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Acknowledging The Arrival Of Peak Government

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by ChrisMartenson contributor Charles Hugh Smith

Acknowledging the Arrival of Peak Government

Most informed people are familiar with the concept of Peak Oil, but fewer are aware that we’re also entering the era of Peak Government. The central misconception of Peak Oil -- that it’s not about “running out of oil,” it’s about running out of cheap, easy-to-access oil -- can also be applied to Peak Government: It’s not about government disappearing, it’s about government shrinking.

Central government -- the Central State -- has been in the expansion mode for so long that the process of contracting government is completely alien to the nation, to those who work for the State, and to those who are dependent on the State. Thus we have little recent historical experience of Peak Government and few if any conceptual guideposts to help us understand this contraction.

Peak Government is not a reflection of government services or the millions of individuals who work in government; it is a reflection of four key systemic forces that drove State expansion are now either declining or reversing.

The Four Key Drivers of State Expansion

The twin peaks of oil and government are causally linked: central government's great era of expansion has been fueled by abundant, cheap liquid fuels. As economies powered by abundant cheap energy expanded, so did tax revenues.

Demographics also aided Central States’ expansion: as the population of working-age citizens grew, so did the work force and the taxes paid by workers and enterprises.

The third support of Central State expansion was debt, and more broadly, financialization, which includes debt, leverage, and institutionalized incentives for speculation and misallocation of capital. Not only have Central States benefited from the higher tax revenues generated by speculative bubbles, they now depend on debt to finance their annual spending. In the U.S., roughly one-third of Federal expenditures are borrowed every year. In Japan -- which is further along on this timeline, relative to America -- tax revenues barely cover social security payments and interest on central government debt; all other spending is funded with borrowed money.

The fourth dynamic of Central State expansion is the State’s ontological imperative to expand. The State has only one mode of being, expansion. It has no concept of, or mechanisms for, contraction.

In my book Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change, I explain this ontological imperative in terms of risk and gain. From the Central State’s point of view, everything outside its control poses a risk. The best way to lower risk is to control everything that can be controlled. Once the potential sources of risk are controlled, then risk can be shifted to others.

Put another way, once the State controls the entire economy and society, it can transfer systemic risk to others: to other nations, to taxpayers, etc. 

In effect, the State’s prime directive is to cut the causal connection between risk and gain so that the State can retain the gain and transfer the risk to others. The separation of risk from gain is called moral hazard, and the key characteristic of moral hazard can be stated very simply: People who are exposed to risk and consequence act very differently than those who are not exposed to risk and consequence.

Every time the Central State guarantees something, it disconnects risk from consequence and institutionalizes moral hazard.

To take but one example of many, when the Central State guarantees mortgages so lenders and originators cannot lose and the borrower can’t lose more than his modest 3% down payment, then everyone in the chain is encouraged to pursue risky speculations because the State has disconnected risk from the consequence of a potentially large loss. The risk hasn’t vanished; it has simply been transferred to the taxpayers, who absorb the inevitable losses that result when speculation is encouraged.

Separating risk from gain inevitably generates systemic instability. The entire credit-housing bubble can be seen as proof of this dynamic. 

All four of the causal factors itemized above are turning against continued expansion: 

  • The key energy source of global transportation, liquid fuel, is no longer cheap and easy to access.
  • The demographics have reversed as the population of State dependents is soaring.
  • Debt has expanded to the point that servicing that debt now threatens the financial stability of the State and its currency.
  • The State’s separation of risk and consequence is generating systemic instability.

There are plenty of models of State expansion -- democracy, socialism, communism, theocracy, and so on -- and none for State contraction. This suggests that the down slope of Peak Government will be disorderly and rife with unintended consequences.

The Failure of Separation of Powers

The predominant Western model of governance assumes, incorrectly, that a “separation of powers” within the State will limit the State’s appetite for control. But rather than limit the State’s expansion, the State’s subsystems -- the institutions of executive power, legislative power and judicial power -- are competing to gain as much control as possible over both the State itself and the nation’s social and financial systems.  

This competition doesn’t weaken or limit the State; rather, it lends the State a fearsome competitive advantage, as each institution gains power as the State expands. So even though the competition between the three may appear to limit the power of each, in aggregate this competition only increases the State’s expansion as each seeks to outdo the others in reach, influence, and power.

Regardless of which institution wins or loses a particular squabble, the State inexorably expands its control and power. And just as inexorably, elites within the State -- systemically protected from the risk created by their policies -- will experience a rising sense of omnipotence as their private power rises in tandem with the State’s expansion. 

These powers also offer State elites a way to radically lower their own risk and dramatically increase their private gain by leveraging the State’s vast powers to their own private benefit.

In other words, not only does each agency and branch of the State seek to expand its reach and power, so, too, does every individual within the State who can leverage the power of the State to protect his/her own individual gain.

The State as Protector of Private Gain

The Central State is granted unique powers of coercion by its membership (the citizenry) to protect them from the predation of foreign powers, individuals, and subgroups seeking monopoly. The citizens grant the State this extraordinary power to protect their freedom of faith, movement, expression, enterprise and association and to insure that no subgroup can dominate the nation for their private gain.

Granting this power to the State creates a risk that the State itself may become predatory. To counter this potential, the State has the self-limiting mechanisms of a separation of powers such that no one institution or agency can dominate the State and thus the nation.

But as we have seen, the separation of powers has failed to limit the expansion of the State; rather, it has become a competitive advantage, feeding the State’s expansion. There are no State-based limits on the State’s concentration of wealth and power.

There is a great irony in this concentration of power in the State: the power is concentrated to protect the citizenry from predation and exploitation, but that concentration becomes an irresistible attractor for all those seeking to increase their private gain via monopoly, cartels, collusion, fraud, and other forms of predation.

The wealth that can be concentrated in private hands is not limited or self-regulated, and so private concentrations of wealth inevitably exceed the ethical threshold of individuals within the State (i.e., their resistance to bribes and self-interest). This structural imbalance leaves the State intrinsically vulnerable to the influence of private wealth. Once this wealth has a foothold of influence within the State, it can then bypass the State’s internal controls and become the financial equivalent of cancer: a blindly self-interested organism bent solely on growth at the expense of the system as a whole.

Rather than protect the citizens from exploitation, the State’s primary role becomes protecting the private gains of elites who have taken effective control of the State’s vast powers.

