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Guest Post: The End Of Pretend

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by James H. Kunstler of,

If being wealthy was the same as pretending to be wealthy then people who care about reality would have a little less to complain about. But pretending is a poor way for a society to negotiate its way through history. It makes for accumulating distortions which eventually undermine the society’s ability to function, especially when the pretending is about money, which is society’s operating system.

The distortion that even simple people care about is that the gap between the rich and the poor is as plain, vast, and grotesque as at any time in our history — except perhaps during slavery times in Dixieland, when many of the poor did not even own their existence. We’ve had plenty of reminders of that in pop culture the last couple of years, including Quentin Tarantino’s fiercely stupid movie Django Unchained and the more recent melodrama 12 Years a Slave. But you have to wonder what young adults weighed down by unpayable college debt think when they go to see them, because without a rebellion that millennial generation will not own their own lives either. They must know it, but they must not know what to do about it.

The pretense and distortions start at the top of American life with a President who broadcasts the message that some kind of “recovery” has occurred in the economic affairs of the country. Either he just wants the public feel better, or he is misled by the people and agencies in his own government, or perhaps he just lies to keep the lid on. To truly recover from the dislocations of 2008, we would have to make a consensual decision to start behaving differently in the process of adapting to the new circumstances that the arc of history is presenting to us. We’d have to decide to leave behind the economy of financialization, suburban sprawl, car dependency, Wal-Mart consumerism, and prepare for a different way of inhabiting North America.

The dislocations of 2008 when the banking system nearly imploded were Nature’s way of telling us that dishonesty has consequences. The immediate dishonesty of that day was the racket in securitizing worthless mortgages ­— promises to pay large sums of money over long periods of time. The promises were false and the collateral was janky.  It got so bad and ran so far and deep that it essentially destroyed the mechanism of credit creation as it had been known until then, and it has not been repaired.

Since then, we have pretended to repair the operations of credit by falsely substituting bank bailouts and Federal Reserve “quantitative easing” (QE) or digital money-printing for plain dealing in borrowed money between honest brokers at the local level. The unfortunate consequence is that in the process we have distorted — and possibly destroyed — the value of our money and the various things denominated in it, especially securities, bonds, stocks and other money-like paper.

The crash of the mortgage racket occurred not just because of swindling and fraud among bankers; in fact, that was only a nasty symptom of something larger: peak oil. I know that many people have come to disbelieve in the idea of peak oil, but that is only another mode of playing pretend. Peak oil, which essentially arrived in 2006, undermined the basic conditions of credit creation in an advanced techno-industrial society dependent on increasing supplies of fossil fuels. Most people, including practically all credentialed economists, fail to understand this. There is a fundamental relationship between ever-increasing energy supplies > economic growth > and credit-based money (or “money,” if you will). When the energy inputs flatten out or decrease, growth stops, wealth is no longer generated, old loans can’t be repaid, and new loans can’t be generated honestly, i.e. with the expectation of repayment. That has been our predicament since 2008 and nothing has changed. We are pretending to compensate by issuing new unpayable debt to pay the interest on our old accumulated debt. This pretense can only go on so long before our economic relations reflect the basic dishonesty of it. Reality is a harsh mistress.

In the meantime, we amuse ourselves with fairy tales about “the shale oil revolution” and “the manufacturing renaissance.” 2014 could be the year that the forces of Nature compel our attention and give us a reason to stop all this pretending.


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Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:35 | 4285353 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

The banking system DID implode !!!....Paulson just lied and was able to paper over it 

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:45 | 4285408 American34
American34's picture

He is partially right. Technically its not about oil, but rather simply ENERGY, quite literally the ability to do work. The economy that uses the most energy most efficiency succeeds over all others simply because it get things done effectively. Our economy used to be like this, 1950's. But now we simply have a paper economy. China uses tons and tons of energy, hence their massive building boom, but it is used inefficently and for ineffective purposes that do not generate growth. We, as in the U.S. simply need to go back to using energy efficiently in a manner that promotes economic growth, which really is nothing more than "Energy used per person * the efficiency it is used."

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:55 | 4285472 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

''Cheap fabric, and dim lighting. That's how you move merchandise.''

Morty Seinfeld


cheap oil and fake money........thats how you run an bankster economy.....


Mon, 12/30/2013 - 16:24 | 4286277 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

I've been hearing about peak oil for the last ten years or more yet the price hasn't really changed much and I see 'masssive new discoveries'  announced everywhere I look, all over the world.  I sense that this is another global warning ploy by people with their own agendas.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 19:56 | 4286866 Apply Force
Apply Force's picture

Right, right... and with these massive new discoveries prices have declined dramatically - - oh wait, that's not what's happening at all.  Oil prices have not changed in the last 10+ years?!?  Joking, right?  Speaking of something does not make it exist, nor does it make it magically economically feasible even if it does exist.

It's not the fall, but the landing that hurts.  A ride that took over 100 years to go up might just take longer than 10 years to come down (but likely not much longer than that).

