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Proof of Stake Vs. Proof of Work: Which One Is ‘Fairer’?

Proof of Stake Vs. Proof of Work: Which One Is ‘Fairer’?



This is the first part of a deep dive into the years-long debate between proponents of Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. Which one is better and why?

This is the first of two articles providing a deeper dive into the eternal debate between the Proof of Stake (PoS) and Proof of Work (PoW) consensus algorithms. This part will focus on the basics, while also discussing the issue of wealth concentration and inequality, which is often at the center of any community argument.

Bitcoin (BTC) and many of the original cryptocurrencies were born as pure PoW systems. 

Proof of Stake was first pioneered in 2013 by Peercoin, a project that exists to this day. 

Peercoin’s contribution to the popularity of PoS is likely dwarfed by Ethereum (ETH) and its goal to transition from PoW —  which has turned out to be a very long journey. Projects such as Cardano (ADA) avoided PoW entirely, deciding on PoS after using a formal approach to assess consensus mechanisms. 

The Bitcoin and Monero (XMR) communities remain some of the staunchest proponents of mining and Proof of Work. 

What is a consensus algorithm?

In any blockchain, the consensus algorithm is designed to solve the issue of trust between the participants of a network. Used for payments, the consensus algorithm is the final piece in the complex cryptographic puzzle that makes cryptocurrency work. 

Basic features of a transaction, such as ownership and amount, are easy to verify with the help of public key cryptography, which works through fundamental mathematical properties.

Consensus algorithms exist to mitigate the “double-spend” attack, where a malicious actor is able to spend the same coin twice (or any number of times). Solving this issue requires a deliberate decision on which of the two spends is valid

There are no pure-mathematical solutions to this problem. Instead, consensus algorithms use a combination of cryptography and economic incentives to maintain a functional network.

Bitcoin’s consensus is based on a simple rule — the longest chain of blocks is the only valid one. The system was later termed Nakamoto Consensus, in honor of Bitcoin’s anonymous founder. 

In order to make the concept work, adding blocks to each chain must be relatively difficult. This is where Proof of Work and mining come in. Each block is secured through cryptographic techniques that require miners to commit computing power in order to add blocks. 

As computing power is directly proportional to electricity usage, Bitcoin is secured directly by a fundamental physical quantity — energy.

Under Proof of Stake, the network secures itself through the commitment of a stake — a certain amount of capital in the form of the network’s own tokens. Its security is meant to be derived directly from the perceived economic value of the network — how expensive it is to purchase a majority stake.

But PoW networks also have a close correlation between economic value and security. Miners receive coins as a reward, which means that the higher the value of the coin, the more money they make. 

New miners are incentivized to add more hardware and spend more energy to receive their share of the rewards — which increases security. Over time, the profit for each individual miner trends toward an economic equilibrium dictated by electricity prices. 

As a consequence, the amount of electricity dedicated to mining depends on the coin’s emission rate and market capitalization, while it is largely decoupled from the network’s performance or activity. Many PoS proponents see this as the biggest issue of PoW. 

The energy problem

Cointelegraph spoke with Aggelos Kiayias, the chief scientist of IOHK, one of the entities behind Cardano, to learn more about their decision to use PoS. She said:

“The costs and energy consumption aspects of Proof of Work blockchains were definitely a consideration. It seemed natural to think: ‘is it possible to get a protocol that has a similar type of profile with, for example, Bitcoin’s blockchain, but somehow doesn't have the same energy expenditure?’”

The electricity consumption of Bitcoin mining is significant, with the latest estimate from July 2019 placing it at an annualized value of 70 Terawatt hours. This is close to the total electricity use of a small European country like Austria — although to put that in perspective it is also just 0.28% of the global figure. 

The environmental impact is contested, with a July 2019 report estimating that 74% of Bitcoin mining is done through renewable sources. Proponents of PoW in Monero and Bitcoin often argue that the energy used in mining is not ‘wasted’, as it is necessary to ensure the resilience and decentralization of the consensus algorithm.

