Russell Brand: The Spiritual Revolution

Russell Brand talks to Alex Jones about humanity’s spiritual revolution and the source of the elite’s power.

Russell Brand: Radical Prophet, Mystical Force of Nature

>by David DeGraw

Russell Brand, that controversial, formerly drug and sex-addicted, adolescent funny man, who was spawned from UK “reality” television, became a movie star with roles in mindless comedy blockbuster hits and was briefly married to a pop princess, has evolved into one of the world’s most important radicals.

In this modern age, where the spectacle of celebrity is used to distract, bamboozle and pacify the masses, where ignorance is placed on a pedestal and repetitiously rammed down our throat, raping our young minds, enslaving us in the all-consuming cult of consumerism and a never-ending narcissistic rat race to the bottom, Russell Brand has emerged as an enlightening force.

Behold, Russell Brand: comedian / trendsetter / thought-leader / revolutionary / spiritual guru. The more you pay attention to him, the more you realize that he is a madly brilliant critical thinker, a prophet of sorts, a spiritual sage, a shaman of radical positivity. Russell knows how to dance with fame, as he sprinkles subversive mind-opening truths like pixie dust.

He is currently on a whirlwind worldwide comedy tour, fittingly called Messiah Complex. His performance weaves through famed radical icons such as Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Gandhi and Jesus. Yes, Jesus the radical, the man who cared about the poor and chased the moneychangers from the temple. Russell makes you yearn for a modern day messiah who can chase Wall Street from our lives and deliver us to freedom. Alas, as Che said, only you can liberate yourself. There is much truth to Che’s words. However, as Brand makes clear, we are bred to follow false idols and live in a “cult of the hero.” Famed social psychologist Jacques Ellul summed it up:

“The cult of the hero is the absolutely necessary complement of the massification of society…. This exaltation of the hero proves that one lives in a mass society. The individual who is prevented by circumstances from becoming a real person, who can no longer express himself through personal thought or action, who finds his aspirations frustrated, projects onto the hero all he would wish to be. He lives vicariously and experiences the… exploits of the god with whom he lives in spiritual symbiosis.”

Russell Brand Messiah Complex tourKnowing that we have this ingrained bias built into our cultural programming, it seems clear that the propaganda-addicted masses need icons, now more than ever, who can help expand their consciousness and inspire them to new ways of thinking and living. As Brand jokes about being the second-coming (in bed, not in the biblical sense), you can’t help but think to yourself; is Brand evolving into one of these very icons he pokes fun of? It may seem like a stretch, and it is extremely high praise to even playfully ponder such a question. That being said, I see Brand as a seriously liberating force with limitless potential as a counter-cultural radical iconoclast.

As he masks his message in an intense, quick-witted, relentless rapid-fire torrent of self-deprecating humor, it subversively slips through your habitual thoughts and hits home in a profound way. Amidst all the laughs, I decipher and sum up his message this way: we are all distracted, dumbed-down and mentally conditioned by mainstream media, while corrupt politicians have been paid off by a small group of shortsighted, greed-addicted billionaires and multinational corporations, who are consolidating wealth and resources on an unprecedented scale, and destroying our future in the process.

This may be commonsense to anyone paying attention to the true state of the world, but for the overwhelming majority, to the propagandized masses, he delivers this eye-opening message in bedazzling fashion, with humorous, disheveled sex appeal, which makes him irresistible to the people who need to hear this message the most. The talented trick of it all, he does it all in a very compassionate, fun-loving, and, most importantly, non-preachy style. As Oscar Wilde once said, “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” Brand lives by that quote, he even has it tattooed on his arm.

Above all, Brand’s spiritual vibe comes through, radiating love and empathy for humanity as a whole. That may make the cynical among us roll their tired eyes, but he pulls it off in a genuine way. Celebrity, sex, spirituality and humor are all highly infectious. These days, they are most often used to manipulate, deceive, divide and disempower us. Brand is now flipping that script, he is using them to empower, enlighten and unite us. His hilarious and controversial bad boy attics have slipped him into mainstream consciousness, and his ever-growing celeb status ensures he will stay there for a while to come. He’s a Trojan horse inside the gates of mainstream media. The soldiers are only just beginning to sneak out, freedom seems within reach.

How many celebrities do you know who can turn a glitzy GQ swank-fest gala into an easily understood rant on the corrupting influence of money in politics? The GQ controversy was just one of several recent bursts of radical enlightenment to come from Brand. (See him school MSNBC “news” anchors here and watch this compilation of clips here.)

Russell is the editor the latest copy of the New Statesman. His theme is Revolution of Consciousness; the magazine features the work of some of the world’s most radical thinkers. In a new must see BBC interview discussing the release of the magazine, Russell is in affable battle mode matching wits and mental jabs with veteran “newsman” Jeremy Paxman. (Watch the video to the right to see one of the most radical interviews you will ever see on mainstream television.)

