The Virtual Economy Is The End Of Freedom

by | Dec 14, 2017 | Headline News | 36 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article was originally published by Brandon Smith at


    There is one simple rule to follow when understanding the tragic history of economies: Never put blind faith in a system built on an establishment-created foundation. You would think this would not be a difficult concept to grasp being that we have so many examples of controlled economies and collapse to reference over the centuries, but in our era more than ever the allure of a virtual world with promises of endless wealth and ease is overwhelming.

    Yes, I am referring primarily to cyptocurrency “tulip-mania” (sorry bitcoiners, the description is too fitting, it isn’t going away), but not this issue alone. I am also referring to a far-reaching problem of which cryptocurrencies are a mere reflection. Namely, the fact that humanity is swiftly losing sight of what a true economy is and what it is supposed to accomplish. It is because of this reality that crypto is thriving.

    First, let’s be clear, fiat currencies are one of the first machinations of the virtual economy. Once paper currencies printed from thin air by central bankers were separated from tangible backing and accepted by the masses as “valuable” and worth trading labor for, the seed of financial cancer was planted. Today, there is one final step needed for the establishment to accomplish complete tyranny in global trade and that is to disconnect the masses fully from private transactions. In other words, we must be tricked into going digital, where privacy is an absurd memory.

    Virtual economics is appealing for several reasons, most of them bad.

    Americans and much of the west in particular are increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of real production. The latest generation coming into political and social influence, the millenials, is a perfect example. Surveys show American millenials more than any other generation lack basic workplace competency skills, including scoring low on arithmetic and reading comprehension. Often portrayed as “tech savvy” in popular culture and the media, millenials are quite inept when it comes to core skills that fuel strong business and trade, which is part of the reason why the U.S. is falling into the shadow of foreign workforces.

    Millenials in the West also exhibit abysmal technical skills in international testing and lag far behind foreign peers. This has come as a surprise to many mainstream economists and social analysts, primarily because millenials are also considered the “most educated” generation ever. But, of course, we have not only been given a virtual economy in recent decades, but also a virtual educational system. A majority of millenials are lacking when it comes to key production skills and entrepreneurship methods because they have been trained to dismiss such skills as negligible. In other words, millenials have been conditioned to be academic idiots.

    Why go through the struggle and hardship required to become an effective producer of tangible necessities when it is far easier to join a collectivist drive for socialism and a structure in which little to no work is required to obtain such necessities? Why not steal from a productive minority and spread it thinly enough to keep the unskilled majority fed? It is only within this kind of culture that virtual production, a virtual society and virtual “money” is seen as an ideal solution.

    The notion is becoming more and more prevalent in our popular media, and I believe this is rather symbolic (or ironic) of our conundrum.

    For example, consider the book Ready Player One, a pop-culture craze and archetypal zeitgeist for millenials soon to be released as an intended Hollywood blockbuster directed by Steven Spielberg. The novel depicts the world of 2045, a world in which fossil fuel depletion and “global warming” have triggered economic and social decline (Remember in the 1980s when they used to tell us that global warming was going to melt the polar icecaps and we would be under water by the year 2000?). A totalitarian governing body controlled by corporate behemoths rules over the dystopian sprawl.

    In response to an ever painful existence in the real world, the masses have sought to escape to a virtual world called “the Oasis,” created by a programming genius. The Oasis becomes a nexus for the global economy and a virtual society.

    This sounds like a rousing background for a story of rebellion, and it is about that… sort of. Unfortunately, here is where the disturbing ties between our world and the fictional world of Ready Player One meet. The “rebellion” is for all intents and purposes also virtual, and for millenial audiences in particular, this is supposed to be inspiring.

    Perhaps this is why cryptocurrencies are so appealing to the millenial crowd in particular. Think about it — the dismal economic doldrums of Ready Player One exist NOW; we don’t have to wait until 2045. Millenials are already feeling disaffected, indebted and disenfranchised, and most of them are also skill-less. Self reliance to them is an idea so alien it rarely if ever crosses their minds. So, how do they fight back? Or, how are they tricked into thinking they can fight back against a virtual system that has left them in the gutter? Why, with a virtual community and a virtual currency, of course.

