Ep28: Heart of the Problem - Everyday Samurai

Ep28: Heart of the Problem

Problem Identification and Solution

Today we go to the heart of the political-economic problem confronting the United States, and the world for that matter, to find Constitutional solutions scholar-warriors can implement and seize the initiative.

This episode is largely based on an article by Dr. Edwing Vieira:

http://edwinvieira.com/edwin206.htm

Problem Solving Requires Resilience

The enlightened samurai-scholar Yokichi Fukuzawa espoused self-respect and independence of mind, or ‘dokuritsu jison’ in Japanese, as a necessary precondition of a population capable of securing their nation.

See this book on Fukuzawa's thought:

Self-Respect and Independence of Mind  https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/self-respect-and-independence-of-mind/id1314202384?mt=11&at=1000lNCh

Are self-respect and independence of mind qualities you possess?

For Fukuzawa, strong, self-sufficient, and resilient individuals were the necessary bedrock of a free country.  Fukuzawa saw that building wealth through trade and production was essential to gaining military strength sufficient to ward off the imperial ambitions of foreign powers, like what was going on in the rest of East Asia at the time.  

He had grown up at the tail end of the Tokugawa Shogunate’s regime and was a key philosopher mingling with political leaders and influencing the public during the Meiji Restoration.  He knew that Japan needed to reform the old, stagnant ways that had left the country vulnerable to attack and unable to ward off colonial invaders.

Fukuzawa encouraged individual learning and personal refinement as an essential component to revitalizing the nation and securing Japan’s future independence.  

In other words, free and independent people are necessary to maintaining the security of a free state.

The Tokugawa Shogun military dictatorship had grown inept, it turned the samurai into bureaucrats, neglecting their martial imperatives, while simultaneously consuming ever increasing swaths of the nation’s financial resources.

True to form for whenever any group gains a monopoly on the ultimate use of force and decision making, coupled with the power to tax, the price of security continued to rise and the quality of security and justice continued to decline.  

We understand this political dynamic now, thanks to the lessons of political-economy, and Tokugawa Japan offers clear illustrations of what happens when these principles are either neglected or violated.

The cartelization of industries, licensing schemes, price manipulations, forced labor, and, most of all, currency debasement led to ever increasing impoverishment for most of society while the ruling elite remained ever more detached and insulated from the suffering of common people.

Does this sound familiar to you?  Can you see the pattern here?

There were many revolts throughout Japanese history, known as ikki, and inflation accelerated toward the end of the Tokugawa period.  

Here is a book “Ikki” that details the popular tax revolts in Tokugawa Japan:

https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/ikki/id1124234260?mt=11&at=1000lNCh

This left the country undefended by the time a fleet of American Black Ships under Commodore Perry sailed into Yokohama Bay in 1853, demanding the country open to trade under threat of force.

The country then collapsed into chaos and a series of bloody events that led to the Meiji Restoration, and the ultimate abolishment of the samurai. 

Numerous assassinations, revolts, and clashes between factions occurred before a new political order emerged, one that was set on an even greater collision course of global conflict, as history has shown.

Revolutions are always precarious things, for the outcomes cannot be known in advance.  It is for this reason that they should be, but in the gravest extreme, avoided.

Perhaps you can see the parallels between national decline in Tokugawa Japan with that of the United States today, particularly if you understand the importance of sound monetary policy.  

As warrior-scholars on the path of both martial arts and political economy, readiness to deal with crisis in the security realm is the same as dealing with financial crisis.  

Fortunately, once we accurately diagnose the problems using the principles and tools of martial art and political economy, we find the remedies already spelled out under the existing Constitutional order. 

Present circumstances may appear quite bleak, but be of good cheer, for the solutions are at hand.

Fitness: www.everydaysamurai.life/progress

In all this analysis of what is wrong and with all the negativity involved with current events, the stress of our busy, hectic lives, to take some time for self-care, the most important of which is to wring the stress out of the body on a regular basis.

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Stripping away all the nonessentials and going straight to what you need for fitness, strength, and flexibility, while shredding fat, in just 20 minutes (and every can find 20 minutes a few times a week), the progressive program is exactly what you need to maintain your physical readiness.