He opens the magazine with a manifesto of sorts, featuring gems such as these:

“Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites….~

I don’t vote because to me it seems like a tacit act of compliance; I know, I know my grandparents fought in two world wars (and one World Cup) so that I’d have the right to vote. Well, they were conned. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing to vote for. I feel it is a far more potent political act to completely renounce the current paradigm than to participate in even the most trivial and tokenistic manner, by obediently X-ing a little box.~

Total revolution of consciousness and our entire social, political and economic system is what interests me, but that’s not on the ballot….

Apathy is a rational reaction to a system that no longer represents, hears or addresses the vast majority of people. A system that is apathetic, in fact, to the needs of the people it was designed to serve. To me a potent and triumphant leftist movement, aside from the glorious Occupy rumble, is a faint, idealistic whisper from sepia rebels….~

Along with the absolute, all-encompassing total corruption of our political agencies by big business, this apathy is the biggest obstacle to change…. We have succumbed to an ideology that is 100 per cent corrupt and must be overthrown. The maintenance of this system depends on our belief that “there’s nothing we can do”…~

We British seem to be a bit embarrassed about revolution, like the passion is uncouth or that some tea might get spilled on our cuffs in the uprising. That revolution is a bit French or worse still American. Well, the alternative is extinction so now might be a good time to re-evaluate. The apathy is in fact a transmission problem, when we are given the correct information in an engaging fashion, we will stir….~

The revolution of consciousness is a decision, decisions take a moment. In my mind the revolution has already begun.”

In my mind, Russell hits the nail on the head when he speaks of a revolution of consciousness in political and spiritual tones with an emphasis on propaganda. To create the revolution that we need to get us off of this disastrous path and out of this obsolete paradigm, people must become aware of the processes that condition our consciousness and contract our awareness. Even the most independent minded people vastly underestimate how propagandized we all are. Just because we have repetitiously been told that we are free, doesn’t mean that we are. We live in a mental prison that we have all been bred into.

As the old line goes, you must first see the walls before you can free yourself. In this regard, Russell is a gladiator of the mind, exposing walls that the propagandized masses have rarely seen. Perhaps his dedication to meditation and yoga has tapped him into a truly divine realm. Just get within his presence, frequencywavelength and watch him flow ~ he radiates a contagious, shockingly uplifting energy ~ and you will feel your own frequency and vibration elevate you into another dimension.

Indeed, the revolution of consciousness has already begun. Enough with the reading, let’s see the mystical maestro work his magic…

~

Shutdown Solution: Opt Out of Tyranny

by David Degraw
http://daviddegraw.org/shutdown-solution-opt-out-of-tyranny/

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It’s Time For A Do-It-Ourselves Revolution

“All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances.
No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time,
in fact they are all artificial and temporary.”

– Strobe Talbott

How much longer are we going to protest and post online reports, rants, videos and launch campaigns that will hopefully raise awareness on issue after issue, problem after problem, as the situation gets worse? How much longer are we going to just keep crying about the need for change and pleading with puppet politicians in hopes that they will care about anything other than what their top campaign contributors think? At what point are we going to start acting like free and responsible citizens and stop acting like disgruntled servants waiting for our masters to save us and do the right thing?

C’mon people, let’s grow up and get real! The reformers have had their chance. For decades reformers have desperately clung to the fleeting belief that they can change the system from within. Well, after the latest government shutdown fiasco, the jury is now clearly in! We cannot allow the continued delusion and denial of reformers to prolong our suffering any longer. While reformers collect their paychecks, we are dying a slow painful death.

How many more crises will we endure before we truly act upon the fact that the government is working against our interests? How much more proof do we need? The current TWO-party oligarchy is a parasite sucking the life and wealth out of us. An organized criminal class has taken control of our government and rigged the game against us. It’s an undeniable truth. Even the propagandized masses realize this now. Poll after poll shows all-time record low approval ratings for this government. The main point of the Declaration of Independence is now more relevant than it was back in 1776; the government no longer has the consent of the governed.

As Thomas Jefferson wisely said many generations ago, “Every generation needs a new revolution.” The only reason why we haven’t evolved the government or solved any of the major problems we are confronted by is because this antiqued governmental system is now wholly corrupt! Our future has been sold to the highest bidder and is now held hostage by “special interests,” by a TWO-party oligarchy. People no longer trust the government or the corporate puppets that run it. The majority has lost faith in our political, economic and legal system.

We are toiling in a country where 50% of the population is either in poverty or “near poverty,” and 75% lives paycheck to paycheck. Meanwhile, US millionaires have $50 TRILLION in wealth. The rich have never been richer, while we have an all-time record number of people in poverty and prison. There is no need for us to be struggling in such hardship. There is more than enough wealth to fix our problems and evolve society for the benefit of all. For all the problems we face, there are effective solutions. Solutions that are being held back due to corruption. How much longer are we going to keep banging our heads against this same old wall? THIS INSANITY HAS TO STOP!!

