Guest Post: Breaking Points: Recognizing The Signs Of Painful Cultural Shift

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Brandon Smith from Alt- Market

Breaking Points: Recognizing The Signs Of Painful Cultural Shift


Through the ages, nations and cultures of spectacular proportion and prominence have risen to prosperity, and fallen to chaos, on very particular and fundamental principles. In some cases, these great and terrible declines have taken centuries to culminate (as was the story of the Roman Empire), and only a few years in others (the Soviet Union comes to mind). In every example of societal destabilization, however, there were many signs of danger long before the final plunge; some unique to each particular culture, and some common to all. One of the most enduring and frightening similarities between crumbling nations is an overwhelming belief amongst the people that they have somehow “advanced” beyond the need for concern. Each self-destructing society presumed itself invincible. Each country thought itself the pinnacle of human potential, only to discover yet again that in abandoning or subverting the principles of freedom, and the bedrock pillars of conscience, reason, and wisdom, they had become merely another footnote in a long marathon of footnotes.

Ultimately, the vast and sordid history of collapse could be summarized simply as a series of breaking points; moments at which opposing ideals and forces hyperextend the prevailing mechanics of a system, changing it entirely.

Some of these events have produced surprising strides of understanding and political progress, as prevailed after the American Revolution. Others led to dark and mindless collectivist nightmares that fog men’s eyes and hearts, as that which occurred after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. The difference is one of focus. Imperialist (elitist) ideologies were deemed unacceptable in both revolutions, but the tides of each conflict leaned towards entirely separate values. Individual liberty in the West, and collective safety and sacrifice in the East. In America, the uprising was led by common men and the target was clear. In Russia, the uprising was led by elitists posing as common men, and the target was obscured. In America, much of the public assumed roles as arbiters and political engineers. In communist Russia, much of the public was oblivious to such responsibility, and only subject to engineering. Two revolutions in the name of ending tyranny with two entirely different initial outcomes…

I bring up these opposing paradigms not to spark another endless debate over the merits of communism versus capitalism, but to highlight a growing potential for a new brand of revolution in modern day America, now cutting through the surface, which may very well culminate in one of the two finales described above. More perhaps than any other time memorable, centralist and statist visions are today clashing with individualist and Constitutionalist pleadings for sanity. The air grows heavy and ripe for ignition. More even than any economic indicator, social indicators point in the direction of conflict and widespread malfunction. The question of “if” in terms of citizen dissent and the inevitable lashing response of government is no longer asked. Now, the question of “when” has risen to the surface.

To predict the exact timing of a breaking point is impossible, but there are signals to watch for; social and political attitudes to monitor and examine. After analyzing the shifts of multiple nations and cultures over thousands of years of human record, a pattern does, indeed, emerge. Similar developments in our times should not be taken lightly…

1) The Rise Of Moral Relativism

Inherent conscience is a vital artery to a healthy society. When that artery is cut, entire structures and peoples die. There is no way around this, as history has shown. Cynics, often utilizing a highly limited understanding of the processes of mass psychology and individual psychology, tend to confuse the word “conscience” with the concept of taboo. Taboos are man-made morals, and are commonly applied as a method of social control by oligarchs and collectives, just as many laws are created to appease sometimes dubious bureaucracies. Conscience is NOT man-made, but an inborn process that human beings draw from unconsciously, and which true honor, compassion, and sincerity are derived. Conscience is an intuitive product, not intellectual.

Moral relativism, by comparison, is a kind of emotional inhibitor which allows people to mechanize their thinking, and rationalize any activity no matter how despicable, as long as that activity is rooted in a “logical” framework. Logic, however, is limited…

Interestingly, there are some forms of theoretical mathematics which allow false conclusions to be presented as fact, and this same methodology of fuzzy logic is consistently used by moral relativists to achieve the “appearance” of reason. At bottom, intellectual prowess accomplishes little without the disciplines of experience, emotion, and insight. Cultures which widely abandon the guidelines of conscience always find themselves subject to collapse, whether economic or political. Without the ability to feel empathy for the victims of one’s actions, any disaster becomes possible.

