Down With Power Audiobook!

L. Neil Smith's

Number 859, February 14, 2016

Robert LeFevre used to put it, there
is really only one right, the
right to be unmolested, no
matter what you happen to be doing.

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by Jim Davidson

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding"
Proverbs, 4:7

"With all thy getting, get understanding, is the banner under which these Forbes editorials have appeared since the first issue of the publication. We have no illusions about what great wealth can do and what it cannot do. We believe in the worthwhileness of striving by all worthy means to attain success and to attain wealth. Simply because we are convinced that no amount of money is worth the sacrifice of one's better instincts, of one's self-respect—of one's soul, if you wish—simply because we are convinced that riches not gained legitimately and decently are not worth having."
—BC Forbes of Forbes Magazine

To understand the world in which you live, you need to read some history books. I mention this fact because quite a few people I know have not been reading very much history, and for a while. Nor am I alone in thinking so, since this notion that the future, if it does not resemble the past, must at least reflect it, goes back to the writings of Thucydides on the topic of the Peloponnesian war about 400 years B.C. Not exactly news, then.

Now it is a simple fact that history isn't written by the people who get slaughtered in war, nor very often by those severely disabled in war. It tends to be written immediately after the war by the victors. And, people being what they are, the victors tend to lie, gloat, and cover up their own misdeeds. In some ways, the post-war gloating from World War One led to consequences (the Versailles Treaty, hyperinflation in Germany and Austria) which brought about World War Two. So, when you read a history narrative by the victors at a time close to when the war ended, you have the very real prospect of being misled. People who study the writing of history, historiographers, are often on the look-out for this kind of bias.

Moreover, when you look at the facts of the 20th Century you have quite a few limitations to face. Passports, border controls, and all kinds of state security agencies came into existence in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. So, if you want to know the facts about European history, you cannot entirely rely on things written before 1991 when the Soviet Union fell apart and the archives of the KGB became available. If you want to know facts about the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, his brother Bobby, Martin Luther King, and many others worldwide during the decade of the 1960s, you cannot rely on things written at that time. Even in the 1970s, the House Select Committee on Assassinations decided to hide a huge amount of information from the general public which has only recently begun to become available to the public. And, because of who they are, what they do, and because they hate humanity and want to torture every individual who opposes them to death, the CIA continues to keep extensive secrets. We are unlikely to know the full truth about everything until the Central Intelligence Agency is destroyed, every brick standing atop another in the CIA buildings is knocked down (as Cato said about Carthage), and every CIA analyst, intelligence officer, espionage agent, and manager thereof is dragged out of their home, locked in prison, and forced to confess to their many victims. Which might be a while, yet. CIA delenda est.

It is therefore the case that to understand the 20th Century, you really cannot rely entirely on 20th Century history books. For example, Robert Stinnett wrote, in 2000, a very good book about the events leading up to and including Pearl Harbour, 7 December 1941. His book, Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, explains in great detail how Franklin Roosevelt worked out ways to provoke the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, knew about the fleet bearing down on Hawai'i, and deliberately refused to warn anyone involved in the defence of those islands so that there would be a horrific loss of life. FDR wanted a war, wanted to send US troops to Europe, and was determined to have that war no matter how many Americans he had to kill. I mention Stinnett because between the release of the hardcover of his book and the much more extensively documented trade paperback that came out in 2001, he found additional material to support his views and included it in the paperback.

Recently I've been reading The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government by David Talbot. Talbot is the New York Times bestselling author of Brothers: the Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, a passionate and angry book about how the Kennedy brothers tried to change the world. He is a scholar, which anyone hefting his books would suspect, and a look at the forty pages of closely spaced, small print end notes documenting the evils of Dulles and the CIA illustrates quite thoroughly.

It is my purpose here to encourage you to read Talbot's book. But since people often choose not to read books, and rely in some cases on book reviewers like me to tell them what they should know about a book, let me say a few things on those lines. You might feel that the following paragraphs "spoil" the surprises in the book, so you have been informed.

Talbot proves that Allen Dulles had close ties to the Nazis prior to and during World War Two. He illustrates the nature of the work Dulles and his brother, John Foster Dulles, performed for big businesses during the 1930s as members of an elite Wall Street law firm. Anyone who is interested in such things should certainly be aware that Henry Ford admired the car makers of Germany and travelled there frequently in the 1930s. You should see that General Electric set up electric power plants and electrical products factories in Germany in those years. Those were the years of Nazi politics, when "good Germans" were busy breaking the windows of Jewish stores, beating the crap out of anyone who disagreed with Hitler, and laying the groundwork for the German-efficient slaughter of roughly 20 million civilians in German-occupied Europe, including the handicapped, dissenters, communists, Jews, Slavs, Poles, and ethnic minorities of various sorts, not to mention roughly 25 million Russians in combat, hundreds of thousands of American troops, and a great many others in and from various parts of Europe.

