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Guest Post: Is American Justice Dead?

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Submitted by David Galland, via Casey Research,

Every nation-state has a body of laws woven into the fabric of society. As Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto has commented on extensively, the stronger the rule of law, the stronger the economy.

And by "stronger" laws, I mean laws that are impervious to tampering for personal or political gains. The connection between a sound judiciary and economic health is readily comprehensible, except maybe to a politician... businesses and individuals are far more likely to invest capital in a country with understandable laws that are impartially and universally enforced than if the opposite condition exists.

That's because the lack of a consistent body of law breeds uncertainty and adds a huge element of risk for entrepreneurs. That is the case here in Argentina, where hardly a week goes by without La Presidenta and her meddlesome comrades cooking up some new hurdle for businesses to overcome.

Which brings me back to the matter at hand – American justice on a slippery slope.

Few recent cases make the contention clearer than the announcement last week by the US Justice Department that it had settled its case against HSBC for acting as the bag men for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels. The fine, $1.9 billion, amounts to about five weeks of revenue for the bank.

And that was pretty much it.

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine, who can run hot or cold when it comes to reporting, in my opinion, nails his column on the verdict, which you can read here.

The basic setup is that for years, at the highest levels of HSBC, the bank worked hand in glove with the drug cartels to launder their money. So smooth was their relationship that the drug gangs used special cardboard boxes for them to fill with cash – boxes that were designed to fit easily through the teller windows of the HSBC branches in Mexico.

Now, don't get me wrong – I am 100% against the so-called "War on Drugs." That there are hundreds of thousands of Americans in prison for the "crime" of voluntarily ingesting recreational drugs, or providing said drugs in a rare free-market transaction (there's a willing buyer and a willing seller and no regulations – at least none that anyone pays any attention to), is an abomination.

And so it is that the US has the highest prison population in the world, and by a wide margin: on a per-capita basis, it is 33% higher than the closest contender, Russia.

If you take into account everyone under "correctional supervision," 3.1% of the US population is either in jail or on probation (for blacks, it's a stunning 9.2%). According to Human Rights Watch, since 1980 the number of people in US jails for drug charges has increased twelvefold.

Yet, the money men for the murderous cartels that supply the stuff – the sort of fat-cat villains that serve as the centerpiece of every James Bond movie – get off with a hand slap.

How is this possible? The answer is that, just like the much-maligned "banana republic," the judicial system in the Anglo-Saxon world has been bifurcated into two systems – one for the politically favored and the other for the rest of us.

In the case of HSBC, the rationale for management being spared even a criminal trial, let alone years behind bars, is that the bank is too big to fail. And that should anyone within the bank be collared for their colossal crimes, it could provide the trigger for the widespread collapse of the global financial system.

To which an Anglo-Saxon from the UK might retort, "Bollocks!" This is rather a case of the politically connected and their equally politically connected, high-priced law firms twisting the judicial system to their purposes.

Another recent case is that of the LIBOR fixing scandal.

As you know, in this case a group of banks clearly conspired to rig the rates on the interest-rate index used to underpin over $300 trillion in loans. As the scandal was revealed, it was also revealed that top tax dodger and now US Treasury Secretary Tim "Timmy" Geithner was aware of the rigging as far back as at least 2007 when operating the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Yet Geithner's elevated position in the Obama administration meant that this inconvenient revelation quietly faded into nothingness. As did the clear implication that if Geithner knew about it, so did untold scores of others at the Fed and other institutions at the time.

Meanwhile, back in the present, instead of rounding up the heads of these institutions, it was announced this week that a handful of floor traders – the ever useful minions – have been fingered to take the fall. For the sake of the public show, I suspect the fall will be pretty hard.

Hell, the last time I checked, even Jon Corzine, who as a former senator and governor of New Jersey is the über-insider, is still a free man despite being the lead actor in the bankruptcy of MF Global and the subsequent looting of billions in customer funds. No one, except maybe Corzine himself, thinks that he isn't criminally complicit, yet, at this writing, there isn't even a hint he'll be prosecuted.

As David Webb has so thoroughly documented, a spate of cases over the last decade has set a clear precedent that financial institutions – at least those of a size to count with the political class – are pretty much free to lie, cheat, misrepresent, and even use their clients' funds to trade for their own book.

