Understanding The Keys To Power

The past decade was undoubtedly shaped by the policy adopted by the global central banking cartel to flood the world with massive amounts of liquidity (over $15 trillion) to “rescue” markets following the Great Financial Crisis.

It’s becoming increasingly clear who benefitted most from this: the ultra-rich

<img class=“aligncenter size-medium” src=“https://peakprosperity.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/fig2-1-1.png” alt="“US wealth gap” width=“2980” height=“2080” />

As $trillions flowed into financial assets pushing them higher every year throughout the twenty-teens, those who owned those assets – disproportionately the very rich – saw their wealth soar.

We’re now at the point where the richest 1% owns nearly half of the world’s assets, while the bottom 60% have (often much) less than $10,000 to their name:

<img class=“aligncenter wp-image-430288 size-full” src=“https://peakprosperity.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Global-wealth-pyramid-1.png” alt="“Global Wealth Pyramid” width=“802” height=“666” />

How has the distribution of wealth become this distorted?

<img class=“aligncenter size-medium” src=“https://peakprosperity.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/2880px-Wealth_distribution_by_percentile_in_the_United_States-1.png” alt="“Distribution of family wealth” width=“2880” height=“1444” />

The harsh simple truth is that those who run the system manipulate it to their benefit.

This is true in both government and industry. Those in power do ‘whatever it takes’ to remain in power and enjoy the fruits of their advantage. Any sort of social ‘duty’ is secondary (at best), and will be sacrificed if necessary.

Perhaps one of the best analyses and explanations of this is put forth by the book The Dictator’s Handbook, by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith. For politicians and CEOs alike, maintaining control of the “keys to power” – those who support and enable your rule – is essential.

This is why we’ve ended up with the bastardized crony form of capitalism now in place. Those running the system work hard to reward/punish anyone who aids/threatens their power base.

Like it or not, this is the world in which we live. And it's critical to understand its nature if we want to avoid becoming unwitting serfs to it.

The most important tenets to be aware of are laid out very effectively in this short video called The Rules For Rulers, created under the supervision of Bueno de Mesquita and Smith:

The above video has very powerful explanatory power when seeking to understand why our leaders act as they do. And its 'rules' are tremendously useful in helping us predict how they will act in the future.

As we enter a new decade, one likely to be filled with much more adversity -- e.g., economic slowdown, financial turmoil, resource scarcity, social unrest, geopolitical competition, military conflict -- we may very well see much more radical responses from our leaders as they act to protect their keys to power.

Which brings me to an important update: we’ve just secured Bruce Bueno de Mesquita as the keynote speaker for day one of this year’s Peak Prosperity seminar, being held in Sebastopol, CA on May 1-3, 2020.

We’re extremely excited about this. We have drawn value from Bruce’s framework for years, and are eager to hear what he foresees ahead in the coming decade.

And speaking of the seminar, we’ve just opened it up for registration to the public. If you’re planning to come, register soon in order to lock in the Early Bird price discount. It’s a 38% savings off of the general admission price.

And if you register now, before midnight tomorrow (Thurs, Jan 2), you’ll receive an additional savings of $30 if you use the discount code EB2020.

In addition to Bruce, you’ll also learn from and have the chance to mingle socially with other great minds like Mike Maloney, Charles Hugh Smith, Wolf Richter, Axel Merk, John Rubino, Richard Heinberg, Jeff Clark, and Joe Stumpf.

This year’s seminar is already set to be our best ever. And the line-up of speakers keeps getting stronger as the weeks go by.

Chris and I can’t wait to see you there in May.

But first, lock in your seat!


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/understanding-the-keys-to-power/

In the fragment of the video towards the end (15:54), the narrator talks about how democracies fall. “If the current quality of life is terrible, or the wealth of the nation is no longer dependent on the citizens, coups are worth the risk. When democracies fall, these are usually the reasons.”
With globalization, the “wealth of the nation” in the US no longer depends on the working class of the US. So they can be cast aside - cheaper workers brought in, both in tech (from India), and unskilled (from Mexico). No need to keep US workers healthy, or educated, or - really, anything else. If they die from fentanyl overdoses, no big deal. They aren’t providing the wealth anymore - instead, it is workers from China, Vietnam, Mexico, doing the heavy lifting. And if they fail, just swap them out for workers in other places.
Wealth of the nation no longer dependent on the citizens of the nation. What happens? A coup is now worth the risk.

