Guest Post: Running Away From Reality

Tyler Durden's picture

From Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo, published originally in Expansion

View from Spain: Running away from reality (pdf)

In a society that’s incessantly pulling all sorts of rights out of its hat, the right to not suffer is the father of them all. We feel entitled to keep our jobs, our health, our home and our leisure, demanding in fact to be carefree. We don’t want our lifestyle to depend on how hard we work or how much we save, and neither do we want our wrong decisions to have any consequences. In our delirium, we feel we have the right to know the future or even to decide when life should start (that of others, of course) and also when death should come (usually that of others as well). In brief, we want the security that we will be able to avoid pain. The problem is that, in life, pain is as undesirable as it is inevitable, and security, in the words of Helen Keller, is “a superstition that does not exist in nature”. However, man persists in his chimerical search for the security that will keep him free from suffering. Citizens demand that from their ruling classes, who promise ever more extravagant rights and certainties, constantly fleeing reality and truth. And in this hysterical, unbridled race to reach an evanescent security, liberty is thrown into the dust like a bothersome burden.

The free man must be responsible for his behavior without being able to blame anyone else when things go wrong. He must live in discomfort and uncertainty and accept the authorship of all his decisions. This is hard. That’s why as soon as the sweet illusion of freedom gives way for the bitter taste of responsibility and effort which that very freedom bears with it, man revolts against the latter. Some 3500 years ago, the Jewish people, having been oppressed for generations by slavery, was freed by Moses, who took them out of Egypt in order to lead them to the Promised Land. But just a few short days after their last minute’s escape from Pharaoh’s claws in the Red Sea, as the harshness of the desert started to put a dent in their spirit, the Jews forgot the humiliations, whippings, hardships and indignity of their slavery, cursed their freedom and blamed their liberator for freeing them, to the extent that Moses was nearly stoned: “Why did we not die at Yahweh’s hand in Egypt, where we used to sit round the flesh pots and could eat to our heart’s content!”. The security of a hot meal and a loaf of bread seemed worth more than the recently recovered freedom.

It goes without saying that throughout History all power seekers and power holders have taken good note of this story. They have come to realize that all they need to have the people surrender their liberty is to promise them security: a certainty – liberty – in exchange for a promise – security; an extremely valuable good in exchange for a chimera. And over and over again, the people have fallen into the same trap.

Today, under the disguise of a promise of physical security, governments treat each of us as if we were suspected criminals and not free citizens with rights: they record our conversations, intercept our mails, take our fingerprints and as many pictures as they deem necessary, do body searches and leave us half naked when we travel as if it were business as usual, and ruthlessly hunt down as traitors those who uncover these practices.

As far as economic security is concerned, totalitarian communism was an extreme of this barter: the people lost their liberty and never found any security, except for the certainty of being poor under a merciless tyranny. The fraudulent Welfare State proposed something similar (do you believe that the wording of Social “Security” is casual?): it promised a paradise of “free” pensions, healthcare and education in exchange for giving up our freedom to save (thus relieving us off the uncomfortable responsibility of doing so). We surrendered our savings to the politicians, those incurable squanderers, well known for anything but respecting either their word or other people’s money! And now that, even after burying us under a mountain of taxes and perpetual debts, public money is scarce and nearing extinction, where is the promised security to be found? We must understand once and forever more that security is not only liberty’s enemy, but an impediment to prosperity. In fact, security and prosperity are antonyms.

The 2008 financial crisis was mostly caused by politicians and central bankers wanting to avoid the suffering caused by economic cycles. Due to the irritating fact that pained voters tend not to reelect incumbent governments, what better promise could they make than that of trying to end recessions and live in a plateau of permanent prosperity? We still believe the charlatans who, in politics or in central banking, assure us that they can get rid of the uncertainty that terrifies us so much. We long for a control that simply does not exist, and these are the consequences: perversely, the chimeric search for security brings much more suffering than what it pretended to avoid in the first place.

In 1891, Pope Leo XIII prophetically forewarned us in his wise Encyclical Rerum Novarum about the evils that are now upon us: “To suffer and to endure, therefore, is the lot of humanity; let them strive as they may, no strength and no artifice will ever succeed in banishing from human life the ills and troubles which beset it. If any there are who pretend differently – who hold out to a hard-pressed people the boon of freedom from pain and trouble, an undisturbed repose, and constant enjoyment – they delude the people and impose upon them, and their lying promises will only one day bring forth evils worse than the present”.

