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Two words: Screw that.

Barack Obama Campaigns In Toledo

May 1, 2012
Santiago, Chile

Friedrich von Hayek, a major figure in the Austrian school of economics, wrote in his seminal work the Road to Serfdom,

“By giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.”

It’s hard to ignore Hayek’s prescient warning when you hear about the US government’s newest (and 17th) spy agency that it wants to roll out… because hey, 16 spy agencies just isn’t enough.

Or the Transportation Security Administration ‘aggressively screening’ a 7-year old girl with Cerebral Palsy at JFK Airport in New York (causing the family to miss their flight)… and then later issuing a statement defending its agents’ actions.

Or Congress authorizing the IRS and State Department to revoke US citizens’ passports on suspicion of tax delinquency; as of last week, the bill has passed both the House and Senate, and is now awaiting a final agreement before going to the President for signature.

Then there was the National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order that President Obama signed last month– an order which gives the federal government autocratic power to seize and redistribute all agricultural resources in the event of a national emergency.

When you step back and look at the big picture, the writing on the wall seems so clear, so obvious. In Western Europe and the United States in particular, bankrupt, insolvent governments will resort to any means necessary in order to maintain the status quo: keeping them in power at our expense.

This means continuing to reduce personal liberty, eliminate economic freedom, vanquish privacy, debase the currency, stifle innovation, eradicate financial opportunity, and destroy the savings and livelihoods of millions of people.

These tactics are not new, this time is not different. Empires on the slide have always resorted to cannibalism– feeding off the productive class in order to keep the party going a little while longer.

In the fourth and fifth centuries (AD), for example, the Western Roman empire resorted to centrally planned labor allocation, price fixing, rapid currency devaluation, capital controls, civil asset forfeiture, and tax rates that were so high that the few citizens who remained welcomed the invading barbarian hordes with open arms.

Most of the smart, productive Romans had already moved on to greener pastures long before. As the situation worsened, more and more people began to leave until there was a mass Exodus of over 90% of western Rome’s population in its final decades.

Similarly, the Ottoman Empire, having reached the zenith of its expansion in the 16th century, established a massive, unsustainable bureaucracy that was far more costly than any other administrative hierarchy in history, including Rome’s.

Soon Ottoman bureacrats began to see the people as existing to provide them with position… rather than their position existing to support the people. Sound familiar?

Huge spending in the Ottoman Empire gave way to a massive public debt (on which they defaulted in 1875), which eventually begat currency debasement, inflation, an absurd tax system, and a substantial reduction in civil liberties.

History shows that freedom is almost always the price that societies pay to maintain the status quo and keep their rulers in power. When the system finally collapses under its own weight, though, things can go from bad to worse as the people cry out for CHANGE.

The French, for example, traded an absolute monarch in Louis XVI for an absolute dictator in Robespierre. Similarly, the Russians traded the empire of ‘Bloody’ Tsar Nicholas II for the Red Terror of Soviet Russia.

As the Russian Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky said in 1937, “The old principle of ‘who does not work shall not eat’ has been replaced by a new one– who does not obey shall not eat.”

Two words: Screw that.

Everybody has a choice to make. On one hand, we can either bury our heads in the sand, pretend that everything is OK, and continue being the boiling frog in the pot… just like the poor schmucks who stuck around Rome until the 5th century getting taxed out of their minds and watching their livelihoods inflate away.

On the other, we can recognize that the rise and fall of empires is part of history’s normal cycle… that it’s been happening for millennia, and this time is no different. We can look to the rest of the world and understand that, for all of the turmoil, this is one of the most exciting times to be alive and that the world is full of incredible opportunities.

Just like the Romans who left for Byzantium, the Ottomans who left for Europe, the Europeans who left for North America, there are always regions in the world that are rising while others are falling.

It’s the people who get there first after acknowledging reality and basic historical truth that can reap the greatest reward.

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.

  • Surfer

    S. 1813: MAP-21 which has the bit about revoking or not approving passports if you owe any taxes to the IRS, shows as having passed the Senate, but not the House.

  • steve ward

    why cant they sue the airport? wait they need the airport on there side? the point is they most like miss there flight and had to pay more money to get another one? (small inconvenetis) to the pat down of a girl who could not even walk (invasion of privacy to out and out terrorizing of people)

    Btw there seems to be one big differences but im not a history person, that differences is that this country was founded on freedom? Is there another country that is founded on freedom?

    • Geoff Orchard

      The US of A was founded on freedom and some jolly fine principles which have since been soundly trodden into the rotting mud of modern society.  That is, if you could call the organisation that we live in a society.

      • steve ward

        Actually i’m not referring to a law (which is in some case meanless) or the government (which can change over time) but the people themself’s which define a nation or anything for that matter.

