Marc Faber: Democracy Is Increasingly Dysfunctional?
By Anthony Wile - March 15, 2015

Introduction: Dr. Marc Faber was born in Zurich, Switzerland. He went to school in Geneva and Zurich and finished high school with the Matura. He studied Economics at the University of Zurich and, at the age of 24, obtained a Ph.D. in Economics magna cum laude. Between 1970 and 1978, Dr. Faber worked for White Weld & Company Limited in New York, Zurich and Hong Kong. Since 1973, he has lived in Hong Kong. From 1978 to February 1990, he was the Managing Director of Drexel Burnham Lambert (HK) Ltd. In June 1990, he set up his own business, MARC FABER LIMITED, which acts as an investment advisor, fund manager and broker/dealer. Dr. Faber publishes a widely read monthly investment newsletter "THE GLOOM, BOOM & DOOM" report which highlights unusual investment opportunities. A regular speaker at various investment seminars, Dr. Faber is well known for his "contrarian" investment approach. He is also associated with a variety of funds.

Anthony Wile: Hello. Thank you for talking with us again. How is your advisory business doing? Are you pleased with the results of your trades and forecasts?

Marc Faber: My business is doing fine, my newsletter is doing fine and my forecasts are doing fine.

Anthony Wile: Tell us what's happening with gold, generally speaking.

Marc Faber: As you know, gold went up from $262 in 1999 to $1921 in September of 2011. Since then we've been correcting. We're now around $1200. I think gold compared to other assets is relatively inexpensive whereby all asset margins have been inflated by central banks around the world.

Anthony Wile: Where do you see it going from here?

Marc Faber: I don't know whether gold will go up or down in the next three months but I think that in the longer term gold will go up because central banks will continue to print money, so the purchasing power of money will depreciate.

Anthony Wile: Same thing with silver and other precious metals?

Marc Faber: I talk about gold and include all the other precious metals, which I do not include within the commodities complex. They don't depend on industrial demand, which for industrial commodities has been weakening because of the Chinese economy slowing down. But precious metal is something special. It is an insurance policy against the stupidity of central bankers.

Anthony Wile: What about other commodities? Anything to be particularly watching there?

Marc Faber: I think agricultural commodities are relatively low but they're volatile and for individual investors to play agricultural commodities is not that gainful. The carrying cost is high and you have to time your entry to market very well and so forth. My recommendation for individual investors is, as I always say, investors have to diversify. They should not put all their money into bonds, they should not put all their money into NASDAQ stocks, they should not put all their money into any one thing. They have to diversify between equities, bonds, real estate, cash and precious metals.

Anthony Wile: When it comes to real estate, is there any particular location you would recommend people consider?

Marc Faber: In Europe, commercial properties. But again, this is not for individual investors because individual investors can't buy a $50 million or $100 million building. In general, commercial properties in Europe have a huge yield strength compared to government bonds and cash so I think there's still some room for commercial properties to go up.

Anthony Wile: We've written about organic, or at least healthy, food and water recently. Is it wise to be watching for opportunities there?

Marc Faber: I suppose it's an investment theme but it's not that easy to play that theme. We've seen with a lot of health care, health-related nutrition companies, it becomes a fad and the stocks drop a lot. Water, yes. I think it's a theme but, again, it's not that easy to play it and the valuations are already relatively high.

For individual investors I recommend especially to buy Singapore and Hong Kong REITs, real estate investment trusts, if they can, but that's not obvious. Real estate in Asia, in my opinion, is still reasonably attractive – not terribly cheap but reasonably attractive.

Anthony Wile: Speaking of Asia, what's your take on China, as far as from a general economic overview?

Marc Faber: From a general overview perspective, China is a country with 1.3 billion people. There are some sectors in the economy and some regions within China that are still growing and other sectors and other regions within the economy are contracting. In general, I think that the economy overall has slowed down very meaningfully. In my opinion, if the economy grows at 4% per annum, for right now that's about the maximum.

But at the same time, the stock market performed so badly between 2006 and 2014 that stocks are relatively cheap. And as they will cut interest rates and ease further – I'm not saying this is what I would recommend but that's what they are going to do. I think stocks, which had already a 50% rally from the lows in 2014, now they will correct, maybe down 20%, 30%. But I believe a new bull market has begun.

Anthony Wile: How much further will the stock market climb?

Marc Faber: Sorry. I don't know. But I know one thing: Once it tops out it will decline a lot.

Anthony Wile: We've been referring to the Wall Street Party going on now. As long as the party continues everything's wonderful but when the party's over it will end quickly.

Marc Faber: Yes, and last year about half as many stocks went down as stocks that went up. But the index could eventually have all the stocks going down and one stock going up substantially and driving up the index. I don't think that people made a lot of money last year.

Anthony Wile: You mentioned at the outset people must diversify. We assume you'd say that's now more important than ever?

Marc Faber: Correct.

Anthony Wile: Give us your take on the Russia/Ukraine/US/NATO fiasco.

Marc Faber: On the issue about Ukraine, we had the Cuban crisis in 1962 and it's very clear. It's also very clear to European leaders that Russia will not have NATO in eastern Ukraine and that they will keep the port in Crimea because it is very important for Russia. So the Western powers better come to the negotiating table and make some kind of a deal with Russia.

The American media portrays Putin as an evil person but that's not the opinion of the typical European voter. He just defends or looks after his own self-interest and that of Russia. You cannot have the people like Paul Wolfowitz in east Ukraine.

Anthony Wile: If Europeans are seeing Putin as simply a protector of his people, do you also see that with regard to their own leadership, meaning are many Europeans beginning to demand that their own national leaders answers less to Brussels and focus more on their own nations? Is it part of an increased sense of nationalism?

Marc Faber: I don't think it's about nationalism. I think everywhere in the world, not just in Europe but also in the US, voters are increasingly skeptical about whether a "democratic" government is actually looking after their own interest or looking after the people's interest. I think increasingly people realize that government is an incredible bureaucracy and apparatus that looks after its own interest, not after your and my interest.

Anthony Wile: What will come about as a result of that changing perception, do you think? A Grexit, for instance? Germans protesting more vehemently?

Marc Faber: It's more a political issue, I think. The US and Europe, under pressure from the US and the neocons, will not let Greece leave the EU because they're afraid that if Greece leaves the EU Russia and possibly China will knock on the door of Greece and establish close relationships. It's not so much an economic issue. But Greece will never pay, that is very clear to anyone. They may continue to bail it out and push more money into their coffers so the Greeks can continue to do nothing.

The issue here is really what the West wants to do. Do they want Greece to stay in the EU? Okay, they have to pay. The Greeks are in a very strong position of negotiation because, notably, the US knows that if Greece leaves the EU there is a threat that Russia or China becomes closely tied to Greece. And there's another issue, that other countries may leave. Worst of all would be if Greece leaves the EU that the economy would recover significantly. That would be a complete loss of faith for the neo-Keynesians that advocate more and more government spending and more and more bailouts and claim that they do not matter, like Mr. Paul Krugman.

Anthony Wile: Given the poor state of the economy in the US and actual unemployment reported to be upwards of 20%, does it seem likely that a full-on war might be in the making?

Marc Faber: I think it's not likely that the US will go to war because they don't really have an army that functions well anymore. They have mercenaries. They pay their people and so forth. I think among ordinary people in the US there is very strong objection to interference into other countries' affairs. But in desperation, who knows?

Anthony Wile: You mentioned Wolfowitz … How much influence do the neocons still have in all of what's going on, in your view?

Marc Faber: I think the neocons are the equivalent of the neo-Keynesians. The neo-Keynesians bankrupted the world financially with their policies and the neocons destroyed the Middle East with their policies. Basically, they destabilized the whole Middle East.

But the problem is not so much the policy of destabilizing; the problem is the human tragedy, that people that were mostly poor have been displaced and are even poorer today than before. That, nobody talks about. They just talk about ISIS in Syria and Iraq. They talk about insurgency here and there, but they never talk about the human tragedy, and that I would like to point out to people. The interventions by the neocons, or under Obama under the influence of the neocons, have been a complete human tragedy.

But the Americans sit there and say, "America is exceptional." American exceptionalism. Human rights should be pursued by everyone else in the world but not by the US.

Anthony Wile: The US doesn't belong to the International Criminal Court or any other international body that would hold it accountable, so those people who are trying to draw attention to human rights violations don't have much of a voice.

Marc Faber: Yes, correct, but I can tell you that precisely because of this attitude and what I would call arrogance, the US has lost a lot of prestige around the world. Before, say 20 or 30 years ago, Russia was looked upon as an evil nation. China was looked upon as an evil nation. Today, that no longer exists. People look at Russia and they say, "Okay. They defend their self-interests." They look at China. China has been relatively good in terms of interfering in other people's affairs.

Anthony Wile: Most Americans don't get that message, of course.

Marc Faber: Yes, because the media in America is controlled by major organizations that have close ties to the government and the reporting in the US is like the reporting used to be in the Soviet Union under the communists, like Pravda. It's very biased. But as I said, in Europe, people have a different view.

Anthony Wile: It does seem recently that when the US government makes statements blasting Russia's "appalling human rights record," more voices – at least in feedback comments to stories on the Internet – are pointing out the irony of US "leadership" holding such a position, given torture reports and black sites and drone attacks, etc., and even the increasing domestic police state all garnering more attention.

Marc Faber: Precisely, but in the US there was an opinion survey done – 60% of the people support torture. But if another country tortures someone or tortures an American, then it's extremely evil. All I want to say is there are currently huge double standards that come out of the US.

But I think some voters are beginning to realize that and I'm rather convinced that neither Hillary Clinton nor Jeb Bush will be the next president. I think people realize that these are people coming from the establishment, especially Hillary Clinton, who has a very questionable track record both in terms of integrity and in terms of ability to run foreign policy.

Anthony Wile: Do you think a third party will be able to make a go of it, or just not those two particular candidates?

Marc Faber: I hope so, but this is one of the problems of democracy, that you have dynasties, and so I'm increasingly leaning to the question whether actually democracies function nowadays.

Anthony Wile: Indeed, it would be hard to find a functioning democracy. Can you point to any at this point?

Marc Faber: That I don't know, but everybody thinks that every dictator is evil. In Asia, we've had very fast growth in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore under non-democratic regimes. Even today in Singapore you have some kind of democracy but not a true democracy. In Hong Kong we don't have democracy; it hasn't ever been there for the last 150 years.

I don't know. I'm just saying that to sit there and say democracy is the best system in the whole world is maybe not the correct view.

Anthony Wile: On that note, worth considerably more discussion, we'll end for now. Thank you very much.

Marc Faber: Thank you.

After Thoughts

The very last point that Mr. Faber makes in this interview is an interesting one. "To say democracy is the best system in the whole world is maybe not the correct view."

This encompasses a broad series of philosophical assumptions. What is democracy? What is the "best system"?

There are many answers, obviously, depending on one's ideological perspective. There is, for instance, a libertarian perspective that if one must have a state authority, it ought to be a king or queen.

This is because traditionally kings and queens owned property and wealth within their kingdoms and thus were subject to the economic impacts of their reign.

Alternatively, there is the idea of anarchy. Anarchy allows marketplace competition to be the master and arbitrator and perhaps the market can provide better resolutions than state.

Which brings us back to democracy. An argument can be made that democracy is not the "best" system and actually may be among the worst. This is because elected officials have no ownership of the state they are charged with controlling. As a result, the optimum solution of the ruling class tends to be one of "looting."

It is an outcome of the "tragedy of the commons." Public spaces are often "looted" – degraded and damaged because they are used by all but are owned by none.

Asian cultures may tend to be more overtly authoritarian than Western cultures, but as Mr. Faber points out, they are doing well and providing prosperity without some of the trappings of democracy.

Of course, currently we are at a high level when it comes to the business cycle and when the cycle turns or lapses, we may find that Asian economies along with Western economies will share significant pain.

What is clear is that when surveying the world's economies, a truly free-market oriented environment is hard to find. It is the fashion today to encumber society with rules and regulations.

We have noted, however, that the enthusiasm for government seems confined to the "chattering" classes and those with authority. The vast middle classes and working classes (in the US anyway) are making it clear that government is already too large and needs to be reduced.

Our perspective is that at some point governmental authoritarianism may begin to fail in ways that cannot be compensated for. There may be alternatives advanced that will be considerably more market oriented.

After the next leg of the business cycle, the pendulum may begin to swing back.

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  • What happened to a republic? My understanding has always been, that this nation was founded as a republic, not as a “democracy”. Democracy is a chimera that never truly exists and always ends up consuming itself once the people find that they can vote benefits to themselves. Perhaps we should look more closely at the thinking of the founding fathers? Why did they chose a republic?

    • Bill Ross

      Because they were fools, blinded by their intelligence, assuming it in sufficient others. They believed vigilance and enlightenment would be maintained and, YOU could “keep it”.

      YOU were warned. Attempts were made, notably by the House (Cox) committee of “Unamerican Activities” warning against elite tax free foundations subverting education and respect for individual pursuit of “life, liberty and happiness” in favor of collectivism, perverting scientific method to rationalize servitude:


      • Lyn Morris

        …yep, I’m afraid you’re right about them believing the people had sufficient intelligence to keep the republic.

        • Just as there is no such thing, as a fool-proof gun Lyn, there is also no such thing as a corruption proof government. Once the One Bank had wormed their way in the back door (in 1913) with the help of the traitors that made that possible, we were toast. BTW, I do not see it as being about “intelligence” per se. I see it as being about venality, greed, corruption and the usual list of human weaknesses and frailties, along with complacency…….

          • Lyn Morris

            ..ah yes, Gregg. It was intelligence back in the day, probably because the people were more literate..at least not so willfully ignorant. And, yes…venal, greedy, corrupt, weak and complacent today just about sums it up nicely.:-))

          • Bill Ross

            It is ABOUT intelligence. There is a spectrum. Limited intelligences do not fully comprehend their dependency on others (at least for peace), the long term consequences of being predators and, the inevitable social / economic collapse when they forcefully arrange the carrots / sticks in their favor and to the detriment of the productive. The “what’s in it for me” question must be honestly answered before ANY self-interested individual expends time and energy (life) to DO anything. And, collective self interest is NOW well past the tipping point of non-cooperation, oppose.

          • Lyn Morris

            It WAS about intelligence, back when they set up the republic, the meaning simplified being:”ability to acquire, understand, and use knowledge: a person of extraordinary intelligence.” Can’t find the term ‘limited intelligence’, unless that is actually a phrase for ‘cognizant ability’ and I’ll go for that: ”

            “1. The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
            2. That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or intuition; knowledge.”
            And we certainly have a lot of folks in them thar straights of limited intelligence and poor cognizant abilities today!!!

          • Bill Ross

            3. (mine) Ability to accurately observe and describe without bias (using real language symbology / concepts) ALL of the dominant factors / forces at play in an environment (set of circumstances) in order to discern the natural law rules, allowing prediction of consequences of any action.

            This is a natural law: hurt someone and, they, or those who care about them WILL defend. Aggression spawns defense.

