Monkey Trap

The world is not driven by greed, it's driven by envy.

Charlie Munger

Monkey trapA container with a hole just large enough for a monkey to slip its open hand in.

A piece of fruit is placed in the container, and the trap is set.

A monkey comes along, sticks his hand in the container and grabs the fruit.

He is unable to withdraw his clenched fist however, and the monkey suddenly finds himself trapped.

But there's nothing holding him in place other than his own clenched fist; He only needs to open his hand to escape.

Alas, he becomes so attached to the fruit that he is unable to let go.

And so he ends up trapping himself.

Before laughing at the monkey, consider that billions of people are caught in the same trap.

The difference is that instead of fruit, they are baited by social prestige.

Like the monkey's attachment to the fruit, a man's obsession with "being successful" is what keeps him trapped inside the system.

Both have the means to free themselves, but neither is willing to let go.

The "success" bait

The system sells an idea to its constituents: "If you work really hard and buy expensive things, everyone will respect and like you more."

The average person follows this script without question and spends his life slaving away for objects to decorate himself with.

Meanwhile, his peers are doing the same as everyone competes to look "more successful" than their neighbour.

When Adam buys a luxury car, Brian suddenly wants one too; And when Brian finally buys one, Adam soon feels the need for something more expensive.

In this way, the bar for "success" is continuously raised and life becomes an endless struggle to temporarily outdo the other guy.

The system loves and encourages this dynamic because it's the fastest way to grow the Gross Domestic Product. The more anxious people feel about their social status, the harder they work and the more powerful the system - and the ruling class - becomes.

The impulse to advance one's social standing is deeply rooted in the human psyche.

It's as strong and unconscious as the monkey's impulse to hold on to the fruit.

The fiat promise

All systems today run on tokens with no inherent scarcity or value; Their only "value" is derived from government decree (i.e. because the government says so).

This is not necessarily a problem if the central bank manages the money supply responsibly. 

Unfortunately, it has not.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, every central bank in the world has increased the money supply at an unsustainable rate... and has now gone beyond the point of being able to stop without crashing the economy.

US money supply growth accelerating from 2008 onwards

The more a currency is debased (i.e. "printed") the sooner it smashes into a wall called reality.

This is economics 101: When the supply of something increases exponentially, its value will crash.

The ruling class has thus painted the economy into a corner, and we are now guaranteed to suffer at least one of these outcomes in a not-so-distant future: hyperinflation, depression, stagflation.

Coming future: How the '08 financial crisis looks in comparison

Slowly at first, then all at once

A multi-generational crisis is now inevitable, but no one knows exactly when it will strike.

Everything can look normal for years... until one day without warning, things suddenly escalate into a full-blown meltdown in a matter of days.

The path to catastrophe will not be linear.

Slowly at first, then suddenly all at once

As we approach the final stages of system failure, the signs are unmistakable:

  • Government debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 100%
  • People have to work increasingly hard to afford the same standard of living
  • Discontent among the population grows; Social unrest goes up (rioting, looting, etc)
  • Divisive politics gain popularity
  • Economic indicators swing wildly (eg. 1% inflation one year and 9% the next)
  • Life becomes increasingly chaotic/unpredictable
  • Token debasement (money supply) goes parabolic

When a system experiences these symptoms, history teaches us that it becomes impossible to save.

The ruling class will - of course - try to convince you otherwise.

"This is your captain speaking. Don't worry, I can handle this."

By the time the crisis becomes undeniable, the ruling class will apply strict measures to curb the population's ability to avoid the fallout. They'll introduce emigration restrictions and capital controls; You and your assets will be prevented from leaving the system in the name of "keeping everyone safe".

Those who choose to stay (or are unable to escape) will see the value of their assets slashed to a fraction of what they were worth before.

Meanwhile, the elites will have their own assets hidden safely away overseas; The rules they enforce on you will not apply to themselves.

And none of this is new - this all comes from the same playbook that has been repeatedly used throughout history over numerous system collapses.

While the masses are handcuffed to the sinking system (thinking they'll be saved), the elites will be on their lifeboats sipping champagne watching the ship go down.

The same old game: Elites escape with their riches while the masses pay the price

The current system has been breaking down for over a decade, and the elites are well prepared for the inevitable.