Jake Wocom-Pyatt, project lead for Decred, agrees with the environmental concerns but doesn't believe that PoS is necessarily the answer. Speaking with Cointelegraph, he said:

“PoW is indeed environmentally unfriendly. However, it must be considered that it is the first and simplest consensus system proposed. There are surely ways to improve PoW in the future.”

Though Proof of Stake also involves energy consumption for the delegation process, it is generally agreed to be far less energy-intensive than an equivalent Proof of Work solution. However, many argue that it compromises on too many things in order to achieve this.

Trusting PoS history

According to Wocom-Pyatt, pure PoS is reversible, which means that its history can be changed. This is similar to an argument made in a 2015 paper by Andrew Poelstra, a mathematician at Bitcoin development company Blockstream.

Poelstra argued that it is impossible for a user to rely on the proofs of stake to claim that a particular block is valid — because that stake itself depends on previous stakes within that blockchain, which are ultimately based on nothing. He wrote:

“Because there is no universal time (and to new users, no universal history), there is no way to differentiate users who are ‘now’ holding the currency from users who ‘were’ holding the currency.” 

PoW history, by contrast, can be mathematically verified to be correct and can only be counterfeited by recreating its entire mining history. As noted by Poelstra, PoS proponents will argue that as long as short-term history can be secured, changes in old blocks will “contradict the history as remembered by participants of the system.”

This, according to him, “changes the trust model from that of Bitcoin” to one where consensus relies on always-online peers. While he believes that this could theoretically work, he argues that such a trust model is “vulnerable to legal pressure, attacks on ‘trusted’ entities and network attacks” — that it’s less censorship-resistant and decentralized, in short. 

PoS proponents agree that a certain aspect of extra-protocol social coordination and consensus is necessary to maintain its security, but they argue that PoW systems ultimately rely on social consensus as well.

There is no clear winner in this line of argument. It is a philosophical debate that hinges on each individual’s opinion about whether actively relying on social consensus is an acceptable compromise to reduce electricity usage. It is perhaps for this reason that the debate has since moved into other contentious topics. 

Acquiring stake Vs. acquiring work

Economic fairness is an often debated point for both types of consensus. In line with the principle of decentralization, both sides seek to minimize issues such as unfair access to the ecosystem or increasing wealth disparity.

Proof of Stake is often considered to be a system where “the rich get richer” due to the way it rewards the ownership of capital. In a Reddit AMA, Ethereum Foundation representatives argued that the opposite is true:

“In both bases, the owning of an asset allows for seeking gains on that asset. The difference between the two is that in PoS, the mapping of capital to gains is much more direct and fair (i.e. buy token, lock token, perform duties, gain X). Where in PoW, the mapping of capital to gains is highly dependent upon extra-protocol factors.”

In the Cardano network, Kiayias emphasized that PoS makes no distinction between the “rich man’s dollar” and the “poor man’s dollar.” He explained:

“Proof of Work systems, if you look at them, cannot give you a perfectly egalitarian version [of consensus] [...] Whereas in a Proof of Stake system, in principle, you could have a situation where one dollar in the pocket of the poor person would be equal in strength to a dollar in the pocket of a rich person.”

The CEO of Equilibrium, a project designing an algorithmic stablecoin on EOS, also agreed with the Ethereum Foundation’s argument:

“I totally support this assessment. Staking highly fungible tokens doesn't create any entry barriers and doesn't lead to any kind of disparity as long as the given tokens are accessible on the open market.”

They share the opinion that mining increases wealth disparity due to the accumulation of “extra-protocol” factors. Bulk discounts, early or even exclusive access to new hardware — all of these make Proof of Work inherently unfair, according to many PoS proponents.