          • Lyn Morris

            ….you win on that one smarty-pants!! LOL But I sure don’t know many folks who have reached such level of abilities!

          • Bill Ross

            sole point of welfare state: insulate people from facing the consequences of their OWN actions, prevent learning “personal responsibility”, an obvious value, that if allowed to permeate throughout society is the standard that our rulers once were and WILL again be judged by. It is “still” the pretext of our totally corrupt “law”.

            In fact, if YOU do not take responsibility for YOUR own survival, you become a slave to those who do. Responsibility is the yin of the yang of freedom.

          • Bill Ross

            well, you will, either in mirror (stay on course), and / or those who administer the killing blow to elites and their foul, antisocial “enterprises”.

            not to mention, the “internet reformation” is the repository of collective knowledge and distributed “brain” of humanity, pondering a “collective problem”

          • Danny B

            I have to agree with Bill. The more intelligent a person is, the better they can appreciate that there is great importance in things beyond their own self-interest. They might not promote things that are of general interest but, they will be more aware of them. I’ve been many places where people routinely crap in the streams that they use for bathing. The Aussie aborigines light the forest on fire and eat whatever they find that couldn’t escape the fire. In India, they kill many thousands of people by selling rubbing alcohol for drinking,,, at wedding feasts. In 1981, 300 people killed and 20,000 sickened because somebody sold transformer oil for olive oil.

          • alaska3636

            Without a certain kind of intelligence, nobody would extend the supply chain. But, the IQ is always distributed around the bell. Most people are neither overly dumb or overly smart. Change is meant to come slowly and by trial-and-error. Naturally, one might say.

          • Danny B

            Alaska, have you read up on the Princeton “egg” and the “noosphere”?

          • alaska3636

            I will google this. Drop a link if you’ve got one.

          • Danny B

            Here is a good place to start; http://noosphere.princeton.edu/

          • alaska3636

            Sounds a bit like the Yuga Cycle and the precession of the equinox.
            I haven’t read much about the Binary Star theory causing oscillations in electromagnetic wave energy but it seems reasonable enough. Walter Cruttendon has a good podcast (and some books), The Cosmic Influence. Graham Hancock has been a guest. As they say, “Bring on the higher ages.”

          • Bruce C

            It’s also about understanding the true nature of personal reality. If one holds a conventionally “religious” perspective then God is believed to have a hand in human and personal events to one extent or another. That forces one to interpret all events through that lens and ask why. (E.g., If God is good then why does he allow …?; Or, why does God want me to experience thus and so?) Lacking satisfactory answers, along with an accompanying “explanation” from mass “education”, can/has led to skepticism and materialism and pragmatism, etc.

            Personally, I and a lot of others who claim to “know”, beleive that individuals form their own personal realities both individually and en masse, and so all answers to the questions why reside within one’s self. That’s not a very popular idea because it implies so much personal responsibility and – unfortunately and incorrectly – a lot of GUILT. (‘Why would I choose to create some “bad” situation for myself?) The “PREDATORS” want you to feel either powerless and godless and/or guilty.

          • Bill Ross

            I observe, experience, think, therefore I am. Starts there.

            The intelligent have self-awareness and can see themselves in others. They can form lasting bonds / trust and deep understanding “I SEE you”. Peaceful civilization is “by and for the intelligent”.

            The predatory “state of being” is one of total lack of comprehension and empathy for others. It is a furtive, paranoid existence. And, they have NOW been “painted into a corner” by their lies and manipulations. Very dangerous, when feral beasts get cornered, especially when they control “the button” and are prone do destroy the gameboard rather than admit defeat. Hubris is what objective historians call it.

          • Bruce C

            I would suggest that you think (and feel and imagine) first and then experience and observe, in that order.

            Agreed, empathy is a measure of intelligence.

            I don’t get the rest of your comment.

          • Bill Ross

            “venality, greed, corruption”

            are CHOICES of the unintelligent, unaware, or in strategic denial of the inevitable consequences. DO NOT fall into the “fixed human nature” trap. It is the primary FALSE rationalization of arbitrary power, We must be controlled because of “original sin” (old, religious pretext) morphed to “fixed and evil characteristics” courtesy of the totally bogus psychiatric “profession” and social “scientists”, the new dogma (subverted “science”).

        • Bruce C

          It wasn’t necessarily intelligence that the Founders counted upon, it required a “religious” people to maintain it (a Republic). Ironically, some may argue that that would imply anti-intelligence among the citizenry, but in the best sense it would be a belief in something more than and beyond the material “plane” and a world governed by men, hence the concept of “unalienable rights” for the secular minded.

  • Bill Ross

    MF: “I’m just saying that to sit there and say democracy is the best system in the whole world is maybe not the correct view.”

    well, how ’bout democracy limited to “common interest” (affects all equally, you can only legitimately vote your own fate, not that of others), counterbalanced by the “rule of law” limiting democratic excesses (groups allying to enslave other individuals / groups) and protecting the “pursuit of life, liberty and happiness” for all of us:


    after all, it was the failure of the “law” to guard against “democratic excesses” in Nazi Germany, (warring on Jews and other decreed “social undesirables”), for which key members of the German Judiciary were executed.

    When the judiciary rationalizes “judicial independence” to exclude fact, evidence, reason and rationalizes “rule of law” to MEAN “rule of them” and becomes “accessories to crime” by legitimizing “initiation of aggression”, well, individual and collective self defense (of survival) historically has led to social / economic collapse and “torches and pitchforks”

    • dave jr

      So much carnage could have been avoided with a simple ‘separation of money (commerce) and State’. We only needed government to define the value, not set the value, of money, along with the other standards of agricultural and commercial weights and measures. ‘Law’ has gone up over the top and is landed, hanging by its’ neck tie. ‘We’ are expected to stand trial, when ‘we’ are the victims of monetary grandiosity. Sorry, already paid, and skipped bail. What will the kangaroos do now?

      • Bruce C

        The Fed is the third central bank of the US. The first two were disbanded.

        Humans may have a lot of potential but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re fast learners.

  • It would be a dream if we could cure the sickness of the state with an infusion of untainted fresh thinkers – oh we do need them so. They could unwind all that is wrong. Simplify and correct. The sun will shine again, larks will rise, the sound of children’s voices, as they play, could fill the air.

    Who would support their candidacy however against the power of established interested parties. Who would defend them against the onslaught that would inevitably come as they realised and attempted to undo all that has been done to assure the continuance of the status-quo from which these oligarchies and elites feed?

    Is this the only chance, the last chance. Surely everything else, every other idea, form and concept of the state, has be done and done to death.

    Now, just maybe, we can have our leaders decided by a process as random as jury selection to assure their best chance of offering purity. What better means could there be? More democratic than democracy! Nothing better to assure perversion and self-seeking is not the immediate agenda of candidates.

    But a moment. What is the problem here? Is it not that everything the state and its government does is, at best, seen to only be just good enough. And too frequently is racked with corruption, illegitimacy, wastefulness, inefficiency plus, above all, that most insipid of all, the state alone holds the monopoly on the use of violent force.

    Without the threat of force the state cannot function. No subjects are truly voluntary. Yes we are given the pat of democracy as if that worked. We are given ‘the rule of law’ as if any normal man can find the means to resort to such an exclusive system. The state is out of control, out of the control of the majority of people who make-up its population and who’s property and work go to fund it all.

    But we are locked into it through no more than its general acceptance, the people’s unquestioning acquiescence to the fundamental of its necessity. We are startled before the state and cannot imagine how it could be any different, how on earth could the earth function without this, most ancient of institutions, in place.

    Like the air, the sun, night and day, food, nature and death; the state is seen as irreplaceable. Like men and women before took religious god to be the focus of humanity. Took serfdom to be inevitable. Took monarchies to be irreplaceable. Took tribal leaders, took family elders, took father and mother.

    From these common precepts of human life the fundamentalism of the state has been born. As each transition of ruler has come about so the true legitimacy has fallen away and in its place a more illusionary paradigm of deception grown.

    Like at the abolition of slavery people would holler: how will we work the land, who will take care of the slaves, its natural, its essential, its always been, its acceptable. But at that time who could foresee how the world would become without slavery. The arguments, no matter how persuasive are illegitimate once it is accepted that the condition is unendurable.

    Who can really foresee how the world will function in the absence of the state since we cannot understand the changes that will come about. All we can guess is that the rate of change is to be ever exponential.

    All that will be necessary to bring about the change will be a shift in human comprehension, in perception. Two elements are evident and can be seen as the denial recedes: 1. the state does not work indeed most problems emanate from the state and 2. the state, through its dependence on the use of violent force and lack of voluntarism, is illegitimate.

    As the individual’s process commences the counter questions one asks are initially sufficient to overwhelm and return one scurrying back into the comforting confines of statist thinking. No shame in that.

    As one progresses the answers are realised. It is a slow process since our world comprises of so much to make the state appear essential. We are immersed from the outset in such conformity.

    The simple illustration, from the Chauncey Gardener school [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgGvd1UPZ88 ], I find a help is to imagine human society to be as if a woodland (sounds a bit ‘new-age’ but stick with me please). We can have a team of woodsmen and gardeners to try to keep every little detail just-so but we can all realise the world cannot run be micromanaged like that – a forest is never going to be a garden. Things are going to keep growing, rotting and such – it cannot be helped.

    The alternative, in our woodland illustration, is to live with nature, to allow natural growth and cycles to occur. Instead of attempting to manage the woods top down, and fighting it all the way, let nature do what it does better than man ever can. Let nature manage each and every cell, organism, insect and on to ultimately every great tree and it will always be balanced and sustaining. The right decisions for the woodland’s continuation will be assured.

    Nature has long since worked through every lesson we need learn. Everything mankind does is a part of the natural process, even if that is poisoning our planet with radioactivity or building self-replication cyborgs that destroy us all!

    I am not saying we should go back to nature, not at all. My point is simply that we should allow the world to run ground-up not top down.

    There should be law and that law can be formed from the common judgement of the cases as they occur with courts acting little more than in arbitration.

    There should be the right to property and that right commences with the right to ones own body and the product of ones effort. One has the right that ones property should not be harmed by the actions of another.

    How we arrive at this point is dependant only on the peoples complete rejection of the concept of the state. If we do not find this for ourselves I believe it is inevitable that mankind will be subjected to a progressively authoritarian state the objective of which is only its own self perpetuation.

    • Bruce C

      Trusting the Self is key. When the Self is trusted then the “need” to control one’s self and especially “OTHERS” goes away, or is at least considered manageable, because there is freedom of choice for all, including the choice to not be a victim and the knowledge and confidence that one forms one’s own reality.

      Good post.

  • The problem in most areas of thought and practice and in the rumination of this kind, is that people continue to lose sight of the fact that it is individual people who do things, even when they know, really know, that all economic activity is on a basis of individual action. (Even considering the “mob action” factor).

    Meaning. “Government” per se does nothing. When we say government does this, tends to tyranny, etc., I think we’d get more “mileage” helping the uninitiated by referring to “people in government” doing this and that. And they have the same human weaknesses as the rest of us, plus armies. (If you cannot trust the super-rich with their riches, how can you trust the tax man with the riches of the super-rich? If you cannot trust yourself or your neighbors with guns, how can you trust a badge to magically transform anybody into a caring soul?)

    “The economy” is really the sum of everyone’s individual human action. And the activity done by economists is done by human beings.

    “The state” is made up of human beings, individuals.

    “Science” the worst case. The authoritarians claim a special place for “science”, but “Science” is not some magical god that purifies the activity done in its name, especially when they try to give it moral cover. “Science” is done by scientists. Darwinians think their strongest argument against Creation scientists or climate study realists is to accuse them (in the first case) of “argument from authority”, or (in the second case) argument for payment (industry sponsors). Note they refer to themselves as “science”, but their opposition is “deniers” or “anti-science”, and so on.

    That’s what happens with the word “democracy”. People do “democracy”, or “republics”, a “democracy” is not a person, and people are not schools of fish that turn altogether on a dime. Dancers have to practice really hard for years to coordinate like that. And the individual will still quit or join a different “kettle of fish” on a whim.

    • Bruce C

      Yes, and in more mundane terms, ideally, individuals in government would be held accountable by an educated and active citizenry. But not just educated in technicalities but in a more profound understanding of themselves and reality. Without that expanded awareness republican “representatives” simply represent and manifest that of political animals.

      • There is no such thing as an ideal government. I hold them accountable to avoid stealing or coercing involuntary cooperation. Which is self-contradictory.

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    Hoppe’s “Democracy – The God That Failed” is a helpful step in understanding why democracy is such a deceitful bust.

  • Praetor

    John Locke: But though men, when they enter into society, give up the equality, liberty, and executive power they had in the state of nature, into the hands of the society, to be so far disposed of by the legislative, as the good of the society shall require; yet it being only with an intention in every one the better to preserve himself, his liberty and property; (for no rational creature can be supposed to change his condition with an intention to be worse) the power of the society, or legislative constituted by them, can never be supposed to extend farther, than the common good; but is obliged to secure every one’s property, by providing against those three defects above mentioned, that the state of nature so unsafe and uneasy. And so whoever has the legislative or supreme power of any common-wealth, is bound to govern by established standing laws, promulgated and known to the people, and not by extemporary decrees; by indifferent and upright JUDGES, who are to decide controversies by those laws; and to employ the force of the community at home, only in the execution of such laws, or abroad to prevent or redress foreign injuries, and secure the community from inroads and invasion. And all this to be directed to ne other end, but the peace, safety, and public good of the people. So, Democratic Republic, for the Common Wealth (Well Being), with the Supreme Power Resting with the People. Man is corrupt, their are no Perfect Governments. The scum always rises to the top. And the People are to blame!

    • Bill Ross

      Thus, the totally bogus, unilaterally decreed “Social Contract”:


      ..to the point that “non-consent” is interpreted as “terrorism”. And, for predators, unruly prey is the greatest subjective terror of them all: no prey “to eat”, terror of terrors, have to get a job, produce and be “of use” (to the unseen hand of collective choice in pursuit of individual summing to collective survival)

      • Praetor

        Agree. A corrupt society = A corrupt government; And the question which begs to be answered, which came first. And another question, how do we get rid of the predators, since, they seem to be a problem from the beginning of time.

        • Bill Ross

          “HOW do we get rid of the predators”

          Defend YOUSELF and stop “asking” predators to do it for YOU:


          currently we are at the totally absurd “please don’t eat me” point of “dialog”, attempting to “reason” with those who cannot survive if “they stop”.

          • Bill Ross

            …and, cannot survive if they don’t

          • Praetor

            Autonomous, Self Governance of course! Immanuel Kant: Let justice reign even if all the rascals in the world should perish from it. And Kant, was not in favor of Democracy. He favored Constitutional Republic. Rule of Law!

          • Bill Ross

            “rascals in the world should perish from it”

            If they CHOOSE to “refuse to adapt”. THEIR CHOICE, thus “Justice”

          • Praetor

            Yep. Recant, (dog eat dog) or frontier justice will rule supreme with the power of the people dispensing justice. No other option, for them.