Banana Republic “Elections”

The electoral process is now completely rigged. The Supreme Court has become supremely corrupt. They consistently side with corruption, removing every last restraint on the corrupting influence of money in politics. You now need millions of dollars to even be considered for Congress. On top of that, the mainstream media will only give airtime to status quo supporting, paid off politicians. Both corrupt parties control the televised debates, so you can’t even get into the debate without bowing to the oligarchy. To sum it up, without millions of dollars, the endorsement of either wing of the oligarchy or the blessing of the mainstream media, you can’t achieve meaningful power. That’s not even mentioning the difficulty of getting on ballots in the first place, or gerrymandering.

If you somehow make it past all those barriers of corruption, good luck dealing with the fact that electronic “voting” machines produce easily hacked, unverifiable results that are tallied in secrecy. These machines are owned by private companies that are in bed with leaders of both parties and the intelligence community. If you have plans to go against the entrenched power structure, these “voting” machines will have mysterious “glitches” that make votes automatically go to one of the two puppet parties. Do you seriously think privately held “voting” machine companies and the NSA are going to let elections be won by real change-makers?

Alas, it would take a miracle for a meaningful number of candidates to ever make a serious run in the first place. Both puppet parties and the mainstream media will launch a relentless propaganda attack. Even if they could overcome that, the NSA will have enough private information on them, even if they are angels in their personal life, to blackmail or concoct false smear campaigns that will be carried out by psychological operations experts through relentless 24/7 wall-to-wall media attacks. If a critical mass of candidates somehow someway do the impossible, pull of a miracle of unprecedented proportions and break through all those barriers of corruption, then, at that point, you can be sure that there will be an assassination list with those change-making candidates’ names at the top of it.

If you’re naïve enough to think that this is all overly cynical exaggerating, you are not paying attention. Look at the assassination plans that were created for protesters during the Occupy Movement. Before they were able to crush a peaceful protest with brutal police state force, they were ready to start gunning down protesters. Just imagine what they would do if any of those protesters became serious candidates for the highest offices in the land. Whether you want to believe it or not, this is the reality of our present situation. Our political process is controlled by a tyrannical totalitarian regime.

After analyzing all options, the only real, legitimate option we have is to organize a grassroots decentralized movement that forms new alternative, self-sufficient communities. At this time, setting up autonomous communities is a commonsense solution, and the most effective way to avoid the fallout from a corrupted collapsing system.

Opt Out of the Tyrannical Regime!

“All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency is great and unendurable. And oppression and robbery are organized, I say; let us not have such a machine any longer. I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize.”
– Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

We occupied in protest. We raised the awareness level of the 99%. We have had a significant impact on mass consciousness. Now, it’s time to step it up! As Jim Morrison sang, “They’ve got the guns, but we got the numbers.” Let’s start acting like we still live in a free society. Let’s opt out of the tyrannical regime!

The overwhelming majority falsely believes that we can’t create change, which is why we are in this mess. The mainstream media has propagandized most people into feeling like we can’t do anything to fix the problems we are confronted by. BULLSHIT!! We live in the richest, most technologically advanced society humanity has ever known. We don’t need the plastic puppet politicians anymore. They’re obsolete!

It’s time for us to evolve society by starting our own autonomous local communities. Occupy inspired thousands of autonomous camps. What if we reestablished those camps as permanent Sustainable Autonomous Zones? There are already many intentional communities and collectives that are organically growing all over the place. Let’s learn from them. We’ve dedicated our energy to working on a plan to create a decentralized network of Sustainable Autonomous Zones so we can begin creating self-sufficient communities that can model new ways of living that make present ways of living obsolete. As Buckminster Fuller brilliantly said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

There is now a critical mass of citizens who are aware and capable enough to start these self-sufficient communities. Take it upon yourself to organize people in your community. Create independent social networks to communicate and organize, MEET IN PERSON, set up communities of support in your neighborhood. Bring a community of aware and capable citizens together in your own way and figure out systems that work best for you.

We Need a Do-It-Ourselves Revolution

Thriving communities can model new ways of living and we can create a support system that enables them to proliferate widely. If autonomous communities want to organize on a larger scale, there are now ways for them to easily do so. We are living in an interconnected technological society. People throughout the world have been experimenting with more efficient forms of governance. Liquid Democracy is an example of a dynamic and effective information age style of government that sane societies would embrace over what we have now.

Out of these communities, we can organically grow new systems of governance. We don’t have to fire a single shot or let the present situation descend further into violence. We just need to create a better system on a local level. As we prove the effectiveness of our new systems, the current system, which is already in a state of collapse, will crumble. If the corrupt establishment resorts to violence and attacks us again, it will only further galvanize the masses in support of us. A marginalized critical mass of people are suffering. Once we roll up our sleeves, lead by example and begin to provide solutions, they will be on our side.