And if things go wrong, they can pass the losses on to the clients, or in the case of Corzine simply shrug his Savile Row-clad shoulders, and feign ignorance about where said funds went.

It Goes On… and On…

And the conniving and criminality doesn't stop at the judiciary but has infested pretty much every corner of the government.

A personal recent favorite was Hillary Clinton's oh-so-convenient bout of fainting that kept her from testifying about the truly bizarre attack on the Benghazi consulate, thereby skipping the direct damage to her career that would have resulted from having to answer the unanswerable in front of television cameras.

Then there's the sweetheart deal embedded in the soon-to-be-updated federal regulations related to mortgages. Given all the abuses leading up to the housing crash, John Q. might posit that there will be strong teeth in these new regulations. Sure, there's a couple – but lookie what else is in the new regs; this from the New York Times

As regulators complete new mortgage rules, banks are about to get a significant advantage: protection against homeowner lawsuits.

The rules are meant to help bolster the housing market. By shielding banks from potential litigation, policy makers contend that the industry will have a powerful incentive to make higher-quality home loans.

But some banking and housing specialists worry that borrowers are losing a critical safeguard. Industries rarely get broad protection from consumer lawsuits, and banks would seem unlikely candidates given the range of abuses revealed during the housing bust.

Mind-boggling.

Skipping across the pond, we have the truly incredible case of Julian Assange, who is now a prisoner, surrounded by upwards of 100 police officers, in the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he's been seeking asylum.

At one point, a senior British official suggested they were seriously considering throwing hundreds of years of diplomatic precedent out of the window by storming the embassy to get their man.

Yet his purported crime, having consensual sex with two different women without a condom (in one case, he had one, but it apparently broke) would, at most, be treated as a minor offense in pretty much any court, in pretty much every country in the world. Unless, of course, he knew he had AIDS and was deliberately trying to transmit it, which he wasn't.

Do your own research, and maybe you'll draw a different conclusion – here's one fairly thorough story on the charges against Assange – but that the UK government is willing to spend untold sums of money it can't afford keeping him penned up in the Ecuadorian embassy smacks of collusion and corruption.

What's really going on, of course, is that Assange's WikiLeaks organization embarrassed the power elite by doing what the media no longer does – getting to the truth, in this case releasing a stash of embarrassing diplomatic cables.

While Assange is fighting the good fight, it's a fight against entrenched political interests, and so it's a losing battle. Aided by the corrupt judiciary or, failing that, the malleable military, it's just a matter of time before he ends up in a cell next to Bradley Manning whose tortured corpus is now on trial for giving up state secrets that were really not all that secret.

In economic policy, too, the evidence of two different systems is glaring. Look no further than the Fed's recent decision to light the afterburners on over a trillion in new money creation each year.

Whom does such a policy help? The politicians, of course, by allowing them to claim they "fixed" the economy that they broke in the first place… when all they are really doing is replacing the capital formation and spending of a healthy private sector with the polluted effluence of government disbursements.

Whom does such a policy hurt? The population at large, by eroding the value of everything they own and eviscerating their ability to earn money on their money through a free market in interest rates… all the while fostering yet more malinvestment in the Potemkin villages of an uneconomic solar industry, electric cars, high-speed trains, etc.

Make no mistake, the Fed and the government are keenly aware of the damaging consequences of their actions – but, out of self-interest, take those actions nonetheless.

The enviro-socialists that have bought their way into the corridors of power provide another array of examples, using laughably bad science and arbitrary rulings to disadvantage key sectors of the economy such as energy and mining.

What's It Mean to You and Me?

There is little question that the vast majority of the public is ignorant or apathetic, or both, to the pervasive corruption of the political classes and their financiers.

But even if they were paying attention and outraged, the fact of the matter is that things have degraded to the point where there is next to nothing John Q. can do about it. Sure, you can write your Congressman; just be sure to be extra polite, or your letter will end up in the hands of zee Homeland Security.

Ditto if you write angry emails and send them to all your friends. Just don't make the mistake of thinking there is still such a thing as privacy or the right of free speech in the Anglosphere.

And heavens forbid you try to organize a physical protest. Next thing you know, you'll end up wearing a pair of these bad boys coming to your friendly police officer's belt soon.

(Not only do these next-gen cuffs restrain you, but they allow the arresting officer to remotely deliver electric shocks and, if that doesn't do the trick, even inject drugs into you.)

