Brandon Smith Warns 'The Virtual Economy' Is The End Of Freedom

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

There is one simple rule to follow when understanding the tragic history of economies: Never put blind faith in a system built on an establishment-created foundation. You would think this would not be a difficult concept to grasp being that we have so many examples of controlled economies and collapse to reference over the centuries, but in our era more than ever the allure of a virtual world with promises of endless wealth and ease is overwhelming.

Yes, I am referring primarily to cyptocurrency "tulip-mania" (sorry bitcoiners, the description is too fitting, it isn't going away), but not this issue alone. I am also referring to a far-reaching problem of which cryptocurrencies are a mere reflection.

Namely, the fact that humanity is swiftly losing sight of what a true economy is and what it is supposed to accomplish. It is because of this reality that crypto is thriving.

First, let's be clear, fiat currencies are one of the first machinations of the virtual economy. Once paper currencies printed from thin air by central bankers were separated from tangible backing and accepted by the masses as "valuable" and worth trading labor for, the seed of financial cancer was planted. Today, there is one final step needed for the establishment to accomplish complete tyranny in global trade and that is to disconnect the masses fully from private transactions. In other words, we must be tricked into going digital, where privacy is an absurd memory.

Virtual economics is appealing for several reasons, most of them bad.

Americans and much of the west in particular are increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of real production. The latest generation coming into political and social influence, the millenials, is a perfect example. Surveys show American millenials more than any other generation lack basic workplace competency skills, including scoring low on arithmetic and reading comprehension. Often portrayed as "tech savvy" in popular culture and the media, millenials are quite inept when it comes to core skills that fuel strong business and trade, which is part of the reason why the U.S. is falling into the shadow of foreign workforces.

Millenials in the West also exhibit abysmal technical skills in international testing and lag far behind foreign peers. This has come as a surprise to many mainstream economists and social analysts, primarily because millenials are also considered the "most educated" generation ever. But, of course, we have not only been given a virtual economy in recent decades, but also a virtual educational system. A majority of millenials are lacking when it comes to key production skills and entrepreneurship methods because they have been trained to dismiss such skills as negligible. In other words, millenials have been conditioned to be academic idiots.

Why go through the struggle and hardship required to become an effective producer of tangible necessities when it is far easier to join a collectivist drive for socialism and a structure in which little to no work is required to obtain such necessities? Why not steal from a productive minority and spread it thinly enough to keep the unskilled majority fed? It is only within this kind of culture that virtual production, a virtual society and virtual "money" is seen as an ideal solution.

The notion is becoming more and more prevalent in our popular media, and I believe this is rather symbolic (or ironic) of our conundrum.

For example, consider the book Ready Player One, a pop-culture craze and archetypal zeitgeist for millenials soon to be released as an intended Hollywood blockbuster directed by Steven Spielberg. The novel depicts the world of 2045, a world in which fossil fuel depletion and "global warming" have triggered economic and social decline (Remember in the 1980s when they used to tell us that global warming was going to melt the polar icecaps and we would be under water by the year 2000?). A totalitarian governing body controlled by corporate behemoths rules over the dystopian sprawl.

In response to an ever painful existence in the real world, the masses have sought to escape to a virtual world called "the Oasis," created by a programming genius. The Oasis becomes a nexus for the global economy and a virtual society.

This sounds like a rousing background for a story of rebellion, and it is about that... sort of. Unfortunately, here is where the disturbing ties between our world and the fictional world of Ready Player One meet. The "rebellion" is for all intents and purposes also virtual, and for millenial audiences in particular, this is supposed to be inspiring.

Perhaps this is why cryptocurrencies are so appealing to the millenial crowd in particular. Think about it — the dismal economic doldrums of Ready Player One exist NOW; we don't have to wait until 2045. Millenials are already feeling disaffected, indebted and disenfranchised, and most of them are also skill-less. Self reliance to them is an idea so alien it rarely if ever crosses their minds. So, how do they fight back? Or, how are they tricked into thinking they can fight back against a virtual system that has left them in the gutter? Why, with a virtual community and a virtual currency, of course.

Millenials and others think that they are going to rebel and "take down the banking oligarchs" with nothing more than digital markers representing "coins" tracked on a digital ledger created by an anonymous genius programmer/programmers. Delusional? Yes. But like I said earlier, it is an appealing notion.

