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Who Has The Time And Motivation to Comprehend The Mess We're In? Almost Nobody

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

If we don't understand the problem or the dynamics that are generating the problem, it is impossible to reach a solution or practical plan of action.

When it comes time to assess our grasp of the dynamics of this unprecedented era, how do you reckon historians will grade our collective political "leadership," intelligentsia, central state, corporate leadership and the "common man/woman" citizen? Did we rise to the occasion or did we falter, not in acting to counter the dissolution of the Status Quo, but in simply making a concerted effort to understand the tangled web of lies, corruption, perverse incentives, unintended consequences, simplistic (and utterly misguided) ideologies, not to mention the real-world limits of a supposedly limitless world, that have become the key dynamics of this era?

I suspect future historians (presuming the funding of such scholarly assessments survives) will grade all categories either F or D-. The reasons are not difficult to discern, and it behooves us to understand why we are collectively so ill-prepared to understand our era, much less fix what's broken before the whole over-ripe mess collapses in a heap.

1. Intellectual laziness. Very few people are willing to work hard enough to figure things out on their own. It's so much easier to join Paul Krugman dancing around the fire of the Keynesian Cargo Cult, chanting "aggregate demand! Humba-Humba!" while waving dead chickens than ditch reductionist, naive ideologies and actually work through an independent analysis.

2. Independent thinking is an excellent way to get fired, demoted or sent to Siberia. Though America claims to value independent thinking, this is just another pernicious lie: what America values is the ability to mask failing conventional ideas and systems with a thin gloss of "fresh thinking."
In other words, what the American state and corporatocracy value is the appearance of independent thinking, not the real thing. Since the real thing will get you fired, everyone who works for government or Corporate America masters the fine arts of producing simulacra, legerdemain and illusion. This only further obscures the real dynamics, making legitimate analysis that much more difficult.

3. Relatively few have any incentive to question authority, the state or the corporatocracy. Humans excel at figuring out which side of the bread is buttered, and who's lathering on the butter: self-interest is the ultimate human survival trait (we cooperate because it serves our self-interest to do so).

While we cannot hold the pursuit of self-interest against any individual--after all, who among us truly acts selflessly when push comes to shove?--we can monitor the monumentally negative consequences of self-interest and complicity on the systems and Commons we share.

When roughly half of all households are drawing direct cash/benefits from the central state, how many of those people are interested in doing anything that might put their place at the feeding trough at risk? Sure, people will grouse about this or that (usually related to the conviction that they deserve more or have been cheated out of "their fair share"), but as long as the government payments, direct deposits and benefits keep coming, what possible motivation is there for the recipients to devote energy to investigating the potential collapse of the gravy train?

Corporate America is no different. The store may be devoid of customers, but the employees will strive to look busy to keep the paychecks coming until the inevitable lay-off/implosion occurs. How many Corporate America employees will critique their way out of a paycheck? In an environment this difficult for job-seekers, you'd be nuts to bother figuring out why your division is failing, knowing as you do that the truth will result in the "termination with extreme prejudice" of the naive fools who presented the truth as if it would be welcome
Does anyone seriously imagine that any employee of a bloated bureaucracy will ever voluntarily challenge the squandering of revenues when that might cost them their own paycheck, bonus, contract for their brother-in-law, etc.? A few protected people (professors with tenure, for example) can be "brave," but their "bravery" is cheap: their protestations cannot trigger termination with extreme prejudice, so the gesture of resistance is just that, a gesture.

4. Those relative few who might have a real motivation to undertake independent analysis have little time to pursue this noble project. They are working absurd hours and enduring absurd commutes. Between getting the bundles of diapers into the elevator and planning what to cook for dinner, there is precious little time or energy left for figuring out the mess we're in. Just getting to a second or third job can suck up a significant amount of time, money amd energy.

And so the busy employee/sole-proprietor/contract worker listens to NPR or some talk radio program for a few minutes, reinforcing their ideology of choice, and turns on the "news" (laughably bad propaganda churned up with "if it bleeds, it leads") as background noise and spends whatever personal time they have on Roku, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. seeking distraction or solace from the daily workload.

In a strange irony, there are plenty of citizens who have plenty of time (recall that Americans manage to watch 6-8 hours of TV a day), but their marginalized status and dependence on the state drains them of motivation to do anything but seek amusement and distraction.

If we don't understand the problem or the dynamics that are generating the problem, it is impossible to reach a solution or practical plan of action. In other words, the four points above doom us just as surely as the dynamics of insolvency, corruption, debt servitude, Tyranny of the Majority, etc. etc. etc.

Choose your metaphor of choice, but rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic has a nice ironic texture in an election year, when the "news" will be focusing on rearranging the political deck chairs on the first class deck--at least when there's no celebrity ruckus or "if it bleeds, it leads" to crowd out what passes for "hard news" in a regime dedicated to the distractions of bread and circuses.


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Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:20 | 4337563 quasimodo
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I already spend too much time here!

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:31 | 4337601 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

People have neither the time nor the expertise to understand or formulate an opinion on most of today's pressing political issues. The only solution is to defer to the experts, which is what I've been saying over and over again on this site. I don't contradict the scientific consensus on climate change and nor do I have the audacity to contradict the economic consensus on the benefits of monetary and fiscal stimulus. These issues should be left to accredited experts only, and it is the responsibility of every individual to respect and subscribe to mainstream opinions on matters of extreme complexity. 

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:33 | 4337615 WarriorClass
WarriorClass's picture

"Who Has The Time And Motivation to Comprehend The Mess We're In? Almost Nobody"

Answer: almost everyone in the Alternative Media.

Get with the program.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:38 | 4337636 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Man in photo is look for buried copper ore. Boris is recommend first check voltage to ground and not insert head.

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 00:51 | 4340111 The Final Straw
The Final Straw's picture

Actually, I believe he dropped his Hope an Change in that hole.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:58 | 4337715 TeamDepends
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Jim Willie has both and knocks it out of the park with this one.  This is what we need to do people.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:30 | 4337826 max2205
max2205's picture

I could and have analyzed this.... but its worthless when the govt and fed and banks flipping do whatever they want

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:44 | 4338277 tvdog
tvdog's picture

But why does he call himself the Jackass? By the way, an excellent 12-point plan, but of course it won't happen - until it has to.

