in_Woollen_Acts
    Not even death released you from the iron grip of government!

  • Whitney

    Great historical perspective Simon. I really admire your knowledge of history and your ability to relate it to modern times. You know, I have to apologize because when I first started reading your blog, I criticized you for being too anti-American. Maybe it’s my partisan bias that triggered this (although I do think the GOP is really, really messed up as well), but since the election of Obama, I realize that everything you said about America was right. The reason I was angry with you was because you’re right and the truth was hard to take. America, like all great empires that are destined for collapse, has reached the height of arrogance and it’s sickening. America, as we know it, is over, and it was over even if Obama hadn’t won reelection. I hope that maybe America can rebuild a few decades from now, but that’s too far away for me to stick around for. I thank you for being honest about how messed up America had become. It takes courage to speak honestly and I do hope you accept my apology for criticizing your views before. Now that I see how right you were, I’m being criticized in the same way. Just goes to show – what goes around, comes around. Keep up the great work Simon.

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