The coming crash - Is it stupidity, arrogance, or another unwritten, deniable "final solution"?

Its time for me to discuss my pessimism for the future. In various threads, people respond to my pessimism with the classic "so what's your solution?". My answer is that there is no solution that preserves anything like a decent life for the vast majority of Americans. When I am called a "Debbie Downer" for this attitude, its very hard to resist shooting back with "Pollyanna". But I do resist that impulse.

All I'm asking of respondents to this essay is to engage with the pessimism, to follow the big picture logic.

I'm inviting you to see things from my point of view, instead of just slamming me for refusing to get excited about politics as usual, refusing to believe that we can elect our way out of our problems. IMHO, getting excited about a single presidential candidate, whether its Bernie or Tulsi, is just a ghost dance. The whole system has to change, and that's not happening short of a crash of some sort.

Just FYI, I only became a complete pessimist after the 2016 election. The open contempt for anyone with a brain and eyeballs became impossible to ignore:

- the blatant criminality of what was done to Bernie by the DNC,
- the unrelenting and coordinated psyops against Bernie by the completely consolidated corporate media,
- Bernie's surrender and subsequent kowtowing to the neolib/neocon Clinton Crime Family,
- the FBI/DOJ conspiracy that allowed Hillary to skate on multiple felony charges,
- the DNC rejection of Keith Ellison as chair, engineered by Tom Perez and boatloads of money,
- the ludicrous Russiagate propaganda campaign (another FBI conspiracy) that has morphed into outright censorship,
- the bipartisan support for blowing up Syria and facilitating the Wahhabi terrorists funded by the medieval Saudis,
- the large crop of CIA Democrats nurtured and supported by the DNC in 2018, even as progressives were sabotaged and shut down.

Given those items and many more, IMHO the foundations of democracy - that everyone's vote is equal, that there is equal justice under law - have been destroyed. Politics is corrupt and run by the 1% for their own benefit. The 99% is consistently outvoted via bought primaries and rigged elections, via reactionary judges and regulators appointed by the duopoly over a period of decades, and via massive voter suppression.

Politically, America has two elite parties today, the equivalent of Whigs (Dems) and Tories (GOP). We no longer have the equivalent of a Labor party (the former New Deal Democratic Party). When you look at the societal dynamic, its quite clear we are back to a ruling aristocracy and a powerless peasantry. Except there is a massive investment in Kabuki theatre democracy to keep the peasants bamboozled. Hence, appropriately crippled popular politicians are given just enough oxygen to bleed off discontent without actually accomplishing anything important.

Unfortunately for the new American peasantry, there is no tradition of peasant rebellion (jacquerie). As John Steinbeck said:

Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

With those well-known facts as preamble, let me describe how I see the future unfolding.

The Coming Crash

I have been an economic pessimist longer than a political one. The crash of 2008 and the subsequent indictment-free bailout of Wall St. instead of the citizenry demonstrated who runs this country, and it validated their program of financialized looting. Over the following decade, the asset bubble was re-blown with Quantitative Easing (QE). The rise of Exchange Traded Funds (aka passive investment) is an admission that, in today's stock market, prices go up because prices go up, not because of any underlying connection between stock prices and corporate value. Stock prices, goosed by obscene amounts of stock buybacks, are at record levels based primarily on the completely overvalued FAANG stocks. The whole economy looks like its in the last throes of a gigantic Ponzi scheme. And the people who will be left holding worthless pieces of paper will be the "dumb money" - America's pension funds and all the private daytraders.

An economic crash is inevitable. Growth in the post-2008 "recovery" has been anemic. After ten years of hooking the economy on QE, the Fed has tried Quantitative Tightening (QT) for the last year; and the economy instantly started to crater. That's because non-zero interest rates exposed the fact that all the money corporations borrowed went into stock buybacks instead of capital investment. The borrowed money was used to loot the corporations via buyback payouts instead of being used to bring out new products or train skilled workers. Another effect of QT has been to massively increase the interest payments on a national debt that has been bloated by Trump's new tax giveaways to the super-rich. Those interest payments and the resulting pressure to cut Federal spending on everything else (except, of course, the MIC) will further slow the economy as government employees go jobless and government funding for projects dries up.

To compensate for falling profit rates, despite paying depositors minimal interest due to QE, the banks have been running a campaign to eliminate cash. What a windfall for them! A fee on every transaction, the ability to give "haircuts" to savings accounts as they please, the ability to confiscate assets at will (since nobody has cash), plus the added value of tracking every single transaction for purposes of surveillance. This is the kind of "innovation" that we can expect in today's bankster-run America.

The increasing inferiority of US products to products of countries not run by financial parasites is getting obvious. We are behind China on 5G (of course, 5G is a surveillance disaster). We are behind Russia on advanced military technology. Boeing was behind Airbus on airliner technology, and resorted to a quick fix that resulted in the 737 MAX 8 debacle. We have been behind Germany and Japan on vehicle manufacture for decades, and much of 'American" vehicle production is done in places like Brazil (Ford). Why would anyone want to invest in the US or hold dollars given this commercial inferiority?

The only reason the dollar has its current value is its tie to oil prices and its ability to sanction countries via the SWIFT system of economic payments. Let me repeat that. The dollar's value depends on financial gamesmanship, not the industrial base of the US. And the rest of the world is cutting itself free of these financial shackles as fast as possible.

Automation's Effect on the Crash

Automation will exacerbate the coming crash. TPTB are in love with automation and the so-called AI. The usual pie-in-the-sky claims for new technology have been rolled out. A glorious future has been painted. But, the elite enthusiasm is not really because these toys will work better than humans. Its because these toys will allow massive numbers of expensive human jobs to be eliminated, and they will enforce labor discipline on the lucky few who still have jobs. It will grow the pool of "useless eaters" to the point where euthanizing them seems worth consideration on a purely economic basis.

We already have Amazon's warehouses where automation is on the verge of eliminating the embarrassing brutal exploitation of workers. Factories are increasingly automated, although that's a moot point in the de-industrialized US. We have been automating airliners for decades, although the results are not encouraging.

The Boeing 737 Max 8: a Case Study in Uncreative Destruction

The push for driverless cars and trucks (and drone delivery) goes on despite the obvious collision problems. (IMHO, the Chinese approach of completely separate and highly simplified rights of way for driverless cars is the way to go.)