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Now on to Dr. Edwin Vieira's Problem Analysis

Quote: http://edwinvieira.com/edwin206.htm

The central economic problem plaguing this country since 1913 has been the presence of the Federal Reserve System.  Without the Federal Reserve System’s debt-currency scheme having effectively supplanted the constitutional monetary system based on silver and gold, it would have been impossiblenot simply improbable, or difficult, but impossible—for politicians in the public sector and speculators in the private sector to have amassed the staggering level of unpayable, unconstitutional, and unconscionable debt that now bears down upon th[e United States].

The critical political problem now emerging is the absence of a proper “homeland-security” structure based on “the Militia of the several States”, which the Constitution itself declares to be “necessary to the security of a free State”. 

Instead of thoroughly organizing and preparing the American people at the State and Local levels to deal with economic and social crises [among] themselves and with their own resources, public officials are setting up a centralized para-military police-state apparatus, which in a major nationwide crisis will impose…the very worst kind of “homeland insecurity”, [essentially mirroring] the East-European communist “people’s republics” of the 1950s.

These two problems are inextricably interlinked.  The people in political and economic control in Washington, DC, and New York City may be knaves; but they are not all fools. 

They know that the Federal Reserve System—indeed, any central-banking scheme that circulates instruments of debt as “currency”—is inherently unstable, and will eventually self-destruct. 

And they realize that, here in the United States, “eventually” is no longer far off.  Either they do not want to replace the Federal Reserve System, or they do not know how to replace it (at least in time). 

In any event, they have decided to attempt to “manage” it’s ever-more-destructive effects and thereby somehow “muddle through” with their power, wealth, and social positions intact—and the staggering costs of saving themselves to be imposed on hapless common Americans.

A major breakdown of the monetary and banking systems will, to some degree or other, negatively impact upon every economic transaction and relationship everywhere throughout the United States. 

So the crisis will inevitably, and inexorably, [involve] social unrest on an immense scale.  

Even if most State and Local police forces are marginally adequate to deal with the unrest that arises within their own jurisdictions, they will need to be coordinated in conformity with some overall national plan, so that a unified national effort can be made to stem the crisis.  This will require a central apparatus of command and control. 

All the more so if State and Local police prove inadequate to the task.  For which reason, more than any other, the Department of Homeland Security was originally created.

In light of the self-evident dangers it poses to Americans’ constitutional liberties, a nationwide network of police agencies centrally controlled from Washington, D.C., is bad enough.  For if such a network is not itself a “national police state”, it certainly provides the instrumental basis for one. 

Unfortunately, the deep thinkers in the “homeland-security” business are working feverishly to insinuate into their scheme not simply all civilian law-enforcement agencies throughout America, but also the regular Armed Forces. 

As a practical matter, this is arguably sensible (from their point of view), inasmuch as hyperinflation, depression, or hyperinflation coupled with depression will surely set off eruptions of mass violence beyond the capabilities of most, if not all, State and local police departments to put down, particularly in urban areas.

Anyone even randomly surfing the Internet these days will stumble upon overwhelming evidence of the antagonism and rancor already rising at a fever pitch among common Americans against the self-serving, self-perpetuating political and economic leaders whom they quite rightly believe to have sold them and their country down the river…

One can easily imagine how intense and irreconcilable this anger will become—and in what eruptions of mass violence it will manifest itself—in the course of a catastrophic collapse of the economy throughout the United States. 

Thus, the political leadership in Washington, D.C., and the economic string-pullers in New York City know that they stand on shaky ground today, and anticipate that their footing will become even less secure tomorrow. 

Moreover, they understand that when they can no longer depend upon the good will of the people, they must be able to suppress collective manifestations of the people’s ill will.  To crush dissent of the intensity to be expected during a nationwide economic collapse will require vast numbers of “boots on the ground”—which explains the ever-mounting emphasis by officials in “homeland-security” agencies on involvement of the Armed Forces in domestic “peacekeeping”.

