Now, bear in mind, this is coming from one of the few in this country most amenable to conspiracy theories. Give me a good motive and a good story and I'll support it in a heartbeat. But notions like "The US has been replaced by a corporation called The United States!" or "The Kennedy Assassination was planned by the Illuminati!" are typically so eminently silly that I'm rightly skeptical.
Why the skepticism of things I'm so well-aligned with? (Interested folks can ask me to make a 9/11 conspiracy theory blogpost, if anyone wishes). Because I want to be rational. I want to convince people with true facts and say things I can support.
When one advocates a conspiracy, the following symptoms show:
1) Denial becomes more proof. If you accuse someone of corruption and they deny it, well, of course they'd deny it! What more proof do you want now?! Of course, the idea that one shouldn't believe anything until it's officially denied is a good one, but you can't take it too far.
2) The facts become cooked around the theory. Michael Schiavo's testimony is inconsistent?! Murderer! This happens all over the place, unfortunately, not just with conspiracy theorists.
How does this happen? Information is taken out of context and not qualified, then used to make linkages that the evidence simply doesn't support; responses are ridiculed and evidence that on-point answers the argument isn't sought out and rebutted; etc.
3) The conspiracy theorist embarks on a crusade to the exclusion of other things. PC93/Teknosis has been focusing on Terry Schiavo like nothing else. Of course, the conclusions he's reached of bureaucratic ineptitude and cruelty and an attitude of scorn for innocents from the government are right, and he's now not a mindless Dem. But while he focused on a white privileged woman's fate, hundreds of thousands died all over the place.
4) The theory implies that all we need to do is stop this conspiracy, whatever it is. The irony is that such analysis diverts attention from a real supple critique of institutions. So a 9/11 conspiracy theory ignores the long-standing US terror inflicted abroad and that the US actions after 9/11 were wrong even if their diagnosis of the problem was right. In fact, someone could easily argue that we should bomb Afghanistan for other reasons (bin Laden did other bad shit, remember) and take our own leaders to justice. The second part's good, the first part isn't.
5) The lack of a motive or conceivable method proves that they're just that good. If I can't see anything the Mob had to gain from capping Kennedy, either I'm covering for them or they're just even better than we thought.
This happens re: terrorism too: The terrorist can miraculously predict every action we make. Well, no, sorry, people have limits. Most horrifying conspiracy theory targets, like the UN, are pretty inept institutions full of bureaucracy. They couldn't threaten anyone.
Okay, the Illuminati exist. Fine. Take away the state and the economy that gives them power. Easy enough. So I can propose what I do everywhere else and get the same results... so why does this matter, from a utiltiarian perspective? What new insight do we get?
So here's a great example: http://www.the7thfire.com/Politics%20and%20History/TheRealMatrix.htm
This may seem impeccably cited for you, but look again. Notice the lack of some of the following:
-Qualifying statements (somewhat, ostensibly, "he believed this but that was just self-delusion", supposedly, etc.) When these are missing, it indicates someone isn't making comparative arguments, isn't giving things values vis-a-vis each other. Which one of these 33 points is the most vital? Which is less important?
-Any sources aside from primary sources. I definitely don't think one has to be a Ph. D to make sophisticated political arguments, but it helps if one can cite, say, Constitutional professors who've spent their lives on the topic. I don't see it here.
-"Even if" statements. Yes, convincing someone of a radically new notion of the world that denies their entire history book is hard just because of the plausibility problem, but there's a way around that. Each point you make should have as many different supporting logics, arguments, and statements not contingent to each other. I frequently make reference to the dominant myth and say "Assume it's true. Now look at it again critically. Even if it is true, they're still trying to feed you bullshit with their prescriptive and value components." This set of arguments wants you to take everything at face value or at best to do some research on your own. But if I only see one argument for your position and many against...? What "even if" statements tell the reader is, "I can see that, as skeptics, you're undermining your work in my head as you read. Great. So let me show you the multiple levels of argument, each independent, that establish my point."
-All of these are court cases. Please tell me how the fuck a court case, a US court case, establishes that the US does not exist as a nation or that the UN issues Social Security checks. Even if a court case established that (how many of these are Supreme Court cases, I wonder?) and this isn't ludicrously taken out of context, the Supreme Court doesn't have that jurisdiction.
Run yourself a plausibility check. Does any of this make sense? Well, for one, for something to be a corporation, there typically has to be shareholders. So who are they?