The Death Spiral of an Expansive State

We can now see that the Central State faces an impossible contradiction: to pursue its primary purpose of protecting the citizenry from predation, it is granted powers that enable it to evade its own self-limiting mechanisms. Private concentrations of wealth gain control over the State’s machinery of governance, and the resulting partnership of private and State elites suppress the mechanisms that were intended to limit private influence over State power.

To enhance their own power, these elites increase the State’s reach until it dominates the entire political, social, and economic system. This sets up an inherently self-destructive feedback loop in which the State’s actions to protect its self-serving elites weaken both the State and the nation. The State’s inefficiencies pressure the nation’s output, even as the State increases its share of the national income to maintain its self-serving elites and quiet its potentially restive dependents. The more the State expropriates, the less surplus is left for productive investment, and so the nation’s output continues to decline.

This dynamic creates a positive feedback loop (i.e., a death spiral) of higher taxes and lower investment in productive assets.

Post Peak-Government Living

In Part II: The End of the Free Lunch, we consider what citizens can do to limit their own risk as the Central State contracts.

We explain how the State has unfairly used taxpayer-funded subsidies to erode participation commerce and investment at the local level that in ages past provided transparency into the true value of labor.

Now that the artificial influence of these subsidies is waning as the State can longer longer afford them, reactivating the infrastructure and processes for enterprise at the community level will be critical to transitioning to a sustainable and more resilient economic model.

Click here to access Part II of this report (free executive summary; paid enrollment required for full access).


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Tue, 05/15/2012 - 14:52 | 2428349 TheSilverJournal
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Less power? The politicians aren't going to like this news.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:32 | 2428415 sunaJ
sunaJ's picture

Don't discount a false flag.  They aren't going to just give it up.  Remember, the leaked power point presentation to NBC top executives.  It may have been postponed, but Israel offers plausible deniability.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:49 | 2428662 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Actually the equation is really really simple.

Peak Government = Peak Cruelty

That's really it.



Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:57 | 2428701 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Wasn't this the peak?

Lightning hits French president's plane, none hurt

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 19:08 | 2429422 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture




Correction to last paragraph of article as noted below:


"In Part II: The End of the Free Lunch, we consider what citizens can do to limit their own risk as the Central State STRIKE: contracts REPLACE WITH: expands."





Wed, 05/16/2012 - 06:32 | 2430707 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Not long now before America becomes well, fifty different countries...

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 17:04 | 2428973 greyghost
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omg...chucky is on a role today....first peak peak goverment!!!! well at least he has dropped the peak oil mantra. "peak oil--that it is not about "running out of oil" it's about running out of CHEAP easy to access oil." nobody was buying the peak "running out of" oil scam so change it to "cheap oil" well at least i agree with the "peak goverment" story. i wonder if he read about the oil and gas find off of greece that is supposed to have enough for europa for 50 years???

question? is chucky boy paid by the word?

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 19:03 | 2429411 blunderdog
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There's a coded system used to identify the specific individuals who write stuff.  If you crack it, you might learn something interesting.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 19:04 | 2429416 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I don't think he's really "paid" at all, tho.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:47 | 2428656 agent default
agent default's picture

It is when they feel that they will lose their power that they will become tho most dangerous.  The worse it gets for them the worse they will try to make it for you.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:57 | 2428941 lemonobrien
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just like a wounded animal.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 14:53 | 2428351 Aziz
Aziz's picture

I don't expect a gradual contraction. I expect a sudden one. 

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 14:59 | 2428380 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

Rome and the USSR ended up fracturing. EU is headed that way too, it seems.


Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:09 | 2428422 GeneMarchbanks
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Maybe the EZ not the EU... at least so far.

Strangely enough, this article isn't really representative of Europe where the trend is nationalism.

Obviously the US is going through some kind of existential crisis which cannot entirely be projected onto Europe. If the slashing of 'The State' begins(it won't) and it's done in public spending it'll get chaotic quickly.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:13 | 2428441 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

The end of Socialism and Central Planning is nigh.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:50 | 2428666 TheGardener
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But Chris talks abstractly about a nation as the US.

He is right in his analysis. Curtains off for full global game, let`s play real manipulation...

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:03 | 2428402 Quisat_Sadarak
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(On how he went bankrupt:) "At first, very slowly, and then, very quickly." -- Mark Twain

Same applies here with government.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:40 | 2428592 Demonoid
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Good quote, but it's from Hemingway, not Twain.

“It occurs at first very slowly, then all at once.”

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:53 | 2428685 Harbanger
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No.  He's correct.  It's a quote from Mark Twain when asked how he went bankrupt.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:10 | 2428741 Demonoid
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The goog says variously that it's Hemingway, Twain, and Oscar Wilde.

I stand corrected, or validated, or obfuscated, depending on the source.

Which, upon reflection, makes this much like a pronouncement on economics.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 22:02 | 2429977 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Your response about goog says you don't think for yourself and don't know how to research.  Your response also tells me that you've never been told how wrong you are.  I'm not your daddy, I'm here to ream you.  Pray the system never crashes.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:20 | 2428795 Harbanger
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"It occurs at first very slowly, then all at once.” -is a quote from Hemingway.

"At first, very slowly, and then, very quickly." -is a quote from Mark Twain.

“Stir slowly at first, then very quickly” -is a quote from Julia Child

Similar but different.  Get it!

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 18:48 | 2429355 WillyGroper
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"At first, very slowly, and then, very quickly."


ur sure it wasn't Linda Lovelace?

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 20:26 | 2429675 Coldfire
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“How did I go broke?” the once-rich F. Scott Fitzgerald said to Ernest Hemingway. “Two ways – slowly then quickly.”

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:08 | 2428413 redpill
redpill's picture

Another nice, albeit somewhat repetitive, piece from Charles Hugh Buymybook.  Thanks Chuck!

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:07 | 2428414 malikai
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Tue, 05/15/2012 - 17:38 | 2429088 Calmyourself
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We all in our heart of hearts hope for a sudden stop, it will not happen.  Think about the masses totally invested in the lies, no friends, a slow painful grind awaits us..

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 14:54 | 2428352 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

Government is the latest bubble.  Then what?

