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PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS
The following discussion was in large part inspired by and built upon Dr. Saifedean Ammous’s latest work, Principles of Economics.
I was fortunate enough to receive an early copy of his book, and as it is still in preorder I highly encourage you to get in line, once word gets out, this thing will be on back order. You will see the world through new eyes after completion of this book. It will make you a better more able operator in this amazing place we call Earth. And I would be remiss to not take this opportunity to offer an unsolicited free plug for Principles of Economics, so allow me a moment here, because I really can’t endorse his latest work enough.
It is in my estimation, easily the greatest book I have ever read, and not just educationally speaking, but in terms of all books, fiction and non fiction works alike.
Well, because I have scoured humanities collective intelligence over the past few decades searching for answers I had an unquenched thirst for. From Marx’s Capital and The Communist Manifesto, to Tolstoy’s War and Peace; from Nietzsche’s Human, All Too Human to Candide’s Voltaire; from the Old Testament to the New Testament to the Koran; from Hitler’s Mein Kampf to Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; From Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov to Burgess’s Clock Work Orange; from Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 to Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984; from Dante’s Divine Comedy to Salatin’s Folks This Aint Normal; from Plato’s The Republic to Hamilton, Madison, and Jay’s The Federalist Papers, I’ve searched high and low, across all genres and countries and times, searching fruitlessly for decades to find a book that shared my intuitions and personal experiences, to affirm what seemed so obvious looking out at the world with open non judgmental eyes.
For decades I found only pieces and parts, new ideas and dead ends, but in the end I never found a completely suitable acceptable answer that could quench those unanswered questions I was searching for.
With the weight of life upon me, with the fiat deluge of student loans, home loans, and credit card debts upon me, with the need to fit into the fiat standard soul crushing box and climb the corporate ladder, with the longing for a wife and a family, I had eventually given up the search for those elusive answers that I knew in my heart were out there, somewhere.
And then, one fateful summer evening in 2017, Bitcoin found me. And through it, I found Austrian economics, so well hidden from me for so many years, but found it nonetheless I had, thanks entirely to Bitcoin and to the undying men and women that quietly and unceremoniously carried the flame of truth, honesty, and dignity over the countless centuries. With Austrian economics in my sights, I found Dr. Saifedean Ammous’s unapologetic, and uncompromising, truth telling grace, and my thirst for answers reignited!
The first principles laid out in Ammous’s Principles of Economics is, in my humble view, the summation of human thought from the beginning of mankind's ability to reason, to the present day state of the tech between our ears, of that collage of humanities view points, ideals, and values. And his first principles approach is not simply an idle cataloguing, but rather a critical analysis and application of the how and of the why on that collage of principles that sticks together and functions as it does. From an Einsteinian or Newtonian perspective, it is akin to General Relativity or Calculus, applied to Human Action.
Principles of Economics lays out plainly and thoughtfully step by step, the how and the why of human action, from the principles of subjective value to the development of civilization, and therefore, every individual that takes the time to learn the wisdom in this instant evergreen classic will further empower themselves, their families, and their communities to strive forth armed with reason, into the great experiment of humanity through all of its triumphs and its enduring will to push forward, onwards and upwards.
Principles of Economics is not a text book on Austrian economics, it is a literary work of art on the human condition, and the laws that govern it, and its reading will undoubtedly become a requirement for the children of all thoughtful and well intending parents the world over for countless generations to come.
If you liked The Bitcoin Standard, or The Fiat Standard, suffice it say, and no offense here Saif, but Principles of Economics was written with the grace of the Almighty, it is a tour de force, light years better in tone, organization, levity, depth, breadth and clarity than anything I have ever read, and it is not even close. It is a crowning gem of the vast library of human efforts, and I am forever grateful and humbled to be along for the ride. My thirst has been quenched, my assumptions and intuitions affirmed, my fixation on Bitcoin crystalized into certainty, and lo how truly glorious it is indeed.
And with that necessary prelude dispensed, and this qualifier that the following is in no way endorsed by Dr. Ammous, although I surely hope it hits the mark, so take that as you might, and let us now dive into some fresh perspectives on slavings ;-) and loans as seen through and beyond…Principles of Economics.
