Dave Emory’s entire lifetime of work is available on a flash drive that can be obtained here.  (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books available on this site.)
Introduction: Viewing the future through a glass, darkly, this program looks at extreme measures being proposed (and actualized) to deal with dire economic and social dislocation. Some of these measures are gambits sought by the privileged, in order to gain distance from the chaos that their policies generate. Some are proposed in order to impose anti-democratic ways and means on those affected by economic and social deterioration.
Before diving into the seastedding movement  and the political philosophy (and philosophers) underlying that phenomenon, the program highlights an essential statement by Patri Friedman , grandson of right-wing economic theoretician Milton Friedman. In this defining presentation, Friedman distills the fundamentals of the seastedding movement–a “corporate state”–precisely how Mussolini defined his fascist system.
An Alternet post  sets forth details and substance about the movement and, in particular, the formidable, far-right wing entrepreneur Peter Thiel, a driving force behind Silicon Valley commerce and culture. (Thiel, one of the seastedding movement’s backers is discussed at length in FTR #718 .) Epitomized ideologically by his view that the United States began going downhill when we allowed women to vote, Thiel has used the powerful Koch brothers’  political and media apparatus to publicize their view that “democracy and freedom are incompatible.”
In addition, the post highlights the strong area of intersection between the Frontier Group (a major backer of the seastedding movement) and the Carlyle Group .
Thiel’s ventures are far more than theoretical. Thiel was instrumental in developing the electronic intelligence firm Palantir , whose primary application is counter-terrorism. Aside from positive application of its technology, however, the firm has apparently been engaged in political espionage  and covert action against political opponents of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
A terrifying glimpse of “things to come” has been provided by TV commentator Rachel Maddow, who has exposed a plan  by the Michigan GOP establishment to, for all intents and purposes, eliminate democratic process in the Wolverine State. Ostensibly designed to deal with “financial crises,” the GOP proposes government by executive fiat, with delinquent areas to be turned over to corporations to be administered as–you guessed it–corporate states!
Of particular significance for our purposes is the apparent contemplation of these measures as necessary to implement “Shock Doctrine,”  as conceived by seastedding maven Patri Friedman’s grandfather Milton.
Anticipating a global apocalypse, hedge fund managers  have purchasing all the arable land they can, in order to cash in on global famine.
Program Highlights Include: Proposal to establish “Charter Cities,”  which would enable foreign governments (and perhaps corporations) to assume governance of cities in other countries; Deutsche Telekom’s use of T‑Mobile to spy on users of that network  (Deutsche Telekom–controlled by the German government–assumed a 5.5 percent stake in A, T & T in exchange for that company’s acquisition of T‑Mogile. Will Deutsche Telekom have access to the A, T & T database?)
1. Before diving into the seastedding movement  and the political philosophy (and philosophers) underlying that phenomenon, the program highlights an essential statement by Patri Friedman, grandson of right-wing economic theoretician Milton Friedman. In this defining presentation, Friedman distills the fundamentals of the seastedding movement–a “corporate state”–precisely how Mussolini defined his fascist system.
. . . Backed almost entirely by venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal, the team plans to seastead, colonize the sea beyond the reach of existing nations.
Friedman’s mission is to open a political vacuum into which people can experiment with startup governments that are “consumer-oriented, constantly competing for citizens,” he says.
“I envision tens of millions of people in an Apple or a Google country,” where the high-tech giants would govern and residents would have no vote. “If people are allowed to opt in or out, you can have a successful dictatorship,” the goateed Friedman says, wiggling his toes in pink Vibram slippers. [Italics are mine–D. E.] . .
2. An Alternet post sets forth details and substance about the movement and, in particular, the formidable, far-right wing entrepreneur Peter Thiel, driving force behind Silicon Valley commerce and culture. Epitomized ideologically by his view that the United States began going downhill when we allowed women to vote, Thiel has used the powerful Koch brothers’ political and media apparatus to publicize their view that “democracy and freedom are incompatible.”
(In his speech at the Industry Club of Dusseldorf, Hitler won the hearts and minds of Germany’s industrial elite with a presentation that portrayed democracy as inherently evil, because it allowed inferior people to structure society to their benefit. In Hitler’s view democracy led inevitably to communism. This speech is discussed in Miscellaneous Archive Show M11 .)
In addition, the post highlights the strong area of intersection between the Frontier Group (a major backer of the seastedding movement) and the Carlyle Group .