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." - Winston Churchill

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:42 | 4337863 Woodyg
Woodyg's picture

Plus I'll add it's the damn Tyranny of the Minority - fascists and corporatists.

these assholes Think Americans would rather get a few hundred a Week in welfare instead ofthe 50,000 to 70,000 a year they used to earn -

Or those who ignore that 1500 people apply for a handful of jobs -

Yea sure these people want their shitty welfare instead oftheir old goodpaying job -

As I said its Tyranny of the Minority - who sent our good payng jobs overseas cause the ceo's etc couldn't survive on their 10 mil a year - but now that they sent our jobs to the damn Enemy they can make 25 mil a year -

Greddy sociopaths - shit we used to hang these assholes from the nearest lamppost at the end of ww2 - too bad the fascists actually WON WW2.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:12 | 4339222 BigJim
BigJim's picture
Who Has The Time And Motivation to read everything Charles Hugh Smith writes? The man is en fuego!
Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:32 | 4337616 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Nor do you have the intelligence you fucking idiot!

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 15:55 | 4337649 Boris Alatovkrap
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"It is better citizenry are not understand banking and monetary system; if citizenry understand, perhaps maybe start revolution before lunch tomorrow."

- Henry Ford (paraphrase)


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:44 | 4337659 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

MDB is no idiot.

MDB is a genius at articulating the dominant paradigm with ironic humor.

His faux endorsement of this dominant paradigm is the joke.

People struggle getting this.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:51 | 4337693 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

bingo........can you say alter-ego?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:47 | 4337888 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

MDB  is  really a gold bug as well.

A lot don't get the sarcasm , he is just portraying our typical elites attitude in parody.

He is very good at it.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:51 | 4337688 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

I have the modesty to understand that I have no more right to formulate an alternative opinion monetary policy than I have to form an opinion on advanced molecular biology. Economic and political issues are a science and matters of such should be left exclusively to accredited experts with the necessary credentials. Everyone understands that formulating an opnion on a topic in advanced theoretical physics would be futile without a background in the subject. Why do people think that economics and politics are any different?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:57 | 4337708 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Monetary policy??????

now Im pissed off...........the ''money changers'' have been run out of 109 countries for imposing the same monetary system (debt-money) that they have imposed on us........they have been running the same SCAM for a thousand yrs

theft is not a science, altho these assholes have it down to a 'science'

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:07 | 4337752 Killer the Buzzard
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MDB... you're in rare form today bro!  +100

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 14:30 | 4338418 Dick Buttkiss
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Actually, he's a bit over-the-top today, KB, which is why it astounds me that so many ZHers just don't get his schtick.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:15 | 4337772 shovelhead
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I wholeheartedly agree MDB...

Even a fake Nobel in Economics is preferable to no Nobel prize at all.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:18 | 4337784 SoilMyselfRotten
SoilMyselfRotten's picture

I keep hearing of 'accredited experts' but where is the accredited ad???

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:22 | 4337801 Occasional
Occasional's picture

OK, Now MDB is really going to confuse the peanut gallery. 

The truth, of course, is that economics and politics are not a science, but a merely venue for human action.  The means of measuring and quantifying individual or collective human action do not and inherently can not produce the same level of predictability as efforts to do the same with respect to the behavior of inorganic materials in the physical sciences...... and therefore, they are not sciences. 

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:23 | 4337806 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:36 | 4337850 Muppetrage
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You're a great Amerikan MDB! I kinda knew I was just wasting my time trying to be a critical thinker. I feel less stress already.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:31 | 4338030 Breezy47
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I have an econ degree from a top 10 econ school...does that make me "accredited"? I had a 2.6 GPA too...

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:12 | 4338174 Professorlocknload
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 Maybe MDB is referring to Corzine and Madoff. Experienced experts in their field!

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:56 | 4338104 Blano
Blano's picture

It's a good day when MDB posts more than once.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 14:08 | 4338359 Calmyourself
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MDB=Marla for you oldtimers..

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:47 | 4339341 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Maybe because expert rules don't apply because NO RULES apply?
Unlike physics there is no steady behaviour of economics or politics.
Everything changes all the time with no repeating patterns at all.
Worse, those accredited as experts are provable liars, frauds & fools.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:49 | 4339344 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

who needs intelligence when you've got accreditation & a million dollar bonus?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:44 | 4337621 grunk
grunk's picture

You must be an economist from the Richmond Fed.

The Fed Has Lost It; Publishes Essay Bashing Bloggers, Tells General Public To Broadly Ignore Those Without An Econ PhD

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 14:31 | 4338419 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

It's the secret handshake thingie....

What do you expect from the equivalent of the High Priests of the State Religion???

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:35 | 4337625 new game
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bye, have nice day...

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:47 | 4337678 insect0man
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>>These issues should be left to accredited experts only,

Right. And remember: NO SLEEPING IN BEDS err {edit} WIF SHEETS!

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:53 | 4337698 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Huhhhhh? What he say? Is there an expert in the house to splain?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:12 | 4337768 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

I can't wait until our government can implant a chip in my brain so these accredited experts can download their invaluable data directly. It would surely eliminate all of this thinking and ruminations I have been going through. Ah, to become more Borg-like is such a warming thought. All of my obsession with facts and reality are really killing my inner peace.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:38 | 4337853 pods
pods's picture

Hey Cipher, how's the steak?


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:19 | 4337787 Nothing but the...
Nothing but the truth.'s picture

MDB trying to be the smart arse again. 

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:41 | 4338056 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

You write as if you have read Mein Kampf. That is precisely what Hitler said was the failing of Democracy as a system, the sheer laziness of the masses.

It is the active participation and involvement of the masses that the Liberal Arts Colleges proclaim in teaching Politics but it is the Mass that kills Democracy by swamping the educated and the intelligent in the indolent dross of inertia and ignorance.

