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The Real State Of The Union: The Erosion Of Community

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

The Central State and its core directives, central planning and ever-widening control of every aspect of life, is eroding the human essential: community.

Rather than the rah-rah phoniness of the President's State of the Union speech, which was predictably filled with Soaring Rhetoric (tm) and promises of more central planning and state expansion, let's consider the real state of the union.

Two related truths are self-evident: that community is essential to human progress, communication, development and well-being, and that the current global systems of the central state (socialism) and cartel-state capitalism (capitalism) actively dismantle community.

These basics inform the view that the only way forward is a community-based economy that recognizes and restores community as the foundation of human life.
On the most fundamental survival level, if humans were isolated, solitary hunter-gatherers, humans would likely have gone extinct long ago, as we simply aren't as capable as our competitors. If the species did endure, it would be equivalent to other solitary Great Apes--small in number and isolated to small pockets where it could survive.

Our dominance ("success" if you prefer) as a species flows directly from our social nature and the development of ways to spread better techniques, i.e. knowledge and cooperation, via spoken and eventually written language.

Yes, opposable thumbs boosted our toolmaking abilities and year-round fertility boosted our reproduction rates, but these advantages would be marginal were we a species of isolated individuals. Indeed, the fundamentals of sociobiology support the notion that human longevity results partly from the genetic advantages 
bestowed by grandparents, i.e. a generation of elders who can aid in child-rearing and serve as a repository for experiential knowledge/wisdom that would be lost to short-lived species.

In our current system, the impersonal state replaces the core value created by participating in community with welfare checks; there is no need to bother cooperating and working with others once the state provides the basics of life.

A similiar dynamic is implicit in corporate capitalism, which assumes that large corporations dedicated to pursuing profit wherever such profits might be greatest can successfully replace communities with corporate "communities" of workers and supervisors.

In The Strange Disappearance of Cooperation in America (submitted by correspondent Cheryl A.), The author proposes that social cooperation waxes and wanes with wealth inequality: as inequality rises, so too does polarization. People become less cooperative and socially engaged as polarization increases.

The correlation between loss of community and wealth inequality is only the first step. This sociological perspective misses the political point, which is the structure of our centralized state-dominated economy leads to both wealth inequality and the loss of community from the same dynamic: the substitution of the state/corporation as the organizing/controlling structure for society, displacing community.

Want to Reduce Income/Wealth Inequality? Abolish the Engine of Inequality, the Federal Reserve (January 28, 2014)

Our state-cartel system creates aimless armies of unemployed people who receive just enough from the state that the incentive to rebel is eroded, but this does not fill the gap left by the destruction of community with anything positive or fulfilling: it simply maintains the void via bribery.

The entire notion that corporations pursuing maximization of profit for their shareholders can organize society to benefit everyone is nonsensical; how could organizations dedicated to reaping profits replace multi-layered communities that meet needs that cannot necessarily be commoditized for a profit?

Longtime correspondent Bart D. cogently summed up these issues:

"When boiled down to real world conditions, for a society and economy to operate sustainably and successfully, people have to do things for and with each other, and BE SEEN to be doing it.

From an evolutionary perspective a community would form the basis of the economy in which individuals lived their lives. Each participant would have known, in social terms, every other participant to some degree.
In such a ‘traditional’ system, individual participants were heavily incentivised to be valued by others. Being valued for your good works and deeds increased your chances of having other individuals help you out when you were individually unable to support yourself for some reason (sickness, old age, personal disaster).

In economies of small and local scale you really strived to have others feel they owed you something based purely on their sense of fairness and conscience, because people interacted economically and socially with the same people. This creates a pool of good will that functions as ‘social security’ (This has since been transmuted into the Frankenstein of ‘debt’ and ‘taxes’ both of which are grudging rather than volunteered.)

That type of interaction has been and is continuing to be eroded away in the modern economic system that seeks desperately to separate social relationships from economic relationships.

Thus we have the disconnect between small business taxpayers and welfare recipients that sets up the perfect conditions for corporatocracy and the bizarre ever-expanding debt economic models of the west.

What the architects of these current systems have lost sight of is that the illusion they created by pumping free credit into the system only works on some parts of the economic system and at the cost of GREATLY undermining the social component of the system."

Richard Dawkins makes much the same point in this interview published in The New Republic:

"Now, there is another kind of altruism that seems to go beyond that, a kind of super-altruism, which humans appear to have. And I think that does need a Darwinian explanation. I would offer something like this: We, in our ancestral past, lived in small bands or clans, which fostered kin altruism and reciprocal altruism, because in these small bands, each individual was most likely to be surrounded by relatives and individuals who he was going to meet again and again in his life. And so the rule of thumb based into the brain by natural selection would not have been, Be nice to your kin and be nice to potential reciprocators. It would have been, Be nice to everybody, because everybody would have been included."

This is not to suggest there isn't a role for the state and profit-seeking organizations in society or the economy; it is simply to state the obvious that the wholesale replacement of community by the state has eroded an essential of human life that cannot be filled by impersonal states and corporations. States and corporations cannot "fix" what's broken with the model of state-cartel capitalism/socialism because the model itself is the problem.


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Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:48 | 4379855 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Remember, "real" means "royal".

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:51 | 4379871 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Indeed. And it is the Animal Pen that is mightier than the sword.