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:01 | 2428387 Quisat_Sadarak
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I am betting on the next bubble being seeds for prepper's crisis garden? But that bubble may not pop.... ;-)

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:26 | 2428505 wisefool
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Housing ( Shelter) was the point of no return. We are currently in the Agriculture (Food/Obesity) bubble. Water is next. Then Al Gore will attempt to financialize/tax air again. Then we all get our matrix pods. Full employment. 100% price stability.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:40 | 2428544 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Al Gore will be outed as a fraud along with the rest of the neo-libs.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:57 | 2428943 lemonobrien
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Tue, 05/15/2012 - 17:32 | 2429065 falak pema
falak pema's picture

What you call government in USA in its current form is CRONY SURROGATE government of a privately controlled Oiligarchy, TRANSATIONAL global CORPOCRACY. The Key issue missing in this analysis is the  notion of general good and public service, eternal defining framework in all civilizations, which helps to create the value systems, then to legislate, execute and protect in due process its objectives in court of LAW, aka amongst the three forms of government. That WHOLE process has got debunked, morphed; in current US power structure; to service PRIVATE interest. All discussion on this thread is therefore subservient to THIS current imperial minded, non democratic reality that towers over the US power structure since REAGANOMICS days and Thatcherist mantra in twin surrogate UK. We are effectively no longer in a functional republic, that protects general interest of publc.

Reset the framework of governance to defend true public interest, SOMETHING WE KNOW EXISTS AT IT HAS BEEN DEFINED IN RECURRENT PROCESS OF western civilization GOVERNMENT OVER 3000 YEARS, of which the US experience is just the tail end process, as conceived in an empty resource rich continent; aka in very specific and benign natural conditions; which no longer exist. 

Peak government under these terms in a inexistent/meaningless concept; like peak solar/renewable energy. It is never going to peak as long as human civilization exists, as its NEED is intangible and will forever be there for civilization to SURVIVE.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 17:40 | 2429100 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Yeah what he said..  Back away from the thesaurus falak.  "It's NEED is tangible", never mind the thesaurus back away from the crack pipe..

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 20:31 | 2429695 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

You're deleting a ton of history.  Please read the 5000 yr leap.

Wed, 05/16/2012 - 05:25 | 2430649 falak pema
falak pema's picture

no kidding, from where to where? From Socrates/Themistocles/Solon to current day its been a clear road down the path I have mentioned. Show me where that path deviated from what we know about right and wrong; in terms of governance and its values. Even the Rubicon taught us a vital lesson. Unless you believe in social darwinism which I don't as its negates civilization itself.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 23:36 | 2430274 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

"What you call government in USA in its current form is CRONY SURROGATE government "


Solyndra (solar)? No!

GE (wind)? No!


Wind power and solar - say it isn't true!



Wed, 05/16/2012 - 04:46 | 2430645 falak pema
falak pema's picture

don't look at the energy prism on a short time frame of a decade; understand what peak fossil entails over the century ahead and you will realize that we have no choice and the utility experience curve will make alternative energies INTANGIBLE element for our future survival, as they will be way of life in resource constrained tangible asset world. You guys are SOOOOOO hooked on short term manipulated oligarchy market fed logic you can't tell today from tomorrow and yesterday from day before.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 14:55 | 2428356 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

It gets even worse. Health and Human Services has a plan to bypass the Surpreme Court's ruling on Obamacare and create institutions to crowd out the private market and leave government healthcare as the last man standing (or last woman standing in the case of Sebelius).

HHS is creating a Fannie Mae for healthcare!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 14:53 | 2428357 arnaldo
arnaldo's picture

Peak oill to me is more a reflection of peak credit..... Price of oil only reflects credit inflation and now it seems to be an asset that is chased for investment. If Deflation truly arrives everything will tumble down quickly.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:06 | 2428405 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Stupid hurts, and you're going to need a morphine drip.

Apparently you didn't get the irony in the statement: "if you think education is expensive, try ignorance."

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:11 | 2428421 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

There is entirely too much of this silliness going around.

Peak Oil has a very specific, narrow and properly targetted definition and it doesn't offer itself to interpretation or "what it means to me".

It means the graph of oil (real actual crude oil . . . OIL . . . not liquids) extraction rate from the ground (misnamed "production", as if something was "produced" rather than an amount of something already existant extracted) rises over time, reaches a maximum, and descends.  That's what it means.  That's exactly what it means.  And it means nothing other than that.

This is not about easy to extract.  It's not about price.  It's not about anything other than that very clear, specific, mathematical definition.

The primary reason for the avalanches of incorrect definitions is so that article writers can say "peak oil means XXXXXXXX and we can see from YYYYY that XXXXX is not correct and so peak oil is bunk".  That's just silly.

It means very specifically what it means.


Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:28 | 2428512 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Yes, but....


There are several aggregation/timing issues associated with the 'simple' concept.  A well can reach a peak and then decline.  So can a formation, or a basin.  However, there are wells, formations and basins not yet discovered or tapped.  In addition, both technology and economics can result in a well or other unit of analysis being 'revisited' and 'reborn'.

So, OK, but......the implications many draw from the simple peak oil idea are, in fact, bunk.  Or at least only true on a long and probabilistic/risky time frame.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:34 | 2428549 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

You seem to misunderstand the concept.  Peak Oil is the extension of the standard depletion curve, which applies to any well, field, or basin, to the earth as a whole.  It therefore encompasses all the issues you raise of formations/basins not yet discovered or not yet tapped.  It is a theory, but it fits the observations very, very well.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:51 | 2428669 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

It doesn't fit well if the idea is to have a PEAK.  That isn't in the observations and probably won't be. 

'Long, undulating plateau oil' just isn't as scary.  Hmm, now why would that be....maybe I misunderstand the concept :*) or maybe I don't.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:22 | 2428798 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

The curve has a point at which it is asymptotically flat.  It doesn't stay that way.  Global oil production peaked somewhere between 2005 and 2008, and seems to now be on the downward slope.  Consider that many cheery reports factor in natural gas liquids and refinery gain when claiming that total liquids isn't falling, which is correct in a sort of n=n way but very misleading since NGLs are inferior to oil and refinery gain is simply a measure of volume and not of useful energy content.

