“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”
Ayn had a point. I have no idea whether we are supposed to register this blog with the state* or whether we face exemplary damages whatever they maybe. But as Christopher Hitchens observed in “Letters to a Young Contrarian” when faced with powerful, totalitarian government, one must live as if one is free. It landed Solzhenitsyn in the Gulag and Vaclav Havel in the President’s office eventually, via the secret police and repeated imprisonment.
In “The power of the powerless” Havel notes how citizens were forced to live within a lie (i.e. the communist government). We are doing likewise with the lie of bankrupt social security, the lie of wars on terror, the lie of fiat money and the massive overwhelming lie of our supposed national solvency, the lie of global warning as well as today’s ludicrous claims about clamping down on immigration knowing full well EU citizens have more or less carte blanche access to the UK.
Later on Havel said
“…we never decided to become dissidents. We have been transformed into them, without quite knowing how, sometimes we have ended up in prison without precisely knowing how. We simply went ahead and did certain things that we felt we ought to do, and that seemed to us decent to do, nothing more nor less.”
The world is feeling a little like that this morning. Details of the Cyprus bailout are very, very thin on the ground, which (sloppy journalism aside) can mean one of two things. The details are agreed but they don’t want to reveal the full extent of the horror, or they are making it up as they go along. Capital controls and a total pension fund grab were talked about, now silence. SKY reported that people leaving the country were searched for cash. Even the grab of monies over one hundred thousand Euros is unclear, 30%, 40%, no-one can confirm the figure.
One thing is certain, Cyprus’s major industry, offshore banking, is gone. Destroyed totally. As if this wasn’t enough, just how many businesses will even survive with an asset seizure of between 30% and 40%?
And what is the point of all this looting and destruction? Well Cyprus gets to stay in the Euro for now and the government can extend and pretend a bit longer before they too finally go down the tubes. That’s it. The destruction of lives and businesses just to maintain the doomed façade for a bit longer.
So what should (but won’t) happen instead? Like any other business, banks that go bust should, go bust. The EU requires the Cypriot government to guarantee depositors up to one hundred thousand Euros. Ah, but they are also bust, and can’t meet their obligations and that’s why they care about the bailout so much. The local criminal politicians want to keep their jobs and pensions, even if it means throwing everyone else to the Wolves. They too should simply go bust.
With no functioning government on the island and no debts to serve, I rather fancy they would be recovered in no time at all. Hell, I might even set up a bank there, as there would be no competent authority to levy taxes. As it is they are stuck with years and years of debt serfdom. Watch for an enormous exodus from the Island.
Angela Merkel said “a fair burden distribution” had been achieved whereas Dmitry Medvedev (sic) called it “stealing”. That perhaps tells you all you need to know.
It was said that satire was redundant when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize. Law making now seems quite openly and clearly redundant to anyone paying attention. If you can pass laws to legalise looting by calling it tax and pass laws to silence critics by calling it a Royal Charter, you have lost all legitimacy, even within the narrow, self-defined terms that many of us already reject. You are outside law and law itself ceases to mean anything. It is merely naked, medieval, government by edict.
* I don’t expect Cats to do so for a minute, but if he ever did, I’m outta here. I do not need the consent of criminals to speak.