Cypher’s Choice

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In the original Matrix movie, there’s a character named Cypher who decides that life is more comfortable for him within the confines of the false-reality programming that is the Matrix. He betrays his comrades, in return for being plugged back into the Matrix – back into his comfortable (though illusory) life of ease and affluence. Of porterhouse steaks, fine wine and nice clothes… .

I got to thinking about Cypher’s choice as a result of a discussion I had recently with someone about a real-life Cypher. You may know of him.

His name is Alan Greenspan.

A long time ago, Greenspan was a champion of free market economics – an associate of the famous writer Ayn Rand and the author of Gold and Economic Freedom. He opposed central banking – and fiat currency. He vigorously defended sound money – and the vital (to economic liberty) necessity of moral hazard. The concept  that people must be free to prosper – or fail – according to the merits of their ideas and their work, without fear or favor from the government.

His was a mighty voice for economic – and thus, individual – liberty.

But then Alan sold out. He plugged back into the Matrix. He became the apotheosis of that which he had once reviled: chairman of the Federal Reserve! The head of the private banking cartel that manipulates boom-bust for its own financial gain. The entity that devalues the currency at whim, causing and creating the economic instability that makes financial security all-but-impossible for the average person.

The leading light of sound money became its most deadly enemy. The proverbial ringmaster of casino capitalism.

And was richly rewarded.

Alan Greenspan became  wealthy, famous and powerful. For many years, as Fed chairman, he literally controlled the U.S. banking system – which is another way of saying he controlled the U.S. economy. Which is to say, his whim affected millions of people. Will interest rates go up – or down? How much inflation can we expect next year? Is it a good time to buy – or sell? The augurs parsed his every word, his every inflection… what will the Great Man do?

Augustus Caesar never wielded such arbitrary power over the masses.

It must have been intoxicating. It opened many doors – doors that would have remained forever closed to a defender of sound money – and so, an enemy of the Fed.

Of course, Greenspan must live with himself. And with what he did.

Which brings us to the question – a question not unlike the one Morpheus posed to Neo – and before Neo, to Cypher:

What would any of us have done if presented with the same choice – what amounts to Cypher’s choice? Either: Spend a lifetime, perhaps, tilting at windmills – never convincing enough people to unplug from the Matrix …  casting pearls before swine  . . . probably living a harder life yourself as a result. Eyes open – but pockets empty.

Or: Give up on the masses. Decide they are – mostly –  incorrigible. Conclude that, while there are some who can be unplugged from the Matrix, most prefer the Matrix world of illusion, fraud and coercion. So why not give it to them? Let them have their panem et circenses – their football and America’s Got Talent. Their payday loans and home equity lines … their consumerism and debt, McMansions and income taxes?

And make some bucks for oneself along the way?

I understand what Greenspan did. And I have to admit, if I am to be honest about it, that I’d be tempted to do the same – for the same reasons. God help me. I hope I wouldn’t. I try hard to keep an optimistic perspective and hope that enough people come around in time … .

But then I remember the tens of millions who will vote for Obama – or Romney. Actively – that is, enthusiastically – vote for them. The scores of millions who believe in – who want – authoritarianism and redistributionism (pick your flavor). Who actually do “hate freedom” – as The Chimp put it.

In which case, why fight the inevitable? Why not make the best of a bad situation? Money does equal power – and power can insulate one (and one’s family) from the massed millions out there….

And with a couple million, one could buy a very safe retreat, well-stocked and far, far way from the coming shit-storm. Or, just hop in one’s private jet and leave. . .  . The safe house in Argentina (or wherever) is waiting. Let the masses have what they crave – their fuuuhhhhttball and TeeeeVee and their SmoooVees and shopping malls  – and gnaw each other to a bloody pulp.

Such thoughts probably circulated through Alan Greenspan’s mind. He chose accordingly.

I like to think I would choose differently.

But perhaps Alan – perhaps Cypher – was right.

I hope they weren’t. But I fear they may have been.

Just look around. It is hard to be optimistic. America is becoming the new Soviet Union – or perhaps something even worse. And most people welcome it. Or at least, don’t give a damn about it. So long as they are plugged in to the Matrix… into their false world of illusory comforts, of status and power (ephemeral though it may be)…

Stopping this – let alone reversing it – may be as hopeless as trying to push an already-rolling car back up the hill. In which case, perhaps better to stand aside and let the thing proceed on its way.

Maybe we can salvage something from the mess afterward.

Throw it in the Woods?

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eric

Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia. 

  131 comments for “Cypher’s Choice

  1. James Hancock
    July 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    The question isnt why he did what he did. The wuestion is why he wmet from following a defacto gold standard and slowly sopping up money to get the US dollar back to 35 / ounce and all of a sudden in 1998 flipped a switch and started printing money and ignoring what gold was doing.

    For the first 8 years as fed chairman he worked within the system and effectively put the us back on gold…why did he stop? It was working amazingly. A recesion hit and lasted 18 months. The econ,y was growing fast by historical standards of the 20th century.

    Why did he freak out and drop the principle that was working so well?

    Someone had to have gotten to him…

  2. Tinsley Grey Sammons
    July 25, 2012 at 2:36 am

    There has never been a more pressing need to repeal bad law.

  3. Bob Robertson
    July 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    It’s not the people who honestly ask themselves, “What would I do? Would I be strong enough?”

    It’s the ones that don’t question themselves that scare me.

  4. dom
    July 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm
    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      July 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      Terrorism AND DRUG TRAFFICKING?

      An interesting combination. Do Y’all see what I see in it?

      Two years ago while addressing Congress for the record, Ron Paul flat out referred to the Drug War as “unconstitutional”. If it is unconstitutional then it is a Legal Crime with millions of victims*. So then, why has neither Congress nor the Media responded?

      What do America’s juris* doctors have to say about it? What do the hundreds (Or is it thousands?)of law professors have to say about it?

      What does a Citizen have a natural right to do if some person or entity fails to respect his right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness?

      WE hold these Truths…

      Do WE really?

      tgsam

      *How many millions have been unlawfully arrested so far? How many have had their lives terminated or otherwise ruined?

      **Aren’t there more than a million lawyers in America today? Aren’t thousands of bright young JDs graduated each year? How many JDs are legislators?

      • Brad Smith
        July 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        Well said. I would also like to point out how the media jumps on the anti-gun wagon after this newest shooting or any other one. Yet, they never bring up the single biggest reason for gun crimes, the war on some people who use some drugs.

        • Tinsley Grey Sammons
          July 23, 2012 at 11:33 pm

          The faction and sub-factions that legally profit from the unlawful Drug War wield great power and influence.

          The unlawful Drug War is a legal Crime Against Humanity. Therefore, I am convinced that the Nuremberg Precedent is applicable to the Drug War.

          America’s domestic enemies, i.e., the legal profession, political office holders, and the MSM have done more to destroy the American Ideal than any foreign enemy could ever have hoped to do.

          Spies and traitors are executed. What should be done to the worst of America’s domestic enemies? I doubt if Nova Scotia today would provide refuge for them.

    • July 24, 2012 at 2:03 am

      Dear Dom,

      The article you cited concluded with this passage:

      If Marines are sent in to do law enforcement but are attacked, will they go back to being warfighters? And if so, what are the implications? “They are very comfortable with the escalation of force,” he said. “MPs get that. It’s fundamental to what we do.”

      So. “They are very comfortable with the escalation of force.” Hey, “officer safety” above all else, right? Kill ‘em all. Let god sort ‘em out.