If the UN runs the world, how has the US managed to violate the ICJ and ignore the UN for decades? How did it manage to bomb Iraq and the whole list of targets I list here (http://arekexcelsior2.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-cut-military-spending.html)? In fact, at first practically run the UN? Why all the war between nations? If there was a world government, wouldn't such crude instruments of statecraft be unnecessary?
I assume all of you have heard of the "black helicopters" formulation regarding the UN, the general right-wing conspiracy nuts who say we live under a world government and the Fed is ruled by a snake god. Now, the right in Congress, which has done everything in its power to discredit the UN, would benefit like none other if they could say "Look, the UN controls us." To a rational person, the fact that they don't say this indicates most likely that the evidence for this is laughable at best and saying it out loud would lead to one being lampooned and ridiculed. To a conspiracy theorist, the same fact indicates that either they're part of the conspiracy or cowed by its awesome might. Huh. (Bear in mind, this could be true, and I say somewhat similar arguments, say, regarding the media, but my analysis stems directly from uncontroversial facts about the foundational structure of the institutions and simply makes the obvious conclusion then supports it with evidence, not says "Everything you know is wrong. The government is not what you think it is.")
Of course, the insiduous part of conspiracy theories is that the less obvious it is, the more devious the conspirators must be! Sorry, that just doesn't follow.
This e-mail appears all over the 'Net and has been rebutted by others: http://home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/GrossErrors.html . I'm just adding supplementary material. I also notice that it keeps switching, subtracting and adding points, without any authorship or notes as to who wrote which part. In short: Garbage.
"If this sounds too preposterous for you, check it out. This is just a summary. The evidence is available. Only when you are ready to wake up will yousee what has been obvious for a long time."
This is immediately when the Bullshit Detector should begin ringing. This is just a summary? Okay, so I imagine you're putting your best evidence forward, right? So if I rebut it, I should be somewhat towards rebutting your position?
The problem then becomes that the conspiracy theorist inevitably says that you're missing something or that this last bit of evidence will be the straw that broke the camel's back that convinces you. So why the hell weren't they including this in the first place?
"Then you can begin to understand WHO your are incontrast to what you are. But most people are content to not look. One could describe them ascows in the pasture with no interest in anything other than the next mouthful of grass or asweet bale of hay with oats as a side dish."
This is another staple: Everyone else who doesn't agree with the theorist are cows. This may or may not apply to interlocutors: Sometimes conspiracy theorists are respectful enough to simply say "Well, you clearly have your credentials and facts straight, so even though I think you're somewhat misguided I think you're my ally." Most of the time, you'll hear either that you have a sick agenda and are covering up for the conspiracy (not joking: "Until you acknowledge the reality of that you are just covering for someone who got away with murder because of whatever sick agenda you have." from http://tekgnosis.typepad.com/tekgnosis/2005/06/terri_schiavo_c.html, under the Comments, when someone was simply disagreeing with him; and the Teknosis blog typically has better standards than this) or are deluded and a cow. It makes an opponent of one's theory definitionally irrational or stupid.
"And that's OK. I like cows, too. However, from our level of awareness, I would NOT wish to change places."
Nor would most on the Left who would agree fervently for revolutionary action against what we've got.
"Let me know if you find additional information and references, and, if you find any errors, please let me know. Truth as we know it is a provisional phenomenon."
I'm glad he recognizes this. Needless to say, what is coming up is quite a bit of me correcting errors that I perceive.
"1.) The IRS is not a U.S. government agency. It is an agency of the IMF. (Diversified Metal Products v. IRS et al. CV-93-405E-EJE U.S.D.C.D.I., Public Law 94-564, Senate Report 94-1148 pg.5967, Reorganization Plan No. 26, Public Law 102-391.)"
That's funny, because the IRS does nothing like the IMF does. "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the United States government agency that collects taxes and enforces the tax laws. It is a part of the Department of the Treasury." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRS
In contrast: "The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the international organization entrusted with overseeing the global financial system by monitoring foreign exchange rates and balance of payments, as well as offering technical and financial assistance when asked."
Notice how the IMF/World Bank in fact offers LOANS, something that the IRS doesn't: http://www.therearguard.pdx.edu/issues/vol6_iss5_feb04/The%20Globalization%20of%20Pove.htm . Far be it from me to defend the IRS and IMF, mind you, but they're simply not the goddamn same.
Also remember that the IMF used to be drastically different from what it is now: it was a Keynesian institution in line with Bretton Woods to control speculative capital. It's now used for things like the bailout of Goldman and Sachs when the peso collapsed.