Concerned Americans should pay serious attention, therefore, to a study prepared by Nathan Freier for the Strategic Studies Institute of the United States Army War College in November of 2008, entitled Known Unknowns: Unconventional “Strategic Shocks” in Defense Strategy Development

https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pdffiles/PUB890.pdf

Under the heading “Violent, Strategic Dislocation Inside the United States” appears the following passage:

Quote

Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security…

[U]nforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency… are all paths to disruptive domestic shock.

…DoD might be forced by circumstances to put its broad resources at the disposal of civil authorities to contain and reverse violent threats to domestic tranquility. Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. 

Further, DoD would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance.

A whole host of long-standing defense conventions would be severely tested.

Under these conditions and at their most violent extreme, civilian authorities, on advice of the defense establishment, would need to rapidly determine the parameters defining the legitimate use of military force inside the United States.  Further still, the whole concept of conflict termination and/or transition to the primacy of civilian security institutions would be uncharted ground.

Close Quote

These statements and their implications are disquieting.  

…Is not setting “priorities” with respect to “basic domestic order and human security” the prerogative and duty of the civilian political structure, and not of “the defense establishment”?  If “the defense establishment” itself were “reorient[ing] priorities”, then would not “the defense establishment” be effectively in charge?

Are not the “broad resources” of the Department of Defense already “at the disposal of civil authorities”, under any and all circumstances?  Does not the Constitution in Article I, Section 8, Clause 14 delegate to Congress the exclusive and plenary authority “[t]o make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces”? 

And, that being so, how could the Department of Defense enjoy legal autonomy and discretion in this matter, such that it could be “forced”…“by circumstances” [rather than being]…ordered to act by Congress

Or do some people in “the defense establishment” envision their “broad resources” as ultimately subject only to their own independent command and control?

Certainly they are not unforeseeable, in light of the inherent instability and fragility of America’s monetary and banking systems, and the questionable competence of and patent mismanagement by the people who all too often have been and remain in charge of them. 

In fact, is the sequence posited here not only perfectly foreseeable, but also actually foreseen and even expected in the not-so-distant future: namely, “economic collapse”, followed by “loss of functioning political and legal order”, followed by “purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency” that will serve as a pretext for domestic deployment of the Armed Forces?

If the Department of Defense were truly “an essential enabling hub”, then “the continuity of political authority” would be sustained primarily, if not solely, by military force

Under the Constitution, however, military force can never be any, let alone the “essential”, source of “political authority”.

The only institutions of an even quasi-military nature to which the Constitution explicitly assigns the authority and the responsibility “to execute the Laws of the Union” and “suppress Insurrections” are “the Militia of the several States”, which are separate from, and independent of, the regular Armed Forces.

Moreover, what sort of catastrophe could cause “a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict” so grave as to threaten “the continuity of political authority”? 

Plainly, it would not be merely an economic collapse.  Rather, it would have to entail an economic collapse coupled with actions by the political authorities that would have alienated to the point of rebellion tens and tens of millions of Americans in many States or even nationwide

In that case, though, would “the continuity of political authority” capable of such blunders and of such oppression arguably be desirable or even defensible?

…Indeed, if conditions were “at their most violent extreme”, would not the “civilian authorities” be compelled by their own inexperience, insecurity, and possibly incompetence simply to defer to “the defense establishment”, particularly if the latter insisted that “the continuity of political authority” depended upon such deference?

Moreover, what could be more imprudent than to allow “the defense establishment”, in the midst of a crisis, to advise “civilian authorities” as to “the parameters defining the legitimate use of military force inside the United States”? 

…Besides, has not the Constitution, particularly in the Bill of Rights, already set out for both civilian officials and the Armed Forces “the parameters defining the legitimate use of military force inside the United States”—or should the Constitution simply be disregarded?

[Under this proposed] “uncharted ground”, what guarantee would exist that a return to civilian control over “security institutions” would ever occur—particularly if it would occur only upon the “advice of the defense establishment”? 

Besides, does not the Constitution establish the absolute “primacy” of civilian control over all “security institutions”, including every component of “the defense establishment”, at all times?  And, that being so, on what legal ground could such primacy ever be overridden by, and direction of “security institutions” ever turned over to, “the defense establishment”?

