Guest Post: If We Close Our Eyes, The Monster Will Go Away

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

If We Close Our Eyes, The Monster Will Go Away

Refusing to face the need for radical change and adaptation only makes the eventual adjustment more traumatic and less likely to succeed.

As an initial reaction to unwelcome crises, denial serves a psychological purpose. Closing our eyes and hoping the Monster will go away is the first stage of eventual acceptance and engagement with unwelcome reality.

Clinging to denial sets up pathology, anger and collapse. If we continue to keep our eyes closed, and demand the Monster go away because we don't want to deal with change and challenge, then we either detach ourselves from reality altogether (a pathological psychosis perfectly depicted in the classic film Sunset Boulevard) or we rage in fear and dread at the challenge/Monster, as if it is somehow unfair that change has occurred without our express permission.

The longer we close our eyes and hope the Monster will magically go away when we finally open them, the more likely our eventual collapse.

As a nation, two years after the demise of the status quo, we are still closing our eyes hoping the Monster goes away. Frequent contributor U. Doran recently sent me Hiding a Depression: How the Government Does It by Daniel Amerman, a blow-by-blow description of how Federal and state spending has expanded to replace the private-sector GDP which has vanished.

The article notes how this massive replacement of the private sector by Federal (borrowed) spending has gone largely unremarked.

In other words: if we close our eyes and borrow 10% of the nation's GDP ($1.4 trillion) every year (or perhaps more accurately, $2 trillion a year) from now on, then when we finally open our eyes the Monster of change and challenge will have magically vanished and everything will be as it was before the Monster's terrible appearance.

Yes, this is childlike. We have turned to the Central State as our Mommy and Daddy who will save us from the Monster.

Unfortunately, our own desires and derangements are feeding the Monster that is threatening us with change--a dynamic illustrated by the classic sci-fi film Forbidden Planet.

The more we cling to our deranged dependence on systemic fraud, exponential expansion of credit, corporate cartels/political Plutocracy, Central State largesse, corporate-media propaganda and a financial system that breathes misrepresentation of risk, the stronger the Monster becomes.

A close friend has been consulting for a long-successful private enterprise. Like many if not most businesses which started small and grew into a successful niche, the company's very success is the wellspring of its limitations: the owners cling to haphazard, anachronistic ways of doing business cobbled together in the distant past rather than risk change (and losing control over anything, even if serving customers demands new systems and some delegation).

As a result, the limitations of the inefficient, failing parts of the company will doom the entire enteprise as soon as a competitor enters their niche. And since the entry of a competitor in a profitable niche is inevitable, then the willful blindness of the company's founders/managers to the need for adaptation is dooming the company to a desperate make-or-break convulsion at a later point, when competition will force a rapid adaptation which may be too frantic to be successful.

This is an excellent analogy for the U.S. economy and society. We fear adaptation, even as we sense it is necessary and inevitable. We want to cling to the past for as long as we can, even as this dooms us to a convulsive, forced adaptation in the future that is likely to fail for the very reason that it has been put off until the last frantic minute.

The Titanic offers us a timeless analogy for denial and a frantic, too-late acceptance of grim reality. Had the doomed ship's leadership actively accepted the challenge to save as many lives as possible, then lifeboats would not have been sent off half-full. The sea was calm; boats could have been safely loaded beyond their designed capacity, and crude life-rafts might have been lashed together. As poor a solution as a lashed-together assemblage of buoyant materials would have been welcomed as a better alternative than certain death.

But instead, the "plan" was to maintain a veneer of normalcy: the band played on, even as the bow sank lower into the unforgiving icy water.

Fed chairman Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Geitner, President Obama and Congress are all ordering the band to play spritely tunes of rising holiday spending, endless borrowing, and the carefully crafted propaganda of Fed manipulation, statistical legerdemain and happy-talk about how the Monster will be gone when we open our eyes.