HUMAN GOVERNANCE SYSTEMS
There are three basic forms of, and for, the coordination of human action, to include;
Slavery: where there is a slave and a slave master
Imprisonment: where there is a prisoner and a prison warden
Freedom: where the non aggression principle is applied by humans
Whether you are thinking of a man alone on an island, in the mountains, with a tribe in a jungle, a Kingdom, a Monarchy, a Republic, a Democracy, an Empire, a Dictatorship, Communism, Socialism, Fascism, or a Sovereign Individual Society, no matter what the culture might be, there is at all times some mixture of slavery, imprisonment, and freedom.
While it seems obvious that we would and do proactively all strive to adopt policies that maximize Freedom, for one particular misunderstood reason that is not so obvious to the general public, namely, slave coupons, humanity tends to find themselves, as they currently stand, unwittingly, big supporters of Slavery and Imprisonment.
To better understand this, let us first briefly consider the pros and cons of each of these three categories, from the perspective of those that primarily benefit.
Slavery: It works well for the slave master because he can make many more things utilizing his slaves than he might otherwise be able to make by himself with the limited time he has to work, given his limited time alive on this planet.
The downside to Slavery, for the slave master, is that the slaves making the things for him don’t want to be forced to make those things, they would rather make other things for themselves since they too have a limited time alive as well, so there is a large amount of energy expensed by the slave master to keep the slaves doing what the slave master wants the slaves to accomplish, and to stop them from running off to operate in Freedom.
Imprisonment: It works great at keeping prisoners where you want them. Once the prison is built, the cost to keep prisoners within the prison is very low. With high enough and thick enough walls, prisons have a very low cost to operate. In fact, if you provide the prisoners with the appropriate capital goods, they can grow and harvest their own food and meet their living needs well enough to effectively reduce prison operating costs to zero, for all intents and purposes.
The downside to Imprisonment, for the prison warden, is that it is not a very good place to get things made that the prison warden might want his prisoners to make. Prisoners have a very low incentive to work since prisons are generally designed to keep people alive. Unlike the slavery model, which incentives work through the fear of being beaten to death, the prison business generally operates on the premise of keeping the prisoners alive, so there isn’t really any good incentive for the prisoners to make things that the prison warden might want made.
Freedom: It works great for slaves and prisoners that escape slavery and imprisonment because they now have the time to make the things they want, and since they operate within a voluntary trade policy, they can specialize and produce much more through their trade with other free humans than they otherwise could if they isolated themselves or if they attempted their own slavery or imprisonment system.
The downside to Freedom? Well the only downside to freedom is that the slave masters and prison wardens are out of business.
In other words, and this is the summary folks so pay attention here; when someone is telling you what you need to do, that you need to perform a medical procedure, or that you can’t leave your home, or that you need to close your business, or that you must involuntarily hand over some of your hard earned money, or that someone else is allowed to dilute your hard earned savings or your labor, it is critical to understand that you are listening to a slave master or a prison warden talk to you as if you are their property or their prisoner. No bueno.
You need to wake up to the fact of the matter, of the world around you, that there is Bitcoin, and there is Slavery. If you are against Bitcoin, you are against Freedom…
Schools in session. Let’s go.
EMANCIPATE YOURSELVES FROM MENTAL SLAVERY
Ideally, to produce the most things at the lowest cost possible, a slave master would want his slaves operating in a prison that they can’t escape from, with the twist that they think they are freely operating, outside of prison, in freedom. This is every slave masters ideal society, a plantation of “free” “prison slaves” where the slave master melds the best of Slavery, Imprisonment, and Freedom, forcing the slaves to make whatever he wants, at zero cost.
But how, what is this sorcery? Is it even possible?
Slave Mastery 101: How to make this horrific nightmare a reality;
Step 1: To get your “free prison slaves” thinking they are not in a prison, thinking they are free and not stuck inside a prison, the first step is moving the prison walls from the physical space, to the mental space.
A great innovation from a slave masters perspective is dematerializing prison walls from the physical world and loading them into the unwitting slaves mind. With this step you turn the old fashioned slave into a newfangled prison slave.
It’s fairly simple.
