Guest Post: Grapes Of Wrath - 2011

Tyler Durden's picture

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dick cheneys ghost's picture

the empire has no clothes.......keep your eye on pakistan. things are heating up.

papaswamp's picture

Firing teargas in Iran...Reuters

jus_lite_reading's picture

This article is a masterpiece. Remember what I said about history rhyming...


For the first time in over a year, I saw a movie (The King's Speech) in the actual theater, and came home thinking about several things-

1- The round trip, cost me $4.47 in gas- $3.29/gal, 9 miles each way, 14MPG. 

2- The movie ticket price has increased 15% since last year ($10.50 to $12.00 now)

3- It is not worth the price of admission to see a movie any longer when the cost of two tickets covers the price of netflix and partial cable bill for an entire month.

4- Most of the movie goers where teenagers. There were all but 5 people viewing the King's Speech and all of us were boomers.


Racer's picture

Where do I go to join the revolution crowd?

lesterbegood's picture

"Where do I go to join the revolution crowd?"

Re-inhabiting the Republic for the united States of America c.1787, and the 50 free state republics; peacefully, non-violently, and without confrontation.

The truth is becoming self-evident.


nonclaim's picture

Be a leader, start your own.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Start you're own. It's the only way you can be sure of knowing where one is.

Look within for it and it will be found. Ask others to find it for you and you will be led astray. It all begins within.

beastie's picture

To paraphrase Steinbeck; It begins with I and ends with We.

Or choose your own path and you will meet the others on the road.


Oh regional Indian's picture

The revolution, the Jihad and the effects are all really inner things.

This outward massing is lambs to the slaughter.

First find the real/original I, then go to the we. Else, which I are you taking into the we? Which Racer will join or lead the revolution? 


Cathartes Aura's picture

excellent - "first, know thyself"

then align with others in awareness.

Bearster's picture

"The false mantra of an economy based on self-interest and free markets is a smokescreen blown by the few with wealth and power to obscure the truth that they have used their wealth and power to rig the game in their favor."

What free markets?  Self-interest?  All we have is ever-increasing taxes, ever-increasing handouts, ever-increasing regulation, and ever increasing size, scope, intrusiveness, and power of government.  Always justified by altruism.

AnAnonymous's picture

People are divided. Mass, elite, all are divided.

Under the US world order, even undivided conditions like individuality (now a collection of bits fragmented over various groups, with the implicit idea of common experience inherited from each bit) or humanity (with the astounding addition of non human beings, most blatant denial of an ostentious face) have been divided.

The US world order is one of divisions and only knows one congregation means: lies, propaganda and fantasy.


Cathartes Aura's picture

there have always been "divisions" - it's a way of noticing that all people do not think alike, have differing views of reality - it's not necessarily a "bad" thing, until the realities collide in violence to individuals, then it needs addressing, yes.

“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”John Steinbeck

this is a great quote, and as yet no one has addressed it on the thread - these "admirable qualities" - are they still admired in men?  I don't think so - I think they were outsourced to women, while the major cultural focus was on the "detested" qualities, which have been highly cultivated in the men as the artificial divide between the "sexes" widens in the cultural sphere.

I know many males & females who can and do embody all of the admired traits listed above, and I see the majority who still allow themselves to be defined by the detested traits because they've been elevated to admired status - this is where the work can be done, correcting those human qualities that are in-tolerable going forward.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Excellent observations CA.

But I think someone hit the blender speed to high and it's going to get harder to hang on without really knowing where your own spin center lies. And qualities and characteristics, lightly held or taped on, will go flyiing back in the mix too.


Cathartes Aura's picture

always love your wise wordages ORI -

it's going to get harder to hang on without really knowing where your own spin center lies

best let go the sides and surrender to the great incoming mix, where artificial stories told to/about "self" lose their flavours in the face of experiences felt. . . spring equinox, Aries zero point, explosions of energy March & April, as the gods of war bluster. . .

(watching a lone vulture atop a tall fir tree outside my window, one wing extended for morning drying, before taking flight. . .*smile*)


alien-IQ's picture

"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when producing is punished and looting rewarded"

Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Ayn Rand was a twisted, spiteful, selfish bitch with little or no humanity - I just don't get the libertarian devotion to that woman.

alien-IQ's picture

So was Nietzsche and Machiavelli...but does the personality flaw make the writing less relevant or true? You made the leap to the assumption that I am a libertarian simply because I quoted an author you have a preconceived notion and prejudice about. Doesn't that make you rather narrow minded and judgmental? You are trapped by labels. Until you break those mental'll forever be it's slave.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

@Alien - IQ

Yes perhaps I am not being entirely rational - my gut tells me her ideas break a basic common sence barrier.

