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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Common FSK Topics

Some people have been complaining recently "FSK isn't writing as well as he used to." I didn't have any posts that were incredibly popular in December. I didn't write that well in late November and early December, because I was recovering from my panic attack. I feel mostly better now, perhaps even better than before the panic attack and original hospitalization. I also noticed a slight drop in my Google Analytics statistics in December. I can't prove if the drop was due to lower quality articles, or due to randomness and seasonal fluctuation. The long-term trend for my blog is increasing readership. The trend for January is favorable so far.

If you want me to write about something, feel free to suggest a topic. (Some people have made suggestions that are still in my draft queue.) I finally caught up on answering reader comments. The volume of comments has increased recently, which is a good sign. Sometimes, "Reader Mail" responses also deserve a post of their own.

I've noticed that "Posts that FSK expects to be popular ahead of time" and "Posts that actually are popular" tend to be loosely correlated. I'm surprised by my Google Analytics statistics and what is quoted on other blogs.

So far, the themes I've been discussing are:

1. The USA has an unfair monetary system. The Federal Reserve is immoral. The Compound Interest Paradox is a fundamental structural flaw in a completely corrupt monetary system.

Even if I personally have no debt, the Compound Interest Paradox affects me. As the rest of the economy is wracked by boom/bust cycles, that affects my ability to make personal economic decisions. Any cash savings I have are consistently eroded by inflation. Even stock investments don't yield a positive inflation-adjusted return!

The Federal Reserve credit monopoly is a price fixing cartel. The power to finance new businesses is stolen from individuals and given to financial industry insiders. A bank can easily issue a loan, because it borrows from the Federal Reserve at the Fed Funds Rate and issues loans, profiting from the spread times the leverage ratio. As an individual, I don't have the magic money-printing power of banks, so I can't profitably lend money at the same rate as a State licensed bank.

Large corporations receive massive State subsidies in the form of negative real interest rates. The CEO of a large corporation may borrow at 6%-8%, while a small business owner must pay much higher rates or cannot borrow at all. If I walked into a bank and said "I'd like to borrow $100k so I can start a business.", the banker would laugh at me. If the CEO of a large corporation does the same thing, asking for $1B-$10B or more, the banker is eager to pay because the CEO has a State licensed monopoly/oligopoly to run his business. The State-licensed corporate monopoly guarantees the large corporation's ability to repay its loan.

When an individual starts a business, he typically raises venture capital. The terms of investment usually make the startup founder the employee of the venture capitalist. I've decided that all my business ventures (on-the-books and agorist) will be 100% self-funded via reinvested earnings. Funding a business via reinvested earnings places me at a handicap compared to corporate insiders. With agorism, I avoid subsidizing my larger competitors via taxes and I avoid the crippling effect of regulations. With a web-based business like blogging, my expenses are very low.

The Federal Reserve credit monopoly encourages consolidation of industries. Negative real interest rates encourage corporations to borrow and buy out their competitors. State restriction of the market prevents new competitors from competing with the established oligopoly/monopoly.

Large banks have a perk that nobody else gets. They get first dibs on newly printed money. This guarantees that, via money supply inflation, they will always profit at the expense of productive workers. The rules of the monetary system guarantee that a certain percentage of all productive work goes to the profits of bankers.

At this point, I consider "The Federal Reserve is immoral! The USA has an unfair and defective monetary system!" to be completely proven. There isn't anything interesting left to write on the subject, although I should make updated versions of older posts.

2. The income tax is immoral! The Federal Reserve and income tax are two sides of the same evil. The income tax prevents people from boycotting the Federal Reserve. Federal Reserve notes are literally work permission receipts. IRS State bureaucrats demand that Federal Reserve Notes be given to them in exchange for permission to work.

Taxation laws and regulation of banking prevent people from boycotting the Federal Reserve and using gold and silver instead. If you use gold as money for an on-the-books transaction, you pay a higher taxation rate than if you use slave points as money. Operating an on-the-books gold/silver warehouse receipt bank is so heavily regulated that it's essentially illegal. Operating an on-the-books gold/silver/FRN barter network is also heavily regulated.

Most/all gold and silver warehouse receipt banks have been raided by the State at one point or another, citing violations of strict banking laws.

