Hooray for the Black Market!
By Larken Rose
Achieving complete freedom requires both the mental ability to disobey would-be masters, and the physical ability to disobey would-be masters. One without the other will fail. For example, the fact that a population may be armed is no check against tyranny if the people themselves cannot ever bring themselves to forcibly resist the acts of violent aggression committed by those who wear the label of "government." The physical ability to resist, without the mental ability, is worthless.
And so it is with economic slavery. If a population feels a moral obligation to pay tribute to a ruling class, then it doesn't much matter what avenues of "illegal" free trade are available to the people. But if the people understand self-ownership, and stop hallucinating something legitimate about the parasitic gang of crooks called "government," that's when alternative means of trade and cooperation come in handy.
The main reason modern tyrants want a cashless economy is so all wealth and commerce can be monitored and controlled. In contrast, cash makes it easy for people to trade unseen and uncontrolled by the state--a practice which the parasite class demonizes using derogatory terms such as "under the table" and "black market," implying that trading without giving the masters a cut is a horrible sin. The tyrants preach this propaganda, well aware that the physical ability to trade freely, without the involvement of "government" thieves, does not pose a threat to the powers that be if the people are mentally incapable of disobeying or resisting the demands of an alleged "authority." That is why mental enslavement is ultimately far more important than physical enslavement.
However, as people start to escape the mental cage they've been trained into via authoritarian indoctrination, it also becomes important that they have the physical means to disobey, evade, resist, or otherwise defeat would-be control freaks and parasites. A huge part of that is finding a way for free people to communicate and trade beyond the eyes, tentacles and fangs of the beast called "government." I am certainly no expert on technologies such as communications encryption and electronic currencies, but even without knowing the details of how they work, the threat they pose to would-be tyrants of the world should be obvious.
Right now, it is easy for two people who know each other and live in close proximity to make small trades without the "government" parasites ever finding out, or being able to get a cut. Though something similar can be done via old-fashioned mail, it is much slower and somewhat less secure than in-person trading. What the internet and emerging commerce technologies will essentially do is remove the geographical limitations on the "illegal" freedom already being exercised around the world. Of course, those who get rich off of stealing from others--namely, every "government" in the world--will continue to try to find new ways to spy on, regulate, and intercept communications and commerce. But in the end they will fail. Badly.
It doesn't matter what "legislation" they pass, what fascist "crackdowns" they attempt, or how much they huff and puff. As long as there are wires running across the country, the programmers and inventors, the geeks and hackers, will leave "the authorities" in the dust. The question is not whether free people can win in a contest of technology and ingenuity. They can. The question is only, at what point will people realize that they own themselves, and have every right to do whatever it takes to outsmart, circumvent, disobey or resist those who wish to subjugate and enslave them?
Right now, small deals, albeit by the millions, happen quietly, "under the table." As the economy continues to fall apart, and as more people wake up to the insanity of authoritarianism, free, voluntary, "illegal" trade will spread. And it will become a self-accelerating process, both in terms of mental freedom and physical freedom. On the mental side, when a tenth of the people have outgrown the silly idea that there is something noble or useful about everyone surrendering a big chunk of what they earn (via "taxes") to a gang of corrupt politicians and thugs, that attitude will quickly spread. Likewise, on the physical side, when a tenth of the people refuse to pay tribute to the parasites, whether that refusal comes in the form of clandestine trading or overt disobedience, the ability of the parasite class to do anything about it will collapse, and the other nine tenths will figure out that they might as well stop complying as well, since the risk at that point will be almost none.
Again, mental liberation must come first, but that is occurring at an accelerating rate, and has been for several years now. As more and more people escape the cult of statism, and realize that mutually voluntary exchange is no sin, and bowing to tyrants is no virtue, the "black market" may quickly become the entire market. There may soon come a time when Joe Average goes online, hoping to find a good deal on something, finds the "government"-approved version--complete with regulation, taxation, surveillance, and continually devaluing currency--and then finds the "black market" version--private, untaxed, and far less expensive. Then Joe Average might just decide that he doesn't really need politicians in his life after all. When that day comes, the empire is toast.
Larken Rose is author of several books, including The Iron Web and How to be a Successful Tyrant. His webpage is LarkenRose.Com