Guest Post: It's A Matter Of Trust - Part 1

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform,

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” ? J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan


“The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.”Lord Acton

Who do you trust? Do you trust the President? Do you trust Congress? Do you trust the Treasury Secretary? Do you trust the Federal Reserve? Do you trust the Supreme Court? Do you trust the Military Industrial Complex? Do you trust Wall Street bankers? Do you trust the SEC? Do you trust any government agency or regulator? Do you trust the corporate mainstream media? Do you trust Washington think tanks? Do you trust Madison Avenue PR maggots? Do you trust PACs? Do you trust lobbyists? Do you trust government unions? Do you trust the National Association of Realtors? Do you trust mega-corporation CEOs? Do you trust economists? Do you trust billionaires? Do you trust some anonymous blogger? You can’t even trust your parish priest or college football coach anymore. A civilized society cannot function without trust. The downward spiral of trust enveloping the world is destroying our global economy and will lead to collapse, chaos and bloodshed. The major blame for this crisis sits squarely on the shoulders of crony capitalists that rule our country, but the willful ignorance and lack of civic accountability from the general population has contributed to this impending calamity. Those in control won’t reveal the truth and the populace don’t want to know the truth – a match made in heaven – or hell.

“Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.” – Aldous Huxley

The fact that 86% of American adults have never heard of Jamie Dimon should suffice as proof regarding the all-encompassing level of ignorance in this country. As the world staggers under the unbearable weight of debt built up over decades, to fund a fantasyland dream of McMansions, luxury automobiles, iGadgets, 3D HDTVs, exotic vacations, bling, government provided pensions, free healthcare that makes us sicker, welfare for the needy and the greedy, free education that makes us dumber, and endless wars of choice, the realization that this debt financed Ponzi scheme was nothing but a handful of pixie dust sprinkled by corrupt politicians and criminal bankers across the globe is beginning to set in. A law abiding society that is supposed to be based on principles of free market capitalism must function in a lawful manner, with the participants being able to trust the parties they do business with. When trust in politicians, regulators, corporate leaders and bankers dissipates, anarchy, lawlessness, unscrupulous greed, looting, pillaging and eventually crisis and panic engulf the system.

Our myopic egocentric view of the world keeps most from seeing the truth. Our entire financial system has been corrupted and captured by a small cabal of rich, powerful, and prominent men. It is as it always has been. History is filled with previous episodes of debt fueled manias, initiated by bankers and politicians that led to booms, fraud, panic, and ultimately crashes. The vast swath of Americans has no interest in history, financial matters or anything that requires critical thinking skills. They are focused on the latest tweet from Kim Kardashian about her impending nuptials to Kanye West, the latest rumors about the next American Idol judge or the Twilight cheating scandal.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble

Economist and historian Charles P. Kindleberger in his brilliant treatise Manias, Panics, and Crashes details the sordid history of unwitting delusional peasants being swindled by bankers and politicians throughout the ages. Human beings have proven time after time they do not act rationally, obliterating the economic teachings of our most prestigious business schools about rational expectations theory and efficient markets. The only thing efficient about our markets is the speed at which the sheep are butchered by the Wall Street slaughterhouse. If humanity was rational there would be no booms, no busts and no opportunity for the Corzines, Madoffs, and Dimons of the world to swindle the trusting multitudes. The collapse of a boom always reveals the frauds and swindlers. As the tide subsides, you find out who was swimming naked.

“The propensity to swindle grows parallel with the propensity to speculate during a boom… the implosion of an asset price bubble always leads to the discovery of frauds and swindles”Charles P. Kindleberger, economic historian

The historically challenged hubristic people of America always think their present-day circumstances are novel and unique to their realm, when history is wrought with similar manias, panics, crashes and criminality. Kindleberger details 38 previous financial crises since 1618 in his book, including:

  • The Dutch tulip bulb mania
  • The South Sea bubble
  • John Law Mississippi Company bubble
  • Banking crisis of 1837
  • Panic of 1857
  • Panic of 1873
  • Panic of 1907 – used as excuse for creation of Federal Reserve
  • Great Crash of 1929
  • Oil Shock of 1974-75
  • Asian Crisis of 1998