There's a symptom on the Left where the IMF, World Bank, G-8, etc. are all used interchangeably. Sorry, they're not the same, though they form part of the instrument of rule.
Now, in fact the DoJ supposedly claimed that the IRS was not a government agency liable to suits, but the DoJ makes all sorts of erroneous claims. The case, according to the decision of the court, concerned a fradulent company that the IRS was investigating.
Notice the side effects of many of these arguments: To increase corporate rule by denying the public policies that keep them in check on the premise that those policies increase corporate rule. Huh. Why are the elites opposing Soc Sec so stringently, say, if it's associated with the IMF?
Here's the end text of the case:
"IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the United States' Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket No. 34), filed April 30, 1996, should be, and is hereby, GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the funds currently [*19] held in the Court's registry shall be paid to the United States, pursuant to a proposed judgment consistent with this decision. The Court directs the United States to prepare and submit for the Court's approval such proposed judgment.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the trial, currently set for July 23, 1996, is hereby VACATED."
Where the hell does that say that the IRS isn't a government institution? Further, how is it congruent that the IRS not being suable makes it not a government institution?
These people reference a case called Blackmar v. Guerre, but that won't do either. Here's the summary (as they linked it to me):
"A federal district court in Louisiana was held, in an opinion by Minton, J., in which seven justices concurred, to be without jurisdiction of an action by a discharged employee of the regional office of the Veterans Administration in Louisiana against the Civil Service Commission and the regional manager of the Veterans Administration, to obtain reinstatement. The ground of decision was that the Civil Service Commission is not a suable entity and that its members were never served and could not be served within the territorial jurisdiction of the court."
Back to the fray.
"2.) The IMF is an agency of the UN. (Blacks Law Dictionary 6th Ed. Pg. 816)"
That's funny, because the IMF doesn't represent the whole UN: from the Wikipedia article above, "The IMF describes itself as: "an organization of 184 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty". Of all UN member states only North Korea, Cuba, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, Tuvalu and Nauru are either integrated and represented by other member states or choose not to participate." Yes, Bretton Woods was UN sponsored; no, this does not make it a UN orgnaization. The UN tells you when it's a UN organization by the prefix "UN": UNICEF, UNHCD, UNSCOM, etc.
Of course, if it was a UN organization... so what? Only if you buy some of the other points does it matter.
I can't find Black's Law online - strikes me that if these guys want to convince others, they should include online source material in their online document. However, a law dictionary doesn't establish government policy. Duh.
3.) The U.S. has not had a treasury since 1921. (41 Stat. Ch.214 pg. 654)
That's answered at http://home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/GrossErrors.html
"4.) The U.S. Treasury is now the IMF. (Presidential Documents Volume 29-No.4 pg. 113, 22U.S.C. 285-288) "
"5.) The United States does not have any employees because there is no longer a United States.No more reorganization. After over 200 years of operating under bankruptcy it's finally over.(Executive Order 12803) Do not personate one of the creditors or shareholders or you will go toPrison. 18 U.S.C.914"
Personate isn't a word. (I'm not quibbling: Poor word choice, grammar, spelling, etc. can be a tipoff that the person isn't respecting the time you put into reading their arguments.)
12803 is about infrastructure privatization. It probably says the exact opposite. Oh, but maybe there's been a coverup! Fine, have copies of the originals? If not, you don't have corroboration.
"6.) The FCC, CIA, FBI, NASA and all of the other alphabet gangs were never part of the UnitedStates government. Even though the "US Government" held shares of stock in the various agencies.(U.S. V. Strang , 254 US 491, Lewis v. US, 680 F.2d, 1239)"
Rebutted at Gross Errors.
"7.) The UN through the IMF issues Social Security Numbers. The application for a SocialSecurity Number is the SS5 form. The Department of the Treasury (IMF) issues the SS5 not theSocial Security Administration. The new SS5 forms do not state who or what publishes them, the earlier SS5 forms state that they are Department of the Treasury forms. You can get a copy of the SS5 you filled out by sending form SSA-L996 to the SS Administration. (20 CFR chapter 111,subpart B 422.103 (b) (2) (2) Read the cites above)"
Mostly rebutted above.
"8.) There are no Judicial courts in America and there has not been since 1789. Judges do not enforce Statutes and Codes. Executive Administrators enforce Statutes and Codes. (FRC v. GE 281US 464, Keller v. PE 261 US 428, 1 Stat. 138-178)
9.) There have not been any judges in America since 1789. There have just beenAdministrators. (FRC v. GE 281 US 464, Keller v. PE 261 US 428 1 Stat. 138-178)"
Rebutted at Gross Errors.