Oh, and polished mirrors look like jagged canyons with enough magnification.  On a human civilization chart the oil age is a short spike.  On a geologic chart it isn't even visible, except as a sudden drop in oil in the ground.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:51 | 2428750 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

So OK, but: what if there are pools of liquid petroleum on a Jovian moon, or something? When the price is right, we can build space tankers to ferry it back to Earth. Peak oil debunked. QED.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 20:31 | 2429696 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Suppose civilization disintegrates from oil scarcity before a technology to achieve that occurs.


Tue, 05/15/2012 - 20:50 | 2429746 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

The human body rendered down hold up to 5 quarts of oil.. Debunked peak civilization.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 22:15 | 2430018 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

But.. WAIT... what if... never mind, I got nuthin'.


Tue, 05/15/2012 - 20:39 | 2429712 Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

Does this Jovian moon have seas with an assload of algae at the bottom?

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:31 | 2428520 aerojet
aerojet's picture

The problem I have with that assessment is that the oil came from someplace originally, right?  So are those processes still at work within the earth or not?  It didn't get beamed here from another planet or form when the earth abruptly cooled during the formation of our solar system.  If the above is the case, then you have your fixed supply of oil and I concede the point.  If, however, oil forms via a geological process that is still ongoing, then you're admitting that the supply does replenish itself, at least to some degree; probably not at a higher rate than extraction, but still.


Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:33 | 2428550 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

That still doesn't address the issue of Peak Oil. It can replenish all it wants, at whatever rate, but if it can't be pulled from the ground efficiently, then it adds nothing.

Simply put, Peak Oil isn't about biotic vs. abiotic oil, but where our limits of extraction lie today. The peak may well be surpassed in a million years, but that won't negate our peak, as it's personal.

edit: I did not junk you

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 18:54 | 2429382 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

>>The peak may well be surpassed in a million years


ur FOS. Ask any geophysicist. What a marooon!

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:42 | 2428601 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

I would suggest the book "Oil 101" as an excellent, comprehensive introduction approachable for anyone with a good high school reading ability, regardless of science background.  Your questions are very easily answered.

The oil we're using today formed over several hundred million years.  We've been using it for roughly 120 years (the party really didn't get started in earnest til WWII) and are already seeing supply constraints from Peak Oil.  If I analogize to a person's life, imagine taking all the money you earned over 10 years, and spending half of that amount in 2.5 minutes.  At the end of those 150 seconds, you are spending at a rate which would use up the other half of your 10-year cumulative earnings in only about 30 seconds.  Once those 3 minutes of consumption are gone, you will only be able to continue spending at 0.00006% of the rate that you had been spending at during the prior 3 minutes.  Good luck!

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 23:42 | 2430284 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Mad Max :

I would suggest the book "Oil 101" as an excellent, comprehensive introduction approachable for anyone with a good high school reading ability, ...




No real understanding needed, just RTFM and 'believe in' what is being 'fed' via the book.


Meanwhile back at the research center some of us want 'the facts'.



Wed, 05/16/2012 - 00:32 | 2430384 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Oil 101 talks very little about Peak Oil.  It is a comprehensive overview of EVERYTHING having to do with oil - basic geology, exploration, production, refining, distribution, etc. etc.  It is not selling an agenda, any more than a physics text is selling the radical agenda of physics.

But for someone like you who seeks "facts," I'm sure that oil was magically gifted to us by the FSM 5000 years ago when Fred Flintstone rode a dinosaur to work.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:29 | 2428531 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

While true, your "it's not abouts" are factors that affect the amount of crude extracted, so in reality, it IS about them. Problem is, as you note, they become the sole focus, rather than the resulting production peak which has come, and (most certainly likely) gone for good.

So, while you can't focus on them and be correct, you also can't ignore them and be correct either (not to mention that only aids those who do focus on them). Nope, it only works when all features of a system are viewed in a coherent perspective.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:52 | 2428643 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Don't clutter up the graph with corollaries.  Talk about them as you will, but they don't affect the graph.  As a poster above said, new discoveries, worker strikes . . . whatever . . . they are all in the graph because time swamps them out.

Geology dominates the influences on the graph.  You can talk about other things "mattering", but it's a lot like saying "oil consumption is down because electric cars and economic contraction".  Yeah, there are a few hundred electric cars out of hundreds of millions of conventional gasoline cars.  The cause is economic contraction, and tossing the other thing in there in English makes it look of equivalent significance.

The graph is defined by geology . . . and other stuff,  Just be sure the other stuff is in the really small font letters deserved.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:51 | 2428676 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Agreed. The corollaries only affect the timing of the peak, not its existence.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:45 | 2428638 Crab Cake
Crab Cake's picture

Listen Jacknuts; everything, absolutely every fucking thing offers itself to the lens, "What does this mean to me."

First rule of critical thought. You may perhaps wish to rest your ship in the harbor of truth and facts, because it makes you feel safe, but they are as illusory and malleable as the wind.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 14:53 | 2428359 Quisat_Sadarak
Quisat_Sadarak's picture

It's all about shrinkage, bitchez!

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 20:37 | 2429707 Unique Snowflake
Unique Snowflake's picture

We need political regulation or maybe a new tax to stop oil frow swimming in the ocean and get it into a nice warm shower...fix that shrinkage right up.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 14:58 | 2428369 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

I damn sure hope Martenson and Smith don't work in any capacity for the government, or they're about to be Jerry Maguired.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:02 | 2428373 Undermind_
Undermind_'s picture

Relevant article discussing EROEI, diminishing marginal returns of complex systems, and the fall of the Roman empire.  History certainly rhymes:

In ancient societies that I studied, for example the Roman Empire, the great problem that they faced was when they would have to incur very high costs just to maintain the status quo. Invest very high amounts in solving problems that don't yield a net positive return, but instead simply allowed them to maintain what they already got. This decreases the net benefit of being a complex society.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:55 | 2428695 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

"The American Way of Life is not negotiable!"

George H.W. Bush,

George W. Bush,

Dick Cheney

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 18:57 | 2429392 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

How's that working for ya?

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:00 | 2428381 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

the final bubble.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:01 | 2428394 reader2010
reader2010's picture

bull shit!

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:12 | 2428396 Mercury
Mercury's picture


...but before government hits it's peak, I think your average private citizen is going to get a lot closer to a trough.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:04 | 2428398 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

The noose hasn't even begun to tighten.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:08 | 2428420 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Good thing the people tying the knot have neither brains nor fingers. After the door is dropped, imagine our surprise to have the feel of solid ground beneath our feet.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:52 | 2428683 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Prolly have a coronary just from relief. 

