THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 383, September 3, 2006
"It's the end of the 8000-year Age of Authority."
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
"Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?"
Michael Flynn is an outstanding author. His very enjoyable novel In the Country of the Blind published in 2001 describes contemporary society and reflects on Nineteenth Century history from a unique perspective. The title refers to a saying often attributed to Erasmus, the early Sixteenth Century Dutch philosopher, "In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." In his novel, Flynn describes a series of events that are considered critical by several groups that are attempting to manipulate the course of human society.
Flynn opens the 2001 edition of his novel (previously published in different form in 1990) with quotes from Antoine de Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet; Henry Thomas Buckle; Lambert Adolphe Quetelet; and Abraham de Moivre which suggest that the study of human society and the application of mathematics and statistical analysis to trends and events has been a subject of considerable interest dating back to 1718. Among these quotes, that from de Moivre suggests that John, James, and Nicholas Bernoulli were interested in "applying the Doctrine of Chances to Oeconomical and Political Uses."
The story is plotted around a series of murders. Each murder, including the assassination of Lincoln, is critical for the manipulations being undertaken by several competing groups. Each group seems to want to control future developments of human society globally, though with apparently different motives. Because each of these groups is interested in monitoring trends, applying statistical analysis to economical and political events, and manipulating the people around them, the groups share a common goal of keeping the study of such matters from becoming very widespread. Thus, these different groups each seek to be king, and do so by occasionally poking sharp objects into the eyes of the rest of the population, or each other.
One of the opportunities inherent in such research is economic advantage. All of the groups are funded in part through their adaptation of historical trends to economic intelligence, often indicating not only which industries would likely prosper, but sometimes which companies.
Again in the 2001 edition, Mr. Flynn provides a detailed analysis of "cliology" or the study of history as he sees it. Much of this analysis was published in 1988 in Analog magazine. His scholarly essay quotes from numerous sources, includes a detailed bibliography, footnotes, fifteen interesting charts, eleven interesting trend examples, and numerous detailed mathematical formulae for making calculations.
Consider his first example, the outbreak of warfare. His chart on the subject shows the number of years during the most recent 432 years (we suspect up through 1988) when zero wars broke out, when one new war broke out, when two broke out, when three new wars started, and when four started. There are zero years when five or more started. The figures are 223 years with zero new wars, 142 with one new war, 48 with two, 15 with three, four with four, zero with five.
A statistical distribution called a Poisson distribution models this distribution of actual wars actually breaking out very closely. The Poisson distribution would have 216.2, 149.7, 51.8, 12, 2.1, and 0.3, respectively. The difference between the theoretical Poisson distribution and the actual data is examined with a chi-square test, and is statistically insignificant. Cool. But what does it mean?
It means that the outbreak of war is similar to other events of low probability but great significance or opportunity. Events which also follow a Poisson distribution include the number of industrial accidents or the number of calls received at a switchboard. The probability of a war breaking out is constant, which suggests that while particular wars may have varying causes, war itself does not.
Another fascinating example is the outbreak of slave revolts or race riots in the United States from 1800 to 1970. He plots these data in five-year increments on a Shewhart chart which we reproduce below, as best we can. The idea of a Shewhart chart is to differentiate between events that are inherent to the system, persistent, and fluctuate randomly about a mean; and events which are disturbances to the system, not normally a part of it, and appear in the data as outliers or "extreme values." The variations outside the distribution may be assigned to particular causes.
To distinguish between the two types of event, a line is drawn at three standard deviations from the mean. All points falling beyond these limits are so unlikely to be due to chance (on the order of a quarter of a percentage point or less) that the hypothesis of random chance has to be discarded, all according to Flynn. Below is our version of the chart. The dark blue line runs across the data at 1.5, which is the average number of outbreaks of slave revolts or race riots per five year increment. The dark green line runs across the data at about 5, which is three standard deviations above the mean.