Here is the issue, though; true money requires intrinsic value. Cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value. They are conjured from nothing by programmers, they are "mined" in a virtual mine created from nothing, and they have no unique aspects that make them rare or tangibly useful. They are an easily replicated digital product. Anyone can create a cryptocurrency. And for those that argue that "math gives crypto intrinsic value," I'm sorry to break it to them, but the math is free.

In fact, for those that are not already aware, Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hash function, created by none other than the National Security Agency (NSA) and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

Yes, that's right, Bitcoin would not exist without the foundation built by the NSA. Not only this, but the entire concept for a system remarkably similar to bitcoin was published by the NSA way back in 1996 in a paper called "How To Make A Mint: The Cryptography Of Anonymous Electronic Cash."

The origins of bitcoin and thus the origins of crytpocurrencies and the blockchain ledger suggest anything other than a legitimate rebellion against the establishment framework and international financiers. I often cite this same problem when people come to me with arguments that the internet has set the stage for the collapse of the globalist information filter and the mainstream media. The truth is, the internet is also an establishment creation developed by DARPA, and as Edward Snowden exposed in his data dumps, the NSA has total information awareness and backdoor control over every aspect of web data.

Many people believe the free flow of information on the internet is a weapon in favor of the liberty movement, but it is also a weapon in favor of the establishment. With a macro overview of data flows, entities like Google can even predict future social trends and instabilities, not to mention peek into every personal detail of an individual's life and past.

To summarize, cryptocurrencies are built upon an establishment designed framework, and they are entirely dependent on an establishment created and controlled vehicle (the internet) in order to function and perpetuate trade.  How exactly is this "decentralization", again?

TOTAL information awareness is the goal here; and blockchain technology helps the powers-that-be remove one of the last obstacles: private personal trade transactions. Years ago, a common argument presented in favor of bitcoin was that it was "completely anonymous."  Today, this is being proven more and more a lie. Even now, in the wake of open admissions by major bitcoin proponents that the system is NOT anonymous, people still claim anonymity is possible through various measures, but this has not proven to sway the FBI or IRS which have for years now been using resources such as Chainanalysis to track bitcoin users when they feel like doing so, including those users that have taken stringent measures to hide themselves.

Bitcoin proponents will argue that "new developments" and even new cryptocurrencies are solving this problem. Yet, this was the mantra back when bitcoin was first hitting the alternative media. It wasn't a trustworthy assumption back then, so why would it be a trustworthy assumption now? The only proper assumption to make is that nothing digital is anonymous. Period.

With the ludicrous spike in bitcoin prices, champions of the virtual economy are unlikely to listen to any questions or criticisms. I have never argued one way or the other in terms of bitcoin's potential "market value," because it does not really matter. I have only ever argued that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are in no way a solution to combating the international and central banks.  In fact, cyrptocurrencies only seem to be expediting their plan for full spectrum digitization and the issuance of a global currency system.

Bitcoin could easily hit $100,000, but its "value" is truly irrelevant and consistently hyped as if it makes bitcoin self evident as a solution to globalism. The higher the bitcoin price goes, the more the bitcoin cult claims victory, yet the lack of intrinsic value never seems to cross their minds. They have Scrooge McDuck-like visions of swimming in a vault of virtual millions. They'll only accuse you of being an "old fogey" that "does not understanding what the blockchain is."

The fact is, they are the one's that do not really understand what the blockchain is — a framework for a completely cashless society in which trade anonymity is dead and economic freedom is destroyed.

Ask yourself this: Why is it that central banks around the world (including the BIS and IMF) are investing in Bitcoin and other crytpocurrencies while developing their own crypto systems based on a similar framework? Could it be that THIS infusion of capital and infrastructure from major banks is the most likely explanation for the incredible spike in the bitcoin market?  Why is it that globalist banking conglomerates like Goldman Sachs lavish blockchain technology with praise in their white papers? And, why are central bankers like Ben Bernanke speaking in favor of crypto at major cryptocurrency conferences if crypto is such a threat to central bank control?

Answer — because it is not a threat. 

They benefit from a cashless system, and liberty champions are helping to give it to them.

Above all else, the virtual economy breeds weakness in society. It encourages a lack of tangible production. Instead of true producers, entrepreneurs and inventors, we have people scrambling to sell real world property in order to buy computing rigs capable of "mining" coins that do not really exist. That is to say, we may one day soon be faced with millions of citizens expending their labor and energy in order to obtain digital nothings programmed into existence and given artificial scarcity (for now).

