Dec 032010

Plenty has been happening while I was immersed in the joys of fatherhood. WikiLeaks, and the whole theater of deception surrounding it, has been the most thought-provoking flow of events by far. Plenty to write about, but for now this quote from Raffi Khatchadourian’s excellent piece on Assange:

“He had come to understand the defining human struggle not as left versus right, or faith versus reason, but as individual versus institution. As a student of Kafka, Koestler, and Solzhenitsyn, he believed that truth, creativity, love, and compassion are corrupted by institutional hierarchies, and by “patronage networks”—one of his favorite expressions—that contort the human spirit. He sketched out a manifesto of sorts, titled “Conspiracy as Governance,” which sought to apply graph theory to politics. Assange wrote that illegitimate governance was by definition conspiratorial—the product of functionaries in “collaborative secrecy, working to the detriment of a population.” He argued that, when a regime’s lines of internal communication are disrupted, the information flow among conspirators must dwindle, and that, as the flow approaches zero, the conspiracy dissolves. Leaks were an instrument of information warfare. These ideas soon evolved into WikiLeaks.”

Aug 202010

The following news stories, coupled with the recent unveiling of a gold ATM in Abu Dhabi seem like the first steps on the road to a trend:

1. Apparently the Malaysian state of Kelantan introduced some time ago the gold Dinar and the silver Dirham as legal tender, and the coins are in circulation with at least 3 different banks responsible for coinage and distribution. Interestingly, one of the reasons given by the chief minister of the state of Kelantan for introducing the coins, is that:

“the poor would be protected against inflation by the intrinsic value of the precious metals”

Who would have expected an Islamist party member from provincial Malaysia to speak words straight from an Austrian Economic Theory textbook?

2. An amazing video from Indonesia, where a private Islamic organization is coining – you guessed it – gold Dinars and silver Dirhams. Their explanation for doing it, and the interviews with ordinary people using the coins for their savings, are eye-opening.  One of the interviewees frames it as follows:

“The Dinar and Dirham represent a moral movement of maximum individual freedom”

It seems that this coinage movement sees itself as both enabling individual freedom from banking manipulation and the resulting inflation (obliteration of savings), and as a protest against state corruption and central bank control over individual lives (centrally controlled interest rates).

Mar 302010

The arrest of the Michigan militia is, I am afraid, just a portent of much worse things to come (of which Joseph Stack was another). As John Robb consistently argues, global guerrillas are on the rise, the legitimacy of the state is severely overstretched in most places (which Tom Barnett would call The Gap), and the economic crises yet to fully unfold doesn’t make things any easier for the status quo.  It seems there is a lot more yet to come.