Oh, so I suppose Brown v. Board, Marbury v. Madison, Miranda v. Arizona, Roe v. Wade never happened? All of those controversies over the Warren Court were really about administrators?
Or is this a tendentious argument saying "In my opinion, our..." Okay, so where's the experienced law professor who can back this up with QUALITATIVE data?
" 10.) According to the GATT you must have a Social Security number. House Report (103-826)"
The Uruguay Rounds, which is what 103-826 talk about, do not mandate a freaking Social Security number. They do do a number of other terrible things: Extend intellectual copyright far beyond what any industrialized nation belabored under (allowing companies to patent products not just processes for products; for example, entire drugs so that this beautiful thing all the capitalists rave about, "competition", can't ever happen), etc.
"11.) We have One World Government, One World Law and a One World Monetary System. 12.) The UN is a One World Super Government."
Thanks to the US, the UN can't keep its fly zipped up on its own. Kofi Annan world ruler? What the hell?
Of course, maybe the US collaborates with the UN. Okay, if I can then prove that they've stopped, then the UN lost its guns from the US and isn't the world government anymore. Huh.
13.) "No one on this planet has ever been free!!"
All throughout history? The million years of human history including pre-recorded history, so you have no idea what you're talking about?
Notice how this is NOT simply a factual argument. It includes notions about what freedom is as well. I think that people have always been free to choose how they think, for example. I don't think freedom is completely eradicatable. It can be sharply constrained in terms of possible options, of course, but the point I want to highlight is that here the author is stepping into matters of philosophy without noticing it.
"This planet is a slave colony. There hasalways been One World Government. It is just that now it is much better organized and haschanged its name as of 1945 to the United Nations."
A tendentious statement that would require a whole book to establish, at least. Come on.
Notice how this is EXACTLY when you'd want an "Even if" statement. Perhaps a statement like, "It's my contention that there has been a world government even during the era of Mesopotamia where civilization as we know it just began, but even if that's not the case, it certainly has been since at least 1945." (Sorry for including a little jab in there.)
14.) New York City is defined in the Federal Regulations as the United Nations. Rudolph Gulliani stated on C-Span that "New York City was the capital of the World" and he was correct.It was not just a smile on his face, it was a "knowing" smile. (20 CFR chapter 111, subpart B422.103 (b) (2) (2)"
This is where a sane person should stop reading. Notice that they don't cite when this happened on C-SPAN, and this is their interpretation of one Mayor's facial expressions.
15.) "Social Security is not insurance or a contract, nor is there a trust fund. (Helvering v.Davis 301 US 619, Steward Co. V. Davis 301 US 548.)"
Never mind Paul Krugman, David Peterson, Noam Chomsky, the CATO Institute, and the whole of the mainstream media. Two court cases suffice to prove all this wrong? Or are they all part of the coverup?
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=301&invol=619 is the case. Ctrl-F if you want, the words "insurance", "contract" or "trust fund" don't appear.
The case mostly deals with Tenth Amendment challenges to the Social Security Act and says nothing I can see about the SSA's definition aside from what is contained in the Act.
"16.) Your Social Security check comes directly from the IMF, which is an agency of the UN.(Look at it if you receive one. It should have written on the top left United States Treasury.)"
Indeed it does. This isn't even true, mind you, if the US Treasury is a part of the IMF, because that would still be not "directly from the IMF".
17.) You own no property, slaves can't own property. Read the Deed to the property that you think is yours. You are listed as a tenant. (Senate Document 43, 73rd Congress 1st Session)"
Oh no! People don't own the private means of production?! See #26.
" 18.) The most powerful court in America is not the United States Supreme Court but the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. (42 Pa.C.S.A. 502)"
Actually, this decision discusses the mechanism for appeals and trial courts: http://www.rcfp.org/cgi-local/privilege/item.cgi?i=p&st=PA&sec=8B1&t=short
Says who? A court case? How is that within a court's jurisdiction? An Act of Congress? Some quotes would be fantastic.
"19.) The Revolutionary War was a fraud. See (22, 23 and 24)"
Okay, I will.
" 20.) The King of England financially backed both sides of the Revolutionary war. (Treaty atVersailles July 16, 1782, Treaty of Peace 8 Stat 80)"
Not only is this blatantly false but ludicrously irrelevant. The US supported both sides of the Iraq/Iran war: does this mean that the Iraq/Iran war never happened?