It also encourages false rebellion. Real change requires actions in the real world. Removing banking elitists and their structures by force if necessary (and this will probably be necessary). Instead, freedom activists are being convinced that they will never have to lift a finger to beat the bankers. All they have to do is buy and mine crypto. The day will come in the near future when the folks that embrace this nonsense will wake up and realize they have wasted their energies chasing a unicorn and are ill prepared to weather the economic reset that continues to evolve.

To maintain a real economy in which people are self reliant and safe from fiscal shock, you need three things: tangible localized and decentralized production, independent and decentralized trade networks that are not structured around an establishment controlled system (like the internet is controlled), and the will to apply force to protect and preserve that production and those networks. If you cannot manufacture a useful thing, repair a useful thing or teach a useful skill, then you are essentially useless in a real economy. If you do not have localized trade, you have nothing.  If you do not have the mindset and the community of independent people required to protect your local production, then you will not be able to keep the economy you have built.

This is the cold hard truth that crypto proponents do not want to discuss, and will dismiss outright as "archaic" or "not obtainable." The virtual economy is so much easier, so much more enticing, so much more comfortable. Why risk anything or everything in a real world effort to build a concrete trade network in your own neighborhood or town? Why risk everything by promoting true decentralization through localized commodity-backed money and barter systems? Why risk everything by defending those systems when the establishment seeks to crush them? Why do this, when you can pretend you are a virtual hero wielding virtual weapons in a no risk rebellion in a world of electronic ones and zeros?

In truth, the virtual economy is not legitimate decentralization, it is a weapon of mass distraction engineered to kill legitimate decentralization.

Comments

2000 Common_Law Thu, 12/14/2017 - 06:48 Permalink

You all do realize that SHA-2 (the family of cyphers that SHA-256 belongs to) is used in basically all current internet encryption right? Your bank account, eBay, Craigslist, PayPal and any other accounts you have are almost all secured using SHA-2 (SHA-2 is used in TLS, SSL, PGP (yeah the thing Snowden suggests people use to encrypt)). I say "almost" simply because I'm sure there are a few edge cases that I am not aware of. Basically, if you see that little green lock in your browser address bar, you can be assured that SHA-2 has a hand in it.If you're concerned about BitCoin being compromised, then all the internet is compromised. This includes your bank accounts and the networks that your credit and debit cards pass through. They all use SHA-2.It's also used in email signing (DKIM) to confirm that the person who sent the email actually did send it. It's the same verification that confirmed Ol' Clinton and Johnny P sent the emails that were leaked. Can't have it both ways.

In reply to by Common_Law

eforce runningman18 Thu, 12/14/2017 - 10:01 Permalink

While virtual currency removes privacy for the people it also removes it for the state, if we are to remove the scourge of socialism, I think an uncorruptable public legeer is one way to do it, and The Protocols said that liberalism would eventually be removed after allowing it to go completely off the rails (it has).

In reply to by runningman18

old naughty malek Fri, 12/15/2017 - 01:13 Permalink

But wait, Tech Insider reported China built a 1B virtual reality theme park in a economically-poor region, now that's VE for freedom, no?
Wonder why these days Ching's rush into everything AI and virtual, surly not just to beat out everyone else's...

And we have Tim Cook praising China insight in investing in vocational education resulted in good tooling skills and claimed would have no problem filling large room with engineers while USsA fell way short?

Folks, don't miss the forest, albeit virtual.

In reply to by malek

zorba THE GREEK Wed, 12/13/2017 - 23:04 Permalink

It seems that a lot of ZHers have been sucked into the virtual swamp where they will first be fleeced and then enslaved. Physical is the way. But I guess there will always be the culling of the herd.

HRClinton zorba THE GREEK Thu, 12/14/2017 - 02:12 Permalink

Can't speak for the Newbies into BTC, but an "old timer" HODLer like myself, is leveraging the exponential growth in its value, by rebalancing my cyber portfolio.As I've told you numerous times in recent weeks, I converted some into AU, and some of that into an offshore condo. To where I'll be moving soon.I have NO interest in converting it into a pile of Plantation fiat. I plan to stay in the "John Galt" PARALLEL Economy. Parallel Economy Currency = AU + Barter + Crypto  = Outflow of FRB fiat into decentralized, untracked assets 

In reply to by zorba THE GREEK

NoPension HRClinton Thu, 12/14/2017 - 06:41 Permalink

All of these responses....and they almost 100% back up the article...