. . . . The floating castle is a longtime dream of libertarian oligarchs — a place where they can live their lives in peace free from the teeming masses of starving losers and indebted parasites and their tax demands. Since they’ve grown so rich off of America, they have enough spare change to fund projects like the Seasteading Institute, run by Milton Friedman’s grandson, Patri Friedman, and financed by the bizarre right-wing PayPal founder, Peter Thiel. . . .
. . . Both Thiel and Milton Friedman’s grandson see democracy as the enemy–last year, Thiel wrote “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible” at about the same time that Milton Friedman’s grandson proclaimed, “Democracy is not the answer.” Both published their anti-democracy proclamations in the same billionaire-Koch-family-funded outlet, Cato Unbound, one of the oldest billionaire-fed libertarian welfare dispensaries. Friedman’s answer for Thiel’s democracy problem is to build offshore libertarian pod-fortresses where the libertarian way rules. It’s probably better for everyone if Milton Friedman’s grandson and Peter Thiel leave us forever for their libertarian ocean lair–Thiel believes that America went down the tubes ever since it gave women the right to vote, and he was outed as the sponsor of accused felon James O’Keefe’s smear videos that brought ACORN to ruin. . . .
. . . While Thiel and Friedman are busy cooking up their libertarian dystopia, the Frontier Group investment firm — an offshoot of the Carlyle Group — has already entered the realization phase with the Utopia floating castle. Frontier Group, was founded by some of the same big names from the notorious Carlyle Group–the private equity firm that brought together right-wing oligarchs like George H. W. Bush and other top American officials with their billionaire pals in Saudi Arabia like the Bin Laden family, who together raked in enormous profits thanks to the War on Terror that their kids Dubya and Osama launched.
While neither Bush nor the Bin Ladens are principals in the Frontier Group, its founding director, Frank Carlucci, is a name they know well, and you should too. Carlucci ran the Carlyle Group as its chairman from 1989 through 2005, right around the time that the wars started going undeniably bad, and floating castles started to look like a viable plan. But Carlucci’s past is much weirder and scarier than most of us care to know: whether it’s his strangely timed appearances in some of the ugliest assassinations and coups in modern history, or serving as Carter’s number two man in the CIA, and Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Defense, if Frank Carlucci (nicknamed “Creepy Carlucci” and “Spooky Frank”) is the founding director of a firm that’s building floating castles, it’s a bad sign for those of us left behind. . . .
. . . Carlucci may be the scariest of the Frontier Group bunch building the floating castles, but he’s among his kind. Other Carlyle Group directors who joined Carlucci at Frontier include David Robb, who headed up Carlyle’s investments in defense and aerospace; Sanford McDonnell, the former CEO of McDonnell Douglass and onetime head of the Boy Scouts of America; and Norman Augustine, another ex-president of the Boy Scouts, another Princeton alum, and former board director at the scandal-plagued Riggs bank.
Riggs bank became one of those dark unsolved mysteries of the Bush-Cheney War on Terror. After the attacks on 9/11, the FBI discovered that Saudi government officials used accounts at Riggs bank to wire funds to at least two known associates of the Saudi hijackers who crashed Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Riggs was also implicated in the Britain-Saudi $3 billion bribery scandal, in which British Aerospace bribes were wired through Riggs accounts to Saudi officials in return for lucrative contracts. One of Riggs bank’s top executives was Jonathan Bush, the brother of George H. W. Bush, after Riggs bought out Jonathan Bush’s bank in 1997, and appointed him as a director. In 2005, with Riggs embroiled in investigations and scandals–Riggs pled guilty to money laundering Augusto Pinochet’s stolen funds, and the funds of various Equatorial Guinea officials– it was taken over by PNC bank, with the approval of Fed Chair Alan Greenspan. Even after the Washington Post revealed that Riggs’ billionaire chairman flew Greenspan’s wife, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell, on the company jet. . . .
But the weirdest of all the Frontier Group directors has to be founding director Danny Pang. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pang embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars from his private equity firm PEMGroup. Pang claimed he was investing money in “Dead Peasants Insurance” (life insurance policies for people considered likely to die), but in secret, Pang confided to PEMGroup’s ex-president that he ran it as a Ponzi scheme. That sparked a fresh FBI investigation into Danny Pang’s crimes–which led back to the unsolved murder of his wife, Janie Louise Pang, a 33-year-old ex-stripper who was shot to death execution style in their Irvine, California home in 1997, the same year Pang was accused of embezzling three million dollars from another fund he worked at. There was plenty of reason to suspect Danny Pang of murdering his wife: he beat her so often (breaking her nose on one occasion) that police were called in on at least four occasions before her murder. She’d had him tailed by a private detective who discovered Danny holding hands with another woman shortly before she was murdered. Danny had known ties to the Taiwanese Triad mob, he took the fifth and refused to cooperate in the murder trial, and reportedly threatened Janie’s friends after her murder, demanding to know what Janie told them about his business activities.
