The Sleeper Must Awaken

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,

“Above the comforts of Base Camp, the expedition in fact became an almost Calvinistic undertaking. The ratio of misery to pleasure was greater by an order of magnitude than any mountain I'd been on; I quickly came to understand that climbing Everest was primarily about enduring pain. And in subjecting ourselves to week after week of toil, tedium and suffering, it struck me that most of us were probably seeking above all else, something like a state of grace.”
                     -Jon Krakhauer, Into Thin Air
I am not sure the country is seeking a state of grace but we are surely seeking something of a much higher order than we are getting. Congress adjourns, the President spends twenty million dollars of our money flying off to vacation in Hawaii and we peer over the edge of a monetary cliff of our own making because we have elected people that have all of the leadership skills of some Grinch that is stealing our Christmas because we let him. Ultimately it is us you know, “We the People,” and perhaps it is our two party system of government that has failed us because we put people in power who know how to run for election and re-election but who somehow have no idea how to govern the nation. It is pathos, absurdity and frankly a tragedy that we face a financial calamity, and it is just that, and our elected leaders head off on vacation.
"Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us."
             -William Shakespeare, Henry IV
It may not be fiddling while Rome is burning but it isn’t that far off that course. In the end, I suspect, we will pass the deadlines and find ourselves in trouble. I say this because to date all we are discussing is who to tax and we have not made one serious effort to confront the social programs that have elected people but which the country cannot afford. It is not that complicated at its core; we cannot afford the entitlements that we have legislated and so the nation must, like any household, man up to what we can and cannot afford and get on with it. No use pretending that we are as rich as we once were and so we must first cut-back and then get down to the serious business of how we can increase our revenues. Households, corporations or governments; the fundamental issues apply and while different themes may apply for the fix; America’s economic condition must be fixed.
"The majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That's one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population -- the intelligent ones or the fools? I think we can agree it's the fools, no matter where you go in this world, it's the fools that form the overwhelming majority."
                   -Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People
I have suggested we place hard limits for our social programs and entitlements and work backwards and I believe this would be the prudent course but somehow prudence does not seem to be part of the thinking in Washington these days. If we said that 25 million Americans could be on food stamps or that only so much can be afforded for Medicare or Social Security then we could start from that point and make the necessary adjustments in terms of who qualified for what or raise the age qualification or allow people in gradually as a result of the limits that were set. Common sense, while never very popular in our nation’s capital, must have been banned in the fine print of some legislative act of which none of us are aware.
“Every day, man is making bigger and better fool-proof things. Every day, nature is making bigger and better fools. So far, I think nature is winning.”
                     -Albert Einstein
The awful truth is that WE are responsible. We elected these people. We condone a two party system where we end up with a choice between the mediocre and the inferior. We are left to choose between the fool and the idiot and the men of character, the people of intellect and those focused on the health of the nation are left behind either because they will not participate or because they cannot survive the taunts and tricks of those that have no other interest besides their own ego and their own self-interests. I make no apologies. This is our fault and until and unless WE start demanding a government that represents our interests and values and morals that sets-aside America from other nations; we have no one to blame but ourselves. That is the sad truth of it which is why going off our present fiscal cliff may be the best thing that could happen to the United States. We might just wake up!
“Without change something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.”
            -Frank Herbert, Dune

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CptAwesome's picture

How can you in two quotes call the majority the fool and then turn around and blame them for being what you called them.  Of course the majority is made up of fools and it doesn't matter what you do you will never change that.  This is the reason we continue to go around and around repeating the same crap that every civilization before us has throughout history.  Or at least the history that they allow us to learn that is.  It is inevitable that everything fails and future civilizations will be back at this point again.  Forget waking up the rest of the idiots that is an act of futility. 

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

The sleeper is awake; perhaps attempting to avoid simply watching re-runs, however.

I've been told, third time's a charm, despite the cheer-leading for the second one so popular at this time of the year.

That said, blessings on all of this hive of scum and villainy, may your life have some grace and fulfillment on this eve.


If we're summoning up Herbert (and damn his talentless child), then you should probably stick around until the later ones:

By your belief in singularities, in granular absolutes, you deny movement, even the movement of evolution! While you cause a granular universe to persist in your awareness, you are blind to movement. When things change, your absolute universe vanishes, no longer accessible to your self-limiting perceptions. The universe has moved beyond you.

