Guest Post: The Way Forward

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Absolutely nothing within the Status Quo can possibly be truly reformed until the default option of doing nothing will guarantee collapse.

Even those at the top of the neofeudal debtocracy know our economy and political order need real reform. Behind closed doors, they will discuss this with others in the Power Elite and gloomily shake their heads.
The usual reasons why real reform is impossible are duly trotted out: political stalemate/gridlock, the power of vested interests, etc.
The real reasons are deeper than economics or politics. Humans have been selected to assess risk with two biases:
1. The short-term takes precedence over the long-term.
Given the precariousness of daily life for hunter-gatherers, this makes perfect sense. The hunter-gatherer lifestyle places a premium on acquiring food for today and accepting the background volatility and insecurity of constant movement as the price of the longer-term security gained by accessing multiple food sources.
Why risk one's life for a payoff in the distant future, when one might not live to collect the payoff? The lower-risk strategy is to keep moving and exploit the occasional windfall along the usual routes between waterholes, fruit trees, hunting grounds, etc.
2. One in the hand is worth two in the bush, i.e. protecting what wealth and power is in hand is more important than risking them on a potential improvement.
We can visualize this valuation of risk and security as a see-saw (teeter-totter):those with much to lose are naturally risk-averse, while those with little to lose and much to gain have a substantial appetite for risk that could pay off big.
Our problem is that the security provided by institutions (in my nomenclature,fiefdoms) and state-enabled cartels is so great that no risk is worth threatening the perquisites, power and security of these organizations. What possible benefit is large enough to offset the risks that reform could diminish the budget and power of the organization and its leadership?
The answer is: none. There is no conceivable payoff large enough to offset the guarantees offered by the Federal government, which can always borrow (or print, if the rules were changed) the money needed to meet its obligations.
In other words, the state-cartel debtocracy has essentially zero incentive to risk real reform and every incentive to stonewall, suppress or block any real reform as a potentially dangerous threat to the organization's security.
This explains why all the supposed reformations of our broken system are mere simulacrum reforms, facsimiles of reform that satisfy the PR need for some sort of going through the motions effort that leaves the existing cartel-state power structure intact.
The only thing that can modify this risk calculation is the certainty that doing nothing will lead to the complete collapse of the institution. It is only when it becomes painfully obvious that there is no way left to suck enough dollars from the Federal/state/county trough to keep the Status Quo intact will the managers of public institutions and state-enabled cartels risk reform.
Given the systemic lack of accountability and market discipline, it will be too late for most of these sclerotic, self-serving organizations. Real reform will trigger a collapse, as the institutional culture has lost adaptability and the ability to downsize input (headcount and costs) while increasing output.
Institutions have an innate tendency to expand even as they lose sight of their real function. If the function is complex and the political protection strong, the momentum behind these tendencies increases.
Individual contributions and institutional success are both difficult to measure in large bureaucracies, and it is tempting to define success by easily achieved metrics that reflect positively on the management. As the organization loses focus on its original purpose, personal aggrandizement, security and advancement become the focus of departments and individuals.
The core purpose of the institution is given lip service but has been replaced with facsimiles of managerial expertise and bureaucratic infighting over resources. Easily gamed metrics are substituted for actual success.
As noted many times here, people who have no skin in the game behave quite differently from those who face consequences--this is called moral hazard.
Bureaucracies tend to institutionalize moral hazard: those managing the institution’s departments rarely suffer any personal consequence when the institution fails to perform its function. Funds are spent, but the individuals spending the institution’s money suffer no losses should their policies result in failure.
By breaking the institutional purpose into small pieces whose success is measured by easily reached targets, the institution can be failing its primary function even as every department reports continued success in meeting its goals. Repeated failure and loss of focus erode the institution even as those in charge advance up the administrative ladder.
The disconnection between the failure to fulfill the institution’s original function and the leadership’s rise feeds cynicism in the institution’s employees and erodes their purpose and initiative. Soon the institutional culture is one of self-aggrandizement, gaming of departmental targets, protection of budgets and a collapse of the work ethic to the minimum level needed to avoid dismissal.
I have addressed The Lifecycle of Bureaucracy on a number of occasions:
Since the collapse of the neofeudal cartel-state debtocracy is inevitable, I am an optimist. I wrote Survival+ and Resistance, Revolution, Liberation to not only illuminate the roots of institutional failure but to lay out guidelines for bypassing those institutions as they devolve and collapse.
I have addressed this many times, for example:

In sum: absolutely nothing within the Status Quo can possibly be truly reformed until the default option of doing nothing will guarantee collapse.