Since we are feeding the Monster with our very denial and derangements, then that is impossible. The longer we keep our eyes closed, hoping we can avoid any meaningful change, any meaningful adaptation and any meaningful sacrifice, the more fearsome and powerful the Monster becomes.

If we insist--childlike, petulant, resentful of reality--on keeping our eyes closed in 2011, then we are dooming ourselves to facing a much fiercer and more powerful Monster in 2012. We can't escape the confrontation, and the longer we put it off, hiding under our bed, wishing it all away, the more likely our panicky collapse when reality forces our eyes open.

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JG Krielsen's picture

Do we really need all the bold parts?

topcallingtroll's picture

Bold makes it scarier. They dont have any scary sound tracks to go with the readings just yet.

bigdumbnugly's picture
If We Close Our Eyes, The Monster Will Go Away.

i thought that verbiage was reserved for those moments after we've reached third base?

 

velobabe's picture

Man up, or take it like a man. whatever that saying means.

i am sure that is what these real criminals are all telling themselves, that we the people should reACT.

flattrader's picture

Typical CHS finger wagging crap.

Long on rhetoric. Short on analysis.

The only worthwhile portion--a link to another article by a different writer with some actual substance.

Lionhead's picture

Yes, we do; it's the authors prerogative to emphasize what he feels is important. If you disagree, write a rebuttal to his thesis.

AnAnonymous's picture

Problem with US citizens is they failed to picture themselves as they are. They prefer the flattering images sold to them by propagandists like Hollywood.

This leads to serious distortions in their analysis.

US citizens  turning toward the government is US american. It has a long history. It is nothing new. Not relying on the State would be.

Big events like the Homestead Act when the US government distributed land stolen to the Indians to US citizens or anyone who requested US citizenship etc...

US citizens have a tradition of living off their government hand outs.   Besides, the empire structure is the structure in which members (called citizens here) rely the most on their government.

Nothing childish in that. Simply American.

Calmyourself's picture

Quick question, which country is it that is 50%+ owned by its original peoples?  Republic of Congo, perhaps Somalia?  

That being asked which 1st world citizens are not living off largesse from government?  In other words, are you an American commenting on our welfare state or something else?

goldsaver's picture

So, when did this "american tradition" start? Was it during the soup lines at private charities during the great depression? Perhaps during the civil rights marches in the sixties? Maybe further back? During the westward expansion were individuals were at the mercy of the elements and far away from any form of government? Perhaps further back when they rejected the monarchy and decided the only moral course was self determination. Just trying to figure it out.

flattrader's picture

I agree.

AT LEAST HE DOESN'T USE CAPS.

merehuman's picture

NO, we need bolder people! Participants rather than watchers. Doers more than dispisers.

 

awh damn this feels so hopeless.

merehuman's picture

i dont know how you mean that, or are you just being mean? In any case i am 60 and on the wrong damn coast ot i would already toss some bricks into JPMorgan windows.

As it is i have prepared to feed my small neighborhood, planted a bigger garden, bought silver and refused to work for the jew dollar or be part of the system . it cost me dearly but i keep my integrety and personal honor. I have given out 300+ oz silver to unsuspecting strangers in another attempt to awaken my community.

Do you need me? Yes and a million more.

Sudden Debt's picture

For the last few decades, we've kept on taking from the future generations.

And nobody cares for the next generation.

It's so with finance, so with ecologic matters... 

My own father, retired, 68 years old, really doesn't care about what happens. As long as he gets his pension and the same goes for his friends.

BUT

now the "next generation" may well be the current generation.

 

We had to keep having growing economies so we could keep on borrowing from the future. And just like the Mcmansions, it can all end very quickly.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I agree completely.  Every time an older person starts to lecture about how great their generation is I just roll my eyes and leave the room.  Old people love their welfare and don't give a rat's ass who it is taken from. 

All around all we see are groups of individuals banding together to stick it to every other group of people.  It might be minorities, unions, financial mafiosos and especially the AARP crowd.  They will all continue to rob until there is nothing left.  There is no shared sacrifice.