Kindleberger wrote his book in 1978 and had to update it three more times to capture the latest and greatest booms and busts. His last edition was published in 2000. He died in 2003. Sadly, he missed being able to document two of the biggest manias in history – the Internet bubble that burst in 2001 and the housing/debt bubble that continues to plague the world today. Every generation egotistically considered their crisis to be the worst of all-time as seen from quotes at the time:

  • 1837: “One of the most disastrous panics this nation ever experienced.”
  • 1857: “Crisis of 1857 the most severe that England or any other nations has ever encountered.”
  • 1873: “In 56 years, no such protracted crisis.”
  • 1929: “The greatest of speculative boom and collapse in modern times – since, in fact, the South Sea Bubble.”

Human beings have not changed over the centuries. We are a flawed species, prone to emotional outbursts, irrational behavior, alternately driven by greed and fear, with a dose of delusional thinking and always hoping for the best. These flaws will always reveal themselves because even though times change, human nature doesn’t. The cyclical nature of history is a reflection of our human foibles and flaws. The love of money, power, and status has been the driving force behind every boom and bust in history, as noted by historian Niall Ferguson.

“If the financial system has a defect, it is that it reflects and magnifies what we human beings are like. Money amplifies our tendency to overreact, to swing from exuberance when things are going well to deep depression when they go wrong. Booms and busts are products, at root, of our emotional volatility.” –  Niall Ferguson

Not only are our recent booms and busts not unique, but they have a common theme with all previous busts – greedy bankers, excessive debt, non-enforcement of regulations, corrupt public officials, rampant fraud, and unwitting dupes seeking easy riches. Those in the know use their connections and influence to capture the early profits during a boom, while working the masses into frenzy and providing the excessive leverage that ultimately leads to the inevitable collapse. As the bubble grows, rationality is thrown out the window and all manner of excuses and storylines are peddled to the gullible suckers to keep them buying. Nothing so emasculates your financial acumen as the sight of your next door neighbor or moronic brother-in-law getting rich. As long as all the participants believe the big lie, the bubble can inflate. As soon as doubt and mistrust enter the picture, someone calls a loan or refuses to be the greater fool, and panic ensues. This is when the curtain is pulled back on the malfeasance, frauds, deceptions and scams committed by those who engineered the boom to their advantage. As Kindleberger notes, every boom ends in the same way.

“What matters to us is the revelation of the swindle, fraud, or defalcation. This makes known to the world that things have not been as they should have been, that it is time to stop and see how they truly are. The making known of malfeasance, whether by the arrest or surrender of the miscreant, or by one of those other forms of confession, flight or suicide, is important as a signal that the euphoria has been overdone. The stage of overtrading may well come to an end. The curtain rises on revulsion, and perhaps discredit.” – Charles P. Kindleberger – Manias, Panics, and Crashes

When mainstream economists examine bubbles, manias and crashes they generally concentrate on short-term bubbles that last a few years. But some bubbles go on for decades and some busts have lasted for a century. The largest bubble in world history continues to inflate at a rate of $3.8 billion per day and has now expanded to epic bubble proportions of $15.92 trillion, up from $9.65 trillion in September 2008 when this current Wall Street manufactured crisis struck. A 65% increase in the National Debt in less than four years can certainly be classified as a bubble. We are currently in the mania blow off phase of this bubble, but it began to inflate forty years ago when Nixon closed the gold window. This unleashed the two headed monster of politicians buying votes with promises of unlimited entitlements for the many, tax breaks for the connected few and pork projects funneled to cronies, all funded through the issuance of an unlimited supply of fiat currency by a secretive cabal of central bankers running a private bank for the benefit of other bankers and their politician puppets. Crony capitalism began to hit its stride after 1971.

The apologists for the status quo, which include the corporate mainstream media, intellectually dishonest economist clowns like Krugman, Kudlow, Leisman, and Yun, ideologically dishonest think tanks funded by billionaires, and corrupt politicians of both stripes, peddle the storyline that a national debt of 102% of GDP, up from 57% in 2000, is not a threat to our future prosperity, unborn generations or the very continuance of our economic system. They use the current historically low interest rates as proof this Himalayan Mountain of debt is not a problem. Of course it is a matter of trust and faith in the ability of a few ultra-wealthy, sociopathic, Ivy League educated egomaniacs that their brilliance and deep understanding of economics that will see us through this little rough patch. The wisdom and brilliance of Ben Bernanke is unquestioned. Just because he missed a three standard deviation bubble in housing and didn’t even foresee a recession during 2008, doesn’t mean his zero interest rate/screw grandma policy won’t work this time. It’s done wonders for Wall Street bonus payouts.