"21.) You can not use the Constitution to defend yourself because you are not a party to it.(Padelford Fay & Co. v. The Mayor and Alderman of The City of Savannah 14 Georgia 438, 520)"
How would this one decision possibly establish this fact?
"22.) America is a British Colony. (THE UNITED STATES IS A CORPORATION, NOT A LAND MASS AND ITE XISTED BEFORE THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR AND THE BRITISH TROOPS DID NOT LEAVE UNTIL 1796.) Respublica v. Sweers 1 Dallas 43, Treaty of Commerce 8 Stat 116, The Society for Propagating theGospel, &c. V. New Haven 8 Wheat 464, Treaty of Peace 8 Stat 80, IRS Publication 6209, Articlesof Association October 20, 1774.) 23.) We are slaves and own absolutely nothing not even what we think are our children.Tillman v. Roberts 108 So. 62, Van Koten v. Van Koten 154 N.E. 146, Senate Document 43 & 73rdCongress 1st Session, Wynehammer v. People 13 N.Y. REP 378, 481) \b0\par\b 24.) Military Dictator George Washington divided the States (Estates) into Districts.(Messages and papers of the Presidents Vo 1, pg 99. Websters 1828 dictionary for definition ofEstate.)\b0\par\b 25.) " The People" does not include you and me. (Barron v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore.32 U.S. 243)"
Information available here: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field%28DOCID+@lit%28jc00137%29%29:
Yet more rebuttal: http://home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/GrossErrors.html and http://home.hiwaay.net/%7Ebecraft/WeAintBrits.htm
How would Messages of the President establish that the states, clearly laid out in the Constitution (the Tenth Amendment, morons) are in fact "estates"? And who owns these estates? What are the names? Who are the shareholders in the U.S. Corporation?
Mind you, Jefferson, Dewey, etc. had recognized that corporations would make American democracy a sham, but this isn't quite the same argument.
"26.) The United States Government was not founded upon Christianity. (Treaty of Tripoli 8Stat 154.)..."
Oh no! The US isn't a theology?! What a problem!
This is what I mean under http://arekexcelsior2.blogspot.com/2005/07/intellectual-self-defense-or-honing.html when I say "Frequently, someone who is trying to pull a fast one will fail to distinguish between their factual analysis and their conclusions." This says a factual argument (referring to the frigging Treaty of Tripoli, which would have NOTHING to do with the intent of all the Framers, only Jefferson at best) and then implies a value conclusion. Well, frankly, all the references to In God We Trust aside, I agree. This is not a theology. So let's stop making it one.
Answered at http://home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/GrossErrors.html as well.
"27.) It is not the duty of the police to protect you !. Their job is to protect theCorporation and arrest code breakers. Sapp v. Tallahassee, 348 So. 2nd. 363, Reiff v. City ofPhiladelphia, 477 F.Supp. 1262, Lynch v. N.C. Dept of Justice 376 S.E. 2nd. 247. \b0\par\b 28.) Everything in the "United States" is For Sale: roads, bridges, schools, hospitals,water, prisons airports etc. I wonder who bought Klamath Lake? Did anyone take the time tocheck? (Executive Order 12803) 29.) We are Human capital. (Executive Order 13037) \b0\par\b 30.) The UN has financed the operations of the United States government for over 50 years andnow owns every man, women and child in America. The UN also holds all of the Land in America inFee Simple. 31.) The good news is we don't have to fulfill "our" fictitious obligations. You can discharge a line fictitious obligation with another's fictitious obligation. \b0\par\b 32.) The depression and World War II were a total farce. The United States and various othercompanies were making loans to others all over the World during the Depression. The building ofGermany's infrastructure in the 1930's including the Railroads was financed by the UnitedStates. That way those who call themselves "Kings," "Prime Ministers," and "Fuhrers" etc. could sit back and play a game of chess using real people. Think of all of the Americans, Germans etc.who gave their lives thinking they were defending their Countries, which didn't even exist."
I do agree that the construction of the nation-state groups together the elites and the common man in a way that can never be more than an illusion. So did Marx. This isn't new. And yes, they do play chess games with human lives. But those nations do technically exist, unfortunately.
The real tragedy is that this garbage could be averted with just the barest Left history.
If people really want to, I can go through each and rebut this, but by now any notion that this could be at all close to accurate should be gone.