2) The Displacement Of Cultural Subsections

A society that maintains healthy appearances by purposely displacing and marginalizing certain belief systems or political stances is by its very nature self-destructive. For progress to be made, inclusion of ideas is paramount. Ideas must be allowed to stand on their own merit and not be victimized by the biases of an elite minority, or in some instances, an ignorant majority. Strong and meaningful ideas must be given space to thrive while bad ideas must be allowed to fall to the wayside. This happens when open discussion is given fair play. Suppression of discussion, whether by force or by stealth, leads to an inability of the people to form a true identity. Forced consensus ends not in stability, but in madness.

3) Distraction Over Substance

Distracted people are uncaring people. A nation distracted by its own immediate desires over the concerns of the future is completely incapable of acting in its own best interest. Distraction comes in many forms, from vapid entertainment, to disinformation, to war and economic uncertainty. While most people are more than able to produce their own distractions, often governments will lend a helping hand in order to dissuade the masses from participation in the decision making processes. This includes the dilution of educational options and/or the co-option of the educational system altogether.

You will find that in nearly every collapse of modern times, the citizenry found themselves surprised and shell shocked despite numerous and easily identifiable warnings. You will also find that the stunned populace was usually obsessed with any existing method to avoid involvement in the workings of the system in which they lived. They were caught off guard because, in the end, they were more comfortable not knowing the details. Comfort at the price of vigilance ends in devastation.

4) When Law Becomes Tyranny

Law, at least as far as the fundamentals are concerned, is designed to protect citizens as well as authorities from undue actions and accusations. At its best, law shields us from our own follies, which may include the allowed ascension of poor leadership. At its worst, law is no longer used as a tool for protecting the public from error and malice, and is instead used as a tool for enslavement.

When a culture elevates and worships law over the contents of their own consciences, the abuse of law for the sake of control is imminent. Law does not trump heart, yet many past societies have been convinced to follow immoral laws all while mistaking their actions for “civic duty”. When law becomes infallible, fallible government becomes god, and no nation will ever be able to sustain such a delusion of grandeur for very long without reaping catastrophe.

5) Force Over Reason

Force is used only in two instances within a domestic political environment; when a controlling entity seeks to acquire or maintain power after fear and disinformation have failed, and when a rebellious public seeks to undo the wrongs done and reason has gone ignored. A nation run by dishonest men is already a supreme candidate for extreme collapse, but when despots turn to violent policies to silence dissent, you can be sure that conflict is soon to follow. The level of this tension will be readily visible in the militant presence of the government in public buildings, on the roads, and even in the neighborhoods of the citizenry. A standing army upon the soil of a country, regardless of supposed rationale, is a recipe for a breakdown that goes far beyond the more manageable effects of financial distress and into the realm of lasting and vicious war.

6) False Paradigms And Mistaken Enemies

A country near bedlam is usually filled with people seeking not just answers, but someone, anyone, to blame. This need for “justice” can be very misguided, and results in the projections of our own terrors onto innocent bystanders. Collapse is very often preceded by a swelling wave of attacks, usually directed at groups contrary to the majority belief. Political parties become factions. Ideals become battle cries. Fervor for retribution takes over. All the while, the true culprits (who are normally not a part of either side) sit back, relax, and turn the public in on itself. A frantic nation is an easily manipulated nation. Divided and fragile, such systems degrade while the source of the problem remains hidden.

7) Desperation And Loss Of Will

A culture on the verge of sliding into full spectrum disintegration is generally not very chipper, however, when this despair results in the handing over of personal liberty for the sake of so called “security”, an avalanche of regret and wild compensation in the form of moral relativism results. No matter what the state of a nation and its people, the will to move forward and to act for the betterment of the future can and does change everything. The blackest days of dread and ill omen are no match for man’s ability to endure when he holds the truth dear. No obstacle is insurmountable. No enemy unbeatable. But, when that will is lost, so too is everything else.

