The Puppet Master: Government

Tyler Durden's picture

From Bill Buckler, author of The Privateer

The Puppet Master - Government

It has been well and often said that only two types of “paper” money have ever existed in history - those that are already worthless and those that are going to be. Eventually, the physical pieces of paper or plastic which have been given a function as a medium of exchange by government order may remain - but their purchasing power on the market does not. The transition point always comes when the “promises to pay” on which the fiat money depends are exposed beyond the possibility of denial to be the LIES which they always were. History is replete with examples, yet very few ask the obvious question: “Pay? - WITH WHAT??” One of the great wonders of the twentieth century was the lengths to which the economics “profession” proved willing to go to avoid even facing that question let alone trying to answer it.

For hundreds if not thousands of years of human history, the vast majority were all too well aware that the government “lives” on the backs of the people. Today, that long-held knowledge has been astonishingly successfully reversed. Today, the perceived “wisdom” is that the people live on the back of the government. In the realm of the history of ideas, it took many centuries to bring forward the idea that a life might be lived without constant kowtowing to government. It has only taken one century - the time since WW I - to all but totally submerge that legacy in a new wave of government dependency.

The old and tired phrase - “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” - is met by as much derision as it has ever been when people bemoan the impositions of their rulers. But those same people rely on the government to insulate them from the consequences of any action they may choose to undertake.

There are people who love government, people who hate it, and people who fear it. But when the chips are down, the majority of those same people profess to have “confidence” in the government’s power to protect their “welfare”. Governments count on that confidence” above all other things.

Short On Credit And Long On Faith

The ignorance over the mechanisms and procedures which power the modern global financial and monetary system is fiercely held. When it comes to the general public, we have seen demonstrations of that on numerous occasions over the past few years, the latest being in Cyprus. As was the case in all previous like instances in other nations in Europe and elsewhere, very few of those demonstrating in the street have ever thought about the TRUE nature of the banks, central banks and governments in which they place their “trust”. Many reports on the anger of the Cypriots have talked about the end of the “age of innocence”.

Unfortunately, the term innocence is not defined as the fierce refusal to see what is right in front of one’s face. At the end of his great work, Human Action, Ludwig von Mises dealt with the real problem like this:

“There is no means by which anyone can evade his personal responsibility. Whoever neglects to examine to the best of his abilities all the problems involved voluntarily surrenders his birthright to a selfappointed elite of supermen. In such vital matters blind reliance upon ‘experts’ and uncritical acceptance of popular catchwords and prejudices is tantamount to the abandonment of self-determination and to yielding to other people’s domination. As conditions are today, nothing can be more important to every intelligent man than economics. His own fate and that of his progeny are at stake.”


“Whether we like it or not, it is a fact that economics cannot remain an esoteric branch of knowledge accessible only to small groups of scholars and specialists. Economics deals with society’s fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen.”

Human Action was published in 1949. The problems which von Mises so brilliantly dissected then are incomparably worse now. But the main failing remains the same. Those who refuse to gain the knowledge necessary to stand for something will fall for anything. The result in Cyprus is the latest in a long line of similar cases. To give one example, how many of the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd could give a cogent explanation of what they were protesting against? The specific instances may differ, but the reaction remains the same: “But ... BUT ... YOU TOLD US IT WAS ‘SAFE!!”

What makes it worse is that most knew that it was NOT ‘safe’ - but they refused to admit it to themselves.

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MrX's picture

pray for an end to faith:


MrX's picture

ZH readers are our most loyal "fans" of sorts....thanks to all of you who seem to get it.

We will be travelling to the USA to record in one of the most legendary and exclusive(by invitation only) recording studios on the planet with the help of some of the most legendary psychedelic rock and rollers of the last 20 years.   We are so thrilled to have the chance to push this music even deeper down the rabbit hole.

for real though.....thanks ZH


CH1's picture

I'm not sure who you are, but good luck to you!

BoNeSxxx's picture

The 'who' is a mysterty but the 'what' is clear enough.

Thread Jacker

MrX's picture

our mode of expression may be different than yours, but to imply that it is off topic is a stretch.







