Up until about ten years ago the only cartels I’d heard of were oil cartels and drug cartels. Then I ran across a wonderful 45 minute recording by Ed Griffin explaining that the Federal Reserve System is a privately owned banking cartel. After checking out his facts I realized that our entire society is built around cartels of various kinds – and that they are really bad news for our societal culture.
A cartel is simply a shared monopoly within an industry. The purpose of a cartel is twofold:
- To maximize the profits of the cartel’s members and
- To maintain the monopoly status of the cartel in its particular industry – thereby limiting competition from non-members.
In examining this definition it is important to note that a cartel has no other priorities. It cares nothing for the well being of non-members. It has no conscience. All non-members are considered expendable in the interests of the cartel. In this regard cartels are characterologically psychopathic. It’s no great surprise then to find that most of them are run by psychopaths.
How Do They Operate?
The only reason cartels can operate in the modern world is the fact that cartels invariably form partnerships with governments that enforce their anti-competition rules. When this happens, a would-be competitor must either join the cartel and obey its rules or suffer the risk of being hauled into court for doing something deemed illegal. When this occurs the prohibited behavior can be something highly ethical, creative, innovative, and good for everyone – but because the victimless crime has been prohibited, it will be punished nonetheless.
How Are They Unethical?
The most valid ethic of which I know states that: An act is ethical if it increases creativity, objective truth, awareness, love, or personal evolution for at least one person, including the person acting – without limiting nor diminishing any of these resources for anyone.
As an example, suppose someone discovers or invents a way of curing certain kinds of cancers – a way that isn’t on the AMA’s approved list, nor on the FDA’s. I know of two specific examples to which this applies. In each case the government attacked the “perpetrator” and all but destroyed his life. The folks with curable cancers were not considered – and many died. In this example the AMA represents the medical cartel and the FDA represents their government partner.
I hope it’s obvious that the AMA/FDA partnership had an unethical and devastating effect on the creativity of those who died and those will die in the future – not to mention the effect on the medical practitioners whose lives were ruined.
It is interesting to note that Louis Pasteur was almost drummed out of medicine when he proposed that many serious illnesses were caused by invisible little things we call bacteria. This just shows that cartels were not well established in France in Pasteur’s day and age. Had he done his work in today’s highly cartelized society, his expulsion and punishment would have followed inexorably.
How Pervasive Are They?
Once you understand the nature of a cartel, you will see them all around you. The quick way to recognize cartels is by the need for licenses and permits. Every activity for which one requires a license, a permit, or some other form of permission is controlled by a cartel. Every doctor, lawyer, dentist, psychologist, social worker, optometrist, veterinarian, building contractor, tradesman, insurance salesman, small business owner, hairdresser or service provider who has a license on their wall is a member of a cartel.
Now you might wonder how this applies to such things as fishing, hunting, and driver’s licenses. Where is their cartel? In this case the answer may surprise you. The fact is that governments are themselves cartels – and their industry is best described as power brokerage. Power (the use of force to coerce and control others) is a commodity – and governments do everything they can to establish and maintain their monopoly – even though the exercise of power over others is only ethical in self defense. No wonder despotic governments work so hard to disarm their citizens.
Can We Combat Them?
The short answer to this question is, “Yes, we can” – but doing so takes some conviction, preparation and courage. Here is a list of a few things one can do to diminish the power of cartels:
- Study the ethics. Decide not to participate in unethical organizations.
- Practice cartel recognition. It’s much easier to combat their influence when you can easily spot them.
- Forgo the benefits of membership. In the healing arts, for example, you have to be a cartel member to be paid by insurance companies. So charge out-of-pocket fees for your service and don’t bill insurance.
- Avoid licensed practitioners. Use Angie’s List to know whom to trust, and give your business to honest, reliable, but unlicensed, business people.
- Avoid paying taxes and stop supporting governments. They are all unethical.
- Avoid banks. They are all shills for government. In fact the biggest banks own the government.
- Don’t use credit cards – they are all fraudulent.
- Challenge “authority”. Except in self defense, no individual has the right to tell you what to do, what not to do, or how to live your life. Therefore the “authority” claimed by all government agencies, from the president of the country to the TSA stooge, to the cop who pulls you over for the busted tail-light, to the black-robed judge in the courthouse is BOGUS. Read Marc Stevens “Adventures in Legal Land” for guidance in doing this.
- Learn to use BitCoins to protect your financial privacy. Used with proper precautions, they are unassailable by thieves, hackers, and government bureaucrats – and that makes them the best currency available in today’s world.
- If you are an employer, start paying your employees with BitCoins – without withholding taxes, social security, etc. The average employee will experience this as a 100% raise.
Because cartels are run by psychopaths whose depredations are parasitic – and because parasites often kill their hosts – our species is currently at risk of more-or-less immediate extinction. Our only chance to survive, let alone thrive, in the future is to withdraw our support from them. This is something you can start doing right away. Yes, there are risks involved – but the risk of NOT doing it is far greater. Come to our meet-ups to learn more.