3. All forms of taxation are theft! The most evil tax is the income tax, because it affects all productive economic activity. The second most evil tax is the property tax, because people don't get full allodial title to their land. Instead of outright owning your land, you instead have a perpetual transferable lease. *ALL* taxes, no matter how big or small, are theft. All taxation must ultimately be backed by violence, because otherwise people would merely ignore the tax. Most of the time, the State does not use violence to collect taxes, because the cattle obediently pay their tribute.

The proceeds of taxation are almost entirely used for evil purposes. If you voluntarily pay taxes, you're responsible for all the bad things the State does. In the present, you should be strategic about what taxes you resist. For now, a free market worker should focus on avoiding the most evil taxes, which are the income tax and Federal Reserve. You should do this by generating wealth in ways that the State cannot leech your productivity.

I consider "Taxation is theft!" to be completely proven, and not worth debating anymore.

4. A true free market, where nobody has a monopoly of anything, is far superior to the current system. The State's violence monopoly and taxation monopoly are the source of most evils in our society.

I also consider this to be completely proven. However, the philosophy of real free markets is completely contrary to what people are pro-State troll brainwashed to believe. This is a complete mental shift from the way the average person thinks. It's almost like I'm speaking a new language that practically nobody understands.

5. The best strategy for resisting the State is agorism.

I don't have to get the philosophy of true free markets 100% correct on the first try. I'm looking for ways to improve my thinking in this area, but there are no real-world examples to consider. Like any good scientist, the only way for me to learn is to conduct an experiment. I predict that agorists will be so productive that there will be exponential growth, once it gets started. Conducting an agorist experiment is risky due to the threat of a crackdown by State enforcers. However, with risk also comes reward.

I'm open to other suggestions for "How to successfully resist the State!", but agorism is the best strategy I've seen. Other resistance strategies are so inferior that they seem like pro-State trolling.

One valid criticism is "FSK is only writing about theoretical agorism. FSK does not practice agorism." If you have any stories of successful agorists, let me know! I'm working on making the transition to practical agorism, but that will probably take a few years. In the meantime, I'm open to a part-time agorist experiment as a hobby.

I can't practice actual agorism unless there's a pool of potential trading partners. Right now, I'm unemployed, leaving more time for blogging. Until the agorist economy becomes a good full-time source of income, I'm going to stick with the wage slave economy.

6. The "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense. Cracking your pro-State brainwashing is very traumatic. Most people who make partial progress in this area wind up murdered by a psychiatrist.

The corrupt mental health industry is a key component for preserving the evil human enslavement Matrix.

Once I realized that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is a fraud, I was more open to questioning other things. I discovered this truth involuntarily, when I was hospitalized against my will. (The first time, I called 911 voluntarily. I didn't realize at the time that I would be so horribly abused. The other times, my parents or others called 911 while I was suffering from withdrawal.)

The fraud of the psychiatry industry is a direct conclusion from my personal observations. I'm sure of the evil effects the drugs had on me. I'm also including my observations of other patients, plus feedback from readers (a biased sample). I also can examine the attitude of psychiatrists and most mental health workers, recognizing them as having the parasitic personality type. (I did have one good therapist, but she found a better job than working at the mental health clinic. Her new job is not conveniently located for me. The psychiatrists I dealt with all had the parasitic personality type.)

The main priority on this subject is for me to avoid re-hospitalization and being drugged up.

7. Fnords are real! It's like I have the magic power of those sunglasses in the "They Live!" documentary.

Fnords come in two colors. There are the evil fnords, which are part of the human enslavement Matrix. The evil fnords are generated by PR firms and State censorship mandates/customs. There is no State bureaucrat that scans the mainstream media enforcing evil fnord creation. Self-censorship is incredibly efficient, once the leaders of mainstream media corporations have been corrupted. If a State-licensed thinker accidentally says something that's too true, then the backlash will typically cost him his job. If necessary, another pretext can be invented to discredit the truth teller.

There also are good fnords. Most of the good fnords can be found in nonfiction (fiction). The best good fnords are on the Truth Channel (Comedy Central) and the News Channel (Cartoon Network) and the Science Channel (Science Fiction Channel). It's obvious that the evil fnords are human generated. Where are the good fnords coming from?

Do good fnords come from diligent humans who manage to sneak bits of truth past the mainstream media filter, under the guise of fiction? Do good fnords come from advanced aliens, trying to guide humanity in the correct direction?

Regarding fnords, I am providing a genuinely useful service. I don't know of anyone else who can see both types as clearly as me.