    Millenials and others think that they are going to rebel and “take down the banking oligarchs” with nothing more than digital markers representing “coins” tracked on a digital ledger created by an anonymous genius programmer/programmers. Delusional? Yes. But like I said earlier, it is an appealing notion.

    Here is the issue, though; true money requires intrinsic value. Cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value. They are conjured from nothing by programmers, they are “mined” in a virtual mine created from nothing, and they have no unique aspects that make them rare or tangibly useful. They are an easily replicated digital product. Anyone can create a cryptocurrency. And for those that argue that “math gives crypto intrinsic value,” I’m sorry to break it to them, but the math is free.

    In fact, for those that are not already aware, Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hash function, created by none other than the National Security Agency (NSA) and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

    Yes, that’s right, Bitcoin would not exist without the foundation built by the NSA. Not only this, but the entire concept for a system remarkably similar to bitcoin was published by the NSA way back in 1996 in a paper called “How To Make A Mint: The Cryptography Of Anonymous Electronic Cash.

    The origins of bitcoin and thus the origins of crytpocurrencies and the blockchain ledger suggest anything other than a legitimate rebellion against the establishment framework and international financiers. I often cite this same problem when people come to me with arguments that the internet has set the stage for the collapse of the globalist information filter and the mainstream media. The truth is, the internet is also an establishment creation developed by DARPA, and as Edward Snowden exposed in his data dumps, the NSA has total information awareness and backdoor control over every aspect of web data.

    Many people believe the free flow of information on the internet is a weapon in favor of the liberty movement, but it is also a weapon in favor of the establishment. With a macro overview of data flows, entities like Google can even predict future social trends and instabilities, not to mention peek into every personal detail of an individual’s life and past.

    To summarize, cryptocurrencies are built upon an establishment designed framework, and they are entirely dependent on an establishment created and controlled vehicle (the internet) in order to function and perpetuate trade.  How exactly is this “decentralization”, again?

    TOTAL information awareness is the goal here; and blockchain technology helps the powers-that-be remove one of the last obstacles: private personal trade transactions. Years ago, a common argument presented in favor of bitcoin was that it was “completely anonymous.”  Today, this is being proven more and more a lie. Even now, in the wake of open admissions by major bitcoin proponents that the system is NOT anonymous, people still claim anonymity is possible through various measures, but this has not proven to sway the FBI or IRS which have for years now been using resources such as Chainanalysis to track bitcoin users when they feel like doing so, including those users that have taken stringent measures to hide themselves.

    Bitcoin proponents will argue that “new developments” and even new cryptocurrencies are solving this problem. Yet, this was the mantra back when bitcoin was first hitting the alternative media. It wasn’t a trustworthy assumption back then, so why would it be a trustworthy assumption now? The only proper assumption to make is that nothing digital is anonymous. Period.

    With the ludicrous spike in bitcoin prices, champions of the virtual economy are unlikely to listen to any questions or criticisms. I have never argued one way or the other in terms of bitcoin’s potential “market value,” because it does not really matter. I have only ever argued that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are in no way a solution to combating the international and central banks.  In fact, cyrptocurrencies only seem to be expediting their plan for full spectrum digitization and the issuance of a global currency system.

    Bitcoin could easily hit $100,000, but its “value” is truly irrelevant and consistently hyped as if it makes bitcoin self evident as a solution to globalism. The higher the bitcoin price goes, the more the bitcoin cult claims victory, yet the lack of intrinsic value never seems to cross their minds. They have Scrooge McDuck-like visions of swimming in a vault of virtual millions. They’ll only accuse you of being an “old fogey” that “does not understand what the blockchain is.”

    The fact is, they are the one’s that do not really understand what the blockchain is — a framework for a completely cashless society in which trade anonymity is dead and economic freedom is destroyed.

    Ask yourself this: Why is it that central banks around the world (including the BIS and IMF) are investing in Bitcoin and other crytpocurrencies while developing their own crypto systems based on a similar framework? Could it be that THIS infusion of capital and infrastructure from major banks is the most likely explanation for the incredible spike in the bitcoin market? Why is it that globalist banking conglomerates like Goldman Sachs lavish blockchain technology with praise in their white papers? And, why are central bankers like Ben Bernanke speaking in favor of crypto at major cryptocurrency conferences if crypto is such a threat to central bank control?