It all comes down to a simple question: Are you a servant or are you a free individual? This is the most serious and profound question you need to answer, for your own sake, for the sake of your family and your future.

For all you free, aware and critically thinking people who realize that our current government is in a state of collapse and are ready for a Do-It-Ourselves revolution, we have just begun organizing on an independent social network called EvolveSociety.org. We would love for you to join and let us know what you are doing. Many of you are already doing inspiring and effective solution-based work. Let’s learn from each other and take it to the next logical level: decentralized autonomous local communities, which will form new effective ways of living, free from tyranny.

– See more at:
http://daviddegraw.org/shutdown-solution-opt-out-of-tyranny/

Technology, consciousness, and how the universe is built

www.nomorefakenews.com

In the early 1990s, hypnotherapist Jack True was trying to show me how perception operated in hypnotized subjects.

As a joke, well it was a half-joke, he said the following: “If you’re doing a scientific experiment on gravity, and you start dropping various objects from the top of a building, you’re going to find out some interesting things about the way gravity operates in the universe.

“But if you don’t care about gravity and science, when you drop the objects from the roof, some will fall and others will float.”

What he meant was this: if you want to find out how to build things and run things and propel things and blow up things, you can look into the universe and eventually obtain that information.

The information will seem to be definitive about how the universe is built. It will seem to be the only model. It will seem to be the truth.

But that’s an illusion. Actually, competing models about the universe are available, and depending on your intent, you can discover and put together as many as you need.

They all work. They all look like mutually exclusive systems. But they aren’t.

The picture of tiny particles whirling through space and time is fine. It works. It enables the kind of technology we have now. It can be proved with mathematics. It can be verified until the cows come home. But it’s not the only choice.


Jack once had a patient who, three years earlier, had suddenly developed nearsightedness.

So Jack put him in a light trance and worked on it. Nothing.

Finally, after a number of sessions, Jack told him that perhaps his view or picture of the universe was standing in his way. Perhaps he needed to come up with another picture. Jack liked to try these radical approaches.

In ensuing sessions, Jack had his patient invent dozens of different models of how the universe was constructed. None of them were based on physics.

The patient was getting interested. He suddenly recalled that, as a very young boy, he’d thought the world was a kind of vacuum surrounded by extremely dense space, which was actually solid. He’d had dreams about this “reverse configuration.”

For no apparent reason, the patient now felt much better. He felt freer. His eyesight improved, nearly to its former level.

I had a chance to talk to the patient. “The most astonishing thing,” he told me, “is knowing that if I hadn’t invented these other models [of the universe], it’s likely I wouldn’t have regained my eyesight.”

Jack told me his experience with this patient was part of the reason he stopped doing hypnosis. He said that having one and only one model of the way things are is, in fact, the result of being in a core trance. He realized everyone is, to one degree or another, already in a hypnotic state. Therefore, his job should be to wake people up.


JACK TRUE, the most creative hypnotherapist on the face of the planet, is featured in THE MATRIX REVEALED. Jack’s anti-Matrix understanding of the mind and how to liberate it is unparalleled. His insights are unique, staggering. 43 interviews, 320 pages. That is just a faction of what THE MATRIX REVEALED has to offer.


I once had a consulting client who owned a small business. It had been successful, but it was now in an extreme condition of disrepair. Everything that could go wrong had gone wrong.

His books were a mess. His records were a mess. Employees were coming and going, and they were all failing at their jobs. Sales were down, and he was in debt.

He presented me with a list of everything he’d tried, to get things back on track. The list was formidable. This was a smart man. But nothing was working.

I told him he had no choice but to re-imagine the whole business from scratch. He had to find a completely different way to build it.

At first, he had no idea what I was talking about.

Then slowly, painfully, he began to write down all sorts of scenarios by which he could reconstruct his company.

Eventually, the mists cleared, and he began to feel better. He tore down everything and started over. He came up with a radically new way of doing business. And it worked.

It was an example of the One versus the Many. The One is the way a person chronically views reality. It’s the central perception which seems to be obvious, irrefutable, and permanent. The Many is the envisioning of multiple and different views of reality. It shakes up the status quo in the psyche and shifts into new territory.

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Whether the universe is made of particles or waves, was produced by the Big Bang or the translation of lines of code from a two-dimensional surface, or as a result of vibrating Strings, it can be said to be a projection, a demonstration.

It can be viewed as an absolute unity, just as a stage play strives for absolute credibility. But of course, the stage play is wise enough to end. And then the audience walks out. But the universe is a projection that wants to impart the illusion of permanence.

This illusion is brought about by a scheme of interconnectedness, in which each particle or thing appears to be related to every other thing, or, from a different point of view, reflects every other thing, in a series of mirrors.

This is the overarching meaning of the ancient symbol of the maze. You move through the paths and arrive back at the beginning. The journey is always self-contained.