Allen Dulles loved the slaughter. He was, judging from Talbot's detailed account of his personality, including extensive quotes from his wife and his mistress (who were friends with each other and knew about Dulles's infidelity), a psychopath. Yes, Allen Dulles was a psychopath. He thought of people as objects and he was quite eager to trap them and kill them. He was responsible not only for killing quite a large number of people who opposed USA and CIA interests, but also responsible for killing a great number of CIA agents and people in other countries who supported CIA activities. He is probably the most prolific mass murderer of the 20th Century who was not also a head of state (somewhere behind Mao, Stalin, Hitler, and perhaps a little behind Pol Pot). So it should come as no surprise that he and the CIA acted to protect major Nazi war criminals including senior officers and used them in Europe to further the CIA's goals of world domination.

Considerable attention is focused in The Devil's Chessboard on the topic of Dulles and the Kennedy assassinations. It is very clear from the available information that Allen Dulles was in a position to oversee and operate the assassination of JFK. The evidence that Talbot presents about what Dulles did, who benefited, and how one of the primary beneficiaries, LBJ, put Dulles effectively in charge of the Warren Commission that investigated the crime Dulles committed, is quite compelling, to me. I find the detailed documentation to be very scholarly and thorough.

Please, don't take my word for it. Look at what Talbot writes in his book. Review his end notes. Check out his source materials. Do your own research. Think for yourself. Believe what you choose to believe.

It is a fact that the CIA deliberately and purposefully organised the assassination of a great many world leaders between 1945 and 2016. Various sites give differing figures, but it seems clear that the number is in excess of fifty. Needless to say, people who have been paying attention have noticed that the heads of national governments like Saddam Hussein and Moammar Ghadafi are dead, in this century, so it seems unlikely that the CIA ever actually stopped working to assassinate anyone it feels is in the way of CIA world domination. It also seems clear that, to Allen Dulles, JFK, who had removed him as head of the CIA over the Bay of Pigs and other fiascoes, was someone who stood in the way of Allen Dulles.

Given how many men and women Dulles either deliberately and knowingly sent to their deaths or had assassinated or had tortured in his secret prisons, including other world leaders, it is not difficult to suppose that Dulles played a significant role in Kennedy's assassination. Given how much he hated Bobby Kennedy, it seems likely that he didn't want a president RFK looking into how the CIA was involved in JFK's death. If one were to write out the explanations for how JFK was assassinated, according to the Warren Commission, and according to Talbot, one sentence to a note card, and place those note cards in a balance scale (see "Libra" for details) you would find that the simpler explanation is Talbot's—the pan with the cards representing his thoughts would rise higher and thus be the more worthy explanation. The CIA continues to lie about its role in slaughtering the Kennedy brothers.

Of course, the CIA was recently tasked by a Senator sitting on the intelligence oversight committee to apologise for spying on: the senate's intelligence oversight committee. Brennan, who was directly and personally responsible for the spying lied, to Congress when he said that the CIA didn't do so. His lies were more recently revealed by the inspector general for intelligence. Of course the CIA is a mass murdering organisation, a group of evil thugs who hate humanity, despise freedom, and work every day to subvert your rights and your sovereignty. So the odds of Brennan ever being convicted and made to compensate his victims seem remote.

The people of the CIA are a key element in the "Deep State" or the secret government. They keep secrets, though it is no secret that they exist. They won't let you have any say in your government, in how your taxes are spent, in how you are taxed. They believe in tyranny, and have supported tyrants all over the world. (Ask the people of, say, Indonesia, Guatemala, Iran, Chile, Pakistan or any of dozens of others how the CIA worked to subvert, overthrow, and assassinate the less brutal rulers those countries have had.)

The CIA loves despotism, runs torture chambers, kills people, and has men and women raped in order to punish and humiliate them, now. Today. You have no power to control them, to hold them accountable, to do anything about them. They are a key part of the modern oligarchs, the tyrants, who subvert the constitution that, amusingly, ironically, they swore to uphold and defend. You can see where limited government gets you. You can thank Truman for creating the CIA, and be amused when Talbot relates in his book how Truman came to regret having done so.

There's a great deal of detail in Talbot's book that I'm not discussing. There are rogues that he identifies, in some cases with photos. If you trust people with connections to the CIA, you are making a mistake. Possibly a deadly error. These are not decent people, and you should avoid them, even at considerble cost.

For my own part, I would include Mark Skousen amongs those not to be trusted, which is one good reason I haven't spoken at his FreedomFest event since the first one. (Another reason is, he organised a fight between a Vietnam veteran and Doug Casey saying that anyone in the audience who thinks someone speaking at one of his events is wrong should be allowed to beat up the speaker.) Of course, you have to choose for yourself.