While improbable applications like driverless cars are publicized, the dark side of AI is often ignored. The dark side is surveillance capitalism, black box scoring algorithms, and "social credit" schemes. When every move, interaction, and transaction is recorded, troublemakers will easily be identified and dealt with. East Germany will look like a Libertarian paradise in comparison to a full rollout of surveillance capitalism.

Setting aside the increasingly dubious internet of Surveillance Capitalism, the only "innovations" targeted at the working class over the past few decades are forms of looting: non-dischargable government-backed loans to students at outrageous interest rates, universities turned into predatory businesses with high-salaried C-suite officers, pensions replaced with 401Ks, insurance companies dictating medical coverages to doctors, NINJA mortgages followed by zero percent interest on deposits to whipsaw conservative small investors. All these "innovations" have driven us further towards a crash.


Environmental Destruction's Effect on the Crash

Although neoliberals and libertarians refuse to acknowledge it, the economy depends upon a functioning environment. And the Randian fanatics in charge have been trashing since before Ayn Rand was born. Its really ironic that the EPA was created by Richard Nixon, because the GOP have spent the last 50 years trying to destroy it and its "onerous" regulations. Most importantly, any regulation to do with fossil fuels (greenhouse gasses, fracking pollution, mountain-top mining) has been tied up in court cases and legislative interference. Meanwhile, the entire "climate change is a hoax" campaign has ramped up to a screech.

On other fronts, the destruction of insect populations by neonicotinoid pesticides (and the resultant collapse of bird species) is ignored and denied. The carcinogenic effects of glyphosphate herbicides is also denied, as is the impending development of super-weed resistance to those herbicides. The combination of massive crop losses due to weeds and loss of bee populations for pollination will add to our economic misery. But we are locked into our industrialized agriculture, which is based on fossil fuel-derived nitrogen fertilizer and the aforementioned chemicals. So there is no easy fix, even if we wanted to act separately on the agricultural dead-end we are in.

Basically, America has put its fingers in its ears on the climate, on clean water, and on mass extinctions. Trump tore up the already minimal Paris Climate Accord. Fracking gets a free pass, despite ground water pollution, massive earthquakes, bomb trains, and massive natural gas flareoffs.

The whole situation reminds me of a 4,500 year old human-made environmental catastrophe, chronicled by the late, great Jane Jacobs.

Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa (twin capital cities of an ancient empire of the Indus River valley) were marvelously developed to a point. But at some time before 2,500 B.C. development work had halted. They added no new goods or services from that time on, it seems, nor did they make any improvements in their old products. They simply repeated themselves. Their production must have been stupendous. The same standardized bricks were used in truly staggering quantities...the voracious wood fired kilns...produced so many identical pottery cups that...it may have been the custom to drink from a cup and then break it. One suspects they had more cups than they knew what to do with...

At length the Indus River at Mohenjo-daro became a lake of mud. (Just why is uncertain. I suspect that the immense destruction of forests, unremitting over a period of more than five centuries, to feed the mass-production brick and pottery kilns caused erosion and silting.) The mud flows engulfed the city and undermined many buildings. The people seem to have been incapable of any response that involved changed ways of doing things, or new ideas. After every mud flood they rebuilt exactly as before, with their interminable bricks, and the quality of the work deteriorated steadily until it was no longer done at all....The response to the mud floods was merely one dramatic symptom of the all-pervading stagnation.

- Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities (1969)

That America was following this path of thoughtless, sustained destruction of the environment was prominently catalogued at least 25 years ago by people such as James Kuntsler (The Geography of Nowhere (1993)) and Marc Reisner (Cadillac Desert (1986)).

Mohenjo-daro continued to chop down forests to make bricks and cups, even when mudslides wiped them out. In the same way, as long as there is oil and water, America refuses to change the auto-driven suburban and exurban buildout, refuses to fund mass transit or decent national passenger railroads, refuses to cut back on corporate agriculture practices that are ravaging the ecology. We will ruin entire states fracking for oil. We will draw down ground water aquifers that took millennia to fill for a few years worth of crops or, worse, to feed the fracking frenzy (which has never shown a profit and never will).

But the gauges on cheap water, cheap food, and cheap oil are pointing to empty these days. Desertification is spreading in sub-tropical regions like the Middle East. These environmental problems create economic problems, and that exacerbates the coming crash.

Why are TPTB allowing this to happen?

This question brings us back to the title of this essay: stupidity, arrogance, or an unwritten, deniable "final solution".

Its clear that TPTB are not trying to fix the climate, not dealing with ocean acidification or the plastic pollution/trash gyres. (AOC's Green New Deal is merely a grandstanding political statement, completely lacking in details about how they are going to fix problems in an economically feasible manner.) Furthermore, TPTB are pushing automation to dis-employ vast numbers of people, which can only make economic problems worse. The looting by financial capitalism shows no sign of abating short of a disastrous new crash.

Therefore, as cheap energy, food, and water become unobtainable, TPTB need to declare large portions of the world's population to be (in Jason Moore's sense of the word) "non-human" in order to use them as cheap and disposable labor - or (to preview the concept) to dispose of them via deniable famines, droughts, crop failures, and diseases. The rich will continue to have a nice life, everyone else will be Soylent Green.

If one were picking among the three reasons, one might argue that many low-information voters (both rich and poor) stupidly buy the anti-climate change propaganda, and that Wall St. arrogantly thinks it can continue to steal everything that isn't nailed down. But the rich always hire the smartest advisors.

And those advisors are telling them to buy land in Paraguay and Patagonia and New Zealand, to buy private islands in the middle of the Pacific. They are telling them to stock survival supplies (and guards) in abandoned missile silos and custom built bomb shelters. Now it may be that the 1%-ers who follow that advice are stupid (i.e., techno-libertarian suckers). And, short of a nuclear war, hiding out in a self-sufficient province in an out of the way place displays the typical arrogance of people who think they can buy their way out of (or into) anything.

But, let's just go full-blown pessimistic. Let's assume that the 1% are planning a slow-motion, non-nuclear "final solution" for the gross planetary overpopulation. Perhaps the lack of response to environmental problems is malign neglect, and not mere greed. Perhaps automation is merely an excuse to move people into the "non-human" category for massive exploitation.