From the perspective I’m presenting here, the horse that finishes last in the race is named Truth, when truth is sought and found inside the continuum of this particular universe.

It’s not merely, as some physicists venture, that there are universes parallel to this one. There are universes everywhere. They are infinite in number. And then there is a “greater” infinity—those universes that have not yet been created.

Taking this as a starting point, and inventing multiple scenarios, multiple worlds, universes, and futures, one gains back power. Power beyond what one thinks, at any given moment, is possible.

Jon Rappoport

The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

Church and State

Church and State
By Nathan Fraser

A lot of people complain about the intermingling of Church and State. It is often argued that one of the founding principals of the United States was the separation of the two. It was never written down on magical paper and made into law, but the concern was indeed legitimate. For most cultures leading up to that point in time, Church and State were almost inseparable. Whether it was a small clan under the direction of a shaman, or a large kingdom led by monarch, the line dividing the State from the Church was often times very faint, if not invisible altogether. Two hundred years ago, it was tradition in western culture to have the King and Queen sworn in by the dominant priest class. Often this was done by a member of either the Vatican or the English Protestant Church. In many ways, the Church held an undue amount of influence over the heads of State, and this would lead to all sorts of religious prosecution. When starting fresh on this continent, there were many different theologically ideas that circulated amongst the, would be, local ruling class. Humanity was winding down from the age of enlightenment and the upper crust of society was more open to exploring the more esoteric forms of theosophy. It made sense for everybody, from the Quakers to the Hellfire Club, to not have a central religion in control of the new State that they were to create. And so, the idea arose to have a separation of Church and State. Was this principal ever instituted and followed? Is it reflected in our current form of government? Is such a separation even a possibility?

These days, the notion of the separation of Church and State is most commonly associated with trivial bickering. Should children be allowed to pray in schools? Should they be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance? Do the Ten Commandments belong in the nation’s courthouses? Arguments of little more than superficial significance. Most people still vote whichever way their Paster, Minister, Priest or Rabbi tell them to. Those who are not as devout to any one faith usually still take the religious beliefs of candidates into consideration when making a decision on who to vote for. The average atheist would scream that there is no separation and the Churches still control way to much. But have even the atheists, those desire to see this separation the most, been able to divorce the two in their own lives, in their own minds? I would argue not. I would propose that Church and State are so similar, indistinguishable from each other in so many ways, that the two are almost one. I am inclined to believe that the basis for the belief in religion, is almost identical to the paradigm needed for the belief in the State. Those who hold no belief in a God, often worship the State in it’s place. And those who do believe in a Higher Power, often hold it in less regard than they do the State. To almost everybody alive today, there is no way to detach the State from the Church, because the State is the Church.

As someone without faith, or someone who considers themselves agnostic, it is easy to ridicule the silly superstitions of those in one of the accepted cults. How the members of said cults believe in an unseen power that rules over their reality, having the power to tell them what is right and what is wrong. And although this presence can only be proven to exist in the mind of the believer, they will never question its existence. This invisible power has the ability to issue rules and hand out punishment for any violation of those rules. Sense it cannot be seen, it has men and women that stand in its place as representatives of the Most High. These representatives are often charged with the duty of canonizing and enforcing the law of the Deity. When the Commandments are broken, the Priests are the ones endowed with the authority to issue punishment and declare the appropriate penance. In exchange for taking on this responsibility, they were entitled to a portion of every parishioners wages, usually in the neighborhood of ten percent. They would dress up in ritualistic garments and perform ceremonies for all sorts of occasions. When a believer seeks to have something done by their Lord, he or she would pray to their God as well as letting their wishes be know to the leaders of their Church. In exchange for obedience and self sacrifice, they anticipate blessings from above and a less troublesome life. And for this, they are scoffed at by most atheists.

But how far off is the belief in a State from that of the belief in a God? Gods are often credited with the creation of all life, but other than that, there is very little that makes a State different from a God. The parishioner and the atheist citizen are not as different as they both might wish to see themselves. In many ways, the State is as much a God as any established Deity. The State is an unseen entity, from which people claim to draw authority over their fellow man. It cannot be proven to exist, yet most who believe in it have never questioned their faith in the State. Most are incapable of even doing so. Those who represent this unobservable source of sovereignty claim right to take a portion of the citizens paycheck, between fifteen and thirty percent in most cases. The Priests of the State still dress up in silly costumes and perform their superstitious rituals, ceremonies designed to bestow power from the State, onto particular blessed individuals.

Some of the highest Priests from the current dominating religion are referred to as Judges. Like the Priests of old, they adorn black robes and dole out punishment for infractions of the Law. Like Jesus, they often are accompanied by twelve disciples, more commonly known as jurors. When petitioning an adjudicator for a favorable judgement, it is not unheard of for people to pray to these elevated elites who hold the very power of life and death in their hands. Where the Priest was once in charge of swearing in the new Crown Head, the Chief Justice is now granted the ability to swear in the Heads of State. Where there was once Holy War to spread the Word, there are now national conflicts to spread Democracy, and the similarities only continue.

