(Doing It Ourselves): Government has powerful new tech tools at its disposal for monitoring, controlling, and sanctioning people. The existing transparency and permanent record-keeping of everyone’s communications, web browses, and transactions is powerful in-and-of itself. Government-allied tech companies have been removing services from (“canceling”) people based on their personal views or expressions. Some governments are still after requiring a physical digital ‘passport’ for people to be able to move about. Additionally, it appear that a number of governments want to consolidate the cryptocurrencies and cash circulating in their societies into a single CBDC. This will make all money and its flows transparent to government, give it the ability to suspend, take, or move anyone’s money, and eliminates the ability for people to sequester (hoard) it outside of the financial system. Since these developments have come along with an increasing press by many governments against their peoples’ majority will and a growing encroachment upon their privacy, property, and freedoms, it is concerning.
There are places where it looks likely that government and the people will clash. French citizens widely believe that Macron’s policies have been willfully hostile to French workers and to small business proprietors. In a poll, 45% said that France should expect civil war to break out. It appears the Biden administration may be prepping to control a similarly-unruly population of discontent Americans. The White House gang just announced that within weeks they will rollout a new strategy assembled by the DNI, DHS, and FBI to go-after ‘domestic terrorists’, who Jen Psaki said pose a ‘growing national threat’ that is ‘one of the greatest threats we face’.
The US government always been clear on what it regards as the greatest threats to national security. But I’m fairly certain this is the first time I’ve heard it include American citizens in that list. When Ive seen other governments do that, it’s usually an enabling move not so much to provide force protection capability for the country, but rather for the people controlling the country’s government. So along with other threats like China, the careening debt avalanche, a return toward foreign energy dependence, greater belligerence and closer alliances between Russia, Iran, and China, and the permanent shuttering of much of our economy, the Biden/Harris administration has now identified Trump voters and white supremacists (effectively white Trump voters) as one of the prime threats to the nation’s future.
Should government ever use these tech devices to further suppress either groups of people like these or the broad population, the affected people could suddenly face the choice between either engaging in illegal activities like black markets or having to endure a significantly more difficult and restricted existence. So it may be worth thinking about strategies for coping under such circumstances now. People are not doing that much at all because it’s not comfortable nor generally acceptable to talk about how we could counter government, and because its completely foreign thought-territory for them.
But once government enacts the restrictions, it not only immediately becomes illegal to counter them, but also to even discuss ways to do so – so why not about toss some ideas around now? And when the restrictions extend to basic staples of a functioning life like free access to medical care, to banking, to buying and selling, and to the ability to work for an income, it is not wrong in that case for people to peaceably defy those restrictions – it is right to; particularly when it helps other other good ordinary people deprived of these staples merely for their views and opinions. What is important is that the bulk of the people, except those who actually are fascists, agree with that without any hesitation.
In the following I suggest a model for running food to people being deprived of it, not because I mean to imply that any government would become so inhumane, but because because providing such basic human necessities in times of need is an unimpeachable activity that is very hard for anyone to paint as extremist or subversive. Peaceably providing necessities to repressed people in any way is one of the best ways of resisting oppressive governments that makes their injustice clearly evident. It is also helpful in galvanizing a fractured society of people to work together for each other. This model can obviously applied to delivering other physical things to those prevented from freely accessing them, and others more savvy than me can, Im sure, come-up with improved models. It is worth thinking of entirely different delivery models for nonphysical things, like access to uncensored information and unobserved communication on the internet, that could be setup.
So what types of alternate distribution networks for such staple services could still be operated after such restrictions were imposed ? The following is a merely a crude sketch by this novice – one that could certainly be improved upon by people with the right tech savvy, and by people who already have real world familiarity in covert operations (military), in running black/dark markets (crooks) and in pursuing those who do (cops). Dark markets have been operated primarily by criminals purely for profit. But if some were run to keep people vitally nourished, healthy, and high-functioning in times when maintaining these vitals has been purposefully been turned into a difficult challenge, it would be a great service.
During the first COVID lockdown, many consumers became alarmed and started hoarding when supply chains broke down and many items that had reliably been on their local store shelves all their lives suddenly became scarce. This included many types of food. Those farmers and ranchers whose distribution channels supplied only the dining industry were impacted particularly hard, since restaurants in the US were ordered to close by state governments for what turned out to be a much longer period than their originally-specified 15-days. Many producers poured-out their milk and turned-under their crops while many people in the cities were actively hunting to purchase these and other types of food (as well as other staples).