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 17:43 | 2429117 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

I am starting to like my liberal neighbor in MN, first of several million..

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:04 | 2428403 Undecided
Undecided's picture



FLASH: WSJ Reports GM Will Stop Buying Adds on Facebook


Apparently 80% of the adds shown never get clicked on….



Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:42 | 2428611 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Tell you what, there's absolutely no way that 20% of any ad not promising free stuff gets clicked on. I'd be shocked if the number was over 2%.

Well, unless FB pays people to click links.

*lightbulb finally goes off*

Okay... so I've been wondering for years now, just how could Zynga monetize the millions of constant clicks on Farmville (et al.) that are otherwise just wasted motion? Now I'm wondering if they can turn them into ad clicks that the user never sees, but generates a billable click to an advertiser?

*runs off to code said money machine*

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:06 | 2428406 q99x2
q99x2's picture

If I wait until after I read this to comment I"ll be on page 99 subsection 34 so...

Ya unless they get old mister Rockefeller and hold him upside down until the change falls out his pockets who the hell is going to pay for all this nonsense that is going on -- the tooth fairy (FED.) Much easier to go after your competitive elitist brethren than to start some crap with the world. That be a whole lot of fighting otherwise.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:07 | 2428409 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Please. The globalists are gonna push for more government... and you bet the welfare masses are gonna ask for it when all the pensions/welfare checks run out. And because we've got the tyranny of ``democracy`` where the stupid majority decides to enslave the minority, we ain't reached peak government and not by a long shot.

No money for it? No problem, they'll introduce a new currency or print away.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:32 | 2428540 ian807
ian807's picture

It doesn't matter what the globalists push for or don't. When the oil runs out, nobody will be in a position to push for anything for a while, save their next meal.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:46 | 2428619 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

And you think then, when the government controls all the food (because you know they gonna confiscate all of it and ``distribute it egally``), that they won't be in position to do anything?? LOL!

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:48 | 2428660 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

You're assuming even distribution, while ignoring the fact that "they" own literally everything. What they don't own yet, they'll continue to go after, or destroy as unwanted competition.

Put it this way, you'll never see a Bush without access to oil, but rather watch entire populations fight over what little they can find.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:06 | 2428410 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Not peak government, peak waste. A truly free market with a government that is solely concerned with preserving rights of individuals and providing fair enforcement and arbitration of contracts could allow a much bigger government than we have now. Think Starfleet. I want a starship that can fire torpedoes.

What we have today is a culture of waste funded with fiat and enforced with a monopoly of force at home and smart bombs overseas. We basically live in a very lovely hell. Let it end soon.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:10 | 2428431 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

It is a War Economy. Bush diverted the US economy onto a Wartime Economy as a means to boost economic growth domestically and cut taxes at the same time. It is the age old trick. Arms spending when your civilian export industries are failing and the distribution of US arms factories in California and Texas are a useful boost to key regions. Since at least 1999 the Us economy has been getting Government Injections a bit like a weightlifter on steroids just to keep the sluggish monster ticking over

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:17 | 2428453 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Bush had nothing to do with oil scarcity asserting itself as relentless.

If anything, he tried to grab some extra oil for America, because he was, after all, President of the US.

But there was nothing he could do.  There is nothing anyone can do.

Scarcity is relentless and defines the misery to come.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:31 | 2428533 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Scarcity? Let me tell you a little about it. Scarcity is something conjured up by your overlords and sold to you as another 'truth' supported by the seemingly inexhaustable piss-pool of 'experts' who would sell their pancreas for a $.

Am I arguing that there is plentitude? Of course not, but the obvious fact remains: an economy by definition cannot be 70% consumption. Additionally you can't just extract by force everywhere all of the time. So then you see Putin on the tube claiming the US are 'a bunch of parasites on the global economy' meaning now that even the retarded Russians get it you're in for some actual opposition.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:59 | 2428708 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Scarcity is not an issue.  Companies are about one thing and one thing only, profit.  If the energetic cost to recover one barrel of oil is greater then the energy contained in that recovered barrel, it is unprofitable (as it is impossible to "print" up more oil to make up the energetic difference lost - see captial and resource misallocation/malinvestment)

Humanity will stop using oil with millions of barrels in the ground simply because it will no longer be profitable to recover it.  Peak stupidity is all that I see.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:37 | 2428578 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Yeah, I'm sorry, I'm really not seeing the connection between peak oil and peak government.  Peak government has come about because the Baby Boom generation is filled with control freaks who have no real solutions for the world's problems and can't do anything other than tell people how to live their lives.  Their preferred method of application is by force because nobody would listen to a word they have to say otherwise. 

Conversely, peak oil is just an Internet bugaboo whose proponents don't care about solving the world's problems but instead are terrified of literally everything and who often can be found living in their mothers' basements and will maybe inherit the house one day, if they're lucky.  See also:  Baby Boomers whose control strategies failed.



Tue, 05/15/2012 - 23:32 | 2430255 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture



+1 and a contrarian compared to the 'maddening crowd'

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:10 | 2428423 dbTX
dbTX's picture

Peak Obama, let's hope.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:11 | 2428432 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

WTF is going on in forex today? shit is crazy

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:14 | 2428447 denny69
denny69's picture

The central state apparatus may shrink, but it will be confined to only those areas which the elites cannot possibly benefit from. The central state apparatus of the United States now principally functions to transfer the wealth of the 99% (a more appropriate term could be used here, but I'll be gentle) to the power elites who control not only our ultimate destinies, but our wealth as well. They have long since abandoned any necessity to be held responsible for their ruinous actions and continuously indulge in a blatant contempt for the welfare of our nation's citizens. The above explanation of how the central state apparatus functions was, at one time, perhaps forty years ago, partially true; but now, unless it includes an explanation on how a kleptocracy functions, it is barely germane. An entirely new syllabus of destructive, illegal and centralizing behavior has been employed by the elites of our nation and I defy anyone to show me anything which proves that the Republicans, much less the Democrats, actively implement and practice 'small' government. If anything, the power structure will certainly remove the social safety nets for those earning under a certain amount (One should compare the amounts of welfare assistance received between American corporations and those who receive social welfare assistance - revealing) and it will, unquestionably, increase the amounts the power elites receive. The hard and distasteful truth which almost all Americans have not understood yet: They want it all and will do anything to get it!

