A Quick Guide To What's Fake: Everything That's Officially Sanctioned

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Neofeudal financialization and unproductive State/corporate vested interests have bled the middle class dry, yet we accept the officially sanctioned narratives. Why?

Let's cut to the chase and generalize "what's fake": everything that is officially sanctioned: narratives, policies, statistics, you name it--all fake-- massaged, packaged, gamed or manipulated to serve the interests of the ruling Elites.

Anything that might introduce a shadow of skepticism or doubt about the sustainability, fairness and transparency of the status quo (i.e. anything authentic and genuine) is recast or repackaged into a fake that can be substituted for the authentic when everyone's gaze is distracted by the latest fad/media sensation/scandal.

ObamaCare: fake, a simulacrum of insurance and healthcare.

The National Security State: fake, a cover for global Empire.

The Patriot Act: Orwellian cover for state-corporate fascism.

Student loans: parasitic, exploitive loan-sharking enforced by the Central State for often worthless "higher education."

And so on.

Yesterday I explored the peculiar dynamic that motivates us to accept forgeries, fakes and illusions as authentic: What's Real? What's Fake?. If the fake enables our fantasy (of free money, of owning an authentic canvas by a famous artist, that rising wealth inequality is just a side-effect of freewheeling capitalism, etc. etc. etc.), then we wantto believe it so badly that we overlook all the evidence of chicanery, forgery, illusion and fakery.

Consider our willingness to accept the conventional narrative about why the Great American Middle Class has been in decline since 1973: rising energy costs, globalization, and the declining purchasing power of the U.S. dollar.

While these trends have certainly undermined middle-class wealth and income, there are five other more politically combustible dynamics at work:

1. The divergence of State/corporate vested interests and the interests of the middle class
2. The emergence of financialization as the key driver of profits and political power
3. The neofeudal “colonization” of the “home market” by ascendant financial Elites
4. The increasing burden of indirect “taxes” as productive enterprises and people involuntarily subsidize unproductive, parasitic, corrupt, but politically dominant vested interests
5. The emergence of crony capitalism as the lowest-risk, highest-profit business model in the U.S. economy

The non-fake narratives are considerably different from the status quo ones. Please consider two: The Neofeudal Colonization of Home Markets and the Happy Marriage of the Parasitic Central State and Crony Capitalist Cartels.

The Neofeudal Colonization of Home Markets

The use of credit to garner outsized profits and political power is well-established in Neoliberal Capitalism.  In what we might call the Neoliberal Colonial Model (NCM) of financialization, credit-poor developing world economies are suddenly offered unlimited credit at very low or even negative interest rates. It is “an offer that’s too good to refuse” and the resultant explosion of private credit feeds what appears to be a “virtuous cycle” of rampant consumption and rapidly rising assets such as equities, land and housing.

Essential to the appeal of this colonialist model is the broad-based access to credit: everyone and his sister can suddenly afford to speculate in housing, stocks, commodities, etc., and to live a consumption-based lifestyle that was once the exclusive preserve of the upper class and State Elites (in developing nations, this is often the same group of people).

In the 19th century colonialist model, the immensely profitable consumables being marketed by global cartels were sugar (rum), tea, coffee, and tobacco—all highly addictive, and all complementary:   tea goes with sugar, and so on.  (For more, please refer to Sidney Mintz’s landmark study, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History).

In the Neoliberal Colonial Model, the addictive substance is credit and the speculative consumerist fever it fosters.

In the financialization model, the opportunities to exploit “home markets" were even better than those found abroad, for the simple reason that the U.S. government itself stood ready to guarantee there would be no messy expropriations of capital or repudiation of debt by local authorities who decided to throw off the yokes of credit colonization.

In the U.S. “home market,” the government guaranteed lenders would not lose money, even when they loaned to marginal borrowers who could never qualify for a mortgage under any prudent risk management system.  This was the ultimate purpose of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and now the FHA, which is currently guaranteeing the next wave of mortgages that are entering default.

In my analysis, the Status Quo of “private profits, public losses” and the incentivization of gargantuan household debt amounts to a modern financialized version of feudalism, in which the middle class now toils as debt-serfs.  Their debt cannot be repudiated (see student loans), their stagnating disposable income is largely devoted to debt service, and their assets have evaporated as the phantom wealth created by serial credit bubbles vanishes as soon as the asset/credit bubble du jour bursts.