I don't belong to any lobbying group, that I know of.  I don't want to belong to one.  They repulse me.  But being on the oustide sure means you are going to take a ramming by those people that love to hide in a crowd. 

 

 

Dr. Sandi's picture

Every time an older person starts to lecture about how great their generation is I just roll my eyes and leave the room. 

Thank you. It's appreciated.

Old people love their welfare and don't give a rat's ass who it is taken from.

Au contraire. We care very much that it's not being taken from US. Now stop whining and get back to work.

Azannoth's picture

I have experienced this 1st hand, my family literally screwed me over from most of my inheritance(the rest I gave up), as a only child I was going to get it all, but my grandmother and father decide that they want to go out with a bang, so they sold most of the family holdings(not that it was much) and bought useless gadgets(furniture, car, etc.) and I had to do night shifts at a sweatshop in eastern europe to pay for my university. After I was done I vanished and they will never see me again. They figured they leave just enough to 'motivate' me to take care of them when they old, well fuck you assholes.

The old generation is a pack of egoistic scumbags, not giving a shit about even their own offspring

velobabe's picture

i am an old fart and care about my one and only child. she tells me the recession is over in aspen colorado. no really mom, it is. though she just had to pick up another shift.

i don't expect anyone to take care of me, never did. i take care of myself and have a living will with a big

DNR†

MsCreant's picture

Bet she is going to be fine. She sounds strong willed, like her mom.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I hope you do not take this the wrong way.  I do not mean this as being pointed at you.  One thing that sickens me is all of the bad shit people do and then they justify it by saying they are doing it for their kids.  You can bet Wall Street is filled with sociopaths burning down the world that justify it by saying, "I'm just doing it for the kids".  I am appalled at how people will condemn other people's children to a life of poverty so they can add to the trust fund of their spoiled progeny. 

Jerry Maguire's picture

You're so right.  "I'm looking out for my family and make no apologies for my crimes."  That's what Vito Corleone said.  It's a gangster mentality.

 

downrodeo's picture

"old generation is a pack of egoistic scumbags"

we seem to have inherited at least that much. In your missive above, there are at least 11 instances where you use I, my, or me.  

I take issue with what is being said here. Apparently you were counting on receiving money upon the death of your grandparents. You feel this is your inheritance. The way I see it is that it is actually the wealth that your grandparents have accrued over their lifetime. It is theirs to do with as they please.

I don't believe that one should care for their elderly family members because there is a potential payout. I think you should do that because it is the right thing to do. They have nobody to care for them in their later years.

Imagine if they had taken the same approach with their child (your parent). They may have said to themselves, 'this baby probably won't make us rich, so let us leave it to take care of itself'. The infant would be dead in days, if not hours. Then you wouldn't be here either.

Of course, it is a crime to leave an infant in a dumpster. For some reason, we can do this with the elderly, and it is perfectly acceptable to society. I guess 'respect your elders' is out and 'old is ugly' is in.

Azannoth's picture

No it was my grandmother with my father(2 generational cluster fukc) they didn't need this money they just bought useless stuff to amuse them selves at a time when I was going to college and had to work night shifts in a sweatshop to finance it, they where actively betting on me failing at life, and not making it without them, even try to destroy me psychologically, I had a contingency plan if I would not make it than life was not worth living I would have killed them and possibly committed suicide

Chappaquiddick's picture

@downrodeo

You miss the point completely.  Your responsibilities as a parent do not end when the kids leave the nest.  Families should be strong and held together by a unifying parental guide.  Somehow we in the West fell for the divide and subjugate message of 'disinherit and splurge - fuck the kids they can look out for themselves.'  Look to India and the East for strong family ties and unity - that's what builds wealth on a generational level.   Dividing families and disinheriting the kids will likely result in an impoverished future for your kids and a greater chance that your lineage will fail- why is that such an aspirational goal for many seniors?  