"The millions of innocent people who died for nothing. Isn't it obvious why Switzerland is never involved in these fiascoes? That is where the "Bank of line International Settlements" islocated. Wars are manufactured to keep your eye off the ball and to limit population."
Or because of honest geopolitical disturbance and war-waging.
Switzerland runs the world? Right. "Switzerland's industry always depended to an extraordinary extent on exporting machinery, watches, chemicals and pharmaceutics. The high population density, hard conditions for agriculture especially in the alpine region and a scarcity on raw materials are responsible for a notorious deficit in food production and a notorious trade deficit. During the 20th century tourism, transport services and financial services (banking and insurance) had to provide for a favourable balance of payments. During World War II imports fell from 30 % of the net national product (average value at the end of the 1920's and again during the 1950's) to 9 %, exports from 25% to 9% and tourism to almost zero. (Independent Commission of Experts Switzerland - World War II, final report, p. 55-58) " http://history-switzerland.geschichte-schweiz.ch/switzerland-second-world-war-ii.html
The article above also explaisn why in WWII they managed to avoid the Nazi's wrath.
Why has Europe stayed so insulated from conflict? And America? Except the death they export? These are the questions a serious critic of government should ask.
"You have to have an enemy to keep the illusion of Government" in place."
Very true. In fact, as Street points out in a new blog, http://blog.zmag.org/index.php/weblog/entry/terror_attacks_are_a_price_of_empire_bush_and_blair_are_willing_for_us_to_p/ ,
just like the Cold War, the current conflict is between two individual and institutions who have everything to gain from the continued power of other: Bush and Osama need each other's violence to stay in power.
"The "United States" did not declare Independence from Great Britain or King George. And as a result we have our own King George III. But just like King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta or lose his head, so will our predacious king. "What you see with your eyes shut is what counts." --Lame Deer, LAKOTA. "
All very laudable
"There are a few things we can do within the law that can begin to rectify our status but th emost powerful is beyond mind and imagination. Where would you wish to start?"
Certainly not undermining the New Deal, as some versions of this e-mail suggest. Or not paying any taxes to the IRS, thus limiting the power of government to fight corporations. Of course, if people want notions of revolution... umm, www.zmag.org, www.counterpunch.com, and arekexcelsior2.blogspot.com. Not that hard.
"We can establishyour sovereignty, erase your debts, assist you in understanding how to defend yourself in court,and show you how to adapt to the Law of Admiralty "come ashore." When would you wish to begin?Don't wait until you are in trouble financially to make your move."
This is one of the many places my hackles raise. Erase your debts? Don't wait till you're in trouble financially? Why should this be the determining factor for the revolution? Billionaires should be opposing the totality of oppression just as much as people making $20k a year.
Very good chance that this is going to be used by some individuals to say "Well, all of this debt I accumulated building this business [a capitalist and illegitimate one] should go away because, guess what, the guvment never had the right to enforce it."
To be clear: I think that loaning and most ways to get money without working or by interest are in fact horrible ways to make money, though acceptable under capitalism.
"Do it while you still have options, some "wiggle room." There is a way out of the pasture but they've planted brambles to hide the hole in the fence. As long as the hole is there, you are not a slave but have agreed to be one by your ignorance or inaction. By presumption you are choosing to accept the status quo."
100% agreeable. As Zinn says, you can't be neutral on a moving train. In modern society, if you are not on the side of the oppressed, you are on the side of the oppressors.
And some random stuff added in from a friend's version:
"3. Attack on America. On October 6, 1917, the UNITED STATES passed a corporate policy called the Trading with the Enemy Act. The American people were sovereign which makes them "foreign governments" to the UNITED STATES and therefore, the sovereigns unknowingly became enemies of the State. On March 3, 1933, the Trading with the Enemy Act was then amended in order to confiscate gold from the US citizens (not the American Sovereigns) who were reimbursed with "emergency money", issued by a private corporation known as the Federal Reserve Bank, which represented debt owed to the Federal Reserve Bank. A dollar of gold was exchanged for a dollar of debt owed to the Federal Reserve Bank plus interest (Income Tax). Basically all Americans lost two dollars in the exchange."
Huh. Cause according to this, http://www.cubatravelusa.com/trading_with_the_enemy_act1.htm , the government can limit financial transactions in time of war according to the 1917 policy. Of course, this is a totally illegitimate policy and I would approve its removal, and I'm sure it was designed to benefit corporations, but come on? For one thing, the Fed is hardly a private corporation; for another, greenbacks have been around since the Civil War. Read a high school history textbook before fabricating this crap.