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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
WestVillageIdiot's picture

As we enter 2011 I think I would much prefer Michael Vick as president over Obama. 

tip e. canoe's picture

The Titantic Theater Presents Al Jolson In Living Color!

trav7777's picture

anybody have any questions about NeObama's whole outlook on race anymore?

I mean the notion that a sitting President called a sports team owner on the behalf of a fucking convicted FELON athlete is just...it's so effing astonishing as to boggle the mind.

I wonder if he made that call for Roethlisberger or anyone else.  This President is easily the biggest joke ever and that's saying something given how much of one his predecessor was

MichaelNY's picture

...and the band plays on.  :-(

assumptionblindness's picture

Excellent post!

The point of the article is well taken.  I choose not to ignore the remaining tiny sensation of common sense that man made cognitive illusions continue to attempt to drown out. 

And the band played on...cue the social networked and iPhone-based economy!  Fuck, we're screwed!

Atomizer's picture

As mentioned on another thread, follow forex ---XDR

http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=XDR

Pere Ubu - Non-alignment Pact

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZty5DTmpMY

Winks

 

SgtShaftoe's picture

"We at the Federal Reserve board have decided that band must play louder in order to stimulate job growth.  Additionally, we have decided the FRBNY will begin the policy of pretty fireworks to entertain the people, signal a precautionary warning to ships nearby and so as to maintain calm and normalize trade.  We recognize that several boilers have exploded, but we feel it is completely contained at this time.  As such, we have allowed liquidity to flood the below-decks 1 through 15, however we feel we can remove the liquidity any moment we choose to with 100% certainty."

Cpt "Smith" Bernanke

JustACitizen's picture

+ 1 bottle of domestic bubbly

SheepDog-One's picture

Enjoyed that very much SgtShaftoe

MsCreant's picture

Gerald Celente is ON FIRE at Kingworldnews!!!!

Police state, Government and Corporate abuses, he is all over this shit-->Crack down on Liberty. 

http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/Broadcast/Entries/2010/12/29_Gerald_Celente.html

Dr. Sandi's picture

Yow! Thanks for the link. Makes me more and more sure that New Zealand is in my future.

optimator's picture

Geithner and the Boyz aren't re arranging the deck chairs, they're stashing their loot in the big lifeboats!

system failure's picture

This thread was an awesome analogy of what is transpiring. I loved it. The game has been over since October, but thanks to QE Lite and now QE 2, we suspend the evitable until water begins to come in too fast. The day of reckoning is here and these clowns are not throwing down the cards even though we have called their bluff several months ago.

mark mchugh's picture

Again you knocked it out of the park, Charles.

It is a childish mentality.  Instead of looking for ways to move forward wiser, we are clinging desperately to misguided notions we should throw away.

And as you said, it seems to be getting worse.

gwar5's picture

 

"They’re driving us into bankruptcy so they can impose socialism on us. That’s exactly what they’re doing, and I’m sick and damn tired of it and I know you are too."  --- R. Lee Ermey,  "Gunney"

Paul Bogdanich's picture

This is actually a very positive article.  It assumes that if we stare down the monster that we stand a chance of beating it or at least surviving.  Very optomistic in its very narrative.  The truth could more akin to a situation where we are like an unarmed, lightly clothed Summer hiker who ran into an aggitated Grizley bear.  Our only hope is to get mauled, feign death and hope the bear isn't exceptionally hungry. 

velobabe's picture

appear taller, and raise your hands and wave. well, that is what they say to do, if you are approached by a black bear or a cougar/mountain lion.

trav7777's picture

wavin at Him won't make God more likely to take you in.

because there ain't a fuckin bear out there scurred by a motherfucker wavin his hands.

KickIce's picture

No doubt.  We are losing liberties almost daily through finance and policy.  While the sheeple fail to recognize this, there are also many educated people who refuse to believe that we lose our plush standard of living.  Meanwhile, we continue our slide to 3rd world status.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

"While the sheeple fail to recognize this, there are also many educated people who refuse to believe that we lose our plush standard of living"

 

It is amazing how many "educated" people are nothing more than low level sheeple.  They think that because they work for the fleecers that they will never be fleeced. 

TruthInSunshine's picture

Geese live a very pampered life, as they're fattened up, via gavage, before they're slayed for their livers to satisfy the appetite for foie gras.

KickIce's picture

Good one.  I always liked this one as well.

Catching Wild Pigs

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. 'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in The last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America . The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc.. While we continually lose our freedoms -- just a little at a time.

One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

Also, if you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America , you might want to send this on to your friends. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life then you will probably delete this email, but God help you when the gate slams shut!