A gig service-based food distribution enterprise could have made a difference then. Consider a model akin to Uber which transports food instead of people. Pickups occur at producers’ properties and are delivered to pickup locations situated at the centers of sufficient dense geographical ‘clouds’ of online customers. The customers order their food online, prepay for it as usual, and are notified electronically when it will arrive at their local pickup point. In the initial stage, the farmers send-in information on the types and quantities of animals and plants they are about to harvest, and when and where they will be ready for pickup. Customers can then submit order requests for what they want out of that list.
After drawing within 1-2 days of the ship-date, the system can aggregate all the orders, locate optimal ‘cloud-center’ delivery locations for them, and automatically inform the customers of a minimum price they will need to pay. This is the price where the truckers and producers begin to make some minimum percentage profit margin, which the customers are allowed to know, after costs. This price will depend on the inherent costs like finish-processing, gasoline, and taxes. From this set of minimum floor prices for the items, the customers who wish to continue to opt-in can then further bid up the prices in open electronic auctions. The higher the prices, the more truckers and farmers will be interested to participate in the network. Hopefully this market clears, at which point the orders are confirmed, the payments processed, and the trucking runs scheduled.
Operators of refrigerated trucks, unrefrigerated trucks, trains, and other vehicles could be approached for the transport duty. If Elon Musk overcomes his driverless vehicles’ foibles, his new fleet of robo-trucks could be digitally tied-into the routing instructions directly. If we do see another shortage of food, such a model could be tested and put into service first as an alternate-but-still legal white market, and there are signs that we likely will. The supply chains for some food items like chicken are already faltering again, reducing supply. Less food wastage and greater solvency among food producers is a good thing, even though the structure of this model will not help hungry people who are also poor very well. The question is whether a market would exist for such a new means of food delivery: Most restaurants buy only from known producers that they have struck agreements with, and most consumers buy food from trusted outlets, the most grassroots of which are the community farmers who sell at their local farmers’ markets. However, in times of shortage people become much more willing to try alternate sources. Once they approve of what they try, they are likely to buy again.
Suppose that someone setup such a B2C food distribution service, it processed payments by standard means like credit cards, and it got good patronage during a second food shortage when the normal supply chains failed and food prices rose substantially. Now further suppose that sometime afterwards the government enacts significant taxes upon food, or imposes legal restrictions on people (e.g., those who are not COVID-vaccinated) from being able to go buy or to supply it. Certain members of the food supply chain (food consumers, vendors, deliverers, or even producers) could become unable to continue to operate legally, depending upon the extent of the restrictions and who they apply to. If food items had to be distributed on the black/dark market like marijuana used to, how could this gig model continue to serve the distribution need ?: Let the auctions continue, now using an illegal bitcoin currency for payment, undocumented and out of the sight of government. The system becomes a black-market delivery network of food to needy people. No more FDA and USDA compliance.
Once a CBDC electronic money is in-place, it would be very hard to buy anything that the government doesn’t approve of with money and get away with it. One of the government’s rationales for bringing CBDC’s in is to eliminate black markets in drugs, arms, and other illicit goods. This is where pirate techies would first have to win the day to setup dark electronic markets. Some already have setup and operated ones in existing black markets like Silknet, TOR, or IP2
that accept unregistered illegal bitcoins for payment. This practice been underway primarily in the drug trade
. These dark market operators would have to be complemented by money launders who enable people to exchange the CBDC for the bitcoin tokens in ways that appear legitimate to government.
This step is fundamental. It would enable orders and transactions to occur for as long as the alternative e-currency and the dark market remained undiscovered by government. But even if a single participant in the physical production and delivery chain (e.g., the truckers) gets caught and prohibited from operating, this puts the other participants (the producers and distributors who transact with the truckers at either end of his run) in collusion with him. As in all preexisting black markets, the risk of being one of these operators would result in significant premia in their fees, making the base auction-opening prices for the end goods more expensive. There are technical ways to decouple the online ordering layer from the order feed-through to the dark market which would need to remain firewall-protected and as covert as possible, but the only way for the participating people to be minimized as risks to the operation is for each of them to know only the information necessary to carry-out only their own specific role and no more.