We have to accept insecurity and pain as something inherent to human nature and promptly mistrust anyone promising the opposite, in the conviction that that promise only seeks to fool the unsuspecting. An economic and political system focused on avoiding the inevitable, promising an inexistent security, is due to fail and headed for poverty. That’s why we should make peace with the reality of uncertainty and suffering and not try to escape from both. Only from the deep acceptance of these realities, will the trembling, fragile ember of hope that has always raised the human being up from his falls catch fire again. The history of man is the successful story of a flexible adaptation to an ever changing, ever insecure environment. As a country, we should look suffering in the eye, without fear, and dedicate all our energies to adapting to the new reality instead of continuously running away from it.

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NoDebt's picture

"totalitarian communism was an extreme of this barter: the people lost their liberty and never found any security, except for the certainty of being poor under a merciless tyranny"

An extreme?

You are young.  You will live to see the real extreme.

fonestar's picture

When you become virtualized you will no longer need to run from reality.

SafelyGraze's picture

every man, woman and child has the inalienable right to be free from hunger and malnutrition in order to develop their physical and mental faculties


ps within 10 years no child will go to bed hungry

also, everyone has the right to 10mbs 


AlaricBalth's picture

Reading this article I am reminded of the words of Viktor Frankl.
"In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice...Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way."

When the time comes, to choose ones own way, will we opt for the path of least resistance? The path of resignation and compliance?

Or will we choose the difficult road. The way that assures suffering, pain and possible destruction.

The harder path will require sacrifice of which many of us have only read about in history books. That history is filled with men and women who were willing to sacrifice for an ideal so that others who came after would not have to endure the same injustices and tyranny that they fought against.

When the inflection point arrives, and it is coming soon, how will you choose?

I hope I choose well.

Anusocracy's picture

I will certainly choose well.

I'll leave.

Oh regional Indian's picture

No pain, No GROWTH.

All ancient societies had rites of painful passage for this reason....

We are growing, there is and will be pain...


Anusocracy's picture

A right is something that can't be had at another's expense.

Besides that, they are just mental constructs.

Crawdaddy's picture

Your soul for 20 pieces of bitcoin?

LetThemEatRand's picture

Where is PureEvil to make the trade?

0b1knob's picture

"Under the spreading chestnut tree

I sold you and you sold me

Here lie they and there lie we

Under the spreading chestnut tree"

SilverIsMoney's picture

No we won't. Eventually this thing will burn to the ground and we'll rebuild it the way it should be.

Anusocracy's picture

Not likely.

The Freedom Culture is at best 2% of the population.

DoubleTap's picture

I think you missed the point. Please don't build or rebuild anything for me, please just leave me alone and I'll do likewise. Keep whatever you're building to yourself.

acetinker's picture

I don't know how young, or not this author is: but I can tell you this; the initial rush of "tell the truth" quickly dissipated into "let me tell you what is truth".

Ima go to bed.  Nothing to see here.

Mister Kitty's picture

Most people don't care.  We're too busy shopping.  Bastards.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Yes it maybe the VOA state department propaganda but that is the point..

President Barack Obama says freedom of religion matters to U.S. national security, and promoting religious freedom abroad is a key part in the country's foreign policy.


Here we go again....

Wonder if he was responding to this ass clown after a recent meeting with MB officials in the WH.

Then, while working himself up because the U.S is only providing weapons to the jihadis in Syria, as opposed to directly intervening, Qaradawi declares in frustration: “We want America to take a manly stand—a stand for Allah!

In the recorded speech, Qaradawi—one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the world, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, author of over 100 books on Muslim doctrine, and head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars—sarcastically thanks the U.S. for supporting the “freedom fighters” in Syria, adding that “Allah willing, your [U.S.] aid will increase.”

Then, while working himself up because the U.S is only providing weapons to the jihadis in Syria, as opposed to directly intervening, Qaradawi declares in frustration: “We want America to take a manly stand—a stand for Allah!

Needless to say, all Muslim Brotherhood opponents in the region are pointing to this as yet more proof that Qaradawi and the Brotherhood are mercenaries who interpret jihad any which way, so long as it helps them consolidate power: otherwise, how can “infidel” America take “a stand for Allah” by waging jihad on fellow Muslims?



A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood was recently hosted at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama, prompting an outcry from critics of the global Islamist organization.

Anas Altikriti, a top British lobbyist for the Muslim Brotherhood whose father heads Iraq’s Muslim Brotherhood party, recently met with the president and Vice President Joe Biden as part of a delegation discussing problems in Iraq.

