"The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. But how is... legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay ... If such a law is not abolished immediately it will spread, multiply and develop into a system." ~ Frederic Bastiat
Exclusive to STR
March 20, 2009
What if we're not looking into the portal of another Great Depression, but we're looking into the abyss of another Dark Age instead?
No living person can answer that question. The answer will not be known for several generations, if there is anyone left who can ask by then.
Roman citizens who posed themselves a similar question began leaving their center of civilization between the first and third centuries A.D. Roman villas are still being discovered as far away as Portugal and Britain . These were small and self-sufficient homes for two dozen or more people who evidently had a cosmopolitan variety of skills, including farming and husbandry, building, ceramics, stone cutting, plumbing, baking, and brewing. They built their own civil infrastructure far from official tax collectors and the bread and circuses of urban centers. It appears that these remote enclaves were successfully inhabited for several centuries after Rome itself was reduced to rubble, and turned into the villages scattered around the countryside today.
We commonly regard our civil infrastructure as solid and durable, but when a natural disaster like a blizzard knocks out our electricity and water supply for a week, we are suddenly confronted with survival conditions. We have become accustomed to rapid repair and recovery, so we assume the emergency will be temporary, but what if the cause is not natural? What if our infrastructure fails due to political disaster?
All political governments fail. History shows no exceptions. Political governments are always founded by force and fraud, rule by force and fraud, and inevitably fail by force and fraud. Worldwide, political governments are no different, and this time they are all failing at once: Their 100% fraudulent monetary system has caught up to them.
The long and sordid history of government central banking is well documented. Rulers routinely clipped coins and diluted coins with base metals to finance their wars and cheat their creditors in Roman times. Independent and underground money lenders used honest coin and gained a good reputation, often at risk of theft and murder, and became the first bankers during the Renaissance. The temptation to rule the people with money was always there, however, best exemplified by the deals struck between the House of Rothschild and European states during the 17th and 18th centuries.
I've often wondered what was the Bank of England's stake in the US Constitution. I suspect the money coining clause has their fingerprints on it. But their real coup was the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which turned America 's money supply over to a private banking cartel that included them. Our reward? The purchasing power of the 1913 dollar is now five cents. Even Roman Emperors could not clip coins that fast.
The Federal Reserve in collusion with the US Treasury has been trying to save the banks that own the Federal Reserve for the last two years. They can't do it without a massive injection of money from outside the US , but no other country has the money to lend. So here it ends: Congress authorizes debt, Treasury prints the debt bonds, and the Federal Reserve buys them, with money created out of thin air.
When we have a fixed amount of goods and services and we have a rapidly increasing number of dollars, prices go up and up and up, until the goods are gone and nobody is able to replace them. Hyperinflation is a common feature of dying states.
Political governments control all of our urban infrastructures, like water, electricity, natural gas, sewage, roads and highways, and communications. Now imagine that all of these systems begin to break down, one by one, and that there are no parts available to fix them. What will a condo dweller do when the power goes out, not for five days, but permanently? What will happen when sewage runs in the streets because the pumps stopped running? What will we eat after the trucks quit delivering food?
Why should any of that happen? Because what we are forced to use as money will no longer buy anything.
None of this is lost on our rulers, of course. Much as they glow in the warmth of supplication, they will not allow a slave rebellion. When the existence of the political state is at risk, which it is financially, we can expect all manner of lies and threats, and the use of force wherever they can get away with it. The government has a large body of trained and blooded killers to enforce obedience for a while, but their dollars will have the same value as our dollars, so their deployment in the cities will only hasten the destruction of infrastructure, strand them there, and leave them to their fate. Rome had that problem too.
As the Greater Depression unfolds over the next decade or century, what would a prudent survivor require? A water supply, sewage disposal, durable hand tools, a wood stove, a dwelling, and a vegetable garden. A carefully selected library would matter to future generations as well.
What if it's time to think like a Roman?