For example you can tell your slaves that your plantation is the only safe place in the land, that the land outside of the plantation is radioactive, or controlled by evil people that will kill them, or plagued with diseases that will kill them. After a few generations of consistent programming, this lie will become strongly held belief and your slaves are now prison slaves.
Step 2: To get your “free prison slaves” thinking that they are freely trading with one another, you need to introduce a slave coupon. With your slave coupon printed for free, you can hand out slave coupons to the slaves that do what you want, so rather than beating the slaves that don’t do what you want, which takes a lot of energy, you simply hand out slave coupons to the the slaves that do what you want. In this way you push your cost of production to zero, so now you have “free” prison slaves.
Step 3: Since humans are generally intelligent, and some of your “free prison slaves” will test your systems limits, you will need to run maintenance operations. And since you can have your slaves run these operations by issuing them more slave coupons, the cost of maintenance is once again, zero!
So what are these maintenance operations?
Well, just take a look around. Yikes!!!
Step 4: Maintain the illusion of freedom.
Create a “democracy” where there is a “government” that is made up of free prison slaves who are selected by you, the slave master. Give your slaves the idea that they are free. Allow them to vote, and tell them that their vote is very important. You should repeat this message every year of their life from the time they are born until the day they die, reinforcing every day that voting is what makes up the fabric of society, and that they are the people that create the governments that make the rules. Tell them their government is by them, of them, and for them.
Of course, however, this is just a façade because as the slave master you would obviously limit who can run for important elections within your slave puppet government and you would narrow down the slaves voting options to two choices that appear to have opposing views, yet whom are both pre selected by you. This gives the illusion of freedom for the slaves who are working for you, and are so busy thinking they’re free and voting harder that they don’t realize they are actual doing absolutely nothing with their vote. It’s quite hilarious. Lol!
Keep in mind, some of the slaves will see through this scam. They might begin to think they are not free, and they might start spreading this dangerous idea to harm the notion of your “democracy,” lol. Therefore, it is critically important that you keep your slaves distracted.
With anything and everything! The more arbitrary the better!
Slaves love sports. It is physical and gives them a break from the drudgery of their slave lives. You’ll want to have lots of sporting events, broadcast daily! Every season of the year should be a well choreographed dramatic sporting event, full of fresh new faces and adrenaline pumping excitement. These should be thought of as world events, to really make them seem important. Obviously the sporting event will only be going on in your plantation, but that doesn’t matter. For example you can call your baseball event a World Series, to make it sound very important.
Not all slaves love sports. Some are a little more intellectual, and less physical. No problem. If the sporting events don’t do the trick there is also music that can be broadcast daily. And here you can be sure to only allow your slaves to hear the “correct” messaging, so all of your radio broadcasts must be licensed by you the slave master to spread your pre approved propagandized “music.”
Obviously, to keep the slaves from talking with each other and organizing secretly against you, you want to ensure that division is consistently and constantly enforced. Be sure to push all sorts of false tensions regardless of the obvious fact that tensions are entirely made up. Your slaves will believe it if it is repeated over and over to them every night before they go to bed and when they wake up.
Create division between the sexes, between races, between ethnicity, and between religions. Confuse boys to be girls, and vice versa. Go ahead and start lopping of the genitalia of your younger slaves while you are at it, if you really want to fuck with them. The important point here is that you are creating an environment as chaotic as possible, maximize division and confusion. Fill their minds with it. Get them fighting against themselves over the stupidest stuff you can think of. Bottom line, keep their thoughts on their neighbors, not on you!
Another great trick is to pretend that all of the other plantations are potentially trying to take over your plantation. This makes the slaves loyal to your plantation. Pretend that all of the other slave masters are fighting against you, and planning to kill your slaves. You can tell your slaves that the other slaves from the other plantations want to kill them.
This is obviously a lie, none of your slaves wake up in the morning wanting to kill slaves from other plantations, and so obviously no slaves from the other plantations wake up in the morning wanting to kill your slaves. It’s all just a psyop to create loyal slaves for all of the slave owners on all of the plantations. It’s a time tested trade secret. Obviously the slaves are just trying to survive every day and earn enough of your slave coupons, that you make for free, to feed their families. LMFAO. Slaves will fall for this one simple trick every single time. It’s the best.
