no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

The Strawman Conspiracy Theory

November 20th, 2011

It is an interesting conspiracy theory that I’ve heard bandied about for years but ultimately I think it is just that: an interesting conspiracy theory, and an utter waste of time. Here is a good primer that sums it up:

For an article that explains in detail the intricacies of this conspiracy theory, you’d think they could fact-check the one verifiable piece of information not subject to tin-foil hypotheticals: The Federal Reserve act of 1913 happened 5 years BEFORE the armistice, therefore WWI could NOT have “depleted the treasury” and could NOT have been an impetus for the Fed.

Moving on…

Why is your name in all capital letters on government documents?

Google the “All Caps” thing. Nothing but conspiracy theories all saying more-or-less the same thing. The ALL CAPS version of your name is a shell corporation which is owned by the government/NWO/Rothschilds/Illuminati/etc. You believe that it’s you, they use this ruse to extract your productive labor in order to service the national debt.

Is it true? Some people claim you can get out of all sorts of trouble by invoking your individual sovereignty and rejecting the assertion that you and all caps YOU are one and the same. Try it in court, and let me know how it turns out for you. There are two reasons why I think this portion of the conspiracy theory is utter bullshit:

  1. The idea that there’s this secret loophole, the “Strawman corporation” defense basically assumes that, despite whatever ill intentions led people to set up such an elaborate ruse (to circumvent individual sovereignty), these same usurpers would actually respect individual sovereignty when called on it, is inconceivable.
  2. If these laws are in-fact secret, if most of the people (95%+) don’t even know they exist then fact is, these laws could say anything, which negates the intent of drafting secret laws and then secretly adhering to them in the first place let alone the preposterous notion that the slavemasters can rely on an army of patsies none of whom have any knowledge of what they’re supposed to be enforcing, yet all of whom miraculously enforce the secret laws (that they don’t know about and would probably abhor if they did know about) in exact accordance with the conspiracy theory.
The other reason is that capitals seem easier to deal with. Fifty or 60 years ago, hell even 30 years ago you were talking about typewriters and whatnot, why worry about 52 characters in the alphabet when you could deal with only 26? It simplifies things. Not a bulletproof rebuttal by any means, but certainly worth noting.

Is your birth certificate the government’s title to property (i.e., you)

The theory takes great pain to establish an “obvious” link between birth certificates and warehouse receipts. The theory claims these are printed by the American Banknote Company and as a result of this therefore your birth certificate is a bond which indentures you to pay off or service the national debt (that the debt is held by a private banking cartel is basically true, though).

According to this belief, everything printed by the American Banknote Company is  imbued with some magical properties and in the case of your birth certificate, this magic makes it a “bond” and this makes you liable for some amount of federal debt which you pay off during the course of your life. My principle objections to this part of the theory are elementary:

  1. The ABNC is essentially a printer/engraver who specializes in stock/bond paper, banknotes, and other secure documents. In other words, they make very nice and durable paper, the sort you would naturally choose for documents intended to survive the test of time.
  2. The mere fact that some (or even all) birth certificates were printed on paper by a company that also produces banknotes does not necessarily mean that these birth certificates are bank notes, bonds, etc.
  3. I further doubt the ABNC produces all birth certificates – some are printed by Midwest Banknote Company which, founded in 1956 does not appear to be a subsidiary of ABNC, and according to this report, there are over 14,000 legitimate forms of birth certificates in existence, and they are issued and processed by over 6,000 entities) and that makes it even less believable.

The government really does own you, though

Yes, as a matter of fact we are essentially slaves. I just think this particular conspiracy is mental masturbation, that’s all.

Whether your birth certificate is (according to the secret law) a title establishing someone else’s ownership of “you”, is irrelevant.

The fact of the matter is that nations, or rather their ruling classes, have always treated the working classes as a sort of “capital” or productive property which enables their largesse – that is, the ruling classes have always bought them, sold them, and mortgaged them as collateral for their debt. They don’t need a “warehouse” receipt. Propaganda is usually sufficient and when that fails firepower almost always works.

The trick is to overcome the propaganda and misinformation without drawing fire.

When enough people have  swallowed the proverbial “red pill” the threat of violence will not be sufficient. Their weapons are only useful against individuals, not ideas. And when the idea that we should all be free has blossomed, neither bullets nor batons will be able to keep us enslaved.

Occupy Protests: Responding to Tea Party Smear Campaign

November 20th, 2011

Responding to some of the attempts to smear the Occupy movement by making ridiculous comparisons to the Tea Party…

It is unfair and intellectually lazy post hoc ergo propter hoc to conclude that all crimes occurring in the vicinity of a protest are inextricably linked to the protest, or ideologically the protesters do not oppose these crimes, or all protesters are criminals like this, etc. Some are crimes of opportunity. I’m not trying to suggest they are excusable, but whenever you have large numbers of people congregating, it presents an opportunity that miscreants may take advantage of (e.g., indecent exposure, theft, etc.).