But, going beyond neglect and exploitation, genetics has gotten to the point where custom-designed diseases are possible. There is a lot of alternative media attention to the US-run bioweapons lab in the country of Georgia (the Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research), its weaponized insect vectors ("insect allies"), and the anomalous wheat diseases spreading in nearby China. There are multiple, well-documented reports of US trying to obtain "Russian DNA" and twenty year old reports of Israel looking for "Arab" genes. (Which is sort of hilarious since Jews and Arabs are both Semites.)

This concept, known as "the cull", postulates that the 1% realize they have gotten all they can out of mass consumerism, and they would like to lower the human population to about one billion in order to create a sustainable planet going forward. Of course, this idea is insane for reasons I will get into in a moment. But it is equal parts arrogant and stupid, and therefore exactly what we expect from the Davos crowd.

Why the cull can't possibly work

First, in case TPTB haven't noticed, the demagogues and ideologues they put in charge are hell-bent (literally) on starting a nuclear war. The Russians have served notice that any use of nukes against them, including these new super-low-yield nukes will result in full nuclear retaliation. That hasn't slowed the neocons down one bit.

Second, once the serious environmental consequences and/or plagues set in, do you think the rest of the planet is going to sit around and let these assholes hang out in South America and New Zealand? No. Armies, navies, and guided missiles will descend on these enclaves. There is no way TPTB have managed to bribe every army, navy, and air force to leave them safe. There is no way that some renegade demagogue doesn't decide to make a name for himself by attacking the "elect". More fratricidally, there is no way that a Chinese billionaire might not contract some military folks to nuke an American enclave - and vice versa. The billionaires are complete sociopaths. Killing each other for profit wouldn't trouble them at all.

Third, without a nuclear war, even mass plagues and crop failures would not reduce the population quickly enough to stop and reverse global CO2 levels below the critical point. And, climate change has a critical point. Once frozen methane from the arctic tundra and from deep ocean clathrates starts being released, a positive feedback loop ensues. Trying to stop a runaway greenhouse effect by lowering CO2 output is like trying to put out a house fire by getting rid of the burning match that set it off.

Fourth, even though a slow population/CO2 decrease would fail to prevent the critical point from being crossed, it would screw up any attempt by super-richies to be self-sufficient. The climate would be crazy. Who knows if said "safe havens" wouldn't become deadly due to new weather patterns or sea level rise? With insect populations cratering, is it certain that bee populations could be maintained for crop growth? With economics in chaos, how would they assure a continuous supply of fuel, fertilizer, and other industrial chemicals? Would they run their own semiconductor fabs for essential electronics replacement? Fabs need tons of specialty chemicals and parts.

We can't get 12 people in a Biolab dome to survive for two years, and yet we are going to make tens of thousands of billionaires, who never do a lick of work, self-sufficient for the forseeable future? Puh-leeze.

Summing up

1. A crash is coming, and its unavoidable. It will be simultaneously economic, financial, and environmental.
2. TPTB are not taking action to deal with its consequences.
3. Any attempts by TPTB to hide out while the rest of the planet politely dies are doomed to fail.

So, my POV says that all us mugs can do is to wait for the crash, prepping as much as possible. The prepping includes becoming as self-sufficient as is reasonable; and most importantly, organizing while being surveilled as little possible. When the crash starts is the time to politically get rid of the current parasites that have ruined the world. Of course, TPTB have been practicing for civil unrest for twenty years. So they won't roll over just because its obvious they screwed the economic pooch - AGAIN. Its only after we get rid of them can we turn our attention to how to survive in the disastrous world they have bequethed to us.

----

That's how I see things, and insulting me isn't going to make me change my thoughts or my postings here. So, I invite people who disagree to come up with a different and brighter scenario that isn't a complete deus ex machina. But, its gotta have details, not just hopes.

Finis.

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Comments

And one thing that I would like to add, we have been sold out so many times by so many different grifters that many of us have become so cynical that when someone does come along that we could rally behind to attempt to make serious and important change we will attack and sideline that person/those persons. We will attack our saviors.

One problem with the uber wealthy wanting a slow cleanse of the excess humans is that in a radically transformed world nuclear waste still needs massive amounts of resources to safely store it for the next 1000 years. They may be able to escape to NZ, but the radioactivity of abandoned nuclear will hunt them down and kill them slowly. Thats my optimistic thought for the day.

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arendt's picture

@wouldsman

As of 2016, there are 450 active nuke plants. Without power, they will all go boom, like Fukushima. We will be swimming in radiation. Unless TPTB plan to live in underground bunkers for a thousand years, they too will be literally toast.

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GreyWolf's picture

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19 users have voted.

There's not one point here I would argue with.

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Pricknick's picture

Unfortunately, there will be no recovery.
You can never clean enough of the overgrown vegetation that is our current government or civilization. It has to burn down.
Nature will renew itself only when humans are extinguished.
Well done essay arendt.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

arendt's picture

@Pricknick

I think the problem is not the entire human race, but just the sociopaths. I buy the theory of political ponerology. I think that Mother Nature has a built in set point for sociopaths. It lets a few of them into the mix so that some remnant might survive a catastrophe.

But, as technology extends the power of one person to control many, what was a survival mechanism turns into a disaster.

We need to find ways to identify sociopaths, and weed them out. We can start by going back to something like permanent jobs. When people are shuffled around like cards, sociopaths can flourish with their superficial "mask of sanity".

But, I don't see those ways emerging in the US. Maybe you're right. Just let it all burn. Of course if I were 20 instead of 70, I might not be so blase about things.

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Pricknick's picture

@arendt @arendt
How do we really define who is sociopathic? The DSM is only a guide but not a definitive.
Is joe the village idiot one because because he or she doesn't believe in science yet base their lives on "the good book"? I would say most definitely. But I'm not a quack.
Would you go as far as to say that anybody who believes a damn word that our major main stream media disperses as clinical. I would but again, I'm not a certified quack.
Do you really think that there is a manageable quantity of these types? Can you change/remove them all?
I would ask that you truly look at the population in general and say that we are redeemable.
I never said it wasn't worth a try but I'm also realistic. How many will teach their children, grandchildren and others to stop reproducing. How many will teach others to live not within their means but as minimalists.
Greed is rampant across all economic and social divides. Good thoughts will never change that.
Peace for all is all I ask for and will never receive.
My two cents.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

mimi's picture

that is coming our way. I think the PTB want the crash and the destruction, because without it they couldn't even hope to rebuild and make profit of it. A crash is needed for them. In their mind they win by destroying.