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NotApplicable's picture

Since Rule #1 is protect the institution at all costs (in order to protect self), whenever faced with the need to scale back, people will instead take the double or nothing bet. Meanwhile, budget holes get bigger and bigger...

fourchan's picture

a vault of naked shorts.


because when your able to get bailed out by the us tax slave, who gives a fuck.

nasdaq99's picture

bill gross said "Central Banks are where all bad bonds go to die". now maybe Central Banks are where all overpriced stocks go to die!

CHX's picture

If in the end, CBs indeed held all/vast majority of the bonds, stocks, M-BS s etc. and the free people the physical gold. What would then happen? Interesting thought experiment.

rosiescenario's picture is also where all the regulators go to prep. for retirement...

icanhasbailout's picture

central banks are where currencies go to die.

Peter Pan's picture

Even with a collapse who is to say that we won't have most of the same psychopaths running the show albeit a different show?

The collapse is on track for as long as the top 1-2% continue to reap the bulk of any improvement in the economy.

akak's picture

Yes, were the people of the USSR 'liberated' by the current oligarchic, authoritarian regime that succeeded the collapse of official Russian communism?

shovelhead's picture


But the Gulags now have cable TV.

Pseudo Anonym's picture

In dependency, the essential aim of the group is to attain security through, and have its members protected by, one individual. The basic assumption in this group culture seems to be that an external object exists whose function it is to provide security for the immature individual. The group members behave passively, and act as though the leader, by contrast, is omnipotent and omniscient. For example, the leader may pose a question only to be greeted with docile silence, as though he or she had not spoken at all. The leader may be idealized into a kind of god who can take care of his or her children, and some especially ambitious leaders may be susceptible to this role. Resentment at being dependent may eventually lead the group members to "take down" the leader, and then search for a new leader to repeat the process.


Diogenes's picture

The same people are still in charge. They stole everything of value as they ran out of the collapsing shithouse.

MachoMan's picture


I think there is a much bigger issue that can never be discussed due to denial, but through all of our intentions, efforts, and machinations, we've never managed to eliminate the law of the jungle from our daily lives.  Whether we portray ourselves as being capitalist, socialist, or somewhere in between, there is no practical difference for the vast majority of people on material issues, such as an ownership stake in production, security, elimination of barriers to entry, workplace abuse, quality family time, etc.  There are only these brief spurts that we idealize and then attempt to re-conjure, only to be let down that induction is patently retarded and we failed to make an accurate assessment as to why the circumstances changed and the past recipe no longer applies.  Humans are simply incapable of manifesting the stasis we so inherently desire.  It is no less than an eternal conflict. 

Further, being at the top of the food chain materially changes everyone who has the fancy of so becoming.  The soft discussions amongst the ruling class are never about the well-being of others...  not directly anyway...  it's always in the context of "if we don't make more tribute payments to the mob (ipads), then they'll become less distracted and more angry".

We have quite a few precedents in recent memory where even a "peaceful" changing of the guard (ownership of the country so to speak) results in no practical change whatsoever and, possibly, an even worse living condition.  The notion that we can just hope for a collapse and then everything will be great or that there will be enough of us who care to rebuild it in a meticulous manner with a solid foundation, is quite far fetched.  We'll build something new...  life does go on, for sure...  but our problems are so fundamental that we must look into our very souls to effectuate meaningful change.  There is no likelihood of this...  it has rare, if ever, precedent in our history and it completely ignores rudimentary human nature.  Huxley got this right...  and we're on the cusp right now.  It might be possible that a brave new world can never be achieved for the same reason that a 1984 world falls apart (central planning/running out of other peoples' money), but I think the former has a much better chance of being implemented.  Once it becomes implemented, even in increments, our beliefs change to match our circumstances and we inherently accept it, at least consciously (I think our subconscious has some truths that we're not ready to accept).