  • Americans had our democracy stolen long ago, with the passage of the Feral Reserve Act, which gave control of our monetary system to a multigenerational, international banking crime syndicate. With full control of banking came full control of war industries, media and the puppet government. We are on autopilot to feudal dystopia with fewer options for escape as the elites ratchet to their end game.

    I have authored +150 articles on faux science, fake history and directed narrative current events. I will be guest on Veterans Today, Monday Mar 16, 2015 in a Skype interview with video explaining the controlled demolition of WTC-1, 2 & 7 for one hour and the intentional fraud of Carbon climate forcing for the second hour. One Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 from 10p to midnight PDT i will be a guest on Coast to Coast Am with George Noory on +600 radio stations for presentation on Carbon climate forcing, and the related frauds of ‘sustainable’ energy and ‘peak’ oil. Humanity is on the threshold of a Thousand Years of Light and Universal Freedom, but only if we are AWAKENED and demand this change.

  • Jim Johnson

    When Franklin challenged us to keep our Republic, he knew the obstacles would arrive right away, not centuries later. I would submit we have never truly practied the original vision. Ours is a story of a closed system- that we would one day over-run our confines, experiencing the inevitable dramas in that sad reality. We have a shot at opening up the endless frontiers and treat our ancestral lands as the precious gardens they are, or can be. Farber is right, there is no system that will compassionately control the forces of desperation. We got here, irregardless of all obstacles. Let’s grab full hold of the possibilities and get to work. Space will create more jobs than we can make babies. When the blinders are pulled off, we will see rocket science as a relic long ago surpassed.

    • Bill Ross
      • Bruce C

        Bill-Ross barrada nikto.

    • Lyn Morris

      oh yeah, that’s for me….being a scifi luv-the-treks freak, I agree space will be the place to grow. though won’t be in our times me thinks.

      • Jim Johnson

        Don’t be so sure. Lots of interesting stuff has been put away from us wired-up utility-paying do as we’re told types. Things like an electric driven plasma universe. Changes the whole dynamic.

        • dave jr

          Got a worm hole in your pocket? Hehe, sorry. This divinely sparked lump of clay looks to the heavens with the same wonderment. Time, space and the vast distances is not within reach of this lump. I’ll work to improve what was given. Maybe the next life?

  • General Smedley Butler

    The problem is centralization. Centralization accommodates efficient infiltration and compromise. Imagine government, or any system, as a pyramid. Now imagine that pyramid being comprised of smaller pyramids within. The most powerful in any system will infiltrate and compromise the uppermost capstone and slowly fill the secondary capstones below with their minions. This model of control has been used at least since the unexplainable construction of the great pyramids of Egypt and is revealed to us in The Great Seal of the United States and similar symbols adopted by secret societies worldwide. Like so many other things our controllers do to us, the method is revealed in plain sight. As long as the herd is too daft to recognize and react to blatant revelations of method our controllers are comfortable in knowing their systems remain viable.

  • 2prickit

    US Constitution [Tripartite government]

    Perhaps the shadows who promoted the urgent necessity for its creation– in secret— were much more than envious of congresses’ effectiveness and especially its recent creation The Northwest Ordinance, along with the Land Ordinance of 1785 that had laid the legal and cultural groundwork for Midwestern . . . development

    Take back Justice; abolish the department of justice: fall back to the Articles of Confederation,or perhaps some simple instrument of it likeness.

  • Perhaps dysfunctionality is simply becoming apparent in ways that can no longer be disguised.

    Ego-centricity in its core sense of usurped or corrupted identity, is inherently dysfunctional, being out of accord with the whole – with its true nature. Indeed such concept of self operates as false currency – within which the kinds of mentality out-picturing our world are necessary and inevitable.

    Blame is the negative identity that is redistributed by power. Not the true power of presence – but the authority ‘given’ to externally believed and perceived realities.

    The undermining of the idea ‘governance’ has led to idea of free markets not requiring governance. All ideas can serve an integrative or segregative purpose. One chief idea that corrupts and usurps human understanding is that of ideas being presumed to have fixed meanings – when in fact the meaning is always contextual.

    Someone with an innate connectedness of true self interest can see the value of trusting and communicating the value or meaning that they consciously discern and appreciate. But in presuming those values innate and self-evident, the drift into unconsciousness occurs where derivative meanings become gambling chips in the attempt to exploit and manipulate the ‘system’ or presumed reality for private agenda out of sight of those who ‘follow the rules’.

    Anyone without awareness of innate connectedness in Life can ONLY engage the attempt to exploit and manipulate the ‘system’ or presumed reality of ‘others’, for they have no sense of the meaning of the phrase “even as ye do unto the least, so ye do unto Me”. For the “Me” of that statement is not a personality born of victimizing or victimized mentality, but the living Context and indeed Consciousness in which existence is known and experienced – whether clearly or through a distorting filter of fragmentation.

    Such ideas are meaningless to anyone still engaged in the game of powers as if it could be won – or as if it is truly meaningful. But the revealing of the breakdown of function – of the prodigal wasteland – operates either to reinforce commitment to the ‘control mentality’ in fear of losing control, or to the questioning and challenging of its basis. That is to challenge presumed ‘reality’ as defined and mutually reinforced within one’s OWN usage.

    The use to which we put our minds is open to our imagination. Locking into bot-net mode as an exploration of seeking power over – and protection from – un-owned fear and guilt, operates the ‘managed’ reality to which fear and guilt are essential leverage – but on the surface or screen reality, this is scripted so as to induce it within a false wrapping of seeming freedom, for a sense of ‘becoming’ a someone or something in one’s own right; a self-specialness, whether apparently gifted or afflicted. An ego-centric displacement or dissociation.

    Democracy under a media and market manipulated influence becomes a sham of perception-manipulation or deceit. And with the discovery that human beings are un-reasoned by fear and division and thus predicated on inner separation fears, rational discourse has been abandoned for double-speak backed with threat of terror or sidelined into futility and irrelevance.

    The Idea ‘Man’ is not corrupt. Our current use of it tends to be. There cannot be a corruption but that it is OF SOMETHING TRUE. Nor a forgery, nor a denial dressed as rationalised obfuscation. Communication itself is what has broken down in a world were anything means anything in endless shifting contexts of a self-serving evasion of true relationship – which start within oneself and extends out.

    • Praetor

      F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story; The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons, gave me poss. I think, maybe that is how it should be. Born old and live to be young, not born young to live to be old. But the more I thought about it, no, that is not right. To live and gain experience is to gain knowledge and wisdom, to be imparted to the next. The job of wisdom of life is to impart that knowledge and wisdom gained, about the manipulation and deceit, which, has been, and is being inflicted on all humanity, now. So, that hopefully each proceeding generations may in time eliminate those responsible for this manipulation and deceit. With true reality and not a perceived reality being the goal. The perception now is the world is a scary place and we need THEM to help us survive. Them, they have been doing this for millennia, its time for it to stop!

      • There is a subtle deceit lying hidden in this notion – for the true mastery of life is in ‘getting out of the way’ or not interfering with the innate knowing and natural wisdom that aligns from it. It may be apparent or will be if you haven’t had children – that wisdom cannot be passed on. But one’s own example can model – and will model – a demonstration from which others can use if they will.

        There are many who have no model of behavioural vocabulary for anything but fight or flight (or the confusion of both in a split mind).

        Locked into conditioning has been called a dream – or indeed a nightmare. However, IF there is a willingness of desire, conditioning can be exposed in the light of a capacity to choose.

        The way (fear) conditioning works is to bait or provoke reaction – in self-righteousness (fight) or self-protection (flight).

        Regardless of external conditions, we can react from conditioning or operate from an inner knowing. To me this is a choice between the quick and the dead – the blind and the seeing – because without knowing who you are in any given situation – leaves only the reaction from who you image or wish yourself to be.

        The good news is that one can observe such reaction and uncover the conditioning beliefs and self-definitions and thus discard the false while wholly embracing what is true of you.

        All of the deceits being revealed in ‘the world’ have counterparts in the patterning of our human consciousness – which is operating a deceit by which to not know who and what it is – so as to play out a script. There is nothing new in this idea; that the world operates an illusory distortion or veil over a pristine truth. Traditionally it became a secret of the elect, perhaps because so very few cared to know. But everyone has a script through which they experience the world, their relationships and heir thinking. A kind of template within Consciousness.

        One perspective of our times is that our collective template reality is being re-aligned, because it no longer serves purpose – and indeed because a shift in purpose renders it obsolete or redundant. In simplest terms this is forcing us to uncover what we truly want, because all that we thought we were – or wanted – is falling from our grasp.

        The way to release the negative is to walk out of its domain. Though there can be physical expressions of this, the metaphor applies for every kind of recognition of false allegiance. One cannot change what first one does not own. The principle device for dis-owning the fearful and the hated is projection onto others. But as is apparent this does not actually heal or clear the heart – but simply repackages guilt in deceits – somewhat like financial instruments.

        Much ado about nothing – when nothing is disguised within something or the promise of something. Truth – in terms of living true OF you is a starting point. Only by starting from true can anything truly fulfilling arise. The carrot and stick of the ‘get there’ scam is SO yesterday – excepting it extends the blind past over our presence to a blind future.

        How to address calamity or problem without reacting from fearful conditioning? Simply practice willingness consistently and be the change you want to see. The world is changing anyway – but one’s perspective within it is determined by the focus of our attention – that is, our desire. It is all choice – but coercion seems to have power over our mind – or does it? The mind can be very tricky.

  • stevor

    sure, when so many college “teachers” are backers of Marxism and such!

    • Bill Ross

      the “internet reformation” has obsoleted propagandists (rely on no dissenting information sources), including the dispensers of dogma in state indoctrination centers.

    • Bill Ross

      and, those who “can’t DO”, teach. How stupid is that?:)

      • Bill, just imagine that you would have to pay these academics with redeemable currency for the education of your son’s or daughter’s college education…….

        Is there any wonder why Keynesian economics and irredeemable currency, favored by present day politicians, have such great support from college and university professors…..???

        I understand that academics have to eat too, and they have to pay a mortgage, but gimme a break…… Paying a Jonathan Gruber millions of debt monetized Federal Reserve Notes to spew his idiocy is going too far for me. Though these FRNs are debt, their circulation will have a detrimental effect on my living standard down the line……and I don’t like it.

    • Praetor

      College is like a prison, only those that are there volunteered to be imprisoned. A gilded prison it be. Plus, it keeps the youth from going into the streets to riot against the machine, instead they riot for the machine. College people are the most closed minded of us all, they be young and know no better. The day they leave the campus, is the day REALITY smacks them in the face. Unless, of course, Mommy and Daddy can help, but that is like less than .0001%. The rest, its like good luck?

  • Danny B

    All organisms have a natural tendency to “conservation of energy”. We practice this by stealing support or voting for support. This process takes time to overwhelm the productive system so, democracies last, on average, 150 years. 1/3 of Athenians were slaves so, this cut down on the out-of-balance of the system. The end results and timeline are determined by the ratio of producers to non-producers. Our current system has a LOT of slaves so, we have a correspondingly high living standard.
    Our current, average standard of living is far higher that the standard of royalty, not too long ago. We average 17 slaves each,,, in the West. BUT, everybody is trying to get on the bandwagon and “conserve energy”. Job niches are fewer and a lot of people can’t be bothered to work.
    Our slaves have gotten increasingly more expensive to feed but nobody wants to reduce their standard of living. The rubber band is going to break. Those who never made a (valid) contribution to supporting the economy are going to find that the empty cache has nothing to offer them.
    The bureaucrats would like to think that they can demand support when the general economy has next to nothing. Collectivism has a far shorter “shelf life” than democracy. When the ranchers, farmers and fishermen become strangers to the profit motive, they will shrug their shoulders and plant a garden.

    • alaska3636

      Epstein’s law.

      This is a major insight of Human Action. The distribution of human dispositions is astounding. Economic exchange bounces off of all of these variables. Governance can not escape these natural laws. There are rings of power and their is the one ring of power: local and total government. Everyone knows that an HOA is composed of a bunch of lonely, lost fascists; but, nobody connects the larger power centers with the loneliest, most lost sociopaths. It’s a positive and negative charge.

      Talib Nassim writes about minimizing unforeseen risk and his detractors want to know what is unforeseen. They don’t get it. Risk is natural, and hedging is primarily accomplished through the distribution of information. Failures should be local not central. Failure is good information; so long as it doesn’t cripple the global supply chain, it’s just another price to take into consideration. Thinkers think. Everybody else follows the trend. Martin Armstrong understands that people who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it; those who do, are doomed to watch as history repeats. Humanity has a bad relationship with risk.

    • I don’t disagree with you in your general argument, Danny.

      The way I look at it is from a basic economic stand point. In order to survive, humans have to “work”. The human specie is the only one which must sustain itself by indirect means, IOW we must “sow” before we can “reap”. To “sow” is not instinctual. It has to be learned, and this learning has to be passed on from generation to generation, as it is not transmitted by genetics.

      When you have “worked” to provide for sustenance to survive, and you have surplus, you have the opportunity to increase your living standard by trading for other goods or by engaging services. One most of us forget is that “surpluses”, actual commodities are required to increase living standards. All this talk about the U.S. economy being a service economy is nonsense. It’s like saying taking in each others laundry raises your living standard……..

      What has been our boon, and why we have a high living standard is the advance of technology. Productivity of goods and commodities has increased many multiple times requiring less and less “work”. Nevertheless, it is only the “surpluses” due to high productivity which let’s us enjoy a high living standard.

      If you farm out all your production jobs to China, and you become a distribution arm for Chinese production in the form of Walmart, Home Depot, etc., you may find yourself in trouble some day, unless you are prepared to repatriate production jobs. (Real estate speculation and Prop 13 legislation as in California can be the greatest obstacles to bringing production jobs back to the U.S.)

  • FABER: “…..but this is one of the problems of democracy, that you have dynasties, and so I’m increasingly leaning to the question whether actually democracies function nowadays.”

    WILE: “The very last point that Mr. Faber makes in this interview is an interesting one. To say democracy is the best system in the whole world maybe not the correct view.”

    BISCHOFF: It decidedly is not the correct view. Samuel Adams, a cousin of John Adams, an American Revolutionary leader and patriot; an organizer of the Boston Tea Party and signer of the Declaration of Independence said this about a “Democracy” form of government:
    “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

    WILE: “What is democracy?”

    BISCHOFF: A “Democracy” is a form of government in which the Majority rules. When 51% vote for a living, while 49% have to work for a living, an unstable situation is created which will not endure for long.

    WILE: “What is the BEST system? There are many answers, obviously, depending on one’s ideological perspective.”

    BISCHOFF: There are really only five types of governmental systems. Of those five, only two are stable forms of government.

    1. DICTATORSHIP. Pure dictatorship does not really exist anymore. It is very rare in today’s world. Most governments considered to be dictatorship are really oligarchies.