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 21:45 | 4287117 cynicalskeptic
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Like it or not we're on a planet with FINITE limits and FINITE resources.  EVERY natural resource is becoming harder and harder to extract with incremental costs rising dramatically.  It's harder and harder to get more oil and it costs more to get it.  The costs and damage to the planet in extracting oil from tar sands and in fracking to extract oil and gas are enormous - not to mention the real existing and future damage to the oceans from drilling there. 

And oil is nothing compared to WATER which is far more necessary for life but we're willing to squander that in trying to get the last drop of oil and gas out of the earth.

Easily accessible cheap oil is gone but we have yet to accept that fact.  The US is living far beyond its energy means and paying for it on borrowed money.  Energy consumption per capita has exploded.  We have appliances to do everything and everyone owns a car.  Growing up in the 60's we didn't have clothes dryers, dishwashers, etc and we had ONE car and ONE television - no computers, game systems, stereos, etc.  And Air Conditioning? -what was THAT?  Hell, now even the 'poorest' in the US expect more than we had as a working middle class family - and the rest of the world (who are workign as hard - and usually harder) are asking how the US 'deserves' our standard of living - one they still aspire to, one that is absolutely impossible for the number of people that aspire to it considering the very limited resources of our planet.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:33 | 4285362 stinkhammer
stinkhammer's picture

So please don't tell me to can it. JANET. There's one thing to say and that's DAMN IT! JANET! LET'S GO SCREW the american children!!

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:34 | 4285364 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

I believe it was early in his presidency when he was being a bit more "honest" about the condition of things that he was counselled by Slick Willie that he needs to lie in order to stop the markets from plunging and causing people to panic.  He's been BOLD FACE lying every since, that's opposed to his "general" lying he was doing prior.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:57 | 4285463 Ghordius
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I believe that too much credit is given to national nominal top leaders. hell, even full fledged dictators like in North Korea can't rule alone, and have lots of pressures to bend to

say what you want about the current Prez of the US, his job is to react to needs as presented to him. by Congress, by the two parties, by the media, by the political funding needs of the parties, by the economy in general, etc. etc.

as such, if/when he lies it's like putting a facade of truthiness: lots of important and less important people want to hear it this way

political systems (and where elections happen their basis, electoral systems) are way more important than the top leaders, imho

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:57 | 4285480 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Oh no doubt about it.  Obama is an empty suit, vapid of his own ideas and ideals.  He's been fed the BS he's spewing his entire life.  Parrot in Chief!!

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:40 | 4285839 Stanley Lord
Stanley Lord's picture

Obama is not an empty suit and he is not a Democrat- he knows exactly what he is doing.

I don't trust Kunstler, he is another Liberal (not small L liberal) go way back and  read the drivel he wrote when he worked for Rolling Stone, he could not suck government cock fast enough.

Also go back to when Bush invaded Iraq ( I was against that), Krugman said Bush would spend so much money he would bankrupt the US, now Krugman thinks we are not spending enough so he is just a political hack, not unlike Kunstler.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:43 | 4285680 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

There's never been an honest man anywhere near that position. You were just more naive back then.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:59 | 4285948 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

I still like to give props to Eisenhower.  The MIC speech is/was pretty darn truthy.  

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:35 | 4285368 Stanley Lord
Stanley Lord's picture

The gap between the rich and the poor is caused by the United States Government AKA The Fed.

All our probems are caused by the US Government, no where in this article does he mention that.

And there are no black swans.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:03 | 4285507 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Until there are!

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:35 | 4285372 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Well said!   Been waiting & waiting for a long, long time to hear someone make the connection between energy & credit.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:40 | 4285390 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

The new wealth is only appraised in the amount of unpayable debt you hold. Old school wealth mentality is much different than today’s standards.

Robert Miles - Children [Dream Version]


Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:50 | 4285424 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

I'll bet "old wealth" holds bullion while "new" consists of mortgage & other debt...

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:46 | 4285421 amadeusb4
amadeusb4's picture

This is a pretty mature post. Oh, because it's Kunstler. Well, thanks anyway, Tyler.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:57 | 4285460 linniepar
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Care to elaborate?  I don't know much about Kuntsler so I'm assuming there is an implied sarc. Just curious.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 15:32 | 4286078 amadeusb4
amadeusb4's picture

I was being serious about the quality of the post.

I'm familiar w Kunstler. Came across his stuff almost a decade ago now. Never met face to face but we've exchanged board posts here and there. He can be rough around the edges but thoughtful ideas make it worth paying attention.

I didn't catch the author until well into the article when I realized that this isn't the typical anti-bitcoin, anti-climate change, gold hoarding, von Mises clickbait that Tyler typically posts to rile up the board trolls to spruce up page view stats for their advertiser promo packs.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 16:26 | 4286285 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

Oh dear........

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 20:02 | 4286880 Imminent Crucible
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Yes, that amalgamation of assumed pejoratives leaves one at a loss for words, does it not?