Of course, if your company or industry wants to fight it out in the courts, you have to be ready and able to spend millions in legal fees fighting a government with unlimited funds (provided, of course, by your taxes and money borrowed from the Chinese or ginned up by the Fed).

What I'm trying to say is that, regardless of what the popular corruption indexes show – and those are typically based on fairly suspect surveys on matters such as transparency in corporate reporting or whether bribes are required to do business – when you take into account the systematic skewing of the judicial and electoral systems to favor the entrenched politicos and their friends in high places, the level of corruption in the Anglosphere would make an African despot blush.

It's not an accident that the Republicans and the Democrats, two sides of the same coin despite all the rhetoric, are never remotely at risk of losing their collective grip on power – the system has been carefully and thoroughly rigged to prevent that from happening.

Logically, if there is virtually nothing the public at large can do about the rigged game they are forced to live with, then it comes down to decisions we make as individuals.

Some general approaches for your consideration.

  1. Suck it up. The Stoic approach is to recognize there are certain things you can't do anything about, so put the hypocrisy and self-dealing of officialdom and their enablers out of mind and live your life the best you know how.
  1. Profit from it. While it may seem counterintuitive, the more challenging the environment for business creation, the more money an especially hard-charging entrepreneur can make. This is why Asian shop owners open up in ghettos and why the margins for "war profiteers" are so high – because they literally have to risk life and limb to collect them.

    A successful acquaintance recently told me that, as the head of the Argentine branch of a major international electronics brand, his division was regularly able to pull down margins in excess of 40% while his counterparts in less volatile political environments were happy with less than 10%.

    It just takes an extra measure of patience and fortitude to overcome the challenges that scare less determined individuals away.

  1. Move West… or South, but probably not North. A combination of #1 and 2 above, the brave minority might want to consider taking the show on the road.
  1. If you can't beat them, join them. As Doug Casey has often pointed out, the effect of Pareto's Law operating over time on the large democracies has resulted in the worst sort of people controlling the levers of government at the federal, state and local level. If you happen to be a sociopath with control issues, then you might want to hop on the gravy train and worm your way into government, or into one of the many parasitic enterprises sucking the life from the body politic.
  1. Go outlaw. Yesterday, a flash mob gathered in the southern Argentine city of Bariloche for the sole purpose of looting a large store of electronics, food and booze, and sundry other items that will make the Christmas holidays all the more festive.

    When I heard of the incident, I mentioned to my wife that this could very well be the proverbial first shot in the breakdown of civil society in cities around the world. And sure enough, as I was writing, the news broke that spontaneous mobs have formed in a number of cities around Argentina for the sole purpose of looting stores.

    This is precisely the sort of thing one can expect in an economy laid low by political corruption, malfeasance and self-serving meddling. When people lose hope, and lose faith that the judicial system will protect them from the entrenched interests, then it is well within the range of some of those people to just say screw it and go outlaw.

I could be wrong, but I think what happened in Bariloche yesterday has the potential to be just as seminal as the self-immolation in Tunisia that set off the Arab Spring.

The implications of mobs deciding to come together to just take what they want are potentially huge. In the Anglo-Saxon world, it could provide exactly the excuse needed to bring down the stainless-steel curtain built with hundreds of billions of homeland security expenditures over the past decade.

In fact, while I am probably overstating it, the action of the mob in Bariloche yesterday could be the missing link between Neil Howe's Third and Fourth Turning, ushering in the next and most troubled era.

It's ironic that it's happening in here in my new retreat in Argentina, but it's of no personal import because our new hometown of Cafayate is rural, small and very successful, and the sort of place where everyone knows everyone else. And, besides, there are no large supermarkets to raid.

In addition, despite the dark era of military rule (or perhaps because of it), Argentina is not a violent culture, and the big cities are few and far between. The same can't be said of places like Chicago and Detroit, where flash mobs have been increasingly cropping up with the primary intention of committing violence.

How fast and how far things will spread from here is only a matter of conjecture, but the range of possibilities is wide.

Regardless of whether the rule of law continues to be diminished through the acts of corrupt politicians or a mob – or through the militarized arm of the politicos trying to control the mob – I fear the knock-on consequences on the economy and on society at large.

I really don't want to be a Chicken Little, but taking some basic precautions to protect yourself and your assets is only commonsense at this juncture.