The Status Quo: A Happy Marriage of the Parasitic Central State and Crony Capitalist Cartels

In broad brush, financialization enabled the explosive rise of politically dominant cartels (crony capitalism) that reap profits from graft, legalized fraud, embezzlement, collusion, price-fixing, misrepresentation of risk, shadow systems of governance and the use of phantom assets as collateral.  This systemic allocation of resources and the national income to serve their interests also serves the interests of the protected fiefdoms of the State that enable and protect the parasitic sectors of the economy.

The productive, efficient private sectors of the economy are in effect subsidizing the most inefficient, unproductive parts of the economy.  Productivity has been siphoned off to financialized corporate profits, politically powerful cartels, and bloated State fiefdoms.  The current attempts to “restart growth” via the same old financialization tricks of more debt, more leverage and more speculative excess backstopped by a captured Central State are failing.

Neofeudal financialization and unproductive State/corporate vested interests have bled the middle class dry.

Yet we accept the officially sanctioned narratives as authentic and meaningful. Why? Perhaps the truth is simply too painful to accept, so we will reject it until we have no other alternative.

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fonestar's picture

What's fake?  That's simple... anything you can't touch right?

Ness.'s picture

Can you touch Bitcoins?  

Ying-Yang's picture

"Perhaps the truth is simply too painful to accept, so we will reject it until we have no other alternative."

Nah Charles... some of us are saying "No thank you, I'm not going to participate anymore."

BaBaBouy's picture

Heres Whats NOT FAKE: 6 US Troops Shot Down Again In Afgan...
US Mainstream Media Is TOLD To Ignore???

BLOTTO's picture

Whats fake?

A. Their reality


Whats real?

A. Their fiction


The truth would makes us shit and puke at the same time...

Joe Davola's picture

Ach, Tsar's too fast!!!

Dr. Everett V. Scott's picture

The government decides if something is real or fake. They alomost always pick the 'fake' meme:


"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in thye hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."

~ Thomas Sowell

ZerOhead's picture

Here's Whats Not FAKE as well:

Al Gore predicts exactly 5 years ago that the arctic would be ice free in 2013...


Hmmm... not even close!...


BigJim's picture

AGW proponents don't care about the accuracy of what Al Gore says, only that he corrals the sheep with his fearmongering.

jimmytorpedo's picture

Minus 39 celsius this morning.

Canadians are starting to not believe in global warming.

Average temp for Dec. 17th is 3 degrees celsius.

BigJim's picture

 Most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker, but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.

- Michael Rivero

fonestar's picture

"Can you touch Bitcoins?"

No you can't. Can you touch a dollar?  No you can't.

pods's picture

Sure you can, 371.25 grains of fine silver, same as the Spanish Milled dollar.

Now, an FRN, not so much.  


fonestar's picture

I thought I was being pretty straight forward by speaking of a dollar in it's current incarnation.  I am eager to hear from anyone who claims to have touched or fondled a debt or any other concept for that matter.

BLOTTO's picture

Bitcoins are immoral.


They are just another 'hook to satanism' or in Japanese 'Satoshi Nakamoto' (anagram)

fonestar's picture

Anagram or pentagram?

Anyway, I find it majorly amusing that grown adults who have jobs (I am assuming) could possibly believe that only things they can touch are "real".  Public education at its best!

fonestar's picture

So instead of just try and junk my comentary I want to know what else is "real" and "fake" according to your miniscule pea brains?

Bugging dumb people is emensely entertaining!


Harbanger's picture

My silver eagle says one dollar right on it.  So I know it's worth at least one pre 1913 dollar.

fonestar's picture

So is it the silver inside the coin that is important to you, or is it what some self-important organization calls it?

nightshiftsucks's picture

Have you taken your meds recently ?

fonestar's picture

Answer the damn question moron.... if you care about the silver inside the coin (as you claim) why is it so important that a government prints "dollar", "pound", "mark", etc?  Why not put "1oz fine silver" on it and call it a "silver coin"?

This actually gets to the very heart of why I call most of you fake libertarians, because you whine and bitch about government but you still want government to endorse your silver coins (which you claim don't need any endorsing because their value is supposedly intrinsic) by blessing them with their stamps and approval.

Boot lickers, mind control victims, phonies and frauds!

Ghordius's picture

-1 you are OT and distracting from an interesting article

one I wish I had read several years ago, in fact

fonestar's picture

My points are exactly pertinent to this article!!  What is real, what is fake and why these supposed anti or small government types seem to care so much about what government thinks or does?

jimmytorpedo's picture

Ever had a filling done with Bitcoin?

How about making a cellphone with bitcoin.