Here is a description of the actual murder, from the L.A. Times:
“According to the family maid and two of Pang’s children, a clean-cut man with a pencil-thin mustache arrived at the door asking for her husband. The pair talked casually for a couple of minutes, until the man drew a semiautomatic pistol. Pang began running and the maid, terrified, spirited Pang’s children out the back door. Within minutes, the killer caught up with Pang, who tried to hide in her bedroom closet. The killer fired several .380-caliber rounds and left her to bleed to death as she lay in a fetal position.”
Somehow, the trial ended with a hung jury, and Danny Pang went on to join Frank Carlucci and the Boy Scouts presidents to start building the world’s first billion-dollar floating castle to spirit away all that stolen money in luxury. But Pang was apparently too careless for them. He was outted last spring in the Wall Street Journal, and in September 2009, Danny Pang was found dead of unknown causes in his Newport Beach home. . . .
3a. Thiel’s extremist political views may find expression through his financing of the Palantir firm. Note that Palantir CEO Alex Karp apparently has Frankfurt, Germany, roots, like Thiel. (For more on Thiel’s background see FTR #718 .)
. . . Palantir CEO Mr. Karp says such criticism doesn’t trouble him. He says the company is already expanding rapidly.
Palantir’s roots date back to 2000, when Mr. Karp returned to the U.S. after living for years in Frankfurt, where he earned his doctorate in German social philosophy and discovered a talent for investing. He reconnected with a buddy from Stanford Law School, Peter Thiel, the billionaire founder of online payment company PayPal.
In 2003, Mr. Thiel pitched an idea to Mr. Karp: Could they build software that would uncover terror networks using the approach PayPal had devised to fight Russian cybercriminals?
PayPal’s software could make connections between fraudulent payments that on the surface seemed unrelated. By following such leads, PayPal was able to identify suspect customers and uncover cybercrime networks. The company saw a tenfold decrease in fraud losses after it launched the software, while many competitors struggled to beat back cheaters.
Mr. Thiel wanted to design software to tackle terrorism because at the time, he says, the government’s response to issues like airport security was increasingly “nightmarish.” The two launched Palantir in 2004 with three other investors, but they attracted little interest from venture-capital firms. The company’s $30 million start-up costs were largely bankrolled by Mr. Thiel and his own venture-capital fund.
They modeled Palantir’s culture on Google’s, with catered meals of ahi tuna and a free-form 24-hour workplace wired so 16 people can play the Halo video game. The kitchen is stocked by request with such items as Pepto Bismol and glass bottles of Mexican Coca Cola sweetened with sugar not corn syrup. The company recently hosted its own battle of the bands.
One of the venture firms that rejected Palantir’s overtures steered the company to In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit venture-capital firm established by the CIA a decade ago to tap innovation that could be used for intelligence work. As Silicon Valley’s venture funding dries up, In-Q-Tel says it has seen a surge of requests from start-ups in the last year or so, many of which now see the government as an alternate money stream.
In-Q-Tel invested about $2 million in Palantir and provided a critical entreé to the CIA and other agencies. For his first spy meeting in 2005, Mr. Karp shed his track suit for a sports coat. He arrived at an agency — he won’t say which one — and was immediately “freaked out” by security officers guarding the building with guns. In a windowless, code-locked room, he introduced himself to the first official he met: “Hi, I’m Alex Karp,” Mr. Karp said, offering his hand. No response. “I didn’t know you really don’t ask their names,” he says now.
Mr. Karp showed the group a prototype. The software was similar to PayPal’s fraud-detection system. But instead of identifying and connecting cyber criminals, it focused on two hypothetical terror suspects and followed their activities, including travel and money transfers.
After the demo, he was peppered with skeptical questions: Is anyone at your company cleared to work with classified information? Have you ever worked with intelligence agencies? Do you have senior advisers who have worked with intelligence agencies? Do you have a sales force that is cleared to work with classified information? The answer every time: no.
But the group was sufficiently intrigued by the demo, and In-Q-Tel arranged for Palantir engineers to meet directly with intelligence analysts, to help build a comprehensive search tool from scratch. . . .