Keep your eyes on the newly elected politicians who are about to slam the gate on America .

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"

Thomas Jefferson

 

TruthInSunshine's picture

+1

And with that, you've perfectly described the nature of the American People and the methodology used to condition them thusly.

Hey look! The new iPad looks cool!

AnAnonymous's picture

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"

Thomas Jefferson

 

Thank Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson was not a practitioner of big government. It is not like he bought land and people on it to force a nationality on them.

downrodeo's picture

+100 excellent.

I'm going to print this out. Thanks for the anecdote.

Cull Morgan's picture

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"

That's a Gerald Ford quote.

KickIce's picture

Yep, just can't think outside the box, or don't want to...

 

tamboo's picture

http://www.world-mysteries.com/doug_titanic1.htm

keep in mind that the jesuits have been infiltrated by fed types just like everything else.

strannick's picture

Wow. My cousin's a Jesuit. And with all his charity, and fine talk of God, to now find out he's a FED stooge..Go figure!

system failure's picture

And I'm Free Falling

Jerry Maguire's picture

Part one of getting over denial is to admit that there is way too much debt worldwide and there's no way to pay it all, or even a small portion of it, and since there's going to be a massive default one way or the other then just declare it now and cancel debt for everyone and everything except debts that amount to cash savings or cash proper.

And then start over - on a gold standard this time, and value the dollar in an amount of gold that lets the government continue functioning and keeps everyone's bank accounts and cash in place.  About $25K per ounce, I'd say.

That's my proposal, but I'd be willing to hear others' thoughts or entertain comments here:

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

 

AnAnonymous's picture

This story of monster in the closet reminds me of the Troma movie "Monster in the closet" Anybody seen it?

strannick's picture

Marvellous analogy.

Thank you Tyler

greenewave's picture

Bank of America is a Public Disgrace and Should be PUT OUT OF BUSINESS!! The BANKING ELITE have cost TAXPAYERS TRILLIONS in FUTURE BAILOUT MEASURES and the AMERICAN PEOPLE are SUFFERING!

To find out more about the TRUTH of the recent MORTGAGE SCAM, watch the YouTube video “BANK OF AMERICA ~ A PUBLIC DISGRACE” at (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXDpOBOS94A).

Anonymous-

This is absolutely appalling and I am dumbfounded why the American people aren’t RIOTING in the STREETS as we speak. Thw civil and political unrest we’ve seen in Europe is without a doubt coming to the United States!

Bend over America and enjoy getting SCREWED by the BIGGEST BAILED OUT BANK in the Country!!

tasmandevil's picture

 A hundred years ago the new competitor entering a profitable niche was named the Fed.

The 'business' was privatized and inflation invented, democracy perverted.

I wasn't taught this at Erasmus R'dam but found out much later.

ZH's comment section is like a madhouse for sane people, where if we had a colorcode, 'buy the dip' is green, 'bitchez' might be orange-coded, and 'gold' would be off the chart?

Correct me please, if I'm wrong. Willing to learn..

Cheers

 

 

 

celticgold's picture

  with apologiews to Tom Waits...... well go ahead , call the cops , you dont meet nice guys in bucket shops..... 

Buck Johnson's picture

Actually as I've said on another forum, most in America are exactly childlike in their thinking and behavior because our leaders wanted this way.  It's alot easier to control people like this via hatred and intolerance and just plain "It's a free country I can do whatever I want".  Even though they don't show any regard to their neighbor or the place they share with their neighbor the US.  Our leaders are afraid of the petulant child now because (as we see from the tea baggers), they know you can't reason with a petulant child especially if you've been lying to him or her for years.

 

The Titanic and Forbidden planet analogy was dead on.  What I fear is that when this comes to pass it will be so bad and so fast that people will be in psychological shock.

Bitch Tits's picture

I think the point is this: if my neighbor mishandles his finances, am I supposed to pay his bills?

In a country that celebrates individualism, it sure seems like we're being set up to pay some else's expenses.

If our government and big businesses have shot themselves in the foot, please don't ask me to pay their debts.

They are all wealthy big-shots, let them pay their own damn bills.

Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

I've been thinking along the lines of  "if we close our eyes the monster will go away" for a while.

I explain it as a Groundhog Day analogy.

People are proud of being smart and using their sight to see reality. They like it when they can point out the problem in most situations.

But they don't seem so brave or sharp-sighted when it comes to their own shadow. Suddenly they refuse to see the problem when it lies in their shadow.

Like the Groundhog, they think they can change the weather if they don't look at the shadow.

Reform can come when we face reality, harsh as it may be. But if you can't even face it, then how can you fix it?