You state eloquently why you should lose the right to vote rather than simply diluting the vote of the informed and educated

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:59 | 4338112 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Once you understand that a brain surgeon and a welfare recipient have an equal vote, you are given pause. Once you realize that it is far easier to make a welfare recipient than a brain surgeon, you see the inevitable failure of democracy.

If Hitler is verboten, then read Thomas Carlyle or Hans-Herman Hoppe. They tell a similar story.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:49 | 4339346 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

What you're NOT seeing is that a piece of freedom should never be inequal based on who does what.
If those who aren't working at this time are to be given no choice, no freedom, no say, then the place with these rules is a desolate and evil place.
Democracy is the only system in history where you do not get a boot stomping your face and a soldier/policeman raping your wife every single day. Forever.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 23:19 | 4339964 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

"A piece of freedom should never be unequal based on who does what." OK, so if I commit a crime, you have no right to inequalize my piece of freedom by placing me in jail or removing me from society based on what I did. Did I get that right?

Everyone must remain equally free and equally equal no matter their actions, character, or proclivity toward production or violence. Behold the equalist humanitarianism destroying the west. Your argument is absurd, and is the product of a State Religion.

So, in our late-stage democracy you get free, feral welfare recipients stomping your face and raping your wife, and if you point out the absurdity of Equalism you get purged from the public sphere, and if you piss off the Imperials you get assassinated. Some improvement. I guess you like Detroit.

So no, freedom shall be confined to what you are capable of doing with it. Those who do not work shall have no say in the provisioning of others' productive efforts. Democracy doesn't work without capable, moral people. And We the Productive are absolutely sick of subsidizing the freedumb of parasites.

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 16:49 | 4342079 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

no, you did not get that right.
What you do FOR A LIVING, YOUR JOB, should not ensure you more or less freedom than others with different jobs or no job.

nothing WHATSOEVER of what I wrote, or will write, states, implies or demands you subsidize anyone, or that welfare be mandatory or unlimited or paid involuntarily by those who have money.
Welfare is not freedom.
I wrote 'freedom'

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 23:27 | 4339978 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

You are ignoring that Democracy will fail.  The mob will learn to vote to pay itself.  The mob will become lazy.  The nation will wobbly trying to support so many useless eaters.  Recognize that we could easily afford to care for the truly despondent with some to spare for saving.  Instead we must break our backs to feed and clothe the additional burden of those who just won't and don't. 

Eventually the makers break off the romance and partition or war ensue.  The nation is broken.  Eventually, if the makers don't break off the takers break the system and it just collapses and people need to learn to subsist on their own and still live a short life.  Eventually, if neither of the above have occurred, the dependance provides an opportunity for a clever cur to take command of the dictatorship.  Eventually some other crazy thing happens.

There are plenty more eventualities after that.  Some even include groups of people declaring themselves free and living that way, for a while.

It's a cycle, natural like weather.  Sometimes the weather is great.  Sometimes you get a sunburn or a blizzard.  Sometimes you just wait for five minutes and it changes.  One thing is for sure.  It really is too big for any one person to control.  If evolution is real, and we do not become extinct, then it stands to reason that some day our race will understand the reality of not having control and we will be able to advance as a species.


Fri, 01/17/2014 - 03:58 | 4340227 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I am ignoring nothing.
When democracy fails all that is left is mass-rape daily, as common as yawning in the morning.
In that moment a choice happens: you rise up, kill all the overlords, and restore democracy OR you get 1000 years of child-rape, slavery & public executions of random citizens by police for fun.

Mob rule is proper rule - all other rule is kings and executioners. There is no 3rd choice.

I also recognize that the truly despondent can always expand beyond the ability of savers to afford them - opposite of your silly conclusion.

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 04:28 | 4340246 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Well, I guess this calls for a scotch.

I don't think the random police brutality for fun will last too long in your scenario. Remember the SA ( " brown shirts") in Germany who instigated many skirmishes randomly attacking citizenry on the streets. It was downplayed for the longest time but eventually the Night of the Long Knives and the real purge began.

When a stallion takes over a wild herd, the first thing he does is kill all the foals sired by the previous stallion he has deposed. It's disquieting to see humans are really not far removed from wild animals. Though, I do think 1000 years of this may be a bit exaggerated. At least I hope so.


Fri, 01/17/2014 - 16:46 | 4342074 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I wish it was but now the powers available to keep a population enslaved are far more powerful than they were 1000 years ago.
It's not just police / robbers with knives, swords, etc.
Now there's machine guns, nerve gas, tracking people by the phones they use, infrared cameras... etc.
The game's stepped  up which means once we lose we lose a lot & for a very long time.

Pretty much the freedom of the last 100 years is an anomaly in history & if we want it to last a little longer we can't just let it take a break then get it back.

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 20:22 | 4342762 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Remember the Third Reich was also called the 1000 year Reich because it's founder Adolph Hitler believed it would last that long. Well, his estimates were a bit off. Do you think the 1000 year prediction would have been fulfilled if today's technology was available at the time? I think not. I'm not saying the body count wouldn't have increased due to ease of identifying enemies, however technology can be used to fight technology. I believe there would be many who would work together to bring it down. Yes, and many would die trying to do so. There is something about the human spirit that cries for freedom. It is inalienable like eating or breathing. I know people now seem very dead or asleep but everyone doesn't need to be awake to cause serious resistance. Rome was the technological power house of the day and experienced massive revolts from conquered territories. It's hard to maintain power when you spread so thin even with the advance of technologies. I am hoping human spirit will eventually win the day but I do admit this will be a fight unlike no other seen in history.


Fri, 01/17/2014 - 23:44 | 4343197 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Hitler lost. If Hitler had won that 1000 year Reich very well could have become historical fact.

It's not the level of technology it's how much more the oppressors have. Quantity and know-how. The common sheeple has little idea how to use the best features of the best tech, or even that it exists sometimes, and the common sheeple has NO clue how to build/repair that same tech, from a phone to car, to computer to furnace, etc., much less home-made drones or IR cameras, night-scopes or making their own bullets & casting their own guns.