Of course, it goes without saying that any self-respecting gold-hoarding Austrian clickbait would be a climate-change denier.  Doesn't it?

I'll have to quote Alan Greenspan: "It's impossible to identify a climate change until several hundred years after the fact."

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:51 | 4285436 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

USSA is full of posers. 

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:50 | 4285440 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

TARP was an 'interest' payment to our banking overlords......

''you increase credit/debt until you peak and then it collapses into a mess.   You run a usury pyramid scheme and at the end of the line you are surprised by the results.... hahaha. 

The outcome has always been known, and if the next system is just like the present system it will happen exactly the same way yet again.   The function of the system is to rise, peak, collapse and implode.'' 

Mako ZH 2010

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:55 | 4285448 Father Lucifer
Father Lucifer's picture

Evil lurks in the halls of power.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:56 | 4285452 Michelle
Michelle's picture

Peak oil my ass. Oil is abiotic.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:07 | 4285498 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Yeah but there seems to be a proliferation of abiotic resistant Staff.

As evidenced by your down votes. ;)

On a long enough timeline, there will be MOAR oil.  FACT!

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:05 | 4285530 Michelle
Michelle's picture

Ha Ha, good one!

Gotta make sure everyone believes in unrenewable energy to keep prices high.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:13 | 4285548 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Problem is it will take millions of years for much of the low producing fields to "refill".  I do believe there is plenty of oil still left on the planet, much of it is just getting harder to get to.  This is based upon having lived as the child of an oil exploration VP.

Unfortunately when I hear the term "dry hole" I think of the Amurikan population.  We all know who's doing the "drilling"!

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:00 | 4285483 The Wisp
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In The End days, They will Kiss a Thousand times, Anyone who  Speaks the Truth...

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 20:08 | 4286889 Imminent Crucible
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I don't think it works that way.  I think in the End Days, they will run an MRAP over anyone who speaks the truth. 

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:02 | 4285499 bozzy
bozzy's picture

OK - So the numbers are bollocks, the economic growth of the American Century needed ever more energy, and the result has been destruction of all financial integrity, and a minority of very fat cats who hope to escape the consequences.

They wont.

FORK AND DANGLE! And whilst you are doing that, please get America out of our faces.


Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:02 | 4285514 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

We may be slow, but we're still ahead of you!  Enjoy looking at our BIG FAT ASSES!

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:31 | 4285842 bozzy
bozzy's picture

Klinky - you bin lapped - you just don't know it.

The question is why do nations want to be? Not just America - history is littered with the corpses of empires. Surely we need to understand just WHY exactly the POS administrations find it AOK to lie cheat and deceive their way to domination.  What is the supposed ultimate good?

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 20:10 | 4286892 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

Power and wealth.  And the wealth is only desired because it brings power.  "The point of power is...power."

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 03:56 | 4287683 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Bozzy, it's not so much that I disagree but I believe England is one of those empire corpses.  Thus we're ahead of you.  As for looking at our FAT ASSES, just take a look at the 'Murikan population.

The "ultimate good" to lie, cheat, and deceive is to the benefit of the self-serving elites to stay in power.

Any more questions?

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:05 | 4285517 Recognizer
Recognizer's picture

Ahh, but the rich and the poor are alike in one very important way.

They are both unhappy.


I think I see a pattern.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:02 | 4285518 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

It's all modeled with math formulas and here's the latest from MasterCard..more marketing for the "underbanked", I hate that term as it's so segmenting and and to me represents some more steroid marketing to suck more in.  Who in the heck cares about their "credit card persona"..a marketing scheme from MasterCard to make you think that being in one of the five categories (segmentation again) they's all bunk..they want in to your "internet pants" so keep your fly up.."dude, your internet fly is open"...

There's way too much quantitated smoke and mirrors out there and good video clip at this post makes that point.  When you read the news no matter how stupid some article may be, if the marketers can add a formula, bingo it becomes believable...mathematician Siefe from NYU explains..he also wrote the book "Proofiness, The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception"..

There's also another short clip with Mike Osinski, who wrote the software the banks used and abused and remodeled for sub prime, who has an oyster farm now and left the tech area completely.."with software you can do something about anything" "you can modify anything and make a virtual world but we are constrained by the real world" think about that statement when it comes to bitcoins too:) The virtual world and the real world don't always work well together, depending on how far out one goes with their virtual world they create..when non linear methodologies are brought in to some scenarios, it is getting pretty ridiculous and thus so "put that math formula in print with the press so we can prove it's so"...

