Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 490, October 26, 2008

"Cast a blank."

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Argentina Paves the Way
by Victor Milán
vicmilan +-at-+

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Here's why I never bothered with a 401(k). Check it out at the LRC blog: Argentina to seize private pension assets.

It's always been obvious to me that government would nationalize—by which I mean loot—"private" pension plans at basically the first whiff of a pretext.

I have perceived for nearly ten years that our rulers, of whom the politicians and government officials are merely flunkies and hirelings, have entered a bizarre manic/depressive cycle. On the one hand they perceive technologies rapidly approaching—such as spying systems—which seem to promise to give them permanent, unbreakable ownership of the world and its population (I also believe they've long since decided the preponderance of the population is superfluous and needs to e done away with ASAP, but that's another rant). On the other, looming disasters, such as the rise of decentralized system and the collapse of the global bubble economy (well under way now, you may've noticed), offer the prospect they could quickly lose anything to a total disillusionment with the whole Big Lie of external governance—including, quite conceivably, their lives.

This bipolar cycle, which has been growing faster and more frenetic, drives them like a two-stroke engine into the same behaviors: manic greed and depressive terror both lead to them basically grabbing everything they can possibly seize.

Which of course disables all subjective thought, much less long or even medium-term planning. Think of somebody doing one of those old Supermarket Scrambles, where they got to carry out all the groceries they could hold—and often grabbed so much they lost their grip on everything at the bell, winding up with nothing.

Now add roller derby to that. There's no such thing, and barring the rise of some all-encompassing artificial sentience never will be, a unitary government. Even the surface which we can see offers factions, from rival agencies to entire levels of government, from local to federal level. Basically these entities are going to be forced to start fighting each other for dwindling available wealth and power. Given that every government agency worth its budget sports at least a SWAT team, if not a vast paramilitary army, how long can it be before rivalries break into outright warfare?

If you think I'm joking, or just crazier than usual, please do a little Googling into the militarization of government agencies. That includes sheriff's departments which now possess armored personnel carriers mounting .50 caliber machineguns—which simply cannot be fired in inhabited areas without risk of massive "collateral" damage. Which is an amusing little euphemism for "incidental murder of you, your family, and your neighbors."

The madness is well advanced. Another answer to skepticism about my anticipated "war of all government against all"—and I haven't even mentioned the bitter rivalries among our actual rulers, only the inevitable conflicts of their lackeys and juniors—is: wait. Watch.

Indeed, that's about my best advice: sit tight. Keep as much gold and silver and cash on hand (and hidden) as you can swing. Stock up on non-perishable consumables (don't neglect the ammo.) Make sure that includes plenty of popcorn. Then pop the corn, sit back, and watch it all enfold. And keep your head down—and be ready to jump out of the way of that collateral damage as the dying monster's tail flails about.

Victor Milán is the author of over 90 published novels, including Prometheus Award winner The Cybernetic Samurai. Please check out his Sense of Adventure blog at


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