See what they did there?

The Pen is mightier than the s-Word....




Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:57 | 4379893 gafgroocK
gafgroocK's picture



the real state of the union?


We are Fucked

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:01 | 4379920 onewayticket2
onewayticket2's picture

"if you like your 'no risk, guaranteed return' principal, you can keep it"

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:05 | 4379933 Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

I felt like I was watching a government official from 'Atlas Shrugged' last night.

Unemployment checks bring prosperity to the community. Really?

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:12 | 4379979 HobbyFarmer
HobbyFarmer's picture

It's scary when our favorite novels like 'Atlas Shrugged' or '1984' become playbooks and are no longer considered fiction.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 17:37 | 4381735 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

That was Mr Thompson.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:41 | 4380102 laomei
laomei's picture

heh The Penis Mightier

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:47 | 4380148 The Vineyard
The Vineyard's picture

Obama is out of his depth.  The global economic reality is a motherfucker.  It might even lead to war.  His speech wasn't bad.  But how is President Joker supposed to quell this mammoth shit-storm.  Impossible.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:11 | 4380527 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

He isn't a freedom agenda guy, so indeed it is impossible for Obama.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:49 | 4379857 Kilgore Trout
Kilgore Trout's picture

Honestly, I could take the lies (they're expected), but the soaring rhetoric is what causes me to switch off.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:49 | 4379859 Sudden Debt
Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:03 | 4379866 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Antisocial technology?

If Bradbury's book, Fahrenheit 451, the people have 3-D Floor-To-Ceiling 360 Degreee Interactive Television-Walls as their family.  Front porches are no longer popular, as people might sit on them in the quiet evening and talk to one another.

“Why aren't you in school? I see you every day wandering around."


"Oh, they don't miss me," she said. "I'm antisocial, they say. I don't mix. It's so strange. I'm very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn't it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this." She rattled some chestnuts that had fallen off the tree in the front yard. "Or talking about how strange the world is. Being with people is nice. But I don't think it's social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you? An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don't; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film-teacher. That's not social to me at all. It's a lot of funnels and lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it's wine when it's not. They run us so ragged by the end of the day we can't do anything but go to bed or head for a Fun Park to bully people around, break windowpanes in the Window Smasher place or wreck cars in the Car Wrecker place with the big steel ball. Or go out in the cars and race on the streets, trying to see how close you can get to lampposts, playing 'chicken' and 'knock hubcaps.' I guess I'm everything they say I am, all right. I haven't any friends. That's supposed to prove I'm abnormal. But everyone I know is either shouting or dancing around like wild or beating up one another. Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays?”

Are you ready for some football?  There has never been a better time to buy a bigger(er) BIG Screen to watch the BIG GAME!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:05 | 4379934 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

I subscribe to the quaint notion that Faith, Family and Fellowship are the antidote to our current woes.

They have been supplanted by an ever increasing, centrally planned society for the past 2-3 generations.

Can you say Generationl Amnesia?


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:13 | 4379974 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

you should meet my family in law...

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:15 | 4379977 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Long front porch swings and dinner guests; short televisions and Facebook.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:31 | 4380050 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Yeah. I'm doing my part too, hanging with anonymous pseudonyms on ZH.

It takes a village you know.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:30 | 4380045 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I content that religion has not solved any of man's problems whatsoever and is most often used for divisive purposes.  Because although you may believe you are open to people who are of other faiths or simply non-believers, what you really do is look down your nose at them and act superior because that is human nature.  I see this behavior even between people who attend different Protestant churches--their god is always bigger than everyone else's.  That is not community-oriented behavior.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:49 | 4380152 TuPhat
TuPhat's picture

Daddy-o said "Faith", not religion.  You confused religion with faith but they are not the same.  Religion is an organized set of beliefs and is often set up by men to get money in donations.  Faith does not require an organization.  You can even have faith in family and friends without a belief in God.  I believe in a supreme being and have faith in him but that does not limit my faith in other things.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:16 | 4380270 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



aerojet is consistently the least interesting of all the trolls on this site.  Please, do not feed him/her. 

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:30 | 4380615 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Yes Hedgeless Horseman. Your stance breeds community...(Seriously it does.)


You suggest community ostracism???


If ZH is to become an Echo Chamber Community which has intolerance for diverse expression then it loses value.


I prefer Rugged Individualism.


While I do not agree with aerojet, as I promote Faith in God, while he confuses faith with religion, I will disagree with your stance and I will do as I please.


Besides it is fun to deal with the irrational, don't you think?


One of the reasons which I reject community is because that community ostracized me as a child One Half Century ago...continued to do so throughout my experience, and continues to do so today.


Do not make the errant observation that I am somehow crying "VICTIM" as that is the most removed conclusion from the truth.. In fact it is EXACTLY WHAT I WANT. As I wrote I prefer "Rugged Individualism"


I have been on the receiving end of community..SOCIALISM. Your attitude is demonstrative of that Generation, YOUR society.


You can continue the process. Please do. I invite you to ostracize me if you'd like. Hell I invite your whole community, YOUR SOCIETY, to do that. It just serves to give me incentive to act "antisocially". Of course I have had that incentive for half a century. Each additional event just serves to intensify my repressed urges.