It takes just that one slip down the cliff & you can't climb back up because it's a very, very far fall down.

This is a stage where the best industries in the most dangerous (war & police-state) technologies are being absorbed as "contractors" into government. That means the most motivated, skilled, experienced people are being absorbed to the enemy side so that when shit goes down, everyone on the "freedom" side will at best be tinkerers with little stored fuel, few tools, none of the advanced weapons like nerve gas or drones, and surrounded either/both by sheeple and wolves.

It will not go over well.

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 02:22 | 4343422 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

This is an issue that has been going on for some time even without the threat of our government becoming fascistic. Even Mr miffed has complained that those newly graduated in software are educated in using tools not in how things truly work or how they were built. He likens it to that episode in Star Trek Spocks Brain. There must be an omnipotent controller because everyone has lost the knowledge how everything works.

Yes, in a critical situation these individuals will become highly valued and sought after. So, you claim the government will hoard this knowledge to control the people. I am not sure this could work permanently. Creative people don't work well with a gun to their heads or threats to their families. Had Hitler succeeded in his plans for nuclear development and using the V2 rockets to carry bombs, it is claimed he would have captured the world. Capturing is very different from holding for long periods of time.

Erwin Rommel a brilliant field Marshall was forced to kill himself because of his plotting to arrest Hitler for war crimes. He was in the inner circle, had a brilliant career but still fought against tyranny. When the State becomes more and more powerful, it becomes more and more paranoid to the point of killing its own life blood.

The problem with nerve gas is it kills indiscriminately and a sudden change of wind may backfire your idea. The problem with drones is it isn't possible to kill everyone with them. Eventually someone in the drone department will have enough with killing fellow citizens. I can't see the military killing civilians under orders from the government and this would have to happen if what you say is to go down. I'm not saying that the government wielding such power wouldn't destroy many in its quest for supreme power. I'm just dubious that they could hold it so long because so many would have to be willing to aid them in such a large undertaking. Technology is complex and needs constant maintenance and energy to keep it running. Threatening people to do it only will work so long and tyrannical governments historically eventually fail. Not that I look forward to living through this because I'm not sure if I am prepared adequately to survive it.


Sun, 01/19/2014 - 03:00 | 4345439 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I too see this with software. People aren't willing to make more unique & modular tools themselves, only to use what's pre-made.
People aren't willing to think in big-scales of collaboration & usability.
They only care about a combined profit-cycle & sofware cycle that is, really, irrelevant to true productivity & intellect.

About nerve gas: so long as for each one there is an antidote with those who deploy it, and so long as the return payoff for the removal of a set of targets is big enough, it can be used.
After all, it's not just about stomping out resistance but likely blaming a non-involved party.
The use of such wide-spectrum attack weapons is never just about force but also about politics.

Creative people don't need to work well: the ratio is what matters. So long as they're paid/threatened to join the wrong side early, the other side will have fewer, maybe none, and the outcome is likely assured - victory for the bad guys.
It's all about attrition.

"Eventually someone in the drone department will have enough with killing fellow citizens"
By then the drones won't need a department, they will be able to fully identify, hit targets & re-fuel without human direction whatsoever.

"I'm just dubious that they could hold it so long because so many"
I see what you're getting at. Abstracting this to all wars & strategies I actually see very few who see how to endure a lasting control, they never even try.
It's about battle & victory not about sustained long-term holding of an asset, a balance in their favor.
The thought never enters their mind. Perhaps only the most advanced strategists can even conceive of this outcome.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 01:00 | 4347488 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

You said it yourself. We have become a nation of shortsighted individuals. Long term strategies,always the foundation of any business, have been long abandoned for quick quarterly profits. My husband used to have a 2-3 year project pipeline. He proposed a massive project recently using Hadoop and SQL-H that was offered in 9 months. Management pissed themselves saying that was outrageously too long. They respect him because he is spot on in his schedules and quality of his products but he gets tired of them wanting everything faster. I have witnessed creativity and quality cannot be rushed.

This is why I doubt the scenario of a fascistic government with all technology and man power at their disposal couldn't keep power for any length of time. The constant vigilance of maintaining that power would wear them down. Then, if the USA was in civil war, other countries could perceive weakness and make their strike. Now Sauron's eye must focus on a new threat. Unless they have the backing of an oil rich nation it would be difficult. The best and brightest in this situation would be stagnant and not developing new technologies and have difficulty maintaining what is functioning. What if a key developer was shot for a perception of sedition but was the only one who knew a critical component of a needed system?

I hope what you propose doesn't materialize. There are many signs today that point to your accuracy in this assessment. It will be difficult to judge when a move like this would be initialized. People are so mind numbingly pliant today there doesn't look to be much resistance if it were to happen. But I do agree with you it should be considered, though I'm a bit baffled myself how to live through it or even stop it if that were an option. I don't have the capability to fight our military. If Hitler's Germany were to return most of us would probably die no matter how well we have prepped.


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 17:43 | 4349205 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Well, that's a thought, except government doesn't run on the corporate quarterly results cycle. They have their own time-frames & when it goes military or NSA, CIA, DHS the time-frames can be quite different, as can the capabilities as they snoop technology & use it without the legal restrictions of patents, mergers, etc.

"What if a key developer was shot for a perception of sedition but was the only one who knew a critical component of a needed system?"
depends who does the shooting.
If it's prepared in advance it can be a fake shooting leading to a real kidnapping.
Maybe that person doesn't produce what's desired but maybe the goal at the time is to prevent that production for anyone, leaving someone with the upper-hand - which is only a mistake if that person/party is not the kidnapper.

"I hope what you propose doesn't materialize. There are many signs today that point to your accuracy in this assessment."
Well, yes, my assessment is from those signs rather than being (un)wishful thinking.
I could be misled but what I see is in that direction & promises to be bad for most of us.