Watch the screaming video at the end too that shows how algorithmic journalism exits...pretty scary and you may or may not know that Forbes is trying to sell Forbes Media which uses an algorithm for some of articles you see there, of course mixed in with "real journalists" bot news the future too as the algorithms can be trained easily enough to spot those formulas and plop them out there with "content farm journalism" and you know how that goes, keep repeating the same thing over and over and people will begin to think "it must be so as I keep reading the same thoughts on it over and over"...just pray for a human to see the BS is best I can say with some of this too:)

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:06 | 4285520 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Mr Kunstler, we will stop pretending if you will:

  I regard the 9/11 conspiracy theories as a fantasy and a distraction from the real problems we face. It is especially unfortunate that they became associated with the Peak Oil issue, and that was obviously a result of Mike Ruppert's elaboration of them in his book Across the Rubicon, which brought discredit to his otherwise good reporting on the global oil situation, and tainted others like myself who regard energy as the crucial geopolitical and economic issue of our time.There is enough confusion in this nation without conflating the real concerns over energy with paranoid fantasies about government plots. Kunstler

The purpose of our Iraq project was to stabilize the Middle East by creating a successful buffer state between Iran and Pakistan to the east and the nations west of Iraq, especially Saudi Arabia.  Kuntlser

Nice euphemism on calling our illegal invasion of Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands on fake intelligence as a project.  BTW, Obama almost started a project in Syria on fake intelligence:

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:09 | 4285533 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Yep, and he got the S and the T in his name transposed.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:27 | 4285834 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Kunstler is a Zionist. He's admitted that. His statements wrt 9/11 and Iraq should be taken as additional evidence of Zionist involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 17:13 | 4286443 jhkunstler
jhkunstler's picture

You dumb fuck, I'm not a Zionist. I'm Jewish. That is not the same as being a zionist.


Mon, 12/30/2013 - 20:14 | 4286912 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

Don't troll your own articles, Jim. It's demeaning. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 04:01 | 4287685 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Being Jewish doesn't doesn't automatically make you Zionist.  But frankly it ups the odds considerably, since you can't be without being Jewish.  Just sayin.

Do you subscribe to the teachings of the Talmud?  It's a fair question.  Difference is if you give an honest answer.  And even then, your answer will be suspect because one would lie anyways if they did.  It's not a sin to lie to Goy, and therein lies the realization that it's hard to trust any of you.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 04:17 | 4287692 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

how about all the Christians in the US who subscribe to the different millenarian or Millenialism creeds about Jerusalem? don't they all end up supporting a more muscular and aggressive form of Zionism?

btw, Zionism as such is only the movement which asked for a homeland for Jews. in a way, even Hitler was a Zionist, then he proposed Madagaskar for this scope. you can't understand the whole thing without going back to how Jews fared in Europe in the 19th century (at least)

and this "It's not a sin to lie to Goy" it's not only beneath you, it's also quite stale. please point out which part of the Talmud irks you so, it's quite a vast collection of writings, subject to endless debate and interpretation

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 16:28 | 4286303 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

Anyone who's reasonably intelligent and well read and who denies that 911 was a conspiracy involving elements within US government (and agencies), the Saudis and Israelis is quite simply a liar.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:05 | 4285528 NIHILIST CIPHER

The spell cast on Amerika over the teevee........BUY, CONSUME, OBEY, SHOP, SPEND,SPEND, SPEND....was black majick of the .01%. Do not point the finger oh wicked ones at the sheep for you are the herders.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:10 | 4285542 Zero Hung
Zero Hung's picture

End the pretence? Let's see:

- ZeroHedge can stop pretending that it isn't probably a virutal honeypot set up spooks to know which nutjobs in advance should be liquidated during the future economic DefCon5;

- Mainstream neo-cunnilingus economics can fess up to being an invention of the 1% to maintain their elite status compliments of the ocean of neo-feudal debt serfs;

- Democratic governments can stop pretending they are anything but representatives of a jackboot-on-the-throat, totalitarian, Police-state corporatocracy;

- Peak oil, peak stupidity, peak 1% theft, peak corruption, peak environmental destruction, peak hopium, peak fucking Botox-imbued senators sucking corporate cock, peak United Stasi of good old dumb fuck USA, pretty well all guarantee the future is not so damn bright.

But don't worry bitchez. All is not lost, after all, you probably didn't take the red pill, but really are a sub-routine in some grand quantum computer ancestor simultation. So take your binary, virutal ass (iteration number ?), out on New Year's Eve and enjoy the electronic buzz instead of wondering when the grand QE scheme will come crashing down. And it WILL come crashing down soon enough....


Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:19 | 4285569 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Oddly stated but I agree.  I'll have you know I wear the title "nutjob" as a badge of courage!

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:14 | 4285546 SKY85hawk
SKY85hawk's picture

Mr Kunstler is showing that our great leader has a hidden agenda!

Obama wants us to abandon suburbia but doesn't say where or how. The Suburbs were started because the cities have little open space.

And, what's wrong with Walmart?  He gives no alternatives for his sneaky suggestion (We’d have to decide to leave behind the economy of financialization, suburban sprawl, car dependency, Wal-Mart consumerism, and prepare for a different way of inhabiting North America.) 

Just what would this accomplish?  Yes, the Financial arena needs a serious cleanup to the corruption.  If POTUS was really honest he would call for the reinstatement of Glass/Stegall.


Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:38 | 4285666 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

I like reading Kunstler, but he has been completely wrong with his prediction timelines vis-a-vis peak oil. According to earlier predictions of his, we would already be abandoning our cars, our roads would be falling apart, and we would be moving away from suburbs into a local agriculture lifestyle. He also stated in 2008-2009 that the economy could not function with $100 a barrel oil (which he still does). He has been wrong on all counts. Maybe he will be right some day, but it's hard to put much stock in his analysis when he has been so consistently wrong in his predictions.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:12 | 4285784 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

check out kuntslers book The Long Emergency - I read it recently and had to look at the publishing date - because he predicted everything that has happened since 2007 so accurately that I assumed he wrote it well after the crash started.

The publishing date was 2004.... 



Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:16 | 4285795 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Kunstler, like Barry, is a tool of The Elites. He herds sheep.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:07 | 4285764 csmith
csmith's picture

Kunstler is going to figure out that peak oil is a crock just as large amounts of cheap solar electricity start running the world. Or maybe not.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:18 | 4285770 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

Former BP geologist: peak oil is here and it will 'break economies'


There will be no recovery.  I repeat - THERE WILL BE NO RECOVERY.

And the collapse that so many are waiting for is going to be epic - remember this - we have 7+ billion people on this planet - we are able to produce enough food to feed most of them because we use oil and gas based fertilizers and pesticides - and we get it to them using petrol.

As extraction costs increase for oil and gas industrial farming will become obsolete because nobody will be able to afford what is produced. 

It takes about 3 years to convert to organic ---  and even then --- organic farming is expensive.

It doesn't take a genius IQ to realize that the collapse that is coming is going to result in starvation on an unheard of scale - the breadbaskets of the world will stop producing food.  Think Ethiopia's worst famine - worldwide - and far worse.


Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:17 | 4285791 XRAYD
XRAYD's picture

So, what should the next Presidential election be about?


The BCS selecting the wrong College Football champion?  The usual abortion, guns, gay-marriage, small/big govt. and birth certificates?

Or repealing Obamcare?

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:14 | 4285799 Michelle
Michelle's picture

Still believe in peak oil?


Mon, 12/30/2013 - 14:48 | 4285870 bozzy
bozzy's picture

Yes and.....

The Russians published oil field replenishment research observations in the 80's. They presented these findings in the US. Their US hosts ridiculed (and suppressed all mention) in the west, ably supported by the tame dork scientists whose research programmes they had funded, and who would have been shown to be talking complete bollocks. At least no change in the verbal output then. The peak oil boffin built a career on bullshit (misdirection) which was extensively exploited by the ever more effective US propaganda machine.

The "peak oil" "theory" was based on a GUESS!!!

BTW anyone remember slippery Henry "more powerful than the POTUS" - who orchestrated the oil shock of the mid 70's? If he still has a pulse by the time the crane action starts, he will be real high on the list, just under Bernanke :)

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 17:40 | 4286486 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Exactly... stop pretending there has ever been a true facist dictatorship with really significant private gun ownership, let alone hundreds of millions of privately owned firearms freely circulating.


Stop pretending DHS and the alphabet soup agencies would last more than a week against the citizenry in a real deal SHTF event.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 17:56 | 4286536 DadzMad
DadzMad's picture

Why is he always telling me I need to go live with the other rats in these grotesque cities while he gets to stay and cultivate his new gardens in his country retreat? 


Mon, 12/30/2013 - 20:40 | 4286978 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

You weren't supposed to think about that. Kunstler is an Outsider doppelganger to Al Gore.  It's time for you to learn that some people are More Equal than others.

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 22:04 | 4287104 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

A quick content analysis of the previous comments indicates the degree to which we are still headed towards "Peak Insanity."

The notion of "abiotic oil" is intriguing. BUT, I do not find it plausible. All around me I see natural capital making a one-way express trip to hell. I see no good grounds to believe in some miraculous regeneration of resources. However, I find it very easy to imagine that the statistics about oil have been seriously distorted, because the books are generally cooked, since we have a fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting system, where "money" is made out of nothing, as debts, while the ways that violates the most basic laws of nature easily get ignored by the manner in which our society operates on the basis of lies, backed by violence, which has worked for many generations to drive the social pyramid systems to have the vast majority of people kept ignorant and afraid, so that they can be controlled by a small minority that specializes in continuing to be deceitful and destructive, because that has worked to keep the social pyramid system growing.

What seems plainly obvious to me is that our entire economic system is based on turning natural resources into garbage and pollution as fast as possible. That is aided and abetted by a fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting system. Basically, since the short-term triumphs of backing up lies with violence are what actually controls civilization, the longer term consequences are irrelevant to changing anything in each short-term increment of extrapolation. Our civilization IS able to operate on the basis of evil deliberate ignorance, because the established systems of lies, backed by violence, do not care about evidence or logical arguments, since the only things that matter to the established systems are being able to continue to back up their legalized lies with more legalized violence.