 


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Thu, 01/10/2013 - 07:29 | Link to Comment lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Unlike the Aurora shootings, we have seen no eyewitnesses, CCTV, edited crime scene photos, or other forensic evidence. I'm not trying to make the nutter's case here, but something does NOT add up about that event.

The 'birthers' went after the usurper on BC grounds, not that his 'dad' was a foreigner. This man owes no allegiance to the US. I too, have said before right here on the hallowed pages of ZH I beleive tha's why, right after the Bilderberg meeting in VA in 2008, Hillary was out and Zero in.  They did not want a sudden pang of guilt springing up in an AMerican when they come to their plan.

Unless Zero is arrested, we are going to be droned, shot, or gassed, or something really bad along those lines.

I am concerned these elite hubristic idiots are going to jump the shark and there will be a shooting war.

The question is, is that what they have wanted all along?

 

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 05:50 | Link to Comment dadoody
dadoody's picture

David Gregory (media elite) vs Adam Meckler (Combat Veteran)

If the difference between twos' treatments don't show the differences between application of law, I don't know what does. This country's screwed and our laws are selectively enforced. 

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 06:20 | Link to Comment MickV
MickV's picture

Seriously, get a clue. There is no law and no Constitution when the President, who is the executor of the laws, is ineligible for the office. Obama was born, and likely still is, a British subject, born to a British subject father. Therefore he is not a natural born Citizen, i.e one born in the US to US Citizen parents (See Minor v. Happersett, 88 US 162, 167 (1874)). See also Frderalist 68, that Obama Sr. is an improper "ascendant" (ancestor), and thus Obama 2 is not a "creature of their own" (natural born Citizen).

 

Obama has shown that he is exactly whom the founders were preventing from the office by the natural born Citizen requirement. The NWO has placed him there specifically because he lacks the allegiance or attachment necessary to lead the US, and to take away the sovereignty of US Citizens. Foreign influence was to be prevented at all costs (see Federalists 2-6, and G. Washington's Farewelll address. ("Let there be no change by Usurpation").

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 06:28 | Link to Comment BlackVoid
BlackVoid's picture

Yes, as other have pointed out, this has been going on for centuries. What is new?

The justice system is not something has recently deceased, it has been dead since its birth.

There was never ever any justice system that did not exempt the ones at the top. Period. The only thing that has maybe changed is that more people see this truth.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 07:43 | Link to Comment Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

Hmmmm.  There is the example of Bishop Ambrose of Milan refusing communion to Emperor Theodosius until he made repentance and restitution for his massacre of some Greek citizens.  Divided power (the so-called "Gelasian doctrine") has its advantages.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 06:45 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Observance of laws is only ever likely when there is ample.  As we're seeing, declining resources are starting to put pressures on those in power/control such that they have to resort to abusing existing laws ("extra-judicial killings," drones?).

All are equal, except that some are just a little more equal...

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 06:47 | Link to Comment etresoi
etresoi's picture

    American opposition movements have always focused on the notion of organization. It has always been their goal to organize the people. Their hope has been to wield the collective power of the disaffected, downtrodden, and exploited as a single unit against the concentrated power of the ruling class. While their hope has been noble, their methods have been foolish. Organized resistance has many drawbacks. These drawbacks have seldom been discussed by the opposition. I believe that the only effective resistance is a completely disorganized, decentralized, and leaderless opposition.

While, on the face of it, this claim may impress you as absurd. Of course it seems absurd! It is counterintuitive. Never the less, it is the ONLY method of resistance that will work within American society. I will explain why organized resistance has never worked in the United States. In addition, I will promulgate a new formula for effective resistance.

There are many reasons for the failure of organized resistance. The two primary causes of failure are intimately connected to the culture of the United States and the political system laid down by our nation's founding fathers.

Americans, culturally, are anarchists. Few Americans realize this. Most Americans have a false understanding of the term "anarchism." However, upon examining the beliefs of your average American, you will find that most Americans:

  • do not trust leaders
  • do not trust government
  • wish to be left alone
  • value their privacy
  • think of themselves as independent from society
  • do not believe that there is a systemic solution to their problems
  • believe that others should be free to do what they choose, provided they do so in private and do not harm others

While it is undeniable that political culture in the United States often speaks to the opposite of the above list, it is also undeniable that most Americans register as neither Democrat or Republican and most Americans do not vote. Thus, despite the political culture, most Americans choose not to participate in it. This is not only due to their belief that the American political system is hopeless, but also is due to the cultural clash between the wider culture and the political culture.