Within the confines of this particular strategic study, these thorny questions are unanswered.  But, if one consults History…they are…answerable.

As Richard Weaver once observed, “ideas have consequences”—and, one might add, egregiously bad ideas almost always engender disastrous, even if perhaps unintended, consequences. 

The lesson that History teaches, but that the deep thinkers in the “homeland-security” apparatus…apparently have not absorbed, is that once politicians (in any country) have turned to the Armed Forces to put a lid on domestic dissent arising out of failed economic and social policies, the Armed Forces quickly…become political powers in their own right, on their own initiative, and on their own terms. 

After all, why should the Armed Forces not exercise control over the policies and other decisions civilian officials make…particularly when those officials’ incompetence or corruption has brought about the domestic disturbances th[ose same Armed Forces] are expected to risk their lives to quell? 

And then why should the Armed Forces themselves not promulgate, or at least oversee, policies on all economic and social matters in the first place?  Could they fail any more miserably than have the civilian officials?  

And then why should the Armed Forces not select, or at least exercise a veto over the selection of…civilian leaders…so as to forfend future blunders by imbeciles who have insinuated themselves into top positions?

Once they had been called in as domestic “peacekeepers”, the Armed Forces would be uniquely positioned to take over politically, because they could quite correctly point to the civilian leadership as the efficient cause of the chaos…in principle altogether

…Essentially all of the old leadership groups, institutions, and structures, whether in the sphere of national politics or in the upper echelons of the economy, could easily be convicted in the court of public opinion…

…Convictions before “military tribunals” might even need to follow, in order to convince an enraged populace that the Armed Forces seriously intended to stamp out and punish civilian political corruption and incompetence…

Furthermore, whatever the level of their true popular support, were the Armed Forces deployed to suppress widespread civil unrest emanating from a major breakdown of the economy, they would have a particularly compelling institutional incentive of their own to maintain themselves in the foremost positions of political and economic leadership thereafter: namely, securing the continued viability of [the] country’s massive military-industrial complex…

In this, of course, the Armed Forces would inevitably command the support of the two other sides of “the iron triangle”: namely, the industrialists and the workers who, directly or indirectly, would constitute and derive incomes and other benefits from the military-industrial complex.

…more and more industrialists and workers in other areas of production and services would become to significant degrees economically dependent upon, and therefore politically supportive of, the complex’s smooth functioning, and therefore would favor continued tight control by the Armed Forces over the domestic governmental apparatus. 

So that, at length, most of the domestic economy would be as least quasi-“militarized” in what could be called the ultimate “warfare-welfare state”—with the overwhelming emphasis on “warfare”, because the supposed “welfare” of the political and economic systems would be tied inextricably to the power of the Armed Forces.

Of course, as has proven true everywhere else, having no training in economics or statecraft, politicized Armed Forces…would be unable to solve the underlying economic and social problems that rationalized their politicization in the first place.  That does not mean that they would not try to address these problems—using familiar [yet failed] forms of interventionism. 

For example:

Compulsory labor union participation…Prohibition of strikes, coupled with compulsory arbitration of labor disputes by some governmental agency.

(After all, the military cannot walk off the job or reject a lawful order, therefore a militarized national economy will be upheld to military standards)

This will be followed by compulsory investment in selected industries as a quid pro quo for employers’ acquiescence in…compulsory unionism and arbitration. 

(After all) If Congress enjoys the authority, pursuant to the Commerce Power, to compel each and every American to purchase medical insurance from private vendors, under the threat of taxes and other penalties, which…it now claims to have, why will it not (especially under pressure from the Armed Forces) claim to have just as much authority to compel everyone, whether private individuals or financial institutions, to become “patriotic investors” by purchasing stocks, bonds, or other securities in particular “defense”-related industries?

…In an era in which the “war on terror” rationalizes every sort of departure from the Bill of Rights and other constitutional guarantees, why should an individual’s or firm’s mere private property in money be exempt from compulsory “investment”…?

Forced [investment] … could involve the “nationalization” of private pension funds, CDs, and other forms of personal savings, by requiring that they be “invested” in particular United States Treasury obligations tied to the military-industrial complex.