8. I write articles on various financial scandals. My article on Bernard Madoff was one of my few popular posts in December.

These articles tend to be popular. When I write about current events, the corruption of the current system is more obvious.

There haven't been any really good financial scandals lately. The good news is that the corruption is continuing. I won't run out of material on this subject until the State has been eliminated!

I have a knowledge of economics and financial markets that is more advanced that mainstream pro-State troll phony economics. My articles on financial scandals tend to be good and popular.

9. The best monetary system is no State regulation of money at all. The best form of government is no monopolistic State at all.

In practice, no State regulation of money would mean a return to a gold/silver standard. In a true free market, warehouse receipt banking and time deposit banking are superior to fractional reserve banking. The only reason that the fractional reserve banking model dominated is that State regulation forced banks to operate that way. Competing banking models were illegal or noncompetitive with State-regulated fractional reserve banks.

In the present, State regulations and taxes make it illegal for people to use gold or silver or whatever they want as money.

10. The US economy is completely collapsing. If you compare gold to the S&P 500, gold has been a better investment! If you calculate inflation-adjusted GDP using the price of gold as your inflation index instead of the CPI, then the US economy is shrinking at an alarming rate!

If you believe "gold is money" like I do, then gold is the best index of inflation. By definition, the return on an investment in physical gold is 0% minus transaction costs and storage costs. There are short-term fluctuations, but over a 5+ year period, the inflation-adjusted return on a gold investment should be 0%.

These posts are interesting because I take information available from official State sources and re-present it in a different light. Such posts will be a regular annual occurrence. I only make annual updates, because there isn't much intrayear change.

11. Limited liability incorporation is evil. Large corporations are not a natural free market occurrence. Humongous State subsidies and restrictions of the market are required to keep large corporations profitable and crush competition.

12. It was really disappointing for me to discover that the stock market is one big scam. A small investor without the ability to buy a controlling interest of a corporation is practically guaranteed to lose out to inflation in the long run. Corporations are producing goods and turning a profit and perhaps paying dividends, but the executives who control the corporation are lining their pockets at the expense of small shareholders. Executives waste the corporation's assets and they line their pockets with stock/option grants.

Even though I advise people to invest in gold and silver, I don't own any gold or silver (yet).

Investing in my blog is a form of free market investment. I'm building my own brand instead of someone else's. (I plan to move from Blogger to my own domain soon, purchasing with the profits of AdSense.)

13. Is the current corrupt system part of a deliberate conspiracy? Did it occur via a series a bad decisions? Is there a Supreme Leader of Humanity? Is the current corrupt system merely a Stand Alone Complex?

As a practical matter, this is irrelevant. I should do what I think is right. It's irrelevant whethere there's a massive conspiracy or it's just a horrible tragedy.

I mention various conspiracy theories because I find them interesting, but not because the details affect my proper course of action.

14. Pro-State brainwashing affects nearly every aspect of a person's thinking. Cracking your pro-State brainwashing isn't just about realizing "Taxation is theft!" and "Who needs a government anyway?" There are many emotional/subconscious attitudes that contribute to pro-State brainwashing.

If I start talking about free market economics with the people around me, they will say "You're a fruitcake FSK!" If I wasn't so sure I was right, the pro-State trolls around me would convince me to abandon my free market principles.

15. I frequently deride commenters for pro-State trolling. I judge each comment individually. I try to take each comment seriously. I may need to abandon that policy if I become swamped with comments, but that's working for now.

I'm getting good at identifying people who are taking the dominant/aggressive stance (in the "Dog Whisperer" sense). My response is usually "TSSST! Stop pro-State trolling!"

Some people are critical of my policy of ridiculing pro-State trolls. Clamping down on trolls is important, lest they dominate the discussion. I deal with enough fools in other areas that I don't want to have that problem on my blog.

Some people say "FSK's policy of criticizing pro-State trolls wrecks his blog! You'd be more popular if you sucked your readers' ****s more, like a mainstream media source." You're free to comment Anonymously if you're concerned I will ridicule you. You're also free to lurk without commenting. If you're going to comment, make sure it's something intelligent.

You're free to start your own blog. If you can present my ideas better than me, go ahead! I'm getting pretty consistent 10%-20% readership growth according to Google Analytics, but that doesn't mean another approach would be better or worse. Consistent readership growth is evidence that my strategy isn't totally stupid.