The fact that I do not act impulsively can either be a blessing...or a CURSE. Before acting I think things through to the consequential ends.


Note that the Latin root for the word, "community", is the same Latin root for the word, "communism".


Remember community, "Don't feed the trolls.". That includes me, or, anybody that expresses an opinion which does not align with the "groupthink", the community promoted here.


Because we want "community" at ZH.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 15:37 | 4381019 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

"One of the reasons which I reject community is because that community ostracized me as a child One Half Century ago...continued to do so throughout my experience, and continues to do so today."

50 years is a long time ago. What should have been dead and buried long ago is kept alive daily by you. Living in the past or future is unhealthful and a curse of humanity. Once given up, all the energy you expend to remember the injustice returns to you and you are that much lighter in spirit. You are the one suffering, not those who did the ostracizing.


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 17:42 | 4381760 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

If you have one foot in yesterday...

And one foot in tomorrow...

What does that leave you doing on today?


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:45 | 4380684 Blano
Blano's picture

Unfortunately many of the faith are ok with the system as it is, or change is ok as long as it doesn't upset their own personal applecart.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:55 | 4379886 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

Community... what community?   it seems everyone has their face buried in facebook and twitter etc and they think that is community... People living in fantasyland virtual communities with their virtual bitcoins!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:59 | 4379908 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I learned my lesson about communnity recently and it doesn't bode well for the little bit of faith I had in humanity.  Our neighborhood was always about sharing and giving what we could to our neighbors, many times without being asked.  Turned out one of those neighbors thought that meant my wife too. 

I understand the elite mentality of get yours while you can, because no one else will look out for you no matter how generous one is with their time, labor, and money.  Fuck community. Fuck fiat. 

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:04 | 4379927 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

Sorry to hear that man..I didn't down arrow you. I'm not into fiat either but I'm not into sharing my wife either.   Take care man.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:09 | 4379949 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I think the example I provided is more a symptom rather than the problem.  The fact is, our society has become a self-indulgent, sociopathic, virus of takers.  Those who do good for the community will many times see that fact when they start to help people that continue to be takers in life and nothing more, from the lower class to the elite.  Me, me, me, me, me!!!!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:08 | 4379943 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

Fewer and fewer people talk to each other in their neighborhoods. Ad dto that all the absentee owners an dhigh turnover of the rentals and it looks like more fragmentation at every social level.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:12 | 4379957 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



They have Facebook friends.  It is far easier to track and file digital relationships for future use and profit.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:02 | 4380192 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

Sorry to hear that.

I have another (recent) experience causing me to be increasingly skeptical about "community".  I spent ~6 years serving (voluntarily) on an HOA Board at a condominium.  It was extremely difficult to get any other homeowners to serve on the Board (3 total positions on HOA Board), so I served multiple times (base term is 2 years).  I spent (conservative estimate) several thousand (unpaid) hours (cumulative) serving the community.  The ingratitude from the fellow homeowners (mostly yuppies in their 20s and 30s) was galling.  I could count on one hand the number of homeowners who bothered to say thanks for all those years of hard work (which cost them nothing).  I sold my place at a decent profit (thankfully) and moved away.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:26 | 4380324 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

We had the exact same experience living in a townhouse with a HOA. Absolute fucking nightmare dealing with idiots that cost so much time to deal with their problems as well as power hungry crazies on the board. I am convinced people start their psychopathic political careers starting on a HOA board member. We also got out with a profit and our number one rule was NO HOA! So pristine McMansions were off the list. So we can paint my chicken house gold and no one can complain.


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:31 | 4380618 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

Agreed wholeheartedly.  I never plan to live in another property governed by an HOA.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:41 | 4380379 Shad_ow
Shad_ow's picture

Often clubs and volunteer organizations are loaded with people on power trips or grifters too.  It is really hard to find relationships with principles.  Too many are in for what they can get rather than give.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:20 | 4380574 Dinero D. Profit
Dinero D. Profit's picture

I enjoy reading these pitiful stories.  It reminds me of Studs Turkel, or Miss Lonelyhearts.  (I'd also like to read some confessions, or, some testimomies!)

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:31 | 4380606 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

I wasn't intending to be a Debby Downer on this forum.  I was just relaying my experience to Dr. Head.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:50 | 4380390 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Dr. Richard Head,

Very sorry to hear that.

Been there; a hard place to be.

You'll need to get counseling and move unless what's his name moves but the real problem is your Wife; she's got a hole in the soul that made her betray a sacred trust. 

There is always another penis so it isn't about the asshole in the community that betrayed you but your Wife.  If the marriage is worth salvaging you can try to forgive - but you won't forget.

Buy yourself a professional friend (a.k.a. - Psychologist) so you have someone on your side who can help filter the insanity.

Back in the day it was the Priest or Pastor that filled that role so if you have one you trust talk to them and pray, a lot.

Do not blame yourself.  Repeat after me; do not blame yourself.  You can take responsibility for your half of the relationship but when your spouse fucks someone else - especially someone you know - they have abandoned you and that was their choice alone.

If you can't work things out then move on and find someone who respects and values you.

You have my deepest sympathies.  You are not alone.  It gets better with time.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:30 | 4380608 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture


Excellent Advice!!!

That hole in the soul is the bane of most human intimacy.