3b. Palantir is one of several defense contractors implicated in a case of political spying against opponents of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In February, ThinkProgress broke a story revealing that attorneys for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had communicated with a set of military contractors — HBGary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies — to develop tactics for sabotaging and spying on the Chamber’s progressive critics. The Chamber attorneys and the security firms discussed targeting ChamberWatch, the SEIU, MoveOn, ThinkProgress, and other groups. The proposals details efforts to steal private computer information, spy on the families of the Chamber’s critics, and plant false documents within organizations opposed to the Chamber’s agenda.
ThinkProgress has uncovered yet another presentation from one of the private security firms describing plans for the Chamber. Because of a technical glitch, a few emails of the 75,000 emails leaked to the public from one of the defense firms did not process. One of the emails now processed correctly reveals yet another proposal, created by HBGary Federal executive Aaron Barr, and forwarded to the other security firms. Although it appears not to have been completed, the last slide in the presentation lists tactics — labeled “Discredit, Confuse, Shame, Combat, Infiltrate, Fracture” — to “mitigate [sic] effect of adversarial groups while seeking litigation.” . . .
4. Another indication of the shape of things to come may be found in the draconian measures being implemented  by the GOP in Michigan. TV commentator Rachel Maddow set forth some of the delightful features of this program.
Of particular significance for our purposes is the apparent contemplation of these measures as necessary to implement “Shock Doctrine,” as conceived by seastedding maven Patri Friedman’s grandfather Milton.
. . . She described the threat to democracy in Michigan, “Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget in Michigan is expected to cut aid to cities and towns so much that a lot of cities and towns in Michigan are expected to be in dire financial straits. Right now, Gov. Snyder is pushing a bill that would give himself, Gov. Snyder and his administration, the power to declare any town or school district to be in a financial emergency. If a town was declared by the governor and his administration to be in a financial emergency they would get to put somebody in charge of that town, and they want to give that emergency manager that they just put in charge of the town the power to, “reject, modify, or terminate any contracts that the town may have entered in to, including any collective bargaining agreements.”
The bill also has the power to suspend or dismiss elected officials, “This emergency person also gets the power under the bill to suspend or dismiss elected officials. Think about that for a second. Doesn’t matter who you voted for in Michigan. Doesn’t matter who you elected. Your elected local government can be dismissed at will. The emergency person sent in by the Rick Snyder administration could recommend that a school district be absorbed into another school district. That emergency person is also granted power specifically to disincorporate or dissolve entire city governments.”
Maddow said Michigan Republicans want to abolish entire towns, “What year was your town founded? Does it say so like on the town border as you drive into your town? Does it say what year your town was founded? What did your town’s founding fathers and founding mothers have to go through to incorporate your town? Republicans in Michigan want to be able to unilaterally abolish your town and disincorporate it. Regardless of what you as resident of that town think about it. You don’t even have the right to express an opinion about it through your locally elected officials who represent you, because the Republicans in Michigan say they reserve the right to dismiss your measly elected officials and to do what they want instead because they know best.”
What’s worse is that this power to be abolish governments could be handed to corporations, “The version of this bill that passed the Republican controlled Michigan House said it was fine for this emergency power to declare a fiscal emergency invoking all of these extreme powers, it was fine for that power to be held by a corporation. So swaths of Michigan could at the governor’s disposal be handed over to the discretion of a company. You still want your town to exist? Take it up with this board of directors of this corporation that will be overseeing your future now, or rather don’t take it up with them. Frankly, they’re not interested.”
Maddow talked about the power grab behind the fabrication of a fiscal emergency, “The power to overrule and suspend elected government justified by a financial emergency. Oh, and how do you know you’re in a financial emergency, because the governor tells you, you’re in a financial emergency, or a company he hires to do so, does that instead. The Senate version of the bill in Michigan says it has to be humans declaring your fiscal emergency. The House bill says a firm can do that just as well.”
Rachel Maddow concluded, “This is about a lot of things. This is not about a budget. This is using or fabricating crisis to push for an agenda you’d never be able to sell under normal circumstances, and so you have to convince everyone that these are not normal circumstances. These are desperate circumstances and your desperate measures are there for somehow required. What this is has a name. It is called shock doctrine.”