    2. OLIGARCHY. This form of government is run by a group of special elite individuals who decide the political and economic course of state affairs. Under such system true “free market” distribution is not possible. The distribution system under an oligarchy is invariably “socialistic” in one form or another. However, an OLIGARCHY is a stable form of government.

    3. DEMOCRACY. In Democracy, the majority vote rules. The founders of the U.S. Constitution held a very dim view of DEMOCRACY as a form of government. The framers were keen students of the classics. They studied the Athenian Democracy, a collection of City States ruled by majority vote. As soon as the majority found that it can vote itself benefits at the expense of the minority, the Democracy in Athens was doomed. The Greek statesman and philosopher Solon tried to warn his fellow Athenians from falling under the influence of oligarchies by advocating governance using “Rule of Law”, rather than governance by majority vote. Governance with “Rule of Law” implies that every citizen is subject to the law, including law makers themselves. The Athenians failed to heed the advice Solon gave, and the city states of Athens turned into little oligarchies.

    4. REPUBLIC. Republic is government by “Rule of Law”. By a democratic procedure, representatives at various levels of government are elected to use their best judgment to the benefit of the people by passing laws that are binding on every citizen. While the Athenians didn’t listen to Solon, the Romans did take up his idea in the formation of the Roman Republic. The Roman Republic was a highlight in human affairs, aside from having Slavery as its economic system. A REPUPLIC is a very stable form of government, provided its citizens are moral and informed.

    5. ANARCHY. As a form of government, anarchy is the most unstable form of government. Commerce ceases to function anarchy. Chaos ensues in the economic system, because of the inability to guarantee the safety of private property and individual life.

    That’s as far a types of forms of government is concerned. However, something more needs to be said about Rome.

    Slavery was the economic system in Rome, just as Slavery was the economic system in Athens. Slavery as an economic systems may work for short periods of time under a Democracy or a Republic form of government, but it is at odds with either. After the demise of Rome, the economic system known as Slavery ceased to exist, not withstanding the existence of “Black Slavery” in North America. The Catholic Church, aka “Roman Church”, replaced the Slavery economic system with an economic system known as Feudalism. Kings and other nobility were vested with divine rights by the Papacy to rule over lands and people, provided the Roman Church was allowed to minister to the people, and to look after the spiritual needs. The Angles, Saxons, Friesen and Jutes who settled the English Isles after the departure of the Romans in 4th Century A.D. brought with them from the Continent “Barbaric Law” which they reconciled with Roman Law to create a Common Law based on precedence applied through governance from the “bottom up”.

    Anglo-Saxon governance was based on the shire system. The shire, an equivalent to our county system of government, was headed by a sheriff who was the local chief law enforcement and administrative officer. Governmental problems were solved at the local level. Only those problems which could not be solved at the local level were referred to a higher level of government. This was contrary to feudal government supported by the Roman Church characterized by ruling from the “top down”. The Roman Church repeatedly tried to gain a foothold in the English Isles after the Angles and Saxons settled it. It finally succeeded with the invasion of England by a supporter of the Roman Church, William the Conqueror, who fought and won the Battle at Hastings in 1066.

    The early North American colonists were Anglo-Saxon refugees from the feudal system brought to England by William the Conqueror. They and their descendants came to the New Continent via decades of refuge in Holland. They did not want feudal government in the new colonies. Anglo-Saxon rule came to North America with the governorship of the Jamestown Colony by Sir Thomas Dale. His Anglo-Saxon rules for governance and moral conduct ensured the existence of the Jamestown colony. Dale’s Rules were picked up by the Colony of Connecticut in its 1636 Constitution, the first written constitution on the North American continent. The 1636 Connecticut constitution served as blue print for writing the constitutions of the first thirteen states, the U.S. Constitution as well, as the constitution of the remainder of the other 37 states.

    The U.S. Constitution did not establish a DEMOCRACY. It established the American REPUBLIC with an economic system known as Capitalism. While the New England colonies were settled by Anglo-Saxons, the Southern colonies were settled by impoverished English nobility who came to the New continent via the West Indies. When they found it impossible to establish a feudal economic system with indentured servants, they resorted to “Black Slavery” made possible through English slave traders. The founders wrote the U.S. Constitution to prevent both economic system of Slavery and Feudalism to take a hold in the new United States. They knew that the question of slavery, if not resolved peacefully, would result in a civil war which promptly came in 1861.

    As to the governing body of the United States, the largest body of voters to elect federal law makers and executives was that contained within a congressional district. Members to the U.S. House of Representative are elected in congressional districts which have an equal number of voters. They have to stand for election every two years. Two each Members to the U.S. Senate were to be selected by the legislature of the individual, sovereign states. The president and vice president were the only executives elected nationwide. However, they were to be elected by state electors which matched the number of the state’s representatives in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, rather than by direct vote. All these provisions within the U.S. Constitution held until the ratification of the 17th Amendment. This amendment provided for the popular election of U.S. Senators state wide, an amendment completely contrary to the wisdom of the founders. Soon the banks were the major contributors to senatorial campaigns. The state legislature could do nothing about the influence of the banks over their U.S. Senators. Since the state legislators didn’t select the U.S. Senators, they couldn’t recall them either. That’s the system which exist to this day. Under this system, central government pushed by banks and large corporations has thrived.

    BTW, as news to Anthony Wile and Marc Faber, both of whom are familiar with life in Switzerland, direct Democracy survives and flourishes still in the conduct of bi-annual plebiscites in many of the Helvetian Cantons.

    • Praetor

      Well, so, which should we have, if any. We know that. So, we let the oligarch’s rule, because its stable, or we let democracy rule till it doesn’t, or the rule of law and everyone be under the law, who makes those laws, we the people or those in charge. All been tried and none working, ends in the same place, they versus us, and only one way out. New ideas needed. Elitism and Servitude, ended!!

      • PRAETOR: Try a REPUBLIC. A Republic is a stable form of government. However, it needs moral and informed constituents to make it work. To merely say, ok let me sit back and watch, and let’s see if Republican government under “Rule of Law” works is not how stability is infused into Republican government.

        It’s amazing how often I read the argument that elites have taken over…… There is nothing in the original U.S. Constitution that gives power to elites to “take over”…….

        If there is a “take over” by elites, it is because they have been allowed to do so by “We the people….” Remember, you don’t get the government you WANT. You get the government you DESERVE.

        • Praetor

          Agree. My earlier post I says as much. I do blame the citizens for what we have today, an Oligarchy. Lets just say people with a lot of money, have bought this government, and have usurped the people supremacy.

        • Sean Ryan

          Its never the system (when its the system YOU personally support), is it?

          Its always “our” fault…sorry, but I don’t accept responsibility for a bad system created in the late 18th century and for the 200+ years of corruption built up under this system by the time I was allowed to start voting. I also don’t accept responsibility for the actions of politicians whom I didn’t vote for, nor for the public being brainwashed by govt., nor for all of the bad incentives created by govt. This blame-the-victim attitude is appalling…

          Slavery was a “stable” system…it lasted for 1000’s of years on Earth…I want freedom, not “stability”.

          Why the heck are you so stuck on the ancient idea of a “republic” anyways? Why are you still talking about a piece of paper (Constitution) as if it actually has any power or means anything–other than empowering the likes of Bush and Obama and meaning whatever the rulers say it means?

          The more I hear Constitutionalists, the more I’m reminded of Communists who still think their system can work “if only the right people could be put in charge”…

          • RYAN: “Slavery was a “stable” system…it lasted for 1000’s of years on Earth…I want freedom, not “stability”.

            BISCHOFF: Slavery is an “economic system”. It has nothing to do with governmental systems, as such. Athens as a Democracy had Slavery as an economic system, Persia as a Kingdom (Dictatorship/Oligarchy) had Slavery as an economic system, Rome as a Republic had Slavery as an economic system…..

            To equate governmental systems with economic systems is fallacious.

            RYAN: “…sorry, but I don’t accept responsibility for a bad system created in the late 18th century and for the 200+ years of corruption built up under this system by the time I was allowed to start voting.”

            BISCHOFF: how about accepting responsibility to change the “bad system”. You know, the people who set up the “bad system” provided for a procedure to have “We the people…” make peaceful changes to the system. Did you know that the “bad system” made that provision….???

            ……but then, maybe it’s easier to cast blame and point fingers, than to actually do something about the “bad system”.

          • Sean Ryan

            LOL…w/a govt. economics and the legal system are closely linked…legal systems (including the constitution) recognized slaves as property, therefore slavery was inherently part of the legal/governing systems. Very stable too…

            LOL…yes, I know that the system theoretically provides for peaceful change/reform (I get to choose either Obama or Romney, oh boy!)…just like it theoretically limited govt (in reality it did the OPPOSITE)…you’re the one casting blame where none belongs–with “us”. Like I said, I take ZERO responsibility for the actions of OTHERS.

            Its amazing that people like Bush and Obama have convinced people like you that you can’t survive w/o them…its equally amazing that they’ve convinced you that what THEY do is YOUR fault…

            When ‘constitutionalists’ can satisfactorily answer these 2 Q’s I’ll listen to them:

            1. How can people delegate rights/powers they don’t possess?
            2. How can I be bound by a document written by people 220+ years ago which did not purport then, or now, to be a contract?

          • RYAN: “…..w/a govt. economics and the legal system are closely linked…

            BISCHOFF: Yeah, have you ever heard of it……..it’s called POLITICAL ECONOMY.

            RYAN: “legal systems (including the constitution) recognized slaves as property, therefore slavery was inherently part of the legal/governing systems. ….

            BISCHOFF: Yes, the legal system in the Athenian Democracy contained laws regarding slaves. Yes, the Persian monarchy had its rules regarding slavery. Yes, the Roman Republic had laws regarding slaves, but where in the U.S. Constitution do you see anything about slaves…..???
            I think you are confusing the “protection of private property rights” provision in the U.S. Constitution with English Common Law practice by the sovereign, separate states…..

            RYAN: “Its amazing that people like Bush and Obama have convinced people like you that you can’t survive w/o them…its equally amazing that they’ve convinced you that what THEY do is YOUR fault…”

            BISCHOFF: I don’t want to be unkind, but this comment of yours proves to me that you haven’t got the faintest clue what I am talking about when it comes to Political Economy…….

          • Sean Ryan

            As I said, when a ‘constitutionalist’ can explain:

            1. How people can delegate rights they don’t have
            2. How the constitution applies to me (being I didn’t agree to its terms and the fact it was written nearly 200 years before I was even born)

            I’ll listen to them more closely.

          • Sean Ryan

            As I said, when a ‘constitutionalist’ can explain:

            1. How people can delegate rights they don’t have (specifically the power to tax and legislate)
            2. How the constitution applies to me (being I didn’t agree to its terms and the fact it was written nearly 200 years before I was even born)

            …I’ll be happy to continue the discussion…

    • Sean Ryan

      The Constitution was a bad idea (creating another layer of govt. didn’t end up advancing liberty) and it also failed in its alleged purpose to restrain govt…this is just an undeniable fact at this point. Why the ‘founders’ copied the failed Roman republican model is a good question…I suspect it was because certain factions (it was not unanimously adopted) were power-seekers (or agents of power-seekers) who wanted a powerful govt. to serve their own purposes.

      Anarchy is not a form of govt. and your opinion about it being “most unstable” and hostile to property/rule-of-law is just that: your opinion.

      A republic IS a form of democracy, btw, wherein the actual democratic power is lodged w/an oligarchy of rulers.

      • RYAN: “Anarchy is not a form of govt. and your opinion about it being “most unstable” and hostile to property/rule-of-law is just that: your opinion.”

        BISCHOFF: As I replied to Dave, Jr., I should have phrased it that, “ANARCHY is a form of governance marked by the absence of government.” Under anarchy, personal possessions are not secure unless all humans are habituate to not to follow instinct and “just take”. Such situation is not likely to ever exist, hence the need for “government” to exist. When anarchy “governs”, you can’t leave your house, lest you want to see your possessions gone, etc., etc., etc. ……


        NO, it is not just my opinion. The subject of “Anarchy” as a form of governance is pretty well accepted, at least in academic circles.

        RYAN: “Why the ‘founders’ copied the failed Roman republican model is a good question…”

        BISCHOFF: I wouldn’t call the Roman Republic a failed model of governance. The Roman Republic existed from 509 BC and ended in 27 BC. That is a period of time just short of 500 years. The American Republic has existed from 1789 until 1913, barely one quarter of the time span during which the Roman Republic was in existence.

        Furthermore, the Roman Republic had Slavery as its economic system. Slavery as such is not compatible with a REPUBLIC form of government, if it is to include all humans within its jurisdiction. With the demise of Rome, the economic system known as Slavery seized to exist. Its place was taken by an economic system known as Feudalism which was supported by the Christian Church of Rome.

        The American Republic fought the institution of feudalism by banning issuance of titles of nobility in the U.S. Constitution. Though the attempts in the Southern colonies to establish feudalism in North America ended instead in “Black Slavery”, but unlike Slavery during Roman times, “Black Slavery” in North America did not constitute an economic system. “Black Slavery” was never supported by any provision in the U.S. Constitution. It took the Civil War and 700,000 war debt to make this clear.

        • Sean Ryan

          Again, you get it wrong…anarchy LITERALLY MEANS “without rulers”…thats it.

          People seeking to rule and those who desire to be ruled (including court historians and mainstream academia) will always be threatened by a system w/o rulers and seek to discredit it.

          Nothing threatens property and liberty like empowering a TINY group w/the legal power to steal both–this is what history actually proves.

          Statists of every stripe adhere to the odd notion that human-beings can, somehow, be taken out of the equation of political power via things like written constitutions, popular democracy, education, and so-called ‘checks and balances’…in the end, however, all you’re left w/is a system where one group dominates (via legalized violence) another group and where NONE of the problems of human-on-human predation are solved but, to the contrary, are legitimized as a social norm.

          At a minimum you should recognize that creating a central govt. did not lead to more liberty, but less.

    • dave jr

      I don’t understand. Anarchy is a form of government? And I think commerce will always function, I’ll trade these Flintstones for that beaver pelt…etc. Though it may be brutal, it is the lowest common denominator that exists, as long as there are two or more people on this earth. Human beings will settle for government in order to regulate the trade and for personal safety. When government goes wild, encumbers trade and reduces personal safety, it’s all over. It doesn’t really mater what form it was. imho. What are we willing to institute? That with the greatest guarantee. We had a good run here in the US of A, and that was with a Constitutional Republic. Flawed as it was, lets fix it.

      • dave jr

        I am committed to marketing it. I am committed to confronting the dummied down. I will ask my acquaintances what they want from gov? If they respond, “more free minutes”;… rather than throw their iphone in the tiody, I’ll seek other signs of life. The entertainment industry is flooding us with epics of zombies and other dangers from beyond. As paid chaperones, they are mocking us. I know you have done your part, Ingo; but I don’t believe that my kind recently climbed down from the arboreal environment, maybe others did? I think I was always more inclined to club vipers and circumvent large reptiles. The saber tooths as the predominate danger are as new as me. They got fangs and I got tools. None the less, you as well as the DB have been a good teacher.