Can't argue against anything you say. Misery seeks company.

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I call it realism.
I fed a 'possum today. I let a lady with one item go ahead of me in the grocery store check out line.
I consoled a friend who just lost his wife.
My brother is injured. I worked all day, am now preparing him a meal, will take it to him, serve it.
I avoided running over a squirrel.
I will miss the world, but by Dog, I mean for it to miss me. as well.

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arendt's picture

@on the cusp

Being nice to people may soon be the only positive contribution most of us can make.

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@arendt that I can not do anything significant to stop the high speed train to universal death that I see coming.
I simply can't.
And no matter what I do or don't do, I have the influence of a gnat. Easily swatted away.
People prep by growing and canning tomatoes, or storing ammo.
I, myself, am not prepping. I am resigned.
We all die. I have always hoped the nuke of the Cold War '60's landed on my head. My school teachers were appalled, punished me. Since 4th grade. (I am 66 years old.)They would not allow me to say it was no use to duck under a desk.
I am having an amazing time flying around the world to see all the places and things I have read about.
If I go down in a plane, that just gives my brother some time to enjoy the little bit of money and property I am leaving him in my will.
Every single day I live is full of interest. Fun, tragedy, everything in between.
I want to fight against "the man", but the "man" can't be anything other than the global 1%. That takes a guillotine.
But I will go down swinging for simple gestures of kindness.
I won't shoot the apocalypse peeps raiding my pantry. I will feed them.

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ggersh's picture

the WS/DC/MIC trioka of evil are winning

Chris Hedges

https://www.azquotes.com/author/24215-Chris_Hedges


We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money. They throw poor people out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars for profit, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power.
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19 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

Sadly.

Even worse is to think much of the 1% are entertainers, sports figures or a Kardasian. Oprah for president, Beto for vp anyone?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...I call "realism." Or sometimes, "intellectual honesty."

It's opposite isn't optimism, it's denial.

The question is whether or not you are open to new solutions or "game-changers" that may come along. Or have you shut down? And that's about you more than it is the ultimate outcome. I believe we will see at least one game-changer in the near future.

Otherwise, I share pretty much the same views as you. In fact, the past two years or so have been the only time that I wasn't the only cynic in the room. Before that, I had to suppress all intellectual honesty just to fit in — to be politically/socially correct. I'm also cursed with the Cassandra thing, so I see the seeds of the outcome sprouting much too far in advance. That I still suppress. (I have stacks of unpublished essays, and an untold number of deleted comments.) So... finding myself suddenly among like-minded people has been liberating for me. I'm no longer the designated "downer" and I don't need to convince people what's actually happening. I'm now coming from a place that is already familiar to most. That leaves more space to analyze and seek out bigger pictures.

On that note, I do want to say that there is context for your/our overarching "pessimistic" view. An important context, I believe. We are the people who are caught inside a dying Empire, and the depressing effects are much stronger inside the US. We see the darkness because it runs right through us. It's bad enough that this dying empire is the direct cause of so much suffering in the world today — but those with consciousness are gripped by the knowledge that we are a people and a nation that are capable of making the world a better place. A people who want to be heroic, who would dearly love to unite and rise to the challenge, to ease the world's suffering, to open the way to a better life. Our society would heal if it was engaged in healing the world. We were destined to be the bringers of life and light. Instead, as a dying empire, we are bringers of death and destruction.

I feel confident that if this nation were not in this world, it would be a much better place — and I believe much more hopeful and balanced. If we could let go of empire and accept our natural role as a superpower (one of three or four), this ugly reality would end. It was the quest for empire that destroyed our futures. Our Psychopaths who own and operate this nation are terminally paranoid and they are projecting the evil intentions that live in their hearts onto other nations. They are forcing all nations to enter a weapons race against the US. To Our Psychopaths, it's kill or be killed; destroy or be destroyed.

I think the young people in this nation instinctively seek out socialism because it is the antitoxin of the poisoned ideology pushed by Our Psychopaths. The young are right to do so. We should boldly demand the same and not settle for less. Don't pick a meek pathway to electability. By the time we get down to two candidates, they will both be fully owned by Our Psychopaths. (You cannot possibly believe that Bernie will be on the ballot.) Go bold for the modern ideology of socialism, as Albert Einstein described it. Re-read it. It is the antitoxin.. When the People's Party rises, join.

This is something we can do while we're waiting.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
arendt's picture

@Pluto's Republic

there is context for your/our overarching "pessimistic" view. An important context, I believe. We are the people who are caught inside a dying Empire, and the depressing effects are much stronger inside the US. We see the darkness because it runs right through us. It's bad enough that this dying empire is the direct cause of so much suffering in the world today — but those with consciousness are gripped by the knowledge that we are a people and a nation that are capable of making the world a better place.

Not only are we caught, but the older of us remember way back 50 years ago when this country was much closer to being a democracy. (Of course, J. Edgar Hoover was still around; and the CIA was already in control, and the 60s were full of assassinations.) Still, it is the extreme contrast between the relatively civil society of the 60s and the absolute snakepit that politics is today that makes old folks like me despair.

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snoopydawg's picture

@arendt

it's now afflicting on its descendents. How ironic. But not really. Corruption always arises when people who have power let it corrupt them.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Pricknick's picture

@snoopydawg

Corruption always arises when people who have power let it corrupt them.

The majority refuse to use it so the minority always wins.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

lotlizard's picture

@Pricknick  
all day last Sunday.

A steady campaign of the German political and cultural elite these last few years had conditioned me to expect to see and hear dangerous neo-Nazis . . .

What I mainly saw was “Ossis” who haven’t yet given up on the peaceful democratic tactics they used to bring down the East German regime 30 years ago.

The whole day was spent voting on revisions to the text of a platform for the upcoming state-wide municipal elections in May. “All those in favor, please hold up the blue card — opposed, hold up the red card — thank you, the ayes/noes have it . . .”