      • Scott
        July 24, 2012 at 2:33 am

        Dear Bevin,

        And these, all 140,000 of them, are destined to be Americas civilian police force. Because the FSM knows there aren’t any other jobs for them.

        • July 24, 2012 at 5:05 am

          Dear Scott,

          “And these, all 140,000 of them, are destined to be America’s civilian police force.”

          Once again I am reminded of the stern warning issued by Thomas Paine, whom I consider the greatest and most anti-authoritarian of all the Founding Fathers.

          “He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
          — Thomas Paine,
          Dissertation on First Principles of Government 1795

          Many warfare statists probably have orgasms at the very thought of US Marines “getting tough” on “ragheads” and “camel jockeys.”

          But they really need to think twice. What goes around comes around.

          Before they know it, the US Marines will be “getting tough” on them.

      • Gil
        July 24, 2012 at 8:40 am

        Then President Washington sent as many, if not more, troops to suppress as tax rebellion than were sent to repel the British Army. Go figure.

        • July 24, 2012 at 10:36 am

          Dear Gil,

          It’s depressing to contemplate isn’t it?

          Well, at least Thomas Paine wasn’t part of it.

  5. damon
    July 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I’ll add another comment…off on a slightly different tack. I’ve concluded that the momentum in the current direction cannot be stopped except by some massive movement. I’ve also concluded that there is no way that’s happening. No, we’re going to have to see this through to the end, however it plays out. MAYBE, after then, we’ll be able to build something out of the ashes. While I know I an see clearly, most can’t, and frankly, they deserve to get what’s comming. I expect I’ll be collateral damange, but hell, just watching these idiots realize that they are doomed is probably worth burning in the same fire.

    • MetaCynic
      July 23, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Don’t lose hope. Mass civil disobedience has caused tyrannies to suddenly vanish. Not that they are usually replaced by something more respectful of life and liberty. But they do appear to be pretty brittle especially if an economy has been weakened by the costs of war. It was relatively minor acts of public defiance which caused Louis XVI, Kaiser Wilhelm and Czar Nicholas to abdicate. And most remarkably in our own time the German people found their collective voice and demanded that the Berlin wall come down and come down it did along with merciless Communism in the Soviet Bloc.

      Who would have thought that the most oppressive tyranny in history would vanish from Europe with barely a whimper? Compared to that of today and to the rest of the world at the time, life in the American colonies was a libertarian paradise for most. Yet it took years of bitter armed struggle for the colonists to expel the Crown from America. Perhaps the struggle lasted so long because only a minority of the colonists were interested in independence, whereas the vast majority of subjects in real tyrannies have in their minds already delegitimized their rulers. It appears that a majority of subjects must withdraw their consent from the existing order before mass civil disobedience will bring down a tyranny.

      So the crucial question is, how many Americans have in their minds withdrawn their consent to be ruled by our political caste? The Ron Paul movement indicates that the withdrawal is well underway. How soon will the tipping point be reached?

  6. MetaCynic
    July 22, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I starting unplugging from the matrix back in 1966 after reading Ayn Rand’s novels and essays. These led me to the works of Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises and other libertarian thinkers. Along the way I unplugged from TV, the print media and pop culture in general.

    So much of modern life is a fraud. Democracy is a fraud. It is nothing more than allowing the inmates to vote for the commandant and guards staffing Gulag Amerika. In the end, one is still in the gulag being bossed around. Modern “medicine” and the modern diet are frauds. They are by far the leading causes of death today. There is nothing much in mainstream society that an awake, rational person should want to be part of. There is no reason why such an individual should be shocked and in denial upon hearing of another government perpetrated outrage.

    I recently attended a showing of “9/11: Explosive Evidence”, a truly eye opening documentary produced by the Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Many experts from all kinds of technical and scientific fields persuasively argued that explosives and not fires brought down the three towers in NYC on 9/11.

    Among those experts were psychologists. Their insight is that many people have been brainwashed into fusing their identity with the government. Government schools and the boot lick media have convinced these people that the state is an ethical and caring institution and not the rapacious and murderous monster that students of history know it to be. For the brainwashed to suddenly accept the notion that the American government was behind 9/11 is to cast themselves adrift with a shattered identity, not a pleasant state of mind to be in. Hence the reluctance on the part of many millions to confront the true nature of the state. The man who helped produce this documentary related to us that on occasion he would be told by an individual in the audience that even if everything claimed in the documentary proved to be true, that person would still refuse to believe it!

    The gods exhibited a cruel sense of humor in creating mankind. Way too much of their handiwork is branded with the sign of the clover!

    • Art Thomas
      July 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm

      “Democracy is a fraud.”

      It is isn’t it? In one sense it’s worse than slavery of blacks in this country. Black people back then were under no illusion they were free. And no one tried to convince them otherwise. But would be funny to apply today’s illusions of our alleged freedom to the overt slave culture of yesteryear.

      “And this latest from Washington:

      SLAVES AND THEIR SUPPORTERS IN CONGRESS DEMAND SLAVE SUFFRAGE

      “All across the country slaves are rising up and demanding the right to vote
      for their masters. They say if white folks can vote for their masters then why can’t we?
      While it is comical to hear this talk from slaves it may be just the thing to keep them content
      so that America can get on with its real work: building a world empire.”

      • Al Sledge
        July 23, 2012 at 2:21 am

        Slavery was not free labor as many imagine it to be. The system today is much better in that it is cheaper per productive unit than slavery was. Slaves back then got sick and died and owners were out big money. Today when they get sick we simply fire them and they can die without costing us a cent! Well Clovers actually pay when they get sick. Many slaves did not wish to work hard. Modern slaves must compete for work or not work at all. When they don’t work at all, Clover still pays in taxes, food stamps, etc.

        The only possible way the system could be beat, and make all people free, is to shrink Gunverment back to 1790 levels and add an Amendment that selling favors by politicians would be punishable by death. Get rid of the 16th Amendment and make fractional reserve banking a crime.

        One guy I talked to suggested that since politicians claim to spend their lives in “public service” because of their love for their fellow man, they should give up their lives after one term in office. Could even do it like a lottery. If they are willing to send young men and women overseas to die for their country, why are politicians exempt from giving their lives also? Other than the dangers of fatal liver damage or STDs, our politicians are pretty safe. The rest of us are always at risk.

        • Tinsley Grey Sammons
          July 23, 2012 at 3:30 am

          During the so-called Civil War, more than 600,000 mostly young White males died, allegedly to end something that the Industrial Revolution had already made obsolete.

          I often wonder if slavery would still exist had there been no Industrial Revolution, and oxen, horses, mules and humans still had to do what machines now do.

          • July 23, 2012 at 10:01 am

            Probably, it would.

            After all, it did – for the thousands of years of human history prior to the Industrial Revolution.

            It’s fatuous moralizing to characterize the War of Federal Aggression as a crusade to “free the slaves.” Bullshit. Dishonest Abe himself confessed that it was about federal supremacy – not “freeing slaves.” Let alone even treating blacks decently. Any half-educated person ought to know this. But of course, most people are 100 percent propagandized – and hardly educated at all.

          • Tinsley Grey Sammons
            July 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

            Eric, those who enjoyed a life of wealth and ease provided by slavery might very well have sown the seeds for White Extinction in what is now the US and Canada. A heavy price indeed.

            Apparently no Eighteenth or Nineteenth Century writers ever saw the writing on the wall pertaining to the eventual consequences of slavery in North America.