I think I'll make a shiny teapot out of bitcoin,..

SAT 800's picture

It's actually kind of logical; where did you see it? on TV. That's expensive, who paid for it? Why did they pay for it? It must be propaganda. QED. everything you see is propaganda.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

the presstitutes, as PCR calls them, are no doubt very expensive. If there was a free media, not controlled on some level by the govt and financial institutions, you would here what is said on this site shouted on every channel. But since we don't have a free and independent press, we are only allowed to argue within the approved topics- obamacare, gay marraige, abortion, etc. No thought or mention is given to ending the fed, our true debt of over 200 T, how we got there, how our monetary system works, what fractional reserve banking means, what exactly "natural rights" are and where they come from, and what has happened to this country over the past 50 years that have allowed us to be taken over by a revolving door circle jerk of big businees/big govt.

doctor10's picture

Unless the rule of law is re-established, and crony's can rely upon beig prosecuted, untill the NSA has been caged behind the fourth ammendment, until predatory local, state, and federal regulation and taxation is cut back- capital is worthless in the USA. And each of us and our offspring  will see and experience an existence heretofor beyond comprehension of most in this country.

Redhotfill's picture

" fonestar

What's fake?  That's simple... anything you can't touch right?"


So that would be... Bitcoin!

Grande Tetons's picture

Nice pair of officially sanctioned tits! 


NotApplicable's picture

As always, "Stupid should hurt!"

Fedgov can only delay the inevitable for so long...

Tsar Pointless's picture

Fake fake fake fake fake.


Everything in life can be boiled down to a Seinfeld clip.

michael_engineer's picture

" ... a cover for global Empire."

I disagree, I think the overall cover is about a declining global empire due to structural resource constraints.  That explanation could be seen as a common thread to many of the current issues.

Ignatius's picture

Looking for a dimes worth of difference.

Your point is taken and so is Charles'.

10mm's picture

What is not fake. Wakeing up.

TheGardener's picture

Progressive thought finally infesting the stem .

SAT 800's picture

Someone should hack the TV networks so a big FAKE red stamp like this appears over Pres. Obama everytime he starts teleprompting. That would be great.

ebworthen's picture

"The Status Quo: A Happy Marriage of the Parasitic Central State and Crony Capitalist Cartels"


Welcome to America.  Wipe your feet, take off your shoes, and bend over.

OldE_Ant's picture

Fake it till you make it.

Still hear that being said as a truism today.

Skateboarder's picture

That's how the world works. Those that foke it best, moke it best.

steveo77's picture

Folks, leaving the planet is not an option.

But as an additional approach, beyond just typing on some friendly minded blogs, here is your chance to speak directly to the NRC on the nuke waste issue.    I want 200 people to drop a comment.



At the bottom is  a copy of my letter.   Feel free to cut and paste excerpts from it if you wish.   But don't send the same letter, the reviewers are hip to that type of "easy spam blast" and it discredits the original source.

viahj's picture

thanks for the heads up.  i spoke my two cents worth, for whatever good it will do in this fascist government.

kevinearick's picture

Real Estate Welfare Programming

If you are not labor, save yourself the heartburn and don’t read my stuff, but keep in mind that without labor there is no freedom, because money and property are control mechanisms.

Money and property are convenient myths, employed by legacy capital to grow a middle class beyond proportion, man-made extensions of gravity in the feedback loop. The ponzi signal suggests that the middle class standard of living is increasing. Net of monetary misdirection, the middle class buys high and sells low; capital buys low and sells high. The middle class sells out its entire family line, while capital feeds itself on the inflation and deflation of the ponzi.

The bankers have already proven that money is a myth, by printing to infinity with nothing but a net loss to capital to show for it. The bank can’t set prices any better than you can, despite its alleged information age advantage. Marginalizing labor through definition for the purpose has simply devalued all currencies relative to alternatives. Next, we dissect the property myth.

The point of property mythology is to provide some basis for legacy capital, depending upon the resources you are going to recycle into your developments. You have to account for past labor if you want labor to show up tomorrow. All the nation/states are running real estate welfare programs at a loss to capital because they cannot get labor to show up under current regulations.

The kernel is harsh because you have to strip away all the false assumptions supporting the old system to build the new system.

Centralization tells everyone to show up at the same elevator at the same time to go to the same floor, requiring an energy source from the past to exploit. Decentralization allows each to make their own decision, and employs the energy from the elevators coming down to power the elevators going up. In a nutshell, that’s the kernel. It balances resources, bias.