Some people say that a lack of stupid criticism may ruin my blog. If there's anything I can do to prevent idiots from commenting, let me know!

Pro-State trolling can be done intentionally, by a State-planted spy. I doubt there are any here, but who knows? Pro-State trolling can be done by people who aren't able to crack their pro-State brainwashing. They can't accept the fact that most of what they've been taught is a lie, so they instead say "You're a fruitcake FSK!" or make obviously wrong counter-arguments to my ideas. For these two types of pro-State trolls I have very little patience.

There also are people who are new to the philosophy of real free markets. They are trying to learn, but are making logical errors. I try to be more understanding with comments like these. I'm getting better at evaluating the tone of the comment, whether it's aggressive/dominant or genuinely confused. If I say "You're pro-State trolling!", you should evaluate each idea separately. The people who get offended and say "**** you FSK! I'm leaving!" weren't usually worth having around anyway.

Finally, this is my blog and I'll do what I please here. If you don't like it, go ahead and start your own blog. That's the definitive final answer to all disagreements. I try to be as interesting as possible, but you can't please everyone all the time.

When I move to self-hosting, I'm planning on writing my own forum engine. With this engine, all the site rules will be enforced by the engine itself. I'll write the engine so that it won't be necessary to ban anyone from the site, even the worst pro-State trolls. Most discussion forums and wikis don't properly handle discussion of controversial ideas. I believe an online community should *NEVER* ban someone, even if they're abusive. Killfiles and other methods filter good content and prevent trolls from wrecking things. One idea that I have that other sites don't seem to use is "shared killfiles". Users may share their "favorite" and "un-favorite" posters with each other.

I tried to mention all the topics I frequently mention here. Let me know if I forgot anything important!

If there's something you want to see a post on, let me know! I'll get to it (eventually).

3 comments:

barry b. said...

FSK,

The drop in December was due to the christmas season. I had the same affect. Folks were busy worrying with family and corporate consumption. In regards to your articles.. have you paid attention to the situation in iceland with the collapse of their economy. I'm gonna do a little more research on the subject but thought it was worth looking at.

Hobnobus said...

Great post! This is the type of thing you could put as an introduction page to this blog, perhaps once you make your server move. One suggestion I have is to put links to as many of your posts as possible in this post. Several of your points in the ordered list did not have links to relevant posts. Readers new and old would really like to be able to go directly to the more specific posts without having to search for them.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see you write about why you think the state exists. What fundamentally causes a state, and why does 99% of the population praise it's function (ya, they argue over what it should do, but almost everyone believes that it is necessary).

(Some of my thoughts...)

We will never have an anarchist society unless people start believing that we do not need to coerce people into behaving. I believe agorism is the best way to bring about the downfall of the existing state, but if people don't believe that coercion is immoral, then I don't think agorism can get enough steam to actually topple the state.

When you start talking about coercion as being immoral, you add tons of other problems that people have to deal with. The idea of coercion as being a good thing runs through every foundation of society: the family, the state, and religion. Getting someone to say "ya, taxes are immoral, I'm an anarchist" is one thing, but getting them to believe that forcing someone to do anything is immoral is quite another. I think there are two fronts to the war, the philosophical(coercion is immoral) and the utilitarian (how anarchism would work/agorism). I see you focused more on the utilitarian side, and would like to at least hear some stuff on philosophy side, and how you think we can win on that end.

Perhaps you should talk about coercion being immoral, if you assert that. And I'm not talking about just a gun pointed at someone, but all the interactions we have with people on a non voluntary basis. I would include such things as being passive aggressive to my wife to get her to do something, or yelling at my kids to get them to clean their room as coercion, and immoral/abusive. Most people (especially those who assert the state is moral), will also assert that coercion, unless actually physically violent, is moral. Spanking my child is deemed moral, or giving my wife the cold shoulder is moral, or yelling at my employees at work is moral. If we believe these tactics are moral, there is a zero chance of any anarchist/agorist strategy working. People fall into abuser/abused relationship so naturally, and think that's a good thing, so the idea of chucking the state makes no sense. You might as well tell them god doesn't exist (if they are religious), or that yelling at their kid is wrong.

So I have some of my own thoughts, I'd like to hear some of your commentary on that subject. :)

This Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved. Check out my new blog at realfreemarket.org.