            Extinction is forever.

          • July 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

            Dear Eric,

            Vigilante films such as Death Wish and The Punisher hint at what a free market anarchist justice system would be like.

            It would be better. Way better. Incomparably better.

            Instead of kidnapping and caging people who inhaled the smoke from certain natural growing weeds, the justice system would efficiently mete out what thuggish criminals deserve.

            For them, there would be no revolving door. There would be a bottle of Jack Daniels and a Zippo lighter.

          • July 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm

            Dear Tinsley,

            “During the so-called Civil War”

            Yeah. I know what you mean. I never thought it was terribly civil either.

        • Scott
          July 24, 2012 at 12:52 am

          “Well Clovers actually pay when they get sick.”

          Al, I got a laugh out of that. When was the last time you told Clover’s tax collector to take a hike?

          We all pay when they get sick. The cost of slavery has been moved from the masters to the slaves. That’s how Social Security and Medicaid work; the live slaves pay for the dying slaves and the “masters” pay nothing. It’s the way the system is designed.

  7. July 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    The adverts chasing me down the page are really getting irritating.

  8. truk44
    July 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Always thought “The Matrix” had somewhat subliminal biblical connotations. Ergo: Neo/Jesus Christ, Morpheous/John the Baptist, Cypher/Judas..?

  9. Brad Smith
    July 22, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Dear, Scott and Bevin.

    “But there is loss. there is a pain that comes from disconnecting”

    “No argument there. The sense of “belonging,” of “community” is gone, forever. At least to the larger society”.

    I suspect that is why “we” are drawn to this site and sites like Lew Rockwell’s. It’s nice to know you are not completely alone. It’s like recharging your batteries, if you know what I mean? It’s rather draining to feel like you’re the only one banging your head against the wall.

    It’s a true service that Eric is providing us, a battery recharge station if you will.

  10. July 22, 2012 at 7:54 am

    The only problem I have with your article, Eric, is once again you berate owners of SmooVees. As the proud owner of a 2001 Ford Expedition XLT, I must take issue. Almost every day, we use that vehicle’s ample cargo and passenger capacity to haul around people and their stuff. And weekends, we use it to help my wife’s charity: a local food bank. It has an excellent stereo, dual climate control, and a nice comfortable seat for my big fat ass. And being built on an F150 chassis with a big Ford Triton V8 only adds to its appeal. This vehicle is my favorite I have ever owned. LONG LIVE THE SUV!
    (Other than that, I loved your article.

    • DD
      July 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

      Thanks for the translation.
      I always thought Eric meant “Smoothies”…the diabetes sugar bomb.

      • clark
        July 23, 2012 at 5:14 am

        hmp, and I thought he was saying, movies.

  11. July 22, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Also Eric, I’d like to add how Cyphers argument is simply “ignorance is bliss”. Which is absolutely true. Ignorance IS bliss. The problem is that, with ignorance, you’re also at the mercy of whatever you don’t know about. Look at all the fools who got foreclosed on. Look at the suckers who lost a ton of money in the stock market. Look at all these kids now going back to school to get a masters degree in communications. There’s an army of blissful idiots who, while enjoying themselves, are being raped by the system. And in the next few years, there’s going to be a whole lot more…

    Ignorance is bliss…until you’re crushed by the unknown.

    • July 22, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Absolutely.

      There’s also a kind of innocence in being ignorant. I have a lot of sympathy for those who just don’t know. The ones who annoy me are those who do know – but don’t care. Or who willfully decide to avoid knowing.

      • July 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm

        agreed. willful ignorance is a killer.

        Unfortunately, that’s one of the key things that much of society (from entertainment to school) attempts to instill into people; the love of ignorance.

        The psychological and emotional manipulation is on a scale never before experienced.

        • methylamine
          July 23, 2012 at 2:47 am

          It’s beyond mere propaganda.

          They’ve been brain-damaged by neurotoxins (squalene, aluminum, mercury among others) in vaccines, fluoride, pharmaceuticals–for decades.

          The “food pyramid” diet produces a carbohydrate-dependent metabolism with attendant poor brain function.

          Wheat products contain endorphin-like peptides. It’s not been proven, but it’s suspected they enter the brain and induce opiate-like responses…including habituation.

          The “food pyramid” is a slave diet; keeps’em fat, docile, and sick.

          The BPA, pthalates, and parabens in plastics and cosmetics are all estrogenic–further emasculating the men. BPA incidentally was subsidized to be used as a plastic softener; it’s only one of thousands of compounds that achieve the same result, but it’s one of the most estrogenic. Why was it subsidized?

          Throw in the constant, hypnotic messaging in TV and movies, the deadening of the public school pre-prison program, and it’s a miracle any of us can even function much less wake up to reality.

          • July 23, 2012 at 3:55 am

            Imagine kids growing up in the public prison/school system today…. getting arrested for nothing, walking through TSA like checkpoints before going to school, drinking the water, and eating 3 “square meals” a day at the school.

            It IS going to be a miracle if anyone in the future generation is going to be able to continue thinking.

          • July 23, 2012 at 3:56 am

            I forgot to even mention the 8 hours a day of having your intellect twisted into a pretzel and your character beaten into submission. Whew!

          • July 23, 2012 at 5:58 am

            Compulsory education was cited as necessary to ensure universal literacy, an alleged prerequisite for a “functioning liberal democracy.”

            How droll.

            Universal illiteracy is more like it.

            Smug little know it all brats on the Internet flaming anybody who expresses a dissenting opinion.

            Leaving comments such as “Your [sic] an idiot. Your [sic] to [sic] stupid to know any better.”

            If it weren’t for the young Ron Paul supporters, I’d have written the younger generation off long ago.

            • July 23, 2012 at 9:43 am

              Bevin,

              Yup!

              It should obvious – painfully so – that government schools have succeeded as planned. That is, the products of government schools are – generally – less well-read, less able to coherently articulate complex thought, less able to reason, less able to discern logical fallacies, to think conceptually, etc. In other words, they have become what George Carlin once characterized as the ne plus ultra of government schools:

              Obedient workers.

          • July 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

            Dear Eric,

            “less well-read, less able to coherently articulate complex thought, less able to reason, less able to discern logical fallacies, to think conceptually”

            What’s really unfunny is that this is exactly what the political class in the USSA today says about mainland China.

            The Neocon “champions of democracy” say that no matter what China does economically to catch up with the US, it will never succeed because genuine prosperity requires individualism and creativity.

            Meanwhile they are busy dumbing down Americans into Mao Zedong 60s era worker bees.

            Forget about China “catching up.” Worry about the USSA falling behind!

  12. DD
    July 22, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Great Post!

    Greenspan sold out…Broke with tradition and sat next to the murdering terrorist shit-maggot Hitlery at SOTU address. He thought he could manage a boom/bust cycle by letting the boom go until it couldn’t go any farther and then try to manage the bust. He thought people would tolerate a long high boom with a short hard bust simply because Americans are by far the most strong and productive slaves on earth. (This would never work where people are weak and pathetic beat-down serfs like Europe or Japan) He over-estimated the average Americans strength and now they are just as stupid weak and pathetic as everyone else. The global socialist terrorists did finally get their “Equality”.

  13. July 22, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Greenspan is a classic case that proves that working within the system sometimes only promotes the system. In this case by forestalling financial disaster until Bush II’s fiscal insanity magnified by Obama. They were only able to keep the system going until the demands of the welfare-warfare state became overwhelming. Now we are clearly on the road to hyper-inflation.