"though I'm a bit baffled myself how to live through it or even stop it if that were an option"
Not all regions will fall to one domination all at once. Figure out what place is safest to migrate to, or perhaps a series of migrations, and do it before it's too late, pretty much.
That's why gold is something I favour, it's small for a big amount of purchasing power.
If my destination was Asia perhaps jade as well. It isn't, for now.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:52 | 4338093 Blano
Blano's picture

The laugh that emanates from me when your name shows up lately is almost Pavlovian.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:55 | 4338103 Professorlocknload
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"and it is the responsibility of every individual to respect and subscribe to mainstream opinions on matters of extreme complexity."


MDB The Hun.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:37 | 4338252 wtf1369
wtf1369's picture

That is some epic trolling MDB. You may have outdone yourself on this one.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:50 | 4339349 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

holy shit, you're back from vacation.
Merry -1mas to you.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 23:01 | 4339921 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Oh no.  I'm not falling for that again.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:36 | 4337630 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I guess my boss would say the same thing about me...

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:40 | 4338031 brombones
brombones's picture

I read zerohedge through a hole in a sheet.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 14:09 | 4338362 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Live a little, make two holes..

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:00 | 4338114 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

In the FEMA camp it will be all your time, although unheated barracks, 6 days per week manual labor, low qual starch diet and untreated pneumonia will severly suppress your habit of inquiries.
Basically you'll want to sleep a lot.

Read One Day In The Life Of Ivan Desonovich.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:41 | 4338265 wtf1369
wtf1369's picture

FEMA camp? That sounds like Camp Lejeune.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:23 | 4337574 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture


2. Independent thinking is an excellent way to get fired, demoted or sent to Siberia.

5% of the people think, 10% of the people think they think, and 85% of the people would rather die than think. And so they do.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:06 | 4337748 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

What better way to "Hollywood" our future than making it into a cuddly remake of 1984?!?!? That's right, love in the age of surveillance with little comedic quips will make you all feel better as the grip of tyranny tightens....IT'S LOVE!!!!!!!!


Oh my god. OH MY GOD. Okay. Deep breath. For the full effect of this news, I'm going to have to let US Magazine explain it, because I think it most effectively sells the horror of what's happening here.

Kristen Stewart is hooking up with Jennifer Lawrence's boyfriend . . . on the big screen. The 23-year-old actress has signed on to star opposite Nicholas Hoult in the upcoming futuristic love story Equals. In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Stewart explains why she's nervous to take on the part.

I'm glad US didn't bury the lede, which is of course that Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult would be fake making out with each other. We'll get to the 1984 business in a bit.

"I can't believe I agreed to do it," Stewart told The Associated Press on Monday, Jan. 14. "I'm terrified of it. Though it's a movie with a really basic concept, it's overtly ambitious."

Yes, Kristen Stewart just called a movie based on George Orwell's literary masterpiece about a dystopia where a privileged elite rule the masses of humanity by brutally taking control of society and eradicating their individualism, as well as controlling their language, history, and even their thoughts "a really basic concept."

"It's a love story of epic, epic, epic proportion," she added. "I'm scared."


Equals is an adaptation of the 1956 film 1984, which itself was based on George Orwell's classic novel about rebellion in a futuristic society. The project begins filming later this year with director Drake Doremus, who also directed Lawrence, 23, in 2011's Like Crazy.

First of all, of course the movie is based on the previous movie; I'm shocked anyone bothered to mention the book at all. Second of all, good call on describing 1984 as "about rebellion in a futuristic society." NAILED IT. Third, here's the Wikipedia synopsis for Like Crazy: "The film is about a British exchange student who falls in love with an American student, only to be separated from him when she's denied re-entry into the United States after overstaying her student visa." Yep, that sounds like some pretty deep stuff. Let's hand him the keys to adapting one of the most important books of the 20th century!

"I trust Drake's process and I know we will do something really natural and real," Stewart said. "But I told Drake, 'Don't expect that I am going to be able to do this. It's too hard.' But he wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. I've given directors disclaimers before, but never this much."

Look, I'm not a movie director, but if an actress insists that she is not qualified to perform a certain role, perhaps you, you know, might consider finding an actress who is qualified to perform that certain role.

I don't even know what to say. I mean, adapting 1984 into a love story is probably better than doing it to Catcher in the Rye, but both ideas make me equally nauseous. But maybe I'm just overreacting. Maybe I need to think positive. Okay. Good thoughts. C'mon, Rob. Think. 

I, for one, look forward to the scene where Stewart and Hoult make out while their heads are locked in cages with an angry rat inside.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 15:28 | 4338581 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

I love Big Brother.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 15:35 | 4338604 SDShack
SDShack's picture

I can sum up the entire system very succinctly.

TPTB = Sociopaths (New Feudal Kings/Queens/Lords)

Constitution (Rule of Law) = How to stop a sociopath

Security = Coercion by the State

Free Shit Army = Debt Slaves (i.e. New Feudal Serfs)

We all know who is winning and why. Plan accordingly.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:50 | 4339352 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Presenting a re-make of Apocalypse Now styled like the Survivor reality-TV show.
Starring....! Jim Carrey ... Justin Bieber... Lady Gaga ... and .... Wesley Snipes.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:25 | 4337577 onewayticket2
onewayticket2's picture

"overwhelm the system..."



just read up on it and it'll all fall into place. 

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:36 | 4337632 pods
pods's picture

Okay, I have seen the clown-piven strategy being lauded about quite a bit lately.

Can you please explain this a bit further?  

Cause from where I sit, this has been going on a lot longer than clown and piven were just a gleam in their daddy's eye.

You can keep your answer if this somehow involves Obama being the master strategist who somehow is trying to topple us as an empire and remake us in Karl's image.

This is exponentially (pun intended) greater than what he is capable of.

Many good people are leaving ZH, it is about time we start policing ourselves and stop this "hit the puppet" type of shit, unless it is merely in jest.


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:44 | 4337665 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Clown and Piven is not INVENT collapse system, is only identify and promulgate as political strategy for left. Danger is plain spoken approach to insidious plot, like kool-aid in Jones Town.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:07 | 4337750 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

As far as I have researched and understood, Cloward-Piven is merely the latest strategy employed by the Fabian Socialists, who, as you suggest, have been going at this for a long time.