The concentration and frequency of the above elements can easily reveal the point at which a country is in respect to collapse. America now has many of these diseases at one stage or another, and in certain ways, has surpassed historic examples to form a never-before-seen dynamic for global turmoil. Currently, citizens are turning in greater and greater numbers to activism and protest, but the focus has moved away from the elites (central bankers and globalists) who deserve the largest portion of the public’s ire. We have allowed deflections to go unchecked for too long, and the unwillingness of arbitrarily delineated sides (false Left and false Right) to reconcile at least until the larger threat is removed is setting our culture in motion into the depths of a nightmare we are not ready to handle. Such loss has happened before, and, through courage, understanding, and tenacity, it has also been undone before. The choice is ours. It always has been.

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Cultural Capital's picture

You think some angry bogans are going to bring about systemic change when the New Left Review can't come up with an alternative to neoliberalism? lulz set sail to fail! 

Gully Foyle's picture

Cultural Capital

Militant: Dig it, dope peddler. We're out here building a new nation for black people. It's time for you to start payin some dues, nigga!
Youngblood Priest: I ain't givin' you shit! I'll tell you what you do, you go get you a gun and all those black folks you keep doin' so much talkin' about get guns, and come back ready to go down, then I'll be right down front killin' whitey. But until you can do that, you go sing your marching songs some place else. Now we're through talkin'.


[Black Dynamite walks into the militant group's hideout]
Black Dynamite: Excuse me, brothers.
Militant #3: [Gets up] The militants turn, startled. This is private. How'd you get in here?
Black Dynamite: I walked in.
Militant 2: So you one of them sneaky brothers, huh? Or maybe you an undercover pig. Or maybe you just a federal hitman.
Black Dynamite: If I was, you cats would already be dead. Now let me speak to the man in charge.
Militant #3: Sarcastically, I'm in charge.
[Exchanges hi-fives with the other militant]
Black Dynamite: If you were in charge, the people might as well surrender to whitey right now, because your survival skills ain't worth a damn.
Saheed: Black Dynamite.
[Walks into the room]
Saheed: It's been a long time, my brother.
Black Dynamite: [Exchanging hi-fives with Saheed] What it is, Saheed?
Militant 2: You know this Uncle Tom?
Black Dynamite: Listen sucka, I'm blacker than the ace of spades and more militant than you and your whole damn army put together. While you out there, chanting at rallies and brow-beating politicians, I'm taking out any money-fronting sucka on a humble that gets in my way. So I tell you what, when your so called revolution starts, you call me, and I'll be right down front showing you how it's done. But until then, you need to SHUT the FUCK UP when grown folks is talking.
Militant 2: I'm sorry.
Saheed: Yeah, we heard about what went down at the Hip Pocket. That was righteous.
Black Dynamite: That was personal, brother.
Saheed: Personal or not, you saved a lot of brothers and sisters. You need our help,
[pounds chest with right fist]
Saheed: we're here.
Black Dynamite: I can dig it.
[Black Dynamite pulls the bullet casing from his pocket]
Black Dynamite: What can you tell me about this?
[Saheed takes the casing, sniffs the inside for gunpowder and licks the outer casing]
Saheed: I ain't seen one of these in a while.
[Black Dynamite and Saheed walk out of the room]
Militant 2: [Whispers] I was gonna fuck him up.


Sharon Craig: I think Mr. Mellish is a traitor to this country because his views are different from the views of the President and others of his kind. Differences of opinion should be tolerated, but not when they're too different. Then he becomes a subversive mother.


Howard Cosell: This is tremendous, Don, just tremendous. The atmosphere heavy, uncertain, overtones of ugliness. A reminder, in a way, of how it was in March of 1964 at Miami Beach when Clay met Liston for the first time and nobody was certain how it would turn out. The crowd is tense; they've been here since ten this morning. And... and I think I see... the door beginning to open. El Presidente may be coming out. The door opens. It's he... it's El Presidente waving at the crowd. A shot rings out! He turns... he runs back toward the building, trying to get in. This crowd is going wild. He's caught in a crossfire of bullets. And down! It's over! It's all over for El Presidente!


