Recently I've looked at how Russia has moved from a Communist State to a Police State run by the secret police. This shift from totalitarianism via political ideology derived from Marx to one derived from the pure use of power is one that is a direct flow, culturally, in Russia dating back to the early Czars all the way to Vladimir Putin. The horror of such a regime isn't in its biased enforcement of laws to keep a regime elite in power, but in the violation of the social compact with those that merely try to enforce an equality of law upon all citizens. That is the End Game Against Freedom article that centers on a film documentary by Andrei Nekrasov who recounted the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in Poisoned by Polonium. Litvinenko attempted to simply put down a moral basis to do his job of law enforcement so that the law could be upheld in a neutral manner. This was inside the FSB, the secret police organization that traces its roots directly back to the Cheka of the Czars, and he had an entire unit of men who also viewed with horror the things they were being asked to do to keep the regime in power: harass citizens, extort money from businessmen, plant evidence, use blackmail on judges, and even murder those who had the temerity to simply want a common law enforced for everyone. Not only was the man they were going after inside the police, but he upheld an ideological point of view that Litvinenko's unit was in agreement with. The men of the unit went on record as to what they had been ordered to do, who ordered them to do it, and why they thought they had been given such orders. By revealing that the secret police, as individuals and units, had their own, separate funding garnered by extortion and blackmail of businesses, this unit had exposed how a secret police can act secretly even to its own budget to the enrichment of the police officers involved. From Alexander Litvinenko:
Everyone realizes I don't know any secrets. The only secrets I know are about organized crime and corruption, and they can't legally be considered state secrets. Even if I wanted to work for British intelligence, I have nothing to tell them. How can I be a traitor to my country?
Why are they so angry with me?
Because I have spoken about the one thing that is important, holy to them. One officer said to me, "You can out all our agents, to hell with them. We'll recruit new ones. But you did one deadly thing. You made public our system of earning money. Do you want us to use the underground?"
That is why they hate me so much.
In any normal society this would be the activity of organized crime, but in Russia there is a political blending between the FSB and organized crime: between the State and criminals. I went over that in A taste of Oil For Food and its chefs, and it works out like this: Marc Rich (the man who was on the run from FBI prosecution and who would be pardoned by President Clinton at the behest of Eric Holder) ran in a predatory investment environment so that he was willing to invest in places where there were either sanctions against investing or steep penalties for doing so, so that he could make money off of troubled regions of the world. Russia, just in the post-USSR period, was very troubled in that it had no foreign cash reserves and its industrial base had no owners and no way to run things. Organized crime in Russia had cash, and so did Marc Rich and together they were able to get legislation put in place that would allow criminal money to be used for purchasing ex-State run industries. From that there were three types of owners for these businesses at the start of modern Russia: the State, Organized Crime, and corrupt outside investors. This is a pattern from Marc Rich of finding raw materials concerns in foreign Nations that have limited access to markets via sanctions, purchasing those goods at a pittance, and then working those black market goods into the grey and open markets. In Russia this was augmented by a process of 'tolling' which was exchanging goods from the USSR for cash, and not having any taxes to pay for the importation of any other goods.
When dealing with sums involved in such transactions the banking system must be used, and it was (and still is) relatively porous to criminal funds moving through the global financial system. In my article on the Red Mafia and its connectivity, I outline how the Bank of New York was penetrated by at least one organization of the Red Mafia (and because it still has not been thoroughly investigated, no one can say for sure just what the current extent of the penetration actually is nor how many organizations have penetrated it) that was moving $70 billion worth of funds and transactions over a period of years between other Nations and Russia. Most of that was for Oligarchs, yes, but there are definite tracks that lead to an outfit run by the Chernoy brothers, who used the unique method of not being computerized and having one brother with an eidetic memory to remember where all the paper front companies were. Literally no one working inside their main front organization actually suspected that the transactions that were taking place were between off-shore companies stood up just for the length of the transaction and then dissolved soon thereafter. Without a paper trail, no one can be prosecuted, and that unique approach means that just how much illicit money through drug running, extortion overseas, white slavery and murder for hire went through the system is unknown. What can be said is that one large swindle involving Semion Mogilevich in the YBM Magnex scandal netted $1 billion over its 4 years of operation in cornering the permanent magnet market via illegal trades. Note that this was the Canadian market that was penetrated by a Russian operation started by a Red Mafia leader in Virginia, USA, with funds then being funneled through the penetrating group of the Bank of New York in NYC and then filtered out to Cypress, where Mogilevich had a holding company, and then filtered into Russia to support his organized crime syndicate that stretched all the way from Moscow to China.