As long ago as 1871, in order to rationalize the constitutionality of legal-tender paper currency (the so-called “Lincoln Greenbacks”), the Supreme Court relied on the notion that the General Government could coerce loans from the people…

[issuing] “Greenbacks” was initially upheld as a “wartime” measure.  The same reasoning would plainly apply to any other form of forced loans imposed to finance “defense”-related public expenditures.

nothing prevents Congress from authorizing the Treasury itself, without the intermediation of the banks, to emit as much paper currency as politicians themselves dare, or are told by the Armed Forces, to inject into the markets.

That these and other such schemes would not work as advertised would not prevent them from being tried—and being stubbornly persisted in, too, their serial failures notwithstanding.

So America would be wracked with chronic, incurable economic instability.  Which would engender continuous political confusion, as the Armed Forces manipulated or even installed token civilian regimes staffed with incompetent puppets and “yes men”, followed by new bouts of military string-pulling or outright intervention aimed at cleaning up the last crisis, and so on, along the sorry lines South American republics such as Argentina have followed for generations.

In addition, thoroughly politicized Armed Forces, unfettered by effective civilian constraints, would likely feel the need, and would have the ability, to justify the expensive existence of the military-industrial complex by inserting themselves into, if not instigating outright, ever-expanding overseas military adventures.

Thus, the present “war on terror”—in addition to whatever other forms of aggressive imperialism could be fomented, ostensibly to “defend our freedoms” in a “homeland” that the “war on terror” itself had rendered no longer free—would drag on forever, at untold costs in lives and treasure.

As dark as these clouds would be, they could contain something of a thin silver lining.

Perhaps America could be minimally fortunate.

Perhaps she would end up with her own version of Juan Domingo Peron, who if an authoritarian was at least not a murderous thug.  Even better if he were accompanied by an Americana version of Evita Peron, who truly cared forthe common people…

There are, of course, other, more-desirable alternatives:

1. Reform of the monetary and banking systems along constitutional and free-market lines is certainly possible—although it will not be easy, because: (i) the Federal Reserve System cannot simply be “abolished” at one fell swoop without generating massive dislocations throughout the markets; and (ii) the legislation necessary for proper reform cannot be enacted in Congress in the foreseeable future.

Instead, Americans need to create an alternative constitutional and sound currency—actually consisting of, not simply “backed by”, silver and gold—to compete with Federal Reserve Notes in the marketplace.

This step must be taken at the State level, for several reasons. First, it cannot be moved through Congress, whereas among the fifty States there must be at least a few in which the political and economic climate is such that State legislators can be convinced to take appropriate action. 

Second, the States enjoy the legal authority to adopt an alternative currency—indeed, as the Constitution declares, “No State shall * * * make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”.

Third, the States’ exercise of their legal authority to adopt an alternative currency is constitutionally immune from interference by Congress, as even the Supreme Court has held on more than one occasion.

Fourth, the States have a political and legal responsibility to their own citizens to protect the[ir]…safety, and welfare—which under contemporary conditions necessitates adopting a sound currency to replace the collapsing Federal Reserve Note before it is too late.

Fifth, this approach has the benefit of being prudent, because it is both experimental and incremental—yet once the experiment has been tried and proven workable in one State it can (and surely will) quickly spread to others…Admittedly, the adoption of an alternative currency will not eliminate all of the economic problems the present faulty monetary and banking systems have caused; but it will mitigate them and provide a solid foundation for further reforms.

2. Reform of “homeland security” would be even simpler than dealing with the collapsing Federal Reserve System.  As the Second Amendment to the Constitution declares, “[a] well regulated Militia” is “necessary to the security of a free State”.  Not a Department of Homeland Security…or the regular Armed Forces, but “[a] well regulated Militia”.

“A well regulated Militia” is the only thing the Constitution identifies as “necessary” for any purpose, and the only thing it identifies as serving the specific purpose of “security”.

Moreover, the only other place in which the Constitution uses any other word related to “security” is in its Preamble, where it lists as one of its purposes “to…secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”.

Thus, the Constitution links “security” to freedom and liberty, and only to freedom and liberty.   