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:01 | 2428714 Angus195
Angus195's picture

The central state apparatus may shrink, but it will be confined to only those areas which the elites cannot possibly benefit from.

I agree completely.  While I like Martenson's analysis, I am not sure it holds true in this present 'age' of technology.   See Zibgniew Brzesinski's Between Two Ages

"Speaking of a future at most only decades away, an experimenter in intelligence control asserted, “I foresee a time when we shall have the means and therefore, inevitably, the temptation to manipulate the behavior and intellectual functioning of all the people through environmental and biochemical manipulation of the brain.”

“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities. ”

One has to concede that the elites/central planners understand the existence of this 'feed back loop' themselves and have erected contingency models to manage anticipated contractions in key areas as the money/debt system eventually runs out of steam.  Frankly, they knew all of this was coming along time ago and they certainly have a 'plan.'  The merger of corporate interests with that of the alphabet agencies in the U.S. (SEC, FDA, FAA, TSA, and the like) was designed to maintain control in key strategic areas.  Unfortunately, what I think this ultimately translates to is a bi-bifurcated society not only in terms of wealth (which is being phased out as we know it), but access to technology . . . primarily that dealing with health care . . . the new frontier.  

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:18 | 2428452 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Haha cnbs just now reporting "money leaving greece banking system"

it's also leaving my brokerage account

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:19 | 2428455 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Okay so I am fkin pissed off that a run on greek banks is sending gold down big again and yet I am excited that gold is down big again. Is this the deflation before the inflation?

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:19 | 2428465 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Way too cool.  Chuck has gone full apocalyptic prepper on us. 

He's charging for a peek at his grand master plan for TEOTWAWKI survival now.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:19 | 2428466 Gloomygus
Gloomygus's picture

I have asked that my account be deleted, but as long as I am still here I will repost this message:

The world's first central bank originated in Sweden in 1668 - the bank, per Wikipedia:

"collapsed as a result of the issuing of too many notes without the necessary collateral. Palmstruch, who was considered responsible for the bank's losses, was condemned to death"

Eventually the Swede's central bank was resurrected and renamed - it again began issuing paper "certificates" which eventually were subject to counterfeiting - so,

"To prevent forgeries it was decided that the Riksbank should produce its own paper for bank-notes and a paper-mill, Tumba Bruk, was founded in Tumba, on the outskirts of Stockholm."

Exactly as in the US, the Swede paper was supposed to be convertible to gold on demand - however, in 1971 Nixon abandoned gold convertability in the US.  I suspect Nixon was first and all other CBs followed suit.  

Per Wikipedia:

"The Swedish currency was until 1931 backed by gold and the paper-certificates could be exchanged for gold coins. The bank was obligated until 1975 by the Swedish constitution to exchange the paper-certificates for gold, but in 1931 a specialized temporary law was written to free the bank from this obligation. This law was renewed every year until the new constitution was ratified 1975 which split the bank from the government into a stand-alone organization not obligated to exchange notes for gold."  

Our current Fed (there have been three prior "Feds" created and destroyed in the United State's 230 year lifespan) has been a separate, privately owned entity from its inception in 1913.  It has gradually thrown off the convertibility (or collateralization of) its paper notes.  How did it turn its gold-backed paper (where a holder could literally trade the note for gold) into air-backed paper?

JFK had began, 5 months prior to his death, issuing silver certificates issued by the treasury, backed by silver in the treasury, and convertible on demand into silver itself.  The same order (Exec. Order 11110) that allowed the treasury to use the President's power to issue such certificates under a statute from the 1930's also stripped the IRS's ability to tax such silver exchanges (the IRS is also a private entity created in 1913 at the same time as the Fed - by taxing income and transactions, payable only with the Fed's paper, people are kept within the Fed's paper system).  With JFK offering silver on demand for US notes, the Fed's paper unbacked by anything had a competitor - an insurmountable competitor.  This the Fed could not abide as it would very quickly die when the public recognized the distinction between the notes and looked more closely at the whole Fed arrangment.  

Regarding the "arrangement," the JFK certificates were not accompanied by the interest that has to be paid on every Fed note - the Fed orders up treasury notes and then lends the money just printed by the treasury back to the treasury at interest (by buying United States bonds and returning to the US its own fresh paper).  The interest on the bonds is a constant slow drip of wealth away from the nation to the Fed's private owners.

Of course, JFK didn't live, but you all have held Kennedy silver dollars in your hands.  But no Johnson, Nixon, et. al. silver dollars - in fact the first thing Nixon did after Johnson declined to run for a second tern was to chuck the last vestiges of the gold std - all the gold std is is backing for the paper with something of real value (collateral - see why the first Swede bank collapsed above).  Without a std, you can print as much of the stuff as you want.  

And who is printing literally trillions of electronic dollars, currently sequestered in primary dealer's reserve accounts?  You can only issue so much paper before folks begin to wonder about the value of the paper in their pocket.  A paper-issuer might get a little desparate when forced to print and print just to run in place.

Returning to the counterfieting issue that confronted Sweden's model central bank - we also have a captive paper printer (Crane & Co. - after 9-11 Crane bought Tumba Bruk, see above, which prints Euros and probably everything else).  We also have an agency that serves our Fed and that was originally created to protect against counterfeiting - the Secret Service - it also does some other stuff but I'm no longer clear on what they do/have done.

I believe that in addition to Rahm Emmanuel, the President's former Chief of Staff, the Secret Service is also the source of the Red Cross email to be prepared regarding the Chicago NATO summit.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:34 | 2428546 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Just go the fuck away already.  What are you trying to do anyway, talk yourself out of smoking a gun?

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:35 | 2428563 Quisat_Sadarak
Quisat_Sadarak's picture

Good stuff Mr Gloomy. The JFK silver certificate is an interesting event (I had read about years ago and was intrigued). JFK could have taken out the FED if he continued the policy into perhaps another term. Alas. Was the Bernanke on the unidentified shooter on the grassy knoll? ;-)

Why do you want to be deleted?

