Guest Post: The New Praetorians And The New Cold War

Tyler Durden's picture

Originally posted at Golem XIV blog,

In a democracy rule is by consent. In a dictatorship it is by control.

Which do we have in the West? It seems to me, it is no longer clear. We certainly still have the rituals of rule by consent. But behind the elected front men and women is a shadow state. It’s people ritually swear allegiance to those we elect. They declare themselves there to serve and protect. But when it is us they spend their time spying on, whose interests are they protecting? Can you really serve those you do not trust?

In 2008 we discovered that behind the banking system we knew about, there was a vast shadow banking system whose size most of us never suspected. In 2013 we have glimpsed not only the scale of the shadow state but the degree to which it, like the shadow banking system, is out of control and not working for us at all.

Of course Mr Obama and the ‘security chiefs’, brought blinking into the unwelcome light,  justify themselves by telling us that all those things they never saw fit to mention to us, or even to the people we spend so much time electing, have been saving us from un-named terrors. Are we to take such unverifiable assurances at face value from people who we know do not trust us and who make a profession of lying to us?  I remember when Treasury Secretary Paulson told the US Congress that unless they stopped asking questions and simply handed him $600 billion  to bail out the shadow banking system, there would be anarchy and tanks on the streets. Am I wrong to see a parallel?

Before I go on I would like, for the sake of clarity, to make it clear that I am not a Libertarian and therefore my criticisms of the State do not spring from a prior antipathy. I do not consider the State to be an intrinsically bad or untrustworthy thing. I do think the State, like any organization can be, and I think has been, corrupted and perverted. I think some people within the ‘State as we know it’ – the elected part and its attendant civil service – have colluded with the rise of what I am calling the Shadow State. Libertarians may feel the idea of a Shadow State is superfluous. To them I would say, they might, a few years ago, have thought the idea of a shadow banking system was similarly superflous. But it exists nevertheless.

The New Praetorians

The problem with giving people and institutions power over us, even when those people are supposed to be there to protect us, is that power begets the desire for more power. The Praetorians began as an elite corp of body guards, sworn to protect Rome’s military commanders and later the Emperors. But in less than 50 years between the Emperor Augustus and Claudius, the Praetorians changed from protectors of the Emperor, to the force who chose him. The Praetorians put Claudius on the throne, not the people not the Senate. They did not protect, they chose.

I am not suggesting that the shadow state is already in charge but I am saying they are  in position already to wield huge and carefully hidden, almost unchallengeable power. They are already operating without oversight and outside of the laws which we thought were there to protect us from the state. Ask yourself, when the heat has gone from the embarrassing headlines, will the shadow state of the NSA, GCHQ and allied military, do any different? Will they stop spying on us ? Of course not.

The ugliest truth is not how much America has spied on its own citizens or those of its ‘allies’, but how complicit so many other governments have been. The UK has long been America’s fluffer. But I think it is slowly sinking in, in Germany, that the shadow German state knew what was going on and cooperated. I suggest that the New Cold war isn’t between Nations, it is between the machinery of the Shadow State, in every State, and the citizens of every state.

The New Cold War

Of course European governments want to be seen by their people, to be outraged on their behalf. And some of them genuinely are outraged – those who hadn’t been told. But at the top of our governments and key people in various departments, they were told and they did know.

I recently had a conversation with a former British foreign secretary and asked him if he had been aware of some of the MI6 operations that I happen to know about that had gone on in the 70?s. He told me he was not aware of them and frankly didn’t believe they had gone on. Now of course, if those operations were still classified – and they are – he would hardly have blurted out, “Oh yes, I remember that one.” So saying he didn’t know about them is not proof he didn’t. He could very well have been lying to me.

All I can say is I don’t think he was lying. From how the conversation continued I think he really didn’t know and didn’t believe . What he did tell me, quite frankly (or so it seemed to me) was that the security and intelligence services make a point, for security reasons, of not telling the Foreign Secretary about missions. Which on one level seems reasonable. IF, that is, you trust that the operations being kept from you were in the interests of the people you are there to serve. It is easy, I imagine, for a Foreign Secretary to tell himself that a mission should be kept from him, so long as he convinces himself that it is still going to be congruent with the government’s over all policy. But what underpins this comforting idea?

