"Unlike myself, you will have nowhere to defect to. Unless you want to live in Antartica with penguins. This is it. This is the last country with freedom and possibility." - Yuri Bezmenov, former KGB propagandist and Soviet defector, 1984
Your Uncle Marty is a big fan of trying not to get too caught up in the moment. People tend to make rash decisions and jump to conclusions too quickly when reacting to unraveling events in the moment. He has certainly been guilty of doing this, even from time to time in this rag. But when he is able to display some restraint, take a deep breathe, take a step back, and attempt to assess a particular moment with nuance, he tends to make better decisions and calculations.
The United States is currently in the middle of a moment. A moment that may inflict irreparable damage to our union.
I hate that I have to do this, but before I proceed let me make a few things clear. Overreach of authority and brutality from police is bad. Racism is deplorable. Peaceful protesting is great. Rioting and burning down the private businesses of your fellow citizens is despicable.
As I sit back and watch cities burn via my MacBook Pro from the comfort of my back porch on a small island, I can't stop thinking about this interview with Yuri Bezmenov. Who is this man, you ask? Yuri was a former propagandist who defected from the Soviet Union to the United States in the 1970s in hopes that he could help the US avoid the fate that his fellow citizens were subjected to in Soviet Russia. In under 14-minutes Yuri explains very succinctly how an evil force would bring destructive Communism to America.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news here freaks, but it seems like the anti-Liberty authoritarian forces are winning out and have been for decades. As Yuri explains, their war tactics are covert and have a very long time horizon in mind. The slow erosion to authoritarianism doesn't happen over the course of a presidential term, but over the course of generations. Russian bots don't bring this destructive freedom hating ideology to fruition. Decades of ideological brainwashing does. A slow drip that permeates through society and infects the minds of the masses via conditioning.
Conditioning that leads you to believe that dissent is bad (think Julian Assange). Conditioning that leads you to believe that wealth is inherently bad and unfair. Conditioning that leads to a divided populous because individuals are pitted against each other. Conditioning that slowly consolidates economic activity via regulation. Conditioning that normalizes the curbing of civil liberties in plain sight.
It is stunning to see how much of what Yuri tried to warn us about has come to fruition over the last 36-years. While his timeline may be a bit off - this can be debated depending on who you're talking to - the process he laid out has undeniably been instituted over the course of my life. Believe it or not, Yuri is not the only Soviet expat I've come across who has warned of this slow erosion.
In another life when I worked in finance, I was a portfolio analyst for a managed futures fund. I worked on a portfolio management team of three that was headed by a CIO named Dmitri. Dmitri emigrated to the US in the 1990s. During a particular one on one meeting Dmitri and I had at some point in 2013 we somehow stumbled onto the topic of the TSA. I'll never forget the stern warning Dmitri gave me that day using the TSA as an example.
[paraphrase because memories aren't perfect]
"Do not think the US can't turn into Soviet Russia. When I first moved to the US, the sense of freedom I felt while walking through the airport cannot be described. It did not exist in Russia when I grew up. The TSA reminds me of the Soviet regime I moved away from. America is slowly turning into what I ran away from."
Since that day I've had my antennas tuned to be more aware of this erosion of freedom and how it is enacted. Yuri explains the process perfectly. An encroachment on civil liberties happens when crises are leveraged to create normalization.
9/11 led to the Patriot Act and that is what normalized the TSA and indiscriminate spying on US citizens.
The 2008 financial crises normalized Socialism for the entrenched crony class. Bailouts for me, but not for thee.
Fast forward to 2020 and we have already had one crisis that has been leveraged to erode even more liberties (do you even know about the new tracing software on your iPhone?), further normalize the bail outs of the entrenched crony class, and is in the process of normalizing helicopter money for disenfranchised individuals. Remember COVID-19?
At this current moment, we are in the midst of a chaotic reaction to yet another murder of an individual at the hands of power drunk state funded thug. Make no mistake, this crisis is no different than past crises. It will be leveraged to instill terrible changes that become normalized over time. Trump set the stages for Martial Law last night. The precedent for sending the military into cities across the country has been made. It's hard to imagine this won't happen again in the future for less serious reasons.
The collapse of our Republic has been in motion for some time now. I fear that it has reached the point of no return. The hyper connected political, banking, and military industries have simply grown too strong to combat with traditional means. You may not like to hear it, but no amount of voting, protesting in the streets, tweeting or Instagram LARPing is going to turn the tides of this wave of authoritarianism and Communism. The only way this system will be defeated is if we aid in building systems that are completely separate of the one we have lost. Free and open source software is the best tool we have today.
I will definitely get derided for saying this by some of you, but Bitcoin is the best tool we have at the current moment to start building the systems necessary to break free from the tyranny of an increasingly authoritarian State. The State funds its evil by printing of money. If you take away the State's ability to print money out of thin air, you take away their ability to fund their tyranny. Only from this base can you begin to claw back civil liberties to make the world a more just and equitable place.
It becomes much harder to fund a War on Drugs that targets minorities. It becomes much harder to indiscriminately bomb people in foreign lands. Fomenting anger which turns into physical violence. It becomes much harder to let the banking elite get away with pillaging the Common Man. It makes it much harder for the State to do things that aren't beneficial for its citizens because it is vying for a scarce resource instead of creating an infinite resource.
On top of taking the power to create money from the central banks and governments, individuals need to come to grips with the fact that they have been led astray and their emotions have been manipulated to push an agenda. They have been played like a fiddle as crisis after crisis has been leveraged to normalize more authoritarianism. Red team v. blue team is a distraction set in play to divide the Common Man. And boy has it worked.
Never have I witnessed more division in my life.
It doesn't have to be this way. The system has collapsed. Luckily, you can opt-out of the madness. All it takes is the will to do so and a bit of action. Are you willing to act or are you going to wait for someone to act on your behalf?
(Do yourself a favor and watch the 14-minute clip.)
Swell and heat on the way. I can get down with that.