The growth of this debt bubble is unsustainable, as it is on track to breach $20 trillion in 2015. The only thing keeping interest rates low is coordinated manipulation by Ben and his fellow sociopathic central bankers, the insolvent too big to fail banks using derivative weapons of mass destruction, and politicians desperately attempting to keep the worldwide debt Ponzi scheme from imploding on their watch. Their “solution” is to kick the can down the road. But there is a slight problem. The road eventually ends.

At some point a grain of sand will descend upon a finger of instability in the sand pile and cause a collapse. No one knows which grain of sand will trigger the crisis of confidence and loss of trust. But with a system run by thieves, miscreants, and scoundrels, one of these villains will do something dastardly and the collapse will ensue. Ponzi schemes can only be sustained as long as there are enough new victims to keep it going. As soon as uncertainty, suspicion, fear and rational thinking enter the equation, the gig is up. Kindleberger lays out the standard scenario, as it has happened numerous times throughout history.

“Causa remota of the crisis is speculation and extended credit; causa proxima is some incident that snaps the confidence of the system, makes people think of the dangers of failure, and leads them to move from commodities, stocks, real estate, bills of exchange, promissory notes, foreign exchange – whatever it may be – back into cash. In itself, causa proxima may be trivial: a bankruptcy, suicide, a flight, a revelation, a refusal of credit to some borrower, some change of view that leads a significant actor to unload. Prices fall. Expectations are reversed. The movement picks up speed. To the extent that speculators are leveraged with borrowed money, the decline in prices leads to further calls on them for margin or cash and to further liquidation. As prices fall further, bank loans turn sour, and one or more mercantile houses, banks, discount houses, or brokerages fail. The credit system itself appears shaky, and the race for liquidity is on.” – Charles P. Kindleberger – Manias, Panics, and Crashes

Despite centuries of proof that human nature will never change, there are always people (usually highly educated) who think they are smart enough to fix the markets when they breakdown and create institutions, regulations and mechanisms that will prevent manias, panics and crashes. These people inevitably end up in government, central banks and regulatory agencies. Their huge egos and desire to be seen as saviors lead to ideas that exacerbate the booms, create the panic and prolong the crashes. They refuse to believe the world is too complex, interconnected and unpredictable for their imagined ideas of controlling the levers of economic markets to have a chance of success. The reality is that an accident may precipitate a crisis, but so may action designed to prevent a crisis or action by these masters of the universe taken in pursuit of other objectives. Examining the historical record of booms and busts yields some basic truths. The boom and bust business cycle is the inevitable consequence of excessive growth in bank credit, exacerbated by inherently damaging and ineffective central bank policies, which cause interest rates to remain too low for too long, resulting in excessive credit creation, speculative economic bubbles and lowered savings.

Low interest rates tend to stimulate borrowing from the banking system. This expansion of credit causes an expansion of the supply of money through the money creation process in our fractional reserve banking system. This leads to an unsustainable credit-sourced boom during which the artificially stimulated borrowing seeks out diminishing investment opportunities. The easy credit issued to non-credit worthy borrowers results in widespread mal-investments and fraud. A credit crunch leading to a bust occurs when exponential credit creation cannot be sustained. Then the money supply suddenly and sharply contracts as fear and loathing of debt replace greed and worship of debt. In theory, markets should clear through liquidation of bad debts, bankruptcy of over-indebted companies and the failure of banks that made bad loans. Sanity is restored to the marketplace through failure, allowing resources to be reallocated back towards more efficient uses. The housing boom and bust from 2000 through today perfectly illustrates this process. Of course, Bernanke declared housing to be on solid footing in 2007.