If a mission is secret why not a whole series of missions, a whole policy? Who says the New Praetorians will limit themselves to protecting and serving the interests and policies of an elected parliament or Congress. What is to stop them having their own policy? After all, the shadow state and its directors remain while Congressmen come and Ministers go.

There will be, as I mentioned, those in our governments who are genuinely shocked, because they were not privy to the shadow state and its secrets. I believe the French government genuinely is outraged. France’s secret state  is not part of the Anglo/American axis, never has been and does not want to be. Their security service is arranged in a very different manner to ours. But the upper levels of Britain’s and Germany’s State are playing a game for public consumption. In the UK the public formula is ‘questions will be asked’. Which we all know is UK government speak for the exact opposite.

In Germany the outrage of being spied upon and being referred to as a ‘target’  by the Americans is real and feeds in to the already long running rivalry between Washington and Berlin. Washington did not and does not not like the new assertiveness of the German state that surfaced at the G20 a few years ago. Washington arrived at the meeting with a plan and found Europe led by Berlin simply refused to comply. The German state had its own plan and as paymasters of Europe it was in a position, with French support, to tell Washington to run along.

I believe it is clear that there is an old-cold-war rivalry between Europe/Germany and Washington. With the UK playing its habitual role of Perfidious Albion. Nominally in Europe but acting as agent for America’s interests at the same time. No one in Europe is ever sure whose interest the UK is aligned with. All they are sure of is that the UK cannot be trusted. And they are right.

The problem, I think, is that this old cold war national rivalry is so familiar and easy to see, that it distracts us from the much more insidious new cold war which is not nation against nation , but shadow state, in every state, against the people of every state.  The battle lines in the new cold war are very different from the old cold war, and we must get used to them.

While some in Germany are outraged because they were not aware of American spying, Merkel and a few others, I feel quite sure, are only shocked that the truth came out. They are angry with the Americans more for letting Snowden reveal the truth more than they are with spying itself.

Some in the German state (and not necessarily those you might imagine – remember the British foreign secretary I spoke to) and some in the BND or perhaps some other part of German Security did know. I think we will find they were collaborating and cooperating with Anglo/American spying. Of course I cannot know this for sure, though I think it will become evident in the coming weeks. The question is, why would they cooperate with a foreign intelligence network spying on German citizens, diplomats and politicians? Especially when they are all telling us how outraged they are.

But beyond the posturing and mock shock, the truth is none of our governments, neither those doing the spying nor those spied upon –  none of our governments – trust any of us. None of them are content any longer with rule by consent. They all now want control. And given the endless financial and economic situation, the ratcheting of austerity, embedded and growing inequality, and the likelihood of another financial crisis within 5 years, they all feel they must have control and they are right – they will need it.

The Americans with the help of the British are the ones who have created the vast, off-balance sheet, unnaccountable machine for keeping records of everything we say to each other, but Germany and other governments are, I strongly suspect, keen to enjoy its fruits. So while many in Germany will focus upon and be genuinely angry at the American state spying upon German people and their representatives, the danger is they will be so focused on this familiar old cold war picture, they will not see the more insidious new cold war, of the shadow state in their own country, spying on them.

Which brings me to the last point I want to make about spying on and collecting data on citizens.

Intelligence Arbitrage

If you want to collect and collate data, and spy upon your citizens why do it yourself and risk being caught? Much like torturing people, it is far better to have other people, in other countries do it. That way, when asked you are able to say, “We do not torture and we do not spy on our own citizens’.

In the intelligence world what they want to be able to say, as reassurance to the politicians not in the inner circle and to the rest of us targets – what they want to say is, ‘We are not allowed to spy on you willy-nilly without judicial and political oversight and without permission. A thin lie but they would like to be able to point to some tissue of oversight and control. They are, after all, servants and protectors of democracy are they not?