This puts the life and times of Mikhail Khodorkovsky (from Khodorkovsky a documentary by Cyril Tuschi ), which I went through in End of the moral State, into fine focus. The USSR had no banks, no one had a checking or savings account, nor credit cards, nor owned stock or bonds in companies. Yet the Red Mafia had been dealing with capitalist regions for decades, faced brutal repression in the USSR and became far more brutal because of the repression. Khodorkovsky saw the need for a banking system in Russia if it was to make a post-Communist transition, but knew little of what banks were, what they did or how they operated. Those few with any cash standing up Menatap Bank had to go to Great Britain's banking industry for help on just the basics, and that also led to problems in those early days of keeping track of just where funds were coming from. Surely funds coming from a well established, well known Western global banking system were secure, right?
Yet that was not the case and Menatap suffered because it was becoming known as a conduit for funds that was not transparent, did not keep open books and was suspected of helping to funnel organized crime funds into Russia. This was the result as seen from Irina Yasina journalist who worked with Khodorkovsky to help establish his education works and who was the director of Open Russia:
At some point, Yukos was also a non-transparent company. Minority shareholders were treated badly and no quarterly reports were submitted, like in the West. That's what it was like in the beginning. After a series of scandals, Khodorkovsky understood: If you make a company transparent, you attract investment. He learned from his mistakes and knew this would also make money. So it was actually a business project.
What happened is that Mikhail Khodorkovsky learned the basis for a capitalist system: open books and transparency of accounts. This would wind him up in Siberia, now having his sentence extended by the Putin regime for a third time because he was running an organization that could no longer be extorted for funds. Both Menatap and Yukos would demonstrate that the fundamental requirement for a working capitalist system is open accounting, transparency and equal application of the law to all businesses with favoritism towards none. This changed the course of Khodorkovsky's life and businesses from those that were not transparent with few willing to invest, to ones with open transparency and books and loads of investors. Going from nothing to the richest man under 40 on the planet in less than a decade can be done legally, and Khodorkovsky proved it. If he had not actually pushed back against the corrupt politicians put in place by the FSB, he would now be the richest man on planet Earth.
What did he run up against?
Again from the Litvinenko film:
In our country, the special services are, in fact, a secret political organization that uses sharp methods, secret methods, not against spies and terrorists, but solely to keep a ruling class in power. In 1999, for example, to seize power, the FSB used secret methods that are only allowed against terrorists and spies. If the army were to seize power, they'd roll in with tanks and guns and fly in with jets maybe. But everyone would notice. The FSB, on the other hand, has secret methods, and nobody noticed anything until chekists made up the government and seized every organ of power. If the KGB was the armed unit of the Communist Party, then the FSB is the armed unit of – of a caste of corrupt Russian officials.
In the USA, Congress has been willing to hand over more and more policing powers not just to individual agencies (which they are allowed to do) but to larger police organizations which now fall under the Dept. of Justice rubric. Further the tax collection system has also garnered not only its own policing powers but its own court system, which is run to the interest of collecting taxes, not protecting individual rights and freedoms. Under the guise of 'financial penalties' Congress has empowered the IRS to use both jail time and punitive fines as coercement techniques and that has now spread via special 'categories' of companies to allow the forceful hand of the elite to put pressure on citizen political concerns. If the IRS were to seize power by disenfranchisement of individuals through: suppression of freedom of speech, suppression of freedom of association, intimidation tactics against not just those wishing to start companies but their families, donors and families of donors, discourage the citizen's protected right to directly address government, and then hold the penalty of perjury over any wrong detail... would you notice?