Any attempt to organize large numbers of Americans into a single political movement will fail. Any attempt to create an organization led by a strong group of leaders will fail. Americans reject submersion into the collective. In a sense, Americans are anti-collectivists.

American political culture is not ideological. Politicians attempt to draw ideological distinctions between the two major parties, but these distinctions are a matter of splitting hairs. The only significant difference between the two political parties is the degree of compassion represented by the rhetoric of the two parties. Compassion is not a political concept. Compassion is an attitude. Thus, the two parties differ, primarily, in attitude and not ideology.

Despite this, there remain two political parties. One is prompted to ask "why?" If each party is basically the same, with respect to ideology, why do they not merge into one party? The answer to this question is best found in viewing each political party according to its true nature. American political parties are, for all intents and purposes, organized crime units. American political parties have more in common with the Mafia than they have with their counterparts in more democratic societies. Like Mafia, each political party competes for control of territory in order to maximize the benefit to their business constituency. Like Mafia, the political parties attempt to mold the system to maintain their positions and access to resources. Like Mafia, the political parties force the average citizen to pay "protection" under the threat of violence (taxes). Like Mafia each political party uses the "protection" money collected for its own advantage.

By defining our political system in terms of the "majority" and the "opposition," our Constitution enshrines this two mafia system into law. Each Mafia passes laws to exclude new comers from the game while focusing the rest of its energy in destroying the other Mafia.

Thus, any resistance movement that chooses to become an organization is in competition with these Mafiosi. The deck is stacked and the power of the state, wielded by these organized crime units known as the Democratic and Republican parties, will waste the time and resources of any newcomer. A newcomer can only succeed by rejecting the political system, draining its resources, and undermining the rule of the state.

In some societies, dissidents become heroes. In American society dissidents are systematically slandered, libeled, harassed, and villainized. If they become successful, they are murdered (e.g. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X). In the American experience, movements that look to leaders are decapitated. Leaders are a liability, not an asset.

Organizations can be (and are) infiltrated. Organizations can be taxed. Organizations have legal responsibility. Organizations have membership lists and lists are wonderful tools for the oppressor. Organizations take on a life of their own. They struggle to exist and their continued existence takes priority over their mission. Organizations attract opportunists, power mongers, and attention seekers. Organizations tend to exploit their rank and file for the benefit of their inner circle. Disorganizations share none of these defects.

Bureaucracy cannot comprehend disorganization. Disorganization is invisible. The asymmetry of the relationship between organization and disorganization favors disorganization. Organization depends upon planning. Planning requires predictability. Disorganization cannot be predicted. This leaves organization at a disadvantage.

Organization requires a supply chain. Supply chains can be disrupted. Disorganization depends only upon the resources of its members. Supply chains that do not exist cannot be eliminated.

Disorganized movements rely upon swarming. Swarms are difficult to defend against. If you cut a swarm in half, you have two swarms. If you eliminate one of the resulting swarms, you still have a swarm. Disorganization breeds. Organization grows. The many and dispersed are a more difficult target than the large and concentrated.

Organizations takes their steps by design. If the design is flawed, the organization fails. Disorganization relies not upon design but upon evolution. The motivating notions of disorganization are memes. Memes evolve and memes compete. This process improves the motivating notions of disorganization. This process produces multiple courses of action. While some may fail, others are likely to succeed. Taken as a whole, disorganization is more likely to succeed.

The important thing to remember is that it is easier to destroy than to create that which is designed. Thus, the cost to those who lose the manifestation of their design outweighs by leaps and bounds the cost it takes to destroy it. That which evolves is cheap and when an effort is created to destroy the evolved entity, it merely mutates and evolves again, adjusting to the new conditions. As a process that fosters evolution, a movement based on disorganization will continue to survive, evolve, and expand without cost. The resource constraints placed upon the designed (e.g. government and corporate) and those absent from the evolved (a decentralized and disorganized opposition movement), favor the later.