        So Geoff your saying people have changed? I agree with you people of usa have changed. the problem is with certain things that i have changed.

        Those that effect freedom, there don’t seem to be any good reason for it either. Which leads me to only one thing Control  people realizing that they are losing power so what do they do.

        They try to control others

    • Lou Nagy

      Yes, several. Independence might be a more appropriate term. The Swiss Confederacy had its Founding Charter in 1291. Hungary’s Golden Bull was enacted in 1222, the English Magna Charta enacted in 1217. All proclaimed freedom. Whose freedom? - you might ask. In the English and Hungarian instances, it was the nobility, while the serfs were considered “property”. Jefferson’s Declaration disavowed nobility, we were all free, except the slaves were still considered “property”. So freedom is an important ideal but is by no means universally defined or applied.

      • steve ward

        ok was not sure how unique the usa system was

      • Robespierre

         or appreciated……

  • Dek

    Where is there left to go? I was hoping there would be colonies on the moon by now…sigh.

    • StuckInUK4Now

      A lunar colony is more likely to be a very controlled, locked-down settlement than a libertarian paradise.

      “You don’t like our rules here, underling? Well, you are free to step outside and die in the vacuum…”

  • Remote Islander

    Scary scary stuff.  Especially the part of passport revokation  over “suspicion” of tax delinquency.  So purposely vague.. I hope everyone realizes what this means?  It’s giving absolute authority for an agency to ruin your chances of going abroad just on mere suspicion…without court, without fair trial, go directly to jail.  You know that tax return you were a month late on, oh well NO Passport for you!  You’re stuck.  They’re pretty much saying “we own you” you cannot escape, resistance is futile, non-resistance over seas is futile. US citizenship = permanent liability.  As for me, i’m getting a second passport AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.  Be afraid be very very afraid people, a lot of these new government policies belong in the crazy house…but i agree “screw that”.

    • Louise

       I feel the same as you! We have a Communist in the White House!
      I like the second passport idea- it seems that it either takes a long time or it is expensive-

    • Gene

       Yes. It should be stressed that this “suspicion of tax delinquency” charge will NOT require ANY due process if this bill is passed. This will be purely an “administrative” decision…no due process.

  • eric taylor

    Your just talking about the rise of Corporate power
    that the Republicans’ overwhelmingly prefer in Washington
    DC, USA that some call Fascism.

    • Ivan the Torn

       vs. the rise of Corporate power
      that the Democrats overwhelmingly prefer in Washington DC, USA that some call Socialism?

  • Twkleinstuber

    Your facts are not all correct and therefore are sometimes misleading.

  • TW

    I’d like to sign up, but I’m afraid they’d come and get me first! Oh, well. I’m sure they know I’m here already…..

  • Teresa

    Hold on, Simon, that’s misleading. The NDRP EO has been around for decades. This is about stuff like rationing (which we had here in the UK during WWII) and I don’t entirely see what’s wrong with it.

    • Mark

      Oh Teresa, watch the film ‘passport to pimlico’ to see how thoroghly wrong you are. Those ‘socialists’ conspired to keep their people in slavery long after the war finished. And the people were so sick of the poverty it brought, were still rebelling decades later through the ‘revelutionary’ sixties, seventies when they couldn’t keep the lights on, until Maggie came along with her populist capitalism. There might have been a Marshall plan for the continent, but we were paying our bills until just before the 21st century. The germans were let off, and were guaranteed prosperity and peace as punishment for their troubles. We got poverty and were ethnically cleansed for standing alone, while others, who were late to the fray got three hundred years of economic growth transferred into their bank accounts. It won’t happen again.  

  • Thomas Jefferson

    the founders told us what to do in these types of situations

    We did it once against the English and the South did it against a despotic Federal government (though we lost that one).   The answer is not neat, it is not clean but history and the founders were wise………..

    • Billporter

      That’s funny- equating the American Revolution with the imperialistic machinations of the Slave Power. “though we lost that one”; what’s next, ressurrecting human slavery? You cannot separate slavery from the Confederacy anymore than you can ssesssseseparate a man from his liver.

      • Gene

         That’s a fallacy learned through public “education”. The US Civil War was NOT started due to the slavery issue..only in an indirect way. slavery was used more as a propaganda issue by the union to spin the war as a moral issue. The real issue was money and trade.

      • Cespejc

        Also, if you look at the wage disparity in the North between the industrialist class and the working class in factories you will find that it was no better than salvery.. especially when you consider that good slave owners were educating their slaves, providing housing, and recreational ameneties. Look at Davis’s brother.

        Slavery did need to be abolished at some point.  And Lincoln’s move of making it a public moral issue was a brilliant political move keeping Englad out of it. 

  • Where to go?

    And where would we go? Seems every place is collapsing. How’s Australia doing? Is that a good place to go?

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