Dealing with hurt is probably the toughest thing to do in this life.

Yet pain may be the greatest gift to mankind in that it calls for action.

Answering that call is where relief and growth occur.

My deepest sympathies to the good Doctor!


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:41 | 4380655 negative rates
negative rates's picture

That was your council, goin bankrupt.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 15:00 | 4380752 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Eb that was very well said and obviously reflects a man who has worked through the anger and hurt from a very horrible injustice done to you. I am glad you have not chosen to hate all women as some here have done. I am sorry some choose to betray trust when confronted with difficulties in life. Being married for thirty years I can attest to some awful times in our past and, yes, I was offered by other men to have an affair when I was at my lowest. I thank god a million times over I never did and break that sacred trust. Both of us have claimed responsibility for hurting our marriage and we both worked diligently to repair the damage. We are stronger as a couple going through it and are so much happier when we married at 22.

You are correct. There is a hole in the soul. That was definitely true for me. Guess what. I decided to fix it and did work with a psycologist who made all the difference. But the key was, I wanted to fix it and was determined. It was a lot more difficult than I had imagined. May be this is why people chose the affair. A few moments of pleasure are much more attractive then months of hellish work. However, because the hole remains you are continuously looking for relief and are never satisfied. In many ways this is symbolic of the sickness our society is suffering in so many ways.

Both you and Dr are casualties of the actions of sick people. I hope there is joyful happiness in your futures. Both of you deserve it and I wish you well.


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 16:39 | 4381423 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Thanks for the kind words and sharing your experience Miffed.

Glad you two have worked things through and stayed committed; it is worlds better than the alternative.


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:02 | 4379922 Spanky
Spanky's picture


Well said.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:05 | 4379938 squid427
squid427's picture

Cartel-sate capitalism? WTF is that. A cartel state is an oligarchy or plutocracy. When gov and private business collude to cotrol the market that is not capitalism. Unless I misinterpreted that statement. 

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:09 | 4379945 Brett Merkey
Brett Merkey's picture



"the wholesale replacement of community by the state has eroded an essential of human life"

True enough, but "community" is an awfully vague concept compared to the concrete reality of the state's taxes, armed police, war machinery, established churches and 24-7 spying and lying propaganda.

Maybe a closer approximation is that we have been thrown out of politics. We have left the politics that define community to our enemies. We will remain sheeple until we re-enter the field of politics and establish a force that can answer every one of their damn lies.

Toe to toe, out in the open.





Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:37 | 4380072 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Toe to toe? The statists got this far through insidious subversion. Time to subvert them back. Don't pay for holly weird crap, don't send your kids to public school, ridicule them. Statists are not cool. They suck.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:08 | 4379951 financialrealist
financialrealist's picture

the irony here is the current situation will result in the re-birth of the community. 

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:42 | 4380661 sschu
sschu's picture

"rebirth of the community"

Yes, those that believe PMs and rugged individualism will see them through the coming reset are taking a big chance.  Maybe they will, but you become a bigger target when you isolate and PMs imply isolationism.


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:17 | 4379990 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

My experience with community and volunteering is as follows: I get to be everybody's bitch, and then if I need anything I get heavily shat upon by "the community."

Fuck all that "we're all in this together" nonsense.  If I'm going to be a slave, it will be to either myself or my cat.  Mankind can fuck off and rot.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:23 | 4380025 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

This is becoming my way of seeing things too.  Tis' a shame.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:03 | 4380207 NemoDeNovo
NemoDeNovo's picture

Is it truly?  Let's be realistic here....You come into this life ALONE and you damn sure go out ALONE, love it or hate it that is the truth.  Now this does not mean that you can enjoy the experiences along the way to the out door of this life, just don't to get 'attached' to anything along the way.  Humanity has several inherant flaws that from my view can not be fixed, but must rather be embraced as being a constant in out lessons here.


All of the Negative[s] you go through here are to show you what you are NOT! 


Keep what resonates and discard the rest ~ 

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:46 | 4380677 Dinero D. Profit
Dinero D. Profit's picture

I remember taking The Breath of Life



Groping at the air—         


It was scary, I admit,                                                                                                   

but not too scary,

--I grasped a speechless breath,                                                                                              

and I became alive.


The situation did not require crying.


There I was, --

-bare assed,                                                                                                                 

-all of a tremble,

-unable to prop myself up, and

-covered in strawberry ooze.


In other words,                                                                                                                       

a fresh infant,



but with a feeling that something was beginning.


When I was 10 seconds of age,                                                                                              

I was old enough to be spanked!


(This is my actual life story,                                                                                       

scaled down to poem size.                                                                                          

I prefer to deal with facts

rather than a lump of pathetic thoughts.)


When I was 20 seconds of age,

I knew what human beings do not like.


(Small snicker)


I was not a bad baby,


but it took someone else to straighten out my trouble.


And for the feeder’s care

which nuzzles up gently                                                                                                         

I was desperately glad.


So here, a poetic point,                                                                                                           

such as it is,

comes home.


I was not alone.




Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:16 | 4380283 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I guess this depends what kind of "community" you live in. When we moved to our present location it was very clear we were being evaluated by all the neighbors. For one thing we didn't have a tractor so we were told when we saw someone working on the roads to stop and donate money for gas ( we quickly got a tractor). People are very quiet and don't interact much. Sometimes you hear target practice gunfire on the weekends and occasionally you will wave at people when they jog by with their dogs, but for the most part everyone is a rugged individualist.