Carroll Commission Spokesman: Ladies and gentlemen, you have been invited here today for the official announcement of the inquiry into the death of Senator Charles Carroll. This is an announcement, not a press conference. Therefore, there will be no questions. A complete transcript of the investigation is being prepared for publication on March 1st. At that time, the committee will hold a full-scale press conference. After nearly four months of investigation, followed by nine weeks of hearings, it is the conclusion of this committee that Senator Carroll was assassinated by Thomas Richard Linden. It is our further conclusion that he acted entirely alone, motivated by a sense of patriotism and a psychotic desire for public recognition. The committee wishes to emphasize that there is no evidence of any wider conspiracy; no evidence whatsoever. It's our hope that this will put an end to the kind of irresponsible and exploitive speculation conducted by the press in recent months, as I've said in the complete text of the hearings, which provides the bases for the committee's findings which will be published on March 1st. When you've had a chance to examine the evidence, you'll have every opportunity to ask those questions which remain unanswered, if they are any. That is all. Thank you.


Hammond Commission Spokesman: Ladies and gentlemen, you've been invited here today for the official announcement of the inquiry into the death of George Hammond. A complete transcript of the investigation is in preparation. This committee has spent nearly six months of investigation, followed by eleven weeks of hearings. After careful deliberation, it is concluded that George Hammond was assassinated by Joseph Frady. An overwhelming body of evidence has revealed that Frady was obsessed with the Carroll assassination, and in his confused and distorted state of mind seems to have imagined that Hammond was responsible for the senator's death. He was equally convinced that Hammond was somehow plotting to kill him. And it is for those reasons that Frady assassinated him. Although I'm certain that this will do nothing to discourage the conspiracy peddlers: there is no evidence of a conspiracy in the assassination of George Hammond. Those are our findings. The evidence will be available as soon as possible. Thank you. This is an announcement, gentlemen. There will be no questions.


Eppis: Do you know why being a revolutionary doesn't work in this country? Being a revolutionary in America is like being a spoil sport at an orgy. All these goodies being passed around and you feel like a shit when you say no.

Bob's picture

It was worth time researching your references so that I might know WTF you are talking about.  Interesting. 

And fruitful.  For example, I didn't know that somebody had modeled this dynamic of social reality:

monkeyboy's picture

Is Europe ready for the Winter of Discontent that's fast approaching?

SkySavage's picture

It is not the winter of discontent, but the Kondratiev winter that is coming.

It had been postponed, but now it is unavoidable. 

knukles's picture

Eurpoean winter?
T'is that season all over the fucking place this time around looks like.
Yo.  Whatchu think be happening around the rest of the world?
A Barbie fuckin' slumber party?

We in the West got it real fuckin' great, good, mangnificent compared to the rest of the world and we be gettin' upset?

This shit be gettin' real, support it or not.
It is what it is and the natives be restless.
Looks like some figure them fat rich people might be only things left to eat pretty soon.

Shirley Wilfahrt's picture



Today is my birthday. Your gift of enlightenment will last much longer than the drunken bj I hope to get out of the wife tonight....


CHeers My Friend and Thank You.

4horse's picture

yeh. pull up a chair. read. the wageslaves just can't wait, with baited breath, for yet another megamind to join the canonade in firing-off his very own secret yet seminal metanalysis, wherein the past,present&future of those many homeless,hopeless'n'ugly rubble are to be treated to just such secret sauce as will finally stick if not exactly fix the trickle-down status of their whole TOEjam. which, of course, genius--

Ultimately  .  .  .  could be summarized simply

Read: for as that first peripatetic originally established while strolling-- outside? the lyceum! --for knowledge one thing is needful: Leisure

{most wisely and best achieved,btw, through slavery . . . of foreigners} USA. USA.