      • DAVE, JR.: “I don’t understand. Anarchy is a form of government?”

        BISCHOFF: Maybe I should have put it better. ANARCHY is a form of “governance” which is marked by the absence of government. Happy now….????

        Now as to commerce….. If you want to equate to lowest form of barter with “commerce”, then you have a different understanding of the word “commerce” than I have. To me, “commerce” in the brought sense means widespread social interaction in exchanges conducted in safety and with individual security.

        It is the nature of humans which necessitates the existence of government. To the extent that parents habituate their offspring to make them fit for peaceful life in the terrestrial environment, the need for government is minimized. Nevertheless, government itself can become a problem, because it is constituted from the same human beings subject to instincts driven by biologically developed genetics which requires governments to exist in the first place. As Jefferson said: “There cannot be liberty without government, but government is also the greatest threat to liberty.”

        DAVE, JR.: “We had a good run here in the US of A, and that was with a Constitutional Republic. Flawed as it was, lets fix it.”
        BISCHOFF: Yes, we have had a good run in the USA with the American Republic and the American political economy created with the U.S. Constitution. It was all thanks to adhering to Anglo-Saxon type government, meaning governance from the “bottom up”.

        All this changed with the ratification of the 17th Amendment. It made it possible for corporations experiencing increasing power after the Civil War to further the centralization of government. Corporate governance is governance from the “top down” which is fine, if you have a mission to produce. However, while it maybe comfortable for big corporations to deal with big centralized governments to further their own best interests, the governed population inexorably suffers.
        Yes, by all means let’s fix it, but how….??? You will not see change coming from the top down, not from the federal government, nor from state governments. They are all too corrupt by now to effect any change, whatsoever.

        My suggestion is to start at the county level to organize for the calling of an Article V Convention. This should involve the sheriff of the county in nominating delegates to state legislators to be confirmed. The Convention of State Delegates would propose and/or ratify amendments which has the effect of restoring the American Republic as created with the original U.S. Constitution.

        One of the amendments proposed and/or ratified by the Convention for sure must be the repeal of the 17th Amendment, the other should be the repeal of the 16th Amendment. Let’s start with that……..

        • dave jr

          Happy now….???? Yes, I like the distinction between governance and government. We should all sit up and pay attention.
          Beaver pelts were traded far and wide before any formal central government was in North America. Was this not commerce? Individual safety and security was…well individual. It required acclimating with indigenous tribes, gaining their trust and respect and right of passage. No government did that for the explorers and traders. Rather, government military men came after and took advantage of the inroads, and then proceeded to spoil them. No worry, we have many guns…right? So much for commerce. Is it really commerce when guns lead the way? What does the common bank teller or convenience store clerk think of that?
          I know I am putting words in your mouth. My point is that government does not lead the way and I’ll surmise that it never has. Government is loaded with opportunists and we have to recognize them as such. So if we are in a quagmire, who will lead us out? Unless we are destined to live in a quagmire, I’ll support government only as much as it supports me and gets behind my commercial interest, or there is no deal. Slugs for dinner anyone? No, you can’t borrow my spade, I’m using it right now.

          • The root word for government is govern. Can that be denied?

          • dave jr

            No, I can’t deny nor would I want to. The term governance seems to have new meaning as of late and I don’t want to be one supporting the globalist who are promoting it. But if it is in the vernacular, so why shouldn’t I wrangle with their meaning instead of giving them free reign? As I said, I don’t have a problem with authority. I do have a problem with those claiming it from illegitimate sources. As like, I don’t have a problem with globalism. I think the technology of this age is bringing it on whether we like it or not. I am against law induced monopoly in the commercial sector and global monopoly is the worst and highest form. Therefor I am against any institution that relies on global governance for commercial gains. But that seems to be their source of power. One and the same. Lets scrutinize the term. Government juiced with the a performance of a crony = governance? See what I’m talking about? I demand a separation of Commerce and State.

          • Thank you for your reply, dave jr. I have a great deal of respect for your opinion and I read nearly everything you post. I agree with a separation of Commerce and State. That is basically what the U.S. Constitution accomplished but was usurped by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, or more specifically, it was usurped by the Organic Act of 1871.

            Ingo Bischoff is exactly right. The Shire System of government is the best, for individuals, that has ever been designed, so far. It had plenty of flaws, but it still was the best ever designed, so far, to distribute land/homes to individuals. People should do an indepth study of the U.S. Constitution and the Shire system.

            Many people claim that they do not consent to be governed, but they do. People consent to be governed when they buy a home or land, or lease a home or land. Their home/land deed is issued by the State. “The Supreme Law of the Land”. That is, by definition, giving consent. Politics is not going away.

            “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you. ” ― Pericles

    • Indeed Ingo. Thanks for writing this. The shire system is the best that has ever been devised so far. Local governance. It certainly had its failings, but for distribution of land to individuals (homeownership), and for Capitalism, it was a great start. It can be improved. I believe that Nelson Hultberg’s “The Golden Mean” has a lot to offer liberty minded people. I read his introduction on the DB the other day. I can’t wait to get my copy and read it.

      The Daily Bell is asking great questions and providing excellent perspectives with their interviews and their articles. “There may be alternatives advanced that will be considerably more market oriented.” – DB


      I am a big fan of Ludwig von Mises. I think he was among the most intellectual philosophers on Human Actions the world has ever known. His perspective should be more promoted at the Mises Institution than Rothbard’s anarcho-capitalism. Rothbard was a great economist but not all that good at classical liberal philosophy.

      • BROTHER JON: “The Daily Bell is asking great questions and providing excellent perspectives with their interviews and their articles.”

        BISCHOFF: I agree with you about the great service the DB provides. I want to thank them here about their tolerance and fairness. I treasure my association with the DB. As you know from my comments here, I don’t always agree with their views. As a matter of fact, their extreme libertarian views often rub me the wrong way and I don’t make any effort to hide it. Nevertheless, the DB has supported me materially in my work, and I appreciate it.

        BROTHER JON: “The shire system is the best that has ever been devised so far.”

        BISCHOFF: As to the shire system, the tenure of Sir Thomas Dale as vice-governor of the Virginia colony, and how he instituted the Anglo-Saxon governmental system on the North American continent, which is the basis of all state constitutions as well, as the federal constitution, is worth an in depth study.

        Under the shire system, as in our county system, the County Sheriff is not only the chief law enforcement officer, he is also the chief administrative officer responsible for the administration of land use within the county. In this he is assisted by an elected County Assessor and an elected County Recorder.

        The Assessor prepares a value assessment of each recorded “fee simple” titled parcel of land within the county. The assessment list is public and subject to appeal. Once the list is finalized, it is distributed to taxing jurisdictions throughout the county, such as incorporated municipalities, utility districts, school districts, etc. These jurisdictions establish a budget after public hearings on the budget proposal have been held. These jurisdiction then use the County Assessor’s valuation list as it applies to their jurisdictional area to calculate a “mil rate”. In dividing the budget amount by the total valuation of lands within a given jurisdiction a fractional rate is calculated to be used to calculate individual tax bills. The individual tax bill is calculated by multiplying the individual parcel valuation by the mil rate. That’s how lands are “distributed” in our county system.

        It was different in the shire system in Anglo-Saxon England. There, in return for an annual “fief” to the shire, an individual would be granted exclusive use of an area of land which by its fertility and wild life present could support a family for a year. In turn for protecting the exclusive use of the land, the landholder owed the shire government an annual fief in the form of goods, services or money.

        In North America, the county system instead opted for an assessment of land parcels to which a “fee (fief) simple” title for exclusive use was issued by the County Recorder. The valuation was used in calculating county taxes (fief). The end result was the same. The “land value tax”, described by Henry George in his book “Progress and Poverty” is in fact the same as the fief due the shire for exclusive use of shire lands.

    • Great stuff Ingo.

  • MetaCynic

    The only democracy which can possibly work for everyone’s well being is economic democracy. To participate in economic democracy one need not, as in political democracy, wait to attain a certain age, nor also as in political democracy, must one wait to vote only every four years to maybe elect a politician who may or may not represent one’s interests and who may or may not be able to work with other elected officials to advance one’s agenda.

    Economic democracy avoids political democracy’s cumbersome insanity and allows one to vote every day with one’s money as one sees fit to buy goods and services without the need to convince 50% of all consumers to agree with one’s needs, tastes and desires. Unlike political democracy which operates on a 50%+1 winner takes all principle, no market is too tiny to be served in an economic democracy. Best of all, unlike a political democracy all participants in an economic democracy are acutely aware that failure to serve customers will provoke a revolt and an immediate loss of income as disappointed customers take their business elsewhere at a moment’s notice. Why should any sane person prefer to wait four years to throw the rascals out when it can be done immediately by a vote of one’s money?

    The democracy that we should be demanding is economic democracy for all the goods and services now provided by the failed political one.

    • CYNIC: “The only democracy which can possibly work for everyone’s well being is economic democracy.”

      BISCHOFF: Economic democracy……??? What does that mean….???

      There are five different forms of government of which DEMOCRACY is one.

      There are three types of economic systems, each named after the most prevalent “Factor of Production”, i.e. Slavery (Labor), Feudalism (Land) or Capitalism (Use of wealth as capital).

      There are two types of distribution systems. One is the “free market”, the other is “socialism”. The “free market” distribution system relies on arbitrage to discover “prices”, while In the “socialism” distribution system, prices are mandated by government in a myriad number of ways.

      So, could you explain the term “Economic democracy” to me…..???

      • Pedestrian

        I suggest taking a look at the post by WPalmer.

      • alaska3636

        Mises makes it clear that in an unencumbered market, every dollar spent is a vote for a particular producer and mover of capital. The economic democracy is an adaptive beast whereby the votes of millions of dollars constantly spread the responsibility of capital distribution. In your words, it is “quaint.”

        • dave jr

          Important to note; the vote is with dollars, ones own earned dollars. Big difference between this and the free ballot box. If that is what MetaCynic meant, then I apologize for jumping out of my chair.

          • MetaCynic

            It can probably be argued that historically economic democracy everywhere preceded political democracy and that political democracy is a shabby perversion of economic democracy.

      • Good points Ingo, well put.

      • MetaCynic

        Ingo, I am using the term economic democracy as a synonym for “free market.” I agree that it’s not an academically rigorous term, but I think that “economic democracy” more directly, than the term “free market”, conveys what’s really happening when people are free to spend their money as they see fit to get what they want. In a sense they are voting with their money to immediately (or almost immediately) get a good or service. By “voting” or even refusing to “vote” with our money we are continuously sending messages to goods and services providers about how well they are satisfying our needs. Contrast this daily “voting” with the feedback (democratic elections at two, four or six year intervals) that we’re allowed in which to register our satisfaction or lack thereof with government’s growing intrusion in the provision of goods and services. Who could not agree that economic democracy is immeasurably more efficient and responsive than political democracy in delivering the goods and that we should rely as much as possible on economic democracy to do so?

        • CYNIC: I do except your explanation about the meaning you put on the term “economic democracy”. The problem in discussing these matters is the lack of universally accepted terms with which to argue.

          I’ve studied the subject of political economy for nigh fifty years. Due to a lack of generally agreed upon definitions when discussing the subjects of politics and economics, I find that the discussions invariably degenerate into an arguments about the meaning of the terms. I am convinced that the big banks and mega corporations who support the education establishment by funding academic teaching chairs in the field of business and economics, sponsoring building of business school facilities and lecture halls actually want it that way.

          But, back to “economic democracy”……. The term “democracy” has been so misused that its dictionary definition is exceeded greatly. “Democracy” however applied is supposed to signify something fair, something good, something about which, if not everyone at least the great majority agrees. When you marry up this meaning of “democracy” with the term “economics”, it is supposed to invoke a feeling of fairness in being able to vote with your money against the demand someone else makes for exchanging his goods or service with you. While I understand what you are trying to convey by using the term “economic democracy”, the term “free market” is a different concept.

          The “free market” means discovery of “prices” through arbitrage. It does not mean to “vote” with money to decide the “price” based on a “demand and supply” model. The “free market” works with “bid” and “ask” upon which arbitrage works to arrive at a “price”. “Free markets” work only, if there is no interference by government in mandating “prices”.

          The “demand and supply” model to arrive at prices, as touted by the Keynesian academics, doesn’t describe the retail/consumer markets. It is a model which fits into their Keynesian economic philosophy, but it is not a model which reflects reality.

          As I said, I accept the general meaning you ascribe to your term “economic democracy”, but it is not a term which is useful in wider discussion of the subject of money, markets and prices.

    • dave jr

      “The only democracy which can possibly work for everyone’s well being is economic democracy.”
      BULL! You cannot vote by majority to extract anything from an individual. He will offer his wares or talents on his terms when he feels secure enough to not be robbed. Period. There is no democracy in economics and to the extent that it is forced, an economy dies. If you are supporting this clap trap then get used to the taste of earthworms and dandelion shoots, or knock it off!

      • MetaCynic

        Huh? Did you even bother reading what I wrote above? Where did I say anything about extracting, presumably by force, anything from anyone by majority vote? No democracy in economics? The providers of goods and services compete for our money just as politicians compete for our votes. The better that they can satisfy our needs, the more money of ours that they will receive. What’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what freedom of choice and markets are all about? I also refer you to my explanation of the term “economic democracy” to Ingo Bischoff’s query below.

        • dave jr

          Yes, now I see what you wrote an hour ago. And please look at what I wrote two hours ago when alaska3636 smoothly verbalized what you may have meant. I apologize again. Just not sure what column to put to put the term “economic democracy” in. If you knew that I have been throwing a tantrum over the combination of commerce and state, then I say, good one!

          • MetaCynic

            The expression “voting with one’s feet”, can’t be taken literally if deconstructed, but it does nevertheless convey a powerful message which we all understand.

  • dave jr

    I came late and haven’t read all the feedback yet. But I was inspired by the DB statement of: “There is, for instance, a libertarian perspective that if one must have a state authority, it ought to be a king or queen.”
    Personally, I don’t have a problem with any authority (king or queen even), so long as they (it) are bound by the same objective law (man made rules) that I am. It is the ‘consent of the governed’ that is the line in the sand. It comes by a recognition of and a respect for the origin of authority…the author, the individual. There is no construct without the individual building block. I reject the divine right of kings. Divinity exacts its’ own reward or punishment by way of natural law. One will have to do much to convince me otherwise. The ball is in your court, Bugsy. Do I need you, or do you need me, or the likes of me? Why are you dogging me? Do productive people in general need you, or your sidekick Mugsy, or do you need them? I know the answer and I know that you know the answer, the question is how long can this charade be played out? I also know your answer is; it depends on the percentage of the population being duped. God speed!

    • dave jr

      I forgot. Thank you DB for repeatedly providing me this opportunity to vent my frustration.

    • DAVE, JR.: “I came late and haven’t read all the feedback yet. But I was inspired by the DB statement of: “There is, for instance, a libertarian perspective that if one must have a state authority, it ought to be a king or queen.”