Altikriti, whose work has also been tied to Hamas, can be seen smiling in photos published by the White House as he stands next to Iraqi Parliament Speaker Usama al-Nujaifi, who is pictured shaking hands with President Obama in the White House’s Roosevelt Room. The meeting was first highlighted by the blog Harry’s Place.

The Obama administration has been criticized its outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood, the international Islamist organization whose members’ brief reign in Egypt was supported by the White House.




drendebe10's picture

Duh. What else would u expect from sich an arrogant, narcissistic, pathological lying illegal kenyan muslim

drendebe10's picture

Duh. What else would u expect from sich an arrogant, narcissistic, pathological lying illegal kenyan muslim

Johnny Cocknballs's picture

Speaking of running away from reality - The Exodus, the slavery, all those stories used to justify the murder and ethnic cleansing of people who were already settled and living in Canaan/Palestine - twice - simply never happened.

And it's odd to cite PopeLeo XIII who, as Popes go, was relatively admirable, and actually created a lot of charities, including shelters for orphans and widows and soup kitchens for the poor.  Now, reasonable arguments can be made as to the role of government in such enterprises, but trying to relieve the suffering of the poor isn't running away from reality. 

Ignoring it is.

Crawdaddy's picture

Good luck with that non-judgmental approach Mr Dale Carnegie.

Johnny Cocknballs's picture

Carnegie made some sense.

You - I'm not so sure.


But I prefer me some Mencken:

"I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant."


Now what do I think of the proper role of government, ideally, or pragmatically?

I think that it doesn't matter what I think.

That's what I think.


I certainly don't think not caring about the plight of the poor at all is "noble." 


Why do you?

Johnny Cocknballs's picture


Let me know when you can summon an original thought.

I certainly don't think you're capable of a philosophical debate - and parroting glib phrases doesn't count, sweetie.



Crawdaddy's picture

If ever there was a sock puppet account solely designed to provoke and distract, it is yours. You can have your bait back.

Urban Redneck's picture

Original thought is rather rare (and has been for quite a while) e.g. from all the contemporary American English equivalents of "Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem", verbatim from Jefferson to Rousseau to Palatine of Posen, and then figuratively to time immemorial. Philosophical debate is often parroting glib phrases, and has been for longer than any of us have been around.

prmths2's picture

I was once interested enough in H.L. Mencken's writing to read a biography on him. When I read among other things, that he fabricated news early in his career, I lost interest in him.

kchrisc's picture

They seek protection "from us" with the lie of "for us."

They know that one day soon, when the whole brutal ponzi theft machine tanks, the people will reaffirm that "it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government..."

I do believe that Sandy Hoax bears a towering testament to their awareness of their precarious position.


"Guillotines 'R Us"

Debt Slave's picture

Yeah but, I still want my Obamaphone.

q99x2's picture

Well government types aren't entirely stupid, they know their time is running out and that millions can't wait to kill them.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

They took that story down.


But here is one for Freddie:  Boy killed by Televison

Jack Burton's picture

I find the article interesting, and very American. You notice we are a nation where death, our natural demise, is hardly accepted. We seem to spend more money on our last year of life than the whole lifetime before, in a medical attempt to cheat death. But that is not what this article brought to mind.

The brutal and often fouled mouthed debates over the science of atmospheric chemistry, the build up of CO2 from fossil fuel burning and the proven physics of global warming, caused by that rapid spike in CO2. I often read denialist arguments. there are so many, but not a one has stood up to any realistic examination by science. The theory of global warming is no longer theory, it is fact, and it is being measured and observed daily. But that is not my point either.