One day the road was washed out by a massive flood. Everyone was down out the site with tractors, lighting, food, coffee and support to do the job. When finished we paid for our part and went our separate ways again. My neighbor pulled my truck out when I was caught in the mud. We give him power during outages so he won't lose his freezer contents. This back and forth goes on all the time but it is not formalized in any fashion so no one feels obligated and becomes resentful. To me, this seems the proper order of things. Only today with this aberrant sense of entitlement has there become a problem.


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:50 | 4380710 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Your a living in a barter based community. It brings people together. Currently this is happening a lot in Greece where people barter goods and services. There is also a group which has expanded over the whole country by now that brings together producers and consumers and cuts out the middle man -often supermarkets- and arranges fair prices for both producers and consumers.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 15:24 | 4380771 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

The State hates it as well because they can't squeeze a cut from the arrangement. Boo Hoo for them ;-)


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:18 | 4379995 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

Your premise is wrong! - the state is actualy being disassembed by corporations -worldwide - that is essentially the reason for the TPP which is being put together to eliminate state sponsored courts / laws / borders  -  with the domestic version being ALEC organizing in the USA at the state level for the same objectives

worldwide soveignty is being hammered to oblivion - check out the EEC versus Spain / Ireland / Greece  - none individually can take action on behalf of their citizens - they are checkmated and told to pick up private bank loans and losses with first call on all the cash flow the state produces.

look i get the promote and propaganda  - someone somwhere buys it I'm sure 


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:20 | 4380578 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Tell that to Standard & Poors, or Gibson Guitars. The state has guns, prisons, hundreds of rogue armies for each bureaucracy, instant seizure powers, pervasive spies, big databases, the capacity to coerce and coax accusations against you from others in return for letting those others be. We also have trial by jury but immunity for prosecutorial abuse, and very few trials. The federal courts are pretty empty for all the convictions and life ruining seizures the federal prosecutors nail.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:20 | 4380015 squid427
squid427's picture

omen IV

I agree with everything you said. I just don't think "capitalism" belongs in there because I don't see any of it left.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:35 | 4380067 JR
JR's picture

The term community here could really be defined as culture… because it is a socialist agenda to force races, cultures, religious beliefs, colors and differences of income together in producing the lowest common denominator for easier control.

Even Dawkins, though he would never admit it, recognizes the strength of culture; and it was cuture that brought together the white Protestants Europeans in America to form perhaps the most significant national government in history; the glue of that culture was Christianity.

Obama’s speech last night was all about crushing these cultural differences together and knocking down the Founders’ culture: inequality of incomes, amnesty, environmentalism against private property, and Obama "change" vs the checks and balances of the American Constitution.

But make no mistake, this whole Obama scheme was crafted by the International Bankers – the Fed.

Obama will use the green religion, as the socialists inevitably do, as one of his major justifications for a state-controlled economy and more centralization, as justification for the abolition of private property.

The rebirth of ideologies of state control across the globe are shaking the world economy at its very foundation - ending in bankruptcies, both moral and economic.

They are, as Amy L. Sherman called them, “state-strangled economies.”

Need there be any more evidence that Obama is a dyed-in-the-wool socialist – bent on restructuring America’s free market into another inefficient, corrupt, incompetent gigantic, bureaucratic workers’ paradise? His method: restricting individual economic freedom.

Wrote Sherman after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and allegedly falling with it, the ideology of state control: “The Revolutions of 1989, though indisputably protest movements against political and economic repression, were fundamentally revolutions of the ‘spirit.’ As the idea of liberty – that man was created to be free and that freedom is not only practical , in terms of facilitating economic prosperity, but normative, as the only condition befitting man’s dignity—gains more and more adherents worldwide, the institutions of liberty, democratic governance, and free markets will find fertile soil.”

Unfortunately, the American soil that created this fertility was depleted by the introduction of a Federal Reserve System that not only has led to total disorder of America’s monetary system but, worse, to the moral and spiritual failings that Alexander Solzhenitsyn discerned in America in his Harvard commencement address -- the complete disorder of American society.

What caused all the commotion and hate by The New York Times after Solzhenitsyn’s address? He stated that neither diplomacy nor military strength could abolish the dangers of Communism in the West, that only a reinvigoration of moral and spiritual character would be effective in the West’s struggle with Communism.

The Times called him “obsessed” and wrote:

“At bottom, it is the argument between religious Enthusiasts (Solzhenitsyn was a Christian), sure of their relationship to the Divine Will, and the men of the Enlightenment, trusting in the rationality of humankind.”

Alas, the “Enlightened,” The New York Times has prevailed.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:08 | 4380237 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

JR - "Alas, the “Enlightened,” The New York Times has prevailed." Only temporarily ... the NYT is broke, just like all the other progressive "enlightened" facsist groups. Only Fed Gov't funding keeps these organisms alive.

Time to stamp 'em out,.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:12 | 4380252 Accounting101
Accounting101's picture

Socialist, or fascist. Be very careful. Make sure you fully understand your
-ists before casually throwing them around. Stupid shit prevails when we pretend to have an intellectual hold on social and economic dynamics.