Therefore, collectively, we are utterly insane and irrational, since the social pyramid systems work by those who are deceitful and destructive thereby becoming more wealthy and powerful, while almost everyone else is beaten into submission, to accept that lies backed by violence actually control the real world. In that context, it hardly matters what the details are. The one thing we can count on the most is that the ruling classes will continue operating their fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems for as long as they can, while the matching aspect of that situation is that the vast majority of people well adapt to that reality by also operating within their own short-term horizons.

There is no point to the longer term truths, since the real world is controlled by the triumph of the sequences of short-term triumphs of lies, backed by violence. That the longer term consequences of doing that will become extremely bad do not effectively matter, since those longer term consequences will continue to be deliberately ignored by the vast majority, of both the rulers and the ruled, who have been adapting to operate those sorts of systems for thousands of years.

It is nice in theory that human beings might be able to understand general energy systems better, so that we could develop better human ecologies and industrial ecologies, that could enable the natural ecologies to survive. However, that appears as just a silly day dream. In fact, the real human ecologies are based on the maximum possible deceits, while the real industrial ecologies are based on the maximum possible frauds, which combined are destroying natural ecologies at an exponentially accelerating rate. Whatever one might say about how we should not do that continues to be irrelevant, since lies, backed by violence, continues to control what the real world actually does, in each short-term increment, by evil deliberate ignorance towards the longer term consequences of doing that, since nothing about those longer term consequences actually matters enough to change the ways that the rulers' legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, and the matching ignorance and fears of those they rule, combine to create the currently runaway social insanity systems.

A number of the comments above claim that the author of this article has denied that the events on 9/11/2001 must have been an inside job, false flag attack. I am not going to bother to try to find out whether or not that is true. However, my opinion is that there is no reasonable doubt that 9/11 was another in the long line of false flag attacks, used to start deceitful wars, along with preparing to impose democidal martial law.

The basic problem has been that the history of warfare has created the civilization that surrounds us, while success in war depended upon deceits. Therefore, the most important conscious aspect of human ecology has been operating death controls, through murder systems which developed the maximum possible deceits. Meanwhile, upon that basis were able to develop monetary systems whose debt controls were also based on the maximum possible frauds. That is the basic problem that we face, as I have already outlined above in my comment.

The exponential growth of the human population and total human activities were all based on high-grading ourselves to hell. What controlled what actually happened was a murder system based on deceits, and a monetary system based on frauds, because those were what most successfully worked in each short-term increment. The longer term consequences of doing that never mattered, because they could never actually change anything that each short-term increment of lies, backed by violence, actually did.

Therefore, the basic trend has been to turn natural resources into garbage and pollution as fast as possible, while not doing anything to operate any kinds of saner, more sustainable human and industrial ecologies, because both of those were actually directed by the short-term successes of backing up lies with violence, i.e., murder systems operated upon deceits, and monetary systems operated upon frauds.

Those are real systems that are rushing towards manifesting the real future. In the context, I find that almost everyone is grossly optimistic and unreasonably idealistic. Certainly, I find the author of this article to generally be so. It would not surprise me if those accusations that he denies more 9/11 Truth were correct. That would be consistent with his kind of pie-in-the-sky kind of optimism that we should miraculously avoid our society going through Peak Insanities.

It is quite ironic how the thread of comments under this article have demonstrated various aspects of that Peak Insanity manifesting. The ways in which we are going to drive exponential growth through to overshooting are almost impossible to underestimate, or to overstate. In that context, it is important to face the facts that the events on 9/11/2001 were an inside job, false flag attack, whose deliberate purposes were to drive a self-fulfilling prophesy of more terrorism. 9/11 was the ruling classes investing in mass murder, with the deliberate intention that that investment would pay back in more mass murders in the future.

In my opinion, the ruling classes are aware that we are generally in an insane situation of exponential growth, which is overshooting drastically, and therefore, we will accelerate at an exponential rate towards hitting the wall of real limits, and then bound off that wall, over a cliff whose bottom can not be seen at the present time. In my opinion, the majority of those who are ruled over will continue to be too ignorant and too afraid to be able to cope with more truth about what is their situation. Meanwhile, the ruling classes will continue to prepare their plans to deal with the real problems in the future, which are to start much more serious genocidal wars, along with imposing democidal martial law, on an enormous scale, such as never before seen in history.

The ONLY theoretically better solutions would require better death control systems. However, since our actual death control systems are based on the triumphs of the maximum possible deceits, better death control systems are practically impossible. Instead, the fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems will continue to create "money" out of nothing, in absurd ways, which flagrantly contradict the basic laws of nature, such as the conservation of energy and matter. Therefore, those well-established systems make it practically impossible to develop any saner industrial ecologies, since every decision is made on the basis of triumphant financial frauds being the central core of those decisions.

All in all, I find the author of this article to be grossly superficial in his views, (which would be consistent with those assertions that he has refused to face the obvious deeper 9/11 Truths.)  We are going push our established systems of death controls based on the maximum deceits, and debt controls based on the maximum frauds, as far as those can possibly be pushed. There is going to continue to be as much evil deliberate ignorance towards the longer term consequences from doing that, as much as possible, for as long as possible.