whose latest,greatest contribution to same-- Labor --is once again consistent with such omniscience as this in coming from suffering __Metaphysics

cause, well, alotta time-on-your-hands is  .  .  .  CloudCuckooLand

where such old,bold'n'beautifully positioned Lords-of-the-Air waves are never to be thought anything in common with, well, historians, Scholars, nothing-in-common with jobless commoners'n'wageslaves


pull up a chair



an armchair. PhD. not, QB, even in-an-arena. ever. nevermind so much as a streetfight in being yet another of the usual metamind-type. typist


meanwhile, outside, mega's already forearmed the few vs. the many, not with stones,torches'n'pitchforks, but the completely inside backing of their police,proxies,politicians,provocateurs of the M-I-C

{see you real fucking soon}

K-E-Y *

{cause we like to}

                           L-O-U-S-Eeeeee up Everything

A-B-Cs buddy. yeh. back2basics.
so. 3r's. ok. jam-yer-cranium
{whoa . . . the whole sofa's on fire}
until, afterwards, circlejerking. . .
yeh. then spread the word

even if already&always spreadthin
                                even among     the commoners







*postscript.footnote.mootpoint: "seeing through the game ain't the same as winning it"

StychoKiller's picture

The Winning team needs around 300Million more players familiar with the playbook -- spread the wordz.

High Plains Drifter's picture

do i have to read this ?  ok i will read it and be back in a few minutes.........whew !!

Long-John-Silver's picture

No need to read it. We're living it right now.

mfoste1's picture

Well said. Its such a shame that the revolution isn't being televised....I reckon it will be when they take over the TV studios.

Biosci's picture

Do we absolutely have to do this during football season?

trav7777's picture

the article is self-serving garbage, pure hubris.

It is the height of man's arrogance to think that he and his stupid "morals" and beliefs dictate physical reality.  Things collapse because they can no longer grow.

mkkby's picture

There won't be a revolution in the US.  If you think so your knowlege of history is too short.

The US is actually more free and less corrupt than ever before.  Yes, there are ups and downs.  But the long term trend is up.

Freedom -- Only 40 short years ago blacks couldn't even get on a bus, use a public bathroom or go to a restaurant without facing violence.  Arrest warrants -- what was that?  Cop misbehavior on video -- nope.  Tolerance for anyone with a religious or sexual difference -- very little.

Danger signs -- We had a great depression with widespread hunger.  We had the brink of nuclear war, and mass protests over the draft.  There were isolated acts of violence but society held together.



Azannoth's picture

I be there is nothing there that I don't know already so gave it 5 stars just in case :)

Long-John-Silver's picture

Breaking Points have been Broken, Bitchez.

flattrader's picture

Yes broken, but not recognized as such.

Like little kids who are attached to a malfunctioning toy and continue to play with it or keep it around because they can't let it go.

At an #occupy event yesterday targeting Bank of America, a guy stopped me and asked me what it was all about.  I simply explained that those 3,000 people were pissed-off about a variety of things.  The target made bad loans, took taxpayer funded bailouts, gave bonuusus to execs and are illegally foreclosing on people's homes.  I told him to just read the signs.

He said thanks for explaining it.  He seemed to get it.

I think he was confused more because we were black and white, young and old, well dressed and not so well dressed and were facing down hundreds of cops.

Spastica Rex's picture

I've always said that American will go to the streets exactly when:


  1. No Big Macs
  2. No Dancing With the Stars
  3. No fuel for F350s
  4. Hot in Summer or cold in Winter

I was wrong. However: I'm beginning to think that OWS is just a dress rehearsal, here in the US. I still don't think enough people will head to the streets to do anything. I think OWS will go 1 of 3 ways - in order of likelihood :

  1. Fizzle out - co-option, weather, boredom, etc.
  2. Be Pre-empted - a "war," or something (worked for nascent anti-globalism personified by WTO protests in Seattle)
  3. Turn violent - a "Kent State" like event, or violence on the part of the protesters (engineered, or not)

Shitstorm if #3 happens.


Gully Foyle's picture

Spastica Rex

Eppis: Do you know why being a revolutionary doesn't work in this country? Being a revolutionary in America is like being a spoil sport at an orgy. All these goodies being passed around and you feel like a shit when you say no.

Spastica Rex's picture

Panem et circenses? Thanks, but not for me. Enjoy your orgy.

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

There is an open space in the vomitorium...