No impassioned Hitleresque orations, gotta disappoint ya. Boring, as procedure in proper democracy can be — remember Occupy Wall Street and the interminable “mike check” rigmarole? (Of course, that was because the NYPD had forbidden the Zuccotti Park group the use of bullhorns or a PA system.)

If there’s any sign that ordinary people who support the AfD (about 1 in 4 voters here in Saxony) are behind the learning curve in some way, it’s probably that they still think the postwar German or European system is ever going to give dissenting opinion from ordinary yokels a fair shake.

In that way they remind me of the Sierra Club (as a life member since 1968, I still get their magazine and annual ballot for board of directors.) Still plugging away, trying to raise the alarm and change things through civil-society channels. Haven’t given up; perhaps appropriately cynical and pessimistic about sociopathic elites’ grip on everything, but not yet to the point of apathy.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Pluto's Republic

...the quality of your essay. It deserves a wider audience.

The neglect of the nation and society and the complete corruption of the political system at it broke apart into two distinct classes separated by the Petite bourgeoisie bureaucrats and politicians was palpable. The financial racket, the asset stripping of the people and the nation by Our Overlords, and the depopulation, which has already begun — you described perfectly. It's been completely in plain sight for a century. The brainwashing has been relentless and effective. I'm not sure why sme of the people can suddenly see it now.

The Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa region and its man made disasters was a fascinating read. The people's inability to see and recognize environmental change and their own impact upon it across centuries was sad. Points out how important it is for a culture to think longer than the lifespans of voters and current inhabitants.

Your prognosis for the future, your speculation of how it was going to play out, I thought was very good. Based on what we know and the way things are, and the understanding that there is nothing that the people can do about it, in part because their minds are too damaged and divided — that shown through for me. Every single environmental problem and social mutation and explosion of greed and scarcity-driven class of crimes we are dealing with now finds its root in the obscene overpopulation of the species. The capitalists loved it. They saw their markets grow and ignored the blight and tragedy. Every resource the world could muster should have been put into abating whatever was driving the out-of-control breeding. Like the people of the Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa region, we refused to see it what we were spawning and were in denial about the warnings. Plus, we still don't believe in the dignity of a life and have little respect for human rights, even our own. But that's all soylent green under the bridge, now.

Anyway, it's a moving piece and it is infuriating.

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15 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
lotlizard's picture

@Pluto's Republic  
that people should not have so many children and not grow their population exponentially — out-reproducing other groups in demographic competition for the same land — will be decried as racism and genocide, or as an invitation to commit ethnic suicide.

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11 users have voted.
magiamma's picture

No quibbles. Climate breakdown is accelerating much faster than I ever imagined. Much will be rendered moot. I am not a cynic. I am a realist. Bring all the love you’ve shared to bear in the present moment. Eyes wide open.

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12 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

snoopydawg's picture

Someone ought to give Russia a heads up on where to point their missiles. If the PTB thinks that they can ride out the nuclear apocalypse in Paradise then we should disabuse them on that idea. And how arrogant do they have to be to think that when the sitf and they big out for their hideaways that the security they hired is just going to say yes sir and help them pack their belongings? I'm betting that they put the luggage on the plane and then they take it for themselves and their families. By the time the fan is going full speed money isn't going to be worth much.

Just remember folks that if you have money in the big banks it's theirs if the economy crashes again thanks to congress who passed an omnibus bill allowing for bank bail-ins next time. Every economic crisis has been manipulated by the banks themselves and after everything crashes they are the only ones who have enough money to buy low.

This story about the Richard G. Lugar Center really needs more exposure, but if everyone reads it won't. Just more arrogance by those who are in charge of things because if they think that those little germs are just going to attack the people they are programmed to then they are more stupid than we thought. I've been meaning to essay it but now I don't have to. This is just one more thing out of science fiction that the PTB have taken seriously. Soylent Green and Orwell's book are instructional manuals.

We do have a few ways to get some control over things. These things were mentioned in another essay here recently. Work stoppages and boycotting things that are not necessary to daily living, but enough people have to take part in it.

Good essay, Debbie.

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17 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

arendt's picture

@snoopydawg

Just remember folks that if you have money in the big banks it's theirs if the economy crashes again thanks to congress who passed an omnibus bill allowing for bank bail-ins next time. Every economic crisis has been manipulated by the banks themselves and after everything crashes they are the only ones who have enough money to buy low.

Do you know if that applies to Credit Unions also?

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@arendt

from the bail ins. I have an article bookmarked on this that I will try to dig up or perhaps people can search for bail ins and see what comes up. I just don't understand how it was legal for congress to allow them to do this. This is what happened in Greece after they got their IMF loan.

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8 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Which is hopefully on a Sunday so we can all talk.

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7 users have voted.

Well, it looks like full-blown fascism and eco-catastrophe is a rapidly approaching certainty unless we miraculously somehow manage to get Bernie on the ballot. And even then, all hell will break loose. No shit.

Let me one up you on the pessimeter, though. Say this crash comes. There won't be a glorious and successful revolution of the proles. The 1% percent have all the guns, all the surveillance, and hell, they're the 1%.

Or consider that just maybe you're wrong about the economic crash in the immediate future, at least in terms of onerously impacting the US and Europe. The rest of the world will get progressively sucked dry for our relatively privileged apportioned benefit and we'll still have Netflix and just enough to keep us precariously alive.

And the eco-apocalypse will proceed apace, ever accelerating.

More wars but maybe no nukes. Or maybe that's just being too optimistic.

How's 2084 sound to you. Just 100 years off the mark.

Pretty dismal, heh?

Well, insulting you will do no good for either you or me or anyone.

All I can say is if that old sack of bones Bernie still has it in him to make one more mad dash attempt to at least buck or even stem the tide, I figure I still got it in me to at least throw $27 his way and maybe then some. It won't kill me. I don't figure it will hurt anybody. At least it'll give me the satisfaction of trying to stick it to the man and you know what? Bernie does scare the shit out of them. That happening makes me feel good so don't dispossess me of my hedonistic impulse towards attainment of a bit of shadenfruede. And since I am pessimistic af, and it seems even more so than you, I'm not gonna ever again wail about it coz that won't do any good either. It doesn't make me feel good, and for the life of me, I don't understand how it makes anyone else feel somehow satisfied, either. But, different strokes for different folks who make up the 99%.