CrazyCooter's picture

thread•jack•ing (thrd?d?æk ??) n. (1) Chooming. (2) the forcible change of a forum topic from its original idea to something completely unrelated.

I would advise that the lowest form of thread jacking is commercial thread jacking (i.e. advertising).

Are you a cool dude? I am sure you are. But ZH wouldn't accomplish much if we all discussed our coolness instead of the coolness of von Mises.



Diogenes's picture

Thread jacking is not cool. Jacking a thread for advertising automatically makes him a douchebag. Do it 3 times and you advance to douchenozzle.

sunnydays's picture

Govts are controlled by banks.  People are waking up and not trusting govts nor banks.  There is a shift happening and at one point the people will be pushed too far. 

CrazyCooter's picture

I genuinely can't see how this doesn't end badly.



Winston Churchill's picture

Very, very  badly.

Keeping gaming it out, and there are no good options left anymore.

Total extiction or partial ,seem the highest probability right now.

Rivers of blood are coming whatever happens.

Diogenes's picture

It has already happened hundreds of times yet the world keeps spinning. There have been hundreds of paper currencies and all of them have gone to zero except the ones we have today and they are well on the way.

The world always recovers and hurries on without learning anything. Some survive and thrive in these difficult times. Having lived through a series of financial crises, stock market crashes,recession,  inflation, stagflation, the Vietnam war, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan gives one perspective.

Anusocracy's picture

And if they weren't controlled by banks they would be controlled by environmentalists or Born Again Christians or food nazis or any one of millions of groups or dictator wannabes. Government is control and those who desire control will eventually figure out how to take it over.

The problem has been, is, and always will be government. It is the aggressive use of force to obtain some goal.

Silver Garbage Man's picture

At some point you have to deal with reality, the sooner the better.

kliguy38's picture

As long as you realize the "Government" is  a front man for the men behind the curtain. Forget about the "government" and pull the curtain back.....THAT is what cannot be allowed to happen.

Pseudo Anonym's picture

when you pull the curtain back, who's behind it?

El Oregonian's picture

If you find out, it will be curtains or them...

pies_lancuchowy's picture

The higher breed, the chosen people. Garlic-smelling, long noses.

Second Fire will burn.

disabledvet's picture

it's not that Cyprus was safe but that Cyprus was vulnerable in my view. 'they're small.' Getting rich off the collapse of the EU is now off the table...sure 'park your money in your mattress'...but we need to ask 'which money?' we've already seen a massive move higher in Swiss the point where the SNB is trying to MASSIVELY devalue their currency! 'if that doesn't say Code Red nothing does.'

DormRoom's picture

All you have to do is read Ancient Roman history on how she diluted silver coins to mollify a fiscal crisis in the 5th century to know how this will all end.

"While the state had solved the monetary problem for its own constituents (ogliarchy), it had failed to solve it for the masses."

CH1's picture

Ancient Roman history about how she diluted silver coins to mollify a fiscal crisis in the 5th century

It actually differed from your description, but your basic point stands.

eddiebe's picture

At least the "Occupy Wall Street crowd" were doing something, even if they were'nt quite learned enough to understand the convoluted and purposfully obscured financial machinations of mass destruction the banksters were and still are getting away with. Which is a whole lot more than all the thinkers and journalists that write about it are doing combined.

Go back to your office Bill, and think about what else to write about, but don't criticise those of us willing to actually do something about what you are bitching about. UGH! 

Race Car Driver's picture

> At least the "Occupy Wall Street crowd" were doing something ...

Um, yeah - gettin' punched and pepper sprayed for no good reasons. The OWS 'movement' was a psyop, like everything else over the last 50 years and these kids were once again willing dupes. It was a lovely distraction for a few months.

I junked ya for living in a cartoon and being too much of a n00b to understand it.

Alpha Monkey's picture

The only psyop surrounding OWS was the slanted attention they got from the MSM.  If you think getting pepper sprayed and punched in an attempt to bring attention to the problems stemming from a corrupt financial services industry is "no good reason", then I have to wonder who is living in the cartoon. 

If you have evidence that OWS was a psyop then I suggest posting it. 