The question is: Are you?

Can you survive 12 months if you lose your job and can't find another?
Are you be able to maintain your standard of living if your currency gets devalued by 40%?

If you haven't secured your escape, you need to hurry.

Keeping in perspective

At this point I'd like to clarify that I'm neither a doomer nor an anarchist.

I support well-functioning systems run by competent, ethical leaders.

But this is not the reality we're facing today. The reality is that the elites have run the system into the ground AND got rich doing it.

Today, they're promoting a 'Great Reset' because they know there's no recovering from the damage they've done.

Now guess who they're going to make pay for all of it?

Hint: It's not going to be them.

"Your" money

When disaster finally hits, people will quickly find that they "own" their money only to the extent that they've been allowed access to it.

With a single phone call and the click of the button, your bank account can be immediately frozen and there’s nothing you can do about it; It is within the bank’s legal right to do so. (Guess who wrote these laws?)

Now think about this: If the bank can unilaterally block access to your funds, do the funds really belong to you?

“But!” you protest. “You’re just nit-picking… my funds have never been frozen before!”

This is an understandable yet narrow point of view. It’s like saying, “I’ve never been shot before, so it’s fine for someone to point a loaded gun at me.”

You see... the problem isn't whether you think the ruling class will treat you unfairly. The problem is that they CAN, they'll be incentivized to (when disaster hits), and there's nothing you'll be able to do about it.

Nassim Taleb explains further:

Consider a turkey that is fed every day. Every single feeding will firm up the bird’s belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race “looking out for its best interests”.

On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief.

Whether we like it or not, "Thanksgiving" is coming... and we are the turkeys.

When the sh*t hits the fan, anyone who isn't prepared will be sacrificed "for the greater good".

The people of Cyprus had a taste of this in 2013 when their bank deposits were suddenly confiscated to pay for the problems caused by politicians.

Now if you think such unfair treatment only happens in less developed countries, think again.

Consider U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

On 26 July 2022, she sold $4 million of Nvidia stock.

Just seven days later (on 2 August 2022), she visited Taiwan as a U.S. official and imposed export restrictions on Nvidia, which led to an estimated loss of $400 million in sales for the company.

Naturally, the price of Nvidia stocks tanked (-18.3%) upon the news.

If Pelosi had held on to the stock, she'd be down over -$750,000 on the position.

Let that sink in for a moment.




Now if you or I did this, we'd jailed for insider trading.

But if you're one of the elites, you can get away with it in broad daylight.

And by the way, this isn't the first time she's done this. Just Google for it and you'll find many similar examples.

Rules for thee but not for me!

So in case it hasn’t sunk in yet, I’ll say it again: The system isn’t designed to serve you; It’s designed to serve the elites at your expense.

History has seen the same story play out over and over again; When times are good, the elites benefit most from economic prosperity. But when times are bad, it’s the masses who pay the price.

This keeps happening because people do not have the knowledge or power to change the status quo...

Until now.

The untethered class

Advances in internet technology now make it possible to separate one's money/assets from the state. This makes it easy for one to decouple from the system they were born in.

A growing number of people have started to realize this and are taking steps to secure their escape.

For the purposes of this article, we'll refer to this group as digital nomads

Unlike the clueless masses who remain tethered to a single system, digital nomads diversify their lives across multiple jurisdictions.

For example, one might have a house in the UK, bank accounts in Germany and Singapore, funds on three blockchains, and run a company registered in Estonia, all while spending a few months each year living in various other countries.

Should any component of his life become problematic, he can quickly replace it with something else from another country/jurisdiction.

The quality of a digital nomad’s life is not dependent on a single system.

And this is not limited to personal finances. It also applies to business/work opportunities, healthcare, and even physical safety, among other things.

A recent example:

In Feb 2022, the Russian military invaded Ukraine.

If you had built your entire life there (house, career, etc), you could have easily lost everything in a matter of months, through no fault of your own.

Caught in the same situation, a digital nomad can pick up and leave for another country in a matter of days.

With the proper financial and logistical setups, he can move easily between various environments to live  in and operate out of.

This is what individual power looks like in the 21st century: To be able to determine the course of your life free from the coercion and influence of any one system.

Next: Becoming self-sovereign (coming soon)

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