WE ARE NOT GOING TO STOP PRETENDING. WE ARE COLLECTIVELY TOO TOTALLY PSYCHOTIC TO BE ABLE TO STOP PRETENDING. The vast majority of people are going to continue being kept ignorant and afraid, and they are, therefore, going to continue to cooperate within the established systems built on the triumphant history of deceits and frauds, while those who are being thus ruled will continue to deliberately ignore the future consequences of that behavior upon themselves, their children, and their children's children. Meanwhile the ruling classes will continue their kinds of social and psychological habits, to drive more genocidal wars based on deceits, while preparing for democidal martial law.

The real future will be driving the madness of controlling civilization with the maximum possible evil deliberate ignorances, which will therefore result in the worst possible catastrophic collapses, and insane mass murders. Furthermore, the only REAL alternatives would have to be actually based on better death controls, backing up better debt controls, within a radically different combined money/murder system, because those must necessarily be central to any real alternative industrial and human ecologies, which could be integrated into the more objectively real natural ecologies ...

However, since the REAL social systems now are based on the history of warfare and related political economics, whose successes sustained the maximum possible deceits and frauds, to be what actually controlled what civilization did in each short-term increment, the accumulating consequences of that trajectory MUST become tragedies which go beyond our ability to imagine. We are not remotely close to resolving any of our problems better. It is practically impossible to have any saner public debates about these issues. (E.g., we can not trust any of the statistics about petroleum, since there are so many reasons why the people involved would have an interest in misrepresenting the true situation, and would already have been successfully doing that for quite a while.)

The basic conclusion is that we are going to rush head first into hitting the wall of natural limits, accelerating as fast as we possibly can, because everything we do is actually controlled by deceits and frauds, which works through maintaining as much evil deliberate ignorance about itself as possible. Guys like the author of this article are within that context, and therefore, operate as classic Black Sheeple, reactionary revolutionaries, who refuse to face the real facts about how the ruling classes operate through the maximum possible deceitful murder systems, and maximum possible fraudulent monetary systems. While those ruling classes covertly are planning to do way more of that, those who are ruled over can be mostly counted upon to continue to be Zombie Sheeple, who will have their own matching sort of deliberate ignorance about where their trajectory towards the future is actually headed.

Guys like the author of this article above, especially in the context of the crazy contradictory comments which that has provoked, only emphasize that, overall, our society is headed towards Peak Insanities, since pretty well all of them agree to deliberately ignore that the central issues of death controls in the human ecologies, and debt controls in the industrial ecologies, theoretically ought to be directly addressed, as the most important necessary components with respect to any possible alternative systems, which could be integrated to deal with civilization running into real limits to its exponential growth.

From a sublime point of view, this all tickles my macabre sense of humour. After all, there is nothing else that I could actually do about any of these things, other that uselessly attempt to abstractly understand them. The real world is being controlled by deeply entrenched systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which operate through thoroughly evil deliberate ignorance, on level after level, towards the actual situations, since everything has been built on the history of deceitful warfare directing the real human ecologies, and then, on top of that, fraudulent finance directing the real industrial ecologies. Of course, those have been destroying the surrounding natural ecologies at an exponential rate, since the utter insanity of the existing human ecology (based on deceitful murder systems) drives the utter insanity of the industrial ecology (based on fraudulent money systems), as both to rush towards hitting the wall of natural limits as fast and as hard as possible.

The ONLY thing that the ruling classes at the top of the social pyramid systems appear to have prepared as their real responses to that situation is to start much, much worse genocidal wars, along with much, much worse democidal martial law. Meanwhile, since the vast majority of people have been brainwashed to believe in total bullshit about the basic concepts of human and industrial ecologies, since the actual systems were built on previously triumphant systems of deceits and frauds, there is nothing saner on the horizon of history that seems remotely possible to actually be implemented.

All of the other pie-in-the-sky alternatives are nicer to imagine, as far as most people are concerned, by deliberately ignoring the alternative real death controls and debt controls, which theoretically ought to the central focus of our attention. The various kinds of "alternatives" that the author of this article proposes, like the rest of his ilk, tend to be based on deliberately ignoring how the actual combined money/murder systems have developed, and therefore, where those systems are really headed, towards a future driven by Peak Insanities.

Our problems are now trillions of times worse than ever before in human history. It is practically impossible for anyone within the established social pyramid systems, which includes both the rulers and the ruled, to be any more honest about the real death controls and the real debt controls, since those real systems are actually based on the maximum possible deceits and frauds about themselves, and thus, both the rulers and the ruled maintain attitudes of the maximally evil deliberate ignorance towards what kinds of real futures are being prepared, by the accumulating consequences of controlling civilization in that fashion. All of the controlled opposition kinds of religions and ideologies have already been almost completely co-opted into the biggest bullies' bullshit world views, which are based on being able to maintain extremely insane, huge lies, or deliberate ignorance, towards the real roles of the murder and money systems, since those actual systems operate on the basis of the maximum deceits and frauds about themselves, which their controlled opposition also agrees to go along with, in quite profound ways.