Nice meeting y'all and I wish you and the rest of the 99% well. Not so much towards the 1%.

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9 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Wally

It was largely because of our earlier discussion that I wrote this OP, mostly to clarify my feelings, to get them down in some kind of logical order.

I hear you about backing Bernie as the slightest possible hope available.

I can't back him as a "lesser evil"; but as a way to stick TPTB in the eye, I might. Going to Bernie rallies may be one of the few safe ways that people can express their absolute frustration with our corrupt politics. Of course, if I do start interacting with Bernie people, I will be telling them that if Bernie gets shafted again, they should just go Third Party. (I am done with the "if you don't vote Dem, Trump gets in" argument.)

That said, I don't see how supporting Bernie prevents the inevitable economic crash or slows down the multiple environmental disasters gathering steam. Its the big picture that stops me from buying into what passes for politics these days.

since I am pessimistic af, and it seems even more so than you, I'm not gonna ever again wail about it coz that won't do any good either. It doesn't make me feel good, and for the life of me, I don't understand how it makes anyone else feel somehow satisfied, either. But, different strokes for different folks who make up the 99%.

Well, I felt that I was pessimistic, so I embraced it and produced this essay. Now that its out there for me to see, maybe I can find some way to make a positive contribution. I'm not quite sure where you are coming from. You are pessimistic but you are not talking about it? May I politely ask, how do you do that without being a hypocrite? It seems a very difficult position to hold.

Nice meeting y'all and I wish you and the rest of the 99% well.

That sounds like goodbye. Are you offended? Or is this just too negative for you?

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12 users have voted.

@arendt @arendt

It's well-written. You spent more time on it than my gonzo wailing over the past hour or so.

No, I'm not offended at all.

I just feel that writing about being pessimistic is kinda self-indulgent. For me. I've avoided it for some time. Now my fears are out there. I don't want to dwell on it anymore. It's not gonna do me or anybody any good at this point. What was that Oscar-winning movie about the Italian guy who accompanies the kid to the concentration camp? Sorta like that. Maybe you need to do it to ... whatever. Get your thoughts in line. Get your angst out into the open. Find common ground with like-minded people. I dunno. I don't know you well enough to figure you out or judge you and I'm not about being judgmental about anyone aside the 1% anyway.

I'll just try to be as positive re Bernie as I can. Ah, now I remember: Life is Beautiful with Roberto Begnini. Not so sure I can pull it off, but I'm gonna try.

Yea, third party, maybe. I'm not thrilled with the Greens. Maybe that Brana thing. I dunno. But I just don't got it in me anymore to do any organizing and politicking. I'm surprised I've lasted on this forum as long as I have.

Whatever, hang in there. I may dosey-do (sp?) around here every now and them trying to be positive. I'll definitely keep reading -- I love the news summaries in the evening.

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9 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Wally

You have worked through your pessimism and find it unhelpful/unproductive. You want to contribute, but politics has become to toxic.

I've only recently become totally pessimistic, and I am still working out how I feel and what to do about it. Environmentalism keeps coming up for me. See my reply to Cassiodorus's comment about Jason Moore.

You are welcome to hang out here. JtC tries to keep this place civil, tries to prevent the typical flame wars and insults that turn most boards into shouting matches and banning fests.

Nice to talk to you. Hope you stick around.

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13 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Wally

Don't feel the Bern if you don't want to get burned

What do you think will happen if Bernie gets cheated out of the primary again? Do you think that he will fight for the people who donated, worked on his campaign and sent him money and go third party or will he just roll over again? I believe the reason why so many people have thrown their hat in the ring is to make sure that no one wins the first round and the DNC will once again choose their own candidate. If this happens I bet the convention is going to blow up or they will just cancel it so that it doesn't.

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12 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg

That said, he's done more for "la causa" in these times than anybody I've ever come across.

And beyond putting his heart and soul into it. I figure he's more knowledgeable about what's going on politically than me. There's a lot that goes on that we simply don't know about no matter how smart or intuitive we may be. As far as we know by what he says, he doesn't think a third party is going to do us any good. Maybe he's right, or maybe he's wrong. He's gotta live with that kind of decision and I'm sure it weighs heavily with him.

I don't know how old you are but every morning I wake up, my bones are aching and I have to make what feels to me like a herculean effort just to get out of bed and start moving around and I don't figure I'm all that out of shape for my age. Bernie's a decade older than me. I can't imagine running around the country doing what he does. Is he doing it just for his own ego and profit? I really don't think so. He's already sorta got it made in terms of historical import and relative wealth. He's got a wonderful family. One person can only do so much and he's already gone way above and beyond the call of duty. I'm grateful for him and I'm going to defend him and be supportive of his candidacy even if I think this or that position of his is off a bit or a lot. Even if it isn't going to result in an electoral victory. I owe the guy that much after all he's been through for all of us. And who knows, I still believe miracles do happen. Does that make me an asshole? Maybe. But I don't think I'll ever stop believing and having some small ember of hope even in the depths of my despair. I guess this is starting to sound too much like a prayer so I'll leave it at that. Or maybe that's as good a way to go out as any. Amen.

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7 users have voted.
arendt's picture

Wow. 12 people who are also pessimistic. It wasn't what I expected.

And people had interesting things to say. I will try to go back and respond to some comments.

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11 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@arendt

plan for years now. Of course the 1% are sure that their wealth insulates them from the consequences of their mad decisions. I won’t be around to witness their despair when reality has the last word.

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15 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

arendt's picture

@Lily O Lady

Everyone except the top 0.01% is due for a rude awakening soon. Trump and the bums he has appointed are going to bring the roof down on everyone's head.

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13 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Lily O Lady

It always good to have a back up plan.

Smile

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12 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@arendt

Let's make this even bigger picture. What one basic thing do all these problems have in common? Humans!

I have long said humans suck. Give me a choice between a collection for kids and people vs dogs or elephants, and I'll give to the animals every time.

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5 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Cassiodorus's picture

But it's all clearly based on an "if this goes on" mentality. Yeah, sure, the Powers That Be are screwed up, victims of their own brutality, and the trend has only intensified with neoliberal capitalism. But there is resistance, and increasingly this resistance has recognized that the problem with capitalism registers as a problem with capitalist "bundled natures." Bundled natures are bundlings of human and of non-human nature: under capitalism, bundled natures are based on (and go through) the imagined endless harvesting by capital of a finite "cheap nature," which is why Jason Moore optimistically asserts that capitalism will not survive until the last tree is cut. Our currently bundled natures are, therefore, of finite longevity, which is why collapse looks inevitable now. The bundled natures pushed upon the world by capital will go extinct at some point.