    Answer — because it is not a threat. They benefit from a cashless system, and liberty champions are helping to give it to them.

    Above all else, the virtual economy breeds weakness in society. It encourages a lack of tangible production. Instead of true producers, entrepreneurs and inventors, we have people scrambling to sell real world property in order to buy computing rigs capable of “mining” coins that do not really exist. That is to say, we may one day soon be faced with millions of citizens expending their labor and energy in order to obtain digital nothings programmed into existence and given artificial scarcity (for now).

    It also encourages false rebellion. Real change requires actions in the real world. Removing banking elitists and their structures by force if necessary (and this will probably be necessary). Instead, freedom activists are being convinced that they will never have to lift a finger to beat the bankers. All they have to do is buy and mine crypto. The day will come in the near future when the folks that embrace this nonsense will wake up and realize they have wasted their energies chasing a unicorn and are ill prepared to weather the economic reset that continues to evolve.

    To maintain a real economy in which people are self reliant and safe from fiscal shock, you need three things: tangible localized and decentralized production, independent and decentralized trade networks that are not structured around an establishment controlled system (like the internet is controlled), and the will to apply force to protect and preserve that production and those networks. If you cannot manufacture a useful thing, repair a useful thing or teach a useful skill, then you are essentially useless in a real economy. If you do not have localized trade, you have nothing.  If you do not have the mindset and the community of independent people required to protect your local production, then you will not be able to keep the economy you have built.

    This is the cold hard truth that crypto proponents do not want to discuss, and will dismiss outright as “archaic” or “not obtainable.” The virtual economy is so much easier, so much more enticing, so much more comfortable. Why risk anything or everything in a real world effort to build a concrete trade network in your own neighborhood or town? Why risk everything by promoting true decentralization through localized commodity-backed money and barter systems? Why risk everything by defending those systems when the establishment seeks to crush them? Why do this, when you can pretend you are a virtual hero wielding virtual weapons in a no risk rebellion in a world of electronic ones and zeros?

    In truth, the virtual economy is not legitimate decentralization, it is a weapon of mass distraction engineered to kill legitimate decentralization.

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    You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected]

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      1. Brandon Smith, thanks for another great article. The snowflakes and other flawed thinkers within our borders are always surprised by downturns in economies. A rude awakening is in their future.

        • we lost our freedom when we first were forced to have a birth certificate of govt ownership. then agan when we agreed to have and use a social security number. the again if you joined the NRA

          • Without the NRA we would be Canada, Australia or maybe even the UK. With the NRA I can legally carry in 37 states.

        • cranerigger, very true,
          It boggles my mind as to why They’re surprised by the product of their own actions.
          To me that’s a bit like being surprised at the cold air when I open the door..I mean it’s winter..but it was warm until I let the cold in, then, like WOW..never saw it comin’.
          Unfortunately, that rude awakening awaits us as well as those that caused it.
          And hollywood mocks those who prepare.

        • Great article Brandon. Well done.

          “To maintain a real economy in which people are self reliant and safe from fiscal shock, you need three things: tangible localized and decentralized production, independent and decentralized trade networks that are not structured around an establishment controlled system (like the internet is controlled), and the will to apply force to protect and preserve that production and those networks.”

          A great argument for CASH, GUNS & AMMO.

          And the reality is, that CASH is fiat. And fiat is the dollar/FSN in America. There is no way realistic way around that fact without losing FREEDOM. A global digital money system under blockchain technology using quantum computers and a stable currency system (such as we have), retaining ALL major global currencies (and their relative values) will be the standard someday with every transaction recorded.

          Anyone wishing to retain some measure of privacy in their commerce will need to trade/barter locally between persons for goods and services. Buy a metal detector; it will prove helpful if you have good prospecting skills and some small mining equipment. You will be living in the mountains anyway. 🙂

      2. virtual freedom

        • The end of freedom? What freedom? Having a govt. IS THE END OF FREEDOM period. Now go sign up for the military and fight for our freedom hahahahahahaha!