All of you Bitcoin HODlers ( I'm starting to loathe that fucking term) are going to get rich...and show everyone how smart you are...by manipulating the right digital digits. For all I can see....this is nothing but a virtual casino...and you cats have managed to get in first. And at least the " miners" expended energy and hardware...you guys just latched on to the latest tech creation ( virtual pyramid sceme ) and are riding the " get rich quick " sceme.

And for now...some have made huge windfall profits ( first in) ...but the exits are a little too small if panic starts.

Someone will write...I'm just envious. To some extant, yeah..sure. I'm at my core..a stupid human who can easily ( harder than most, though) be conditioned to minimum input for and easy way.

But I view my life like this...the things YOUR money buys, or is required to buy...I can do on my own, with my own tools and two hands. So...I don't require a pile of cash ( it's nice!) digital or fiat...to get a lot of required things out of life.

Put another way...if you are a Bitcoin billionaire...and can't fix an overflowing toilet...you are fucking useless. Because..like Brandon warns, when all the kids rush to be in the virtual casino...who is left to fix your car? Toilet? Teeth? Roads?
Btw ...I don't take Bitcoin. Cash or pm.

Edit...stop call it a fucking investment. It's a bet...like at the track or a casino. An investment is buying into something productive, that you share in the returns. The markets today, especially BC...are not investments.

In reply to by HRClinton

cherry picker Wed, 12/13/2017 - 23:05 Permalink

There is no country or government or currency that a human being can have 100% faith in as none of them are perfect.Knowing that and having observed what happens when power goes out and governments are hamstrung or filled with corruption, such as in Puerto Rico, the best a person may do to look after him or herself, insure there is enough food, water and shelter if there are climate extremes as that is all that is needed to survive and hope for a better day when the SHTF.  

nati cherry picker Thu, 12/14/2017 - 00:12 Permalink

There is no form of wealth or value--be it fiat, PMs, cryptos, works of art, real estate or even the shirt off your back--that the criminal gang we have been conditioned to believe are "the authorities" that we call "the government" can't take away, by force, anytime they please.The system that they have created is a debt slave prison designed to steal every last sheckel out of our pockets. It will chew us up and spit us out, because that is how it is supposed to work. There is no political solution. There is no technical solution. The system cannot be "fixed" or changed from within (i.e. playing by the system's rules). Our only chance for freedom in the future lies in total destruction of the system.But that will never happen. Not because the system is too powerful, but because we are too weak.

In reply to by cherry picker

Escrava Isaura nati Thu, 12/14/2017 - 01:28 Permalink

Good short analyze. I just would like to add that what you wrote: The system that they (humans) have created (capitalism). We’re witnessing American capitalism destroy itself faster than the civilization collapse arrives. How will you be able to tell? In the next 4 years watch the inequality grow, half of the working adults won’t be able to meet basic needs, and families going hungry will be widespread. And you can blame these on the conservative policies of Trump’s tax-cuts even that, most likely, the democrats will be in power by then. But, it will be too late.  
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In reply to by nati

Memedada Escrava Isaura Thu, 12/14/2017 - 06:43 Permalink

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Agree: this is the natural end stage of capitalism (the accumulation of capital in fewer and fewer hands is now almost complete = the 0,01 % will soon own everything of importance). But why do you think that Trump is to blame? He is a very small fish, a pawn/puppet and of no independent importance as anything else as a scripted actor (just like Obama). And why do you think the Democrats have a different agenda than the Republicans (that is the agenda of serving their corporate masters)?

In reply to by Escrava Isaura

NoPension Escrava Isaura Thu, 12/14/2017 - 06:52 Permalink

You are not witnessing the collapse of capitalism.

You are witnessing the end result of 50 years of the " niggering " of the United States.

50 years of proclaiming everyone is equal. ( they are NOT!)
50 years of Affirmative Action to make up for past perceived wrongs.
50 years of identity politics.
50 years of the welfare state..subsidizing the lowest common denominator.
And 50 years of offshoring our production, open borders, and financializing everything.

I could go on and on, but it's a waste of time. The system must collapse under its own weight..then maybe..we have a chance to make it right again.
But, I'm not hopeful.