I do not propose a complete absence of organization. Instead I propose a disorganization of units. Units can be as small as a single individual, or as complex as cell of individuals working together. Cells may be internally organized, but they should not be statically organized cell to cell. The movement should have no commander. It should have no central committee or governing body. No global plans should be made. The modus operandi of each unit should be to think globally and act locally. Ideas, strategies, and tactics should float freely and compete as memes within the medium of the collective conscious.

We need to construct a disorganized movement. You need not apply to join. In fact, it might be better if you did not contact me, or anyone except those with whom you wish to form a unit. Your ideas, strategies, tactics, and lessons learned should be spread anonymously or by word of mouth. When you act, should you decide to act in resistance, attribute your actions to "the Resistance." The growing din of disorganized disruption will be felt as an earthquake. There will be trembles. There will be pre-shocks. The tension will mount and, in time, there will be an earthquake. When that earthquake strikes, the organized edifice of the oppressor will fall like a house of cards.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 07:49 | Link to Comment Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

Very useful contribution.  Thanks--it seems you have read William Lind and John Robb, among others.  Then again, it may not be necessary to read them to come up with your outlook.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 07:52 | Link to Comment overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

Is American Justice Dead? is jon corzine in jail...

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:06 | Link to Comment etresoi
etresoi's picture

Actually, I was trained by USArmy Special Forces.  When USGov promotes resistance to established regimes, it is call an Arab Spring or a people's movement.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:27 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

It's all about destabilization.  Funny, the very promotion and engagement in instigating these things results in less stability on the home-front.

Greed and power.  The path is well-trodden...

I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-crooked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own. One that they design and want, one that they fight and work for. And if, unfortunately, their revolution must be of the violent type because the "haves" refused to share with the "have nots" by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don?t want and above all don?t want crammed down their throats by Americans.

Former Marine Corps Commandant General David M. Shoup (made & published in the Congressional Record in 1967) [http://www.navyleague.org/sea_power/aug_02_06.php]

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:41 | Link to Comment lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I think the current term is "color revolutions."

Back in the day, we used counterfeit, infrastructure sabotage, and dirty tricks.

It has become more sophisticated, but the old stuff still works.

*****

I am an old guy. But, if the .gov goes rogue and attacks The People, as much as I want to live to be older, I have seen enough of life to enjoy. I do not want my kids or grandkids living in some o-zone gulag. If mr liberal wants to see real terror, he will see it.

*****

Tread at your own risk, mr fed. we both swore the same oath. I have nothing against you. The People have nothing against you. Refuse to obey illegal orders. You will be protected by The People if you do so.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 11:35 | Link to Comment etresoi
etresoi's picture

My sentiments, exactly.  I have been highly trained by US military to silently remove opponents.  For this reason, I am very careful to remain non-violent but there is a breaking point for each of us.

By the way, old guy, in my case it is great grandchildren!

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 07:56 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

I think that you're underestimating the willingness of the majority of people to accept/desire "leadership."  What would be viewed as "good" leadership that is...  Consider religious hierarchies- very few members of organized religions, of which there are MANY, could be said to "distrust" the leadership in their organizations.

As someone who is vastly curious I've looked in to anarchism.  From what I have gathered the ONLY real tenet is that coercive force is not accepted.  For the most part this undesirable action is most dangerous in centralized power bases, in which case centralization cautioned against.  As you note, people are free to form and organize as they wish.

Since the ONLY truly enduring systems can be found in nature it should be nature to where we ought look for guidance.  Nature promotes diversity.  Anarchism, by default, also promotes diversity.

"You never change anything by fighting the existing. To change something, build a new model and make the existing obsolete."

- Buckminster Fuller

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:26 | Link to Comment whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

Well said etresoi

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:48 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

very interesting, +1

I have some comments on a few details

- while your definition of anarchism is interesting, I'd say it's slightly far fetched. I find your comments valid, just the label is a bit bombastic. perhaps you would have to coin a term like "proto-anarchist" or "passive anarchist", or you won't ever find a corrisponding element in Europe, for example, where anarchists are let's say a bit more "vigorous" in deed and action - even in the realm of passive resistance

- "Americans reject submersion in the collective..." First, note that a collective and collectivism are not the same. You can be a member of a "collective" by just sitting in a train that get's hijacked or bombed, without engaging in "collectivism" of any kind. The same can happen if a foreign country attacks the one you are residing into, and the enemy army treats every inhabitant of the regions it occupies collectively as "enemy population". Second, and more importantly: your political system is not designed for this. If you think about, there is no political system that can give a voice to those who don't want to. Political systems ask - in the best cases only - for participation. Except if you do the full anarchic case, which would entail no system at all - I find this is a completely different matter which then poses a few pesky details about how to handle the other still existing polities. Hint: "just leave me alone" never worked up to now