      BISCHOFF: To me, the libertarian perspective, as put forward by the DB, seems most quaint. You seem to agree with it. You’ll have a King or Queen just as long as they are bound by the laws made by whom….???

      So, you’ll have a ruling nobility in the form of a King or Queen, who derive their privileges from a made up “divine right of kings”, to which you object…….

      What twists to conform to libertarian quaintness.

      • alaska3636


        What system people subscribe to is perhaps beyond the ken of complete understanding. However, with a monarchy, there is at least a form of accountability to the people who acquiesce to that rule. It certainly is quaint; but another libertarian quaintness would support smaller systems that spread risk and information alike. This is the understanding behind arranging society around the NAP, not blanket solutions to individual problems.

        • ALASKA: “However, with a monarchy, there is at least a form of accountability to the people who acquiesce to that rule.”

          BISCHOFF: Yeah, and what does this accountability look like……??? What happens to the people that don’t acquiesce…..???

          ALASKA: “……another libertarian quaintness would support smaller systems that spread risk and information alike.”
          BISCHOFF: You mean like the American Republic created under an Anglo-Saxon type system with government from the “bottom up”. The bottom being the citizens in the counties of the separate, sovereign states with constitutions that are also based on Anglo-Saxon type governance……..
          Pardon my ignorance, but what is NAP……????

          • alaska3636

            Accountability in the form of monarchical property ownership and an incentive to see the “kingdom” prosper due to the feature of primogeniture. I’m not trying to justify any ownership of people, simply arguing that it is feasible for people to volunteer to a monarchical-type of governance.

            The NAP is the non-aggression principle. Bionic Mosquito has written extensively on the NAP. Here is a good article about possible application to a “modern world”: http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2014/08/an-anarchic-possibility-for-modern-world.html

            The republic which you favor is another form of governance which I think many people would find worthy of voluntary acceptance; however, the issue with the past republic, and past monarchies, and all past attempts at centralized governance, is the lack of respect to the NAP, which is essentially the morality branch of a free-market. In a kingdom, people could walk away (vote with their feet); ostensibly, in a free republic, people ought to be able to choose to walk away and maintain that the governance has the job of keeping its citizens acquiescence.

            All problems of governance fail under centralization because the dissemination of information in the form of prices is inhibited and, more and more, solutions find themselves applying to larger and larger groups of people who may not like those solutions or even be helped by them.

            The ideas of states rights was novel, although it does not seem to me to be much different from feudalism, with a central force acting as arbiter over a given territory and renting the land to the productive population.

            It ain’t free if I cain’t walk away from it. I’m for education as until people understand that the best hedge against disaster and the best mode of capital accumulation is price formation under a free-market with strong regard for property rights, it doesn’t seem to matter what type of governance people end up choosing. The fate of the Republic is a stern warning about entrusting our individual fates to the collective will.

          • I have had my differences with BionicMosquito.. and I am sure that they persist.

            ALASKA: “All problems of governance fail under centralization because the dissemination of information in the form of prices is inhibited and, more and more, solutions find themselves applying to larger and larger groups of people who may not like those solutions or even be helped by them.”

            BISCHOFF: It is fallacious to equate government with price fixing. The libertarian views espoused by the DB as well, as by many readers here do it all the time.

            The need for government rests with human instincts which are not suited for terrestrial life. If humans are not habituated by parents to refrain from following biological instinct, the medical health of society, the well being of the environment, as well as the security of individual private property might be at risk. Government is there as a back stop should parental habituation of offspring fail or fall short to mediate health and security risks.

            Thereafter however, when it comes to production and commerce, families or other groups do not need government to sustain themselves or to procreate. They do best without government interference. This is with regards to markets and prices in particular. When government “fixes” (mandates) prices, you have a distribution system known as “socialism”. It is arbitrage in “free market” which discovers prices, not government. It’s “free market” distribution for which I argue….

            It is silly to argue that government “fixes” prices by preventing people defecating in the street, or by preventing people from taking other people’s stuff to which they have no rights.

          • “It is silly to argue that government “fixes” prices by preventing people defecating in the street, or by preventing people from taking other people’s stuff to which they have no rights.”

            Unfortunately, that’s not what happens. It sounds reasonable, but in reality, sooner or later, government gets out of hand and begins building gulags and incarcerating people in conditions resembling slavery. Government, ultimately, is not a civilizing instrument but just the opposite. We choose to argue for less rather than more centralized power. You can make reasonable sounding arguments for government, as you do, but history does not bear them out.

          • DB: ” It sounds reasonable, but in reality, sooner or later, government gets out of hand and begins building gulags and incarcerating people in conditions resembling slavery. Government, ultimately, is not a civilizing instrument but just the opposite.”

          • DB: ” It sounds reasonable, but in reality, sooner or later, government gets out of hand and begins building gulags and incarcerating people in conditions resembling slavery. Government, ultimately, is not a civilizing instrument but just the opposite.”

            BISCHOFF: Government is not supposed to be a civilizing instrument. That job belongs to the parents. Governments’ job is to protect civilized society from failure of parents to habituate their young to survive peacefully in the terrestrial environment. If members of government go rogue, and they exercise powers beyond their basic mandate, it is up to those who voted for these government officials to put a stop to it.

            Jefferson said, “There cannot be liberty without government, yet government is also the greatest threat to liberty.”
            The founders understood this very well. That is why they put in all manner of “checks and balances” when writing the U.S. Constitution.

            It is the fault of the people creating the government when officials of the government go rogue and there is no STOP put to it. To make sure that government does not get “out of hand”, is and must be the responsibility of each individual citizen.

            DB: “We choose to argue for less rather than more centralized power. You can make reasonable sounding arguments for government, as you do, but history does not bear them out.”

            BISCHOFF: As you might have noticed, I make a very strong argument for Anglo-Saxon type government (governance from the “bottom up”). That’s is the type of governance the U.S. Constitution embodies. It is also the governance set out in the constitution of each of the fifty states.

            The constitutions of these united States with their county system of government mirror the shire system of the Anglo-Saxons type government. The shire system, as is the county system, is the most decentralized government possible.

            That corporations, and municipal corporations in particular, which are used to centralized governance in their organizational model, have also successfully pushed to centralize state and federal governments, is not the fault of the corporations or the politicians responding to them. It is the fault of the media, the education establishment to warn Americans to put a stop to it before they are brought down by this push to centralize government. It is also the failure of vigilance of “We the people…” as a whole.

      • dave jr

        The laws made my whom? Right on! And just as important, enforced by what or whom? By individual effort like the colonists, contribution to the cause, or by unexcused taxation. Ingo, I simply left the leeway for the imperialists to see that I am not unreasonable. Anyone claiming authority over me has to : 1) be bound by the same laws as I, and 2) needs to gain my consent. If a king or queen can do that…so be it. I don’t think any ‘would be’ monarchist would take up the job under those 2 simple conditions. Monarchy, historically has always been a strong man, which I do not endorse.
        Oh, I can hear so many say, who can gain dave jr’s consent? Doesn’t that make him a dictator? Ya, a dictatorship 150 million plus 1. Pretty difficult task to pass legislation over that. Better stick with the universal basics of protecting life, liberty and property…that which almost everyone agrees on, eh?

        • Bill Ross

          “Better stick with the universal basics of protecting life, liberty and property…that which almost everyone agrees on, eh?”

          For “their OWN (subjective) rights”, for others, “not so much”

          They claim, for example, “we have no property rights”, they take our property, which is, in actual fact “a decree of property rights”, for the “approved” recipient, who does have “property rights”.

          This basic natural law fact seems to escape them: If YOU want to have ANY rights (even to “keeping” alive), YOU must respect the SAME rights for OTHERS. This is the basic gulf between barbarians / predators and the civilized.

    • Bruce C

      ” It is the ‘consent of the governed’ that is the line in the sand.”

      So, is that not the essence of a democracy? What or who defines “consent”?

      I would submit that the a better way is to have a limited government – whatever it is – so that it cannot be gamed. The problem always seems to be that certain individuals, groups, interests, etc. USE the scope and power of government for their ends. If government has not that jurisdiction then it cannot be gamed in that way.

      The important point is that “the consent of the governed” can be gamed and has been. The US Constitution tried to limit the scope of the Federal government, leaving the rest to the States, but the “general welfare” clause became Pandora’s box. Such is the problem with compromise. The Constitution was a compromise at its inception.

      I’m not challenging you personally, but it may be instructive to consider how and why certain expansions of central government power was allowed since 1776. Blaming it all on “the elites” is not an answer.

      • dave jr

        Ha, should we start a tally with how much has slipped under the door with under the commerce clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3). Just as of late…Obamacare anyone? I am sure the Founders could not have intend this. Will this Commerce thing ever get corrected?

      • Bill Ross

        ‘consent of the governed’

        the “governed” are individuals. Groups and groupthink are false intellectual constructs based on gross generalizations of “rule of man decreed” particular characteristics.

        The REAL question of democracy is: can consent be legitimately given by some, to harm others?

        With groupthink “consent” the answer is yes and, the consequences clear. Such “thinking” gave us the Nazis, Germans democratically “consenting” for “final solutions” to genocide those who were demonized, also “defined” by false groupthink assignments.

        With individual “consent of the governed” required, no one can harm or form mobs / gangs to prey on others because nobody sane would possibly consent to be harmed (take a survival hit).

        From the perspective of each of us, as individuals, we have not “consented” to the immense collective social / economic harm that is descending upon civilization, all because of “rule of some men” decrees, mis-defining and therefore stealing OUR “consent”.

        On this topic, the most pertinent question is: What is and has been, historically so dangerous (by the perspective of tyrants / predators) that they feel compelled to give lip service, to bait and switch freedom and “consent of the governed”? What happens when WE REALLY INSIST?:


        Thus, as stated very early in this thread, the ANSWER to self governance is democracy counterbalanced the “rule of law” limiting “democratic excesses” such that NO individual or group is ganged up on, bullied, enslaved or harmed in any way.

  • WPalmer

    I lived in Hong Kong for many years, albeit under the British, and partly the worst governor (Patten) that HK was ever blessed with.
    The success of HK was that it did not have a government, no matter how inept the Governor was, i.e. Patten, it didn’t matter, because The Governor General was not the government. there was a small elected group LEGCO that presided and decided on matters but it was more Hong Kong Inc: than a government. There were no political party’s, no dogma, no ideology, As long as you followed what few rules there were you could come and go and do whatever you wanted. I hope this can be maintained, the day it succumbs to politics will be the end of true freedom in Hong Kong.
    I was there to visit my daughter a week ago… The place is now a retail centre for expensive “stuff”, it is much cleaner and better organized with a hiway and commuter system most city’s could only dream of, very cheap, and it is all paid for.
    It is still a fun place, with a myriad of little boutique style restaurants, some with music, popping up in the back allys and side streets all over the place. laisez faire is still the keyword there.

    Hong Kong is one of few places in the world with do debt.
    To me ….. no government = no debt.

    • Pedestrian

      This is exactly what commenter MetaCynic was referring to earlier, economic democracy. It is no wonder that Hong Kong has been voted No.1 in Economic Freedom worldwide year after year by various organizations. But, since the repatriation to China in 1997, multiple political parties have been allowed to operate (started under Patten’s cynical game plan, in contrast to 150 years of British rule). This scenario has formed the current backdrop for the recent political turmoil (e.g. the Umbrella Revolution – another Western fomented “color revolution” and endless filibuster in the Legislature) experienced in the city. If the people there do not handle their new-found “political democracy” well, they risk losing all they have spent generations to achieve.

      • dave jr

        Go talk to the person assembling your electronic device, and report back here about economic democracy. It is taboo to talk about sweat shops anymore, while it has been elevated to the Nth degree. No, this has nothing to do with air conditioning. The choices for the majority of young in the East is to work for the benefit of room and board plus maybe 20 bucks a month to send home to mom and dad, to stave off their impending death, or go back to the farm, consume what little is left after monsanto cornered the market with a chemical revolution and hasten their death, with nothing to inherit but debt. All other routes are cut off. What freedom is left to start a business and serve consumer demands? One had better have a government approved sponsor. Gawd, sometimes I think I have it so bad here in the US.

        • Pedestrian

          You paint the dark side of economic freedom. Yes, it is there, but we shouldn’t underestimate what the individual can achieve for himself given the opportunity. This has been borne out by the experiences in Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and now parts of China. Who says individual responsibility is easy. They sweat to build their capital, penny by penny. That’s how these countries were built in the past several decades.

          • dave jr

            I don’t think I have anything to teach the Asians about personal responsibility. They learned that way better than me centuries ago. It seems strange to me that after all this time, they can no longer farm and be self sufficient. Sounds a little familiar. Why is the Asian farmer, who has always been dirt poor and happy, suddenly unable to provide for his family and in shame, commits suicide at alarming rates? Is it because modern agriculture swooped in and put him to shame? Did modern agriculture take food out of his mouth? Or was there a little crony law and regulation that helped it along? If and when manufacturing comes back around, I don’t expect to recognize it for what it was.

          • MetaCynic

            Since the dawn of the industrial revolution and the growing mechanization of farming, people have been leaving farms to seek better opportunities elsewhere. There is nothing sinister about this. As machines do more to raise productivity, fewer hands are required than earlier. Those hands must go elsewhere where they can be put to better use. I agree that very high output modern industrial farming is unnatural and unhealthy, but today even family run organic farms are mechanized and require far less human labor per unit of output than at any time in history.

            We all know that investment patterns are distorted by central bank credit creation and government regulatory intervention. There is no doubt that these have been major forces in the shaping of the modern Chinese economy, perhaps even more so than in the West. How much of the agony on Chinese farms and in their factories is the result of statism is certainly open to speculation and debate.

            I once read that a young Chinese woman employed in an electronics factory responded to a critic’s comments about factory working conditions with the quip that he should go visit a Chinese farm to better understand why young people are leaving the rural life. Whatever we Westerners may think about Chinese factory work, she was making six times more money with far less physical exertion than she could as a farm worker. Is there anyone commenting here who would turn down a job making six times more money and with less effort than at their present occupation?

        • WPalmer

          That is not, nor ever was Hong Kong.
          People work hard there, they always did. But sweat shops no, Employers valued, and still do, their staff,
          I worked for a while in an electronics factory…..
          Sunday outings for the family to an island, A frequent company dinners at a chosen restaurant with family invited, and this time of year an entire months pay as a bonus for Chinese New Year.
          8 am to 5 pm, week days 8 to 12 Saturdays.
          This was the norm for Hong Kong.

    • love Hong Kong, thx for the update, maybe I will go back for another sojourn!

      • WPalmer

        I am too old now but wish i could

  • Wow, this is one of the liveliest discussions ever on DB! Coming soon, to a bank near you, “democracy” by proxy……….


  • John

    Yes, Mr Faber, it is increasingly dysfunctional, in fact it is a Central Banks dictatorship we have been living under for many decades but it took us long time to figure it out. Half a century later we seem to realise but now have no excuses left.