CrazyCooter's picture

What I eventually realized is that you need to start participating in your local party (dem or rep). THEN your eyes will open. If there are enough of you, you can get your hip dislocated by police like this chairman of a STATE Republican convention. My state is still going through an internal dogfight over control of the state party after a strong showing of sensible constituents last cycle.

The Tea Party on the other hand organized (decentralized I might add - there are many groups) and got invovlved in local and state politics. They raise money, they support candidates, and they get results.

OWS accomplished jack shit. I can only assume they expected somone else to organize, raise money, support candidates, and push change by electing butts in seats. Oh, that would be right on topic, wouldn't it?



Alpha Monkey's picture

I actually did participate in state level delegate representation in the 2008 presidential election.  It did open my eyes, and I realized politics was the last place any real change was going to happen. The rules are set to favor the establishment.  If you play their games, they will win.  OWS was an attempt at starting a new game.  Unfortunately, too many people are still relying on the "experts" aka politicians, or the established foundations, to save them....  It should be obvious to any critical thinker how the system isn't designed to help the so called 99%.

I hate to break it to you, but the tea party has been co-opted and is strictly under the leadership of the current republican party.  Carl Denninger, an original founder of the Tea Party makes it pretty clear how this happened and why he lost faith in their ability to produce any sort of meaningful change. 

OWS accomplished planting a seed, and letting people know there can be a different game.  They realize the game is rigged and raising funds for elections and putting people in seats is a worthless venture.

Anusocracy's picture

The problem I had with OWS was that they wanted less bankster government and more OWS government.

That would fix nothing.

smacker's picture


For me, the great failing of the OWS crowd was their implied claim that the cause, the only cause, of the economic/banking crises were bankstas. Hence the group's name and its actions.

OWS let the political elites off the hook, because at heart many of them are Lefties and they want more government, not less.

JOYFUL's picture

And the purpose of this time capsule is?

Human Action was published in 1949. The problems which von Mises so brilliantly dissected then are incomparably worse now. But the main failing remains the same. Those who refuse to gain the knowledge necessary to stand for something will fall for anything...

Has the course of disputation in the intervening 60+ years over economic foundations changed anything?

Clearly it has not...unless you are one of those who's appetite for the warm pablum of socially-engineered reality extends to buying into modern day mythologies like 'the Fall of the Wall,' the 'Rise of the Eurozone' or the Huntingtonesque 'War of Civilizations' which case, you probably bought into 9-11 like Facebook-Farmville-My Pet Rock, and all the other marketing success stories of the Age of Advertisement. AKA modern "capitalism."

This whole 'capitalism' vs 'socialism'\'statist' vs 'libertarian' thing needs to take a long walk off of a short's run it's course now.

"Whitey" is soon nuff gonna stand for the structural integrity of the experiment of the Europoid peeples in free-livin, honest to goodness free-man\woman society(as evolved at considerable cost of time n expense by our forebears)based pon free tradin and mutual live n let live respect for others...governments and states come and go - what we have inherited from our betters was a lot more than that.

...or is gonna let some collective cabal of Larry Silversteins make a bundle off of blowing up that thing we used to call 'western civilization' and then claim insurance on the debris of our dreams.

"His own fate and that of his progeny are at stake.”

Yeah...I'll buy that bit...the rest is just more smoke n mirrors...designed to deceive n confuse. Economics is not rocket science bud...remove the moneychangers from the temple...everthing gonna be alright.

Winston of Oceania's picture

You might try reading it first...

Human Action available at

JOYFUL's picture

I don't trade in derivatives...

Cantillon, Petty, JB Say... the original economical thinkers and masters still today - everything we needed to know about the way 'economies' really work was written before Malthus  and Smith even picked up a pen...

each to their own...I also prefer Swift over Orwell*...something about the way they used to write in the English languange. Your stuff, on the other hand...presents sort of like Scientology...kinda cultish - if you don't mind my sayin!

*except for Homage to Catalonia...that was cool.

CrazyCooter's picture

Would I be off base to observe that the "money changes" are not people, they are human nature?

A'int nothing gonna change for the next 1,000 years ... except our source of energy.* And that ladies and gentlement is the elephant in the room.