- your comparison with the Mafia is good, but why is it so? Because the Mafia Families behave like a state. They behave like the ancient Roman familias, which were the model of the Roman Republic (on a larger writ). They behave like the old feudal Houses because that's what they are - just unrecognized. Because this is one of the oldest ways humans band, either along male lines (families, clans) or along female lines (gentes, tribes, clans). your understanding of this might be weak because of the current atomization and reduction to the lone individual of those ties in your country - which is part of where your culture is heading

All in all, you are trying to square a circle, imho. you wish to get rid of certain kinds of human organization - for whatever reasons, good or bad - without proposing new ones to fill in the void. As the saying goes, "nature abhors a void"

Getting rid of a high-power system without having a new one to fill the space brings immense pressure on it - from the other high-power systems

And before you scoff: your high-power system currently pressures a couple of hundred other systems all around the world. It's like an immense storm, flowing, pushing wind/air outward since over a century. You might not notice it because you live in the eye of the storm

Remove the system, and you'll feel pressure from many, many directions, like currently Syria from Russia, France, the UK and China. Oh, and the USA.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 11:41 | Link to Comment etresoi
etresoi's picture

Thank you.  I do not wish to get in a semantic argument but the root meaning of anarchy is 'against hierarchy' and this is how I used it.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 13:39 | Link to Comment tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

not to get hung up on semantics, but maybe the root meaning of anarchy is not "against" anything, but rather a free choice "for" something else?     like in DJ's mention of permaculture, if you have a pest problem, you don't attack the pests directly, but you address the imbalance in the soil, as well as introduce species that attract beneficial insects that keep the pests at bay. 

 

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:45 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

as an add-on: it would be actually quite easy to reform the US political system in a way that would increase popular participation

though this would require some popular will to do it

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 13:08 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Dead on. Brilliant post. It's not that the most extreme version of this philosophy is the ultimate answer, it's that we have strayed too far from some of its core truths. Was just listening to a "permaculture" lecture this morning and he was arguing essentially the same thing. Permaculture is anarchy in the true definition and the only food production system that ever "worked" and will ever last. Self sufficiency and very non ideological absent fundamental humility with the greater physical world knowing every local environment is unique and respected..  

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 13:29 | Link to Comment tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

awesome metaphor DJ (and agreed, brilliant post, it should be a topic in and of itself).    

the heart of anarchy is symbiosis which is the basis of permaculture.

care to share the lecture?

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 18:50 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Omj-6500E 

it's either lecture 2 or 3 I think

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 19:30 | Link to Comment tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

cool thanks...haven't watched this one.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 13:45 | Link to Comment Overfed
Overfed's picture

Channeling the ghost of Heinlein. I like it.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:44 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Why get all analytical over a system that is failing and WILL fail?

People need to get past the over-glorification of the past, that somehow we can experience the same things that our "forefathers" did.  I scream: NONSENSE!  Why?

1) The bulk of the revolutionary actions were based against a single "foe," whereas today's "foe" is a government (at several levels) ON our shore, or, the swarms of "entitled," or both- I'm  thinking that today's redcoats are a bit harder to spot;

2) Back when, there were plenty of spoils to be shared; today the best we are looking at is scraps; scraps, as in depleted natural resources and land.

Lots of pretty words/phrases wrapped up and hid many of the ills, in which case, to pretend that tyranny didn't exist back then takes the wearing of a big set of blinders: if the wide-scale slaughter of natives and enslavement of others doesn't meet the definition of tyranny (arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power, that the greatest show of power is deadly force) then I don't know what does.

You cannot return to a place you never were.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 07:58 | Link to Comment smacker
smacker's picture

The wrist-slapping action by the US govt against the likes of HSBC for money laundering looks to me like the govt is really saying "we want our share of your profits from malfeasance". In HSBC's case, $1.9 billion will suffice.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:21 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

ALL MONEY IS LAUNDERED!