Bundled natures are not the relationship between some smugly-superior "Man" (whose nature has been arbitrated by default with the mumbo-jumbo of marginalist economics) and some fecund "nature" (which also has a nature that has to be misread if capitalism is to be justified). Rather, the human nature that is falsely imagined to be what it is under capitalist economic pressures is to be reimagined as something that can create sustainable "bundled natures." This is the point of my emphasis upon utopian dreaming, in which the reimagination of society is attempted. This reimagining is going on today within food politics, with the Zapatistas, with La Via Campesina, and with (to a lesser extent) the subtext of revolt pervading global society today.

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9 users have voted.

"I was Zuckerberging people before Zuckerberg's balls dropped." -- the Devil, on "Rick and Morty"

arendt's picture

@Cassiodorus

Our currently bundled natures are, therefore, of finite longevity, which is why collapse looks inevitable now. The bundled natures pushed upon the world by capital will go extinct at some point.

Bundled natures are not the relationship between some smugly-superior "Man" (whose nature has been arbitrated by default with the mumbo-jumbo of marginalist economics) and some fecund "nature" (which also has a nature that has to be misread if capitalism is to be justified). Rather, the human nature that is falsely imagined to be what it is under capitalist economic pressures is to be reimagined as something that can create sustainable "bundled natures."

Yes, the nature of our relationship with bundled nature must change. The negative feedback loops from the planetary ecology demands that.

My concern is how we are going to feed the current 8? billion people when industrial agriculture - fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides - can no longer be sustained. How many people will simply starve to death in even a well-planned transition to post-industrial farming?

Assuming we can arrive at a "sustainable bundle" without too many people just dying, what would that new, sustainable bundle look like?

Of course, there are already people trying to do farming in a sustainable way. (Although the deliberate dispersal of GMO seeds is polluting organic farms.) The current emphasis on massive amounts of beef (which takes 10 times as many feed calories as other protein sources) can easily be done without. The formerly scarce comfort food items (sugar, fat, and salt) can be relegated to being "treats" instead of being part of every meal and snack, with great effect on the problems of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Kunstler's "3,000 mile salad" has got to be replaced by locally grown food; and the changing economics of transportation will guarantee that.

We need to stop driving our cars so much. But to do that we need to abandon suburbia - a massive writeoff for the US, not so bad for Europe, Japan, or even China. We need to get back to village-style housing. People can use bikes, or electric-assist bikes. The internet can provide villages with most of the conveniences of city life. Of course, long distance travel is going to have to get much more expensive (or much slower).

----

What I like about your comment is that it got me thinking about what can be done OUTSIDE the political system, by personal or local initiative.

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12 users have voted.

@arendt "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist This is used by unabashed liberal at the end of her comments and has always caught my attention, I would say it applies to your feelings (Essay).

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9 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

The other part of QT in addition to raising interest rates...

After ten years of hooking the economy on QE, the Fed has tried Quantitative Tightening (QT) for the last year; and the economy instantly started to crater. That's because non-zero interest rates exposed the fact that all the money corporations borrowed went into stock buybacks instead of capital investment.

is the selling off of the $4+ Trillion in assets the Fed bought up in the wake of the 2008 crash.

The Fed is now waffling on selling more off its balance sheet because Fed honchos say that it pulls too much cash out of the economy at the same time rising interest rates are also siphoning off liquidity.

That may be correct in theory, but what they don't say is:

1) Ten years later, the banks that pawned their losing asset portfolios to the Fed at face value in order to remain solvent during the financial crisis still either won't or don't have the cash to buy the assets back.

2) The assets themselves, which included a LOT of collateralized mortgages, may not actually be worth anywhere near what the Fed paid for them, so the Fed is forced to quit selling because nobody (foreign OR domestic) is willing to make a decent bid on the crap.

The upshot is that the Fed's room for maneuver is severely limited: it can't raise rates (or lower very much) and it can't clear its balance sheet to provide another cushion once the next crash happens.

Marx's concept fictitious capital is especially apt here.

Fictitious capital could be defined as a capitalisation on property ownership. Such ownership is real and legally enforced, as are the profits made from it, but the capital involved is fictitious; it is "money that is thrown into circulation as capital without any material basis in commodities or productive activity".[3]

Fictitious capital could also be defined as "tradeable paper claims to wealth", although tangible assets may themselves under certain conditions also be vastly inflated in price.[4]

Both definitions explain the mortgage crisis. The Fed gave oodles of fictitious capital to the banks to lend to unqualified house buyers who were expected to repay the loans in actual cash. But of course the buyers didn't repay the loans because they couldn't afford them in the first place.

When the mortgages inevitably went belly up, the Fed allowed the banks to pretend that the securities still had actual value by parking them in the Fed account, so the banks didn't have to write down these otherwise bankrupting losses.

A decade on, the Fed is stuck with the bad loans, and this fictitious capital, once the engine of the Potemkin economy, is now significantly hampering the Fed's ability to control actual capital.

According to Marx, the end will not be pretty:

[I]n periods of crisis, "the capitalist class appears to have a choice between devaluing money or commodities, between inflation or depression. In the event that monetary policy is dedicated to avoiding both, it will merely end up incurring both".

Howszat for pessimism?

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12 users have voted.

Peace Sells

polkageist's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger
A combination of nearly worthless money and shortages of food and water seem inevitable given the trajectory or intersection of late period capitalism and climate catastrophe.

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7 users have voted.

Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

Strife Delivery's picture

There's a lot to digest here. I'll throw out a few points and probably forget others I was going to say.

If we stick with just American history, I believe that there were 2 (maybe 3) moments where we could have transformed the nation into something else, each of these stemmed from a crisis and our answer to them either anesthetized the people or they were simply betrayed:

The Great Depression and the 2008 crash.