So the answer is to have other people do the bit of spying and intercepting that might be embarrassing if it was known about. All that other foreign organization  has to do, is freely offer to ‘share’ their intelligence with you and bingo, you have what you were after but did not spy to get it nor even collude with those who did spy. They offered to share, that’s all.

So who could be of help in this effort? Well Canada , Italy and India are ready and, I suspect, quite willing to arrange an informal, off the books, hush hush, no oversight, reciprocal agreement

Canada is obviously well placed to help the US – if they needed help – with a particularly sensitive target. Italy can help Europe, and India can help anyone who off-shores sensitive data handling to Indian companies.

Canada has its own programme for spying on its citizens run by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), which is part of the Department of National Defence. The programme was first set up in 2005. In 2011 its license was renewed  by the Canadian Defense Secretary, Mr Peter MacKay. The renewed programme is, according to an article in the Globe and Mail, now run under,

…a regime of ministerial directives – decrees not scrutinized by Parliament ….

So it was set up without bothering with parliamentary scrutiny. What do you bet it is felt – by the agency itself and the in-crowd of vetted ministers and officials, that there is no need for parliamentary oversight of its running either?

Of course its only metadata. So don’t you worry yourselves.

In Italy, Mario Monti ‘s out-going, unelected government of technocrats also decided to skip any sort of partlimentary scrutiny and pesky court orders, and issued a Presidential decree, (24th Jan. 2013), outlining new guidelines for

 …the protection of national cyber security  .

According to  Italian Lawyer Fulvio Sazrana in this article,  It basically gives Italian security services almost unlimited access to data and with hardly any oversight at all by parliament or even the courts. Mr Sazrana quotes part of the decree which I ran through a translate programme ( I don’t read Italian)

Article. 11 of Decree obliges operators of telecommunications and internet service provider, but not only, for example, who also manages the airports, dams, energy services, transport, to give access to security services to their databases, for purposes unspecified “security.”

So in Italy it’s not just emails and phone calls, its going to be whole data bases as well. That opens up a whole new lot of data about you.

And then there is India. According an article in the Indian National Newspaper, The Hindu, the Indian state is about to set up a new agency the NCCC (National Cyber Coordination Centre) in which all India’s other security and communications agencies will have a role.  According to a  government note,

“The NCCC will collect, integrate and scan [Internet] traffic data from different gateway routers of major ISPs at a centralised location for analysis, international gateway traffic and domestic traffic will be aggregated separately … The NCCC will facilitate real-time assessment of cyber security threats in the country and generate actionable reports/alerts for proactive actions by the concerned agencies,”

The Indian agency, it is made quite clear, will spy on its own citizens as well as international traffic. It will be real time, so content, not just metadata. Given that Indian citizens log on to Google in America, and UK citizens read articles in the Indian press let’s not fall in to the trap of thinking that what Italy or Canada or India does will not effect us in our own country. Data and those who handle it are  not bound by national boundaries, rules and laws. You only have to look at corporate tax avoidance and evasion to see that.

Now here is my speculation - unfounded as yet – that another tranche of your supposedly privatec and personal data may yet be opened and read. The British state, like many other western nations off-shores its public data handling. NHS records and some tax records are now handled in other countries – the US and India so far.

In Britain such records are protected. But once abroad they are private corporate data. How bound by the laws of a distant State will global companies feel? If they broke UK law who would arrrest them? Undercover British reporters have already found they could buy the health data of British patients from Indian data companies, including,

Databases of information including names, addresses, and NHS numbers are being sent overseas along with private health notes as managers come under increasing pressure to cut costs.

It is illegal but they did it. How open would such data be for a very powerful, lightly  overseen Indian intelligence organization? And might the Indian cyber snooper be very willing to share such information if asked by a curious sister intelligence organization in Britain or America?

Just speculation at the moment.