The real state of the union:

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:46 | 4380394 Shad_ow
Shad_ow's picture

It doesn't matter really what "ist" you choose to identify it with, he isn't pushing community he is pushing communism.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:50 | 4380425 JR
JR's picture

Barack Obama is:

  • A Socialist. He supports public ownership of the means of production, redistribution of wealth from some segments of society to others.
  • A Fascist. He supports State control over private industries and the means of production, and just about every aspect of citizens’ daily lives.
  • A Communist. He supports State ownership as well as control of industry and the means of production.

But what isn’t Obama?

  • A Capitalist.

-- Scott Lazarowitz, Obama the Socialist Fascist Communist  | Lew | July 15, 2010

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:31 | 4380617 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

The McMansion strewn suburbs with their own local schools, local PTAs, local courts, local police and so on, got that way because families sought freedom from the soulless statist and their dependents and cronies. Detroit and so many other cities emptied themselves through their policies. The statists are acutely aware of this, and are advancing their agenda to pack us on top of each other in controlled cities via the "green" branding of what they do. HUD and big city governments are conspiring to prevent building of suburbs, and to sew their kind of voters among existing suburbs by forcing low income housing on suburban communities. Look up "Plan Bay Area" for a little taste. Community my ass.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 19:37 | 4382291 acetinker
acetinker's picture

Always appreciate your observations and remarks, JR.  I hope you live to see true human freedom- before your head explodes.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 21:17 | 4382661 novictim
novictim's picture

JR is not taking his medications.

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 22:39 | 4386458 acetinker
acetinker's picture

That may be.  But JR is more lucent on a bad day, than you are on your best.  Still, I wonder what you may have to offer outside what you consider acerbic wit.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:35 | 4380069 youngman
youngman's picture

You can move to a small town in Iowa....and in the first week everyone will know who you are.....but the next 40 years will be up to you to prove who you really are....only then will you be proven....

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:43 | 4380115 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Unassumingly profound, youngman.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:36 | 4380350 Zigs
Zigs's picture

Another category of one percenters and illustrative of why our society is where it is and what it won't be returning to short of returning to an agrarian society -- which may happen, yet.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:46 | 4380087 mccvilb
mccvilb's picture

TPP will be the death of the internet. I wondered how long it would take them to find a way to kill it. Well, at least we got to see it running free for a nanosec. UFBelievable. Neofeudalist-In-Chief.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:40 | 4380094 lordylord
lordylord's picture

Screw anyone who supports state-sponsored theft of what I work hard to earn.  If you need help, ask me face to face with hat in hand.  Community...of thieves. 

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:46 | 4380138 SWCroaker
SWCroaker's picture

We rebelled and formed a new nation because we were fed up with being arbitrarily ruled and abused by a distant government.

The power structure we put in place was originally  local (State) having precedent over Federal, because to an extent the State *is* our community, while the Federal is (okay, was historically) merely an association of convenience.

There is a great truth that we are motivated to behave/respect/contribute better with family friends and neighbors than with distant I-don't-know-yous.  One group we rub elbows with, one not.

I can see that a rebirth of community is part of an answer to a better way of living.  I suspect it needs to be accompanied with an inversion of the power structure, and a move back to what we originally started out with.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 12:58 | 4380180 TDoS
TDoS's picture

We who are not monied and who grow our own food and build our own homes way out here in the areas most of you only fly over have our community.  It's not perfect and sunshiney rainbows.  We have religious weirdos who stick together, and good old boys who don't take kindly to anyone who doesn't look, act, and speak like them, but they are of sorts a community.  Then there are those of us who know whats coming so we cut wood, expand the garden plot, and help each other out with whatever we can no questions asked. 

No one is going to like it, but capitalism kills community (or really, only thrives when community has been destroyed.) )You rely on your money for everything.  You don't share simple tools (why does everyone on a block need their own lawnmower?) You hire "professionals" instead of enlisting the help of a skilled friend.  Suit yourselves.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:07 | 4380216 lordylord
lordylord's picture

Capitalism kills communities?  Your are very misinformed.  Money represents the value of your labor and services.  It's a placeholder.   Overbearing governments who pervert capitalism kill comminuties.  Since you hate money so much, send it my way.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:46 | 4380399 nixy
nixy's picture

You don't need money to trade freely...... sure it is convenient, but not essential.

Capitalism is just free honest trade.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:04 | 4380210 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

This is what unfettered illegal immigration complimentarily combined with douchebag Facebook results in. If one cannot figure that out you'll never figure out how to load a gun

How many friends on facebook do you have?  This is really the defining question / secret handshake..

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:10 | 4380242 joego1
joego1's picture

Community = survival in the next chapter of the human story. I think I will see this play out in my life time.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:13 | 4380261 adr
adr's picture

When I was born I lived on a street where everyone knew each other. For the first five years of my life I played outside while my mom cooked or did whatever else while my dad worked. If there was one mom outside, that was good enough for everyone in the neighborhood. We had block parties every week in the summer, I rode my bike up and down the street. My dad took me to the corner drug store for a milkshake, then we walked to the deli attached to the market for a bagel. Some night we walked to the bowling alley up the street to check on the sales of shoes my dad sold to the pro shop. While he talked business I grabbed a ball and tried to knock some pins down. Every once and a while my grandfather would be there bowling with his league. They would come get me and take turns helping me bowl.