Such is their way: implementation of socialism in the West through steady, "progressive" infiltration of the nation's institutions, rather than outright revolution. Comparable to Antonio Gramsci's professed "Long March Through the Institutions."

Now that the institutions are thoroughly compromised, Cloward-Piven will hasten their collapse.

See termites, for a biological analogy.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:20 | 4338205 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

"Fabian" is very feminine name, no? Make is Boris think of hair dresser or fashion consultant. Is hair dresser and fashion consultant all to be socialist?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:29 | 4338224 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

haha ..Roman General, actually, but widely adopted by many fagtivists.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 15:56 | 4338427 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Fabian != Fabius

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:26 | 4337585 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.

H. L. Mencken

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:26 | 4337588 grunk
grunk's picture

Knowing that it's a mess is one thing, doing something about it is another.

What can you do against the status quo?

I'm not being cynical. I'd like to know what actions to take however small and incremental.

I thought about handing out some of this literature at a local university.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:34 | 4337622 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

The only 'defense' I've been able to divine at this point is personal choices.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:40 | 4337647 Fiat Burner
Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:08 | 4338153 Loose Caboose
Loose Caboose's picture

@Fiat Burner - the problem with this call to revolution is that Aaron is an ex-pat.  He chose to leave his country.  To me, when you choose to leave your country, you forfeit your right to instruct others how to live there.  I'm not criticizing him for leaving - not at all.  But I do have a problem with him providing an instruction manual to others to take up the cause of revolution when he was not willing to stand his ground and be part of that effort.  He can be critical, sure.  However, he has no right to instruct others how to step into the fray that he, himself, has avoided by leaving the USA.  I'll get down-voted, I know, but to me, this says a lot about his character. 

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 16:13 | 4338725 Fiat Burner
Fiat Burner's picture

Regardless, the video gives solid suggestions for someone asking "What can I do?".  I don't really care who created it as long as the information is solid. 

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:51 | 4339354 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

what if the only way to arm up & gather force was to leave for a while & come back?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:11 | 4337761 pods
pods's picture

The big problem grunk is not that people are uninformed.

It is that they are knowingly uninformed, by choice.  


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:42 | 4338057 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

If folks were informed, they'd have to take action.  That's what keeps most from being self-informed.  Inaction is preferable to most reg'lar folks who populate your local shopping mall.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:14 | 4338181 pods
pods's picture

Yep, that is exactly it Rock. Hell, even I was like that to a point. I was always looking for that next piece that would remove all doubt about our situation.
I would not have to act until I found that piece.  Always looking, never having to act.

Cog Dis has taught me a lot about my number 1 enemy.


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:56 | 4338319 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Lady Cog holds her own as well.   Thanks to the stars that some of the reputable old-timers have clung to this leaky dinghy.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:23 | 4337804 therevolutionwas
therevolutionwas's picture

Not much we can do that will change the federal landscape for the better (in my opinion) but there is a chance a revolution of sorts can happen from the bottom up.  "What We Must Do" by Hans Hoppe is an interesting little piece that explains how eliminating fed gov't from a community level can grow.  Free download at

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:18 | 4337985 TwoHoot
TwoHoot's picture

Grunk- First, quit worrying about what other people think and do. Concentrate on taking care of yourself and your friends and family.The guy with the answers for you is wearing your underwear right now. You know him/her as "me".


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:14 | 4338180 vie
vie's picture

TPTB wouldn't have any power if we didn't give it to them.  Non servium!  Simply, Do Not Serve.  If enough people stop using fiat currency, pay off their debts (or default), and stop looking to the state for security.  The problems would go away on their own.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:52 | 4339357 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Problem is, the pigs will get paid fiat & get lots of tangibles for fiat for jailing those who refuse to use fiat, as taxes must be paid in in fiat, and those who are jailed can lose all their property (to the pigs, of course).
It's called a police-state for a reason.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:28 | 4337593 semperfi
semperfi's picture

A: Jim Willie

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:29 | 4337597 planet psyop
planet psyop's picture

humanity has enough trouble juggling a million illusions a minute before reality comes a knockin 

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:30 | 4337602 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

We are only really noticing it because growth is over...

A rising tide raises all boats or so the old saw goes....

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:34 | 4337623 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

You say there are no easy answers? Well, I say you're not thinking hard enough! Find the right political party to break the tyranny of the majority, and the homeland will rise again!

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:50 | 4337687 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Lol...some people just don't get you Rex. 

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:52 | 4337695 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

So true - provided there was anything to get.

I've rarely seen Flakmeister with a positive vote balance - is this place changing?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:56 | 4337704 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I'm afraid it is. Too many red teamers that believe this is all Zero, and don't look deeper into the problems. I can't stand the guy either, but he only exists because our owners allow it.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:06 | 4337749 pods
pods's picture

It will build into a crescendo by next fall (the 2014 elections).  Then it will subside a bit and build back up for the next presidential selection.

I guess it is our job to keep the comments section on point?  


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:14 | 4337771 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I agree Pods. If we don't start calling these people out then sooner or later we won't be able to tell the difference between here and Douche Limburger's site.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:47 | 4338076 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

oooohhhhh! the old gang plotting! <spoken with a small frightened child's voice> can I play with you?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:18 | 4338199 pods
pods's picture

First you gotta do the Truffle Shuffle!


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:31 | 4337763 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Ergo cogito sum.


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:55 | 4338099 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

yet how do you prove this to others? I'm being called a NSA or CIA bot. again. I find this demeaning. all this personal interaction and wit and humour (ok, not that much wit and humour)

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:28 | 4338219 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

We should subject you to a Turing test.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 14:22 | 4338394 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

There were many red teamers when I started many have awoken to their own cog-dis and cleared that mental hurdle. Most now know there is no Red/Blue team when it comes to the major issues and overall direction toward tyranny (you name it) they do keep separated on the small policy issues (abortion - Squirrel) which can be confusing.  Tough to always keep the 30,000 ft view of the situation which invariably leads to the extinction of media/gov induced and promoted cog-dis.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:11 | 4337751 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yeah... something bizarre is afoot, maybe it's a ratings sweep...