Alejandro De La Torre, VP at Poolin, currently the largest Bitcoin mining pool, believes the exact opposite — that extra-protocol advantages make Proof of Work fair. Speaking with Cointelegraph, he said:

“In my opinion, the possibility of creating a new chip, accelerating the OS of a mining rig, or literally any other discovery that gives you an advantage in PoW mining is essentially the reason why PoW is the fairer 'cryptoeconomic' protocol. [...] PoS only relies on having the core asset; and the more you have the more you make. There is no other way to improve your situation in PoS mining, barring of course just purchasing more of the underlying staked asset.”

Equality of opportunity is what matters

Cointelegraph also spoke with Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of International Business at Duke University, to learn more about the concept of economic disparity and how it relates to consensus mechanisms. Summarizing his position on the wealth disparity gap in blockchain economics, he said:

“Yes, one critique of PoS is that the rich get richer. In PoW, it is more of a business operation with the miners not needing to hold BTC, ETH, etc. In PoS, you need to hold.”

Harvey argues that the two systems have different economic natures, focusing on the business operation aspect of PoW — where miners can have negative profit, get outcompeted or fail entirely. He explained:

“I don’t think modern mining is an important factor for wealth distribution. Indeed, a large amount of mining becomes obsolete not because of age but because of fluctuations in BTC prices.”

When asked whether bulk discounts contribute toward wealth disparity, he replied that it is a normal economic phenomenon called scale efficiency. Mining is “no different than any other industry” according to him.

Harvey then explained that wealth inequality is generally expected in any free market system due to “differential natural endowment of skill” and luck. He continued:

“We usually focus on inequality of opportunity rather than wealth. In a free market, anyone with a good idea should be able to make it to the top 1%.”

From an opportunity standpoint, Proof of Stake systems are generally fair. Harvey pointed to the model of Delegated Proof of Stake (dPoS) as an example, where “even small holders can participate in the miner rewards by delegating some of their stake.”

Staking pools and delegation models are generally present in any PoS system though, and they could be implemented through extra-protocol measures as well — similar to PoW mining pools.

But De La Torre argues that equality of opportunity applies to the ASIC mining industry as well. He explained:

“Historically, machines last a good three or four years before they are made obsolete — break, difficulty too high, etc. [...] Like we are seeing now, with the ending of the mighty [Bitmain] S9 era, the entire cycle of the mining industry begins again. This cycle is the creation of new miners, new OS [operating systems], the sourcing of cheaper electricity around the globe. This cycle also brings in new participants that want to take advantage of PoW mining.”

Mining is not always the same

Kristy Leigh-Minehan, former CTO of Genesis Mining and one of the creators of ProgPow, believes that many of the equality concerns against PoW are specifically related to ASIC mining. When using consumer hardware to mine, their wide availability diminishes many of the supposedly unfair competitive practices. She explained:

“CPUs and GPUs have existing supply chains that are used to distribute to hundreds of thousands of individuals, every day, all over the world. So when you build a Proof of Work algorithm that takes advantage of that hardware, you're piggybacking on that supply chain and that distribution channel, instead of creating and inventing your own.”

In her view, ensuring that “Alice and Bob have the same capability of earning a coin” is crucial in designing a proper PoW algorithm. She conceded that miners will always tend to specialize and optimize their operations, so the key is to ensure that miners compete fairly “on the CapEx side.”

Capital expenditure (CapEx) for ASICs can be reduced significantly for large players due to scale effects. On the other hand, GPUs and other consumer hardware are much cheaper and easier to source for average people, according to Minehan.

The fundamental contribution of PoW

Minehan is a strong believer in the contribution to network activity from GPU miners — especially early on. She emphasized that “humans don't want to spend their hard-earned fiat on magical internet money”. On the other hand, she believes contributing with already-owned computer power is a much more suitable proposition.

In truth, the concept of an initial coin offering (ICO) is, essentially, spending fiat on “magical internet money.” But this could not have happened by itself — it is the result of the groundwork laid by Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

The former legitimized the entire concept of “magical internet money.” More than 17 months passed between the Bitcoin genesis block in January 2009 and the famous Bitcoin pizza transaction on May 22, 2010 — the first to give BTC a fiat value.