The primate group is / was never entirely altruistic or individualist - it is / was a combination of the two , a meme that entirely divorces a primate from the group is just nonsense.

alien-IQ's picture

I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't know when I say that to avoid the work of authors who are less than nice or good people is to cut yourself off from some of the finest writing in the world.

The list of authors that were assholes reads like a who's who in the literary world...But the writing is still often brilliant. It is the confrontational and controversial personality that often produces the most challenging, provocative and important works.

Pants McPants's picture

Minor quibble here, but Ayn Rand was not a libertarian.  She referred to libertarians as "hippies of the right" or something similar.

In spite of this, many libertarians and anarchists begin their philosophical journies away from the US public school brainwashing by reading her stuff.  I am among this crowd.  But shortly after reading her work I was turned off by her vapid response to true invididualists like Murray Rothbard.  Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead remain inspirational to me....but I can do without Rand the person and her silly objectivist philosophy.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Sorry Ayn , is hell warm enough for you down there or do you prefer it hotter ? - even if Satan is reluctant to turn up the thermostat , you still have the option of self - flagellation 

just saying

serotonindumptruck's picture

You meant self-immolation, correct?

We should be seeing more and more of that as unrest in the ME becomes contagious.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

No , I imagine that Lucifer would be wise enough to realise that giving Ayn control of the FIRE economy would result in the complete implosion of the Satanic business model.

However publicly whipping herself in a self contained little corner may even attract some tourists from Limbo and generate a nice little revenue stream. 



serotonindumptruck's picture

I attempted to read Atlas Shrugged a few years ago. It was one of the few books that I chose to put down half-way through (with no regrets).

While I disagree with Rand's personal brand of politics, I don't desire her to suffer eternal damnation, either.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Just kidding , can't a Dork have some fun - I imagine she resides somewhere in Limbo given that her ideas were wildly delusional and therefore not the beliefs of a rational mind.

alien-IQ's picture

Does this mean you also deprived yourself of reading "Death of a Salesman" because Arthur Miller is a Socialist?

I hear Jackie Collins is very nice.

serotonindumptruck's picture

Actually, I don't read much fiction. I would say science and philosophy are my normal reading materials.

I tried reading Rand about the same time that I was reading the writings of Pyotr Kropotkin and Frederick Engels.

Bob's picture

Now that's a delightful twist:  We are Gault, you lyin' mother fuckers!

I likee.

apberusdisvet's picture

No American will "revolt" if he/she receives a government check or SNAP card.  Soon that will be an overwhelming majority.  They've planned well.  They've indoctrinated well.  Capital controls are increasing.  The vise of a police state gets tighter and tighter. 

Ayn Rand's picture

They will revolt when the government check stops coming.

Rusty_Shackleford's picture

The government checks will always keep on coming. 


The revolt will only come when those checks finally bounce.

SilverRhino's picture

Which will be soon enough.  The other condition that they will revolt will be when the SNAP card buys nothing but base foods and not enough. (implied bounce vs explicit bounce)

When your rice/beans/flour purchases are a significant percentage of your income and meat is out of reach, they'll revolt.


Bob's picture

They'll begin before then, as soon as a significant percentage are without cable.  Watch the 99ers. 

anony's picture

Only when the people of this country get to the point of wearing Breadsticks and pita bread on their heads to protect them from falling bludgeons and nightsticks from a policeman will that ever happen.

Nothing about revolution can be learned from the Egyptians, re:  the United States.

The U.S. is, once again, far too large, diverse, spread out over too many miles with too many conclaves of folks doing just great. Check out Kansas, Missouri, W. By-god, and many cities in many states that are thriving. 

Any consideration of an outbreak here like that of the Egyption motif, is mental ping pong.

Hacksaw's picture

My grandfather, who lived through the depression, always said there are three groups who should never be trusted or given an unfettered reign. Bankers were at the top of the list, followed closely by lawyers and politicians.

jimijon's picture

Just reading those passages again brought a tear to my eye. Gosh, how long was it ago I read and did not really understand? But now, with just a few passages both my soul and my mind hears and comprehends.