Check this one out:

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:20 | 4337792 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

My 17 yr old son was in China for several weeks a couple of months ago. He really loved China, but was shocked at the pollution. He brought back amazing pictures - including smog inside buildings. I guess all that stuff sold at Walmart ends up having an environmental impact, after all.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 14:09 | 4338360 tvdog
tvdog's picture

The problem in China is pretty simple. They burn lots of cheap coal, but won't invest in scrubbers to remove the sulfur and particulates from the emissions. Factories also pouring untreated effluent into rivers. It would be an easy fix for a government that wasn't corrupt.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 14:17 | 4338383 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Easy solutions are everywhere! It's amazing that we're still in the mess we're in.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:31 | 4337605 pods
pods's picture

Yep, we are fucked.  Ain't no way around it either.  

If anyone disagrees, kindly show me where I am wrong?  The only path I see is a new currency, and yet another ponzi scheme for the moneychangers is not my idea of a solution.

Hard currency?  That would immediately remove our chief export, debt.  And also reduce our ability to make people do what we want, as fuel and bombs ain't cheap if you have to pay for it with actual money, not legal tender script.

No boys and girls, we are on the long slow grind down into former empire status.  Better get used to it.  

I welcome all junks, hell, it might just get me to grab a chicken, throttle it, and start chanting.

As for CHS, that is two excellent articles in two days.  Breath of fresh air I say. Thanks Charles!


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:36 | 4337628 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

If you can spare a moment from choking your chicken, we could use some assistance with the life boats...

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:45 | 4337669 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Not really fair, but funny.  At ZH, funny is enough.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:51 | 4337691 pods
pods's picture

And the monkey puts one in the upper deck!



Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:18 | 4337783 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

obuma, a reptile, or hybrid human? He "wrote" in his book on his life that he was born in africa, so did he lie then or did he lie when he said I was born in the hawian islands of good ol USA?  to get this picture strait, his past life is now secret, he may or may not have been born in USA, he attended university, but thats secret now, yet he got elected president....the USA a super power has an  person with a hidden past , no real impact in business or law he claims to be a lawyer, he is now president of a super power, no folks this does not happen without a shadow elite controlling the selection and elections of the "most powerful man in the world"..seeing his face every day on MSM outlets is to let those with eye's that are open, know they are powerless and laughed at by the "elite"..

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:55 | 4337916 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Exactly. It's not Obama I wonder about. He's a simple cocksucking con man, lifted through the lower echelons by Affirmative Action, his family's banking/CIA connections, and a possible benefactor among the Saudi princes. At some point, he was anointed by TPTB to play every Columbia Journalism School grad's Multikulti Wet Dream on TV, and the funds, puff-pieces, and bodies began piling up. As an out-of-his depth, eminently manipulable, blackmailable doofus, there is simply no one better to play the part.

Yet, he couldn't pass a background check to drive trucks at FedEx, with an invalid Social Security Number and Selective Service Number, to boot. At least with Bush II, we know exactly what Old Money nexus of banking, oil, drug, and intel interests put him there.

It's not about Obama. He's expendable. Much moreso than the shunted-aside Hillary. It's the people who put him into power and can keep him there that worry me. We must identify and eliminate them, for they are the real threat. It's the Producers--not the Actors.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:26 | 4338017 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture


The Two Minutes Hate Room was the 2nd door on the *right*.....

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:56 | 4338106 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

do they realize that Obama is not facing any elections anymore? persistent, eh?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:00 | 4338115 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

The corollary of love isn't hate, it's fear.

Love/Hate = attachment.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:04 | 4338135 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

@Flak, you missed the point entirely. As contemptible as Obama may be, it's not about him.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:06 | 4338145 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yeah... sure thing, whatever you say...


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:48 | 4337681 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

You're such an optimist. "Long slow grind down into former empire status", there's a cliff lurking out there in the dark waiting for us to find it.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:53 | 4339360 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Could be or it could be a bear. A bear that's been slapped in the face with a big fat stick and left to run into the woods to find what it can. And the people in the woods being shot with paintballs filled with BBQ sauce.
Or... it could just be a cliff. Jus' sayin'.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:37 | 4337631 The Proletariat
The Proletariat's picture

"I suspect future historians (presuming the funding of such scholarly assessments survives) will grade all categories either F or D-."

I doubt it.  It will be an A or B+ based on the incredible efforts of the FED and government to make the world a better place by providing unprecented economic freedom and equality to everyone....Barry Barack Huessing Soetoro Obama and Benjamin Shalom Bernanke will be placed next to Abe Lincoln freeing slaves, the creation of, and great efforts by, the FED to stop depressions, FDR for saving the world from depression, etal...of course that is presuming their funding of such scholarly assessments is from .gov, just like the present times....and I'm sure it will be. 

The only future historians that will allowed to be heard, are those that stay on script.  That's a fact!

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:46 | 4337653 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

"I suspect future historians (presuming the funding of such scholarly assessments survives) will grade all categories either F or D-."

The winners write the history books so immediate future probably not when this all plays out. Too many people are on the take and when push comes to shove they will not give it up without a fight. We have country largely consisting of idealist pussy types who talk a good game but don't practice it in their daily lives who won't get their hands dirty to take away the punch bowl.

When the masses are angry and hungry enough change will happen, until then it is america the clown show. The supply lines need to break.....

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:43 | 4337654 10mm
10mm's picture

Independent thinking and surrounded by like minded thinkers vs surrounded by majority sheeple. The latter will get you killed or sent to camp De program. 

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:43 | 4337657 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

The iSheeple in this country are so damn frustrating. The country is sliding down the shithole, but those that even notice would rather argue amongst themselves about whose team is better, the reds or the blues. The iSheeple are too fucking stupid to understand that nobody on either team gives a rat's ass bout them. If you try to point out how both teams are fucking them they will sometimes give you a nod of agreement, but it will be quickly followed up by..."yeah but that other team.....". I don't have much hope for this country, and I worry about the shithole my kids will inherit.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 10:48 | 4337683 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Please - the Reds and the Blues are both upholding their end of the 21st century social contract.