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:41 | 2428604 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

because his little pee pee got smacked in another thread earlier today.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:45 | 2428635 Quisat_Sadarak
Quisat_Sadarak's picture

Chin up -- this is ZH... or is it fight club? I always get those two confused.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:52 | 2428678 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

I hear you, but you're cheerleading for the wrong guy brother.  I get my chops busted all the time on here.

Afterwards,  I go home, forget myself and smart off to my wife.  Then the real beatings begin!

Wed, 05/16/2012 - 00:41 | 2430401 Gloomygus
Gloomygus's picture

Are you going to be my minder tomorrow too, or do you all switch-up? Why so angry? And since when are there "teams"? Is only with me because I dared to point out how you've been somewhat clumsy at times? Just improve and you'll be fine, I mean you hold almost the whole deck - what could go wrong?

Wed, 05/16/2012 - 00:18 | 2430357 Gloomygus
Gloomygus's picture

I don't know, encouraging a bank run in an entire country, after the smart money has already departed, seems kind of wrong. Even if you're just being careless in passing along the reports of others. Bank runs, as you bankers know, are matters of perception.

Speaking of perception, with regard to my "little pee pee," your drones must not be fully operational yet as my cock is enormous, as are my balls. I encourage any real live readers of this site to read all of my posts - each of them is vitally important, or I wouldn't have risked my nice anonymous life to share them with you.

Why won't you guys honor my request for account closure? Have they not filled you in on this stuff?

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 23:17 | 2430219 Gloomygus
Gloomygus's picture

Because I have a family. Whoever amongst you are actual readers, think about the purpose of the up/down arrows. Mind yourselves.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 17:13 | 2429011 Lester
Lester's picture


Wake the fuck up!  The dollar was not convertible to gold, unless you were a foreign central bank..  Before Nixon stopped the run on Ft. Knox, France was shovelling dollars at The Treasury and demanding our gold.  Where'd the frenchies get the cash?  My guess is "the usual gang of Treasonous Betrayers" allied with city of london faggots.  Why do you think Watergate manifested into the coup that it became?  Nixon either didn't know TPTB upper-echelon were engaged in the looting, or he was a super-patriot.

No other nation was shoveling dollars back for gold.  Nixon's action likely bought US another 30yrs.  All this shit we are seeing now was slated to happen in the 70s...  If hadn't been for the JFK, RFK, MLK assassinations, RFN would have been dealt with fatally. 

Think what you choose, but consider why Nixon was made-into the Emmanuel Goldstein just when Baby-Boomers were coming to the fore...  The man did end the draft and eventually the war.  You look at the origins and service those who played a role in his removal and you will lose all doubt...

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 23:19 | 2430223 Gloomygus
Gloomygus's picture

Believe me, I'm awake - the coup was in '63 - watch the front seat - where does Jackie go - and goodbye. You know they literally will not close my account - I've asked 3 times.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:22 | 2428481 Tom Terrific
Tom Terrific's picture

This is BullShit.  If anything the future is that of a totalitarian society in control of everything.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:34 | 2428555 ian807
ian807's picture

No. Perhaps a few thousand little dictatorships worldwide, but an all encompassing state is very unlikely to evolve before we run out of cheap energy. After that, your country is your county.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:25 | 2428493 SeanJKerrigan
SeanJKerrigan's picture

A death spiral of never ending tyranny.  How nice.

Some art and stuff you might like:

Mr. Burns on Capitalism

It has to get better sometime (art)


Also, here are some good quotes I think you'll enjoy (I love quotes):

“We Americans are the ultimate innocents. We are forever desperate to believe that this time the government is telling us the truth.” —Sydney Schanberg

“The poll, though scientific, cannot be a neutral construct. The opinion survey is a mechanism of manipulative control.” - Herbert Schiller

“My investing model is ABCD: Anything Bernanke Cannot Destroy: flashlight batteries, canned beans, bottled water, gold, a cabin in the mountains.”—David Stockman

“This is jobs. This is growth. We’re taking probably $600 to $700 billion a year out of the hands of consumers to subsidize the banks. That’s what the Fed’s zero interest rate policy does.”—The Bailout Movie

“Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today.”—The New Yorker

“At the height of the insanity, the stasi was spying on one out of seven east German citizens. The United States is now spying on seven out of seven citizens.”—Morris Berman

“All forms of violence are a quest for identity.”—Marshall McLuhan

“There is nothing more precious than an enemy, especially one whom you have largely created by your own acts and who plays some necessary role in the inner drama of your soul.”—David Shulman

“We should never, as a policy, maltreat people under our control. Detainees. We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the C.I.A.”—General Barry McCaffrey

“When the economy has for a long time been moving by jet propulsion, the higher the faster, on the fuel of perpetual war and planned inflation, time comes when you have to choose whether to go on and on and dissolve in the stratosphere or decelerate. But deceleration will cause a terrific shock. Who will say “Now!” Who is willing to face the grim and dangerous realities of deflation and depression?”—Garet Garrett

“[The Military Industrial Complex] renders among our political leaders almost a greater fear of peace than their fear of war.”—General MacAurthur

“I am just old enough to remember the Great Depression. After the first few years, although the situation was objectively much harsher than it is today, the spirit was quite different. There was a sense that “we’re gonna get out of it,” even among unemployed people, including a lot of my relatives, a sense that “it will get better.” It’s quite different now.”—Noam Chomsky

“Whose hand shall control the instrument of war?” It is late to ask. It may be too late, for when the hand of the Republic begins to relax another hand is already putting itself forth.”—Garet Garrett, The American Empire, 1952

“In the midst of chaos is when the greatest creativity comes. The future is not predetermined. Anyone that says that you do not create the future is trying to rob you of your dignity, yourself respect and the God that lives within you.”—Gerald Celente

“There is only one recent analysis that tries to explain Emperor Diocletian’s role in history. In it the uninformed author says four percent inflation is perfectly fine. Never mind that level of inflation will wipe out 1/3 of your wealth in 10 years!”—Sean Kerrigan

“When information about who is and who is not a security threat is a product to be sold as readily as information about who buys Harry Potter books on Amazon or who has taken a Caribbean cruise, it changes the values of a culture. Not only does it create an incentive to spy, torture and generate false information, but it creates a powerful impetus to perpetuate the fear and sense of peril that created the industry in the first place.” —Naomi Kline, Shock Doctrine

“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance.” - Olive Cushing Dwinell writing about the creation of the United States first central bank

Also, if you're so inclined, read my latest article here.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 20:44 | 2429729 Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

I was reading your quotes and was like "who the fuck is Sean Kerrigan?"  And then I noticed your user name.  That's a slick trick there Sean. 