I do not like the idea of global climate change, and I damn sure don't like recent rapid events in warming and radical weather. What I really don't like and can not get my head around is the denial of fact when it is right in our faces. I think, the article above has found the answer to denial that is not rational. We, or many of us, simply do not want to be held responsible for the disaster we are facing. We are mad, angry, enraged that some fucking scientist, pulling federal grant money, would come to use and say "you can't go on using fossil fuels like you have. For if you do, you doom your future". We don't want to accept that we can have our happy world, of happy motoring, threatened. We want to burn every last drop of oil, gas and lump of coal and we want god, nature and physics to write us an excuse note saying "it offends my politics to be told the truth, the truth does not make me happy, it offends my life style choices, it offends my belief system. Thus I will not accept it is happening." That is your right, and I support anyone's right to condem science and physics for telling you the bad news. But, this can not and will not change the facts. The science and physics of this are so obvious that in the 1950's men already had figured out that breaking the carbon cycle and buring up oil and gas and coal would bring the atmosphere to a new state, and at 400PPM we are in a new state. I think the answer to denial of all the science and all the measurements we make, that prove extreme global warming is already here, the denial is for just the very reasons the article above makes about us humans in general. Don't bring me bad news and for god's sake do not make any of this my fault, for I can do anything I please and earth must remain a happy climate for me, because I wish it to be so. We are not gods, and we are about to be shown that we are not. Denial is a dead issue, nobody has to accept it, by right they can deny it. But, there is no running away, sit back and watch, global warming is just going to steam roller us, deniers and believers. It matters not a bit, we all are in it. And by now, it does not matter if the congress taxes carbon, or instead passes bills to increase coal production and fracking. Nothing matters, we have already fucked the atmosphere past the point of no return. I would not have said that 1 year ago, but the last 12 months, the measurements are just insane, I expected this 75 years from now, not in 2014, a big surpise is here, and it is not a happy one. I have heard all the denial arguments, but I expect to get slammed with red arrows and lots of denial, but that is your right. We can agree on that much.

Kassandra's picture

I am sitting here, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, in a foot of snow..
Yeah, it's here..and now.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

Jack missed the Memo.


@Jack, it's not Global Warming any more. 

You are supposed to be scared of "Climate Change" now.

Get with the program!


Climate Change is real!  The climate changes every day!

I am so scared of the weather!

logicalman's picture

I guess you don't know the difference between weather and climate.

In that case, no point wasting time with any discussion of the subject.

Average global warming will, in fact make some places cooler and some hotter.

Not that we need to worry about it though, Fukushima or WW3 are likely to make it moot.


Amagnonx's picture

If you are a scientist or engineer, then you are a very lazy one - because you havent done the fact checking yourself on this one.  If you are not a scientist or engineer, then you are listening to people who are lying to you - and you should take the time to go and get the data and do the analysis yourself.


Anyone who has a background in any science can go and get the data, work out the energy balance and know for sure that global warming is a crock of shit.  The temperature of the planet is irrelevant, whether its hot or cold or whatever - its the energy balance that determines if there is cooling or heating, and the contribution of CO2 to the energy balance is negligible.  


Atmospheric moisture is basically the ONLY thing that changes the energy balance, with some slight impact from ice sheets causing reflected light - forget CO2 - not worth talking about.  Changes in global CO2 are an effect of climate, and its correlated - but it is NOT a cause.

Poor Grogman's picture

I detect a whole lot of fake hand wringing here.

Why don't we just agree to talk about your "concerns" in 10 years time.

In the meantime why don't you just become carbon neutral yourself as an example to others. You could perhaps consider using a pedal powered I-pad. And of course no carbonated drinks from now on. Just stop producing that awfu carbon altogether.

Enjoy ...

logicalman's picture

Just stick to the grog and don't waste your time typing.

Poor Grogman's picture

Kindergarten is out early today I see

Keep working on that difficult math logicalman one day you will succeed.

Till then just stick to the fingerpaint.

AdvancingTime's picture

Jack, I got caught up in your lead in paragraph and can't agree more. below is an article about euthanasia. It is hard to believe that we can't even choose when we have had "more then enough." With people living longer and technologies ability to extend a persons life well beyond where they feel it has any "real quality" the issue of euthanasia will not go away. Most people would prefer to live a long life, but not too long. There is nothing wrong with a dignified death after a long life.


Hi Jack, I'm MEAN. lol

The point of no return, are we there yet? I'd have to say we have just passed it and are now beginning the overshoot period. The problem here is that it doesn't look sufficiently different to the vast majority so it's business as usual which is what the red arrows are all about. Unfortunately we are not in a new climactic state. That most likely arrives as the overshoot period peaks. It's like what ZHr Spumoni said a few weeks ago about Aqua Regia (liquid gold):

"The thing about a closed system is this: quantum events happen. The electron doesn't gradually make its way from the K valence to the L valence-it jumps those angstroms all at once. You don't precipitate the gold from an acid solution of aqua regia gradually - the reaction doesn't happen until the level of sodium metabisufite is enough to trigger the reaction. The fossil record is jammed full of species that failed to adapt to a changing environment - and if the percentage of free oxygen in our atmosphere goes too far from the well-established norm that nobody argues about, then we, my friend, are done. Full stop. If the several hundred billion tons we dump each year into our atmosphere is or isn't what pushed it over the edge, there will be nobody left to argue the point."