This coercion and intimidation did not start with the election of Barack Obama, no this had started long before that. Long before Richard Nixon threatened to do this. Coming from The Federalist #12 (Courtesy: constitution.org) by Alexander Hamilton we get this view on taxation after looking at wartime taxation:
But it is not in this aspect of the subject alone that Union will be seen to conduce to the purpose of revenue. There are other points of view, in which its influence will appear more immediate and decisive. It is evident from the state of the country, from the habits of the people, from the experience we have had on the point itself, that it is impracticable to raise any very considerable sums by direct taxation. Tax laws have in vain been multiplied; new methods to enforce the collection have in vain been tried; the public expectation has been uniformly disappointed, and the treasuries of the States have remained empty. The popular system of administration inherent in the nature of popular government, coinciding with the real scarcity of money incident to a languid and mutilated state of trade, has hitherto defeated every experiment for extensive collections, and has at length taught the different legislatures the folly of attempting them.
And then further on:
In France, there is an army of patrols (as they are called) constantly employed to secure their fiscal regulations against the inroads of the dealers in contraband trade. Mr. Neckar computes the number of these patrols at upwards of twenty thousand. This shows the immense difficulty in preventing that species of traffic, where there is an inland communication, and places in a strong light the disadvantages with which the collection of duties in this country would be encumbered, if by disunion the States should be placed in a situation, with respect to each other, resembling that of France with respect to her neighbors. The arbitrary and vexatious powers with which the patrols are necessarily armed, would be intolerable in a free country.
In the modern USA all attempts to garner more and more money for government by taxation has found that after a certain point the increases become detractions to revenue generation, as was demonstrated by Art Laffer. Yet tax regulation has gone inexorably upwards, more and more power over personal information is vested in the IRS, and it now has an army of agents willing to roam the land to enforce its own form of political viewpoint AND use arbitrary and capricious audits against not just businesses but individuals as well to both garner revenue and suppress speech. And as the IRS is the agency put in to the role of collecting your medical information under Obamacare, the inroads and reach of the US federal government into the lives of individuals is about to increase many fold.
This, too, was seen by Hamilton:
What will be the consequence, if we are not able to avail ourselves of the resource in question in its full extent? A nation cannot long exist without revenues. Destitute of this essential support, it must resign its independence, and sink into the degraded condition of a province. This is an extremity to which no government will of choice accede. Revenue, therefore, must be had at all events. In this country, if the principal part be not drawn from commerce, it must fall with oppressive weight upon land. It has been already intimated that excises, in their true signification, are too little in unison with the feelings of the people, to admit of great use being made of that mode of taxation; nor, indeed, in the States where almost the sole employment is agriculture, are the objects proper for excise sufficiently numerous to permit very ample collections in that way. Personal estate (as has been before remarked), from the difficulty in tracing it, cannot be subjected to large contributions, by any other means than by taxes on consumption. In populous cities, it may be enough the subject of conjecture, to occasion the oppression of individuals, without much aggregate benefit to the State; but beyond these circles, it must, in a great measure, escape the eye and the hand of the tax-gatherer. As the necessities of the State, nevertheless, must be satisfied in some mode or other, the defect of other resources must throw the principal weight of public burdens on the possessors of land. And as, on the other hand, the wants of the government can never obtain an adequate supply, unless all the sources of revenue are open to its demands, the finances of the community, under such embarrassments, cannot be put into a situation consistent with its respectability or its security. Thus we shall not even have the consolations of a full treasury, to atone for the oppression of that valuable class of the citizens who are employed in the cultivation of the soil. But public and private distress will keep pace with each other in gloomy concert; and unite in deploring the infatuation of those counsels which led to disunion.
The wants of any government can only be met by totalitarian excesses of control of all parts of the economy: and yet even that will not fund it nor will it guarantee security and, in failing that, it will lose respect and support.