      3. why do you think snowflakes are so worried anout trump? it is because he might make them work for a living.

        • Why are the liberals all moving to New York?

          They heard there was no work there lol. 😛

          • Thats also why they hate Trump so much, he promised everyone a job!

      4. “If you cannot manufacture a useful thing, repair a useful thing or teach a useful skill, then you are essentially useless in a real economy” well stated!
        That doesn’t bode well for Americans as us old farts who can do these things die off. I would also add you need someone to Design things that are manufactured and are repaired, eg. STEM guys.

        • I can’t seem to escape these fundamentals:

          Wealth is created by:

          1.) Digging it out of the ground.

          2.) Growing it in the ground

          3.) Harvesting it out of the waters.

          4.) Growing it in the waters.

          5.) Add value to resources by manufacturing (re-man or repair.)

          6.) Maybe there is value added by organizing large amounts information rapidly in ways that allow people to make decisions that affect the other 5 for profit. This one is new to history from the mid-20th century.

          Are there any that I missed ?

          We create nothing when we serve each other burgers and wash each other’s cars.


          • Value that is imagined and which lasts only a few minutes is value nonetheless.

        • Biological organisms are valid in and of themselves. They do not have to do or be any particular thing to be legitimate. Useful is a different matter. It isn’t necessary to be useful to anyone but yourself. That’s true liberty.

          • rrrr,
            Your statement is untrue and very misleading.
            Our validity is of our maker, not ourselves,
            that is just fact.
            Our existence, alone, should be proof of that.
            We were made for a reason it is up to us to live up to.
            Go and be valuable to only yourself
            and see where it gets you.
            It may not be initially necessary to be useful to anyone..but try to get along without others being useful to you. That wouldn’t last long, and success would be impossible.

        • That’s also why parents need to be responsible for teaching their children how to do things..create, repair. teach..any of it and all of it.
          And we can’t teach if we don’t know it ourselves, so arm yourselves with knowledge and skills as much as you can bear.

      5. Bingo Rellik and if you don’t have it in your hands you don’t have it at all.

      6. Virtual nation on the brink.

      7. Oh, Brandon! There you go bursting my BitCoin dream bubble! Hahaha! But no, really, trusting anything online when you don’t know what you’re doing is just asking for trouble.

        Its hard enough when you do know what you’re doing.

        Regardless, for those that think that BTC and other cryptos are untraceable, let me just say this: Anyone (man or organization) that is sufficiently motivated with sufficient resources can break anything. And, if they can’t break into it (aka “hack”) they’ll just buy somebody on the inside. …and there is ALWAYS someone on the inside. I’ve been studying these things for approximately 35 years. I’ve written tripwires, hammers, and tar pits. Never trust anything that you don’t understand and even if you do, always suspect your shortcomings.

        I own some bitcoin and I own some litecoin but I don’t give them access to any more than I can afford to lose.

        Everything is great until it becomes popular with the common man. At that point government and industry latch on like vampires, sucking the blood, fun and life right out of it. If you think BTC and other cryptos won’t go the same was as everything else I would call you very short sighted.

        In the meantime, play with it and enjoy it. Lets hope the vampires can be knocked off of it for a little longer.


        • So true. Nothing is foolproof.