Obviously the events in 1830, 1835, 1840, 1870, 1875, 1920 and 1965 are extraordinary. The rest of the data is much closer to the mean, and suggests that there are common underlying causes for an average of three slave revolts or race riots per decade. Except for the four spikes, "the series is consistent with a stationary Poisson process 'emitting' lambda = 0.29 riots or slave revolts per year for the last 170 years. This mean value is inherent in the US cultural system (Flynn, p. 482)."
Peaks occur every other generation. The first peak is 1835, the second 1875, the third 1920, the fourth 1965. These are separated by forty, forty-five, and forty-five years, respectively. It might be fruitful to examine the specific data rather than the summary shown on Mr. Flynn's chart in order to establish whether the separation is increasing over time.
Mr. Flynn notes, "Since regularity does not occur by chance, there is probably a systemic cause for the spikes, as well." He likens the spikes to a buildup and release of pressure in a geyser. "Note that the Emancipation did not change the underlying cause system, and, unless the Civil Rights Movement did, the next peak will come around AD 2010." There is very limited data to go on, but the 1965 peak is similar in height to the 1835 peak. If major peaks are followed by forty-year intervals, then the riots could come as early as this Summer.
Since these events were initially characterized as slave revolts, why didn't they end with the "Emancipation Proclamation." Some very cogent analysis of this proclamation has been undertaken by various sources over the years. Any cursory reading of the document shows that Lincoln "emancipated" by decree only those slaves outside his power of control, while keeping in slavery all those slaves within his power to free. Moreover, in a stunning analysis of the entire period, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel suggests that the purpose of Lincoln was Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men with the emphasis decidedly on the latter.
Who then is a slave? If you pay over half your income in taxes including income, sales, property, fuel, FICA, and sundry other taxes, you are a slave. If you are not allowed to keep and bear arms, you are a slave. If you have been incarcerated for a felony, you are allowed neither a vote nor weapons, and you are a slave.
The Baby Boom generation was born between 1946 and 1964. The first of these children reached age 18 and joined the workforce in 1964. (Note the terminology: workforce, human resources, workersthese are terms applied to field hands on a plantation.) After working for forty years, early retirement for these individuals began in 2004 at age fifty-eight. A very large bubble of retirement activities will commence when the eldest Boomers reach age 65 in 2011just in time for our anticipated slave revolt.
Social Security, Medicare, and similar programs are fraudulent. They are, at best, Ponzi schemes seizing money from the current generation of workers to pay the "benefits" and "entitlements" of an earlier generation. We wrote about this topic back in 1996. As more and more Baby Boomers retire, and as the generations before them continue to live long, healthy lives into their 90s and 100s, the pressure on the system will be enormous.
Remember, Social Security was orchestrated during a period of very low probability of slave revolts. We cannot help noticing that all the New Deal changes came at a singularly low period from 1925 to 1940 with exactly one race riot in fifteen years! If this particular trend had been scoped out by the people running FDR's administration, their timing could not have been better.
Social Security was also schemed at a time when life expectancy was much lower. According to one source, life expectancy in 1933 was 59.7 years. Put another way, the average person retiring at age 65 in 1935 would expect to live another 12 years. Today, the life expectancy for anyone over age 5 is about 85 years. Thus, a person retiring at 65 in 2005 would expect to live a further 20 yearsuntil 2025. During that time, additional research on longevity, one of our favorite topics, will increase life expectancy further, if not for the retirees of 2005, then certainly for those of 2011.
The other demographic problem that points at slavery is the number of workers paying into the system. In 1935, there were 40 workers paying for each retiree. In 1950 it was just 16 workers per retiree. In 1998 the figure was just over 3 to one. It will fall to 2 to one very soon. FICA taxes or "payroll" taxes will increase. Presently, those receiving Social Security "benefits" may expect to receive over $70,000 more than they paid in, on average. Those enslaved since entering the workforce in 1983 may expect to pay in $250,000 more than they ever receive in "benefits," on average, if they ever receive anything. That generation believes it is more likely they will be abducted by aliens than they will ever see any benefits from Social Security. The slaves, especially the youngest making the lowest pay and with the least expectation of receiving benefits, will revolt.