As for the more serious claims like the 4,000 arrests, the “white house shooter”, $10M worth of damage, and murder, need a little more information. You will have to go through the trouble of manually typing the URLs because the source does not embed them.

  1. Reports on the shooting death of Berkely student say “University police said there is no indication that the incident was related to a day of rallies at Berkeley linked to anti-Wall Street protests.”
  2. The white house shooting article cited in this source indicates that “Police believe Ortega-Hernandez is mentally ill. ” and only that he “may have spent time with” the protesters.
  3. The cited story for the claimed “10 million dollars” damage due to arson says this: Arrest papers available to the public do not connect Occupy Fort Collins to the arson fires, and police made no connection between the group’s protest and Gilmore’s arrest. Organizers could not immediately be reached for comment on Gilmore.
  4. And as for the 4,000 arrests… as I’ve noted before it is not uncommon where large groups congregate in protest for people to be arrested en masse. I theorized why the Tea Party has not been subject to the same sort of scrutiny, but in any event it should be noted that “arrests” are a fake statistic. Pay attention over the weeks and months to come, how many of these 4,000 are actually going to be prosecuted? How many of them will actually be found guilty? The number will be considerably smaller than 4,000.

Further, even if some of these incidents can be pinned on an individual who is supportive of OWS, it is neither fair or accurate to suggest or imply that these outliers are representative of the total OWS population.

The link also suggests that exactly zero tea partiers have committed such crimes. Although it may be verifiable that no protesters (in the act of protest) have committed any such crimes, it is statistically improbably to suggest that no tea partiers, anywhere, ever, have been involved in any criminal act up to and including murder, rape, arson, theft, etc.

And for some additional context, the Tea Party is essentially for preserving existing property relations up to and including gross inequality under (what I believe to be ) a mistaken or incomplete understanding of free market fundamentals. The Tea Party idea that “We just want to keep what we have earned whereas the Occupy protesters want government handouts” is a made-for-TV-pundits talking point, in other words, it is a false dichotomy and demonstrably untrue for many of the people involved in the OWS protests.

And their form of political protest is different – if you can even call it protest. They are not a threat, so the media and the establishment has no need to vilify them by propaganda or provoke them in to making tactical mistakes.


Why Are So Many Occupy Protesters Being Arrested?

November 7th, 2011

Several times in the last week I have seen people compare the OWS protesters (unfavorably) to the Tea Party.  The argument is something like, “How come none of the Tea Partiers ever get arrested even when a guy shows up with a rifle on the Capitol steps? Compare this to OWS where the protesters are being arrested everywhere and in large numbers!”

I don’t know how many Tea Partiers have been arrested. Maybe it is zero. So what?

Protesters being arrested in Atlanta

Protesters being arrested in Atlanta

It is an unsubstantiated question-begging attempt to vilify OWS:  they are criminals because they have been arrested, therefore, disassociate. Notice the blind deference to prevailing ruling class attitudes, questioning neither the legitimacy of the arrests, nor the merits of the protests (I would expect any group seeking real change to consider these factors).

I’ll leave the merits of the protests, these have been covered amply by others. As for the arrests, there are two main reasons why the State arrests people.

  • They are a threat to others (rapists, murderers, robbers, and a great deal of victimless crimes which the state lumps in this category)
  • They are a threat to the State’s existing power relations

First and foremost, as long as OWS remains a dynamic grass-roots movement, and as long as they challenge the very legitimacy of the status quo, they remain a political threat, and so they will continue to be persecuted for trying to bring their dissenting opinions to fruition.

Additionally, OWS’s siege-like tactics present the ruling class with a more sustained problem than other political activists like the Tea Party, who’s strategy thus far has been simply to show up, complain for a few hours, and then go back home to the suburbs. The authorities can’t just wait for the protesters to go home at the end of the day because at the end of the day the protesters are not going home! Because the Tea Party is not waging a sustained protest, they don’t require the attention or scrutiny reserved for larger demonstrations like Occupy; as a result there are far fewer opportunities for the police to intervene.

Aside from the question of strategy, at the end of the day most of the Tea Partiers are still essentially pro-establishment and so they are not being arrested because they don’t matter and they don’t matter because the ruling class knows how to exploit and appease an organized political front.

On the other hand, the ruling class does not know how to handle a Hydra like the Occupy movement. If you want things to change, you’d better pray it remains that way.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics