Category Archives: Thoughtcrime Thursdays

Thoughtcrime Thursdays: “If You’re Listening FBI, Please Give Us More Downloads” Ep. 8

In this Thoughcrime Thursdays themed episode, we set out to discuss V for Vendetta. However, we  quickly turn to Nineteen Eighty-Four and highlight the multiple layers of propaganda that seek to corrupt not just the mainstream, but also burgeoning free thinkers. We conclude the episode by perusing the world of conspiracy, which is ironically extensively documented in public record, for those diligent enough to look.

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Show Notes:

Audio Sample: Nineteen Eighty-Four Audio Book

Harvard Law–Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures

James Corbett on Ninetten Eighty-Four and dual layers of Propaganda (best link we could find)

James Corbett Real Chemtrails on Public Record

Almost Every Supreme Court Justice Since 1975 has come from either Harvard or Yale

Tom Woods Show: World War I

Madeleine Albright-The Deaths of 500,000 Iraqi Children Was Worth it for Nonexistent WMD’s

James Corbett 9/11 A Conspiracy Theory: “Because Ignorance is Strength.”

Michel Chossudovsky: America’s “War on Terrorism”

American Soldiers Guarding Poppy Fields

Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth: Explosive Evidence

James Corbett: “The Last Word on Osama bin Laden”

Thoughtcrime Thursdays: Fahrenheit 451 and the PC Police Ep. 5

In this Thoughtcrime Thursdays-themed episode, hosts Pat and Jerry discuss group self-censorship, dystopian fiction, and share personal experiences about being a voluntaryist in a world of “sheeple.”

Welcome fellow listeners of the Tom Woods Show. Thank you for checking out the podcast. We hope you stick around! We plan to.

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Intro Audio Sample: Jeff Deist PC is Control, Not Etiquette

Sioux Gallows Sculpture Story

Southern Monuments

Fahrenheit 451

GWAR Beheads Barack Obama (Warning, graphic content)

Disney’s Game Jam Fiasco

The Byrds “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

Mises Boot Camp: Markets and Prices (Communist Manifesto Debunking) by Lucas M. Engelhardt

Money: The Basics

Thoughtcrime Thursdays: “Equilibrium,” North Korea, and the Surveillance State

Hello everyone and welcome back for another issue of Thoughtcrime Thursdays, the weekly column where we explore the world of fictional dystopia as a critique on our current society. This week, we are going to compare life under the North Korean Regime to life within the fictional regime in the 2002 film Equilibrium starring Christian Bale and Sean Bean.

In the film, it is the year 2072 and the totalitarian city-state of Libria has arisen from the ashes of WWIII. Libria is governed by the Tetragramaton Council and its mysterious leader, known only as “Father.” Seeking to prevent another world war, the regime has identified human emotion as being the main cause of war and conflict. Correspondingly  all human emotion and all forms of artistic expression are illegal.

The secret police force, the Grammaton Cleric, of which Christian Bale’s character is a member, enforces these laws by destroying artistic works and assuring that citizens take their scheduled doses of Prozium II, a drug which suppresses their ability to feel emotions. In many ways, citizens of Libria live in a complete surveillance state, where privacy is virtually nonexistent. Citizens are encouraged to spy on one another and report “sense offenders” for immediate execution.

The utter tyranny imagined in the film pales when compared with the real life abomination that is the North Korean regime. Like the film, citizens of North Korea live in a complete surveillance state. However, instead of the coercive administration of Prozium II, it is mandatory that every North Korean citizen regularly attend self-criticism sessions. In these sessions, individuals are expected to report their wrongdoings to the group and inform on the wrongdoings of other group members.

In order for the regime to completely dominate the populace, North Korean families are separated into 50 different castes according to their Songbun, a merit-based system which determines a family’s trustworthiness with the regime. Each caste is geographically confined to their corresponding districts within the country.  Freedom of movement does not exist, and every citizen must obtain and carry a permit to go anywhere. Furthermore, only the elite members of society are allowed to set foot in the city’s capital, Pyongyang.

Enemies of the Korean regime are either publicly executed or sent to prison camps. In the most severe cases, punishment for an individual’s infractions will be inflicted on their entire family–this means the extermination of three complete generations: the person’s children, siblings, and parents.

The incomprehensible repugnance of the Korean Regime cannot be fully documented here and the above infractions are merely a glimpse of the crimes against humanity being committed in North Korea.

In the fictional world, the film ends with the Tetragramaton overthrown and the people of Libria freed from the yoke of oppression. It must be assumed that in the aftermath of the revolution, the former citizens of Libria would exhaust or refuse to take their intervals of Prozium II and begin to feel emotion.

Because they had never before possessed the ability to feel, the former citizens of Libria would be completely unprepared to handle these new emotions. Likewise, life in North Korea is so propagandized that, if the North Korean Regime disappeared tomorrow, North Koreans would be similarly unprepared.

While Michael Malice notes that in the short term, there is little hope for the North Koreans, it is possible that the regime could collapse quickly and peacefully. For now, they are very much deserving of our thoughts and prayers.

Please stay tuned for the three-episode launch of the Liberty Weekly Podcast which will include an entire episode dedicated to discussing the Korean War and the resulting nightmare that is the North Korean Regime.

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Thoughtcrime Thursdays: “Minitrue” and the Sterilization of History

Hello everyone and welcome to the special Friday edition of Thoughtcrime Thursdays, the weekly column where we explore the world of fictional dystopia as a critique on our current society. This week’s installment has been postponed to today because I’ve been taking exams all week!

This week, we are plunging headlong into controversy in order to discuss Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Ministry of Truth, and the recent removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans.

In the early hours of Thursday, May 11, a statue of Jefferson Davis was removed from Mid-City in New Orleans. Beginning around 2:30 am, the city instigated the removal process, which was carried out by unmarked workers wearing helmets, body armor, and masks.

The statute of Jefferson Davis is the second of four monuments set to be removed pursuant to an effort spearheaded by the city’s mayor, Mitch Landrieu. In a 4:30 am press release linked above, the city denounced the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy” and vowed to remove the monuments, which Mayor Landrieu claims celebrate a “legacy of slavery and segregation.”

The history and causes of the Civil War are immensely complicated. Ultimately, the war was the culmination of a long, intricate, and highly political power struggle between the North and South. The slavery issue was one of the most prominent mediums or manifestations of the fight for political power itself. The war wasn’t about slavery itself as much as it was about what slavery meant in relation to economic and political power for both sides.

By sterilizing this history and simplifying it to such a degree, progressives seek to control the narrative and ignore the fact that the South also–maybe even more importantly–fought to preserve its culture, identity, and understanding of the Constitution as a compact between the States, whom, in their correct view, retained their undiminished sovereignty. The average Confederate soldier didn’t own slaves, and many wrote letters which expressed more concern for their own culture and their understanding of the proper role of government.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the job of the Ministry of Truth is to control the narrative by rewriting, amending, or ignoring history. By removing these monuments under cover of darkness, progressives are sweeping these issues under the rug. Furthermore, they are distorting history and simplifying an immensely complicated subject that warrants discussion and preservation.

The Ministry of Truth is not a fictional organization–it is very real. It operates not only as a governmental organization, but among us. Often, it is the people themselves rewrite the past.

That being said, there can hardly be any truth to our study of the Civil War–the term itself is already controlled by the minitrue:

A Civil War could fairly be defined as a “war between citizens of the same country” or a struggle to control the government of a country. The Civil War was not a civil war at all, because Southerners were neither citizens of the United States, nor were they fighting to control the United States Government. They were fighting to leave the Union in much the same way that the colonists fought to secede from the British Empire.

I neither condone slavery, nor claim the the war had nothing to do with slavery. I simply posit that the truth is more complicated, and warrants more discussion. The popular public school understanding of the conflict is very one-dimensional at its best and purposefully deceptive at its worst.

We need to confront real truth, which is infinitely more complicated than the Ministry of Truth would have you believe. To guide you in this quest, be on the lookout for the upcoming Liberty Weekly Podcast where we take on Big Brother by deconstructing the official narratives.

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Thoughtcrime Thursdays: “The Matrix” and Human Farming

“Wake up, Neo . . .” and welcome back for the fourth installment of Thoughtcrime Thursdays, the weekly column where we explore the world of fictional dystopia as a critique on our current society!

This week, we will be “taking the red pill” to see how far down the rabbit hole goes. To help us draw some obvious parallels between The Matrix and the State, we will recruit the help of the one and only, Murray Rothbard.

(If you have not seen The Matrix, I implore you read no further and order it here)

In the film, the machines harvest bio-electricity from humans, who are suspended in sprawling rows of stasis pods on human farms beneath the Earth’s surface. In order to keep the humans apathetic and compliant, their minds are plugged into the Matrix, a computer program that simulates human life as it existed in 1999, before the beginning of the war between humans and the machines.