Dave Thomas's picture

Yeah, I was just at Burger King here in Houston. Everything is hunkey dorey!

Rhodin's picture

Maybe i'm missing something.

I thought the point of a vomitoriun was to allow the enjoyment of more good food by voluntarily emptying out.  At Burger King, the food festers when traffic is slow, and the vomiting (for me anyway, many years ago) is involuntary.

Shirley Wilfahrt's picture

Wait until winter hits in NYC....those streets get cold....

It's hard to be a revolutionary when you have the option of going home to momandher4thhusband's(thisoneisabondtrader!) warm upper west side apt....

The OWS is soft. Protest Lite for calorie conscious revolutionaries....



karzai_luver's picture

everyone over here seems to think the "me springs" started when they showed up on Cnn or Fox.


taint so bro. they were out and back home spring/fall for many years , one year more showed and more showed and that was it.



Lay off the viagra , let it come in it's own good time, they are not working on your clock.




oldman's picture

Spastica, do you mean like after Kent State or after North spilled the beans on Reagan I and no one opened their mouth???

It seems to me that all of the above and more are going to be happenig at the same time. It is going to be long and hard and who can say if we U.S. americans have the balls for it or not?

But it does appear that the cat is out of the bag--------and hopefully a big enough cat to get some re-distribution of of income and resources. I´m tired of always hitting the military option---these non-war wars have destroyed our country and put a bunch of morons in charge. I'm sick of it.

And yeah, I think it will be a shitstorm at times, but the people on the street are as tired of the same old same old as this oldman-----and a lot of them are just kids, but they won't be for long.

Keep the faith brother---she be all right again in time   om 


Bob's picture

These kids are way out ahead of generational warfare, oldman.  We can be proud of these kids . . . as I've been saying about them for the last twenty years. 

Anybody who doesn't know kids like those should have a serious look in the mirror.

oldman's picture

Thanks, Bob

That is exactly how I see them, also.

I meet a lot of really talented, intelligent, and aware youngsters everywhere I go.  Outside of the US young people are very respectful to me----there is not much difference in the genarations in the rest of the world. Even so, The US has a lot of bright, hip kids, without as much fear as their parents. This is why I am pretty optimistic about them, also.

Even my four year old grandson knows enough to say, "you just never know, granpa", and I think that is a great place to start from.


Bob's picture

Start 'em right!  Great story, thanks. 

11b40's picture

Maybe # 2, likely #3.  It's far too entertaining to watch on YouTube to go the way of #1, and it's becoming International.  Every nations protesters will have to up the's that "we're #1" mentality ;-)

Tompooz's picture

Don't Americans go to the street when they have just lost half of their savings or their retirement provisions?

Chuck Yeager's picture

I think the OWS thing will morph into a burning platform that gives an alternative voice to express the real and true feelings of the 99%. There is so much to be shared that the corporate media doesn't show us. That is why there are no 'demands'. The media IS the message. We the people have finally found our voice and we are going to use it, Bitchez!

NumNutt's picture

WTF! I keep reading all the post of the coming revolution!! WooooHooooo! I am glad people are finally getting pissed off enough to go out into the streets and start voicing demands for change. But OWS!?!? These are nothing more then a large group of people making socialist/communist demands. All these people where more then happy while the government was strong arming the banks into handing out free money to people that could never pay it back. But now when the lights come on and everyone is told the party is over they all run to the streets and start demanding more free stuff. It is like the drunks at closing time at your local bar when the lights come on and are told to go home, and they refuse and demand to have more beers, and keep the party going.

These people are protesting the banks, great! They are some crooked SOB's. But what about the US capital? The white house? Those mother fuckers sold us out as bad if not worse then the bankers. They keep comparing the OWS to the Tea party and that is bullshit. I am not involved with the Tea party but I am a US citizen, and the one thing that made this country unique from all other forms of government when it was founded was the election process. This allowed for the peaceful change in government direction from right to left or vice versa. Prior to that the only way that would occure would be with a lot of weapons and open trenches filed with dead people. As a country we are no where near a true revolution. We have not had martial law declared (yet), and the president has not suspended the constitution (yet). 