Hence, as we rush towards real natural limits, what that will actually provoke, more than anything else, are Peak Insanities, since the only genuine new sanity would require saner public debates about how to run the real death controls, to back up the real debt controls, but those are precisely the most important topics which are the most deeply buried under the biggest bullies' bullshit. In my view, the author of this article, and his comparable ilk, only scrape some of the more superficial layers of that bullshit off, but leave almost all the rest of that pile in place. Oh well, I guess that that is the best they could do, within their own personal circumstances ...

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 08:39 | 4287829 autonomos
autonomos's picture

Hi. It seems to me that TPTB (or at least part of it) is supporting large-scale human breeding.

+ please, what do you mean by "death controls"?

The women I know are completely obsessed with reproduction from age 15, until death (with their daughters). They reproduce at any cost, even if they'll have to let their 6 months baby and go back to work, even if they live in 15 square meters, etc. I see the magazines, the TV propaganda showing women there is only one way of having a life, being happy etc. Reproduce, breed, work, die.

This way the state provides a nice housekeeping for big corporations: a large, docile, workers army (see 1000 applicants per job).

Normal people are normopaths: they spend all their energy managing daily tasks and projects... They are the managers of a symbolic capital created by the rulers' class to dominate them.

You see, a culture is a regime of ignorance. Normal people spend all day doing anything not to feel of think. The slightest emptyness is immediately filled with inhibition processes. Taboos are everywhere. The point is: those repressions and taboos are now set up by the rulers' class! (and that's why they have slandered religion)

See also Asch, Milgram, Orwell...

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 20:49 | 4289407 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Autonomous, there is no point in giving a complete answer to your question about what I mean by "death controls" in the context of a Zero Hedge reply.

Basically I mean that as human beings become more conscious of the facts about natural selection, then that drives those processes towards becoming more artificial selection. The more artificial environment we live in, the more artificial selection there is.

I refer to "death controls" systematically, as everything that metaphorically says "no" and stops life, and especially relevant are any conditions that stop the reproduction of life. I try to use unitary mechanisms, rather than false fundamental dichotomies. Therefore, most of the language that I tend to use is quite different that what most other people superficially presume. For instance, almost everything that we call "birth control" or "family planning" are actually forms of death controls. In that context, artificial selection is becoming a form of "new age warfare" which is not being put in proper context.

Most of out real death controls are working indirectly through the debt controls, because the money symbolically dominates the allocation of resources needed to live. Therefore, most of the real death control forces have been privatized by the biggest banks, who do not have to take any real responsibility for doing that.

The biggest problem is that throughout history the main murder systems were in the form of warfare, where success depended upon backing up deceits with destruction. That has made our real death controls become extremely deceitful. For instance, false flag attacks were routinely used to start more deceitful wars.

However, in the bigger contexts, the general conditions that accumulate can drive diseases to become way more significant than human beings killing each other. Yet still, the crucial controls of civilization have nevertheless primarily been some human beings murdering each other. Anyway, I suggest we should be systematically looking at all the facts, with respect to what says "yes" and allows life to grow and reproduce, and what says "no" and stops that. Clearly, there MUST be some ecology evolve to balance those rates. Right now those are mostly done through extreme dishonesty about what they are actually doing, and that includes extreme dishonesty about the basic principles that some kind of human ecology must exist, and that the full systematic effects of death controls must be central to the evolutionary ecology of human life.

As always, the great and growing contradiction is that our real death controls are being done through the maximum possible deceits about themselves, where the language that we use to talk about that is almost totally bullshit. Death controls are not too difficult to approach scientifically. However, they are extremely difficult and dangerous to deal with from any realistic political point of view.

The driving forces in the future are going to be real limits making more exponential growth impossible. How we develop a better ecology in those circumstances remains to be seen. Right now, it looks more like the death controls will become utterly insane and irrational, because it is practically impossible for most people to discuss these things sanely, while the ruling classes work hard at advancing their criminally insane agenda with respect to the future systems of death controls.

I would like to see more democratization of the death controls, with more information and higher consciousness used to operate the evolutionary human ecology. However, that appears to be extremely improbable to actually happen, while more genocidal wars, along with democidal martial law seems practically guaranteed. Meanwhile, all over the world the crazy conditions which allow possible plagues are growing worse, and may eventually overwhelm the attempts to limit them.

Since we tend to deliberately ignore the death control facts, and our warfare primarily operates through deceits, we are preparing paths towards the worst kinds of psychotic death controls to be the ones which actually break through ... In that context, it appears practically useless to bother to even try to be more scientific about death controls in general, and especially militarism in particular. But nevertheless, those are still theoretically important things to try to do.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 13:56 | 4291009 autonomos
autonomos's picture

ok thanks :-) wish you a happy new year!

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