In modern day society, the State is the new God, and it is worshipped by atheists and theists alike. The iconoclast of the Church is often the dogmatist of the State. So easy it is for him to see the inherent flaw in the churchgoers world view, yet so mirrored it is in his own. He blindly follows the dictates of the State, placing them as the guidelines of his morality. He tithes faithfully, as it is his civic duty to do so. He has an imagined divinity to which he pledges his allegiance, only, he envisions it to be worldly rather than heavenly. And the theist is not much better. Even he is rather incapable of differentiating the two. How often have you heard the most conservative Christians mutter out the words “God and Country”? Obedience to the State is often one of the most virtuous aspects of the average man of faith. He will say that he is a follower of God, but when the orders of God conflict with the decrees of State, his true alliance is revealed. His Bible says “Thou shalt not kill” yet his brothers make up the majority of the military. When instructed to “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” he is all to quick to pick up the gavel and condemn his fellow man. Like the atheist whom he despises, he is just as guilty of worshipping the State above all others. He will even go so far as to beg the State to recognize his religion before he, himself, is capable of viewing it as established and legitimate.

Truly, for most, the State is the modern day God. It has almost all the powers of a God while its existence is just as impossible to prove. None have ever seen a State, yet many claim to derive their power to rule from it. There are no facts to prove that these people represent anything other than themselves, yet even the most skeptical amongst us accept their authority on blind faith alone. The mindset that drives puritan to thump his Bible at all of his neighbors is the exact same mindset that allows the statist to “spread democracy” around the world. That which posses a Holy Roller to leap up and speak in tongues in front of the congregation is little different than that which inspires the patriot to chant “U.S.A.” at a presidential election. Can there ever be a separation of Church and State? I would have to conclude that the answer to this question is “No.” The concept of the State cannot be separated from the concept of the Church because the two are really just different flavors of the same idea. At its core, the State is a Church, and can never be separated from that which is part of its very nature.

Nathan Fraser is the Host of Live Free FM, a weekly radio show, as well as an accomplished writer on the subject of government and legal philosophy.

More of his work can be found at
LiveFreeFM.com/

Everything You Know About Money Is Wrong

 We Can’t Fix What We Don’t Understand

Bloomberg notes this week that the conventional theory of why money was created is wrong:

There are, broadly speaking, two accounts of the origin and history of money. One is elegant, intuitive and taught in many introductory economics textbooks. The other is true.

The financial economist Charles Goodhart, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, laid out the two views in a 1998 paper, “The Two Concepts of Money: Implications for the Analysis of Optimal Currency Areas.”

The first view, the “M View,” is named after the Austrian 19th century economist and historian Karl Menger, whose 1882 essay “On the Origins of Money” is the canonical statement of an argument that goes back to Aristotle:

As subsistence farming gives way to more complex economies, individuals want to trade. Simple barter (eight bushels of wheat for one barrel of wine) quickly becomes inefficient, because a buyer’s desires won’t always match up with a seller’s inventory. If a merchant comes through the village with wine and all a farmer has to offer is wheat, but the merchant wants nuts, there’s no trade and both parties walk away unfulfilled. Or the farmer has to incur the costs of finding another merchant who will exchange wheat for nuts and then hope that the first merchant hasn’t moved on to the next village.

But if the merchant and the farmer can exchange some other medium, then the trade can happen. This medium of exchange has to be what Menger calls “saleable,” meaning that it’s easily portable, doesn’t spoil over time and can be divided. Denominated coins work, shells and beads also fit the bill. So do cigarettes in POW camps and jails and Tide laundry detergent for drug dealers. This process, Menger argues, happens without the intervention of the state: “Money has not been generated by law. In its origin it is a social, and not a state institution.” [Menger’s view is the commonly-accepted theory of  money.]

Goodhart points out, however, that Menger is just wrong about the actual history of physical money, especially metal coins. Goodhart writes that coins don’t follow Menger’s account at all. Normal people, after all, can’t judge the quality of hunks of metal the same way they can count cigarettes or shells. They can, however, count coins. Coins need to be minted, and governments are the ideal body to do so. Precious metals that become coins are, well, precious, and stores of them need to be protected from theft. Also, a private mint will always have the incentive to say its coins contain more high-value stuff than they actually do. Governments can last a long time and make multi-generational commitments to their currencies that your local blacksmith can’t.

But why oversee money creation in the first place? This brings us to the second theory of money, which Goodhart calls the “C View,” standing for “cartalist” (chartalist is a more common spelling). To simplify radically, it starts with the idea that states minted money to pay soldiers, and then made that money the only acceptable currency for paying taxes. With a standard currency, tax assessment and collection became easier, and the state could make a small profit from seiginorage.