Therefore, to have “homeland security” in the constitutional sense requires “[a] well regulated Militia” in each and every one of “the several States”.

And what is “[a] well-regulated Militia”?

As Article 13 of Virginia’s Declaration of Rights of 1776 so aptly put it, “[a] well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state”.

That is…in the final analysis, the only possible guarantor of freedom in a self-governing society.

Therefore, if Americans want a stable and prosperous economy, they want a free economy (that is, one based on the free market).  If Americans want a free economy, they want “a free State”, that being the only kind of political system that will support and defend the free market.

And if Americans want “a free State”, they want “[a] well-regulated Militia” in every State.  Moreover, for all of these reasons, the members of the Armed Forces—all of whom take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution—[must] support “[a] well-regulated Militia” in every State, too.

If each or even most of the States already had “[a] well-regulated Militia” in place, Americans would not now be faced with the likelihood of uncontrollable violent social unrest arising out of a nationwide economic collapse.

For, not only would Americans be trained and equipped to deal with economic shocks and concomitant social disruptions, but also they would have put into effect proper institutions to prevent or lessen the severity of such shocks—in particular, an alternative sound currency that would enable them to operate outside of the [unconstitutional] Federal Reserve System.

So it is certainly possible that, as the economic crisis intensifies…people throughout the States will prevail upon…[local] legislators to revitalize their Militia—first, to forestall, or if necessary contain, violent social unrest within their jurisdictions; second, to provide alternative economic institutions, and in particular an alternative currency…and third, to assert other aspects of State sovereignty under the aegis of the Second, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

These reforms will not be self-executing, however.

To be put into place they will require a great deal of effort from people in every walk of life and at every level of American society.

In this process the middle class must play a decisive role, in its members’ own personal interests as well as in their country’s interest…

The rules for successful entrepreneurship, prudent investing, and the retention of accumulated wealth, after all, are as much political as they are economic.  Ultimately, these rules are grounded in constitutional law. 

Change the political rules to a significant degree, and even the best-laid economic plans, worked out under the false assumption that the original political rules will always continue…proves worthless.  And when hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamities strike, if the Armed Forces are politicized as instruments of domestic repression, then the political rules familiar today will no longer operate.

…myopic investors and entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out how they can personally profit…during, the coming collapse of America’s economy—under the childish illusion that the political rules will always remain favorable to their doing so—had better start thinking instead of how they can contribute, in every way they can, to whatever efforts their fellow citizens are making to prevent that collapse, to fend off the para-militarized national police state that collapse will turn loose, and to return…to the rule of constitutional law…

Once again, History provides the example.

On the night of the 9th of June, 1772, under the leadership of John Brown, one of Rhode Island’s “first and most respectable merchants”, a contingent of patriots set out from Sabin’s Tavern in Providence to attack the British Navy’s schooner Gaspee after she had run aground on the sand spit at Namquit Point.  

Rowing down Narragansett Bay in whaleboats, they boarded and captured “that troublesome vessel”, then burned her to the waterline in protest against her captain’s heavy-handed enforcement of…revenue laws. (in other words, taxes)

By September of 1772, an outraged King George III…offered huge rewards…and had established a Commission of Inquiry “to the end that [suspects] may be accordingly arrested and delivered to the custody of the commander of [the British] ships and vessels in North America”.

But no one betrayed John Brown or any of the other patriots.

Not surprisingly, Rhode Islanders immediately denounced as the very zenith of tyranny the claim of the Crown to ship Americans to England to be tried.

…although they had brought it upon themselves, Rhode Islanders did not stand alone in [the] crisis.  

On the 12th of March, 1773, Virginia’s House of Burgesses appointed “a standing committee of inquiry”—the members of which included such outstanding patriots as Peyton Randolph, Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson—

to obtain the most early and authentic intelligence of all such acts and resolutions of the British Parliament, or proceedings of the administration, as may relate to, or affect the British colonies in America; and to keep up and maintain a correspondence and communication with our sister colonies, respecting these important considerations[.]

In response to this request, beginning with Rhode Island, all of the Colonies then established Committees of Correspondence, the work of which aroused and unified Americans in opposition to Britain’s suppression of their liberties.  Indeed, the Committees of Correspondence were of critical importance in the formation of the Continental Congress.

