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Low-tech solutions to high-tech tyranny

Courtesy of Ellendra, here’s an intriguing weekend read for you:

“Low-tech solutions to high-tech tyranny” by Brandon Smith:

Imagine, if you will, a fantastic near future in which the United States is facing an unmitigated economic implosion. Not just a mere market crash, or a stint of high unemployment, but a full spectrum collapse driven by unsustainable debt spending and hyperinflationary printing. The American people witness multiple credit downgrades of U.S. Treasury mechanisms, the dollar loses its reserve status, devaluation of the currency runs rampant, and the prices of commodities and imported goods immediately skyrocket.

In the background of this disaster, a group of financial elite with dreams of a new centralized economic and political system use the chaos to encourage a removal of long held civil liberties; displacing Constitutional protections they deem “outdated” and no longer “practical” in the midst of our modern day troubles. This group then institutes draconian policies through the executive orders of a puppet president, including indefinite detention, assassination, and even martial law against citizens. For now, let’s just refer to them as “The Swedes”….

The Swedes have an extraordinary array of technological tools at their disposal. The kind of equipment dictators like Stalin and Hitler would have killed for…literally. This technology is so pervasive and so unprecedented in the history of tyrannical governments that average people shiver at the very thought of resistance. The Swedes seem to be invincible. …

With modern computer driven weaponry at their fingertips, any resistance appears futile. Some Americans, though, do their homework, and discover that most successful revolutions against better equipped opponents utilize low tech methods in highly intelligent ways. They study the inherent weaknesses of the enemy weapons platforms using readily available online manuals and scientific journals. They realize that these pieces of equipment costing millions of dollars each can be defeated using methods that cost little more than pocket change. A war of economic attrition ensues, whereby the Swedes find themselves completely dependent on systems that cannot be maintained without substantial financial sacrifice. With each new piece of hardware, comes an even more frustrating strategy of defiance. Here are just a few examples…


  1. Hanza
    Hanza May 25, 2012 5:07 pm

    The run up you have posted reads like the status of the U.S. today.

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty May 26, 2012 9:16 am

    Good stuff! Posted at TMM.

  3. Laird
    Laird May 26, 2012 10:07 am

    Great article. Thanks for the link.

  4. Matt, another
    Matt, another May 26, 2012 12:23 pm

    Really good reading! The term Monkey Wrenching is also brought to mind.

  5. EN
    EN May 26, 2012 1:00 pm

    War is about fear of death and wounds. We have an elite, along with military technocrats, that bought into the notion that they are so advanced that they have nothing to fear. This works a little against unsophisticated Arabs, but it hasn’t worked well enough for us to defeat them. The problem with our present notion of war is they can’t even stop the Taliban from doing pretty much what they want. Joe Biden the resident Obama Administration Genius, is the one behind the drone push. Problem is, with all these Drone strikes the Taliban is stronger than ever. The high-tech scam that’s become the US military can’t function without it and will change it’s tune dramatically when it’s easily defeated, and more importantly, turned against it. Watch what happens when the Biden’s of the world suddenly realize they are an easy target from the very technology that’s supposed to protect them.

  6. TNDadx4
    TNDadx4 May 26, 2012 1:14 pm

    I once heard that “it derives from the Netherlands in the 15th century when workers would throw their sabots (wooden shoes) into the wooden gears of the textile looms to break the cogs, fearing the automated machines would render the human workers obsolete.” (Wikipedia defn.)

    Any little thing can be done to stop a technologically (or not) superior foe.

  7. Laird
    Laird May 27, 2012 9:33 am

    EN’s comment calls to mind Sir Thomas More’s Utopia. It’s difficult to imagine a worse place to live, but he got one thing right: the conduct of war.

    “As soon as they declare war, they take care to have a great many schedules, that are sealed with their common seal, affixed in the most conspicuous places of their enemies’ country. This is carried secretly, and done in many places all at once. In these they promise great rewards to such as shall kill the prince, and lesser in proportion to such as shall kill any other persons who are those on whom, next to the prince himself, they cast the chief balance of the war. And they double the sum to him that, instead of killing the person so marked out, shall take him alive, and put him in their hands. They offer not only indemnity, but rewards, to such of the persons themselves that are so marked, if they will act against their countrymen. By this means those that are named in their schedules become not only distrustful of their fellow-citizens, but are jealous of one another, and are much distracted by fear and danger; for it has often fallen out that many of them, and even the prince himself, have been betrayed, by those in whom they have trusted most; for the rewards that the Utopians offer are so immeasurably great, that there is no sort of crime to which men cannot be drawn by them.” (

    Of course, it’s much easier for a nation to offer “immeasurably great” rewards and indemnifications than for an insurgent movement to do so, but the basic idea is sound.

  8. JG
    JG May 28, 2012 6:00 pm

    A couple more low tech solutions, inspired by the freedom outlaw’s handbook:
    1. Shunning. Enforcers have to eat too. What if every time an enforcer entered a grocery store the debit/credit card machines stopped working? Or the register malfunctioned and would not accept cash. Often enforcers have families and homes. What if the enforcer’s neighbors ran their lawnmowers and chainsaws early and late to reduce the enforcer’s sleep time. Wives do mean things to each other. I’m sure they could do something feminine and vindictive to the enforcer’s wife.

    2. Flooding. For every roadblock, let there be an endless stream of pizza delivery boys. Or people disguised as pizza delivery boys. This may require a team of people in order to get possession of pizza delivery apparatus. Roof sign, polo shirt, hat, hot pizza. It might also be a good time to call an impromptu motorcycle ride to raise money for the VA hospital. The enforcers will either be in a huge traffic jam or call in reinforcements. That would be an ideal time to move contraband via a different route that is unpatrolled, or set the enforcer’s HQ on fire.

    3. Wear and tear. Anyone who has ever used a public fixture that is used by many has encountered broken public toilets, out of order drink machines, busted hot air hand dryers, nasty ATM swipers, and all the other things that people inevitably break from overuse. Help it along. Night vision tubes are super expensive and easy to overload. If one is deployed in your neighborhood, shine one of those cheap lasers at it or creep up on it and take a flash photo of it at close range. If a device demands that you push buttons to proceed, push them too hard. Wear a ring that is suitable for gouging at touchscreens. Eventually, they will realize that their toys don’t work and will get more expensive toys that will also get broken.

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