Our only source of collective hope is to learn about how we process thoughts...  how we think...  how we feel about our interactions with others...  and develop a framework for treating each other in a different manner.  From this new norm system, different economic and political thoughts will emerge.  However, the more we learn about ourselves, the easier it will be to control us (by manipulating these mechanisms).  At the present, there is an information gap between those with the knowledge of how people work (tend to be the most successful) and J6P...  and it seems the gods tend to stop prometheus before he can hand the mortals the technology of fire (or, in this case, a better understanding of ourselves)...

The simple fact is that our default state is apathy...  aversion...  laziness.  Every once and a while, things get so bad that the collective is called to action and we have our "hold our beer" moment...  sometimes it ends in an incredible spectacle...  but most of the time it ends in an ER trip and endless razzing from friends (and the internet community...  because...  after all...  all misery must be shared).  The problem is that with our default state, there is no way to maintain the stasis we desire from our government/economic systems.  We cannot give in to comfort, it is merely an illusion...  because to do so is to ensure that we cannot be comfortable, knowing that we will have our collective call to action again, some day (even if for subsequent generations).  Deep down, we accept crises if they afford us couch time.  It is for this reason, among others, that our creep forward will likely not be in our favor.  I do not share the author's optimism.

Oldwood's picture

It is hard to imagine there ever having been a time when so many or so dependent on a totally corrupt and bankrupt system. Our technology has allowed us to crawl out on a very long and spindly limb, in a very tall tree. I fear the fall will kill us.

fonzannoon's picture

i am just sitting here watching amzn climb higher after they reported 1 penny 

Navigator's picture

Amazon reported net income of $82 million, or 18 cents per share, compared to net income of $130 million, or 28 cents per share, for the same period last year.

Try again...with actual facts.

fonzannoon's picture

It looks as though you are right but you can go fuck yourself anyway. 18 cents....I rounded down 17 cents and you break my balls for a $280 stock.

Have fun dumbass.

Floodmaster's picture

The competent in the Art of Doing Nothing retire leaving the soon-to-be incompetent in command.

new game's picture

next generation y and z know one thing for sure; they were left with a bag of hammers and they are no more stupid than your comment.  my guess is they are handling it just fine(my son laughs at people like you).  they will let it collapse and you my friend will be fending for your next meal only old and feeble - lol.

francis_sawyer's picture

Whether you like it or not... In this epoch, jews run the show because they control, ASYMMETRICALLY, the power nodes of money printing, MSM, jurisprudence, & political lobbying...


Moreover ~ it will CONTINUE to be that way because nobody seems much interested in taking that into account

<as will be evidenced by the JUNKS, & otherwise 'water carriers', that this comment produces>

JethroTull's picture

Don't be a maggot francis


zanez's picture

If any of you homos call me Francis, I'll kill you.

francis_sawyer's picture

I'm just glad I finally get a chance to kill somebody...

Poor Grogman's picture

Where is the evidence of this?

francis_sawyer's picture

'evidence' <which was referred to>, already on display by the JUNKS [without argument]... Any other questions?...

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Francis, is this Infinite Do-Loop of yours (a) Proselytizing (b) Stirring the Pot, or (c) Online Venting & Therapy?  Or do you believe that you are (d) Educating ZH readers?

Exactly "How" are you helping move the yardstick in this ZH game?  For the record.

francis_sawyer's picture

Let's turn the omlette over


How do YOU suppose you're 'educating' anyone or moving any yardsticks by DENYING the 'asymmetric' representation of jews in world banking, MSM. jurisprudence, & political lobbying?...

I'm all ears...