Ethereum built on this by being one of the first ICOs in 2013, and proving that the concept can work.

Distributing the initial Bitcoins would have been essentially impossible in a staking environment. It is only after the network is stabilized, Minehan argues, that the transition to staking can occur.

Wocom-Pyatt also highlighted PoW as a “high quality source of entropy” to ensure a fair distribution of tokens. Peercoin also relied on PoW for the initial distribution.

The systems are different, not necessarily better or worse

In conclusion, debates on the economic equality of Proof of Stake and Proof of Work are perhaps the wrong way to look about it, as Harvey suggested. It is difficult to conclude that one system centralizes wealth more than the other. 

In most PoW systems, the miners can gain unfair advantages over others — but they can also fail and lose their entire investment through no fault of their own, something that is normally impossible in PoS systems.

Wocom-Pyatt, whose project is a hybrid, summarized that “pure PoS is substantially different from pure PoW.”

He argues that hybridizing them allows Decred to benefit from the best of both worlds. The PoW side “works well as a means to gamify timestamping” and thus ensure immutability, but PoS is still needed to align incentives for governance.

Wocom-Pyatt believes that miners’ interests are not as strongly aligned with the cryptocurrency as for stakers, which leads to “shortcomings in the context of governance.”

Decred’s experience may suggest it is misguided to debate PoS in opposition to PoW. Combining both appears to shore up any perceived weaknesses that they may have individually — something that is not applicable to other blockchain debates, such as Ethash versus ProgPow.

But from a governance standpoint, the recent exchange takeover of Steem highlighted that those who control tokens are necessarily the owners of those tokens.

The second part of this series will feature an in-depth examination of how governance works in PoS and PoW.

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Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Authored by Michael Barone via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The headlines coming out of the Super…



Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Authored by Michael Barone via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The headlines coming out of the Super Tuesday primaries have got it right. Barring cataclysmic changes, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will be the Republican and Democratic nominees for president in 2024.

(Left) President Joe Biden delivers remarks on canceling student debt at Culver City Julian Dixon Library in Culver City, Calif., on Feb. 21, 2024. (Right) Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump stands on stage during a campaign event at Big League Dreams Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nev., on Jan. 27, 2024. (Mario Tama/Getty Images; David Becker/Getty Images)

With Nikki Haley’s withdrawal, there will be no more significantly contested primaries or caucuses—the earliest both parties’ races have been over since something like the current primary-dominated system was put in place in 1972.

The primary results have spotlighted some of both nominees’ weaknesses.

Donald Trump lost high-income, high-educated constituencies, including the entire metro area—aka the Swamp. Many but by no means all Haley votes there were cast by Biden Democrats. Mr. Trump can’t afford to lose too many of the others in target states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Majorities and large minorities of voters in overwhelmingly Latino counties in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley and some in Houston voted against Joe Biden, and even more against Senate nominee Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas).

Returns from Hispanic precincts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts show the same thing. Mr. Biden can’t afford to lose too many Latino votes in target states like Arizona and Georgia.

When Mr. Trump rode down that escalator in 2015, commentators assumed he’d repel Latinos. Instead, Latino voters nationally, and especially the closest eyewitnesses of Biden’s open-border policy, have been trending heavily Republican.

High-income liberal Democrats may sport lawn signs proclaiming, “In this house, we believe ... no human is illegal.” The logical consequence of that belief is an open border. But modest-income folks in border counties know that flows of illegal immigrants result in disorder, disease, and crime.

There is plenty of impatience with increased disorder in election returns below the presidential level. Consider Los Angeles County, America’s largest county, with nearly 10 million people, more people than 40 of the 50 states. It voted 71 percent for Mr. Biden in 2020.

Current returns show county District Attorney George Gascon winning only 21 percent of the vote in the nonpartisan primary. He’ll apparently face Republican Nathan Hochman, a critic of his liberal policies, in November.