The Matrix is necessary, for in order to continue operating their human farm, the machines need to maintain the illusion that the Matrix is real. To see the Matrix for what it really is, Neo needs to “take the red pill,” unplug, and free his mind.

In viewing The Matrix as a dystopian allegory, the most glaring real life parallel is the relationship between the State and its citizens. While this is not the only allegory contained within the film, it is perhaps the most blatant, and the one we will concern ourselves with.

In The Ethics of Liberty, Murray Rothbard describes the State as being “a bandit gang writ large.” The State produces nothing, and has first stolen everything it possesses. Just as the machines survive through harvesting human life force, the State harvests its due from us by taxing our labor, our property, and our transactions. It controls what we can or can’t do with, or put in, our bodies, regardless of whether or not we are harming anyone else. The logical implication of this taking is that you do not actually own yourself or your property, the State does.

Sure, one could argue that the State takes, but they don’t take everything (in most cases). They only take your fair share. Besides, it is the price we pay for a civilized society. It is necessary taking. You can always leave! Without the State, we wouldn’t be safe, we wouldn’t secure our liberties, and worst of all, we wouldn’t have ROADS! It would be chaos.

You could say the same of the humans plugged into the matrix. Despite literally having their bio-energy harvested, they still had enough to survive, the machines didn’t take all of it. They didn’t want for anything, many of them were actually very happy in the Matrix. What kind of life would there be without it?

Through applying the logic of the allegory, we can see how silly it sounds in reverse.

To defeat the Matrix is to see it for what it really is. By realizing this, Neo is able to manipulate the Matrix and grasp his own destiny. Just as the machines require apathy on behalf of their livestock, the State requires, at the very least, our passive acceptance.

In Anatomy of the State, Rothbard identifies the State’s greatest weakness: independent intellectual criticism, which the forthcoming Liberty Weekly Podcast will intend to provide by showing you that life exists outside both the Matrix and the State.

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Toughtcrime Thursdays: “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” and Ideological Revolution

Hello, hello and welcome back for the third installment of Thoughtcrime Thursdays, the weekly column where we explore the world of fictional dystopia as a critique on our current society! As mentioned in yesterday’s content, I have decided not to compare the Vault 7 Wikileaks to Orwell’s 1984 because the internet is currently awash with the topic.

So, instead, we will be taking a look at Heinlein’s classic novel of libertarian revolution: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Heinlein’s 1966 novel chronicles the ideologically-driven rebellion of the Lunar Penal Colony, which is loosely governed from Earth by the Lunar Authority. Despite this governance, the lunar colony is semi-anarchic, with economic monopolies on certain infrastructure like water.

There is a virtual cornucopia of topics to discuss in regard to Heinlein’s Lunar society–far too much to talk about here. What I wanted to key into are the parallels between Heinlein’s revolution and the American Revolution.

Like the American Revolution, the movement for a free Luna is deeply ideologically rooted. While Luna’s rebellion is centralized in a hierarchical conspiracy consisting of hundreds of cells of three members (with a supercomputer at the top). The American Revolution was more decentralized, and without an singular driving force. Both however propagated their ideas through the distribution of pamphlets.

In his seminal work, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Bernard Bailyn discusses the rampant pamphleteering that drove the rebellion. At the time, pamphlets were easy to make, flexible in format, and easy to distribute. The content ranged from vulgar jokes to serialized arguments between enlightened community figures and politicians. Similarly, in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, the movement for a free Luna is driven by graffiti, pamphlets, and word of mouth.

The ideology of the American Revolution imbibed local governance in a way that is actually more complex than one learns in decaying public schools. Those that supported the American Revolution wanted more than just representation in Parliament (because they were represented), they wanted local representation.

At the time, even British citizens in Britain didn’t have local representatives, and were spoken for in Parliament at large. The colonists’ wanted to be represented by Americans–someone who was raised and had lived among those he represented.

The Movement for a Free Luna is more radical, but similarly rooted in a general principle that embodies anarchic rhetoric. To explain, I quote the book:

Under what circumstances is it moral for a group to do that which is not moral for a member of that group to do alone?

A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame . . . as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. But, being rational, he knows that not all individuals hold his evaluations, so he tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world . . . aware that his effort will be less than perfect yet undismayed by self-knowledge of self-failure.

In terms of morals, there is no such thing as ‘state.’ Just men. Individuals. Each responsible for his own acts.

