So What Can We Do?
by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics
This Sovereign Debt Crisis is the nature of the beast we face. Understanding that crisis is half the battle for after the business cycle turns, there will be a lot of finger-pointing but you can bet it will never be pointing at government. It does not matter what country we are from, the people are the same. The audience last night in Warsaw was articulate, understood, and the audience made it known that they too distrust government. It really matters not our nationality. People never start wars, only governments which are not the people.
It is also never private debt that causes the end of a nation, it is the debt of government. When people default, their assets are seized and they were often thrown in debtors prison. When government defaults, you get revolution. Adam Smith called this the highest impertinence of kings to pretend to watch over the debts of the people and not their own. This cycle of political change is about 309.6 years. The last wave began in the 1600s and culminated in the late 1700s, The wave before that is where capitalism began during the 14th century with the reintroduction of wages and taxes following the Black Death of 1346-1353.
The American people were not in support of the revolution until the very end like a Phase Transition. Those who wanted to leave Britain were only about 33%. Then a writer issued a pamphlet by the name of Thomas Paine entitled Common Sense. Paine explained that the nation or society is only the people and that government views itself as the nation yet is entirely different right from its origin. He further explained that “Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse (cooperation of people creating an economy) the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher.”
We can see that despite the American and French Revolutions, government reverts always back to the dominant punisher assuming the very same power against which the people revolted to begin with. We can see Thomas Paine’s words are applicable today. The US government called Snowden a traitor for telling the people the government was illegally searching and seizing everything. It was irrelevant that he informed the people about the illegal acts of government. It was treason by their definition because he revealed what they were doing illegally to the people. That reflect what Paine said – they see themselves as the nation not the people who they exploit for their own survival.
Understanding who is the enemy is the very first step in the reform process. About every 309 years we reach a crisis in government. This has been resolved unfortunately with violence for whoever is in power never goes quietly into the light. The late 1700s was of course the American and French Revolutions and today the people of both nations have less rights than existed when they rose up in their respective revolutions. Both were sparked by a debt crisis.
In Britain, George III needed money so badly, he was taking Spanish coins and counterstamping his own image and making them English. The Assignates were paper money issued by the French that was back by confiscating the property of the Catholic Church. The Crown had bailed out the debt of the Mississippi Bubble of 1720 and that imposed harsh taxes upon the French people. We are in the very same position of a Sovereign Debt Crisis once again that is turning to confiscating everything we have as well as government is always driven by debt.
Thomas Jefferson was highly practical. He wanted the Constitution to automatically expire every 19 years and he was against any government debt. Why? A national debt to Jefferson was taxing the next generation without representation. Indeed, we are being heavily taxed to support the continued rollover of debt.
Without question, this is where we are once again. Jefferson understood looking at history that it repeats because human nature never changes. He saw war was caused by standing armies and once government is paying to maintain such a force, it is like have a car you never drive.
If we look back 309 years from the 1700s, we come to the 14th-15th centuries. In Florence it began with a revolution where they too ran out and hanged bankers. The great series of tax revolts began on that cycle in England and France that finally culminated following the Black Death (1346–53) where capitalism really began with the reintroduction of wages given the shortage of labor.
Perhaps this time we can put pressure for political change in eliminating debts and this viscous cycle of Sovereign Debt Defaults that destroy society. We can prepare for our individual survival by comprehending the nature of the beast. As was discussed in the session in Warsaw, it is true gold is no longer the savior since we cannot hop on a plane with a briefcase full of gold and seek a new start. Gold’s role may be local and in an underground economy, but make no mistake about that, government is well aware of that role as well.
Governments are robbing anything travelers might have these days. There were even signs in Poland warning if you have more than €10,000 in cash or “assets” when traveling it was illegal. They will look for jewelry, stocks, gold, or diamonds. Anything they deem of value they can confiscate.
This is a new age of authoritarianism and is not ending nicely. The idea of crypto-currencies is also rather foolish for nothing can compete against a government that is ruthless and broke. They have the guns and then tanks and will use them against the people. Our hope is to identify the problem and spread the word. Yeltsin stood on the tanks in Russia and asked the troops not to fire on their own people. If the pawns of government refuse to massacre their own people, then we can win. It is critical to understand that police and military will become the tool for both sides.
This is why Brussels is now calling for a European Army. That will be their power and sending Greek troops into Germany will prevent the troops from siding with the people. This is also why there is a mad rush to create robots for war. They have no emotions and cannot be turned. Government understands their weak-link for throughout history it has always been the loyalty of the troops.
That is what we must understand and we must understand that private assets are the means to survive – not pensions or government bonds. Eliminating cash is their way to force people into banks and prevent a bank-run. That will end in the total authoritarian government for you will not be allowed to buy or sell except without the grace of government.