Another factor pointing at a revolt of the young, especially the most disempowered, such as minority youth, is the prospect for a military draft. Clearly, the draft and the war in Vietnam figured prominently in the minds of many of the rioters during the 1965 peak. In 1965, blacks formed 11 percent of the American population and 12.6 percent of the soldiers in Vietnam. By some figures, as much as 20 percent of all combat-related deaths in Vietnam from 1961 to 1965 were young black men.
With a total of 12 combat divisions in the USA military and ten of these involved in, returning from, or deploying to Iraq, and the Bush Administration apparently eager for air assaults on neighboring Iran, the likelihood of a military draft between now and 2010 seems high. The fact that a memo highly critical of the Army Reserves was not only written by a lieutenant general, but leaked to the press late last year strongly suggests that a military draft is on its way.
Why does it matter that young men, especially young minority men, would likely be taxed at a much higher rate, increasingly unemployed due to the higher payroll tax "contribution" required of employers, and subjected to enslavement in the military? It is exactly the young and the minority youth who are most likely to revolt. Elderly people have more to protect, as do the middle-aged. The young have the least to lose and the most to be upset about.
It would be interesting to review the data on riots since 1970. The evidence from the 1992 riots in Los Angeles and many other cities associated with the acquittal of the vicious police thugs involved in beating Rodney King strongly indicates that the "Civil Rights Movement" did not remove the underlying causes of race riots and slave revolts. It would also be interesting to trace the slave revolt cycle back through history, see if we could get as far as Spartacus.
What else is significant about the peaks every other generation? Perhaps the rebels are persistently disappointed. The generation following a rebellion sees the lack of effective results and the attendant suffering, and resolves not to rebel themselves. However, the following generation sees little to lose and much to gain. Moreover, grandfathers have told some stories about the rebellion in their time, and the youngsters perceive the glory of challenging their oppressors without feeling any of the agony of their rebellion being crusheduntil the die is cast.
The prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib and the recent conviction of two British soldiers for abusing Iraqi civilian detainees suggest that while the Roman practice of crucifying rebels and traitorsthe Spartacus rebellion retribution apparently lining the road from Naples to Rome with thousands of crucified deadmay not be revived, plenty of atrocities will attend the crushing of the coming slave revolt.
Why would it be crushed? Those who control the system are intolerant of independence, creativity, and rebellion. Their preference is for everything to be licensed and permitted that is not explicitly forbidden. Naturally, having a vested interest in things as they are, they prefer the least amount of change to the status quo. The police state exists to slow down the rate of change and to crush rebellions. If there were any least likelihood of tolerance for rebellion, one would expect that events like the popular referendums legalizing medical marijuana in California and elsewhere would have met less resistance from the federal governmentunder both Clinton and Bush.
We have little doubt that the revolt would occur, and none at all that it would be crushed. The only matter for further examination is the precise timing, and to get at that matter would require considerable further research. Anyone seeking to underwrite such research is welcome to contact us.
Friends, the essay above was written by me in
February 2005. This past May, prisoners in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, being illegally detained
for years without due process and in direct
and thorough violation of the individual and
several oaths to uphold the constitution's
guarantees for due process by those involved,
You'll note that even men in completely hopeless conditions with a nearly certain prospect of failure will, sooner or later, rebel. It is in our blood as men to revolt against oppression. It is in the nature of authoritarians to oppress.
For my own part, I would, as well, and may, sooner than later. However, in spite of oppression by numerous individuals in authority who have specifically aggressed against me and, therefore, are subject to righteous retaliatory force, I have chosen to forebear, thus far. Why?
I continue to believe, based on considerable evidence in my possession, that it should soon be possible, mostly by using certain cryptographically secure protocols combined with free market money, to take away, utterly, all power to subjugate the world to the will of any man or group of men. It is that view which has caused me to delay my retaliation. It is also well that I was not raised to be especially vengeful in my wrath.