These protesters calling for violent change are assholes. Oops I mean socialist assholes. They might want to do some research because the primary reason we are as a country financially broke (including Europe) is due to stupid short sighted government instituted socialist programs that have become a stone around all of our throats and are dragging us down. These people are all busy craping on capitalism while they are blogging on the internet via their laptop computer, all of which would not be possible if the inventors where not driven by capitalism. Name one device that has enriched the lives people (other then the AK47) that was invented, and produced in a communist run country. And no China does not count because they saw the error of their ways and have turned to 'free market reform' but are still a dictatorship by commitee. 

If everyone thinks we are in some fucked up shit now, let this country be taken over by communist. You ever wonder why Cubans are so willing to head out onto the Atlantic ocean in a 30 foot wooden peace of shit boat with a hundred people on board? Because to them death is better then living in a communist country. Fuck these retards at OWS, and the union socialist thugs that Obama and his cronies are using to stir up shit. I for one still believe in the electoral process and am willing to exhaust all efforts on peaceful change before it goes to violence. After that, bring it on, and these socialist assholes will be the first on my list.

Bob's picture

No, actually most of those people at OWS have been doggedly disciplining themselves to things that they believe matter.  It wasn't just a buncha slackers showing up saying let's party and sleep . . . in the park, cool!  They weren't copasetic when times were "good" . . . even when the markets were bangin'. 

These are the kind of people who stop whaling boats, protest against Burmese despotism, work against blood diamonds, etc.  You know the type.  They also tend to buy local, which involves co-ops, farmer's markets, bartering, growing together in a real community and supporting one another in real time, both directly and virtually.  People who have been bought by this corrupt system don't have time to go down there.  And wouldn't if they did.

I'm sorry to see all the confusion about who these kids are.  They're real people.  Committed and sincere.

It's gotta suck not actually knowing young people like that. 

NumNutt's picture

Oh yeah, I know the type. I went to school with many of them, and twenty years later they are still doing the same shit, always looking for a free handout, or a get rich quick scheme, never want to actually work for it.


You know how to starve a hippie? Hide his food stamps under his workboots.

Bob's picture

It's as hard to be a legitimate hippie as it is to be a legitimate anything is this world.  The people who succeed live honorably and a subset of them make shit happen. 

I'm seeing it in OWS. 

They're making shit happen.  Somebody had to raise the ante on raising some shit in this post-rule of law society. 

Some things only the warrior-artists will do.

Not that they don't have more than their share of shamans down there as well. 

Sorry you've never known anybody in that society who proved legit--if you want to find it, you shouldn't find it impossible at OWS.


NumNutt's picture

"warrior-artists" HAHHAHAHAHHHAHAHHHAHHHAHHA!!! oh god, that is some funny shit. OK look I understand what your saying. These are are young ideological people stuck in a difficult situation. And they have organized somewhat to let the world know they are not happy. But part of the sad truth is they should have spent more time organizing before they started this. For now they have no clear direction, just spraying bullets in all directions and hoping to hit something. Rather then taking some time and picking a clear target. Please don't get me wrong, even though I am from the right hand side of the spectrum I share a lot of anger and frustration with these people. The unchecked greed at the top of the banks and our federal government has left all of us holding a bag of shit. My problem with these OWS guys is that they are so disorganized that they will ultimately hurt their cause as people start to loose interrest as they become more and more unsure what OWS movement stands for. The Arab spring thing worked because they were focused, the majority of people hated the dictators and had had enough, but they had one goal, get rid of the dictator. They didn't get together and present a list of 32 items, and then added to it daily. that just confuses everyone. If they want to save this movement they need to try and identify a single goal that is within reach, like maybe debt forgiveness on homeowners, or students, then stick with it. Make it a single demand, then when/if they get that demand, hold another protest and demand the next thing, you can't do it all at ounce. If they don't do something like that soon they are destined to failure, TPTB are just going to get tired of dealing with them and either ignore them or arrest them.

StychoKiller's picture

Meh, if you're looking for sound-bites, turn on yer idiot-box.