Gascon, elected after the May 2020 death of counterfeit-passing suspect George Floyd in Minneapolis, is one of many county prosecutors supported by billionaire George Soros. His policies include not charging juveniles as adults, not seeking higher penalties for gang membership or use of firearms, and bringing fewer misdemeanor cases.

The predictable result has been increased car thefts, burglaries, and personal robberies. Some 120 assistant district attorneys have left the office, and there’s a backlog of 10,000 unprosecuted cases.

More than a dozen other Soros-backed and similarly liberal prosecutors have faced strong opposition or have left office.

St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner resigned last May amid lawsuits seeking her removal, Milwaukee’s John Chisholm retired in January, and Baltimore’s Marilyn Mosby was defeated in July 2022 and convicted of perjury in September 2023. Last November, Loudoun County, Virginia, voters (62 percent Biden) ousted liberal Buta Biberaj, who declined to prosecute a transgender student for assault, and in June 2022 voters in San Francisco (85 percent Biden) recalled famed radical Chesa Boudin.

Similarly, this Tuesday, voters in San Francisco passed ballot measures strengthening police powers and requiring treatment of drug-addicted welfare recipients.

In retrospect, it appears the Floyd video, appearing after three months of COVID-19 confinement, sparked a frenzied, even crazed reaction, especially among the highly educated and articulate. One fatal incident was seen as proof that America’s “systemic racism” was worse than ever and that police forces should be defunded and perhaps abolished.

2020 was “the year America went crazy,” I wrote in January 2021, a year in which police funding was actually cut by Democrats in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. A year in which young New York Times (NYT) staffers claimed they were endangered by the publication of Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) opinion article advocating calling in military forces if necessary to stop rioting, as had been done in Detroit in 1967 and Los Angeles in 1992. A craven NYT publisher even fired the editorial page editor for running the article.

Evidence of visible and tangible discontent with increasing violence and its consequences—barren and locked shelves in Manhattan chain drugstores, skyrocketing carjackings in Washington, D.C.—is as unmistakable in polls and election results as it is in daily life in large metropolitan areas. Maybe 2024 will turn out to be the year even liberal America stopped acting crazy.

Chaos and disorder work against incumbents, as they did in 1968 when Democrats saw their party’s popular vote fall from 61 percent to 43 percent.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times or ZeroHedge.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 23:20

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Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),




Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reviewed no data when deciding in 2023 to keep its COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place.

Doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in Washington in a file image. (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

VA Secretary Denis McDonough said on May 1, 2023, that the end of many other federal mandates “will not impact current policies at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

He said the mandate was remaining for VA health care personnel “to ensure the safety of veterans and our colleagues.”

Mr. McDonough did not cite any studies or other data. A VA spokesperson declined to provide any data that was reviewed when deciding not to rescind the mandate. The Epoch Times submitted a Freedom of Information Act for “all documents outlining which data was relied upon when establishing the mandate when deciding to keep the mandate in place.”

The agency searched for such data and did not find any.

The VA does not even attempt to justify its policies with science, because it can’t,” Leslie Manookian, president and founder of the Health Freedom Defense Fund, told The Epoch Times.

“The VA just trusts that the process and cost of challenging its unfounded policies is so onerous, most people are dissuaded from even trying,” she added.

The VA’s mandate remains in place to this day.

The VA’s website claims that vaccines “help protect you from getting severe illness” and “offer good protection against most COVID-19 variants,” pointing in part to observational data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimate the vaccines provide poor protection against symptomatic infection and transient shielding against hospitalization.

There have also been increasing concerns among outside scientists about confirmed side effects like heart inflammation—the VA hid a safety signal it detected for the inflammation—and possible side effects such as tinnitus, which shift the benefit-risk calculus.

President Joe Biden imposed a slate of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in 2021. The VA was the first federal agency to implement a mandate.

President Biden rescinded the mandates in May 2023, citing a drop in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. His administration maintains the choice to require vaccines was the right one and saved lives.

“Our administration’s vaccination requirements helped ensure the safety of workers in critical workforces including those in the healthcare and education sectors, protecting themselves and the populations they serve, and strengthening their ability to provide services without disruptions to operations,” the White House said.

