“Don’t Tread On Moi”: Swiss Gun Law Emperors Stripped Naked
By Cochise Johnson
Feb 14, 2011
Since 1993, a stampede of money has abandoned this once most attractice haven of no-questions-asked banking. For a long time, they limped along on Russian Mafia gratuities and the odd dictator’s booty but mostly the signs pointed to nasty outcomes. It’s been a hard road for the Swiss, unknowingly plucked over the past 18 years- much like everyone else, culminating with a world financial crisis that spells bad times for many.
No doubt austerity will reach everybody on the globe sooner than later, but Switzerland has a lifestyle to which it has become accustomed and that’s more than hard to let go of. It’s no accident that many of the top names in business and NGOs have their headquarters in Geneva, or that it’s been a destination of choice for upscale criminals of the Third World’s current and former governing class. Even the influx of refugees from the Balknan wars and Islamic asylum seekers gingerly balanced against an orderly integration policy that Swiss voters could live with.
Aside from the legions of well-off cocaine and pot-crazed diplomatic and finishing school children in and around Geneva, successive governments took on the issues of their day, beginning with the tolerated heroin initiatives that saw so many people gathering at designated shooting zones in Zurich, many tumblings over the the low-rise perimeter fences, as they were packed to capacity. Later, allowing people to have a cannabis plant so long as it’s no taller than three metres, started a gardening craze going on to today. It certainly demonstrates that the Swiss are a capable people who know how to get along with others in dire need.
The Gnomes of Zurich and the banking sector attained mythical status through lore when in reality most people lived as rural peasants well into the twentieth century. That they leased, sold or partenered to get rich in the skiing industry is down to what we might call accidents of war or perhaps more succinctly, designs come to fruition. By the mid-90s, it was estimated there were well over 45,000 Swiss millionaires, they shrugged off any suggestions that departing capital was anything but a blip on the radar.
The problem with being so dynamic is that a place becomes a magnet for all sorts of unwelcome activities which become harder and harder to complain about because they bring in the big bucks (err, franks). The heroin pipeline from Kosovo has managed to feed a whole new breed of junkie entrepreneurs as hordes of ghoulish people are showing up at suicide (formerly health) clinics looking to pay… to top themselves. It’s begining to feel less like a country and more like a fancy motorway stopover where one’s real life suspends itself while he or she is on the road.
Like every other economy, Switzerland discarded that which had once made it great and now wallows in the mediocrety of a derivatives cesspool with the rest of world. No distinguishing characteristics, hardly a sovereign identity, the remnants of symbols supporting a brand. It’s good for the chocolate industry and the army knives- but not much else. The fully independent banking model was scuttled the day Berne decided it was OK to share data about bank customers as long as the said government got a proper cut of the funds they’d sieze. That worked fine on a few Colombian accounts, Saddam Hussein’s and Wesley Snipe’s nest eggs, but the underlying idea was to make war on the citizenry.
Traditional bankers saw their position becoming unsustainable and most decided to go fishing for a while. The fast-buck flashy types, many with black shoes and white socks of all things, went on with selling the securitised garbage coming out of Wall Street. Somewhere along the way, something had to give and like all catastrophic events, it began with a whimper. Martin Ebner would never admit to having started a financial avalanche but he certainly laid the ground work by strong-arming the likes of UBS ’til they changed their entire philosophy. Few considered that perhaps their resistence had more to do with old ethics rather than profit.
Things haven’t yet reached breaking point but tempers are fraying and Switzerland is experiencing a higher than normal suicide rate- outside the clinics. This could almost be a scripted drama play: “spoilt children inherit rich domain, sizable fortune, then lead profligate lives to utter ruin…”. But it’s not ruin for one and all because their bankers and lawyers are left with all the loot. And it’s going to play to conclusion with somebody getting their gun, eliciting the tricks used to cause the calamity, or it’s curtains Jacques. The Swiss may have gotten fat, dumb and happy but passive chump time is over.
There’s no lack of money circulating in Switzerland, and the Swiss Frank is still traditionally seen as the backstop of choice for international currencies, but the system is becoming less sustainable than anywhere else in collapsing market spheres. And with the ultimate goal of elected representatives being able to enmesh themselves with European and World governments at large in order to facillitate a single sector- a new feudal class of bankers, bureaucrats and rentiers, then don’t doubt for a moment that there will be resistance. The Referendum on gun ownership concluded yesterday with a resounding victory for the right to bear arms.
If the world’s financial marauders had one last trick up their sleeve to go before raiding in Switzerland unabated, this trial baloon should be enough to put them off the scent a little while longer. Nobody doubts bullets are going to fly one day soon in places that have only known peace in living people’s lifetimes.
Perhaps it’s prophetic the Swiss still call their money ‘bal’ in the vernacular, the musket ball currency of their Papal guarding mercenary ancestors. Some words one should never let go of- just like they shouldn’t let go of their gun if one claims any pretence to personal independence.
Referendum Result: As of 10:00 hrs EST…
57.3% – No
42.8% – Yes
Are you listening America?
Author Cochise Johnson is a guest writer at Gonzo Town and regular contributor to the Runnymede Institute’s website.