The housing market has not been allowed to clear, as Bernanke has artificially kept interest rates low, government programs have created false demand, and bankers have shifted their bad loans onto the backs of the American taxpayer while using fraudulent accounting to pretend they are solvent. Our owners are frantically attempting to re-inflate the bubble, just as they did in 2003. Our deepest thinkers, like Greenspan, Krugman, Bush, Dodd, and Frank knew we needed a new bubble after the Internet bubble blew up in their faces and did everything in their considerable power to create the first housing bubble. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Human nature hasn’t changed in centuries. We have faith that humanity has progressed, but the facts prove otherwise. We are a species susceptible to the passions of power, greed, delusion, and an inflated sense of our own intellectual superiority. And we still like to kill each other in the name of country and honor. There is nothing progressive about crashing the worldwide economic system and invading countries for “our” oil.

History has taught that there will forever be manias, bubbles and the subsequent busts, but how those in power deal with these episodes has been and will be the determining factor in the future of our economic system and country.

Humanity is deeply flawed; the average human life is around 80 years; men of stature, wealth, over-confidence in their superior intellect, and egotistical desire to leave their mark on history, always rise to power in government and the business world; this is why history follows a cyclical path and the myth of human progress is just a fallacy.

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that History has to teach” – Aldous Huxley

In Part 2 of this three part series I will examine the one hundred year experiment of trusting a small cabal of non-elected bankers to manage and guide our economic system for the benefit of the American people.

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jcia's picture

When the trust is gone.

I won't be able to give my key to the valet guy.


AldousHuxley's picture

see how political machine operates.

Mr. Smith went to Washington in 1939. washington is still the same today. same in all other countries too not just US.


elites control police (force), politicians (state power), and media (public opinion), so nobody rocks their boat to keep the game as long as they can....


only intervention is education of the masses which leads to bloody revolutions and occasional lucky black swan events to change the power brokers. other than that only hope for the masses is mother nature (greed blowing themselves up, death, random events)

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Edward Bernays knew something... He knew, based on his uncle Sigmund Freud's research and critical thinking, that people act on emotion, NOT rational thinking.

One point that is overlooked in almost all of these 'people should use critical thinking when acting' articles... Those that are perpetuating the fraud are, for the most part, also acting on emotion; not critical thinking. The 'evil schemers' are just as greedy, and simple minded, as those sheep that pile into the Ponzi scheme with the hope of getting rich quick.

Many times the 'evil schemers' are no more intelligent than the average used car salesman and certainly no more intelligent than those being fleeced... and, that is really what pisses off the sheep... the discovery that they have been fleeced by someone of average intelligence but an inate desire to become rich at any cost. That really gets the fingers pointing in all directions! ... excepting at the fool looking back in the mirror.

When reading revisionist history we have one basic tenent that allows us to determine if what we are reading is revisionist history or, perhaps, what really happened; does what we are reading pass the 'HUMAN NATURE SMELL TEST'?

earleflorida's picture

Funny, how all roads still lead to Rome [Keynes and the Vatican]?

'first comes `the Appian Way' paving the way for the Renaissance that progenerates `the Machiavellian Way' which after a few posited centuries of celebrated `Enlightenment', creates for the world a symbiotic anomaly...`the Keynesianism-Ponzism Syndrome' which seems to have finally run its course?'

Great read per usual Mr. Quinn  :-))'s picture

Then you can't know that no one knows anything.

Duke of Con Dao's picture

John Hughes, you've got to be kidding?'s picture

Oh, he's very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude.

DavidPierre's picture

Most certainly it is 'A Matter of Trust'.

9/11 Is the Litmus Test

SmokeyQuinn fails!

Just another Hypocrite and a Fool.

Nikao7's picture

Yes DP it's fucking amazing that any critical thinker can come to any other concllusion than 9/11 being an inside job with the Mossad being the tip of the spear.'s picture

What about Ron Paul?


“TAPPER: One of your former close aides recently said that you, quote, ‘engaged in conspiracy theories, including perhaps the 9/11 attacks were coordinated with the CIA, and that the Bush administration might have known about the attacks ahead of time.’  So have you ever expressed in front of anyone…

PAUL:  Now, wait, wait, wait, wait.  Don’t — don’t go any further on that.  That’s complete nonsense.

TAPPER:  It’s nonsense?

PAUL:  Just stop that.

TAPPER:  Not true?

PAUL:  Yeah, no.  I did not — I never bought into that stuff.  I never talked about it.