Just a reminder that the extra $40 off (using the code EB2020), which is in addition to the Early Bird discount price, expires at midnight tonight.
If you’re planning to come to this year’s May seminar – which is shaping up to be epic – register now. This is the best price you’ll get.

I was struck by DaveF’s comment and re-watched of the Rules for Rulers video noting that population blocks that are no longer important to maintaining power can be discarded.
But what if the deplorables do not want to be discarded?
And they own rifles?

One of the beauties of PP is that it is a gathering place of many different personality types and philosophies. So this essay is from one perspective, a very conservative one. (More than half my family would be relieved to have the government take away weapons from “those crazy redneck terrorists living in the woods.”) Of course this same family believes that steel beams sometimes are melted by jet fuel and the Iraq invasion was a simple mistake.

Matt Bracken is a former soldier and novelist who writes of the Blue-Red conflict from the conservative and militant standpoint. He has several novels that explore how a gun confiscation effort might play out. His latest essay is such an exploration.
The 2020 Virginia Showdown by Matt Bracken
Bracken writes:

Rolling into 2020, all eyes are on Virginia following Governor Ralph Northam’s declared intention to pass onerous new gun control laws that could mandate the forced confiscation of common semi-automatic firearms which have been legal for Virginians to own for more than a century, ever since their invention. In response to Northam’s plans, 90% of Virginia’s counties and many of its independent cities have declared themselves to be “second amendment sanctuaries.” After receiving vociferous pushback, Northam has recently stepped away from promising the outright confiscation of currently owned semi-auto weapons, and he is instead now demanding that gun owners register “grandfathered” weapons with the state government. Based on recent experiences in New York, Connecticut and other states that mandated registration, it’s assumed that very few Virginians will comply, instantly turning hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens into paper felons. ....About 250,000 Virginia state hunting license are issued each year, a small fraction of the total number of firearm owners. Now this is just a guess, but I’d bet that there are at least a hundred riflemen in every Virginia zip code capable of walking out their front door in the next five minutes, and making a rested 500 yard aimed precision shot. .... And many of these marksmen are hunters and outdoorsmen who know their regional woods and forests like the backs of their hands. ...The geography and topography of much of Virginia means that convoys of police cars and SUVs on gun confiscation missions will be forced to travel through labyrinthine terrain on their way to and from their objectives. After a few bloody (and all-too predictable) gun raid outcomes along the lines of Ruby Ridge or Waco, at least some Virginians will not simply wait for another law enforcement (LE) convoy to arrive unmolested on their street for the next set-piece gun confiscation raid. These LE convoys will be readily identifiable far in advance of their gun raid objectives, and in the event that this constitutional struggle over the Second Amendment turns kinetic, these confiscation convoys will be taken under accurate long-range fire from hidden marksmen on the way to or returning from their objectives.
The principles here are 1) asymmetric tactics, 2) choosing the time and place of your encounter.

A few people have posted on here about gun control so I just thought I’d chip in with a typical British perspective on it which is: it’s totally weird and inexplicable. Handguns are illegal in Britain, to the great relief of most people, although a small number of police and an even smaller number of criminals carry them. Very few people own long guns (rifles or shotguns), although I expect most farmers have one to kill vermin, and if you want to join a rifle club and use a shooting range you can, although very few people are interested.
I understand the theoretical arguments in favour of having a gun - “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” and all that - but the trouble is, it looks like a rationalisation because it doesn’t actually work in practice. If it was true, America would have the least number of gun deaths in the world, instead of which, America leads the world in gun related homicides and suicides:
The last (and only) school shooting in Britain was in 1996. I understand that in the USA there have been 180 school shootings in the last 10 years (Wikipedia again). And so on, and on.
It seems to me that in the USA you have passed a “tipping point” and created a situation where there are so many guns in circulation, owned by so many different sorts of people (law abiding citizens, farmers, police, criminals, terrorists, nutjobs) that you’ve lost control of the situation and the genie can’t be put back in the bottle again, so people rationalise about upholding the Second Amendment because there’s nothing anyone can do about it any more, so you might as well pretend it’s all for the best and what the Founding Fathers intended (which it probably isn’t; I’m sure they didn’t intend school shootings).
I realise that people in the USA have strong feelings both pro-and anti-gun and I’m not deliberately trying to be provocative: I’m just holding up a mirror and saying “this is what people in other countries think about the American gun situation”.