Obviously, in reality you and the other slave masters hang out together at exclusive resorts that your slaves have never heard of nor would ever be allowed to enter, where you share new ideas and techniques with other slave master plantation owners, to keep your slaves thinking they are free and not imprisoned. Other than the deceit and down right demonic evilness about the whole thing, putting that tidbit aside, the resorts are great, and after all you deserve it for all your hard work!
Now keep in mind, one more critical element of this free prison slave system is to promote it, not to be ashamed of it. Keep the illusion alive, make celebrities of those that work hard enough, those that are good slaves, can have “anything” they want, as long as they accumulate enough of your slave coupons. And the best way to get this idea baked into their little noodles is to begin this arbitrary reward program early. As soon as your little slaves can string two words together get them into your indoctrination programs that you can frame as “education” where you can have them memorize the most useless information like the names and colors of ancient dinosaurs that in no way helps them with their daily lives.
The young little slaves that are the best at memorizing and regurgitating your silly arbitrary information will be rewarded with social credit scores you can call “grades” that tell the upper management slaves which ones will be well suited to earn your slave coupons because they have very little independence or critical thinking skills. And those that earn low grades will simply starve to death or end up in one of your prisons. It works excellent!
Sadly, eventually some slave masters print too many slave coupons, and they break their plantation. When this happens, the slaves run amuck. The slaves of course being completely brainwashed for generations have no clue how to operate a society any differently so the most enterprising get help from foreign slave masters from other plantations to setup a new plantation, under the guise of life, liberty, and freedom, or some such nonsense, and the plantation starts a new.
THE BEGINNING OF SLAVINGS & LOANS. SLAVINGS, LOL.
In the modern, advanced, free prison slave system, slave coupons are often referred to as fiat currencies, cash or money, like the US dollar or the British pound, Japanese Yen, or Chinese Yuan etc. Every plantation has their own cool name for their slave coupons.
So what are these slave coupons? They are the currency that the slave masters can create for free that their prison slaves must work to earn.
And how the hell did we get here? Prior to the technological break through in slave coupons, before the advent of computers made printing slave coupons free to print by the slave masters, the notion of a prison slave was only a pipe dream.
Without the proverbial carrot to dangle over the slave in the form of slave wage promotions, the slave masters had the annoying problem of providing free housing, free food, free health care and free education to his slaves. It wasn’t until the advent of the slave coupon that slave masters could “offshore” the cost of housing, food, health care, and education from the slave master to the slaves. With slave coupons, the prison slaves, who think they are free, feel motivated to slave away harder to accumulate more slave coupons to provide for their slave families more and better poisonous slave food, cancerous slave housing, disabling slave health care, and propagandizing enslaving education.
In the slave business, the advent of the slave coupon - of fiat government “money” printed from nothing - was truly a remarkable innovation.
It all started with the savings and loan banking system, before it became a slavings & loan banking system.
Banks were long ago called savings and loan because they offered both savings and loans using real, scarce, money, in the form of physical gold.
During the 1900’s the bankers, with the help of their governments, monopolized this simple straightforward business into a deceitful lending only platform. They kept the façade of the savings portion to fool all of their customers. In this new dystopian paradigm everyones money at the bank was no longer savings, it became an investment vehicle for the bankers and their governments, and as such the money was no longer liquid. People could no longer walk into their bank and ask for all of their money withdrawn. They wont allow it. If you go to your bank today and let’s say you have $10,000 slave coupons in your slavings account, and ask for all $10,000, they wont give it to you. It is no longer your savings. “Your” money is tied up in investments that you didn’t sign up for.
The work around for this slight of hand is that your friendly government overlords (whom are now more akin to slave masters and prison wardens) will backstop any losses that occur to your “savings” while it is invested by simply printing more money (what are now better understood to be slave coupons because they are printed for free and dilute all of the savers money in the process, it is in fact theft of your money, of your time, of you labor, and you are therefore a simple slave, and you have no idea that this is the reality of the world you currently live within).
The problem with this setup is that the bankers that invest your money without your consent are earning risk free returns for the use of your money. The end result is money printing to cover the inevitable losses that arise through these bankers bad investments. The money printing in and of itself is not a big deal, provided the money printing is distributed equally to everyone of the savers that had their savings nonconsensually invested by the bankers.