But what I want to emphasize is that there is a New Cold War but it is not like the old one. It is not country against country. It is the shadow state in every nation against its own people, with the collusion of an inner core within the regular State. If this is correct, and I believe Mr Snowden has made it very difficult to believe otherwise, then we must not allow ourselves to be distracted by politicians and media barons telling us stories in the familiar mold of the old cold war, of one whole country against another, America against Germany, Britain against France, or Greece against Europe. There are, of course, still real rivalries between nations and they do compete with each other and do try to destabilize each other – but this is not our most pressing problem as citizens, as free men and women. I believe our real problem is what I have called the New Cold War. Because our enemy in that war is here among us.

Nominally we live in democracies but the trust which makes government by consent work is eroding fast. Distrust, fear and control are replacing it. And it is not you and me pushing that change. It is the shadow state allied, as I believe it is, with the shadow financial world, which is pushing it.

As I have said before, we are at war – a frighteningly cold war – of austerity and spying, poverty and trial without jury – but the lines are not between nations any more. They are between you and me on one side and an elite who style themselves as technocrat experts and cyber praetorians, here to help, but in reality here to control us and do away with democracy wherever they can.

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SimMaker's picture

"In a democracy rule is by consent."


I never gave my consent for this does one NOT give consent in a "Democracy"? And what happens to you if you do refuse to consent?

g'kar's picture

We vote for our bought off/blackmailed represntatives and expect more than what we got? I pissed away more than enough time contacting my representatives only to get robo-responses that rarely addressed what I contacted them about. The elections are frauds anyways when TPTB want them to be to fit their needs. We are just along for the ride.


PS: We are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy in the US.

knukles's picture

CAreful or you'll never make your way to the Inner Party.
But remain true, for your secret shall remain noted.

earleflorida's picture

we vote? who is this 'electoral college' ye speak of? where is redistricting and jerrymandering givin to ones voice? what is this supreme court that says your corporations are voters too! that says buying an election is,... and has always been the 'land`owners'-- soul privilege!!! 

g'kar's picture

1913 changed everything my friend.

beaglebog's picture

You took the words out of my mouth, SimMaker.


Our Western governmental systems are NOT consensual ... simply because there is no mechanism by which a man may say, "I do not Consent to your Governance".


Seems to me that there are but 3 ways in which one man may exert authority over another.

1 ... by Consent

2 ... by Force

3 ... by Deception.


Welll, it's clear that Governance is non-Consensual, you WILL be governed, like it or not.


That leaves the "other two"; Force and Deception.


ps. I defy any of you to think of a fourth way in which to exert authority.


Winston Smith 2009's picture

"A truly democratic society has never existed and so far as we can see, never will exist. Society is of its nature oligarchical, and the power of the oligarchy always rests upon force and fraud.  James Burnham does not deny that ‘good’ motives may operate in private life, but he maintains that politics consists of the struggle for power, and nothing else. All historical changes finally boil down to the replacement of one ruling class by another. All talk about democracy, liberty, equality, fraternity, all revolutionary movements, all visions of Utopia, or ‘the classless society’, or ‘the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth’, are humbug (not necessarily conscious humbug) covering the ambitions of some new class which is elbowing its way into power. The English Puritans, the Jacobins, the Bolsheviks, were in each case simply power seekers using the hopes of the masses in order to win a privileged position for themselves. Power can sometimes be won or maintained without violence, but never without fraud, because it is necessary to make use of the masses, and the masses would not co-operate if they knew that they were simply serving the purposes of a minority. In each great revolutionary struggle the masses are led on by vague dreams of human brotherhood, and then, when the new ruling class is well established in power, they are thrust back into servitude. This is practically the whole of political history, as Burnham sees it." -- Description of the beliefs of James Burnham (1905–1987), American philosopher, political theorist, and author of the book "The Machiavellians"

ZerOhead's picture

Absolutely     100 %     SPOT     ON    !!!


It matters not  a whiff what " 'ism " those who hunger for power claim to profess for that " ism " is merely the marketing mechanism to achieve power... the end result (even if well intentioned) always turning out the same.

The quest for power is not the means to an end... but the end in itself.

No point in starting a revolution... we have to educate everyone in order to fix what we already have. And soon.


RockyRacoon's picture

But beyond the posturing and mock shock, the truth is none of our governments, neither those doing the spying nor those spied upon –  none of our governments – trust any of us.