    Greenspan constantly warned where Congressional spending was leading for anyone who cared to watch him on C-Span. He advocated the gold standard and even warned against the real estate bubble.

    • July 22, 2012 at 4:35 am

      Dear Steven,

      “working within the system sometimes only promotes the system.”

      I agree. Usually it does.

      I think the only exception is when one is able to draw attention to the defects in the system.

      If one winds up plugged into the system, unseen and unheard, like just another battery in the matrix, then one is merely adding one’s contribution to the status quo.

      Ron Paul is an exception because he is able to raise such a stink. Even though as a congressman he is technically “in the system,” the fact that he is able to make himself seen and heard enables him to sabotage the system rather than perpetuate it.

      Of course, he has paid a high price — 30 years of his life that he will never get back. But his sacrifice has given us so much.

      • Scott
        July 22, 2012 at 6:17 am

        Bevin, I believe Ron got back as much as he expected, which would be to say “nothing”. Had he been in the game of “gettin’ somthin'” he’d have lost it long ago.

        Ron is a rare man; a man of purpose and integrity. He actually cares about us, and I personally can’t figure why. But I like him. I’d invite him to dinner.

        What more could I ask? What more? Ron Paul is an unfortunate Saint. I wish there was some way I could help him, but he’s a better man than I am. How in the WORLD could I possibly help HIM? It just “ain’t happenin”.

        • July 22, 2012 at 7:26 am

          Dear Scott,

          Fortunately he will be rewarded by recognition.

          I suspect one day historians will note his role in the approaching watershed political transformation.

          The opportunists who played the game will be forgotten, or worse, reviled.

          Paul on the other hand, will be honored.

          • methylamine
            July 23, 2012 at 2:40 am

            @Bevin:

            “…in the approaching watershed political transformation.”

            I think we’re at a massive turning point, too; not just back to freedom, but perhaps a worldwide awakening to the notion of statelessness…or at least, a recognition that the nation-state, coercive government, and the monopoly of power has been a terrible mistake.

            But how long, and what will we endure on the path?

            That’s the question that makes me want to bug out first; let it burn itself out while you wait in some quiet place hunkered down.

            Or is that the very strategy they’re depending on–that the aware will go to ground, and allow them to fully implement?

            It’s not run-and-gun time yet. He who fires the first shot loses. But it IS “make a really loud noise” time–because that, like Ron Paul’s efforts, might turn it around before it goes bloody.

            I’m starting small. I was at the protest against Houston Metro allowing TSA on their buses, and I was stunned that in two board meetings, where ten or twelve of us spoke at each, we were able to completely reverse Metro and get TSA kicked out.

            There must be at least a million of us. If all million of us pull tricks like that, we can shrug off the sociopaths before the mass killings start.

          • July 23, 2012 at 5:50 am

            Dear methylamine,

            Something’s gotta give. As Stein’s Law puts it, “When something cannot go on, it will stop.”

            Spending more than you take in cannot go on, so it will stop. It doesn’t matter how ruthless the clovers become. They will reach a point when they can no longer get any more blood out of a turnip.

            I watched it happen on mainland China, from Taiwan and the US, during the Cold War.

            The trick of course, as you noted, is how not to be the turnip the clovers are trying to get blood out of!

            Otherwise one won’t make it to the other side.

          • BrentP
            July 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm

            methylamine, they will just do it again later, after people thought they won. It will be done at meeting with no public comment. Might not even be a public announcement of the meeting taking place.

            Especially after their federal funding is threatened.

        • July 22, 2012 at 9:44 am

          I admire RP, too – for all those reasons and more. He’s one of those rare people who believes that ideas matter – good ideas – and spent a lifetime getting them into the mainstream again. That is his singular contribution. Before RP, the old ideas about economic liberty and individual rights were virtually extinct. Outside of a few very insular circles,they weren’t even discussed. RP got people – average people – not just interested in these ideas again, but re-awakened awareness of these ideas.

          He made the change of mind possible that is is essential before there can be a change in the way society is organized, in the way people decide to interact with one another.

          • July 22, 2012 at 10:09 am

            Dear Eric,

            Many of us privileged to share our views here at your terrific website began supporting Paul years, even decades ago.

            For us, seeing young Generation Y’ers young enough to be our grandchildren spontaneously and passionately rallying around Paul still seems too good to be true.

            I mean really, whoever thought that “End the Fed” would become a politically rallying cry? Whoever imagined that ordinary voters would be debating the intricacies of Austrian economics?

            Sometimes I think I’m dreaming. God forbid I’m plugged into a libertarian utopia Matrix and just imagining it.

            We owe much, possibly most of it to Ron Paul.

  14. Brad Smith
    July 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Over a decade ago I use get into discussions/argument with my friends regarding Greenspan. Did he sell out, was he under duress, was he really as powerful as we all thought. I got burnt out on the subject because there never really was a consensus.

    I guess in the end my only conclusion was that regardless of the if and’s or butt’s, he didn’t really have the power/authority at all.

    Logical possibilities.

    A) He would never have been put in charge if he was in a position to change anything. (open to blackmail)

    B) He had no intention of changing anything and that was why he was put in charge.

    C) He took the job for the money and fame. (I can’t believe he ever thought he would actually have control over anything.)

    D) He took the job with the outside chance that he could sneak a few things in.

    I place D last because I believe he must have know the system well enough to understand he was outgunned and because he seems to have actively sold out his beliefs.

  15. Robert
    July 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    As Socrates is attributed to have said/taught: “The unexamined life is not worth living”. To those of us unplugged from the Matrix or not sleepwalking through life, use what time we have, before the poop pelts the propeller, to do some prepping, learn to fix things, get out of the cities, develop a few close friends/neighbors who can watch each other backs. No matter how much preparation one makes, the situation here in the U.S. is likely to get pretty ugly for all. Yikes.

  16. JackofKitemanTV
    July 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Yes, but the Matrix served a dual purpose. It gave pleasure to the inhabitants and supplied energy to the rulers. The danger to the inhabitants is that one day the energy generated by the Matrix may no longer be cost-effective. Then, the plug will be suddenly pulled. The reason that one realizes this peril is that one has descended from those who survived normal Darwinian processes. Thus, point your finger at Charles Darwin if your are not enjoying the pleasure of the Matrix. Then, thank him for saving you.

  17. Allen Green Spam
    July 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Eric – classic line: “Who actually do “hate freedom” – as The Chimp put it.” Took me a few seconds to figure it out, but I had a good laugh when I did!!

  18. Scott
    July 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Great Eric, really great piece, not only because it stands by itself, but because it inspired so many eloquent replies.

  19. July 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Maybe he was Cypher. Maybe he was a lousy Fernando D’Anconia?

    • July 21, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Dear Michael,

      “A lousy Francisco D’Anconia.”

      Interesting. Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957. The Cloward Piven Strategy was formulated in 1966, in an article entitled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” in The Nation.

      Once again Rand proved prophetic.

      • July 22, 2012 at 3:21 am

        Bevin,

        Never heard of that before, but it’s pretty interesting now that I’m reading up on it. How they figured an annual salary would be implemented is somewhat funny.

        It’s also interesting to note how two long time professors at big universities seem to completely misunderstand poverty. If money solved poverty, we could just hand out money to everyone (as they proposed), and it would be fixed. Yet many people living on the government dole struggle in squalor….then what?

        If Greenspan facilitated the speedy end to the whole thing, maybe he’s a pretty good francisco. Hard to say… if he is, he’s a very accomplished actor.