In Russia the secret police (Cheka, KGB, FSB) gained control by infiltrating all levels of law, and then moving into politics to control all levels of the economy. Taxation plays only a small role in Russia where the population has never had a democratic expression of the popular will without the influence of the elite or organized crime, when the two can be told apart from each other. Vladimir Putin swindled St. Petersburg, Russia of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in what was supposed to be a goods for food arrangement with Western Europe. The goods went out and he pocketed the cash, and formed a money laundering bank that then reached out to the Colombian cartels. With that personal money he was then able to help push the FSB forward with political candidates directly FROM the FSB, so that the second generation of laws could be geared towards the FSB and the elite, with the FSB serving not only on the criminal apprehension and prosecution side of things, but also serving as 'advisors' to courts and judges, letting them know who to judge guilty.
In the USA we have a system of politicians using the laws to create an arm of government that reaches into the financial and now health concerns of every American and suppresses attempts by citizens to form organizations to cut all of government down to an accountable size, remove broad powers from unaccountable agencies and their agents, all while trying to keep out of a court system run by and for those same agencies and agents. On the DoJ side there are abuses of power under the rubric of National Security to wiretap journalists without informing those organizations they are tapping of who they are tapping and why they are tapping them and how long such taps will be used, and for what purposes as is required by law. Further the DoJ goes 'judge shopping' to find a judge who will sign off on such open-ended, clandestine wiretaps, all to try and find out who the sources for a journalist are when that journalist is exercising First Amendment rights.
That same DoJ is given oversight on running the BATFE and then abusing that privilege by sending unaccountable arms to organized crime across the border and even overseas, without using proper IMEX treaty controls to do so, thus contravening not just federal law but international law as agreed to by the USA and places like Mexico and Honduras. Those arms then filter back into the USA via those criminal organizations, and has led to the death of Brian Terry and other federal agents inside the USA. This is only surpassed by the State Dept. running arms to other organized crime organizations in Mexico, moving Libyan MANPADs to 'rebels' in Syria affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda and then not bothering to protect Ambassador Stevens when the same jihadi-based organizations we got to protect him then turned on him, thus obscuring just which arms were shipped into and out of Libya and by whom.
Apparently there is another group of elites in the world who see fit to use the government of the USA and its organs against the people of America and who then create disorder overseas via US federal agencies and organs to their own ends which are neither legal nor lawful in any way, shape or form.
Do note that this is caused by both parties in the USA, over a number of decades and slowly built to control not just the lives of American Citizens, but to bring to heel multiple Nations through different means via the utilization of corrupt politicians with the Ideology of Tyranny.
What is that Ideology of Tyranny?
Raw power for the elites in charge to terrorize the lives of the common man on all corners of the Earth.
You can see it in small scale in Russia.
It is about to be on your doorstep and the doorstep of billions of people across the globe.
The only thing to stop it is each of us being awake, pointing out the outlines of such Tyranny, and continuing the civil discourse until the Tyrants can't take it any longer. Then comes our Natural Right to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our property and our society against the inroads of such Totalitarianism.
And, just so you know, the best form of attack to bring the Tyrants of the world up short: humor, derision, and just pointing out how damned stupid they are to think that power, control and force actually make THEM safe. There are plenty of fine examples of elites with lopped off heads, spilled guts, sudden attempts to fly out of 10 story windows, and just plain old numbers on their backs so they can be worked to death by the thing they create. In their attempts to make everyone heel to them, they always forget to heel themselves to any inner guidance beyond all consuming power. All consuming power consumes all, including those doing the holding. Laugh at them for their willful ignorance of history, deride them in thinking that a necessary evil can be given good things to do and not become a pure evil, and that societies are created amongst men and governments mere temporary things used to help sustain society and that when government attempts to become society it becomes its own enemy and will soon be attacking itself.
You can't ask Litvinenko about that.
You might get a word from Khodorkovsky.
And you might just want to physically write down that you will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, de-briefed or numbered.
Your life is your own.
And smile when you do it.
Tyrants hate those who smile in freedom.
It will make you a target, but soon, very soon, the targets will all be pointing in at the elites. When everyone else is the target, then you aren't in a good situation because it is you that are the violent one and it is you that are in the 10 ring: target all others and you become the target.
And that day is also coming.