Witness now..the utter in your fucking face lawlessness and corruption of the institutions we are supposed to hold most dear and in-corruptible.

In reply to by Escrava Isaura

Memedada nati Thu, 12/14/2017 - 06:47 Permalink

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Or you tap out – go of grid – create communities outside the current system. They are already there so you can go join one... But otherwise I agree – especially in a US context where people are so dumbed down that they wouldn’t be able to formulate alternatives to their own enslavement/the current predicament…

In reply to by nati

dasein211 Wed, 12/13/2017 - 23:08 Permalink

I can’t even write down all the problems this article has with understanding crypto. The government helped invent the internet so nobody use it or you are under a totalitarian regime!!! And roads!!! Don’t use government built roads or you are hopelessly locked in the system!!!!

HRClinton red1chief Thu, 12/14/2017 - 02:25 Permalink

Re "with electronic currency privacy will be completely gone."That's not a fact, but a suspicion or fear -- that is not founded on any serious skills in cyber security,  online privacy or OpSec.I don't have the time or the patience to elaborate or spoon-feed whelps, but suffice it to say that some CCs have untraceable security, e.g. MXN/Monero.It's getting pretty tiring, having to read the brainless and uninformed drivel and mental diarrhea from trolls, mental midgets, and those stuck in the 1800s mindset.

In reply to by red1chief

Global Douche runningman18 Thu, 12/14/2017 - 00:42 Permalink

Don't forget, Bitcoin is truly international so it matters not if it remains legal in America, although I doubt irrational regulation (other than from NY State) will squish it. It would require a worldwide ban of it, although if the Blockchain is provided via Satellite then to exchanges, even the Great Firewall of the Empires may not be of use. I can still spend it or acquire more and do so elsewhere. There are nations whom recognize Bitcoin. If it remains intact, they'll benefit from it. South Korea is having to deal with this on several fronts. Their neighbors want to hack exchanges and their citizens will likely get new regulations which are likely not necesssary.

In reply to by runningman18

Implied Violins dasein211 Wed, 12/13/2017 - 23:20 Permalink

And don't use computers either!! Because the government 'helped' Seagate and Intel to develop their drives and chips so that everyone would be totally locked into the system!!

ttps://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/20/intel_flags_firmware_flaws/

https://www.bankinfosecurity.com/millions-computers-affected-by-intel-f…

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/17/kaspersky_labs_equation_group/

When you can't even trust the hardware you use to make transactions, how can anyone even begin to trust crypto currencies??

In reply to by dasein211

NoPension SixIsNinE Thu, 12/14/2017 - 06:59 Permalink

The " con job " will be complete when Amazon takes Bitcoin.

In the future...you'll get " credits " and spend them at the company store.

And fucks will line up to get tattoos and chips embedded!!

Mike Judge is a fucking modern day Nostradamus!

Tell me the Costco in the movie is not an Amazon distribution facility in 20 years!!

I like money.

In reply to by SixIsNinE

tattmaster Wed, 12/13/2017 - 23:12 Permalink

first of all, don't act like baby boomers or gen X didn't engage or profit even more wildly from similar socialization/financialization economy schemes.second, part of bitcoin is simply a sort of payment gateway processer striving for low fees - like paypal.   

SixIsNinE Thu, 12/14/2017 - 00:32 Permalink

yeah, like we're real free now, eh? now if you want to really Red Pill for today,check out the ongoing evidence of intentional california fires :https://youtu.be/tsu9Sve72Hghttps://youtu.be/ohqsUOmeq8w Debora Tavares, of stopthecrime.net, even put out warnings 2.5 years ago, you can get the vid from those two links above ;this is agenda21 in action and using the directed energy lasers.   there are thousands of people who's homes are completely gone and have been forced into NOT rebuilding and forfeiting rights of homeowner - don't believe it? It is PG&E, CPUC, media is owned, already putting out the narrative that the neighborhoods were not built well, too many cul-de-sacs, have to rebuild with high-density housing and "tiny" homes.the Bel-Air H-weird fires are very interesting.   this guy is good @  aplanetruth.info  and he made a backup aplaintruth also for youtube censoringEDIT:  OMG!   check this one :  https://youtu.be/JCtE50WVsNo  -you've got to see this - zerohedge -  please cover this Tyler!