Hey... they started it!  We certainly cannot be trusted since the bond of trust has been long corrupted by our own "leaders".  The rot is seeping into the fabric of society at all levels, but rot of this kind starts at the top since that is where the power to "corrupt absolutely" begins.

prains's picture

behind every good shadow is an oligarch, it's taken decades but they've achieved full policy capture and intend on using it to their advantage around the entire globe. That's why all "isms" are irrelevant now, the oligarchs have muddied the water so much everyone is chasing their tails. No more "ism" chanting, keep it the shadows hides the oligarchs, all you need is a flashlight.

docj's picture

Don't worry - we in the US of A don't live in a "democracy" and never have.

Of course we don't really live in a republic anymore either (and haven't for quite some time), so there's that.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

At what point is someone going to suggest the seemingly obvious:

   STOP FUCKING ENLISTING (in the Praetorian Guard)!

[exasperated ]: Sheesh!

And yet, tens of thousands of economically desperate and uninformed, impressionable, semi-literate people keep enlisting in the LEAs and the military.

Not enlisting would have a much, MUCH bigger effect on the Matrix, than "opting out" with a homesteading lifestyle. The former affects the Matrix, whereas the latter affects only the individual (for effective purposes).


SimMaker's picture

I wonder how the draft would go down these days.



RockyRacoon's picture

It would make Tahrir Square look like a family picnic.  Been there in the 60s and seen it.  There are SO many more things about our society to invoke rage than just the Vietnam War.  This time it would be rather serious.

plaspotje's picture

Racoon, I wish you are right , but americans would do nothing, not even the smallest of 

protrest signs, just like the american government would not have the balls to do anything if it was not for the big military corporate machine behind it , israel would not have any balls either, just look at ww2, no fighting back ,just running away to a new continent and start a new financial empire and ripping of the rest, i do not like muslims ,but sure get my respect for showing such strenght with so little equipment behind then, just imagion them having the same military hardware.....

noless's picture

I can't even imagine the head asplode moment for most draft eligible people in the us when they realize that all their inane prattling about "equality" and "fairness" is completely and utterly useless and void.

Just please expand selective service to women before that happens so i can experience a level of schadenfreude only comparable to complete nirvana.

Spanky's picture



"I never gave my consent for this does one NOT give consent in a "Democracy"? And what happens to you if you do refuse to consent?" -- SimMaker

+1 Because you're pissed and ready for change.

-1 Because you don't understand the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Which means it's being used against you... by denying the essential nature of our Constitutional contract.

The Constitution is nothing more than a contract between each and every American citizen. Our contract simply describes how we govern ourselves, and the Constitutional offices -- government -- it defines as our representatives.

We, you and I, are parties to this social contract. Government is the object of our agreement, the subject of our contract. Government cannot legitimately exceed the bounds of our contract as it is not party to it, but merely our agent. Our employee.

When an employee acts toward an employer, as our government now does toward us, what does the employer do?

Thus consent. Specifically your consent to be governed. Our consent to be governed. Or not. Consent is meaningless without the ability to dissent -- to just say No.

To be valuable, genuine, one must be able to answer either Yes or No to the question: Do you consent to be governed under the Constitution?

We answer Yes to this question each time we elect candidates to office. When you vote for a candidate, you implicitly consent to be governed by any candidate elected to the office. As a result of our collective consent, the new government (i.e.: candidates elected to Constitutional offices) is legitimated.

Because your consent to be governed is implicit in voting to fill Constitutional offices, you must revoke your consent explicitly by voting not to fill those offices. Your intent to revoke your consent must be clear and politically relevant. No Candidates, No Consent.

Will the government recognize such a vote? Government has no choice, as it is not party to our contract. Government is our employee, and if enough citizens revoke their consent to be governed, we will have fired those employees occupying Constitutional offices.

Certainly, TPTB, or shadow government as so aptly described above, will declare "winners" in any such contested election. But if, 20-30M vote for candidates and 100-120M vote to revoke their consent will that government be considered legitimate?