Azannoth's picture

Not to mention the inheritance tax, which is just another way for the 'progressives' to destroy family ties, yes I know  a family should not be about money but that's the reality of it

downrodeo's picture

"yes I know  a family should not be about money but that's the reality of it"

 

If this is how you truely feel, then I'm very sorry for you. This has not been my experience, as my family has always been dirt poor, which means there is no money to speak of. We're wealthy beyond imagination in the currency of love and support though. THAT, imho, is what family should be about. To each his own I guess. I suppose it really is not my place to tell you how to interact with your family in the first place. I apologize for any offence or insult that I've brought against you.

downrodeo's picture

" Dividing families and disinheriting the kids will likely result in an impoverished future for your kids and a greater chance that your lineage will fail- why is that such an aspirational goal for many seniors?  "

Are seniors citizens really taking on this attitude en masse? I don't aruge that this seems to be happening, but do you think they're consciously taking on this point of view?

Could it be that the concentration of wealth that has taken place over the past decades has simply squeezed the pocketbooks of the senior citizens forcing them to spend the inheritance that would have gone to their descendants?

After my grandfather died, my grandmother sold everything she had so she could live out the rest of her life in an assisted living facility. It is a pretty nice place, actually. I won't see a dime from her, but I don't begrudge her for it. In the future, there won't be any inheritance for anyone. Hell, I'm probably going to have to work until I keel over. I understand this reality. It sucks, but I've come to terms with it.

Chappaquiddick's picture

This is a troubling tale which is played out all too frequently, but not the one that my anger is directed at - my issue is with the deliberate and wilful neglect of responsibility to those who follow on.  Hedonism and in your face 'fuck you, we'll do what we damn well please' [and get a kick out of screwing you over at the same time] - that is what my beef is with.  I view the wealth I create as something to be guarded and passed down with care.  I certainly see nothing wrong in having fun or in taking considered risk to accumulate more, but wanton wealth destruction just for the hell of it is, as far as I'm concerned, theft from the next generation and grossly irresponsible.

Jerry Maguire's picture

So true.  Some geezer junked you.

trav7777's picture

wow...you used "I" at least a dozen times, therefore you are an egotistical scumbag

merehuman's picture

woe trav, so generous of you. everyones a critic today evidently.. and its catching.

 

 

 

Chappaquiddick's picture

@Azannoth

Well you're not alone, I'm getting screwed by seniors on both sides of the family.  One because of decades of anger the other because of a second adolescence.  Both realise but neither seems to care that its the kids who are going to suffer.  Scum.  I hope they live long enough to starve.

TeresaE's picture

@Azannoth.

 

Wow, just wow.

 

My family (both sides) totally fucked me over too.  Because I am one of forty grandkids on my dad's side and one of 30 grandkids on my mom's side, the freaking grandparents and then aunts/uncles have the unmitigated gall to spend the money they earned!

 

Nothing left for me.  Cripes, I had to work two jobs and pay for my college education by using 18% interest credit cards.

 

Instead, I guess I should have sat back and created hatred for people that birthed me because they are spending the money they earned.

 

More proof of how screwed our society truly is. 

 

Instead of wasting effort (energy and health too) lamenting the "evil" ancestors, try pouring that into bettering your own life and yourself.

 

You might wake up and find that you have more than they "took" away from you.

 

I've been telling my son for 20 years (and my daughter for the five she has been here) to not count on a fucking cent from me and to make their own way in the world.  Now, if the business stays open and the government quits taking it away from us, I may prove myself a liar and the kids may end up with a pretty penny.

 

But if that doesn't happen, then at least I didn't raise them to be ungrateful, entitled, hateful, lazy, spoiled brats that bandy about badmouthing the decisions I've made with MY OWN FUCKING HARD-EARNED MONEY.

 

To each their own.

Jerry Maguire's picture

I tried to be succinct, but I think the point was lost.

There's a false confidence in many people that they have "earned" what they have, the primary evidence of that being that they have it, oblivious to the fact that a thief also has what he has stolen. 