Naomi Klein, author of “The Shock Doctrine” implies that man made crises are used to push the “free market principles” of Milton Friedman et al, which are pushed through while the citizens are reacting to disasters or upheavals. The perpetrators of the shock doctrine require a violent destruction of the existing economic order in order to achieve their means. In the case of the Michigan governor, Snyder positioned himself in a state already reeling from financial crisis, vulnerable and ripe for a takeover. . . .
5. Something that might be seen as an extension of the GOP plan for Michigan concerns proposals for corporate “charter cities.” 
. . . About a decade ago, he walked away from academia, started an online teaching company, sold it and then turned to his next big idea: To create jobs to lift millions out of poverty, take an uninhabited 1,000 square-kilometer tract (386 square miles), about the size of Hong Kong, preferably government-owned. Write a charter: the all-important rules. Allow anyone to move in or out. Invite foreign investors to build infrastructure for profit. And sign a treaty with a well-governed country, say Norway or Canada, to serve as “guarantor” to assure investors and residents that the charter will be respected, much as the British once did for Hong Kong, and—with some oversight from the Honduran Congress—govern the city.
. . . “It’s a mixture of great creativity and great naivety,” says William Easterly, an NYU development economist. He doubts the city, especially if successful, could withstand pressure if the Honduran government turned hostile. Adds Harvard’s Ricardo Hausmann: “It would be great if it happened, so we can take a look at the experiment.” He, too, has doubts , and recalls Henry Ford’s failed Fordlandia, which was to be an oasis of U.S. capitalism in Brazil.
Back while Mr. Romer was courting Africans, a group of Hondurans was pondering how to improve their country’s prospects. One idea, a turbo-charged version of existing free-trade zones, was to lure investors to a super-embassy, an area governed by another country’s laws. . . .
6. Deutsche Telekom’s spying tactics  actualized through that company’s T‑Mobile subsidiary gives us a view as to the use the company might make of its potential access to the A, T & T database. Note that the company (Deutsche Telekom) is controlled by the German government.
The espionage potential of that company gaining access to the A, T & T database would be considerable.
A favorite pastime of Internet users is to share their location: services like Google Latitude can inform friends when you are nearby; another, Foursquare, has turned reporting these updates into a game.
But as a German Green party politician, Malte Spitz, recently learned, we are already continually being tracked whether we volunteer to be or not. Cellphone companies do not typically divulge how much information they collect, so Mr. Spitz went to court to find out exactly what his cellphone company, Deutsche Telekom, knew about his whereabouts.
The results were astounding. In a six-month period — from Aug 31, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010, Deutsche Telekom had recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates more than 35,000 times. It traced him from a train on the way to Erlangen at the start through to that last night, when he was home in Berlin.
Mr. Spitz has provided a rare glimpse — an unprecedented one, privacy experts say — of what is being collected as we walk around with our phones. Unlike many online services and Web sites that must send “cookies” to a user’s computer to try to link its traffic to a specific person, cellphone companies simply have to sit back and hit “record.”
“We are all walking around with little tags, and our tag has a phone number associated with it, who we called and what we do with the phone,” said Sarah E. Williams, an expert on graphic information at Columbia University’s architecture school. “We don’t even know we are giving up that data.”
Tracking a customer’s whereabouts is part and parcel of what phone companies do for a living. Every seven seconds or so, the phone company of someone with a working cellphone is determining the nearest tower, so as to most efficiently route calls. And for billing reasons, they track where the call is coming from and how long it has lasted.
“At any given instant, a cell company has to know where you are; it is constantly registering with the tower with the strongest signal,” said Matthew Blaze, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania who has testified before Congress on the issue.
Mr. Spitz’s information, Mr. Blaze pointed out, was not based on those frequent updates, but on how often Mr. Spitz checked his e‑mail. . . .
7. Meanwhile, hedge fund managers have been investing in arable land, seeking to cash in on anticipated global famine.
. . . But on a recent afternoon, The Observer had a conversation of a different sort about agricultural pursuits with a hedge fund manager he’d met at one of the many dark-paneled private clubs in midtown a few weeks prior. “A friend of mine is actually the largest owner of agricultural land in Uruguay,” said the hedge fund manager. “He’s a year older than I am. We’re somewhere [around] the 15th-largest farmers in America right now.”
“We,” as in, his hedge fund.
It may seem a little odd that in 2011 anyone’s thinking of putting money into assets that would have seemed attractive in 1911, but there’s something in the air-namely, fear. The hedge fund manager and others like him envision a doomsday scenario catalyzed by a weak dollar, higher-than-you-think inflation and an uncertain political climate here and abroad. . . .