        • July 22, 2012 at 4:07 am

          Dear Michael,

          Wouldn’t it be funny if the two leftist professors actually read “Atlas Shrugged” and decided they wanted to be the Francisco D’Anconias of the New Left?

          The irony is the Cloward Piven Strategy only works if one turns a rotten system against itself. It won’t work if one is attempting to get something for nothing.

          • July 22, 2012 at 4:49 pm

            haha, I suppose that is the terrible irony. They might have sought to end a terrible system, but they would have replaced it with something worse. Whups!

  20. lee
    July 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Eric:

    This blog piece is so eloquent.

    If I had it to do over again, I’d join the military, contrive to keep my butt out of combat, come out with the G.I.Bill and veteran’s preference, then work my contacts to get a cushy government job while serving in the reserves. At the age I’m at now, I’d have a double pension, house paid off, a nice vacation spot with a sailboat, friends and family to pal around with at the barbecue pit and all the rewards of a happy, know-nothing, well-adjusted, American middle class life. I wouldn’t be thinking après moi, le deluge. I wouldn’t even know to think I look, with envy, on those whose ignorance is bliss. If all the world is getting theirs, why shouldn’t I try to get mine? Besides, the culture we live in is crazy and terminal. Why be a martyr? For what?

    I try to keep these feelings in check and don’t talk about them, but would I sell out if I had the opportunity? I suspect I might though I don’t know how far I’d go. Think of the fifth century Romans who packed it in, defected to the “barbarians” (i.e. the Germans and the Celts) and said, in effect, “Let these others live — and collapse — in their denial. I’m outta here.”

    • July 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks, Lee –

      It’s awful, isn’t it, that it’s come to this?

      If only one could defect to Germania – and just evade the Clovers.

      But there’s nowhere left to go – not on this earth, anyhow.

      FTL drive, where are you?

      • mithrandir
        July 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm

        FTL drive, where are you?

        To boldly go where no clover has gone before. ;)

  21. Ross Nelson
    July 21, 2012 at 7:16 am

    John Stuart Mill posed it this way: would you rather be a pig satisfied or Socrates discontent? Some days I really think I’d choose the blue pill, copout that that’d be.

  22. charlie
    July 21, 2012 at 5:19 am

    With so few ways to earn a decent living to support your family, pretty much all people will sell out in order to do so.

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      July 21, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

      When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor. –Frederic Bastiat

      • Al Sledge
        July 23, 2012 at 1:39 am

        Very good Tinsley. Expressed differently by G.North, “Everything has a price”, and plunder will stop when it gets too expensive!

  23. Nick
    July 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I wish I were wrong but I doubt we’ll ever convince enough of humanity to live purely voluntarily.

    I just can’t bring myself to become a jackal. I’m not even a Christian and I’m turning the other cheek.

    I wish I was as cold as Greenspan, it would make life so much easier. “The Undertaker” was a perfect moniker for the man, and zombies a perfect description of the vast majority wondering around our present day Matrix.

    The only difference being that those of us that want to truly be “unplugged” have a difficult time doing so because without vast sums of wealth we can’t easily get away.

    I read Sovereign man and listen to him talk about Mongolia and think, “Yea, I’m gonna sell my business, take my 4 kids 8 and under with the approval of my wife and move to Mongolia….yeah”.

    • methylamine
      July 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Me too. I read Jeff Berwick, Simon Black, Doug Casey. I don’t think Simon or Doug have kids; in Doug’s case they’d be adults anyway.

      Nevertheless–plans are afoot. I’ll let you guys know, but the candidates are southern Mexico, Panama, Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay.

      Or just a sailboat to GTFO when the time comes.

      • Al Sledge
        July 23, 2012 at 1:34 am

        And when the US goes down, we will be as welcome in those places as a Moslem at a bar mitzvah? While I had a bugout sailboat I finally realized there is no where to go. I’ll stay here and fight with what I have. And it ain’t much either

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      July 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      “I wish I was as cold as Greenspan, it would make life so much easier.”

      Yes, if you were as wealthy as that ugly Baboon Parasite your life would surely be easier.

      Fuck all parasites.

      • July 21, 2012 at 12:20 am

        Dear Tinsley, methylamine,

        “Yes, if you were as wealthy as that ugly Baboon Parasite your life would surely be easier.”

        I had a nightmare the other night. I dreamed I was Alan Greenspan.

        Then I woke up.

        But I wasn’t sure whether I was Bevin dreaming I was Alan Greenspan, or Alan Greenspan dreaming I was Bevin.

        Anyway, it was terrifying experience.

        • Tinsley Grey Sammons
          July 21, 2012 at 6:40 pm

          I beg the baboon’s forgiveness for insulting their kind. Greenspan is actually as ugly as a chimpanzee, one of the ugliest mammals ever to evolve.

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      July 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      “The only difference being that those of us that want to truly be “unplugged” have a difficult time doing so because without vast sums of wealth we can’t easily get away.”

      I live in Gonzales, Louisiana and I assure you that had I sufficient financial resources I would never spend another summer here. In fact, I would have my own Berghof high on the morning side of a snow capped mountain somewhere. In fact, with a layout like that I might stay there all year and have whatever I wanted delivered to me.

      Very few Individuals have the resources to simply leave the country and go live in a “better” place. Switzerland is probably the most stable country, and the one least likely to go to shit politically.

  24. Tinsley Grey Sammons
    July 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Beware of half-truths. Ignorance may be bliss but it can also be deadly.

  25. methylamine
    July 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Eric you said it all. NO WAY could I go back to the matrix…and yet like you at times I wish I could.

    The sheer dissonance between what I know, and the group consciousness around me, is so jarring, so unpleasant.

    We’re social creatures; and the aware suffer social isolation. We’re programmed to function in small tribes of up to 150 individuals, to share common concerns for survival. When you don’t, it’s like an internally-imposed shunning.

    Thank the FSM my wife at least agrees; even for her, though, I can’t share the full story–the horrors we commit overseas, and the horrors that are starting here. She doesn’t want to hear about the CPS child merchandise rings…she knows it exists, she just doesn’t want to understand the full horror of it. She doesn’t want to see the pig brutality videos at internal checkpoints or the gate-rape at airports.

    I need to know; I want to know, because it prepares me psychologically to do what I need to do to avoid it. I don’t want any rationalization or escape when the moment comes–those lines in the sand, NO you won’t scan me or grope me, NO you won’t take my children, NO you won’t take my guns, NO, NO, NO, I will not submit.

    Because knowing the full horror of the demons now in power strengthens my resolve to resist them at every turn.

    In the end, none of us can actually go back. Yes, you could enjoy the emoluments of wealth and power–but you’d never enjoy the mental peace of the ignorant or self-deluded, you’d still know it’s an illusion, and it would spoil any pleasure you took in the gains.

    I hear you on the two mill; hell a tenth of that would put you in a nice condo in southern Mexico, Chile, Panama, Costa Rica…

    Even those are temporary though…because this time, the New World Order is truly world-wide. Run from here, it will catch up there. The only benefit to running now is to avoid Ground Zero, and that is America. They’re bringing this one down as hard and brutally as they can, I think both as a vendetta and as a showpiece–“See? See what we did to once-mighty and free America? Don’t even think about resisting puny Chilean!”

    • July 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Meth – right on, as usual!

      And hey: FSM?

      I know the code!

      Pasta be upon you, too!