The state-coin connection has far more historical support than Menger’s organic account. As Goodheart points out, strong, state-building rulers (Charlemagne, Edward I of England) tend to be currency innovators, and he could have easily added Franklin D. Roosevelt’s taking the U.S. off the gold standard in 1933 or Abraham Lincoln financing the Civil War with newly issued greenbacks. The inverse is true too: When states collapse, they usually take their currencies with them. When Japan stopped minting coins in 958, the economy reverted to barter within 50 years.  When the Roman Empire collapsed in Western Europe, money creation splintered along new political borders.

If money came about independent of states, as according to the M View, one would think it would outlast transient political structures. Historically, however, this tends not to be the case, a strong argument in favor of the C View.

Anthropologist David Graeber – who has extensively studied the history of money and debt – agrees:

There’s a standard story we’re all taught, a ‘once upon a time’ — it’s a fairy tale.

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Rather than the standard story – first there’s barter, then money, then finally credit comes out of that – if anything its precisely the other way around. Credit and debt comes first, then coinage emerges thousands of years later and then, when you do find “I’ll give you twenty chickens for that cow” type of barter systems, it’s usually when there used to be cash markets, but for some reason – as in Russia, for example, in 1998 – the currency collapses or disappears.

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Taxes are also key to creating the first markets that operate on cash, since coinage seems to be invented or at least widely popularized to pay soldiers – more or less simultaneously in China, India, and the Mediterranean, where governments find the easiest way to provision the troops is to issue them standard-issue bits of gold or silver and then demand everyone else in the kingdom give them one of those coins back again. Thus we find that the language of debt and the language of morality start to merge.

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How did this happen? Well, remember I said that the big question in the origins of money is how a sense of obligation – an ‘I owe you one’ – turns into something that can be precisely quantified? Well, the answer seems to be: when there is a potential for violence. If you give someone a pig and they give you a few chickens back you might think they’re a cheapskate, and mock them, but you’re unlikely to come up with a mathematical formula for exactly how cheap you think they are. If someone pokes out your eye in a fight, or kills your brother, that’s when you start saying, “traditional compensation is exactly twenty-seven heifers of the finest quality and if they’re not of the finest quality, this means war!”

Money, in the sense of exact equivalents, seems to emerge from situations like that, but also, war and plunder, the disposal of loot, slavery. In early Medieval Ireland, for example, slave-girls were the highest denomination of currency. And you could specify the exact value of everything in a typical house even though very few of those items were available for sale anywhere because they were used to pay fines or damages if someone broke them. But once you understand that taxes and money largely begin with war it becomes easier to see what really happened.

Graeber provides an example:

We tend to forget that in, say, the Middle Ages, from France to China, … money was … whatever the king was willing to accept in taxes.

Graeber also notes that the first word for “freedom” in any language is the word for “debt-freedom”, and that much of the language of the great religious movements revolved around forgiveness of debts.  And the founders of the Christian and Jewish religions focused on the importance of debt jubilees.

In addition, most Americans don’t realize that our current money system does not serve the public good, but instead continuously sucks the prosperity and vitality out of our economy.  As Henry Ford noted:

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

Some claim that public banking is the answer. Others look to gold or Bitcoin as a saner alternative to fiat currencies.

As we noted in 2011, maybe we should get beyond all systems which keep track of exactly to the penny who owes what to whom … in the manner required for warfare and slavery:

Graeber hints at one possibility [for a way out of the money-debt trap]:

[French anthropologist Marcel Mauss] was one of the first anthropologists to ask: well, all right, if not barter, then what? What do people who don’t use money actually do when things change hands? Anthropologists had documented an endless variety of such economic systems, but hadn’t really worked out common principles. What Mauss noticed was that in almost all of them, everyone pretended as if they were just giving one another gifts and then they fervently denied they expected anything back. But in actual fact everyone understood there were implicit rules and recipients would feel compelled to make some sort of return.

What fascinated Mauss was that this seemed to be universally true, even today. If I take a free-market economist out to dinner he’ll feel like he should return the favor and take me out to dinner later. He might even think that he is something of chump if he doesn’t and this even if his theory tells him he just got something for nothing and should be happy about it. Why is that? What is this force that compels me to want to return a gift?

This is an important argument, and it shows there is always a certain morality underlying what we call economic life.

In other words, in communities or webs of human interaction which are small enough that people can remember who gave what, we might be able to set up alternative systems of money and credit so we can largely “opt out” of the status quo systems of money and debt measurement.

I’m not arguing for becoming Luddites and living in mud huts (but that is fine, if you wish to do so). Nor am I suggesting that we all have to become selfless saints who give away all of their possessions without any reasonable expectation of something in return.