This poor woman derides her own children and seems unaware of the compunded difficulties they are facing, as these increase over time, generation to generation.  To answer "I got mine, now you go get yours" when the earth has been scorched on your watch, with your snout in the trough as much as anyone else's, is profoundly disordered thinking. 

Yet she, too, is a victim, although a particularly tone deaf one. 

If anyone would like to follow a deeper discussion of these issues (no offense to ZH, these discussions are really good, too), follow this link:

http://strikelawyer.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/inflation-deflation-debt/

 

trav7777's picture

lol...myopic ass.

Your children are out there competing against people who helicopter their kids and help place them in a superior situation.  Why not just chop your kids' legs off and tell them to go race?

merehuman's picture

after many foster parents and a loveless young life i did just fine.

Thank goodness for the hardships as i like how it all turned out.

DarkAgeAhead's picture

All true but a strange view for sure.  And against the laws of evolution itself, making it stranger still.

Most do care for their children and want a better life for them, all while taking and destroying that possibility.

Paul Hawken had it right - we liquidate the future and call it GDP (paraphrasing).

Ecological suicide.  Self-inflicted biocide.

Azannoth's picture

The Politically Correct crowd is trying to teach us that Evolution is only a scientific phenomenon and we should not worry over it, that multiculturalism is the way to go and racially mixed marriages are 'progressive', that White people should limit them selves to 1 or max 2 children while the Arabs and Africans have 10, we are committing racial suicide on a Planetary scale I would say who is forcing this policy on the Western world but I would be called Anti-Semitic go figure

 

Somali and other Africans are literally flooding the Northern countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark) the State is paying for everything from housing to food and clothing for those 'refugees' who than use that money to travel back to their home countries for Vacations. They commit rape murder and terrorise any1 who speaks out against them, the Powers that Be censor all media not to report the crime they are committing.

The 'Heart of Europe' France, Germany, Belgium are 10%-20% filled with dark skinned 'immigrants'(some of them work hard) but most don't only suck on the government Tit and spread crime. While people who try to speak the truth (http://bigpeace.com/nmay/2010/09/05/thilo-sarrazin-and-the-islamization-...) are silenced.

If you want to know who owns you, ask who you may not speak out against (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/29/thilo-sarrazin-german-banker-je...)

 

WestVillageIdiot's picture

"The 'Heart of Europe' France, Germany, Belgium are 10%-20% filled with dark skinned 'immigrants'(some of them work hard) but most don't only suck on the government Tit and spread crime."

 

Praying to Allah and spreading hatred is hard work. 

AnAnonymous's picture

People tend to follow the resources to go to the places they are consumed.

Sad fact but a fact. It happened with urbanization when people moved from agrarian sites to urban sites.

 

 Stop pumping their resources and they will no longer follow them.

Easier to say than to do. So people will keep nurish fantasies on something they triggered themselves.

downrodeo's picture

"we are committing racial suicide on a Planetary scale"

 

Speaking of evolution, if what you're afraid of actually happens, then wouldn't that prove that the Caucasian race is not the fittest and thus incapable of surviving. I mean, when you think of fitness, you don't usually associate it with suicide. Of course, you have to make some large assumptions here: first and foremost, you assume we're all just a bunch of different teams competing for world supremacy. I choose to not view the world in this way, as I don't think it achieves anything.

 

A wal*mart cashier once remarked to me as I was checking out that, 'we'll all be the same race soon if we keep fuckin...'

That seems like wisdom to me. After all, 99 people out of 100 would probably choose to have sex over remaining true to dubious racial attachments. I sure as hell would.

Azannoth's picture

You are correct, however Evolution is not only about the survival of the fittest but also about the evolvement of who's on top at the moment, so yes the Caucasian race is falling into stagnation but the Arabs are no better they let 60 year old men marry 8 year olds (http://www.newsnet14.com/2010/12/29/60-year-old-saudi-man-forbidden-to-h...) and Africans are jumping 500,000 years of evolution by marrying Caucasian women (funny how few Caucasian men are keen on a African woman)

 

I see Evolution as a way of competition not genocide, the only was to get better is to compete(obvious example between Communism and Capitalism) we need the races/nations/religions to compete otherwise mankind in total will stagnate and sooner or later will get wiped out by an Asteroid or Ice Age

downrodeo's picture

I have many questions for you.