      • methylamine
        July 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        OMG you’ve been touched by His Noodly Appendage, too?

        Praise be!

        Eric seriously, thanks for this article. It’s one of your best and most thoughtful.

        • July 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm

          Yes!

          One of my favorite little-known works of religious deliciousness!

          Have you got the FSM “fish” badge for your tailgate?

          • Libertymike
            July 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm

            Eric and meth-

            Great stuff!

        • Scott
          July 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm

          I shall go forth and mingle with the heathens and break Spaghetti with them.

        • Scott
          July 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm

          To trees he gave birth. Later came strippers, pirates and beer.

  26. That One Guy
    July 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    The current system floats on a sea of faith. Not reason, not logic. Certainly not a proven track record of effectiveness, even when measured against the rhetoric of the ideology that underpins it, let alone any other.

    Recently James Carville and some other bozo were on the WSJ editorial page saying the heady days of the “Clinton economy” were all thanks to the 39.6% top tax rate, and clamoring for still more stimulus. The problem is it’s not enough, they say. It’s never enough. According to the Keynesians own logic there should be no economic downturn, if all they have to do is just spend a bazillion dollars to avert it. But it never happens. Somehow they always escape being called on the carpet over this.

    People do not know it works; they believe. It’s a religion. To paraphrase Obama, who was right but not in the way he thought he was: they cling so tenaciously to their faith because they have nothing left.

    Maybe we can salvage something from the mess afterward.

    Unfortunately when surrounded by masses who feel and believe far more than they think and reason, this is probably the best we can hope for.

    • July 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      I’d take those statists at their word if they really believe that things were so great under Clinton, and give them their top rate if they agree to repeal every law passed after Clinton left office.

  27. BrentP
    July 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Eric, you have put into words thoughts that I have for some time that came out in a small measure on my earlier comment on Greenspan. I never knew quite how to write it all out after making reference to “the matrix” and you’ve done it better than I could have.

    Here I am trying to expand on it with my own thoughts and typing and deleting, typing and deleting. Little does a day go by where I encounter someone online or in person that makes me think they simply deserve what’s happening. The trouble is it brings me down with them, for I don’t have the wealth to access safety. If this were 1912 or some years before, I could, even in the same profession. Of course I’d be making way more money. But today I am just another surf where the people around me refuse to consider life without the fed.

    ($5000/yr (early 1900s mechanical engineer’s salary) = 250 double eagles = $382,137.50 FRN melt value at yesterday’s NY close. )

    I grow tired. The game that I would have to play to succeed under present conditions still disgusts me so I don’t succeed. I have the luxury that I can live well enough without playing it, but I could live much better if I did. There would be more material happiness but then could I live with myself and the stress?

    Greenspan chose not to suffer economically like Murray Rothbard and others. But I look at things and sometimes I do believe Greenspan did some good. Sure he didn’t fix things but I believe at times he kept things going far longer than they would have otherwise, with someone who didn’t know better, who never was ‘unplugged’. We are seeing otherwise with Bernanke.

    Ultimately we are left with why plunder is so damaging to society. Why be the sucker who works?

    • Libertymike
      July 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      Do you really think that he did some good?

      By keeping things going far longer than they otherwise would have? What do you mean?

      • BrentP
        July 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm

        It appears that Greenspan was trying to create and burst bubbles in a controlled manner. In other words he was operating the fed with knowledge of the Austrian business cycle theory. Now we have Bernanke who doesn’t even appear to know what it is.

        I think Greenspan would have never had his long tenure if it wasn’t for his roots. In other words, Greenspan knew what he was doing while Bernanke is just following the textbook.

        • GW
          July 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm

          Bernanke ‘s head is so far up his ass he can’t even read the Keynesian textbook and doesn’t know what “Austrian” even is – I bet he thinks its an island with kangaroo’s on it.
          He is one Turd that needs to be flushed….

    • methylamine
      July 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      I think he was a sleeper.

      If you haven’t read some of his early writings, they were impassioned, inflammatory, Thomas Paine/Thomas Jefferson-esque in their eloquent defense of liberty–and piercingly accurate.

      From his essay Gold and Economic Freedom in Ayn Rand’s newsletter, 1966:

      An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense — perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire — that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other.

      I think he got inside and trashed it on purpose. He never turned off the spigot; Paul Volcker cranked rates up to 20% to stop the train. Greenspan kept the engine between 6,000 and 7,500 rpm the whole trip.

      At the end of his tenure, it was unsalvageable. He left it with $10T in declared debts, at impossibly low interest rates. If rates go to even 5%, it will completely break the FedGov.

      In twenty years he brought the system down; it’s a corpse still standing, waiting for gravity to bring it down.

      In effect he implemented the Cloward-Piven strategy on central banking.

      I’m just speculating with the above–I have no idea if it was his strategy, but I find it difficult to believe he reversed his ideology so completely. And if he did, like any apostate, by this age he should have recanted and repented.

      • liberranter
        July 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm

        You’re probably correct in your assumption. I’ve also wondered: was Greenspan co-opted (i.e., threatened by agents of the Status Quo) at some point? I find this possibility remote, given that he wasn’t on the fast track to power and influence (at least not that I’m aware) at the time he was part of Ayn Rand’s inner circle. Still, it would be enlightening to discover 1) what made him do such a 180-degree turn and 2) who induced him to do so, with what promises of position and power, and, finally 3) why HIM?

        • Mike in Spotsy
          July 21, 2012 at 12:54 am

          It’s interesting that Greenspan came to the Fed with a reputation as a hard money man. Bush 1 once said that he lost the 1992 election because Greenspan wouldn’t create enough money to make the economy look good to the voters. Yet, when Clinton made his first state of the union speech shortly after taking office, Greenspan was conspicuously sitting next to the “lovely” Mrs. Clinton. This was not a coincidence.

          I tend to think they made personal threats against him or his family or else they had something that allowed them to blackmail him. And they made him sit next to the witch as a way of showing that they owned him.

          Gotta give the guy credit, though: once he sold out, he sold out completely.

          • plasticmoney888
            July 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

            Don’t forget that: “Rand worried that Greenspan was an opportunist or social climber,

      • BrentP
        July 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm

        Perhaps. I still think he just wanted a piece of the action and like Darth Vader had not gone 100% dark side.

        Regardless, we apparently agree on the important part, that he knew what he was doing all along.

        • July 21, 2012 at 12:40 am

          Dear Everyone,

          Very interesting exchange on whether Greenspan was a Cypher or a mole/double agent/saboteur deliberately taking down the system from within.

          The second-guessing could drive one crazy, the way it drove James Jesus Angleton crazy.

          I tend to think Eric is right on this one. Greenspan was Cypher, a sell-out.

          Brent is right about one thing though. Greenspan knew what he was doing, whatever his motives.

          • djf
            July 21, 2012 at 9:52 am

            If one wants to did deeper in the Alan Greenspan “good guy” theory check out http://www.roadtoroota.com, it will at least make you go hmmmmmm

    • July 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Hey Brent,

      I probably could have been much more successful, both financially and otherwise, had we stayed in the DC area – and had I chosen to play The Game. (I had an opportunity to work at The Washington Post; wasn’t for me – and probably they felt the same!) I chose not to play the game – very consciously – and very selfishly – because I knew I could not live my life that way. Not anymore. I’m just not energetic enough – or greedy enough – to put on the necessary act, in order to obtain the coin and the fame. I much prefer my edentulitic life out here in the boonies, cutting the hay, feeding the chickens… working on the bikes and cars…

      I’ve told my wife that no amount of money would get me to put on a suit and go back to the Matrix. It’s too late for me, alas. Which I think is a good thing, ultimately. Because I don’t feel like a douche – because I don’t spend my days trying to “get one over” on people – and don’t have to plaster a fake grin (with fake capped white teeth) on my face every day. I don’t give a damn whether anyone finds my views “offensive” or “mean spirited.” I’ve got a great wife; some great friends – a pretty cool place to live, too.