The first was in the thrall of a burgeoning support of workers and the potential for an alternative, that being socialism. FDR was saved to have saved capitalism and he did. He knew if he didn't placate the people, that the tensions were there to have a potential revolution towards socialism. With socialism spreading throughout the globe, that fear was in the hearts of capitalists. So they temporarily gave some back. And the people were placated. And then over the next 70 years, those gains were methodically taken back.

Imagine the difference our world would have been if the people had revolted and formed something else? Imagine the difference in our relations with say the USSR with no cold war, or the imperialist destruction throughout Asia, or the formation and eventual solidification of central power through deep state entities?

The second as I mentioned was the 2008 crash. Again, outrage was high but it wasn't properly directed. Instead, people fell into the trap of the conman -- Obama. The election of Obama solidified our doom and that isn't hyperbole. He did everything he could to protect the banksters and Wall Street all while giving a giant middle finger to everyone who voted for him.

The American people allowed the banks to be bailed out and have done nothing about it. If that didn't cause Americans to rise up, I don't know what can. I believe that Americans will accept whatever shit they are given now.

The American people are a broken people, a dead people; they just don't have the humility to see it.

Regarding the safe houses and bunkers, yes, the billionaires believe they can hide away in palatial vaults underground. Perhaps their guards will still be slaves or perhaps their guards and servants would actually rise up and take over the palaces. I don't know. The biggest question is why should the guards believe their masters have any power? In a dead world money has no meaning, so why be a slave to someone who has no power? There are no laws, no institutions, no banking systems, no military.

My comment is getting a bit long and I'll leave it here until I perhaps come back with more.

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14 users have voted.

@Strife Delivery I think there was only one real time we could fight back. That was right after WW2. With millions of combat trained and battle hardened vets coming home in a nation awash with guns the PTB couldn't resume their previous methods of enrichment. Saying to these vets "You'll work 6 ten hour days, we'll pay you what we want and you'll shut up and like it" would result in millionaires hanging from lamp posts.

The other condition was slipping into the cold war while FDR's programs were still in effect. It was formed to fund ww2, and just continued to fund the cold war. Capitalism was on a leash.

That generation lived through the depression, ww2 and Americas "golden age" for workers. In the 70's, 80's those vets were getting old. They weren't the formidable army they once were. Capitalism was chewing away on their good life, and those dirty hippies (their kids) were the ones that screwed everything up. That's pretty much the blueprint we have now. Pretty soon anyone that remembers the good old days will be gone, and what passes for a life today will be remembered as the "good old days."

This isn't to negate anything you said, because it's true. I just think it was the only time the PTB recognized they could be forcibly deposed by ordinary citizens.

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8 users have voted.
k9disc's picture

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7 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

LeChienHarry's picture

holding of private assets like banks. This is not "nationalisation". It was done by the government after 2008, with maybe GM and a couple of banks. I just can't think of the term.

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4 users have voted.

You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

If you can donate, please! POP Money is available for bank-to-bank transfers. Email JtC to make a monthly donation.

Steven D's picture

Thanks for laying out the facts the will result in an inevitable collapse of the US of A as an economic and military power (aside from Nukes).

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11 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Lookout's picture

They have given up on climate mitigation knowing we've baked in extinction.
https://www.livescience.com/63709-trump-climate-report-7-degrees.html

So more profit, more war, more destruction...more more more for MEEEE.

The hell with them. Live your life as if today is your last...it might be. The world is still full of beauty. Most people respond to kindness. Spring is in the air. Don't wallow in the pit of their design. Fill your life with simple joys. I find it easy to accept my personal death in the near term. I'm finding it easier and easier to accept our species extinction in the next few decades. Another of earth's many failed experiments.

As to the economic collapse...bring it on. Maybe it will slow down our insane destruction of the environment and each other.

You gotta walk that lonesome valley.
You gotta walk it by yourself...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcbqCssiBUc

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11 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

@Lookout
I agree with all your advice you are giving, but I have a basic problem. I really do believe that since the world wide web becama a part of our life (around 1994 I guess), mankind can't go back anymore and live without it.

If I would be capable of living accroding to what I believe, I would not use the intertubes. So, what happens here, for example, on C99p, is also part of the shizophrenia. How much evil has facebook done to people's psyche and behavior? Why would anyone who recognizes it, use it?
Yet we are asked to follow and use it and spread our goodies.It is hard for me to like that.

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2 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@mimi
...and twitterless, and google accountless...I don't even have a cell phone,
however not using the innertube would be like not going to the library in another time. It is where information is located. Inquiring minds want to know.

That's my approach at any rate.

Hope your spring is unfolding and Germany is awash with bloom.

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2 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

@Lookout
you are pretty right. I am living with two old Germans that don't know how to use the internet, don't know how to use a smart phone and constantly attack me for being glued to this frigging laptop and being a complete addict and unsocial person. Sad

In any case, those two are very happy folks by nature to not know anything to do with the 'puter. One person has just a work mobile phone for his customers to reach him. My sister is not capable to use any mobile phone any more, not even one for seniors. Nothing smart in those phones.

But ... it happens that he couldn't go on without it. So, his family, who is a bit smarter, when it comes to smart phones, internet etc. finally forced him to get one. Smart as he was without smartphones, he got the kick out his new smart phone. Now he is hooked. Loves to have hisg randchild's baby pictures in his pockets on the phone... On the other hand he is well read about his local history and environment. Way better than any of us are and we grew up in the same schools and neighborhoods.

I feel always very unsocial having my laptop in front of me when sitting with them watching the birds ...

Of course you are right with the library aspect of the internet. I mean I use it somewhat since 24 years and it was that aspect which draw me into it. I am just a little tired of all of it. Spring is not yet in the air here, and my sister is complaining hours after hours about it. So our conversation goes just back and forth about when our miracle gardener finally flips the switch and makes everything green again. Sigh.

Have a good day.

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1 user has voted.
Lookout's picture

@mimi

Sure to teach you tolerance. Hope your temps are warm and blooms are around the corner.

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2 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

@Lookout
let's just say may the balance between the curse and the blessings be favorable to everyone's health. Smile

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1 user has voted.
moneysmith's picture

this every day. No one's going to rescue us from whatever's coming, we know that. We are older, though, and might be gone before it gets truly horrific. I just feel bad for all the children and animals/critters who won't be so lucky. It didn't have to end this way ....

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5 users have voted.

Hell is empty and all the devils are here. William Shakespeare