Once the middle class ponzi decelerates the bank loses control of monetary policy, which is fed by fiscal real estate regulation. In this case, people are redefining work for themselves, much faster than Congress can adjust, which is why it has lost control of fiscal policy. The data tells you that we are migrating to a 24 hour public workweek. It’s not a negotiation.

Labor defines work as an investment in its children. The middle class has a short memory because it is paid to focus on popularity. Its costumes of false assumption chase property inflation with wage credit deflation and associated debt to feed the ponzi, resulting in a miscarriage every time. “Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown…and bring it into subjection…”

Legacy defines justice as an equal right for one group after the other to seize labor’s investment, with an early childhood propaganda system built for the purpose. Corruption in education far exceeds all other organizations because nearly everyone is participating in the normalization of the behavior, with a printed real estate tax base to ensure the outcome, the American Dream, social ownership of children, swapping group discipline for self discipline.

The union cartels represent real estate interest, not labor. The AMA is a real estate concern. Healthcare is the means to the end, misdirection. Look at the data. That 1% are all REITs with bankruptcy preference, hidden by willing middle class public, private and non-profit corporate servants that cannot see past their own self-serving misdirection, all randomly seeking a municipal bankruptcy solution.

Don’t send your child to school without self discipline and expect anything other than an automaton to return. America doesn’t have the least effective education system in the industrialized world by accident. American teachers are not the lowest scoring college graduates by accident. America doesn’t have the least effective healthcare system in the world by accident.

Madoff wasn’t guilty of running a ponzi; he was guilty of letting it collapse. The participants were not innocent; they all wanted something for nothing, increasing return on the promise of lower risk. Welcome to America, the greatest ponzi ever built. Capital simply cannot escape its sunk costs, because labor doesn’t function as a democracy, as the middle class groups are built to define democracy. Labor is defined by the group distilled out by all other groups.

China has no magic bullet; it’s just a digital extension of the ponzi, fed back into itself with a currency peg. Kissinger & Kids simply buried the misdirection in the computer code, globalizing the process. Their problem of course is that they cannot bring in new immigrants from Mars to continue feeding the ponzi. One day they are pleading an oil shortage and the next they are fracking for export, not a convincing argument for anyone with the perspective of integrity.

You can run another iteration of America, or global equilibrium economy if you want, but those false assumptions creating event horizon circuits exist for a reason. There is no net charge. There is only relative charge. Capital is the ground, the past. You are the future. What do you want to do?

You can install a minimum standard of living, but hiring someone else to tax someone else isn’t going to get you there. If you want culture you have to create it. Somebody has to take over from the old-timers of substance, in order for everything else to exist. Why can’t it be you?

Life is not a performance; it’s people of substance building a better world than the one they inherited. Going to a performance is something you do after the work is done. Set your own standard. Work increases the standard of living in your community, as measured in health. Toys, TV and manufactured food aren’t going to get you there.

Labor exceeds expectations, the limits of empire. China has much to recommend it, but it is never going to be the leader of the free world. It’s a real estate welfare ponzi, like all the other nations run by the legacy families. Law follows behavior, despite any and all propaganda to the contrary you were taught in school.

You are welcome to work more than 24 hours a week, to feed the empire real estate welfare system; just don’t expect labor to show up, which means that the middle class can only be replaced with computers, by its own in Silicon Valley. Legacy capital can only marginalize labor with a middle class grown beyond proportion for the purpose. That’s it.

Ignatius's picture

Including "...narratives..."  say like 9/11, War on Terror, War on Drugs, etc., etc..

Narratives are made in the corporate media.  Good post, Charles.

ArrestBobRubin's picture

The recent mega-fawning over the passing of TPTB's favorite pet Nelson Mandela is a great example of fakes being officially sanctioned.

The most compelling reason to believe he was in fact a creep is seeing how our mortal enemy, the insidious MSM, has always bent over backwards to portray him as The Greatest Man Ever.

Easy math. I call fake. 

Kobe Beef's picture

That's my metric for fake detection: Count the number of people being paid to tell you its true. Especially if there's cameras, lighting, writing, and production teams involved. The higher the number, the higher the probability it's false.

Ban KKiller's picture

I will have to hit the bong early today. Got a cold is my excuse.

Dr. Everett V. Scott's picture

I upvoted you just because of your screen name...

benb's picture

“The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”
– William Colby, former CIA director


“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”– William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)


“Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the State.”
– James Angleton, head of CIA counter intelligence from 1954-1974


“I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.”
– Harry S. Truman