      So, I count my blessings – and hope for the best – while trying to do what is in my power to make things better for others along the way. I’m not sure one can really expect more out of life. Or ought to expect more out of life.

      • GW
        July 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

        BRAVO! ERIC BRAVO!

      • BrentP
        July 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm

        Eric, that sums it up well. Although my circumstances are different I feel much the same way.

        If I had censored myself and played the game I would be a minor executive or at least decently high middle manager a formally major US corporation or at a purchaser of some its assets by now.

        Ever look at the people who play the game? Really look at them. The physical toll it takes on them is very apparent. It is very apparent in US presidents. We are told ‘it is the stress of the job’. Stress is going against what is right.

        Anyway, I know what I have to do to “succeed”. I just don’t want to do it because it disgusts me.

        • July 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm

          Dear Brent,

          “Ever look at the people who play the game? Really look at them. The physical toll it takes on them is very apparent.”

          I was heavily into Jungian and “New Age” psychology during the dozen plus years I live in SoCal. One of the central lessons I learned was that the psyche (mind) and the soma (body) are inextricably intertwined. Hence the term “psychosomatic illness.”

          Neo: I thought it wasn’t real
          Morpheus: Your mind makes it real
          Neo: If you’re killed in the matrix, you die here?
          Morpheus: The body cannot live without the mind.

          Morpheus concludes the body cannot live without the mind. I think that is true. One may not die immediately, as depicted in The Matrix. But I do believe one dies a slow death. This is “the physical toll it takes on them.”

          No. It’s interesting to talk about going back. But few of us really mean it.

          • Scott
            July 22, 2012 at 5:59 am

            Dear Bevin –

            “No. It’s interesting to talk about going back. But few of us really mean it.”

            But there is loss. there is a pain that comes from disconnecting and it is real, it has consequences; it has a price.

            Freedom is not free.

          • July 22, 2012 at 7:15 am

            Dear Scott,

            “But there is loss. there is a pain that comes from disconnecting”

            No argument there. The sense of “belonging,” of “community” is gone, forever. At least to the larger society.

            Fortunately the number of those who have broken unhooked themselves from the Matrix is increasing.

            It was truly gratifying when people like Jesse Ventura openly defied the CW on many issues, including WTC7 and FEMA camps.

            Even movie star Charlie Sheen, whom one would assume was just another Hollywood airhead celebrity, was remarkably clear-headed when he rebutted the CW on the WTC tower controlled demolitions.

            I admit it was probably easier for someone like myself, a perennial outsider, to break from the mainstream. I was never really fully in it to begin with.

            It must be pretty hard for someone who grew up in a small rural town, with “deep roots in the community,” as they say, to swim against the current of public opinion.

      • Scott
        July 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm

        Toothless? Are you just making fun of me now? You prefer your toothless life? Couldn’t you find a slightly different metaphor? And you had to make up the word to boot!

        Kidding aside, I expect each of the folks who regularly participate in this love-fest have faced the decision Alan had to make and chose wisely.

        What good is it for a man to gain the whole world but lose himself? – Luke 9:25

        • July 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm

          But it has a nice flow to it, doesn’t it?

          • Scott
            July 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm

            I would make a rude noise but I’ll just have to settle for “Thppt!” in honor of Bill the Cat.

  28. July 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Very well done, Eric. The Matrix is indeed a metaphor for the illusory world the masses inhabit, and the “waking up” is like pulling a plug and giving up the comforts the drones enjoy. You also really nailed Alan, he is exactly that Cypher character. A lot of folks are calling for some kind of apocalyptic ending to all this, but, having been observing for some decades, I suspect it will just slowly trundle down the same road it’s been on for the past hundred years. Oh, there may (and probably should) be some big bumps in the road, but the general trend is toward increased statism, buttressed by the exploding technology of surveillance, tracking, and crime-prevention (yes, prevention), that will be endorsed by the drones, as it helps keep the nutrients flowing without interruption into their pods.

  29. spiritsplice
    July 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I ask myself this all the time.

  30. GW
    July 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Ya think? – maybe, just maybe the “Mermaids” (if anyone saw the recent docu-mental) had it right….stay under the radar and off the grid. Anyone seen Bigfoot lately?

    • Libertymike
      July 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Easier performed than pontificated. Nevertheless, good advice.

  31. Brad Smith
    July 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Sometimes I wish I could unlearn what I have learned. I can see how denial is a comfort to so many. It would be nice to not have the burden of knowing that our government is evil. It’s one thing to guess at it or think it might be and it’s another thing to know for a fact that the government is evil. Ignorance is bliss as they say. This knowledge or awareness is a burden for any man of conscious.

    I often see comments that are made toward people who have become aware and they are almost always snide as hell. They call us arrogant and ignorant at the same time for attempting to wake them up. For instance I am arrogant because it seems that I always think I know something they don’t.(I do) They think I’m ignorant because I can’t see just how wonderful the government is. (it’s not) They simply do not want to be awoken from their slumber and get quite angry and defensive at the mere suggestion that they are even asleep. (much like a drunk in denial)

    These clovers who have zero awareness yet somehow manage to blindly stumble through life might be the lucky ones after all. They don’t have to feel the loss or should I say grief that comes with being unplugged. Knowing that you will never again feel the pride that comes from the collective is not easy. Wouldn’t it be nice to look up and see the flag and be fill filled with pride instead of loathing? Being aware is difficult for most people, it’s a burden. What should I do? Should I try and tear it all down? Should I try and wake people up one at a time? Should I just crawl in a hole and hide and let the blind ignorant masses worship their master Godvernment? Am I even doing them a favor if I did wake them up? Is a pet dog better off knowing what it’s like to be a wolf, but never being allowed off his chain?

    • SM777
      July 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      “These clovers who have zero awareness yet somehow manage to blindly stumble through life might be the lucky ones after all.”
      —————————————————————
      They won’t be lucky for long. The great American @sskicking is moving forward.

      Just wait for the next fedgov(tm) false flag event, the next stock market crash, the seizure of all pensions/401k’s/IRA’s and then the collapse of the federal reserve note.

      The FEMA concentration camps, which were completed in the 90’s, are waiting for their future inmates.

      The real luck will occur for all of us if most of the states secede. Then we will likely not have to worry about the fed FEMA camps.

      Just recall the breakup of the soviet union, the separation of Chechloslovakia, 1776 and 1861. It’s either that or the planned “North American Union”.

      • Brad Smith
        July 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm

        I do tend to believe a collapse is coming soon. I also believe that it’s actually in their plans for it to happen. The power elite are orchestrating this collapse and when it happens they expect the sheep to call for more government not less. Less freedom not more. Who knows maybe enough sheep will wake up, but I have my doubts.

        • SM777
          July 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm

          Hi Brad,

          I also doubt that the sheep will wake up. From what I understand, the overwhelming majority of sheep are going to get “sheared” shortly. They call it population control.