* - Population is the variable that can easily extend or shorten this timeline. Want oil in 1,000 years? Then billions need to die to get there.

Professorlocknload's picture

"Economics is not rocket science bud..."

And therein lies the premise that is "Human Action."

Most enlightening read I have ever experienced re; Economics.

Being able to see the many truths in that work kept me whole, both financially, and psychologically (well, as far as my limited capabilities would permit on both counts!), through this entire exhibition of egotistical, maniacal, Machiavellian "leadership" chaos.

The day I put the book down, decades ago, I called a PM dealer.



JOYFUL's picture

Agreed...many paths can lead to the same realization.

It would be great if Austrians could realize that 'economics' was not an invention of von Mises, and that one can concur in much of his analysis about the 'state' without need of baptism in the sectarian pond. Too many come off as shill proponents of closed loop thinking that frowns upon diversity and creative thinking.

“The distinctive principle of Western social philosophy is individualism. It aims at the creation of a sphere in which the individual is free to think, to choose, and to act without being restrained by the interference of the social apparatus of coercion and oppression, the State.” Ludwig von Mises, “Liberty and Property” 

Reading that passage a little deeper would help them understand the point.

Professorlocknload's picture

Yes. It's origins go back to include even a bit of Lao Tsu, as do the principles used to found our nation.

Golden Rule, sort of thing, as it were.

Human Action as Human Nature. On the whole, most who get the principle would live and let live. Those unwilling to understand or sacrifice would demand false security, from those who offer it.That's what the State specializes in.

“To lead people, walk beside them ...
As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.
The next best, the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ...
When the best leader's work is done the people say,
We did it ourselves!”     Lao Tsu




falak pema's picture

the distinctive feature of western society is the understanding that society is a social construct and by definition corresponds to a social order of elected which defines general good as something that is greater than the sum of its divergent individual aspirations.

It is in defending this social construct that the free will of each individual is vitally necessary, as no society can find balance between shared social values and individual liberties if the latter are not freely conceded towards the general interest. The methodology to achieve consensus on general good is clearly defined in a Republic, and is based on factual debate, expression of different ideas leading to a compromise to which all then adhere; aka analysis and synthesis of the majority view or the dominant party view. Above all, primacy of fact and scientific empiricism is the bedrock of consensus. No social construct is perfect, no social construct stays cast in stone like  creationist ideology. Western civilzation's political and social values  are anchored in no creationist ideology. But all private spiritual values are tolerated if they respect the general good in terms of legally framed laws. This is now the western norm in all developed countries who have signed the universal charter of human rights. 

Individualism is a process in western civilization that does not glorify the individual's interest to the detriment of others, but works  towards the creation of general good which is of greater value than his own glorification; the whole greater than the parts. 

To the victors the spoils becomes to the consensualists the future of the nation, united as one in peace and posperity (one hopes). 

Economics is but a means to an end in the social construct and as such is integrated in the social construct depending on how the prevalent notion of general good defines the realm of the entrepreneur and that of the civil servant of state. Its always been this way, this division of wealth creation/distribution between  "regal" state function/individual realms of endeavour, but the frontier keeps moving as society evolves. 

The economic debate between risk taking and reward making is an ongoing one; between acceptable moral hazard vs commercial/financial/technological adventurism; conservative thinking  and degree of  Schumpeterian creative destruction. 

Mises did not invent hot water. The western thought construct from Greece to Rome to Renaissance to Enlightenment to current industrial/ post industrial society is not exclusive to one ethnic race nor one cultural tradition; it is truly universal to man. 

JOYFUL's picture

.. Its always been this way, this division of wealth creation/distribution between  "regal" state function/individual realms of endeavour...

A Fundamental misreading of history, which goes far in explaining the consecutive errors which lead you to overpraise the theoreticians whose vain C18th speculations set the stage for continental bloodbath, and to, like them, extropolate a supposed 'Nature of the State' from an equally fantastical "State of Nature" .... inventions beloved of your "Enlightenment" pals and yourself.

much, if not most of the wealth of western societies has been siphoned off from the hands of both producers and the 'regal' state into those of the usurer and moneychangers, whose work does not create nor add to wealth, but merely parasitizes has always been 'this' way...when their selfish and anti-social activites have not been proscribed by wise kings and polities.