      8. Sooner or later all technologies are co-opted, crypto-currencies are likely no exception. Yes, it is growing in investment value, but not in intrinsic value. First of all, to buy c-c, you must use the present form of money called dollars issued by the Fed. Res. Some of these dollars exist in a tangible way called notes. But almost all dollars exists in electronic form, literally nothing more than digital electronic pulses of ones and zeros from a computer. Regardless of form, dollars are backed by absolutely nothing, they have no real intrinsic value. C-c must be purchased by digital dollars only to be converted into a different form of digital money, again backed by nothing.
        C-c are growing in legitimacy and use mainly because the present form of money called the dollar is almost played out; it has lost 98% of its value, there is little security or purchasing power left. Theoretically, there can be no inflation of say for example bitcoins because the total amount of fixed units cannot be increased. And it is safer, for now, due to block chain technology.
        Even if c-c and block chains technologies are devised by private individuals or entities it is my opinion it will eventually be fully accessible to TPTB. Perhaps it may have been developed for international banking systems. Ultimately, it will make no difference whether this is so or not. If c-c are the future, it is likely a central system of authority will be mandated so that someone other than the account holders can see into their accounts (like it is now). Storage and access of spendable wealth simply will not be permitted to exist in a confidential and inaccessible way from TPTB for long, at least for the general society. Even now officialdom is considering elimination of all tangible notes and going only to cashless (digital) money. The banks LOVE that idea.
        Bank accounts don’t really have cash, the money almost entirely exists only in a digitized form in a bank’s computer system. Debit cards and credit cards are digital too. The difference is that the digital money we use don’t require blockchain of course, it is all grossly leveraged, and there is no limit to the number of units that can be created and placed into the system thereby causing a loss of spending power, which is inflation. Furthermore, legally, your account can be easily seen and accessed by a number of individuals. However, it will probably be the same for c-c types of currency.
        It is suspicious that banks and extremely wealthy entities have commented that c-c are not viable, yet they are speculating it up. The question is: How is it possible to buy something that actually is not of any value or of any substance, with something that is not backed by anything of real value, and then see it take on the nature of reality and value. The answer is you cannot for long. This is virtual physics, something from nothing. Eventually, it will come into conflict with reality. But not until it is the possible that the massive amount of newly made digital money can be placed under control of TPTB.

        • The exception that crypto currencies may be is that they were originally designed to be co-opted in a sort ‘cloward and piven strategy’

        • You are an agent of Statist disinformation and Salon is a Liberal propaganda machine. The truth is exactly the opposite. “Net Neutrality” is a term that, in true Orwellian fashion, means exactly the opposite. Just pay attention to who is behind it.

          • Stuart, You’re wrong about my political leaning. BTW, I voted for Trump. You refer to anyone who can detect lies hidden among truth as a Leftist. But you are wrong.

            I posted BOTH sides, the Breitbart side of it too. See Breitbart link I posted a few minutes after posting the leftist Salon link.

            We need to know what BOTH sides are pushing and peddling, it’s called having an open mind.

      9. ” the fact that humanity is swiftly losing sight of what a true economy is and what it is supposed to accomplish.”

        You’re correct but in my experience humanity is swiftly losing sight of what a true community is and what it is supposed to accomplish.

      10. I can certainly agree with the lack of skills displayed by the recent generations. Most can’t even tell you which direction the sun rises and if they have sun or shade in their back yard. Some don’t even know how to tell a weed from a plant that’s wanted; a loose button is a unanswerable riddle; staying home and off the roads due to storms (snow, hurricane, etc.) is a harsh situation; and no electric to recharge their devices to check whatever social media is a catastrophe. My car is theft-proof because most people can’t drive a stick. Sometimes I have to drive it in at JiffyLube because none of the staff can.

        If…heck, when something bad happens, they are helpless. In a SHTF situation, they are totally dependent upon media to know what to do or even how to prepare (if they bother at all). In a national crisis, the [unaware/unprepared] populace could devolve to cave men if the problem was a permanent thing– assuming any survived.

        Is this how Atlantis disappeared?

        Brandon, great article. BitCoin will be a great soap opera to watch.

      11. This misinformation article comes complete with a gold IRA add at the bottom… Hmmmm

      12. My work involves exploring the outer edges of technology and science. And what I see there combined with the trends in this piece totally frightens me. This is what I see coming to pass in the next 5 to 10 years, maybe even earlier. We have a rapidly growing global population, mostly in developing countries. We have most youth in high levels of debt but without the skills to work to work that debt off. But there is one thing they can do: be a sex slave. The breakthroughs in drug science and gene science means a device could be developed that would be basically a sex slave tool. The makers of this tool only have to target young people somewhere, attach this tool (it would probably be very tiny like an RFID chip or maybe even nano cream), and the individual is turned into a remote controlled sex slave. Their behaviour outwardly would appear normal: they, however, would occupy their day by being always sexually optimum and sexually available. That means eating a strict diet, excercising constantly when they aren’t ‘servicing’, primming and primping themselves to be beautiful.

        In a world where human life is cheap and not required for production, then humans get harvested for other purposes.