      • Matt
        July 22, 2012 at 1:26 am

        Wisdom is a bummer and a “sore travail”:

        Ecclesiastes 1:13
        And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

        Ecclesiastes 1:17
        And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

    • Hot Rod
      July 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Fantastic Article Eric! This is the best yet. Just like the matrix, freedom is but an illusion. The machine is always rigging the available choices.

      • July 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm

        Thanks HR – I was in a particularly annoyed mood this morning….

      • Hot Rod
        July 22, 2012 at 6:17 am

        While we are talking about movies imitating life. I’ve been thinking that its sure seem interesting that Batman shooter happened right before Obama’s big day of signing our gun rights away in a UN treaty, amongst the nice big pubilicity stunt to get people interested in the dark knight (yawn) again. Man that just might be a double kill with one stone. Is it just me that this shit seems to insane to be true, and therefore just might not be real? On top of that we have a young med college student rigging his apartment with bombs. I’m not sure where such a student gets funds to rig a whole apartment, back in my day I was eating pancakes morning day and night and still hungry. But somehow we are supposed to believe this young guy had the funds, and knowledge to rig his apartment with advanced bombs. This is not something a engineering college student would not find easy at 17-24 while still attending college. Given that I sound a bit kooky to some I ask what is kookier that the Gore vs. Bush election was decided by 100 votes out of a nation of what is it 250 million, and diebold had their paperless voting machines ready to solve the hanging chad moment. Along with the underwear bomber, and rapiscan to the rescue ready to deploy. Lets see we have Reichtag, Gulf of Tonkin, Operation Northwoods, JFK killing for sure real conspiracies. And then we have have wierd things that just seem to hard to believe as true and probably just might be another Enron for sure. Remember that guys? Maybe I’m going insane here but I think I’m pretty smart, something just doesn’t add up in tinsel town and I think we are somebodies audience.

        • Hot Rod
          July 22, 2012 at 6:25 am

          Oh did I mention the final destination plot of the massacre? Some lady just missed her date with another mass shooting to attend the Batman massacre. Wow! Just like the probability of 100 votes deciding the vote I find this stuff just juicy and statistically an unlikely possibility. Now I’m not saying the guy might be a loner nut, and even if he were the answer would have been better if everyone in the crowd was also carrying. Beside that though, somehow all this stuff seems so thick with crap I’m trying hard to believe it but I just can’t. Oh I forgot to mention the Osama Bin Laden assasination in the above list of hoaxes…And I’ll avoid the 911 story as it seems a bit strange that a third building not even hit by fuel or jet just happened to go down demolition style but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one because I just don’t know. I think George Carlin was right when he called it the “American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

          • July 22, 2012 at 9:56 am

            Dear Hot Rod,

            Colorado Batman shooting shows obvious signs of being staged
            Mike Adams
            Natural News
            July 21, 2012

            http://www.prisonplanet.com/colorado-batman-shooting-shows-obvious-signs-of-being-staged.html

            An excerpt:

            “Staged just in time for a vote on the UN small arms treaty?

            More and more, this shooting is looking like a deliberate plot staged by the government itself much like Operation Fast and Furious pulled off by the ATF

            (http://www.naturalnews.com/032934_ATF_illegal_firearms.html)

            which helped smuggle tens of thousands of guns into Mexico for the purpose of causing “gun violence” in the USA, then blaming the Second Amendment for it.”

            At first it sounds crazy. But when one asks the question: “Cui bono?” or “Who benefits?” it all starts to make sense.

            After all, if 3000 lives on 9/11 was considered acceptable, what are a “mere” 70 lives on 7/20?

          • Hot Rod
            July 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm

            Bevin and Frank thanks for the input and vote of doubt. I’m questioning if its time to invest in cosmoline or vacuum pack bags. What’s your opinion?

            Interesting article:

            http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/wood115.html

            Looks like we best conserve our efforts for now? The good news is its still legal to talk about this kind of stuff after Obama UN treaty it might not be.

        • Frank
          July 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm

          The Gore/ Bush vote was One out of 3 million(Supreme court 5 to 4).

          • Hot Rod
            July 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm

            Frank,
            thanks for the statistics…see above response.

          • Hot Rod
            July 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

            Frank,
            The nation won the lottery with those odds…Wow!

        • methylamine
          July 23, 2012 at 2:32 am

          I think you’re right on target, Hot Rod.

          The whole thing screams False Flag!

          Perhaps the most disturbing part is how well the victims followed their years of TV and movie programming in “How To Be a Helpless Victim”–nobody from what I’ve read tried to rush the guy.

          In a chaotic theater, when he was shooting people point-blank, did no-one think to just grab the damn gun? I’m also not sure what he was shooting with; but if it was a pistol, a firm grip on the slide will let it fire once more…and then fail to reload.

          If a rifle, you have a lot more leverage than the shooter if you grab the barrel and the receiver.

          But the accounts I’ve read sounded like the sheeple ran around screaming trying to escape.

          • July 23, 2012 at 6:30 am

            Dear methylamine,

            Proof positive that being one of the sheeple is not necessarily “safe” at all.

            Too bad Suzanna Gratia-Hupp wasn’t in the theater at the time.

            She would have brought the whole false flag farce to a swift and unexpected end.

          • July 23, 2012 at 9:43 am

            Dear Eric,

            Good afternoon!

            Sure enough, the suppression of the news ensured that in contrast to the Batman Massacre, I didn’t see it.

            Once again Bastiat was right. The unseen is omitted from the moral and economic calculus.

            Thanks for mentioning that. Good intellectual ammunition as part of a rebuttal.

            • July 23, 2012 at 9:57 am

              Thank god (so to speak) for the Internet – because the news is getting out. Just not via the MSM.

              People – a great many – are wise to the scam. And obtain their information from other sources.

              Which is why I am certain the free Internet will be the next domino to fall.

          • July 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

            Dear Eric,

            “Which is why I am certain the free Internet will be the next domino to fall.”

            No argument from me. The clovers know perfectly well that “too much” Internet freedom is creating all sorts of problems for them.

            Internet freedom allows Morpheus to run amok, unhooking people from the Matrix.

            The clovers who maintain the Machinery of State aren’t about to let something as glaringly obvious as that remain “unregulated.” They aren’t about to tolerate “anarchy!”

            When they clamp down, that will be yet another instance of “Do as I say, not as I do” vis a vis nations such as “Communist China.”

            When they clamp down, that will be yet another confirmation that all governments are essentially the same — evil.

            All governments, including “enlightened” and “progressive” ones, value their compulsion to control higher than our right to life, and behave accordingly.

            All governments act like the serial kidnapper/murderers we see in crime thrillers, who say they love someone and only want to “take care of them,” but wind up murdering them in the end.

          • BrentP
            July 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm

            Bevin, China and others just censor. In the USA it will be ‘for the children’. This country is big on keeping everything in public discourse at the level of a six or seven year old so it is safe for the children.

            When anyone suggests returning to a free internet they will be considered on the same level as child molester. Someone who wants to harm children. But the state, the loving government and those who run it would never harm children. Which is that discovery channel show went into the memory hole. See… that doesn’t happen. Ask any clover.

          • July 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm

            Dear Brent,

            “But the state, the loving government and those who run it would never harm children.”

            I hear you.

            Janet Reno’s disingenuous protestations of tender concern “for the children” following the Waco Massacre are still ringing in my ear.

            The children were gassed, machined gunned, and finally incinerated by the FBI out of concern that they were “victims of child abuse.”

    • Scott
      July 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Whoa Brad. Definitely one of your better monologues.

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