As an American, I can say that suicides and school shootings are mental health issues, not gun issues. I would think that a significant number of homicides are as well. I believe this country should address the mental health issues that are the driving force of many tragedies. We had plenty of guns when I was young and the craziness of today was simply non existant.
There may well come a time when the Brits wished that they had their guns back. History is full of examples. The most recent that comes to my mind is the disarmament of the Jews in Germany. There are significant cultural changes occurring in your country today that, I feel, have the potential to repeat history.

Thanks for sharing your British perspective on gun control again Peter. It looks like you’re living in the right place and so am I. I think what it comes down to is Americans trust their citizens with guns and the UK elite does not trust its subjects with guns or knives (though apparently acid and rented vehicles are still readily available). As you have noted, there isn’t an overt cultural struggle over this issue in the UK and there is in the US. Some of the reason for that again goes back to cultural differences and the psychological differences of thinking of oneself as a subject in a stratified society or as a citizen in an egalitarian society.
I’m sure it warms your heart to see so many Presidential candidates who share your view of guns. We in the US are still heavily influenced by our close ties in the past and present with your country. Here’s little Mike Bloomberg commenting on the most obvious case of justifiable armed self defense in recent memory in which he is completely willing to let innocents be slaughtered to accomplish British-style disarmament of all US citizens except police and his personal armed security detail.

And Peter, do you really suppose all the countries of the world view America’s gun policies the same way you do?

I realise that people in the USA have strong feelings both pro-and anti-gun and I’m not deliberately trying to be provocative: I’m just holding up a mirror and saying “this is what people in other countries think about the American gun situation”.
I wonder what people in North Korea, Venezuela, Poland, Bulgaria and New Zealand think? Personally, I seriously doubt the world agrees with you, nor would I be swayed even if all 8 billion did. Let’s just keep the discussion to what we personally feel and think, unless you have reputable polling data to share.  

From the video above he said “But it’s the job of law enforcement to have guns and decide when to shoot.”
I take a completely different view.
I think law enforcement has a role, but quite often we see that it needs to up its game. For example the Coral Gable FL freeway shooting was horrific.
Cops with pistols and rifles just emptying lead downrange with civilians downrange. I can only imagine the horror that Bloomberg would have reacted to had that been a group of private citizens reacting badly.
And he’d have been right to be horrified. It was a deplorable example of how to go about things, demonstrating both a lack of proper training as well as any concern for innocent human life. Just pathetic.
Has Bloomberg made any mention of that? Not that I know of.
The reason is that any killing of innocents by the state is A-OK for him. Citizens protecting themselves is not.
It’s really easy to see that this is his mindset. It’s one I vigorously disagree with on every level.

I’ve been around firearms my whole life, growing up in rural PA, a Combat Marksmanship Coach in the USMC, and now an active member at a local sportsman club… Majority of gun owners are responsible and Respect the firearm as a tool, or hobby.
I agree that most gun related problems today are from persons in an unstable mental state. It’s not like guns just became legal in the last 20 years and everything went to chaos. We had guns for a long time and guns themselves have not changed… people have changed…
I feel that people have a right to arm themselves just as much as a lion or a bear has rights to defend itself with its claws, teeth etc.
I live in Pittsburgh and last year the mayor tried to past laws to ban assault rifles from the city. It passed, then was appealed by a judge stating that the city does not the rights to enact such a law. The very interesting part of the story is that I cut (I’m a barber) many Pittsburgh policemen, and all of them were against this law and said would not enforce it. It’s just interesting that the very people facing guns on a daily basis are against taking them away.

Back to the topic: understanding the keys to power. Consider also the so-called Deep State, or Fourth Branch of Government - unelected bureaucrats, employees of the government agencies (Pentagon, FBI, CIA, NSA, NGO's) who live in Washington DC. When you realize how lopsided the politics are you understand what an echo chamber it is and how the 19 FBI mistakes in the Horowitz report all went one way (but wasn't political bias - right)

If you have a teenager or a Grand-child that is a teenager chances are they know about Tic Tock. Do you?
Perhaps you should.