        • STDs

        • “The breakthroughs in drug science and gene science means a device could be developed that would be basically a sex slave tool. ”

          In 5 to 10 years those sex doll/robots will be soooo lifelike (and programmable) that these androids may displace “sex slaves” (think: college coed sugar babies).

          That technology is developing fast and you will be able to flip a program switch from “housekeeper” to “gardner” to “cook” to “security guard” to “slut”. Lithium powered and rechargeable of course. The options are mind boggling.

          Stepford wives (and husbands) are just over the horizon. I am accepting deposits, just like Telsa. Get in line today !!! 🙂

      13. Every article I’ve read about the bitcoin bubble so far fails to recognize one fact. I refer you to bubbles themselves. Have you ever seen a bubble? Of course you have. Soap bubble. Fizz bubble. Giant bubble made with a toy that makes giant bubbles. And that’s the point. If you make a chart of every bubble that has occurred throughout history, they all have one thing is common. At some point, in some important way, each bubble is unique and is different from any of the other bubbles. All the writers about bubbles have missed this point. Here’ why it matters. Bubbles are like stars. Some stars are relatively small, and some stars are extremely huge. Some stars exist longer than other stars exist. Stars are not all the same temperature. Some are hotter, some are not as hot as others. The fact is they are all different. Therefore the phrase, “It’s different this time,” when used a term to mock buyers of bubbles, is not quite the best way to think of bubbles. I’m only pointing out correct language usage. If you will consider all of the factors that can possibly influence the formation of bubbles, the ongoing cryptocurrency –if you insist on calling it a– bubble has several components which are likely to make it one of biggest bubbles humans have seen in financial realms. If this is true, and I believe that it is, the bitcoin phenomenon has just gotten started and has a very long way to go yet, and if it is accurate to say this, the statement, “It’s different this time,” really is true. To a considerable degree. Not totally perhaps. But do you think a bubble cannot last longer than your lifetime? It is consistent with the nature of bubbles that it has to be potentially possible that some types of bubbles will last longer than you do. Our universe might be a bubble, who knows? Nobody. Therefore, even if bitcoin price does happen to be occurring in a bubble format, that does not mean it is necessarily a bad idea to participate in it at this particular point, because it could have a lot, lot farther to go yet.

        • I’ll take the other side of that bet rrrr. The uninformed sentiment you express is why Wall Street always ends up with all the money. “This time is REALLY IS different.” Hahaha, ROTFLMAO, step right up buddy. Place your bet sucker.

          “Bubbles are like stars” Oh WOW. How groovy.
          No they’re not hot rod. Bubbles are manifestations of man’s greed. They ALWAYS end the same way when all the suckers have placed their bets and there is no one left to buy. Then there are only sellers.

          It is never about the object of the bubble; it’s about economic behavior. The sum total of human history shows us that it is axiomatic – This time is NEVER different.

          … but feel free to bet anyway you choose.

      14. The intrinsic value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies comes from their use and advantages they have over other currencies. Some are programmed for sending remittances efficiently (Stellar), others for smart contracts (Ethereum), and even truly anonymous untraceable means of payment (Monero). You can’t just program a cryptocurrency and expect people to use it and give it value, it needs to have strong incentives for such, like the aformentioned cryptocurrencies.

        I love how you dismiss cryptocurrency users as being delusional when you support the seed that lead to the system of debt enslavement the world’s currently shackled in. It all started with goldsmiths issuing more notes than they had gold, and it’s still happening today with gold-painted tungsten, and precious metal fractional reserve schemes. And remember, when you keep gold with someone else, you are trusting that party not to do anything with it, whereas with cryptocurrency, you will always be in possesion of it,whenever and wherever you are. You don’t have to trust anyone but yourself with your assets.

        Bitcoin has done far more to undermine banks than decades of mass protests and media critical on the subject ever did. Why? Because it could compete with them as a store of value without all the hassles of precious metals. But people like you refuse to understand, and you call us the delusional ones when you don’t even know what intrinsic value is. It’s a very religious belief called metalism, that only gold and silver can have intrinsic value, much like the religious belief that only fiat has value.

        I know I can’t convince you otherwise, so I’ll just wait for reality to do it for me.

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