Part 2 of our review of Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change by Charles Hugh Smith. Berkeley, California: Oftwominds. com, 2012. Available from www.oftwominds.com/CHS-books.html. 225 pages, $25 print, $9.95 Kindle.
By Franklin Sanders
Please read Part 1 of this review, posted one day earlier. “The techniques of marketing & propaganda used to mask systemic risk are critical to the status quo’s maintenance of power & control. Their basis strategy is two fold: (1) mask the fact that behind the façade of pseudo-democracy & crony capitalism, the system is institutionalized to serve their interests, and (2) promote the delusion that the system serves your self interest to win your support & compliance.” P. 73.
Social control myths
What are “social control myths”? “Myths propagated & marketed by the status quo to maintain control of the social order so that it serves the interests of those in power at the expense of the non-elites. If you control an individual’s beliefs, you control his actions, habits, & responses.” p. 4 Propaganda serves to establish and renew social control myths.
What is the key social control myth? “That the system serves your self interest. If you believe this, then you will defend an oppressive, exploitative, parasitical status quo in the misplaced belief it serves your personal interests.”
Oh, stop and ponder that. Let that sink in. Another key social control myth? “That individuals are powerless in the vast systems that dominate our society and economy. [This] leads individuals to surrender their autonomy & liberty without coercion.”
The myth of powerlessness goes with the myth of top-down revolution. “Nothing can possibly change until the leadership has been replaced and vast, impersonal systems far beyond our individual influence have been reworked at the top of the pyramid.”
But we are not powerless. “Every individual who refuses to secure personal security at the expense of truth becomes powerful in ways beyond the reach of wealth & corruption. “Our participation and complicity enable the status quo’s pathologies and predation”
Using social control myths
Elites enforce their dominance by social control myths. p. 83. “The ideal arrangement for elites is a society that essentially submits itself to domination by internalizing, i.e., believing, a set of values & social norms that enable the elites to dominate with very little expenditure of wealth or energy.”
What is the ideal social control worldview for an expansive central state ruled by financial elites that hold extreme dominance over the state & economy? “A society of atomized, socially isolated individuals who are largely dependent on the state, individuals who define their identity, status, & self worth in terms of the state & consumerist signifiers that must be purchased in the market economy.” “The ultimate expression of this worldview is when the act of purchasing becomes the primary renewal of identity, and the possession of the purchased object is secondary. p. 89.
Derealization of the non-market social order
All that social order of family and community that stands outside and above a dollar price has been reduced to nothing. If it can’t be bought, if it stands outside state control, it can’t be real. “The non-market, non-state social order has been derealized & replaced by a consumerist market & state whose ontological imperative is expansion & control. … All that is presented by the marketing/state complex as real is actually abstract & illusory, as the sources of authenticity have been derealized and replaced by a monoculture of inauthenticity, consumerism & state control.” p. 91.
The nature of liberation
While I appreciate Smith’s skillful dissection of the problem, I already know the problem all too well. What is the solution? How do we free ourselves from on this system?
“Liberation is the goal of resistance & revolution…liberation is the relief and freedom experienced when the yoke of dictatorship is thrown off. In the adolescent mindset fostered by the consumerist state, liberation means freedom from responsibility and consequence, as this is the ultimate adolescent fantasy: freedom & consumption without consequence.” p. 169.
Every revolution brings a danger. What if new oppressors arise to replace those overthrown? What if the new masters are worse than the old? What about those who want to be slaves, in exchange for security?
By “liberation,” Smith means financial liberation, and specifically liberating yourself. He has a vision for the new state, what he calls “the reset state”: it must limit the money to something that cannot be printed or borrowed into existence, an asset that does not depend on a counterparty, e.g., gold. P. 175.
Smith finds the way to liberation twofold: (1) public support for a limited central state, and (2) private financial independence from the state & concentrated capital that control it. To liberate yourself, you must free yourself from debt & dependence on any income from the state, pensions, salary, or transfer payment.
➤ First step, financial independence. Stop borrowing, stop paying interest.
➤ Second step, Assert authentic identity in the real social world — real relations with real people — rather than consumerism.
➤ Third step, build decentralized, self-reliant communities.
➤ Fourth step, delegitimize existing leaders and assume leadership.
Smith made it worth my time to read the entire 225 pages with this single statement: “The purpose of understanding the social, political, & economic foundation of liberation is to be prepared to establish a positive replacement when the current financialized order collapses.” p. 186.
Long ago I lost count how many lives I have seen dead- ended by people who studied the monetary monster only to lose hope, to creep into a cave and wait for the world’s final collapse into barbarian anarchy. If studying the problem only destroys our resolve to live sane, authentic, faithful lives, especially as Christians, then forget knowledge. I’d rather “eat, drink, and watch TV rasslin’.”
Smith has a plan for liberation. We withdraw our sanction & support from the power centers and consumerism. We drop the delusion that compliance and obedience serves our own interest and stop chasing the consumerism. p. 191.
The state is trapped
Facing an inevitable collapse, what are our choices? Do nothing. Passively comply. Or choose to re-order the political order and eliminate debt slavery: a system reset. But how can we do that? Are we powerless? No, individual acts are powerful in the aggregate.
➤ How do you spend your money?
➤ What steps do you take toward decentralization?
➤ Eliminate debt and stop consuming. When you get out of debt, the banks have no more power over you.
And happily Smith understand that food — what we eat — is as critical in self-liberation as money. “Nothing is more political than food, for it either sustains us and our freedom or it indentures us to disease and dependence on the Savior State’s immensely profitable sickcare system.” p. 205. “A healthy homecooked meal is a revolutionary act.”
Pathways of resistance
Smith offers several “pathways of resistance.” They will sound familiar to Moneychanger readers, or to those who follow the work of my friend, Catherine Austin Fitts. Notice that none of these require you to paint a target on your back and attack the state with only a letter opener. Every one of these acts is perfectly legal and will make your life saner, more peaceful, and more rewarding at the same time it frees you from the Savior State and debt slavery.
(1) Support the decentralized, local, non-market economy. Build family and community.
(3) Redefine self-interest to exclude debt servitude and dependence on consumerism & the central state.
(5) Stop supporting distant concentrations of capital. Stop watching broadcast programming. No fast or packaged foods. Close accounts with Wall Street firms and the too big to fail banks. Stop using credit cards.
(6) Liquidate debt, & look at “crowd sourcing” for financing.
(8) Refuse to participate in consumerism. Stop admiring it.
(9) Vote to reward honesty and truth and punish empty promises.
(11) Become healthy, active, fit.
(12) Make your own plans and construct your own identity & meaning.
But if all that sounds like too much trouble, well, I reckon you can do nothing and wait for the state to save you.
Used by permission. Franklin Sanders is publisher of The Moneychanger, a privately circulated monthly newsletter that focus on gold and silver and the application of Christianity to economics, culture and family life. We have subscribed to this newsletter for more than 20 years, and consider it a must read. F$99 a year. Franklin is an active trader in gold and silver (he’ll swap your green Federal Reserve rectangles and give you real money in return). He trades with savers and investors outside Tennessee. Subscribe to his daily price report and market commentary on the website.
Like the photo above of the girls at lessons? Read more about Barefoot farm in Ringgold, Ga., and “local economy woman.”