  • L Garou

    “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” – H. L. Mencken

  • neospartan

    Democracy is an unstable political order, where the rulers stay in power by being able to mobilize the biggest mob. A constitutional republic with rules that limit gov’t and protect private property

  • Steve Hanson

    Get the biggest gang and impose your will upon everyone else. Oh, I mean Democracy.
    We pretend that what we have is a “representative” government. Beliefs change. Power groups change. Each new power group implements their idea of what should be law only to have it replaced by the next group whose ideas aren’t the same. Some system. it’s an MCF.
    Yet THIS is why we attack foreign countries? To bring Democracy to them???
    If all people are fundamentally the same, i.e. endowed by our nature with certain unalienable … truths, then why do laws change?
    Why do we have laws in the first place? Shouldn’t they protect those unalienable truths??? Once we figure out what they are and protect them, aren’t we DONE???

  • Thomas Jefferson

    The REAL problem is that we never were supposed to be a “democracy”.
    The founding fathers knew LONG ago that a democracy eventually turns into “mob rule”.
    This country was never supposed to have such a large central government. We were supposed to be a democratically limited REPUBLIC, where states rights would in many ways supercede the powers of the central government. Look at the Constitution, that document outlines the ONLY powers that the federal government is supposed to have. Look how far We The People have let that get out of control!!!
    We need to reign it all back in!
    I also agree with John’s comment about how we have been essentially been operating under a central -banking DICTATORSHIP since the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act back in 1913. If you really want to understand exactly how TRUE this statement really is, you need to read the book, The Creature From Jekyll Island. That book explains the WHOLE thing, and all the evidence which supports that conclusion is well footnoted and bibiliographed.

    • “The Creature from Jekyll Island” is an interesting book. The collusion by the big New York bankers and Nelson Aldridge, the Republican Leader in the U.S. Senate, to secure an exclusive franchise from Congress for the creation of a national currency is all too real. However, the assertion that the original Federal Reserve Act of 1913 created a central bank is just false.

      The FRA of 1913 was legislation supported by the states against the interest of the New York bankers. The reason that legislation was allowed to pass against the initial opposition of the supporters of the big NY banks was largely due to the ratification of the 16th and 17th Amendment. These two amendments were supported by the New York bankers after it became clear that an exclusive franchise for a national currency could not pass the states’ opposition in the U.S. Senate. The role the ratification of the 16th and 17th Amendment played in the whole scheme of things is largely ignored by G. Edward Griffin.

      The Federal Reserve System created in 1913 was a franchise to twelve regional, private reserve bank membership associations to create a “redeemable” Federal Reserve Note. Reserve association member banks could create a national currency under reserve bank seal against their Inventory of Bills of Exchange and the amount of gold reserves the had on deposit with the regional reserve bank association. The entire system to create a redeemable national currency was overseen by a Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve System, an oversight arm of the U.S. Congress.

      It was due to the ratification of the 16th and 17th Amendments that the big New York banks were able to violate the FRA of 1913 by engaging in “Open Market Operation” beginning in 1920. The Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve nor the Congress as a whole did nothing to stop it. These illegal OMOs inflated the money supply and they resulted in the 1929 stock market crash and the banking crisis of the early 1930s.

      FDR nationalized gold in 1933 and prohibited American citizens from holding gold in the future. With the National Banking Acts of 1933 and 1935, the Congress rewrote the FRA of 1913, and it established a government central bank agency with headquarters in Washington, DC as well, as twelve district banks also known as the Federal Reserve. The NBA of 1935 established Federal Reserve Agents for the district banks to oversee credit operations, and it allowed the creation of Federal Reserve Notes which were irredeemable by U.S. citizens. The irredeemable FRNs were created against congressionally voted debt.

      That in the short is the story of the FED. It is not what you read in Griffin’s book. Unlike Griffin’s assertion, the central bank tyranny was legislated in 1935, not in 1913. On the other hand, the “tyranny” unleashed by the FRB of NY in conducting illegal OMOs started in 1920. These rogue acts by governor Benjamin Strong and his FRB of NY were retro actively legalized by the Congress in 1935. While the U.S. Constitution prohibits the passage of retro active law, if passed anyway, it constitutes relieve from prosecution to the perpetrators.

      Again, “The Creature from Jekyll Island” is an interesting book. However, it fails to describe the monetary system pre- and post-1935 accurately.

      • Sean Ryan

        When a ‘constitutionalist’ can explain:
        1. How people can delegate rights they don’t have (specifically the power to tax and legislate)
        2. How the constitution applies to me (being I didn’t agree to its terms and the fact it was written nearly 200 years before I was even born)
        …I’ll be happy to continue the discussion…

        3RD ATTEMPT AT GETTING AN ANSWER OUT OF INGO BISCHOFF (self-styled expert on ‘constitutionalism’ & republicanism)

        • RYAN: “3RD ATTEMPT AT GETTING AN ANSWER OUT OF INGO BISCHOFF (self-styled expert on ‘constitutionalism’ & republicanism)”

          BISCHOFF: It is so laughingly easy to answer you, because your questions are based on lack of facts. When you ask questions of a “constitutionalist”, I suppose you mean me. Well, let me rise to the occasion and deal with your non-fact based questions.

          1. How can people delegate rights they don’t have (specifically the power to tax and legislate)?

          The need for “government” exists. This a fact universally accepted based in natural law and based on human nature. Government by its very definition involves “force”. The question only is “how much force” to be exercised by government is appropriate or warranted.

          The U.S. Constitution was written by a group of men who well understood natural law and human nature. After finishing the document on September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was submitted to the States for ratification. The Constitution was finally ratified in 1789 on the condition that the first act of Congress be the ratification of ten amendments (Bill of Rights) to the Constitution as written. Thus became the U.S. Constitution the supreme law of the first thirteen states, and subsequently by agreement of states joining the union as supreme law of the new states.

          Your question, “How can people delegate rights they don’t have”, makes no sense. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t delegate rights. The ten amendments added to the Constitution as a requisite to ratification by the States specifically enumerate the rights given to citizens not by the framers of the Constitution, but by “God”, meaning by the laws of nature.

          The direct answer to your first question is, “No one delegated rights they don’t have under the Constitution.

          You cite the power to legislate. That was done by agreement of the state legislators of the state in which you reside. Your ancestors agreed to the provisions in the Constitution for themselves and their progeny. They should have passed the fact onto you that they want you to be bound by their decision. On the other hand, should you be a naturalized citizen, then you have already agreed in the process to becoming a U.S. citizen that you be bound by the provisions in the U.S. Constitution.

          BTW, as I have pointed out to you in a previous comment, the U.S. Constitution in Article V includes a provisions to change the Constitution by amendment. I suppose you are too lazy to study the Constitution and take action to change it, if you don’t like it. It’s much easier to complain. That takes no thinking at all, right….???

          Ok, now to the power to tax. Let me educate you on this subject. The original U.S. Constitution provides for only four types of taxes to be collected by the federal government.

          a. EXCISE TAX. The excise tax is a tax on production of goods (not on the sale of goods). What type of goods did the founders have in mind. It was the type of goods which could undermine good order and behavior, such as whisky and other intoxicating substances. Why should the federal government have that power? Because, a state which allows the production of substances that undermine good order can easily be sold across state lines and undermine the good order in a neighboring state. This happened with whiskey in Kentucky and resulted in the Whiskey Rebellion when federal revenue officials tried to collect the excise tax. The Whiskey Rebellion was put down by President George Washington himself, acting as commander in chief at the head of troops.

          We see the same problem with production of intoxicating substances arising with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington State. Nebraska and Idaho are complaining about marijuana traffic entering their states from these neighboring states. Instead of having federal laws making it a crime to engage in the production and sale of marijuana, it would be much better, if the production were to be taxed, instead of being criminalized.

          b. DUTIES. Duties are a tax on the production of foreign goods. The founders did not want to have foreign countries, in particular Britain, export goods below manufacturing cost to undermine domestic markets. Under this provision, Alexander Hamilton established the custom service operating in any port of any of the united States.

          c. IMPOSTS. Imposts are a tax on gambling and games of chance. The founders were aware of human instinct to get “something for noting”. They understood that for humans to sustain themselves, they would have to “work”. The institution of imposts was to discourage states and people from gambling, and to encourage them to gain their sustenance by working.

          d. CAPITATION TAX. This is a requisition for money to run the federal government. The capitation tax is voted by Congress and sent as requisition to the States. The amount of the tax each state is required to pay to the federal government is based on its population as determined in the latest federal census. It was left to the states to collect the tax from its citizens. There was a particular tax the founders favored for the states to collect, but they did not interfere with states’ right to determine the type of tax to apply.

          Of course, the capitation tax to pay for the operation of the federal government was superseded by the ratification of the 16th Amendment (Income Tax). The federal income tax is a tax on labor and wealth which is totally contrary to the intent of the founders. Have you made any attempt to pass an amendment to repeal the income tax…??? No, you haven’t, you only complain. How about studying the Constitution and the American Political Economy, before you challenge a “self-styled expert” on the subject……

          2. How does the constitution apply to me (being I didn’t agree to its terms and the fact it was written nearly 200 years before I was even born)

          I think I answered this question above, but I will repeat the answer here, again.

          “Though the U.S. Constitution is 225 years old, it is still the supreme law of the land. It became supreme law for the state in which you reside by agreement of the state legislators. Through their local representatives, your ancestors agreed to be bound by the Constitution for themselves and their progeny. By all rights, they should have passed this fact onto you. That you don’t feel yourself be bound, is a totally different matter.

          On the other hand, I don’t know you, but you could be a naturalized citizen. If you are a naturalized citizen, then you have already agreed in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen that you will be bound by the provisions in the U.S. Constitution.”

          • Sean Ryan

            You did NOT answer the questions so let me state them again (and I threw in a 3rd):

            1. How can people delegate the kind of powers the constitution claims they did–specifically the power to tax (i.e., legalized theft) and legislate (i.e., legalized coercion)–they don’t individually possess?

            2. How can the constitution apply to me when it was impossible for me to have given my consent to it and when, in fact, I have NOT?

            3. What % of the people actually living in America back when the constitution was put into effect gave their EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT to it?

            This time try to answer the questions instead of posting a bunch of unrelated factoids about the ‘founders’ and taxes, and please stop using circular logic to assert your claims.

            BTW, I am not a ‘naturalized citizen’…but even these people have been coerced into signing a ‘contract’.

            The constitution either authorizes EVERYTHING the federal govt. does or has FAILED to restrain it…

            4TH ATTEMPT

          • I leave it to others who read this exchange to decide whether I answered your questions or not.

            I am not surprised that you didn’t like my answers, and that you therefore claim I didn’t answer your questions. I did answer them. You just didn’t like the answers.

            Let me turn things around, and now you answer my questions, ok….???

            1. Where and how does the Constitution or the people who wrote it claim power to legislate or tax…??? (Please be specific. Quote the Clause, the Section and the Article in the Constitution that supports your claim.)

            2. Where in the Constitution does it say that you have to live under its provisions….??? (The Constitution provides that you be recognized as a citizen subject to the provisions and the protection of the Constitution, but it does not prevent you from renouncing your citizenship at any time, provided you have parental permission should you be a minor.)

            3. Where did you get the idea that individual written consent was required to ratify the U.S. Constitution….???

            4. For my personal information, could you please describe the circular logic I used to answer your previous questions….??? (Please be specific and use my actual words.)

            5. Can you explain to me how naturalized citizens have been “coerced” to become citizens…???

            Your statement that, “The constitution either authorizes EVERYTHING the federal govt. does or has FAILED to restrain it…” doesn’t make any sense to me. Maybe some other reader of your comments can help me out…..

          • Sean Ryan

            1. How can people delegate the kind of powers the constitution claims they did–specifically the power to tax (i.e., legalized theft) and legislate (i.e., legalized coercion)–they don’t individually possess?

            2. How can the constitution apply to me when it was impossible for me to have given my consent to it and when, in fact, I have NOT?

            3. What % of the people actually living in America back when the constitution was put into effect gave their EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT to it?

            This time try to answer the questions instead of posting a bunch of unrelated factoids about the ‘founders’ and taxes, and please stop using circular logic to assert your claims.

            BTW, I am not a ‘naturalized citizen’…but even these people have been coerced into signing a ‘contract’.

            The constitution either authorizes EVERYTHING the federal govt. does or has FAILED to restrain it…

            5TH ATTEMPT

          • Look, Sean Ryan…….

            I appreciate your comments to my original remarks. I have taken time to answer you. I have been polite and not dismissive, but I don’t play games.

            You evidently have an agenda which lacks reality. I don’t judge people, but I cannot continue this discussion with you, because it is not a discussion based on facts. You couldn’t even answer the simple questions I asked you.

            The reason I write here is that others may gain by our discussion, but there is no point to continue it, because you want to make it personal, and why would that be of interest to others……???

            I bid you a good day!!!

          • Sean Ryan

            I don’t know what ‘games’ you’re talking about…I’m just trying to understand the logic which underpins the bizarre claim that some people can grant other people the power to tax/steal and legislate/coerce (powers which few, if any, recognize as legitimate on an individual-to-individual basis) and how a document (not even purported to be a contract by its authors) created in secret 225 years ago by a few dozen men (and ratified by probably no more than 5% of the populace living back then) applies to me in the 21st century…

            BTW, I used to consider myself a ‘constitutionalist/republican’ too…but when I was confronted w/the Q’s I’m now asking you I realized (eventually) the whole thing was a sham and illogical. I–like you–also couldn’t answer the Q’s…so I became a Voluntaryist…the only reason people like you still buy into this scam is because you’ve been brainwashed into a mythological/religious-like view of the ‘founders/founding’ and constitution.

          • Sean Ryan

            1. How can people delegate the kind of powers the constitution claims they did–specifically the power to tax (i.e., legalized theft) and legislate (i.e., legalized coercion)–they don’t individually possess?
            2. How can the constitution apply to me when it was impossible for me to have given my consent to it and when, in fact, I have NOT?

            6TH ATTEMPT

          • Sean Ryan

            1. How can people delegate the kind of powers the constitution claims they did–specifically the power to tax (i.e., legalized theft) and legislate (i.e., legalized coercion)–they don’t individually possess?
            2. How can the constitution apply to me when it was impossible for me to have given my consent to it and when, in fact, I have NOT?
            7TH ATTEMPT

          • Sean Ryan

            1. How can people delegate the kind of powers the constitution claims they did–specifically the power to tax (i.e., legalized theft) and legislate (i.e., legalized coercion)–they don’t individually possess?
            2. How can the constitution apply to me when it was impossible for me to have given my consent to it and when, in fact, I have NOT?

            8TH ATTEMPT

          • KenD

            Sean Ryan, IMO, the way you should view the U.S. Constitution is as a religious (not a political or legal) text; its adherents should be looked at as members of the Statism Cult just like all the other fascist and socialist authoritarians out there–because that’s all they really are.

            The reason I say this is that the arguments put forth by the Believers are, in the end, nothing but faith-based assertions which fail logically and factually. You’ve seen this w/Ingo, who is surely well-intentioned in his proselytizing, but whom can’t even answer a few BASIC and straight-forward Q’s. Its incredible how easy it is to destroy the Constitutionalist position isn’t it? 2 or 3 questions is all it usually takes.