Will that 100-120M submit if they know their strength?

noless's picture

So quite literally vote for "nobody" as a write in candidate?

destiny's picture


otto skorzeny's picture

seriously-Canada? the same country that went through people's houses after the recent floods and took their guns while they were gone and then refused to let them return to their homes? Canada is now a bigger Israeli lackey than the US-if that is even possible

francis_sawyer's picture

What do you expect?... They've all been sucking on kosher dogs since the Windsors were the Hannovers...

ZerOhead's picture

Meet Gerry Schwartz (Nigel Wright's former boss...) and Heather Reisman...

Gerry runs $26B ONEX which is the largest private empoyer in Canada..

"He became a major fundraiser for Liberal leaders John Turner and Ontario’s David Peterson, and became friends with finance minister and prime minister Paul Martin. Schwartz also grew personally close to prominent Conservatives, such as then prime minister Brian Mulroney, Toronto financier Hal Jackman, former federal finance minister Michael Wilson. Today, when Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff, and Bob Rae fall over each other to court Jewish voters, they will all have to beat a path to Gerry and Heather’s door."

francis_sawyer's picture

The God of 'money printing', as always, smiles benevolently on the 'chosen' sperm club...

ZerOhead's picture

They boug... errr... donated  and organized their access (some anti-semites might say control) to top levels of both Liberal and Conservative Canadian Governments. (Sound familiar?) Unless it's access to raw power that they are seeking their political leanings sound a little conflicted...

But their passions are clear... they support Israel (understandably) and former Israeli IDF forces through scholarships to the tune of $3M per year amongst other numerous charitable givings...

Take it away Gerry...

The impetus behind such generosity? “We are a family,” Schwartz announced to the scholarship’s first recipients in December 2005. “As Jews who live outside of Israel, I can tell you that family extends to so many nations around the globe... and you’re here not just for yourself, or just for the State of Israel, you are here protecting the freedom of Jews around the world.”

Hmmm... Not entirely sure that WE includes non-semitic Canadians however...

Things that go bump's picture

Soon to be followed by the Gods of the Copy Book Headings.

TradingTroll's picture


Requirement of a gun permit in Canada is that said weapon must be securely locked up when not in use.


Onjy unsecured weapons were seized. Same as in Slave Lake after the fires. You need to get your facts straight.



otto skorzeny's picture

so it's ok for the LE goon squad to poke around in your house while you are gone without a warrant or probable cause? now that's fucking brilliant.

Jack Burton's picture

ZH is a beacon of sanity and intelligence in the vast wasteland of American corporate media and brain dead entertainment. The posts keep getting better.

America has changed so much since 9/11, and so fast, that many Americans have been blindsided by the rise of the Gulag Police State and the spread of debt slavery to children right out of High School.

Is it any wonder that even thinking Americans are confused by what is happening. How else can you explain the passive acceptance of the rise of America's Spy and Secret Police State? How do you explain the passive reaction of Americans to job and income losses while trillions are given to the failed financial services and banking industry as bailouts? How else explain Americans acceptance of the giant Housing and Education bubbles?? Both of which have made large sections of Americans in scared and passive debt slaves. Americans in debt are too scared to react, they need a job, any job, to try and service their debts. meanwhile the propaganda of the media has still been able to convince young people to enlist and fight abroad in dubious wars. Yes, many kids need the job and income, but many others serve for patriotic reasons. They do not yet know what their government is spending their lives on.

This young generation will wake up at some point, when they do, they will have hard questions for the US political system. And they will KNOW that just replacing a democrat with a republican or the other way around is not going to do anything!

Like I said, ZH is an outstanding spreader of intellectual freedom. Read it!

otto skorzeny's picture

I become physically ill when watching MSM media outlets at this point.

knukles's picture

But otto, there's so much on the History Channel today.

NidStyles's picture

What another show about how Hitler was seeking help from aliens, or one of those paranormal investigators has actual footage again?



otto skorzeny's picture

years ago you could plunk down and watch an hour on the Battle of Kursk or Napoleon in Russia or Secret Planes of the Luftwaffe- now it's just more "reality-tv"  shit.