Some experts said requiring vaccination meant many younger people were forced to get a vaccine despite the risks potentially outweighing the benefits, leaving fewer doses for older adults.

By mandating the vaccines to younger people and those with natural immunity from having had COVID, older people in the U.S. and other countries did not have access to them, and many people might have died because of that,” Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine on leave from Harvard Medical School, told The Epoch Times previously.

The VA was one of just a handful of agencies to keep its mandate in place following the removal of many federal mandates.

“At this time, the vaccine requirement will remain in effect for VA health care personnel, including VA psychologists, pharmacists, social workers, nursing assistants, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, peer specialists, medical support assistants, engineers, housekeepers, and other clinical, administrative, and infrastructure support employees,” Mr. McDonough wrote to VA employees at the time.

This also includes VA volunteers and contractors. Effectively, this means that any Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employee, volunteer, or contractor who works in VHA facilities, visits VHA facilities, or provides direct care to those we serve will still be subject to the vaccine requirement at this time,” he said. “We continue to monitor and discuss this requirement, and we will provide more information about the vaccination requirements for VA health care employees soon. As always, we will process requests for vaccination exceptions in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies.”

The version of the shots cleared in the fall of 2022, and available through the fall of 2023, did not have any clinical trial data supporting them.

A new version was approved in the fall of 2023 because there were indications that the shots not only offered temporary protection but also that the level of protection was lower than what was observed during earlier stages of the pandemic.

Ms. Manookian, whose group has challenged several of the federal mandates, said that the mandate “illustrates the dangers of the administrative state and how these federal agencies have become a law unto themselves.”

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 22:10

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The Coming Of The Police State In America

The Coming Of The Police State In America

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Epoch Times,

The National Guard and the State Police are now…



The Coming Of The Police State In America

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Epoch Times,

The National Guard and the State Police are now patrolling the New York City subway system in an attempt to do something about the explosion of crime. As part of this, there are bag checks and new surveillance of all passengers. No legislation, no debate, just an edict from the mayor.

Many citizens who rely on this system for transportation might welcome this. It’s a city of strict gun control, and no one knows for sure if they have the right to defend themselves. Merchants have been harassed and even arrested for trying to stop looting and pillaging in their own shops.

The message has been sent: Only the police can do this job. Whether they do it or not is another matter.

Things on the subway system have gotten crazy. If you know it well, you can manage to travel safely, but visitors to the city who take the wrong train at the wrong time are taking grave risks.

In actual fact, it’s guaranteed that this will only end in confiscating knives and other things that people carry in order to protect themselves while leaving the actual criminals even more free to prey on citizens.

The law-abiding will suffer and the criminals will grow more numerous. It will not end well.

When you step back from the details, what we have is the dawning of a genuine police state in the United States. It only starts in New York City. Where is the Guard going to be deployed next? Anywhere is possible.

If the crime is bad enough, citizens will welcome it. It must have been this way in most times and places that when the police state arrives, the people cheer.

We will all have our own stories of how this came to be. Some might begin with the passage of the Patriot Act and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security in 2001. Some will focus on gun control and the taking away of citizens’ rights to defend themselves.

My own version of events is closer in time. It began four years ago this month with lockdowns. That’s what shattered the capacity of civil society to function in the United States. Everything that has happened since follows like one domino tumbling after another.

It goes like this:

1) lockdown,

2) loss of moral compass and spreading of loneliness and nihilism,

3) rioting resulting from citizen frustration, 4) police absent because of ideological hectoring,

5) a rise in uncontrolled immigration/refugees,

6) an epidemic of ill health from substance abuse and otherwise,

7) businesses flee the city

8) cities fall into decay, and that results in

9) more surveillance and police state.

The 10th stage is the sacking of liberty and civilization itself.