BTW Spumoni there's an 'l' in metabisulphite- lol, and we referred to the precipitate as 'sponge' (it looks like brown sugar until you melt it and pour)

You were talking with Flak the other night and I mentioned Arctic Sea Ice Blog by Neven. Bullshit replies and red arrows will continue but my hope is that something catastrophic happens in the Arctic in one of the two melt seasons before Paris 2015. There is still a slim chance the human race could get over itself and do something about this before the overshoot gains complete control.

No, the new climactic state is known as Canfield Oceans and it is not just "we, my friend, (that) are done."

Set your sites on Paris 2015, Jack, it's a possibility. I enjoy your posts!

(as in Jimmy Page/The Firm ; )


GooseShtepping Moron's picture

Kudos to the author for citing a great Pontiff of the authentic, pre-Vatican II magisterium.

Crawdaddy's picture

Too bad there is zero chance the current pope will have the sense to banish the shit disturbing jesuits again. Seeing as how the current popery is all jesuity.

NemoDeNovo's picture

^^^ We got one that can See ^^^ 

messystateofaffairs's picture

This article very succinctly touches a great and sublime truth. That most people will trade the reality of freedom for the evanescence of "security". They do this because they erroneously believe that security is real and that the small but accumulating incursions into their freedoms by sophists will not result in a boiled frog. A boiled frog is not a dead person but one who will endure a measured and controlled serfdom indefinitely and eventually come to embrace it. Orwell understood this and so do true mutigenerational Zionists. If they do not lose control of the balance between tyranny and slave comforts they will succeed, only a very uncomfortable slave who has nothing to lose will rise against an entrenched system. It's a very interesting show to watch, at it's root is mass ignorance of what freedom is. I learned what freedom is from a Jesuit teacher who joined the order to evade being drafted into the "good war" fought by the "greatest generation". America's constitutional freedoms were a gift of circumstance and the farsighted guidance of very few men. America has lost her freedoms in spirit and her government "educated" masses are largely ignorant of freedoms true meanings and potentials. As an individual all one can do is stay wide awake, keep your mind as free as possible, fly as far under the radar and off the grid as you can, and if the opportunity and inclination presents itself agitate for a free system again.

assistedliving's picture

whatever it is Fernando's smokin, i want sum

Oil Worker 85's picture

I'm still trying to figure out whether or not a lot of these comments should fill me with hope or they should reinforce my feelings that the U.S. Is doomed to collapse. I'm hopeful for the fact that even though the title of this begins with "View From Spain," so many people still feel as though we (as in those of in in the U.S) are experiencing the same struggles. The truth is that if this article were by someone in the U.S. and it were the "View From the U.S." we should all completely understand what the author is talking about. The problem is that what is happening in Spain is far worse than what is happening in the U.S. Around 30% unemployment and over 50% youth unemployment. Most of us know that the corruption and crony capitalism here is terrible. In a country like Spain (as well as many other countries), these problems are far worse than anything we have experienced (yet). It's great that we are sympathetic to the struggles of Spaniards, but let's keep things in perspective. The situation in the U.S. had not deteriorated to a point where our struggles are equal to those in Spain. In fact, we still have a long way to go until that happens. What we should all realize though is that the time is fast coming upon us that if we don't take a stand to demand accountability of our corporations and our politicians, then we will end up like Spain. At this point a change in attitude and direction will suffice. We are not yet at a point where we need a revolution.

smacker's picture

I think it's misguided to justify what the political rulers do as being in our best interests. Or even as an attempt in our best interests.

For sure, political rulers will invariably try to claim this, hence their claimed need for endless anti-terrorism measures to "make us safer".

But the truth is that mankind's desire for peace, security and prosperity are blind weaknesses that the political slimeballs have long taken advantage of to implement ever more authoritarian economic and social policies which give them ever more power and control over a nation's affairs. Their vehicle for doing this is "the democratic process". When that fails as more and more people see thru it, they go up one level to dictatorship.

Through democracy, they promise the earth, claim that boom & bust have been abolished, encourage people to max out their levels of debt and in the process cream off their cut in the great scam that is government, taxation and fiat money.

So much of the system of governance has been infltrated by political types who are nothing better than crooks and criminals, hungry for power to impose their model of society onto the rest of us and turn us into obedient slaves.