This rhetoric sounds like the foundation of the Non-aggression Principle that lays the foundation for voluntaryist ethics. It blew my mind to read this sentiment in a benign 1966 novel from the same author as Starship Troopers. It makes me wonder if Heinlein new of Murray Rothbard.

All in all, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress should be on your essential libertarian reading list. It is filled with wit and awesome sci-fi action. In fact, I would put it ahead of any works by Ayn Rand. But, that is just me. More on that next week, when I will tackle Ayn Rand’s influence on RUSH–the greatest progressive rock band of all time.

A closing note on the American Revolution: a significant thrust of the movement was motivated upon a conspiracy theory that the ruling elite in the Colonies were working with the British aristocracy to deny colonists the same rights that were afforded to free Englishmen. The belief in this conspiracy theory planted seeds of liberty in the minds of men across the colonies.

Thanks for stopping by for another installment of Thoughtcrime Thursdays if you want to pick up a copy of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, please do so through my Amazon Associates links below. Help out a poor law student at no additional cost to you!

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Have a great rest of your week.

 

Thoughtcrime Thursdays: “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Welcome to the second edition of Thoughtcrime Thursdays, the weekly column where we explore the world of fictional dystopia as a critique on our current society! As promised last week, we will be taking a look at the 1921 Russian dystopian novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.

First translated to English in 1924, We chronicles life in the One State, a communist regime which has ruled the world for the last thousand years. In order to spread its influence across the galaxy, the One State has commissioned the construction of a massive rocket, known as the Integral.

In order to celebrate the completion of the Integral, each citizen has been directed to create “treatises, epics, manifestos, odes, or any other composition addressing the beauty and majesty of the One State.” Upon the rocket’s  completion, the works are to be loaded onto the Integral and used to propagandize any aliens who may yet be living in the “savage state of freedom.” The text of the story itself is one such work, the journal of D-503, a space engineer tasked with constructing the Integral.

Like every other citizen of the One StateD-503 lives in a sprawling panoptic city made entirely of glass, which doesn’t allow for privacy. Every second of every day is governed by mathematical formulas, by which citizens march in step and perform their daily duties. Citizens do not live in familial units and are not allowed to refuse sexual relations with any other citizen. If a citizen desires another, they may make a formal request to visit them for sexual encounters.

My copy of the book, translated by Natasha Randall contains absolutely stunning prose, which caught my attention by the first two pages:

As I write this: I feel my cheeks burn. I suppose this resembles what a woman experiences when she first hears a new pulse within her–the pulse of a tiny, unseeing, mini-being. This text is me; and simultaneously not me. And it will feed for many months on my sap, my blood, and then, in anguish, it will be ripped from my self and placed at the foot of the One State.

But I am ready and willing, just as every one–or almost every one of us. I am ready.

Described by Randall as Zamyatin’s critique on “Russian enthusiasms which[] were entering a sort of singular Bolshevik utopian rigor mortis . . .  By 1923 . . . [t]he ‘greens’ (peasants), the ‘blacks’ (anarchists), and the Whites were being reduced to ashes while the only remaining ideology was forging the idea that man could be made mechanical.” Zamyatin plays with these ideas by taking them to literal absurdities in the book.

While reading the We, I was reminded of Peter Joseph and the Zeitgeist Movement, a movement which is basically “communism with computers.” Peter Joseph proposes that capitalism cannot work because corporations create scarcity in order to drive up profits. In order to deal with the socialist calculation problem asserted by Mises, Joseph proposes that money be abolished and resources be distributed by a cabal of super computers.

The Zeitgeist Movement is, of course, ridiculous and would be worthy of a We-style caricature. Without a profit motive, a supercomputer would only get junk data, thus producing junk data. Additionally, a completely centralized power structure manifested in a single computer network would be easily corrupted by whichever people controlled the computer. Additionally, post-scarcity is an economic impossibility.

The novella’s narrative style adds tremendously to the reading experience of what is a rather unique dystopian critique of mechanistic communism. Without being able to read the novella in its original Russian, Randall’s translation is probably the closest an English speaker can get to the original experience.  All in all,  Natasha Randall’s translation of We is a feast for the literary palate.

D-503’s life changes forever when he meets a strange woman who does not always operate by the mechanics of the One State. Will the Integral survive this encounter? Will the One State remain? Find out by grabbing Randall’s translation through my Amazon Affiliate link below:

That’s it for this week’s installment of Thoughtcrime Thursdays, thanks for stopping by Liberty Weekly! Join us next week for a review of Heinlein’s The Moon is A Harsh Mistress. 