Should you attempt to overthrow this tyranny, this oligarchy that seeks to attack you? I think you would be justified if you were to do so. But, I don't think that's the best path forward, for anyone. One reason is, violent revolutions often end with another group in power that is, necessarily, even more ruthless and willing to do things to hurt other people than those they are overthrowing. (Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, as the Who sang.) I believe that you don't need to lay your hands on the tyrant but, as Etienne de la Boetie wrote, simply withdraw your support and the tyrants will fall. And, even if they don't fall right away, you know that you aren't doing anything to support them.

In my opinion, the paths forward that are best for you, and certainly are best for me, involve agorism. The counter-economy has expanded a great deal since Samuel Edward Konkin III and J. Neil Schulman wrote about it back in the 1970s. We now have various forms of digital gold, digital silver, crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, and a vast and growing "dark web" where people engage in trade and commerce all day, every day. There are probably around ten to twenty trillion dollars in transactions every year in the "dark economy" judging only by official reports, worldwide, and my guess is that people in places of official power are highly motivated not only to under-report the actual activity, but to pretend quite a bit of it doesn't even exist.

Also, given that 94.5 million people are out of work according to both and the Bureau of Labour Statistics, and given that this number is actually about 23% of the working age population, and given that the Bureau of Labour Statistics is allowed to report this figure as 4.9% unemployment, you do have to ask yourself if any of the numbers reported by anyone in government are valid. Do they even know how to count?

I suspect they cannot count, which sort of makes the census figures hard to fathom. I mean, when you think about it, being someone's nephew and getting a job in an air conditioned office playing with numbers and lying about them all day (except for three-martini lunches, coffee breaks, and federal holidays, etc.) doesn't need to involve being able to count. But, in case you are wondering what the "official" statistics say about this whole "withdrawing from the system" thing, here are a few figures that I can give you off the top of my head.

In the 2012 presidential election about 125 million Americans who were qualified to vote chose not to do so. Most of them weren't even registered to vote. In addition about 75 million youngsters who weren't yet 18 were not allowed to vote, although I think you probably know quite a few ages 16 to 17.99 who were smarter in 2012 than some of those who voted to re-elect war monger and mass murderer Obama. Just saying.

Of the 94 million Americans who are not working, not represented in the "labour force participation" figures, only about 45.5 million are currently receiving supplemental nutrition assistance—what we used to call food stamps back when they were still, well, stamps. Lately food cards are issued by many states and reloaded once a month. Thus, something over half the people who aren't working are also not receiving food funds from the government, and that suggests that they are doing something to keep their lives going. If 48.5 million people are earning a living and not showing up as employed, why not you?

Similar numbers of people are, apparently, not filing any sort of income tax paperwork. Well over 100 million Americans who the IRS thinks ought to be doing so simply are not doing so. Which fact ought to give you considerable comfort, since they don't, currently, have prison camps big enough to hold 100 million Americans. Not to say that the CIA wouldn't be eager to find military contractors to go build such death camps.

That's the thing about agorism and the policies of withdrawal. If you were the only person not supporting the system, not voting, not filing your papers with the government, it would be a very daunting thing, and you would be right to be filled with trepidation in that case. But with tens of millions of other people doing the same things, you have quite a lot of security through obscurity, strength in numbers, and being a leaf in a forest.

What you choose to do is up to you. I cannot choose for you. If you mean to be free, you have to free yourself. And, if you mean to be free, you only have to free yourself. Simply choose to be free, and live that way.

Should you be worried about thinking bad thoughts about the CIA and its tendency to make every country a banana republic that it manipulates and terrorises? Probably not. Thought crime is still very hard to prosecute. But if you find out that I've been arrested and carted off to a black site to be tortured by CIA operatives, or that David Talbot has, then you might want to forget you ever read this essay. Otherwise, enjoy!

Jim Davidson is a sovereign individual, entrepreneur, and author. He spent 2012 to 2014 withdrawn from world affairs. He joined the Digital Cash Alliance where he serves in an unpaid, voluntary capacity in 2015 and is re-starting classes in privacy technology at Individual Sovereign University.

As a sovereign individual, Jim knows that it is resolution and determination which separate sovereign from servant. In the words of Etienne de la Boetie, "Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces."

As an entrepreneur, Jim has been involved in dozens of start-up ventures in industries ranging from banking, aerospace, real estate, software, and e-commerce to space travel, data havens, and longevity research. He has worked in companies founded by others and in companies of his own creation. Entrepreneurs know that many companies end in failure. It is the fear of failure which prevents a great many people from ever being entrepreneurs or sovereign.

As an author, Jim has written essays, articles, poetry, fiction, and is developing a book on the new country trend. Words about him have appeared in Time magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other major publications. Words by him have appeared in The Libertarian Enterprise, Final Frontier magazine, Space News, The Houston Post, The Houston Chronicle, and other publications. An earlier book, The Atlantis Papers was published in 1994 and is available from After Dark Publications. His collection of essays Being Sovereign is available from and his collection Being Libertarian is available from

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