This wasn't the 1950s, this was 1981. The mass expansion of Wall Street greed and the welfare state destroyed this way of life. By the early 1990s it was gone. My old street was filled with ghetto mamas and drugs. The bowling alley was gone, the corner building with the drug store amd deli, demolished for a Revco. A few years later that got shoplifted into oblivion and it became a beauty supply store.

The community is gone. I actually wish I was born five years later so I wouldn't have known what it was like to live in the last gasp of old America. My sisters don't have the memory of seeing grandpa at the bowling alley or getting milkshakes at a drug store.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 15:06 | 4380783 PTR
PTR's picture

Makes me think of a famous movie from yonder years:


"Gary, Indiana! Gary, Indiana!  Not Louisiana, Paris, France, New York or Rooooome!"


Poor kid.  If ZH were around back then, he'da sung a different tune.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 17:28 | 4381610 scrappy
scrappy's picture

Great story.

Same here.

Hoys 5 and 10 Cent Store close by, Candy and Soda Fountain, skakes burger, grilled sandwiches...

Also a 24/7 HOJOS

Great comic book store.

Bowling alley and an awesome backroom pinball and pool hall close by too.

It was called "the hole."

Lot's of characters, believe me...

We had the same kind of neighborhood as far as us kids went, no block parties, but cook outs here and there. Played all day!

Then mom would ring the dinner bell, still got the bell.

Got more of the last gasp though (Older than you) and 81 was key.

I knew that Neoeconomics would get us HERE.

No one cared.

I was ridiculed.

They will care soon enough.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:31 | 4380269 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

only Mr. Pepe's,`roving eye' can intercept a fumbled zeitgeist malapropism passage, of nonsequiturianism babbling... from obi1's dark solipsistic orifice-- as a belated ghost smiles of exorcisory de`Marx's... via a on(c)e state-of-the-non?union , class-war triumph...  all hail the CZAR, thy `zephyr'...Caesar! 

  "The real State of the Union"         1/29/14    by Pepe Escobar  




Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:44 | 4380386 island
island's picture

This article/post is on-the-mark.

I and others can offer viable solutions, but with a captured government - things will have to play out as they will. 

Will we end up with:  Revolution?  War?  Plague?   Asteroid?  ????


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:53 | 4380437 sangell
sangell's picture

And of course no normal human community would have ever proclaimed 'strength through diversity' as the notion that a people you shared nothing with was going to assist you in times of adversity would have been seen as a mental illness. OTOH there seems to have developed a racial solidarity as a substitute for normal human community in those people whose sustanence can only be obtained by voting and acting as a racial bloc. Thus a black from Chicago will automatically support another black from Los Angeles against a non black but wage genuine warfare against another black from a block away because their is no economy, community or anything but the seeking of alpha supremacy through sheer physical aggression.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:02 | 4380493 headless blogger
headless blogger's picture

I don't want to go backwards in time, though. I'm hoping we can continue to wade through this strange time-frame we all find ourselves in. I like much of the technologies we have. I just think it would be better if the Technology and Science was actually working for humanity and the rest of the planet, rather than the masses working for a small group of devious psychopathic men and the technologies and resources they control.

Hugh-Smith talks about the Unemployed incentivized to NOT rebel due to their pittance in unemployment benefits. And we can assume he was also talking about the Welfare system which keeps many people just above water.

But the unemployed in the U.S. are the first casualties of the Banking Cartel's coup d'tat of 2008. Many of these first casualties are the people the companies want to get rid of anyways because they are often the people who do not go along with the corporate or business model to begin with. They are already rebels!! They get rid of 'ol Henry because he does his things HIS way rather than how the company wants him to do it....because Henry is actually the more creative one...but Henry is first to go because they "don't like him".

The confines of "community" can be pretty restrictive. The individual becomes the target. What we need to do is NOT WAIT UNTIL WE ARE ALL UNEMPLOYED. We have to begin NOW by forcing the Power Structure to relinquish their claims over the economy and our lives.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:32 | 4380625 sschu
sschu's picture

Charles is somewhat correct, but for the wrong reasons.  Richard Dawkins ... community ... really?

Try Genesis 2-3, Acts 2:42.  God, marriage, the family and the surrounding community in that order are what makes it work.  He is correct that the stifling, centralized authority is the antithesis to community. 

George Gilder refers to the Dawkins types as "flat-earthers" and for good reason.  The world is hierarchical and as much as the Dawkins types want to tear that down, it just is not so. 



Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:48 | 4380692 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

No problem at all.

When the oil runs out, you're gonna have a lot more community than you can stand.

It's all you will have.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 15:09 | 4380808 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

The article used a quote from Richard Dawkins, once again demonstrating his poor understanding of Science,

"We, in our ancestral past, lived in small bands or clans, which fostered kin altruism and reciprocal altruism, because in these small bands, each individual was most likely to be surrounded by relatives and individuals who he was going to meet again and again in his life. And so the rule of thumb based into the brain by natural selection would not have been, Be nice to your kin and be nice to potential reciprocators. It would have been, Be nice to everybody, because everybody would have been included."