Mr. Poon's picture

With all due respect, the simple problem here is one too many commentators have been facing for decades now:  a tendency to see the world in a way that is severely out-of-date.

It is no longer 1929, and the way the world works now is no longer the way it worked in 1929.  That should be self-evident, but that stuck-in-time mindset is precisely why we have been afflicted with failed policies which may have worked fifty years ago (although even that is doubtful) but clearly do not work now.

The general sentiment expressed here, that wealth is too highly concentrated, is actually directly contrary to the experience of the United States.  The only real assets of any value--land and the means of production--have been more widely distributed than among any other population since antiquity.  That, admittedly, is due to the extraordinary injustice against Native Americans of the appropriation of nearly all their land, but the end result was a distribution of land and means of production that was far more evenly distributed among the American population than the still consolidated post-feudal lands of Europe or Asia (where, contrary to socialist mythology, means of production remain highly concentrated in the hands of the corporate conglomerates, in turn owned, directly or indirectly, by the remnants of the ruling classes).

Yes, on paper there is a concentration of wealth in the upper classes, but it is precisely that, on paper--obligations (not land or means of production) that can go to zero in a moment.  That should not be confused with real wealth.

The distribution of lands and means of production peaked around the turn of the early 20th century, but beyond that point, automation and efficiency produced powerful incentives for consolidation of operations.  Unfortunately, too many small manufacturers and small farmers failed to adjust, and instead of what was the best, if not the easiest, alternative, namely selling out and moving on while prices were high, they clung to hope and got deep in debt.  There was no good ending to that story.

The era of small farming (or at least, of the scale seen before the Great Depression) is over, but means of production continue to be widely distributed.  Instead of small farms, it is distributed among small retail, small IT startups, small local contractors.  Granted, cheap access to credit by corporate conglomerates continues to threaten small businesses, and continues to contribute to the consolidation of capital.  But that is a dynamic very different from the situation at the end of the Great Depression.  It isn't 1929 any more, and we should stop pretending that it is, whatever false comfort that easy analysis might provide.

alien-IQ's picture

While the industrial world may have changed over time...the basic needs of human beings have not. And when one is deprived of those basic needs...storm clouds gather....and that, to me, is what makes this point in time similar to 1929.

Kayman's picture


Without getting into the debate whether it is 1929 or not, where exactly is the economic engine of the U.S. economy ?  

If 21% of GDP is contained in the FIRE sector, where is the value-added in the economy to support this parasite class ?

Without out being cutesy about language, the U.S. is losing (yes, a "deficit" is a loss) trillions annually, the Fed is trying to paper over the Trillions of losses that the New York RICO bankers incurred by trying to inflate specific assets ( a game they are quite clumsy at), so do you think Goldman can lend to JPM and JPM lends it back to Goldman (each one taking a skim) ?

I fail to see an economic engine to keep the parasites alive; they seem willfully blind to the fact that this pig don't fly anymore.


Hacksaw's picture

With all due respect the idea that this time is different is the problem. The same things are going on and the answers to the problems are the same. The elite renege on promises made to small business and workers and then scream when they don't pay on loans. The elite then proceed to foreclose on collateral, putting the borrower out on the street. The elite then goes to the taxpayer who are the workers and small business they just screwed and extort trillions of dollars by threatening the end of the world if the money isn't forth coming. Then the elite portray the borrower as a lazy, no count deadbeat. The answer is the same, stop buying anything that isn't absolutely necessary, take care of family and neighbors. Investigate, prosecute, and punish the elite who defrauded and extorted the American people. Get back to local retail and banking. A "if it's not made here you can't sell it here law" would be nice too. Globalism and free trade needs to be refuted. The elite think they have it all figured out this time. They can starve out the workers and still prosper by moving to China. The smartest guys in the room still don't get it. You can't sell much to a guy making 2 bucks a day. We can either embrace the solution or wait until the solution embraces us. The later will be much more painful.



Pants McPants's picture

The "if its not made here you cannot sell it here" law is a very bad idea.  Wholesale localization has been tried several times before - it was primarily referred to as the Dark Ages.

I for one support global trade.  The more trade the better. 

I also support a return to sound money. Only a gold standard will place everyone on "equal" footing, enabling world trade to flourish.

Diogenes's picture

In this day of locavores, organic produce and farmers' markets it is the small farmer who has the best chance to make a living. The larger operators who are locked into the factory farm model with its rising cost of fuel, artificial fertilizer, pesticides, Monsanto seed etc are the ones feeling the pinch.