Everything's based on quicksand.  If anyone really prosecuted this crap to the fullest extent it would be laid so bare as to immediately shut everything down, which, of course, means not only the banks but the govt(s) as well.  As we saw with the banksters putting a gun up to the head of govt when Lehman went down, the lot of them would threaten to kill all the systems: in reality, the system would just collapse on its own if the bankers withdrew- it is, after all, Their system.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:24 | Link to Comment rguptatx
rguptatx's picture

Don't overlook the corzining / evaporation of contract law in the USSA courtesy of the shafting of bondholders in the GM bailout, while protecting the comies/unions pension funds.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:41 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

Oh, that's right, it's the fault of commies and unions.  Of course!

Silly me, I thought it was the result of hitting the inevitable wall of perpetual growth meeting finite planet.

Fucking people are so hopped on on emotions as to fail logic.  Remove "commies" and "unions" and the fucking system is STILL a Ponzi heading to the impasse; and should you be around at that point (which is never the intent- people always look to profit off a drastic change and then ride that until it's time for them to die out, leaving the next wave hopelessly fucked up).

"Men argue, nature acts." - Voltaire

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:55 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

How is this possible? The answer is that, just like the much-maligned "banana republic," the judicial system in the Anglo-Saxon world has been bifurcated into two systems – one for the politically favored and the other for the rest of us.

There is a law for uins, and a law for weins, and they ain't the same law. It stinks to high heaven pepe lapu.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 09:38 | Link to Comment Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

US justice aint dead -- it is reloading.

Widowmaker knows he who is armed makes the rules.  Far from the fraud-fiat cartel on Fuckup Street that think its "their" money that does.  

Widowmaker learned from the founding fathers that oppressive fiat-laws don't stop an armed citizen who has been trampled by said oppressive fiat-laws.  Two sets of rules?  Like hell.

The more lawless the incorporated, the more armed the individual.

One...Two.. The people are comin' for you. 

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 09:28 | Link to Comment Cult of Criminality
Cult of Criminality's picture

Justice was dead long ago for the average person.

The rest of the carcass has been bought and paid for, to use against the average person.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 09:34 | Link to Comment new game
new game's picture

hey, most of you are not law abidding anyways. so why the fuss over all the non-sense created by these fucking idiots anyways?

well, it is about to get to your doorstep! ah ha, yea you, not your neighbors-a little worried? well do something about it...

 

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 09:38 | Link to Comment michigan independant
michigan independant's picture

Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Since 1948. Tomb Sentinel, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), keeping guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during Hurricane Sandy, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Oct. 29, 2012. Just like the Sentinel's Creed says "Through the years of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements, I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability.
Old Guard Facebook Page, Oct. 29, 2012, "A Firing Party from Delta Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), leaves the columbarium area after conducting a funeral for a Veteran at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Oct. 29, 2012. Even with Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard the Old Guard are still committed to honoring our Nation's Veterans.

No, I am not concerned what are Men and Women are protecting.

 

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 09:57 | Link to Comment writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

or providing said drugs in a rare free-market transaction (there's a willing buyer and a willing seller and no regulations

 

...and yet we see the formation of cartels and collusion between participants - so much for free market theory then. It's flawed from the start and the drugs market is the best demonstration of this. An unregulated and unlawful market - which is manipulated for the benefit of the few.

 

Just like every other free market becomes - now someone explain that in simple terms to the Ron Paul fan club who think 'free market' is like supporting NASCAR!

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 10:04 | Link to Comment jomama
jomama's picture

what i want to know is where to find that justice league aka OBL body dumping taskforce larger photo.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 10:18 | Link to Comment Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

Hello.....Zeeeembaaabwayyy !

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 10:42 | Link to Comment indio007
indio007's picture

Do a liitle research?

The only research you need is to go down to the local court and listen for the sound of a cash register.

The criminal courts are disgusting extortion rackets where charges are persued simply to  protect the cop from a suit of false arrest.

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 11:27 | Link to Comment madcows
madcows's picture

It is a LEGAL system, not a JUSTICE system.  Big differnce there.  Justice system implies that justice is determined in a court case.  Of Course, this is not the case.  That's why people hate lawyers so much.  They do their damndest to get their client off, whether through obfuscation, legal chicanery or technicalities, rather than playing a role in the actual determination and discemination of justice.  Justice implies that the wrongs committed by bad people are righted.  I'd say we have a corrupted legal system written predominantly by the criminals.... aka CONgress.

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