Religion (emulation of adults by the child) encysts past mythologies; guesses, hidden assumptions of trust in the universe, pronouncements made in search of personal power, all mingled with shreds of enlightenment. And always an unspoken commandment: Thou shalt not question! We break that commandment daily in the harnessing of human imagination to our deepest creativity.

Paired opposites define your longings and those longings imprison you.



Here we report a significant step towards satellite based quantum communication by transmitting an entangled photon over a distance of 144 km between the Canary Islands of La Palma and Tenerife via an optical free-space link. The transmitted photon was received in the Optical Ground Station of the European Space Agency, and the entangled partner photon was detected locally at the transmitter. We have succeeded in establishing quantum correlations under experimental constraints and conditions characteristic for a Space-to-ground experiment. [source]

Space/Time is the same thing, really. When you start cracking it, you're not talking kilometers, you're talking light-years. When turning up in person is problematic, don't you just phone, a la ET?


Slàinte maith, h-uile latha, na chi ‘snach fhaic!

Gun cuireadh do chupa thairis le slainte agus sonas.

A h-uile là sona dhuibh ‘s gun là idir dona dhuib.
Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!

Westcoastliberal's picture

I fear it will take a much higher cliff to fall from before there is any change in American politics.

sink critically's picture

Wake me up when the banksters feel they possess enough of the world's resources and are finally feeling secure enough to cease sucking the life blood from their host (that's us). I feel a nap coming on longer than RVW's, Rip Van Winkle's.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Globally, banking ditched about ~170,000 jobs last year, and not in their retail / physical locations either [those were ditched 2008/9/10]


Wake me up when you understand that data point.

sink critically's picture

It seems from your comment that you misunderstand exactly who I mean by "bankster". I am referring to less than 100 people who've produced nothing but pain, death, and destruction to the rest of us. They have no country and no honor, you will not find them working in a bank. They own the banks and they think work is for the slaves. They would not think twice about firing everyone and starting completely over with a new banking system, government, and monetary system of their own design. That is, in fact, the plan.

SilverFish's picture

When you put people in positions of power over other people, it always attracts people who want to tell the rest of us how to live and also attracts the types of people who would take advantage of the people they are telling how to live. This is why the constitution failed, our system of govt, out monetary system, etc etc. I'm afraid we will never learn this lesson, no matter how many times it is put in front of us and tested.


The truth is, we dont need leaders to "lead" us anywhere. We'd do better on our own as individuals and voluntary groups of people working for their own best interests Would it be, but it would be far better than thinking we can hire people to tell us what we need to do, when we aready know what we need to do. We dont need them. We never have. 

JayKitsap's picture

Well the great debt balloon where 40% of our gov't spending is just printed money didn't give us a bump.  Heck one would expect if 10% of GDP was debt issued, we should see more than 2-3% growth.

Raising taxes on all might wake a lot of folks up, there will be calls to Congress, and many will realize that there is not a free lunch, just the bill was put on the credit card.

A guy earning 100K will see 2K more in SSI, around 4K in income taxes, the various O care taxes, lower AMT, etc.  Possibly a 10% smaller check.  Yikes.

Many of these folks voted for the favors crowd, it will be interesting.

Element's picture



"... which is why going off our present fiscal cliff may be the best thing that could happen to the United States. We might just wake up! ..."


Search your feelings young Jedi ... eliminate the ceiling they will. Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by size, do you? The dark side does not limit its power. Go full-retard MMT it will. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

Archduke's picture

On Liquid Democracy / Delegative Democracy



Unfailingly whenever there is a real prejudicial cost attached to a problem,

markets and economics address and resolve the issues well before politics.

It's ironic but true that democracies have something to learn from market

capitalism.  I refer here to the system of representative government, which

is actually less democratic than publicly traded company shareholder votes.


(Though we are allowing for the 1 person ==  1 vote premise of course),

What corporate land has to teach us is that the vote needs to be transferable

to your delegate or proxy when needed, but is also revocable and reclaimable

at will.  In corporate land this is called proxy-voting.  In political land this

is known as liquid democracy, where your delegates do not have exclusive

representation rights on a known set of issues for a fixed term.  Rather you

may vest delegates with your vote on those issues and times when you feel

confident in their platform or even just can't be bothered with everyday issues.

But if and when you take a particular issue at heart, you recall your right to vote

and excercise it at will, stripping the delegates of your proxy.  If the delegate

loses his representation below a threshold, he/she loses office to be replaced by

a more representative one.


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