It doesn’t fall out this way at every point in history, but this seems like a solid outline of what happened in this case. Four years is a very short period of time to see all of this unfold. But it is a fact that New York City was more-or-less civilized only four years ago. No one could have predicted that it would come to this so quickly.

But once the lockdowns happened, all bets were off. Here we had a policy that most directly trampled on all freedoms that we had taken for granted. Schools, businesses, and churches were slammed shut, with various levels of enforcement. The entire workforce was divided between essential and nonessential, and there was widespread confusion about who precisely was in charge of designating and enforcing this.

It felt like martial law at the time, as if all normal civilian law had been displaced by something else. That something had to do with public health, but there was clearly more going on, because suddenly our social media posts were censored and we were being asked to do things that made no sense, such as mask up for a virus that evaded mask protection and walk in only one direction in grocery aisles.

Vast amounts of the white-collar workforce stayed home—and their kids, too—until it became too much to bear. The city became a ghost town. Most U.S. cities were the same.

As the months of disaster rolled on, the captives were let out of their houses for the summer in order to protest racism but no other reason. As a way of excusing this, the same public health authorities said that racism was a virus as bad as COVID-19, so therefore it was permitted.

The protests had turned to riots in many cities, and the police were being defunded and discouraged to do anything about the problem. Citizens watched in horror as downtowns burned and drug-crazed freaks took over whole sections of cities. It was like every standard of decency had been zapped out of an entire swath of the population.

Meanwhile, large checks were arriving in people’s bank accounts, defying every normal economic expectation. How could people not be working and get their bank accounts more flush with cash than ever? There was a new law that didn’t even require that people pay rent. How weird was that? Even student loans didn’t need to be paid.

By the fall, recess from lockdown was over and everyone was told to go home again. But this time they had a job to do: They were supposed to vote. Not at the polling places, because going there would only spread germs, or so the media said. When the voting results finally came in, it was the absentee ballots that swung the election in favor of the opposition party that actually wanted more lockdowns and eventually pushed vaccine mandates on the whole population.

The new party in control took note of the large population movements out of cities and states that they controlled. This would have a large effect on voting patterns in the future. But they had a plan. They would open the borders to millions of people in the guise of caring for refugees. These new warm bodies would become voters in time and certainly count on the census when it came time to reapportion political power.

Meanwhile, the native population had begun to swim in ill health from substance abuse, widespread depression, and demoralization, plus vaccine injury. This increased dependency on the very institutions that had caused the problem in the first place: the medical/scientific establishment.

The rise of crime drove the small businesses out of the city. They had barely survived the lockdowns, but they certainly could not survive the crime epidemic. This undermined the tax base of the city and allowed the criminals to take further control.

The same cities became sanctuaries for the waves of migrants sacking the country, and partisan mayors actually used tax dollars to house these invaders in high-end hotels in the name of having compassion for the stranger. Citizens were pushed out to make way for rampaging migrant hordes, as incredible as this seems.

But with that, of course, crime rose ever further, inciting citizen anger and providing a pretext to bring in the police state in the form of the National Guard, now tasked with cracking down on crime in the transportation system.

What’s the next step? It’s probably already here: mass surveillance and censorship, plus ever-expanding police power. This will be accompanied by further population movements, as those with the means to do so flee the city and even the country and leave it for everyone else to suffer.

As I tell the story, all of this seems inevitable. It is not. It could have been stopped at any point. A wise and prudent political leadership could have admitted the error from the beginning and called on the country to rediscover freedom, decency, and the difference between right and wrong. But ego and pride stopped that from happening, and we are left with the consequences.

The government grows ever bigger and civil society ever less capable of managing itself in large urban centers. Disaster is unfolding in real time, mitigated only by a rising stock market and a financial system that has yet to fall apart completely.

Are we at the middle stages of total collapse, or at the point where the population and people in leadership positions wise up and decide to put an end to the downward slide? It’s hard to know. But this much we do know: There is a growing pocket of resistance out there that is fed up and refuses to sit by and watch this great country be sacked and taken over by everything it was set up to prevent.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 16:20

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