My answer is simple... Because I DON'T HAVE an agenda... I've never assembled a 'Jeckyl Island' conclave to produce a fractional reserve banking system... I've never organized an AIPAC, or an Anti Defamation League... I don't produce Hollywood movies which beat the dead horse of the holocaust into the ground... I don't monitor & censor web comment content... I don't run an Apartheid State... I don't organize false flag terrorism...

I just ask simple questions... People can answer me as they may... I'm not moving any YARDSTICKS...

Political_Savage's picture

You didn't answer his question Francis - what is the point of the rant?

Your belief Jews run things is noted. Remove them and problem is solved? Which problem?

Are you calling for Holocaust 2.0? What purpose does it serve? Please provide details...


That is a complete fabrication of the truth - you have no agenda.

What? Are you just pointing shit out now for fun. No reason or agenda behind it.


francis_sawyer's picture

I don't believe in MANKIND 'controlling' things... I believe in NATURE 'controlling' things... <which is to say that NATURE, actually, never TRIES to control things... Instead ~ Nature is only interested in BALANCE>...


Things that are UNBALANCED, will, in time, come in to balance... KOYAANISQATSI... It's not my job to mobilize a force to bring things into balance [& when you start talking about 'asymmetry' in things, it's a pretty sure bet that things are out of balance]... It is only my job to offer a voice, MY OWN voice in this huge cauldron... It's what's on my mind as a participant & an observer in the world around me...

I'm not 'calling' for anything... If, what I say, serves any purpose at all, it serves only the ones who hold the law of nature higher than the will of man... Conversely ~ it tends NOT to serve those, 'MEN', who seek to control or oppose their will upon other men or nature [which is why my comments tend to get 'JUNKED'; frequently by special populations]...

Clycntct's picture

Nature has no balance.

 It only has a point in time where you see the crossing of one extreme to the other/another.

Radical Marijuana's picture

... The best mathematical symbol for God is =

Conservation of energy is process of balancing.

"Balancing" are endless dynamic equilibria, where we only notice the crossing of one extreme to the other/another.

We are going to notice AFTER the default option of doing nothing guarantee[s] collapse.

francis_sawyer's picture

I agree with both of those comments, namely, the [crossing over] part...


It is hard for modern day humans to get a grasp on that because it moves at a glacial pace [whereas people have become used to 'up to the second' stimulus which is brought about by technology]... Nature doesn't need 'technology'...

Political_Savage's picture

Dammit, you made me google that - KOYAANISQATSI

I do tend to agree with what Clycntct says. Though he may not share my view, I think nature is perpetually seeking balance, yet it's never achieved. It's just a swing from one end of the spectrum to the next. Balance would equate to statis, which negates natural evolution or revoluation. Balance (as sought out philosphically by Communist) also eliminates the necessity of history or future, as there is no change, so neither exist; there is only balance/the now.


I now somewhat understand your past and current commentary - you believe an asymmetrical relationship is in existence, trying to control mankind for their enrichment (particularly at the cost of the much larger population if dim witted men), yet is ultimately doomed to fail, or reverse course. This assymetry is the work of a cabal of Jews controlling aspects of mankind.


I get the thought process (though I'm sure you don't care), but I don't agree it's at the hands of the Jews, nor that the leaders actually are doing this to enrich themselves. Jews may be involved to an extent, since history's treatment of them have naturally forced them into jobs with portable wealth (diamonds, banking, finance in generally) and limited to no actual property ownership (either denied explicitly or eventual confiscation). Media and entertainment are also natural jobs since they were once considered lower-order professions. Hell, anit-semetic peoples continual attempts to crush the Jews have simply drawn them closer together as a community and ultimately made them stronger - thus they are in positions of power.


I firmly believe there are a cabal of powerful individuals working the system potentially to their advantage (at one time), but now that tide has turned and their actions are solely at continuation. They are no longer driving the force for their own means, driving it for their survival... and they are no longer in control.


My humble thoughts - non-aggrevating.


Diogenes's picture

How many Jews are running things in Japan, China or India? Yet they are just as fucked as we are, if not worse. So this is where your argument falls to the ground.

