the dollar vigilante blog
Chinese Nail Houses
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[Editor’s Note: The following post is by TDV Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Berwick]
Recently, the Chinese government knocked down another of the so-called “nail houses”. These houses stick out “like nails” in the middle of new development and construction. They are occupied by people who refuse to take the money local government offers them to clear out so that new projects can be built. The Chinese government, by the way, is in the habit of removing entire towns when Communist Party leaders want to lay down a new highway or have some other huge public work built.
Someone – we're not exactly sure who – keeps applying the term “capitalist” to China's economy. China's economy is not capitalist. It's fascist. And that's after decades of being communist in name and socialist in reality.
But China's fascism is really no different from that of the rest of the world. No matter what governments call the economies they run – and “Democratic Socialist” seems to be a popular choice except in the US where they think they have “Democratic Capitalism” – they are all pretty much fascist. That is to say that governments don't outright own the means of production (socialist) or both the means and the products (communism), but governments do control the manner in which the means of production are used via heavy and thorough regulation. This was the case in the original fascist nations of Italy and Germany. It is the case throughout the Western world today, especially in the US. And it is the case in formerly communist (but really socialist) China now where the government works hand in hand with China's new and very rich crony capitalists.
Coming off of totalitarian socialism, however, China's brand of fascism is especially brutal—more the kind of “jackbooted thug” approach people normally have in mind when they hear the word “fascism”. The USSA's brand of fascism is (currently) a bit softer and more official, though it's getting much more overtly brutal all the time. In China the government doesn't have to worry so much about looking good for the cameras, and so it will eventually resort to sending thugs in street clothes to your house to beat you up if you get in the way of the state and its preferred agents.
It will send un-uniformed thugs to beat you up as they did to Chung Sui Chin. This is why China doesn’t allow its people to own guns.
HOME “OWNERSHIP” IN THE USSA
In the USSA, they use genteel sounding terms like “eminent domain” and police officers with guns at the ready will politely escort you off your property if you refuse to do as you’re told. In China your house is just likely to be knocked down as you are “requested” to show up at a government office.
But what can you expect when the government owns the land? Of course when push comes to shove, the government will shove hard.
Oh, but wait...in the US it turns out that home “ownership” is just as nominal as it is in China! On paper it's not, I know. But home “owners” have to pay the local government rent in the form of property taxes. If the property taxes aren't paid, then the government will seize the land. They will send out a sheriff with a gun on his hip along with a few similarly armed deputies to escort you off “your” property under threat of sanctioned violence.
Amnesty International reports when the Chinese government forces people off their land, but the Chinese government at least makes it clear that they own all the land in the first place. In Amerika, they talk a good game about liberty and private property, but if you want to see who REALLY owns the land you, just stop paying your property taxes. See how long it takes the sheriff to show up, and see if anyone from Amnesty International will care. If you “own” a home in the US you are just a renter.
China's government has displaced countless millions of people to make room for its building efforts. The compensation to the displaced is low so that local governments can buy low and sell high to real estate developers. In 2010 alone this “buy low, sell high” forced eviction strategy netted the equivalent of US$465 billion to government coffers. That was 35% of overall public revenues. It's no wonder the government is willing to use violence (that's what governments essentially are: violence) to get those nail house holdouts to beat it.
NAIL HOUSES IN CHINA, SUICIDES IN THE USSA
While the nail house inhabitants of China offer some resistance, USSA subjects are often driven to suicide by government theft and bullying (most recently, Aaron Swartz was hounded until he hung himself).
There have been many people in the US who have paid the ultimate price rather than submit to having their properties taken from them. Andrew “Chicken Man” Wordes blew his house up with himself in it in protest while the authorities were on his property.
The IRS, for one agency, has likely resulted in the suicides of thousands. Most people would rather deal with the occasional land grab and displacement than with the IRS. The IRS produces a constant anxiety and they occasionally ruin lives and businesses and take everything that their victims own to settle a debt whose amount the IRS determines. Is it any wonder that one of their victims would want to carry out a kamikaze attack on the IRS, like Joseph Stack who flew his small plane into an IRS building in 2010?
If only one could be free entirely of governments sticking out one hand and holding a loaded gun in the other. American Jeff Knaebels tried to defect from the USSA when he tore up his visa and attempted to attain citizenship in India (Mr. Knaebels was a follower of the great Mahatma Ghandi). When he was denied Indian citizenship Mr. Knaebles set fire to himself in protest and died. (Sadly, TDV Passports could have easily helped Knaebles get a foreign citizenship and renounce his US passport without the self immolation part.)
While the US and China are as fascist as any government in the modern world, the US is by far the most relentlessly meddling and dangerous government – both domestically and abroad – in the world. One could argue that while the US may not practice anything as obviously stifling as Sharia Law, the laws and regulations in the US are at least as restrictive. But the psychological pressure in the US is far worse because the inhabitants live in this tense lie. They're told they're free, but it doesn't take very much to reveal they're not. They are restricted by some regulation at every turn and nothing they own is really theirs, despite the propaganda about liberty and private property.
JUST GET OUT
So, whether you live in a nail house in China or are under attack and constantly robbed by the government in the USSA, we don’t advise that you stay and fight directly, or kill yourself. We just advise you get out and live in one of dozens of freer countries that we regularly feature at TDV… many of which don’t even have income tax.
Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.
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