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:28 | 2428526 Budd aka Sidewinder
Budd aka Sidewinder's picture

At the end of the day, whoever controls the military will control the future of the country.  I'm still very surprised that some of our more old school commanding officers haven't perpetrated a military coup on the current administration. 

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:35 | 2428562 ian807
ian807's picture


Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:43 | 2428618 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

we could only be so lucky if they pulled a "starship troopers".   From what I've seen and gleaned, all the birds and above are pretty much political animals now, sell out desk pilots with no ear necklaces of their own.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:30 | 2428534 TheAlchemist
TheAlchemist's picture

We can only hope our government actually gets smaller.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:33 | 2428551 citta vritti
citta vritti's picture

Sadly, peak government = wishful thinking.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:36 | 2428569 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

Could we have a précis with about one tenth of the words?

(This is the guy who publishes the S-curve with an unlabeled y-axis)

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:43 | 2428588 marcusfenix
marcusfenix's picture

peak government hit when we heard Obama speak of peas in every pot, john bohner let loose a stream of crocodile tears and michele bachmann state the new axis of evil was russia,china,iran, north korea and pakistan...

all in the same year.

even if we haven't hit peak government just yet we certainly have reached critical mass in terms of  government, bureaucratic stupidity and it gets worse every single time one of them opens their mouths in public. 

there are really only 2 prerequisites for being a politician, at least in America.

1. you must have no humanity, no humility and no morals of any kind.

2. you must be mind bogglingly stupid. 

blood thirsty, unreasonable, psychotic predisposition toward killing and waging war is a plus and will get you a lot farther a lot faster. 

humanity needs the great reset and it's coming, just not fast enough.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:54 | 2428687 Quisat_Sadarak
Quisat_Sadarak's picture

But I don't want people to take my shiny stuff?

If I accidentally took the RedPill...
can I reverse it by taking the BluePill???

--Sent from my iPhone--

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:04 | 2428718 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

3. Great hair

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 15:47 | 2428644 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Congress will need to form a Committee with three sub-committees, create a working group, fund a three year $30 million dollar research grant, and hold hearings to look into this "peak government" problem you speak of.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:06 | 2428721 pissing_excellence
pissing_excellence's picture

This is past absolutely spineless and gutter worm behavior.  Like wb7 says"no beverages close"  later skaters

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:13 | 2428760 New England Patriot
New England Patriot's picture

Peak government is a totalitarian world state, and nothing before.


Peak government may also be defined as the thirty seconds or so before Armageddon begins.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 16:29 | 2428825 EclecticParrot
EclecticParrot's picture

More like Twin Peaks gov't.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 17:44 | 2429123 AchtungAffen
AchtungAffen's picture

Hm, I would not say that the three branches of government in their struggle with each other end up increasing the size and scope of govt; rather the three branches end up under the control of a single entity (be it banks, speculators, special interests, etc...), and thus becoming a faux separation:

"Once this wealth has a foothold of influence within the State, it can then bypass the State’s internal controls and become the financial equivalent of cancer"

You said it. Bypassing internal controls such as separation of powers. And BTW: All forms of government carry the seed of their own destruction. I believe it was Aristotle who said that.

Nevertheless. Destroy the state and you'll be going back to simple feudalism.

And BTW II: Yes, there are no mechanisms for state reduction, yet they do happen. East Germany, Argentina (several times during the 20th century), Russia. But they all included collapses of different sorts.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 18:20 | 2429237 sof_hannibal
sof_hannibal's picture

No state = feudalism... i agree with you... i never see this adressed wholly with these arguments; like the "market," etc. Will magically correct, if we stop bailouts (and we need to stop them, but we have to take it further)... everything is still folly to human greed and corruption (i.e. monoplies in the simplest sense with private armies vying for land/ power --forms) in thethe absence of any "neutral"
soverign intervention);

Anyways, if u tried to reset gov. Tomorrow, JPM, etc. would just by out the US military and coup'd...

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 01:51 | 2438667 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

The current political system is ALREADY feudalism. They just dressed it up pretty and added useless mechanisms like elections to make it appear that we are/were participating.

Elections don't matter if the candidates are chosen ahead of time by two corporate owned political parties who also rig the voting using hacked voting machines and dubious and devious techniques of voter fraud.


We are essentially corporate serfs, they are our masters. they let us live on their farm as long as we give them all our wages through taxes and debts to them.

We have no liberty,no bill of rights no constitution. The president can kill you or or imprison you without charges forever. you can be waterboarded or tortured and that is wat passes for democracy?

hell no, its corporate feudalism, came in right after ww2 in dribs and drabs, they mopped it all up by the 80's when nafta and china's wto status locked, we were dead politically and dying economically.

Look in the mirror slaves and realize who your masters really are, their logos cover your belongings.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 18:13 | 2429198 sof_hannibal
sof_hannibal's picture

Who owns the central state? The lobbyists? Who owns the lobbyists? JP Morgan Chase, et al. The article mentions that flat out (elites use the central gov. For their own gain); but I am starting to tire of these articles a little... Look, I say collapse, let this system go up in smoke...collapse bitchez...

However, and I am neither a socialist nor an occupy hippi; so, ok, we nix gov. What stops JPM at that point from cutting out the middle man (lobbyists) and just hiring its own private army and basically doing whatever the fuck it wants...

What's wrong with a govt. That elimates super PACs, lobbying, has transparent campaign finance, elimates bailouts, stops the FED, goes back to the gold standard, and re-invests in its capable people (fair wage, work programs, education-- instead of (stop the learned helplessness) food stamps, social security, disability, and unempoyment checks... to me the post is implying total privatization: see the mess of the US prision system** if u think privatizing is perfect.

Gov. Is ok, but gov. Operating on only behalf of 6 too big not to fail banks and their top shareholders isnt about big gov. Vs small gov. That's about puppet gov.

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 18:28 | 2429278 zippy_uk
zippy_uk's picture


without bigger government where do we get jobs ?

where do big corporations get their fat pork barrell conracts ?

where does the economy get its stimulus from ?

turn the stimulus back on...

turn - the - stimulus - back - on...



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