I don't know what the problem is or how to solve it but blaming the Jews isn't going to help.

Pseudo Anonym's picture

who owns [not runs] the central banks in japan and india?

francis_sawyer's picture

The bottom line is that, in the broadest sense, the world is tied into the petrodollar paradigm [for now], & easily for the past 100 years...


So if you're Chinese, Japanese, or even Indian, you're subject to the whims of that... The few [who are your so called 'leaders'] do service to that system [at the expense of their populations ~ which, by the way, if you add up the billion+ Chinese & billion+ Indians, represent a hefty chunk of the world's population ~ yet are still made subject to, by proxy & out of jurisdiction, a cartel created by mostly European jew banking families, & which is what I refer to when I use the term 'asymmetry']... In any case, all 3, but mostly China & India, have cultures that far outdate jew controlled Western culture... Those histories are peppered with infighting, and epochs of good & bad [as much as any other place in history]... There's no right or wrong about that, it just IS...

Nowadays, with a global cartel which falls under the buggy whip of the City of London, the District of Columbia, &, arguably, Vatican City, you don't have much choice in the matter... It's impossible to escape tyranny on a finite planet... But this will dissolve itself sooner or later... Of that I'm sure...


As for this comment directly:

I don't know what the problem is or how to solve it but blaming the Jews isn't going to help.

It's not so much as a BLAME in my eyes as an identification... I believe a great start [in terms of 'helping'], would be to dismantle the fractional reserve banking system & recall American troops from bases around the world... Economically speaking, the majority of paper wealth that would dissolve in the aftermath would be asymmetrically apportioned to rich jews [since it's that construct that allowed them to get wealthy in the first place]... So I doubt those ideas are even ever considered... This thread is entitled THE WAY FORWARD... I believe taking a few steps back is the way forward... The WAY FORWARD [under the present architecture ~ and whereby the 'middle class' is eradicated much as what jew concieved 'Bolshevism' achieved in creating the Soviet state], places more & more control, in fewer & fewer hands [mostly jew hands], until the final end game which is jew vs. jew...


As to the comments <above>, about jews having selected certain 'trades' because of the way "they have been treated" historically... I call horseshit... Jews have been 'treated' poorly & run out of countries because wherever they set up shop, they tend to stir up trouble... People get wise to that after awhile... America is the 'New Kid on the Block' with regards to that history... It'll learn the same lesson eventually...

Milestones's picture

You have made excellent points i your posts here and I frankly agree with them. Good on ya!         Milestones

The Dancer's picture

And the question systemic collapse imminent?

unirealist's picture

Furthermore, malinvestment has been epidemic for decades, and is now embedded in the economy.  Reforming implies removing the malinvestment, but that would immediately ruin most of us, because we are all, to some extent, dependent on the malinvestment.

I daresay that if all the overgrown malinvestment were stripped away, at least half the jobs in this country would be lost.  Temporarily, to be sure, but there would be a lot of starvation until the economy righted itself.

dizzyfingers's picture

Tick-toc tick-toc tick-toc...

new game's picture

crumble- grain, pebble and stone at a time...

til the shit floweth all over your nice shiney white shoes...

fonzannoon's picture

not even close. we gotsd ourselves all worked up again.

JethroTull's picture

Into the shadows folks.

$2 Trillion Underground Economy May Be Recovery's Savior


Poor Grogman's picture

Nice insights into the growth of beauracracy , very hard to dismantle, gradually takes more and more precious resources to maintain.
Collapse is the most likely solution at this late stage.

LawsofPhysics's picture

No discussion of the energy available to humanity to actually do anything.  FAIL.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The life cycle figure is akin to that of a star.  Depending on its solar mass (bureaucratic mass), when the core runs out of fuel, the Sun (USA) can grow into a Red Giant (USSA) and then fizzles into a White Dwarf (usa).  If the solar (bureaucratic) mass is big, it goes super-nova (WW3).

Which will we get?  usa or WW3?

Stuck on Zero's picture

Yep. And when it goes supernova it takes out evrything in the neighborhood.