Bob's picture

Well, I won't argue against those criticisms on the basis of how effective popular uprisings have been structured in the past.

Yet our current situation may be too damn corrupt to focus upon a single, or even several, issues of "demand."  Government and corporate corruption is both epidemic and systemic at this point. Rule of Law has been obliterated except as perpetrated upon the bottom 70% and everybody knows it. 

I could see an effective movement with NO specific demands, just the raw collective conscience assembling worldwide in silent reproach of TPTB.  Millions of people occupying all the loci of criminal institutional power demanding, by their presence alone, only one thing: Justice. 

I think that's a damn clear message. No words required. 

With the popular support the occupy movement is gaining nationwide, it appears to me that TPTB had better get their saboteurs out there in a hurry to provide necessary cover for violent repression.  Very soon the populace will be more than amenable to general consumer and worker strikes that will require nothing of the participants except staying home. 

That's what I see coming next.  The shit is going to hit the fan bigtime. 

boiltherich's picture

"These are nothing more then a large group of people making socialist/communist demands.

Nut, you give them WAY too much credit for financial and economic literacy, they could not describe what seperates one from the other or what our own economic history is, they are just out there because they know OBSCENE when they see it.  What Wall Street, and lobbyists, and government (aka the top 10%) are doing to the other 90% is as Obscene as anything in modern history, and it will kill the geese that laid the golden eggs - the middle class labor serfs.

NumNutt's picture

"It will kill the geese that laid the golden eggs"

That should read "Has killed". Boil, hate to to tell you this but the middle class in the USA is done. Most have lost their homes, their jobs, and soon their 401k's (or what is left of them). Understand me, I am behind anyone that is willing to call out these MF'ers in the FED, and the mega banks for what they are - CROOKS. I am not interrested in standing on a corner in NYC beating a drum chanting union slogans. I want action, does not need to be violent action. But something along the lines of no longer giving those assholes our money, make them hurt where it counts, their wallet. Until I start seeing an organized effort by these people along those lines as far as I am concerned everything we have seen so far with this 'protest' is just eye candy for the MSM.

boiltherich's picture

*Mental head slap*  Of course Nut, like I said this morning they are redoing the apartment next door and it is making me crazy, losing concentration.  It is so easy even for a person like me trained in finance to forget about the massive debt and leverage on corporate and governmental debt that has to be paid by the middle class.  Becuase the poor can't pay all those tens of trillions, and the rich won't pay anything, leaving the middle to pay it all.  They still look middle class, they still live like middle class people for the most part, most probably even still think they are middle class.  They just forget (or never knew) they are on the hook for all their own personal consumer debt plus a reasonably even share of some 50 trillion and rising fast.  260 million MOL into 50 trillion MOL = just a tad under $200k per "middle class" American in debt they did not understand they owed.  Now how middle class are you sucka.  Because that works out to about three quarters of a million bucks per household. 

High Plains Drifter's picture

will gold reach 2000 and silver about 50 this year ?  that is my main concern about all of this....;)

billhilly's picture

That's too bad Drifter.  We, collectively, are at a very decisive point in our nation's history and future... and possibly even mankinds itself.  To concern ones self with his/her own needs, while necessary to a certain degree of course, exclusively is to turn a blind eye and add to the above conditions.

Let us not be consumed with the interest of self preservation alone, but rather contibute, as we each can, to the growth and enlightenment of our fellow world beings.  The above author has contributed a meaningful, intelligent and stimulating piece.  I am grateful for his efforts. 

I hope I too will find the wisdom and energy to make our burdens a bit more endurable and create an atmosphere which will allow ideas/ideals to surface and be explored.

11b40's picture

Good post, billhilly.

Haven't seen much of you lately. 

flattrader's picture

Hey billhilly,

Have you read "Redneck Manifesto"?

You should.


Dave Thomas's picture

This whole board is focused on some wierding collective shadenfreude. How can you even say this? When folks here want bankers heads on pikes they know a lot of the "little people" are going to fare much worse.

You know, to make an omelette and all that.