Quote note (#218)
Libertarian in genesis, but strategically sound:
“… those who consider themselves modern American revolutionaries often envision manning barricades and mass revolt as the undoing of the government. That attacks the government at its greatest strength — its capacity to use force and violence. The US government has at its disposal the most potent military and surveillance capabilities ever assembled. … […] The idea that some sort of mass movement will rise and by force of its inferior arms throw off the yoke of oppression is the stuff of weak novels, not a real life strategy that has a chance of success. Those who buy into it and attempt implementation commit the biggest strategic failure: they have fooled themselves. Consequently, their enemy — the government — profits. It uses their failure to justify further tyranny and repression.
There is surprisingly little written about attacking the government at its weakest point: its financial dependence … An offensive would require a mass movement far less massive than that required for armed revolt, and its tactics would be legal. A few million simultaneous phone calls and requests via websites for the withdrawal of balances from banks, money market funds, and stock and bond mutual funds would precipitate a financial panic. None of those institutions keep enough cash on hand to meet a tsunami of redemption and withdrawal requests. They’d have to sell their assets to raise cash. The prices of those assets would drop, begetting further selling; negative crowd psychology and wealth effects would kick in as markets crash, and debt and economic activity would contract.
The biggest loser in all this would be the government. As prices for bonds drop, interest rates rise, increasing its debt service. As economic activity contracts, tax receipts drop, safety net spending rise, crony capitalists must be bailed out, and deficits expand. Except for interest on government debt rising (it was perceived as a safe haven) all of this happened during the last financial crises. A massive increase in government debt and central bank debt monetization forestalled complete disaster last time. Even some of their proponents admit that those palliatives are now exhausted. During the next crisis, interest rates will rise on government debt to reflect its increasing credit risk. […] Which will leave the government confronting, and being defeated by, one of its biggest whoppers: that the pieces of paper and computer notations its Treasury and central bank generate ultimately have value after decades of determined efforts to depreciate them. They’re simply pieces of paper and computer entries, and eventually they’re not going to buy any groceries for all those warriors and police the government’s counting on, or for anyone else. Currencies collapse just before governments do; witness Venezuela, with its Bolivar and its government in extremis.
This outcome does not require a plan; it’s going to happen. Indeed, it’s already happening.
When something is falling, push — but push intelligently. The fetish for popular violence among certain factions of the Alt-Right is simple idiocy. If a populace is still docile enough to support government deficit spending, it’s not going to be waging a guerrilla war anytime soon.