NidStyles's picture

Even a lot of that stuff was carefully crafted propaganda and BS.

Jack Burton's picture

My reaction too Otto. The blatent lies and obvious propaganda is sickening. I especially find the morning economic and business report on National Public  Radio to be gut wrenching! They simply can't report the good news of job growth, income growth, expanding exports, growing technology and housing boom fast enough. Oddly enough,, these are the same assholes who did not report the economic collapse of 2008 until a years after it happened. During the Bust. NPR maintained that this was a short term glitch in an otherwise bright market, and that housing was the perfect time to buy the dip and upscale you home!

Now these sick fucks trumpet the Obama recovery and housing boom as if they believe it. Their economic reports are of equal value to the olf Soviet Pravada reports of record wheat harvests, record tractor production and the joys of Soviet Labor! And I mean that in all seriousness, the lies are such an obvious attempt to brainwash Americans and to support the crony capitalist and financialised economy of 2013!

Otherwise, have a Happy 4th Otto!

ZerOhead's picture

Obama 2008 Campaign of "Rope & Chains"

Yes He Can!

otto skorzeny's picture

same to you- we'll see if we will make it to the next one

TradingTroll's picture


On July 1st, Canada Day, and old Canadian friend who loves San Francisco and works in finance was up here to Canada for the weekend.


Every attemp at stimulating conversation on the following topics elicited blank stares:


Edward Snowden

Michael Hastings

QE to infinity

Eurozone collapse

Arab uprisings

Poisoning if Breitbart coroner

Russian troops in US

Shredding of US Constitution



Finally, frustrated, I asked: "let me guess, you're scared?"


"Yep" was the reply.

Just looking at Youtube videos on cops and military forcefully entering homes in New Orleans post Katrina and seizing weapons without resistance gives one an indication of how this plays out.

Not confused. Scared.


Spanky's picture


You got me at...

Yes, many kids need the job and income, but many others serve for patriotic reasons. They do not yet know what their government is spending their lives on. -- Jack Burton

I was in the second group. And others in my family. Not everyone came back. I wanted to know why.

Gringo Viejo's picture

A hackneyed phrase but true nonetheless.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for supper.

A. Magnus's picture

"...And liberty is an armed sheep contesting the vote."    -Benjamin Franklin

DutchR's picture

Mr Smith, the matrix


I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here.

It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals.

Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not.

You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area.

There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern.

Do you know what it is?

A virus.

Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.

X my fingers

A. Magnus's picture

THAT is the bankers' fucking CREED! Read it again, then look at everything going on in the world today and you can see the matrix for yourself. THEY want the rest of US out of the way so that THEY can exclusively piss away the wealth and resources of this planet. Fucking ingrate bastard cocksuckers, all of them...

Onohymagin's picture

Evolution not based on genetic merit, but based on privilege ;-).

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

If you make more than $10 a day, you're privileged. Roughly 80% of the global population of 7,000,000,000 makes less [source - 2008, warning, PDF]

If you're Caucasian, Male and American (83% accurate hit rate, so I'll go with it) then that figure rises.


So, yes; it's currently based on privilege, not genetics. Your problem is, you're not aware of the way those terms are defined properly, and how much you benefit from them. Remember: those scales get real fair, real fucking fast if the "invisible hand" gets taken off them.


I do hope your cardio is good.





falak pema's picture

Some much verbiage to say one simple phrase that History has bequeathed us :

"We have crossed the Rubicon. Alea jacta est!"

The rest is literature and not power play...

What thou hast sown so thou shalt reap, evil empire. Lay on Macduff.

When thieves fall out...around the sacred Oil patch...


earleflorida's picture

Well done!

But,... you left out WWIII where the carbon matter that shapes the shadow's foreground, are only a moment's`away in an isolated asylum called imperialistic slavery where death shears ones lifeless shackle...

Seer's picture

Same old shit, different day...

The Secret Government: Bill Moyers (1987)

Looking around today I can only state that nothing has diminished.