…Just who was this “John Brown” of Providence, Rhode Island, who ignited the Gaspee affair, and with its flames set afire one of the brightest torches lighting the way towards America’s War of Independence?

After John Hancock of Boston, Massachusetts, Brown was probably the wealthiest man in New England, whose family fortune later endowed Brown University, in Providence.

For his part in burning the Gaspee, though, Brown could have been convicted of treason and piracy—the punishments for which, if his ignominious death on the scaffold had not been enough, would have included the forfeiture of all his worldly goods to the Crown.

Although a shrewd merchant, John Brown did not organize the attack on the Gaspee because it was a good profit-making venture, a sound economic investment, or a clever hedge against inflation or depression.  Neither did he mount the attack to curry favor from the political Establishment.

To the contrary: From the moment he gathered his fellow patriots at Sabin’s Tavern, he stood to lose everything, including his life.  His participation in the Gaspee affair was the riskiest speculation he had ever made or would ever make…

He was, after all, spitting in the eye of the entire British Empire, the supremely [potent] “New World Order” of his day.  Yet he—along with John Hancock, George Washington, and many other rich and influential Americans who wagered their all in the forefront of the fight for liberty—was eventually victorious!

So it is not impossible for the well-to-do to be clear-sighted, courageous, patriotic, and even self-sacrificing.  

…the wealthy among the middle class today have everything to lose if patriotic Americans…do not stand up, muster their financial and other resources, and bring an end to the Federal Reserve System and the emerging national para-military police state.

Because the Federal Reserve System will destroy the economy; and the para-military police state will clamp down on society in the aftermath of financial collapse; and then those who have wealth that can be stolen by political looters will have it stolen.  Perhaps not as soon as tomorrow.  But too soon for comfort.

Close Quote

Problem Solving Requires Mindfulness

This is a heavy subject.  Using the tools of political economy and legal theory, and then using illustrations from history, Dr. Vieira paints a bleak picture for liberty if left on the current trajectory, yet also offers a constitutional path to restoration.

When times are darkest, clarity of mind is essential.  That is why a mindfulness practice is so important to keeping your sanity, especially with so much confusion being strewn about in political and social discourse these days. 

Mindset: www.everydaysamurai.life/zen12

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Stay Solutions Focused

Some of the key takeaways from Dr. Vieira’s article are that there are legal remedies to the security and economic dilemmas plaguing society today. 

For every problem there is a solution.

Giving government control over the money supply is always a bad idea.  We can also see this at play in Japanese history, but we’ll cover that in another episode. 

Thankfully, the Constitution forbids making anything but gold or silver legal tender for the payment of debts.  The general government can coin money and regulate the value thereof by setting uniform standards of weights and measures, not by manipulating prices.  This means Constitutional money is a specific weight and fineness of precious metal and in this legal economic order there is no space for a central bank operating with fractional reserves. 

Similarly, we know from the lessons of political economy that allowing a geographic monopoly on the use of force and decision making, coupled with the power to tax, is the poisoned root leading to tyranny.  Fortunately, the Constitution denied monopoly power to any specific level or institution of government, making politicians dependent upon the people themselves, organized as the militia of the several states in order to “execute the laws” of the union.

Obviously, things at present are far removed from the constitutional order understood at the time of ratification.  There will likely be much upheaval before anything resembling contractual self-governance is restored.  That is why training and preparation is so important.

Study and train along the dual path of scholarly and martial arts, not only to solidify your faith and refine your technique, but also to get so well attuned in the principles that you can offer a beacon of light for others to follow, no matter how dark times may be.

That is our task, both yours and mine. 

Further, building wealth, like John Hancock and John Brown, is essential to mobilizing resources in support of liberty when the time comes.

Actually, having more wealth in private hands and denying financial resources to would be tyrants is a key feature of a free society.

That’s right, you becoming wealthy is a big part of securing a better world for yourself and for the benefit of your fellow humans.

We’ll continue to explore these issues and strategies in future sessions, so be sure to tune in.

In the meantime…

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