Except that’s not what happens.
Instead, the banking losers with bad investments are the ones made whole by their slave master and prison warden governing partners and they receive the majority of the printed money with any excess going to the overlord managers that facilitate the bailouts while all of the banking customers, the responsible savers, you slaves, bear the full cost through the dilution of your savings and your labor. In other words, what we have is not a savings and loan system any longer.
The traditional Savings & Loan Bank that we think of from the propaganda movies that we all naively believe to be true, has been transformed from a Savings and (Consensual) Lending Banking system to an altogether bizzaro-opposite-world where the savings component has been entirely removed and the lending is entirely nonconsensual such that what we actually all live with now is in fact a Slave Coupon Savings, a Slavings if you will, and a (Nonconsensual) Lending Banking system, where the lenders are bailed out regardless of their terrible bets.
This all came about through government threats of imprisonment and murder, from the barrel of a gun, imposed upon our fathers and grand fathers by systematically severing their gold (cash savings) from the modern monetary system. By removing real money from the equation, gold, we moved from a Savings & Loan Banking System, to a Slavings System.
SWAPPING OUT THE SLAVE COUPONS
If the slave masters and prison wardens (the Keynesians) created a Slavings & Loans system through a violent and aggressive way of swapping out gold for their slave coupon (the US dollar, and any other fiat shitcoin currency in every plantation on the planet), the sovereign individuals (the Bitcoiners) are returning to a Savings & Loan system through a sly round about voluntary and peaceful way of swapping out their slave coupons, for real, proof of work, sound, digital, unfuckingstoppable, bitcoin money!
In the same way the incentives aligned to create the Slavings & (nonconsensual) Loan system we currently are prisoners and slaves to, the incentive structure and decentralized nature of Bitcoin is aligned with sovereign individuals to ensure the resurrection of the Savings & (consensual) Loan system.
The slave masters and prison wardens are correct when they refer to bitcoin as an exit from their plantation. Bitcoin is the land of Freedom, and there is no stopping everyone of us slaves from seeing it and living it.
What Bitcoin has done, and is continuing to do, is to reinsert the Savings component of banking back into the modern digital monetary system, to stop the nonconsensual investment of our savings and labor by unethical immoral, and ignorant, slave masters and prison wardens, and Bitcoin is doing it ethically and morally, without the need of any “government” (slave financed) assistance, precisely because money, that is cash, has always been a free market emergent phenomenon, through the human action processes of Freedom, of humans operating in collaboration with one another through non aggressive means, upholding and respecting the cornerstone of civilization, property rights.
The Keynesian (slave masters) argue that the banking system needs to be setup to maximize investments because otherwise the economy would grind to a halt if everyone had all of their money in savings and not in investments.
In fact the opposite is true. With everyone’s money constantly non-consensually invested in the “free slave prison” economy, when a new opportunity does arise to invest in, because there is so little actual savings available to the savers, there is very little available to allocate to new investments.
In fact the reality is that with a world filled with real savings (with sovereign individuals with cash balances in the form of non dilutive bitcoin) and a consensual investment policy in place, simply because nobody can invest our self custodied bitcoin without our consent, there would be far more savings ready to deploy into new investment opportunities because of the larger pool of savings to pull from. The Keynesian slave masters got it exactly backwards, because they are either evil, or dumb, or both. A larger pool of savings promotes innovation, rather than stifles it.
I implore you to take the time to order Principles of Economics and read the book. You will understand all of this and more. For example, you will learn that government defense is a silly idea, that most security and legal disputes are provided privately, without stolen tax money.
You think you are living in a free world, that your western privileges' have no strings attached to your modern “conveniences.” This could not be further from the truth. Imagine a world where you are not required to pay three months of your wages to the government, where your wages grow in purchasing power every year, where you are not spoon fed bullshit from your television and your movies and your radio every second of every day, where you and your neighbors work together, where there is no longer threat of another government starting World War 3, where your money can no longer be stolen from you.
Read the book. It will change your life. You’ll start having Fresh Perspectives on Your Slavings & Loans. —> https://saifedean.com/poe