Just sit back and enjoy the reality TV and fast food.

While it lasts.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:53 | 4339362 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

We need an upgrade to Dancing with the Stars. Something 'reality'. How about... Dancing with SWAT? Bean-bag guns and tasers, filming the hapless 'volunteers' for the show...

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:04 | 4337745 semperfi
semperfi's picture

dead-on - exactly how I feel

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:16 | 4337777 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

So then, without resorting to wishful thinking, come up with a few basic ideas that can take the existing system and improve it...

I actually have and have not had to resort to Randian inspired sloganeering as the basis of the idea...

You first...

BTW, the corner of hell where politicians congregate has a special place for evangelical Republicans....

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:33 | 4337838 pods
pods's picture

That one is easy Flak, avoid debt at all costs.

We make the chains that enslave us.

It seems to have been happening since ~08, but I do not think it is by choice.  (private debt at least)

If it were to catch on, our monetary system would collapse. And this would remove most of the power.  Military might?  Based on free conjured money in exchange for oil.  Social spending? Same thing.

Inflation?  Trade imbalances?  Labor arbitrage?

All these would collapse if our debt creation does not increase exponentially.


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:37 | 4337852 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Sustainable Exponential Growth

Didn't you sign up for the one-way trip to Mars?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 11:46 | 4337879 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Fine... I will not argue your points, only in how you mean to achieve your ideal...

So in practice you are supporting Sharia type usuary laws (Christians also used to have hangups about debt, too, hence Jews being sheparded into banking historically)?

So Mortgages would be also be taboo?

Debt growth took a turn in around 1970 and then again in 1980.... 2008 was a blowoff, the result of older practices and policies...

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:04 | 4337942 pods
pods's picture

What I am doing in practice is avoiding debt.  I don't want to sound like I am some type of martyr. I do have a mortgage (from 02)
But I have not had a CC for years, and I try to buy all my stuff with cash, except for gas on trips where you don't know the area, that is a check card. Only trips are to see family, no Disney World for us.

I buy only what I need.  My kids do get the occasional treat, but even that is usually something other than what most kids today get. Say, a well made fishing rod and reel, or a pet.

I drive an old (03) car that gets good mileage and I do my own repairs.

I guess it is mildly Randian, but merely just reducing my signature.

And I try to tell everyone who wants to know exactly how our money system works.

I remember after 911, when Bush was all about getting people out spending to save us from the terrrrissts. Later on, I realized that it was about debt, and we were still reeling from the dot com bubble.




Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:11 | 4337966 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

"I remember after 911, when Bush was all about getting people out spending to save us from the terrrrissts. Later on, I realized that it was about debt, and we were still reeling from the dot com bubble."


It's funny how much that moment sticks with me. When he said that my first thought was..WTF?..... and suddenly it was a clear.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:51 | 4338089 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

for me it was the moment I realized that the National Security Advisor was not being fired. it brought memories of French warships in NY

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:02 | 4338122 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

re sharia law mortgages: I have to look it up, but as far as I remember, mortgages per se aren't forbidden. the gist of sharia conformity is that you give a percentage of the real flow, not the calculated, theoretical flow

so if I promise you a share of what I will make next year (whatever it is) for a sum X, I'm being ok for sharia law

stocks and all kind of variable participations are ok, fixed debt isn't

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 14:00 | 4338335 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes, the lender has a piece of the real action so to speak...

So what do you think has a better chance of coming to pass, reformed Usury Laws or a national holiday celebrating the birth of Karl Marx in the United States? 

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 19:54 | 4339364 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Yup: the ter'ists were the savers.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:23 | 4338001 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

That was a really good answer.

I'm right there with you, pal, minus the "mildly Randian."


Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:40 | 4338053 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

For me I am perfectly happy with zero debt, a little piece of land to hunt, good neighbors, and a quiet existence to raise my family. There are a few modern amenities that I enjoy, but I don't need to go out and get the biggest, bestest, latest model to be happy.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:05 | 4338143 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

and this is "randian"? you are describing my lifestyle, and that of many continentals I know

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:08 | 4338156 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

I've wondered lately what "middle class" means for a Czech.

/Moravian on my dad's mom's side.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:27 | 4338217 Flakmeister
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A 6-pack of Budvar in the equivalent of a mini-bar fridge and something like this

on the stove...

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 13:30 | 4338229 Spastica Rex
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Czechs love pork and hate vowels. Here's the Brno McDonald's menu.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:24 | 4338009 Flakmeister
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I am referring to the macro not the micro level... Or was it not obvious?

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:30 | 4338026 Spastica Rex
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I'm butting in (I know;  it's a personal character flaw):

I think there is no macro level, at least no macro level that isn't hardwired into human DNA. We are termites and this world is the mound that we're building. As individual, crazy termites, we can choose (maybe, I'm not so sure anymore) to go off and build nothing or build something else. Enough termites doing this, and not dying off, would be an evolutionary process.

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:36 | 4338041 Ghordius
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? you might be a lowly termite, but I am a nobler creature. let's say the majestic dung beetle. otherwise, I agree. the typical city resembles termites mounds or coral reefs

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:39 | 4338049 Flakmeister
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There certainly is a macro level, that is the level where we all interact with each other...  At the very basic level, it is the local community... It can also be taken as the sum of all individual actions....

Hey, if someone is indirectly advocating subsistence level agriculture for the majority, that ain't gonna cut it...

BTW, Keynes was well aware of what Pods was advocating, he referred to it as a paradox of sorts. I also have eschewed debt and materialism for the most part...

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 12:45 | 4338071 Spastica Rex
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My point is that I don't believe that there is any "free will" asscoiated with the "design" of our macro systems.

The Indians died off (with a whole lot of help), an example of a failed macro interaction scheme. Evolution is a bitch.

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