Nonetheless, a certain number of these markets would inevitably be discovered and shut down by government. And each time that happened, all of the tech security tricks that it utilized would become known to government. So beyond just the fundamental and technical implementation, what would make such opaque markets more resilient to being picked-off and taken-down ? Ironically, the answer is transparency. If efforts and plans are made to video-record every event where a trucker, a dark pool-operator, or a farmer got arrested for engaging in a conspiracy to provide food to people who are hungry because the same government making the arrest has made food unavailable to them by the normal means
, then the government will face broad opposition from the people as a whole. And any harsh measures taken against such black marketeers, provided they can be made known publicly, bode very negatively for the people in government.
This is the reason why any such dark markets should be employed only to provide things the government might restrict (like food) that are unquestionably benign and widely understood to be basic humanitarian needs. The effectiveness of this transparency with regard to getting caught and punished is a sharp difference from the way things go when covert markets in illegal and less-moral things like drugs and weapons are busted, or when covert military supply lines are apprehended by an enemy. In either of those cases, its game-over; spreading videos of your apprehension all over the internet wont do anything in your favor; you lost that one. But when someone working covertly to feed the food-deprived people gets caught and its is made publicly known, he becomes a folk-hero, a Robin-Hood.
So if government busts some of the delivery trucks, have the driver transmit an audio-video feed of the bust from his phone via FaceTime to someone who records it on the receiving end. Then let him get arrested. After
a few busts occur and are recorded like this, then put up the videos and the stories on the web, and release them to any conservative or foreign new media that will publish them. Do it worldwide. The government may then take countermeasures to prevent any further such filming, but the cat will be out of the bag. If enough people are angered, then its possible to get public buy-in. For example, if the truck runs are no longer such secret affairs but the trucks are surrounded in a convoy by a pack of private citizens driving their own vehicles and ready to send video, the government has a problem. Similarly, when the truck-dropoff/customer pickup points, and the farmer truck-load points become public civil disobedience gatherings that are transmitted to and visible by the world, it represents a turning point. And once they become sufficiently repressed, crowds of people will turn-out so they can get their needs.
The turning point in Gandhi’s campaign to free India was when he led the Indian people to go make salt (a staple) against the orders of the ruling British. In the standoffs at the salt factories, the British soldiers relentlessly beat all the men coming to work there. But they kept coming, without fighting back, and they had allies in the western press who showed the beatdowns of people trying to go produce a basic and needed staple good. A lot of Indian men got badly beaten, but Britain later gave up and left India.
When government has so hopelessly mismanaged a society that some ‘reset’ (either an involuntarily-induced one like a market failure or a voluntary one like government clamping-down on the citizens), becomes inevitable, it often contrives a voluntarily-induced one so that it can keep itself seated in power. That is when authoritarianism is imposed and appears to be what we have been gradually moving into for over a year. In such times, people are often eventually forced to choose either to submit or to resist. As long as their resistance consists of nonviolent benevolent activity like working to preserve peoples’ rights and their access to staples, it’s very difficult for government or anyone to brand them as dangerous, racist, evil, or wrong. And when it all accords with and uphold the constitution and other pre-clampdown law, most ordinary people will regard it as the true proper and right activity, and any government efforts to suppress it, to be the unjust, inhumane, and criminal action.
American citizens have been able to let the toughest fights for their freedom be carried-out primarily by members of the military, primarily against foreign adversaries in foreign lands. But it’s different now. Purposefully-divisive identity poli-tricks have been effective at putting Americans with no real mutual antagonism at each others’ throats to such an extent that it often a waste of effort to try to heal it by talking. But helping-out people who have been trained to abhor you for superficial reasons at a time when they are in need is one of the best ways to un-train them. And you don’t have to say a thing – just feed them. Somehow we need to find ways to come-together and to help each other, entirely independent of government and without any regard to it. Otherwise it’s just going to keep running its playbook on us in service of its goal.
What goal ? Those now in power obviously want to achieve it first before they make it public, but I can now say that this is true: The actions the people running the US government are taking now align perfectly with the Cloward-Pivens
strategy for them to flip a capitalist democratic society into a Marxist one:
- Government overloads the country with debt and social burdens, and drives as many people as possible into welfare (state) dependency.
- When the overloaded system finally breaks down and the chaos of a broad social crisis ensues, it quickly applies restrictions on everyone in the name of defending public safety, and it takes control over basically all aspects of society.
- Then it implements Socialism or communism by force.
Marxists in the past have been perfectly willing to “break a few eggs to make an omelette”.