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The end of the pretence

“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.


  1. DP says:

    Dear Single Acts of Tyranny

    It has been observed that all the breaches which started this process were all covered by existing law. The media don’t need further regulation.

    I suspect the true target for the whole exercise is the blogosphere.


  2. DP says:

    PS I was referring to this bit:

    “I have no idea whether we are supposed to register this blog with the state* or whether we face exemplary damages whatever they maybe.”


  3. John Galt says:

    “I suspect the true target for the whole exercise is the blogosphere.”

    Remind me again which blogger it was which bribed those coppers?

    Not that you’re necessarily wrong DP…

  4. Faustiesblog says:

    “And what is the point of all this looting and destruction?”

    1) Cyprus as good as loses its sovereignty;
    2) German banks get to recover losses, when they should have taken the full hit (rather than raiding savings);
    3) The Euro loses value in relation to other currencies, so helping German exports.

    This is about big business and the politics of keeping it buoyed up. It has nothing to do with what is right or wrong, or even what is sensible. The goals are money and power: hegemony.

    That Cyprus has, as yet, undeveloped gas fields which both the EU and Russia have had their beady, greedy eyes on for years, is why Cyprus is so important.

    There’s an understated but very real undercurrent of financial war going on between the superpowers – run, in a very real sense, by the global corporations and their political puppets.

    The Cypriot PM was probably visited by the “economic hit men” and made an offer he could not refuse. And just in case there was any chance of the parliament voting the deal down, it looted the cash from from the Cypriot banks via “a resolution” instead of a tax – meaning that the Cypriot Parliament does not get to vote on the deal.

    They’ve sown Cyprus up like a pig on a spit.


  5. John Galt says:

    Going back to SAoT’s original point, the works of Havel and the great dissident anti-communist writers make horrifying reading in relation to the rise of the EU superstate.

    I wonder how long it will be before Havel and Solzhenitsyn are banned again, this time by an apparatchik of the Euro-Soviet.

    Time to get electronic copies and hide them away on a bootable USB drive with encryption. This time the password won’t be “Liberty” it will be a 1024 bit randomly generated key.

    How countries can go from totalitarianism to freedom and start back again down the same road again, I don’t know.

    Václav Havel must be turning in his grave.

  6. Mr Ed says:

    I went to Venice the other day, and after I passed through passport control to exit Schengen on my way home, then there was a person, first time ever in my experience, in the next booth, an alert soldier (yes, he was a soldier) of the Guardia di Finanza (The Finance Guard) leapt up on seeing me, then he saw my Britsh passport and was crestfallen, I presumed that he had hoped I was on the Moscow flight and might have something he would have found interesting for a shakedown. The Italian Finance Guard is a massive force, over 60,000 strong, it is just part of the Italian Armed Forces, the British Army is soon to be down to 80,000. Every time you buy something in Italy, even a 90¢ cappuccino, you get a receipt, it is a crime not to issue one. The grip of the State is growing stronger across Europe.

    I saw a filmed interview with a Czech dissident once, he was, I recall, a jounalist sacked for lack of ‘enthusiasm’. He worked as a window cleaner, he said, with some humour, that what he liked about that work was that it helped people to see things clearly, which was the exact opposite of what the Communist Party wanted him to do.

  7. CountingCats says:


    You forget about this posting?

    I also point out that this blog is in Australia. The UK government may still claim jurisdiction, but so long as I never again visit Blighty then I ‘may’ be ok.

    Of course, there is always the danger of another progressive government here, this time one with the numbers in Parliament to let its totalitarian instincts flower.

  8. Faustiesblog says:

    I wouldn’t count on your being immune from the UK government in Australia, CC. I seem to recall a few years back a fellow was extradited (well, technically) for holocaust denial. His domicile was Australia and the Germans zapped him when he landed in the UK. Unless his ‘crime’ was also a crime recognised under Australian law, what you have is a technical extradition, it seems to me.

    Also, you might want to find out whether or not there’s an extradition treaty between Australia and the UK. This might be via the Commonwealth or even tacked onto another treaty – these people are devious.

    I’ve been wondering for some time why web stats for Google Blogspot display several items representing the same page – e.g.,,, … etc. I have a nagging hunch that our blogs are farmed out to various geographical servers so that should a country – say Germany – decide to censor your blog, Google can just flick the switch off for

    I don’t know if that’s feasible and I’ve not been keeping up-to-date with technology, but it might be worth investigating for those so inclined.

  9. [...] cats calls it ‘the end of the pretence‘ and that’s what it [...]

  10. Plamus says:

    “With no functioning government on the island and no debts to serve, I rather fancy they would be recovered in no time at all.” – In a perfect world, maybe. In our world – I am not so sure. You may be forgetting that this is Southern Europe, and tribal instincts of the ethnic and religious varieties run strong. I am sure I do not need to recap the history of Cyprus; I’ll just note that as recently as 1974 there was bloodshed with Turkey and Greece (both NATO members) duking it out. I suspect that with no functioning gov’t Cyprus would quickly devolve into a mini-Yugoslavia. British history is not my forte, but think how long it took England and Scotland to start getting along. You don’t have that here – instead, you have a 300+ years of pretty brutal Ottoman yoke, which still has most of Southern Europe rather mad at Turkey. On a final note, Cyprus is not a NATO member (for what that’s worth), and their military, even as it is, is a joke (9 boats, 22 helicopters, 24 Exocets – yeah, that’ll last long).

    You might be right, but I would not bet on it. Libertarian societies have little chance of surviving when surrounded by statist ones. That’s about the only reason I lean minarchist rather than anarcho-capitalist – in modern times (with expensive modern weaponry) external defense is a public good.

  11. john says:

    It was a choice, in Cyprus, of either devil or deep-blue-sea.
    If an agreement had not been reached then Russia would have sorted the problem out, which would have meant a naval base in Cyprus (it may still) and the offshore gas being “sold” to Russia.
    Not to forget Turkey.
    Never mind about the Cypriot depositors haircut, worry about ours:
    As for hiding them on a bootable drive, encrypted, never forget the RIPA !
    Better to not download them at all, given the state of technology it will not escape attention.

  12. Andrew Duffin says:

    “Every time you buy something in Italy, even a 90¢ cappuccino, you get a receipt, it is a crime not to issue one.”

    True indeed, it’s called a “ricevuta riscale”.

    I once insisted on one when stopped for speeding and given an on-the-spot fine (L80,000 iirc).

    My friends were horrified – “you just don’t do that to the Polizia Stradale, they’ll never leave you alone now”.

    But I didn’t have any hassle. Nor did I speed any more…

  13. Andrew Duffin says:


    Not riscale.

    Jeez. Sorry.

  14. Paul Marks says:

    The two largest banks in Cyprus have basically vanished.

    This “you can put money in – but you can not take it out” dance, is a farce.

  15. Paul Marks says:

    I still can not get to the comments on your other post on Cyprus SAOT

    But you will have notinced the latest “surprise” about Cyprus.

    They are now being asked to pay 13 billion Euros in order to have a 10 billion Euro loan.

    And the 13 billion Euros is UP FRONT (pay now).

    But anything to stay in the Euro……..

    And the people?

    The people just accept it all.

    Because the media (and the education system) tell them that the European Union (and the “International Community” generally) are a good thing.

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