To ignore this dynamic, which distorts both 'natural' function of markets(and puts paid to the hopes of the economic theorist for 'an invisible hand' which guides them)and the equilibrium of societies, is to put cart before horse...and spend one's time in statis...going neither forwards nor backwards, merely muttering incantations and arcane formula to weave a 'social contract' out of thin air...and a majic carpet on which to float away from the dilemma of one's stasis.

...Above all, primacy of fact and scientific empiricism is the bedrock of consensus.... so you say...

If only it were true! Instead, a million speculative constructions fill the minds of social theorists, and advance nothing more than their own interests at the expense of the real 'greater good' olde con game! Current 'consensus' is based upon nothing more than an agreed 'contract' that turns 'citizens' into 'consumers' from whom wealth is extracted by a tyrannical state, to be in turn delivered to a parasitical phariseutical pirate state in the Middle East!

“ the source or material from which Wealth is extracted... human labour is the form which produces it... and Wealth in itself is no other than the sustenance, the conveniences, and the com-forts of life.”  Contrast Cantillon's simple and elegant summation of the whole situation with the bleatings of tiresome 'speculators' of the word, who, like speculators of the coin, work tirelessly to relieve the rest of us of the fruits of our labors and liberties...via intellectual or financial sleight of hand!


Oldwood's picture


The vast majority of the world's population are sheep and always have been. Our leading elites have always known this and in their role have sought to refine their "husbandry" skills. Technology, through this enabling of information control, has finally provided the tools needed to gain the control they have always worked toward. Those of us who resist this will be trampled by the herd of mindless sheep, lunging from fear or greed, both artificial inventions of the state. When we read the fictions from our past that sought to warn us, they almost always demonstrated the plot through the state’s use of technology to dominate us. Ultimately the control of information. We can laugh at this as all being fiction because it was once written so, but only a fool would choose to ignore what we now face.

CrazyCooter's picture

Our leading elites have always known this and in their role have sought to refine their "husbandry" skills.

Well said! I like this whole application of the word "husbandry" to the subject at hand. It fits exceptionally well and I never though to use it in such a manner.



Professorlocknload's picture

Ha! Husbandry. I can visualize Nancy P , gleam in eye, pulling on a shoulder length latex glove!

The continual flow of creative thought processes here. Love it!

Carry on!

MedicalQuack's picture

No doubt that cash will become king again or perhaps some other form of currency to where we can't be tracked.  In the US health insurance companies are buying our Master Card and Visa purchase records now.  When will it all stop.  Blue Cross said they are scanning such records to make note of people buying larger sized clothes for one.  Of course the banks make billions selling this data. 

I keep saying that data selling needs to be regualted and all who do such should register and get a license.  This is the killer activity that goes on behind the scenes and when is enough enough!  I am hoping with this post to draw attention to this as nobody that has health insurance is immune and perahapt it will strike a nerve somewhere wiht the 1%.  This is really bad. 

People are bombed with advertisers too and a friend of mine filled out a form recenlty with family history of illness and ever since that day she's bombed with pre diabetes advertisers.  She's not a diabetic but parents developed it late in life, like in their 70s so now she's catagorized as a pre-diabetic even though all her tests have been fine.

The data selling epidemic is stifling manufacturing big time as the profits for running some code are so huge and it hurts consumers big time with flawed data.  This should make all steaming mad.  Insuers of course are right in there wiht the banks.  Why does a health insurance company need to see all my electronic purchases?  In going through all of the data they can see what kind of gas I put in my car, where I eat out, you name it.  This is totally unjust and time for the FTC to take some action as it's getting worse and the data is becoming more flawed each time it is resold and requeried.

CrazyCooter's picture

If you go back to the common law roots, which did not have modern technology, you wiil likely find the notion that your data is your property. If that was baked into the cake before we invented all this computer crap, the world would be very different right now.

All that needs to happen is for a persons "data" to be considered their "property" and all is well

Won't happen, but there you go.



mkhs's picture

Ever consider using cash?  Priceless.

Fuh Querada's picture

Economics currently: an abortion masquerading as an academic "discipline".