The aforementioned quote is absolute nonsense. Throughout Human History it has been demonstrated that clans stole resources from other clans. Many times they would injure, or, kill each other off in the process. If that genetic coding had it been introduced into the Human Genome, "Be nice to everybody", then the wars which we have fought throughout the duration of Human History would not  ever have happened. Obviously Richard Dawkins' idealistic Altruistic Model has some serious problems as it does not align with REALITY.


A good Scientist looks at the data and then creates a hypothesis that incorporates the data. The data, the anthropological record, just does not have any agreement whatsoever with Richard Dawkins' Fantasy.


It is probably better if Dawkins were to stay within the confines of his "discipline" of Biology and not cross over into other fields of academia as he demonstrates a repeated lack of proficiency in other disciplines. He is talking out of his ass when he does that.


As the article uses this nonsense from Dawkins as a supporting argument (???) and as the conclusion is drawn with help from such an invalid argument it demonstrates that the author of the article has failed to think critically. So it follows that the author's conclusion is also invalid.


SOCIALISM DOES NOT WORK. Everytime that you read the word "Community" it means "Socialism". The Socialists are attempting to distort the meaning of the word, "Community", in the same manner that they distorted the meaning of the word, "Liberal" in the early Twentieth Century. 


Do not buy into it. ass!!!




Wed, 01/29/2014 - 15:24 | 4380956 headless blogger
headless blogger's picture

I agree with what you are saying, except we will always have "communities" with us. Even if we continue to move past this massive glitch that is blocking our path, and do not move backwards, communities will always be around. Some communities might only be 5 people, but they find some kind of security and continuity with one another. Even though you might not feel a "community" with your next door neighbor, you still might belong to a community in your church or some kind of club. I don't think there is anything wrong with these types of communities. But the kind of community smith talks about is the kind we spent thousands of years trying to free ourselves from. It reminds me of the recent news coming out of India where the head of a tribal community called for the rape of a girl that wanted to marry outside the clan. We don't need this kind of "community".

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 16:07 | 4381225 novictim
novictim's picture

Timmy...the earth is older than 6000 years.  Sorry.

And the essential human model finalized somewhere about 100,000 years ago...the small number of human tribes LEADING UP TO THIS were SCARCE and resources were abundant.  Human cooperation is the driving force for success coming out of the African plains.  


The conditions were not one of a New York Subway Fire with everyone climbing over one another to escape.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 15:56 | 4381009 novictim
novictim's picture

But the speech was not all BS.

The line he delivered regarding wounded ten-deployment Veteran, Army Ranger Cory Remsburg was heartening:

"My fellow Americans, Cory Remsburg gave nearly his all for this country...go ahead and stand for us, Cory...and we owe him thanks and gratitude. Why should Cory and the veterans like himself who have suffered injuries in fighting our wars -not- have the same benefits bestowed on mid level executives at our best performing companies?

Why wouldn't we treat our wounded veterans as the heroes that they are in likeness to the heroes of industry we today reward so well?!

In light of Cory Remsburg's sacrifice and his valliant service, I am today, by executive order, granting Cory and his fellow wounded veterans one million dollars tax free as a yearly stipend and twenty million dollars as a death benefit to their families when they die. Their current VA benefits will remain but we will truly dignify their sacrifices by this small offer of tribute to their sacrifice and loss."


Did you folks all catch that little pearl? Wow! That was right on! I feel a little better about this President now...

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 19:58 | 4382417 acetinker
acetinker's picture


If this warms your heart, consider that Ranger Remsburg, no matter his motivations, was not defending his fellow citizens' freedom.  That the empire would offer such generous remuneration, should be ample proof of who/what he, and all our service (wo)men serve.

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 21:12 | 4382631 novictim
novictim's picture

I believe that Ranger Remsburg of 2012 (before injury) -would- defend the rights of private citizens.  But I also agree wholeheartedly with your underlying point that this Professional Military and Private Contractors are a threat to our democracy long term.  Eisenhower would agree with us as well, I'm sure.


But this poor guy is as suckered and exploited just as the American Voter yet our choices have destroyed him.  We the People have allowed Bush and now Obama to keep us in a protracted conflict but Cory paid the price for all of us. We owe our wounded veterans so much more than they are getting now and so I make the reference to our tradition of meritocracy.


Remember: Soldiers don't make policy.    Military contractors do.

BTW: We should return to a draft and do away with the professional military.

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 20:07 | 4385974 acetinker
acetinker's picture

NO!  While I feel terrible for Ranger Remsburg, he volunteered for this.  I have posted this before, but if Nixon hadn't nixed the draft, I'd be a Canadian today.  Your venerable ranger was following orders, not his heart.

Cute lil' Cory did absolutely NOT "pay the price for all of us". He was following "orders" and got fucked up for it.

Colonel Crockett would have informed Bammy that the compensation he plans to offer Remsburg et. al.; is "not yours to give".

All these years later, Crockett is still correct.

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 20:21 | 4386016 novictim
novictim's picture

Now you have me on the fence.

BTW: I made up the entire quote *giggle*

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 20:29 | 4386030 acetinker
acetinker's picture

That's what I get for not watching the SOTU. Touche'.

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 20:53 | 4386113 acetinker
acetinker's picture

Oh, and shame on you for perverting this venue.  I'd previously expected better of us.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!