What is it that makes you believe Africans are 500,000 years behind Caucasians in terms of evolution? Do you have any evidence to support this view? It seems arbitrary and baseless to me.

 

"we need the races/nations/religions to compete otherwise mankind in total will stagnate and sooner or later will get wiped out by an Asteroid or Ice Age"

Assume for the moment, that we're all the same race. Why would this necessitate the end of competition between individual humans?

Are you saying that in homogenized societies, there is no competition?

It seems like your trying to argue that if racial differences were eliminated, so too would the human spirit be eliminated. That is to say, if the different races converged into one, we wouldn't be human anymore. 

 

Oh, and the number of races on the planet has very little influence on the trajectories of asteroids, friendo.

AnAnonymous's picture

You must have time on your hands to discuss a racist.

Problem with the racists is that modern society production is nearly shaped as they wished in 19th (brown should handle farming production, Asians should be involved in manufacturing, while white people should excell in war and intellectual prowess) but somehow, the result does not taste like it was supposed to taste, with many whites longing for manufacturing or farming jobs.

The sadness of a delusion when it appears for what it is...

Azannoth's picture

Yes I am a racist (and not afraid to admit it), only that I am a 21st century 'racist' I acknowledge race as an issue but not make an issue out of race

 

I see some1 just went top to bottom junking all posts, just to say I don't junk people I disagree with if I junk any1 than their post is usually so bad I won't reply

downrodeo's picture

I can acknowledge that different races exist. Is it your opinion that one race is 'better' than another?

We're all humans as I see it. Race exists, but it isn't really all that important.

 

Side note: That wasn't me either. I also refrain from junking. I usually find it obnoxious. In the rare occasion that I do junk someone, I'll lay claim to it.  

trav7777's picture

YES, some races are BETTER than others, if you want advanced medicine, electricity, the written word, the computer, the lightbulb and all the rest of that shit.

WTF is wrong with you people?  Especially that uncle tom apologist with his "RACISSSSS" epithet in the previous post?  I mean what.tha.fuck??

Look at HISTORY.  Which race is it that the people who invented EVERYTHING AROUND YOU came from?  And in the sickest of ironies, people from that race actually feel GUILT over the fact that it wasn't brown people who did everything!

They welcome multiculturalism...wtf?  ALL cultures are NOT EQUAL.  I don't LIKE cultures of destruction and misery, of primitivity, like all throughout the brown world.  I don't WANT the ghetto culture of murder and criminality.  I don't WANT african culture that didn't possess the written word until it was oppressed by white people with it or the native american culture that ALSO lacked the written word and the fucking wheel.

WTF is the matter with people these days that they think all cultures are equivalent?  Multiculturalism is a SICK JOKE and a crime against human progress.

The more mexicans we get, the more we are like mexico.  The more the diversity, the lower the average IQ.  DO THE MATH, shit just keeps getting worse.  Diversity is a FRAUD and pretending that all races are equal is a crime.  For example, we continuously hear how bad the US is globally in terms of aptitude tests, but if you examine AT ALL the demographics breakdowns, you see that the bad aggregate score we have as a nation is ENTIRELY DUE to hispanics and blacks!  Yet NOBODY can mention these "hate facts" without having a white uncle tom condemn him as a RACIST.

People who refuse to accept reality as it IS are suicidal fools.

johnnynaps's picture

Asian Americans rank 2nd against the World in aptitude tests. White Americans ranked 6th, Hispanic Americans ranked 41st, and Black Americans ranked 46th! I do not classify myself as a racist, but I do have common sense and these numbers tell me that the Hispanics and Blacks hold us down as a society.