            Its like when you ask a Christian nutter for evidence of his god and he replies w/”I believe god exists so he does”…Ingo “believes” the Constitution is applicable and relevant so he doesn’t need silly things like facts and logic. And, of course, he alone (like every other religious fanatic) understands “the one true meaning” of his founding holy document, LOL!

          • Sean Ryan

            1. How can people delegate the kind of powers the constitution claims they did–specifically the power to tax (i.e., legalized theft) and legislate (i.e., legalized coercion)–they don’t individually possess?
            2. How can the constitution apply to me when it was impossible for me to have given my consent to it and when, in fact, I have NOT?
            9TH ATTEMPT

          • Sean Ryan

            1. How can people delegate the kind of powers the constitution claims they did–specifically the power to tax (i.e., legalized theft) and legislate (i.e., legalized coercion)–they don’t individually possess?
            2. How can the constitution apply to me when it was impossible for me to have given my consent to it and when, in fact, I have NOT?

            10TH ATTEMPT

          • Sean Ryan

            10 strikes, you’re OUT!!!

          • Lyn Morris

            …very, very well said Ingo Bischoff.

  • Guy Christopher

    I’d like to comment, but have nothing to add to this nicely focused piece with Marc Faber.

  • Bruce C.

    Fortunately central banks and central banking has been mentioned, if not discussed in some detail, in just about every type of financial analyses since 2008, so the public is more aware of it than ever. I think it’s good that the message continues to be propounded that central banks are constantly manipulating elements of the economy and that they are the reason why things are getting worse. That way, when TSHTF people hopefully won’t be as willing to let them fix things again.

    • esqualido

      True, Bruce, that central banks are mentioned more frequently (until Nixon, the very term was avoided in the press), but it is almost never mentioned, and never in the MSM, that The Fed and the other CB’s are privately owned- and may be taking orders from their owners, the big banks, rather than the other way around. Having been the recipients of trillions, virtually interest-free, they are in a perfect position to pick up oil and resource producers on the rocks for pennies on the dollar. Faber does not even mention this situation, but when he writes, ” first [the Fed] will go after the rich and tax them and then there is now serious discussion about introducing negative interest rates,” it flies in the face of reality: the 1% makes every effort to shift the tax burden to the middle class (e.g., Obamacare which is a tax, and not about health care), and negative interest rates are simply a new ploy to gouge more money out of the middle class, not to mention their lowly status in th event of bank failure.

      • Bruce C.

        Yes, it’s probably true that even those who are now familiar with “the Fed” don’t realize that it is not part of the US government. There are so many basic facts that bear repeating for the benefit of new readers. On the other hand, if things go south and those people then learn that the Fed is an independent cartel of “big bankers” then they should be all the more in favor of de-chartering them.

    • mutonic2db

      Bruce C, what is not mentioned is the influence the E.S.F.
      the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund.

      Eric deCarbonnel writes about it on his website MarketSkeptics.com.

      He is, I believe, the grandson of Frank VanderLip, of Jekyll
      Island fame.

      He wrote IMO one of the best explanations of how the US
      Treasury, through the ESF, influences monetary and foreign affairs.


      From the website:

      It is impossible to
      understand the world today without knowing what the ESF is and what it has been
      doing. Officially in charge of defending the dollar, the ESF is the government
      agency which controls the New York Fed, runs the CIA’s black budget, and is the
      architect of the world’s monetary system (IMF, World Bank, etc). ESF financing
      (through the OSS and then the CIA) built up the worldwide propaganda network
      which has so badly distorted history today (including erasing awareness of its
      existence from popular consciousness). It has been directly involved in
      virtually every major US fraud/scandal since its creation in 1934: the London
      gold pool, the Kennedy assassinations, Iran-Contra, CIA drug trafficking, HIV,
      and worse…

      Do have a look at the 5 videos included, it’s well worth your

      • Bruce C.

        Thanks, I will.

      • Injun Holbrook

        Boy! I wonder how many unfamiliar with the foreign exchange market hit his donate button?

        • mutonic2db

          Injun, not long after Eric deCarbonnel wrote this article, he “disappeared” off the internet.
          As far as I know, he has not posted any pieces since that date.
          Let’s call it a “mystery”.

  • Danny B

    I see things quite differently than Marc. Martin Armstrong quite correctly said that you will never understand the economy if you don’t understand global capital flows. Capital naturally flowed to where it got the best return. Since shipping is so cheap, commodities have a more or less global uniform price. The best return is related to labor cost and tax. Capital flows to the low-wage producer in the most advantageous tax environment.

    These low-wage producers are locked in to their wage structure if they want to maintain market share.
    China wants to switch from an export driven economy to a domestic consumption economy. There is upward wage pressure and a HUGE number of labor strikes. Here are resulting headlines;
    Robot revolution sweeps China’s factory floors
    Bloomberg; Robots Leave Behind Chinese Workers
    Chinese factory replaces 90% of humans with robots, production soars
    Robot revolution sweeps China’s factory floors …..Now, factories are rapidly replacing those workers with automation, a pivot that’s encouraged by rising wages.
    There isn’t going to be any recovery in consumption if there is no recovery in wages. As wages drop to a global mean, consumptive power drops. All these trade partnerships are just an effort to address our shrinking consumptive power. GOV would like to ban cash to enforce negative interest rates. GOV is raising taxes. ALL of this is an effort to squeeze out money to compensate for a lost wage base.

    ALL of this is related to profit margins. An automated factory generates physical wealth but, it does not generate wages. World aggregate productivity grows at the same time that global aggregate wages go down. Global capital flows to the low wage producer but, that same producer can’t buy the things that he produces.

    The manufacturer has choked off volume trying to preserve a high margin. Price deflation is the only thing that would bring back higher consumption. Wages don’t look to grow any time soon.
    China is experiencing a reverse migration back to the farm. China’s economic rise was a flash-in-the-pan. They undercut Western wages and experienced a boom in the interval between; taking the jobs from their best customers,,, and,,, their best customers going broke.

    The CBs try to stimulate everything, EXCEPT wages. Seen from the street level, a currency war is just a cut in wages. Nobody wins a currency war and global capital flows ensure that all wage earners suffer equally.

    • If you push up wages, you may get more robots. Alternatively you could let interest rates go negative, so that capital investments yield less, and people owning excess capital are encouraged to spend more, which may generate more employment.

  • Injun Holbrook

    Marc’s comments on real estate investing is not only invaluable information but true to the reasoning. As a fund manager, I am approached by investors (ordinary) who would like to participate in high yield markets, recognizing their management needs for quicker and better returns.

    However, due to “accredited” investor status which they don’t qualify for, coupled with their lack of understanding of how markets function, (reason for denial) I almost always point them towards the real estate market, as Marc so eloquently points out. It is the most sensible method of “common folk” investing for short term and favorable long term markets that make pure “common” sense. Great article! DB

  • Praetor

    Yap! As has been stated here before, if they say the world is doing wonderfully, you know the world is a mess! All the words that proceeds form their mouth, be a lie! They really have no other options but to lie. If they were to tell the truth the world would have no option but to eliminate the central banking leviathan of these globalist elites, and start over. The one sure thing and always has been, commodities, the things people need to survive, Food, water and shelter, all the rest is a game invented by the sociopaths of the Keynesian collective to control life as we know it. Life is not a game that you can play out on paper with numbers and letters. Natural Law is an evolutionary process and the only law that matters, all other law are manmade creation to control Natural Law. Humane Action is also evolutionary and is always seeking liberty and freedom from the Keynesian collective. The Keynesian collective are nothing more than ‘Thieves’. In the end they lose, because they are ‘Unnatural’ people!!!

  • pimaCanyon

    The Fed is culpable. But so are employers like Walmart and McDonalds who pay wages so low that their employees are on food stamps and state sponsored medical care.

  • The idea that the rich have profited the most from lower interest rates is debatable. There is an inverse relationship between interest rates and asset prices. If interest rates are high, asset prices are low, and vice versa. But if interest rates are high, expected future returns are also high. As the rich have the most money they:
    – profit from increased expected future returns when interest rates are high;
    – profit from high asset prices if interest rates are low.

    In fact, you could argue that high asset are realised expected future returns from the past when interest rates were higher.

    The idea that higher interest rates benefit poor people is debatable too. The interest on their savings may increase (if they have some). But what about mortgage rates? Most people have more debts than savings. Rents do also depend on interest rates so higher interest rates may lead to higher rents. Interest is a reward for capital so you pay interest on everything you buy as it is produced by capital, so everything may become more expensive if interest rates rise.

    So, don’t let yourself be fooled.

  • any-mouse

    The FED, acting as an instrument of the Big Banks, hence the Wealthy elite, who own and direct them, willfully destroyed the American economic sector which creates jobs and creates wealth, in order to transfer the wealth of this country to the elite.

    It is so crystal clear, Financial repression, Zero
    interest rate policy, why are the expected returns still being calculated at
    7,8,even 10% at some of these large pension funds….the system is completely
    corrupt…how many of these money managers know that these returns are blue sky
    and never to be achieved, and are just another tentacle of a corrupt wall
    street. Duh! conflict of interest, D’you think…..

    1998 two acts of treason were perpetrated against the
    American people–The Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which allows the big
    banks to gamble with the savings and investments of the American people, to
    borrow and lose and not be held accountable–to hypothecate and
    re-hypothecate…Your Money and they just get huge bonuses on Derivatives that
    even CFR Bill Clinton eventually acknowledged serve No Useful Purpose–just to
    enrich the Bankers and Wealthy Elite–of which he and Hilary are members…Even
    Warren Buffett stated these Financially Engineered Derivatives are Financial
    Weapons of Mass Distruction…

    What does it take people!! You need credibility–Dont the
    words of Woodrow Wilson, Henry Ford, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, and
    Warren Buffett qualify as a credible warning? There is no Conspiracy, what is
    happening is a Financial Black Operation…

    The second act was that the workers handling the gold at
    Ft Knox were all retired. Those were the people who knew what gold we had and
    where it was. Since 1998 the gold markets have undergone many strange
    machinations in leases, transfer of bullion. Why in the world is there a tunnel
    underground connecting the gold storage of the NY Fed and JP Morgan.??

    Why in the world can we not give Germany back its bullion
    in 24 hours??

    Why in the world is there constant refusal to have an
    independent audit of the FED and the Ft Knox Gold Reserves??

    Frank Veneroso and James Turk did independent research in
    the early 2000’s finding that there was a 15000 ton shortage in the world gold
    markets/reserves The results of their studies were within a few hundred tons of
    each other.

    Why in the world have the bullion banks and the COMEX
    been allowed to sell “Paper Gold” representing 150X the amount of physical
    existing to settle those contracts??

    Why in the world when persons who bought gold bars years
    ago and stored them in Allocated storage accounts, get newly minted bars with
    inconsistent serial numbers [from the original bars] when they take delivery?

    Can it be our gold, the gold belonging to the American
    People has been misappropriated?? Stolen?? The gold markets are obviously being
    manipulated…This is not a conspiracy theory. This is reality.

    Accounting for the bogus inflation statistics of the administrations,
    the Gold price should be in excess of $2500 an ounce. If you use Check Book
    inflation -check the increases in prices YoY in your checkbook- the inflation
    rate should be 7-9% a year since 2009,,,

    The non elected Government sycophants are now acting like
    the property of the American People is theirs to play with in concert with
    their Wall Street play mates..

    Catherine Austin Fitts stated that there has been a coup
    in our Government where the Banks have assumed power. What is troubling is that
    the elected Government is showing their attitude that they own the people and
    not vice versa…

    The FEDeral Reserve is not Federal and is a treason
    against the American people–it is the instrument of the wealthy elite the
    owners of the big banks who own the FED and use its power to steal the wealth
    of the middle and working classes and shift it to the .1%, How? The UNION of
    the wealthy elite, the Council on Foreign Relations, determines the policies
    used to steal the wealth of America–Zero interest rate policy–Greenspan, CFR
    member, Rubin, Summers, Clintons, Bushes–all members of the CFR.

    This is no conspiracy theory, it is happening—even the
    FED recognizes that 70% of jobs come from main street small business. If the
    FED wants to increase jobs then why does it print money and give it to big
    banks and corporations who only provide 15% of jobs…IT IS A BIG LIE BY FED,

    Interest rates at 5% support the savings of the middle
    class, retirees, and workers with CDs which supply financing to small
    business-JOBS-. It was reduced to zero specifically to force savers into the
    stock market to support the rich who pay off congress, the administration et

    All that you are saying is very true and certainly
    leading us over the edge. One crucial, and hinted at machination from the FED,
    needs to be more directly stated.

    It takes Savings to create wealth. It takes Savings to
    create Jobs. I think that most of the business world agrees that 70% of US jobs
    are created by small business Mainstreet. Those savings come from the little
    people, the middle class, and pensioners who put their savings into local
    credit unions and local/regional banks CD’s. When interest rates were 5%
    [according to Sidney Homer’s History of Interest Rates the average interest
    rate for the US is 6%] , that gave a reasonable yield for people to get by on
    with their social security, and others to grow their savings. Those Savings
    were the dollars invested into prudent investments in small businesses which
    provided the jobs for the 94 million now not in the work force and those
    dollars which were placed in self liquidating loans to businesses that made a
    profit [created wealth]….I used the Past tense.

    The reason is that wealth creating sector of our economy
    was willfully destroyed by the Fed acting for its owners, the big banks, and
    the owners of the big banks, the wealthy Elite, by enacting Financial
    Repression –Zero Interest Rate Policy, to shift the middle and working class
    wealth to the Large Banks, Large Corporations, and ultimately to the Wealthy
    elite which is unionized in the Council on Foreign Relations, whose members have
    given us this mess [Greenspan, Rubin, Summers, Bushes, Clintons, Geithner].

    The savings [looking for yield] were coerced into the
    hands of the wolves of Wall Street [Jacking up the Stock Markets] by the Zero
    interest rates policies of the Elites, and their powerful sycophants who
    repealed the protections of the taxpayers and pensioners, the Glass-Steagall
    Act. The Treasonous FED printed trillions in order to lend to the Banks to
    protect their imprudent and foolish derivative positions.

    And then insult to injury required the Big Banks to place
    hundreds of billions With the FED in reserves that the FED pays much higher
    interest on to the Banks—and it is the taxpayers who will ultimately cover
    the cost of all these machinations. Like Henry Ford said, if the people could
    understand how the financial system is run, there would be a revolt the next
    day…not to mention all of the huge debts run up by corporations taking on
    huge “almost free” debt to do imprudent stock buybacks to make low
    quality earnings look ever higher and drive up the stock market even further.

    After destroying the wealth creating sector of the
    economy and stealing the wealth of the middle class [at least 40% of it] our
    economy has to rebuild that sector and it will cause the 90% of the US to
    suffer greatly in the next years until we can bring back 5% and above interest
    rates and people can begin saving again. And all that suffering so the .1% can
    get a few per cent richer and grab more political power and damage the