I am arguing that it might be possible to empower ourselves – and create our own systems for keeping track on a local or people-centered basis, and create our own vibrant economies using the resources we have – by moving away from the national and global systems dominated by the biggest banks and oligarchs, and towards a system where we “spend” resources and goodwill into our local communities in a way in which trust is built from the ground-up, and the energy of trade and commerce can be re-started. [Trust is – after all – the basis for all prosperous economies.]

Postscript: Mainstream economists will argue that we need a universal, fungible type of money in order to trade on a global basis. But because currencies are now unpegged from anything in the real world and are traded on the currency markets, their values fluctuate wildly in the modern world. In other words, one of the essential characteristics for money – that they represent a universal, fixed yardstick – has disappeared. And fiat currencies have a very short lifespan. So how valuable are they, really, for anyone but forex speculators?

Until we learn what money, credit and debt really are, we will remain victims … getting poorer and poorer.

Postscript: The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil.  On the other hand, the father of modern economics (Adam Smith), Ronald Reagan, economist Milton Friedman, Wall Street titan Ivan Boesky and students who take economics classes all say that greed is good.

Both are naive.

Money and currency are good to the extent that they help create abundance for ourselves and our communities.  They are bad to the extent that they are used to promote warfare and slavery, and that they suck prosperity out of the system.

New Matt Damon Movie Reveals Mankind’s Trans-humanist Destiny

In 2009 upstart South African director Neill Blomkamp showed Hollywood a thing or two when his $30m sci-fi thriller District 9 took more than $200m at the box office with a compelling tale of aliens as victims as opposed to predators. Four years on he’s back with a bigger budget – $115m – plus A-list stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster for a another dystopian tale – this time the cosseted rich versus the vulnerable poor – set against a global canvas.
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Elysium, a new movie starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, depicts what many futurists have long predicted is mankind’s ultimate destiny – the division of the human race into two new class systems – a transhumanist elite that centralizes technological progress to achieve utopia, and a massive underclass left to rot on a dying planet ruled by robotic drones.  It’s 2154 and earth is one big polluted ghetto, a sun-seared hell where big cities – specifically Los Angeles – have broken down into favelas housing the dispossessed and those lucky enough get back-breaking work in factories run by faceless corporations.

The trailer for the movie, set to be released on August 9 in the US, begins by depicting an army of robot drones in control of policing that shake down and beat citizens for trivial “violations”. The year is 2154. When Damon’s character expresses anger at his treatment, he is offered a pill to calm him by a robotic bureaucrat. Any form of dissent is treated as “abusive”.

“Humanity is divided between two worlds,” reads the caption, explaining that most of humanity is left to reside on an overpopulated, collapsing earth while the super elite have developed a gargantuan and luxurious off-planet space habitat called Elysium where war, poverty, hunger and disease are non-existent.

Matt Damon;Sharlto Copley

Damon’s character is forced to undergo cybernetic enhancements before he can lead a mission to Elysium in order to find a cure for a cancer virus he has contracted. The movie is also clearly designed to be a political jibe at anti-immigration activists.

However, many of the themes of Elysium are clearly lifted from the work of futurists like Ray Kurzweil, who in his book The Age of Spiritual Machines predicted the body scanner depicted in the trailer which eliminates cancer cells.

Kurzweil’s 1999 book, which successfully foresaw the invention of the iPhone, the iPad, Google Glass, iTunes, You Tube and on demand services like Netflix as well as the Kindle, predicts that by 2029 the vast majority of humans will have augmented their bodies with cybernetic implants and those who refuse or are unable to do so will form a “human underclass” that is not productively engaged in the economy.

The wider trend of the elite seeing humans as completely expendable as their roles are taken up by machines unfolds after 2029 when, “There is almost no human employment in production, agriculture, and transportation,” writes Kurzweil.

By 2099, the entire planet is run by artificially intelligent computer systems which are smarter than the entire human race combined – similar to the Skynet system fictionalized in the Terminator franchise.

Humans who resist the pressure to alter their bodies by becoming part-cyborg will be ostracized from society.

“Even among those human intelligences still using carbon-based neurons, there is ubiquitous use of neural implant technology, which provides enormous augmentation of human perceptual and cognitive abilities. Humans who do not utilize such implants are unable to meaningfully participate in dialogues with those who do,” writes Kurzweil.

One of the most prescient voices of dissent against this future – despite his murderous actions – was Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who is widely quoted by futurists like Kurzweil and Bill Joy as sagely outlining the dangers posed to the general public by the elite’s drive for technological singularity, as depicted in the Elysium movie.

“Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite,” wrote Kaczynski in his manifesto.

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Alice Braga portrays the standard love interest as a childhood friend turned honourable nurse but it is Damon who provides the rich focus, a quietely determined good guy who has never been able to accept the literal gap (about 20 minutes in a space shuttle) between rich and poor.

In a disappointing season of bloated blockbusters, Elysium stands tall, a first-rate sci-fi thriller given extra heft by a heartening moral core.