New American Revolution's picture

I think both Von Mises and Buckler are guilty of the ignorance they accuse everyone else of committing, and that is the understanding and awareness of the very model and means governing the markets.   Economics is not the highest calling, nor the most important.  That is reserved to the Political Scientist, for it is in the science of politics that the models are identified to which all else, i.e. government, markets, and economics, must respond.  

I have yet to see one economist make note of the role of the operating model of government makes on the formula's conconcted in the pursuit of economic alchemy.  They are completely ignorant of the two different operating models of government and the impact each has on the roles played by government, markets, and economics.  

These two are the government models that define tyranny and its diametric opposite, Liberty.   They are two vastly different operating models with two vastly divergent consequence.   Until this is recognized and addressed, the world is condemned to spiral around and down the cold porcelin vessel in which we are left to swim.   By their ignorance, the job of the economist is to justify the unjustifiable.   The closest I have ever seen an economist come to this realization is first Rothbard, and then Von Mises.  But before they are able to connect the dots and linkage, they both fail to make that final step and key connection, acting as if it does not exist.

Is it any wonder then that the people, deprived of the intellectual recognition of the economic impact of a Liberty based governing model, cannot recognize what even those they look to cannot discern?

If you care to, you can review the political, economic, and historic reality of Liberty at   If anyone can punch holes in it I would love to hear about it.  But todate, I have heard no rebuttle and it is not that hard to understand and reflects not only common sense, but it's mathematic logic, as both tyranny and Liberty define each by which they are not.

Serfs Up America!

Sean7k's picture

One, I've tried your link multiple times and it doesn't work.

Two, Mises writings on political systems is quite well known, as are Rothbards and Hayek (the Road to Serfdom) . If you go back farther, you find Bastiat, Say, and Contillon- all political economists. However, as Economics is captured by a lack of free markets and governmental tyranny, Political science is captured by Elitish control and banker funding. Both are futher bottled up by academia- again captured by the Rothschild-Rockerfeller nexus.None of the economists I listed would have separated politics from economics.

Liberty is merely the opposite of control, control being the goal of government. You cannot pursue liberty through government for they are natural enemies. Liberty functions best when it is paired with personal responsibility. Control functions best when it is purposely decentralized and shackled. 

Edit: found your site, a superpac. 

Your definition of liberty is self serving and juvenile. As if you can control the Eltes by centering power in Congress, as if Congress wasn't completely infiltrated long before powers were taken by the executive. Please learn some history. It was Congress where the second national bank found their access to power, it was the executive that removed it.

Sell your pamplets and money begging somewhere else.

Professorlocknload's picture

Well said there Sean.

"Aye, free! Free as a tethered ass!" —W.S. Gilbert  

(thanks Sheldon,

Free anything cannot survive tethered to the special interest whims of political "scientists."(The art of stealing your vote your liberty and your money)

Liberty: The power to do as one pleases. Just don't scare the horses.  (self explanatory, no ref.)

Any solution isn't in replacing one power elite with another. The solution can be found in denying consent to the rulers, diminishing their strangle hold, and conceding self determination to the world's smallest minority. The individual. The real "root" of Liberty.

The 10th should have been 5 words long. "Congress Shall Make no Laws."

Imagine a system of self governance based on a union of individual states, each able to determine it's own destiny? What a concept.

Don't like it in one, pack up and go to one that agrees more with your schtick. May the best ideas win.

Or, let your central planning political scientists decide what's best for you. Despots like that.




Ourrulersknowbest's picture

If people want to be subjugated and controlled,who among us has the right to stand in the way of this wish?all any free person can do is look for their own truth and follow it.i have long since given up trying to persuade or even cajole those around me to see the light that most zhers see.unlike religions which are based on dogma and control,I have no right to evangelise my truth and press it on others.
If the dumb fuck sheeple want to graze with the wolves ,then it is entirely their right.when TSHTF those who follow their own truth will be where they are.if i(and those of a simaler mind) are correct,then yippee for us.if not,I have no problem with being wrong.
Interesting times indeed......

SmallerGovNow2's picture

problem is that those same dumb fuck sheep lead us to dumb fuck politicians that make up the rules....