This article was re-published via Steemit at https://steemit.com/life/@libertyweekly/book-review-we-by-yevgeny-zamyatin

Citation: Zamyatin, Yevgeny Ivanovich, and Natasha Randall. We. London: Vintage, 2016. Print.

Thoughtcrime Thursdays: “I am Colossus”–Meshuggah and Leviathan Government

Welcome to the first installment of Thoughtcrime Thursdays on Liberty Weekly! Intended as a reflection on the miasma of current political affairs, the focus of this weekly column is to plunge headlong into the depths of fictional dystopia.

The column’s title, Thoughtcrime Thursdays is a direct reference to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four, a seminal novel in the literary sub genre of dystopian fiction.  Together, we shall celebrate thoughtcrime (or crimethink) by exploring works of the imagination that are meant as a critique of real-world affairs.

Today, we will be exploring the cavernous depths of Meshuggah’s “I am Colossus,” the first track off of their 2012 masterpiece Koloss. 

Aided by the sheer brutality of their sound, Meshuggah are able to immerse the listener into the cold depths of the shadow government in a way that no other genre could allow. With this track, the band subjects its victims to a terrifying aural barrage that is doubly effective against those unfamiliar with its genre’s abrasive nature.

The song’s title “I am Colossus” seeks to personify government as an ancient horror, akin to an Elder God of Lovecraftian ilk. With this theme in mind, the opening stanza evokes a shudder:

I’m the great Leviathan, insatiable colossus
Titanic engulfer of lives, I reward you, absorb you
I’m the monstrous mouth that hungers for your awe
Immense construction of lies. I own you, disown you

Right away we see the Leviathan government as an insatiable, titanic maw, built upon lies told to the people.  These analogies draw remarkable similarities with Rothbard’s Anatomy of the State, where the State is revealed as a very old, predatory system of violence and coercion.

From Anatomy of the State, we know that the State “hungers for the awe” of its citizens. Rothbard writes: “. . . the chief task of the rulers is always to secure the active or resigned acceptance of the majority of the citizens.”

I am life. I’m death. You empower me
I’m a mammoth king evoked, conjured by your dreams
Summoned by your fears. You need me, you feed me
I’m the imposing giant. Infallible dictator
My rules apply to all. You’ll heed me, bleed for me
I am life. I’m death. I decide your fate
You empower me. You’d even kill for me

The second section of the song hammers home the inescapably of government. Government is a “mammoth king” created from the dreams of men to ward off his fears–an “imposing giant” whose “rules apply to all.” It is a constant that is always there from beginning to end. Over the history of civilization, billions of people have killed or been killed by their governments–a term coined by R. J. Rummel as “democide.”

Guzzling down your dreams – the tears of unheard pleas I drink,
Imbibe with such delight the fear that floods your temporal shell
Raging red rivers and streams – the kingdom of my shadow
Where dread of man in endless night revives my every cell
To those who doubt – your wounds will never heal
To those who question my creation – I’m not real

Randolph Bourne famously wrote: “War is the Health of the State.” For those who live under the yoke of oppressive regimes, the misery is palpable–for tyrannical government, its a lifeblood which greases the cogs of the machine. This stanza suggests the State’s role in that process.

As to the last two lines of this stanza, the State punishes dissidents, but to those who don’t believe the State should exist, we know it is imaginary.

I am pain. I am grief. I’m the things you fear
I’m the lie whispered into your ear
I’m the great Leviathan. I’m dominance and greed
You imagined me, so I was conceived
I am life. I’m death. You belong to me
Call me what I am. I am colossus

The final stanza of the song contains its most chilling imagery, specifically, that of the narrator whispering lies into the ear of the listener. As we all know, the government lies all the time. The “great Leviathan,” is of course built on lies, power, and greed.

An important point can be made through the song’s conclusion. It is that, if government is created by us, we can have power over it by realizing it for what it is. Although the lyrics may not expressly hint at this interpretation, I would assert that the first step in becoming free is to see the walls of your cage.

With that, the song concludes.

I would stand by my interpretation of the song, however “I am Colossus” may very well just be about some Lovecraftian monster, as my wife tells me. Who knows?!

If you are brave enough, I’ve linked the official music video below. For best viewing pleasure, crank up the volume and watch in the dark!

 

Thank you for joining Liberty Weekly for the maiden voyage of Thoughtcrime Thursdays, which will return next week with a book review of Russian dystopian novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.

*The lyrics for this article were gathered from www.darklyrics.com*