PAUL:  About the conspiracy of Bush — of Bush knowing about this?  No, no, come on.  Come on.  Let’s be reasonable.


PAUL:  That’s just off-the-wall.”

DavidPierre's picture

So what!

Paul is just another politician who tap dances around the Truth while on camera.

9/11 Reality@


jeff montanye's picture

imo paul, being at the fringes of power himself, can afford to allow himself some measures of truth (the war on drugs is lost at the start, israel is not in the interests of the u.s., endless war is futile and destructive) but not all measures (9-11 may well have been an inside job on many levels, the u.s. government holds its people in utter contempt, indeed consumes and destroys them for its and its corporate masters' sustenance and amusement, etc.).  

absolutes are rarer in reality than in the minds of men, imo.

DavidPierre's picture



Quinn's ignorance is vincible ignorance.  He doesn't know shit about 9/11 Truth because he does not want to know.

He does not learn history and the most important lessons that history has to teach and has an inflated sense of his own intellectual superiority and an over whelming egotistical desire to leave his mark in the blog-o-sphere.

For SmokeyQuinn Ignorance Is Strength.'s picture

It seems to me that those who demand that others pass an intellectual "litmus test" based on evidence which is ambiguous at best are those who have fallen victim to a mistaken sense of intellectual superiority.

DavidPierre's picture

It seems to me that you have learned nothing over the past few years and still clutter ZH comments with inanities.'s picture

And spamming multiple threads with comments like the author is "Just another Hypocrite and a Fool," because he isn't a Truther does not constitute "cluttering ZH comments with inanities?"

Tinky's picture

Actually, it's an ignorant use of a red herring – at best. It would be like arguing that Chris Hedges isn't worth listening to at all because he retains some belief in Christianity.



Nikao7's picture

“Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.” – Aldous Huxley

The following is one of just many pieces that spell bull shit.  It's one of my favorites to bring up.

How did the passport of a supposed hi jacker make it out of the flaming plane / building and land on the ground below only to be found by authorities???  In pristine condition no less.


francis_sawyer's picture

 "The downward spiral of trust enveloping the world is destroying our global economy and will lead to collapse, chaos and bloodshed. The major blame for this crisis sits squarely on the shoulders of crony capitalists that rule our country, but the willful ignorance and lack of civic accountability from the general population has contributed to this impending calamity. Those in control won’t reveal the truth and the populace don’t want to know the truth – a match made in heaven – or hell."

There go those ad hoc crony capitalists (that miraculously came together in time & space) gettin' named again... They'd better start learning how to keep their hands out of the cookie jar or someone might UNFRIEND them...

otto skorzeny's picture

"Matter of Trust" was not one of Billy Joel's better songs- but then again they all suck.

three chord sloth's picture

The problem can be summed up in one word: BIG. Big Business, Big Finance, Big Government, Big Education, Big Media... it's all the same. Big puts itself first. Big steamrolls small. Big grows indifferent to those it was created to serve... no matter who created it, or why it was created, or who runs it. It is the nature of Big to be this way... the flaw is expecting it to be different.'s picture

The problem can be summed up in one word: GOVERNMENT. Individual freedom depends on personal vigilance. One throws away one's freedom, economic and otherwise, when one comes to depend upon the operators of a protection racket.

AnAnonymous's picture

The problem can be summed up in one word: BIG. Big Business, Big Finance, Big Government, Big Education, Big Media... it's all the same.


Big theft. Stealing continents. US citizen middle class.

AnAnonymous's picture

Indeed. While US citizens are fond of depicting themselves as innovative, they fail to be when it comes to their propaganda and fantasy.

One has to repeat the same thing over and over again due to the US citizen lack of creativity and acknowledgement of basic reality.'s picture

The irony flows on unabated and yet remains unobserved by our Chinese friend.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous, pecksniffian bloviator and sanctimonious popinjay, resorts again to the same melange of lies, propaganda, and fantasy:

One has to repeat the same thing over and over again due to the US citizen lack of creativity and acknowledgement of basic reality.

In this case, the "one" that has to repeat the same thing over and over is AnAnonymous. You'll notice here that he has again resorted to psychological projection onto "US citizenism". This artificial construct is something he has created specifically as a target toward which he projects his own flaws, shortcomings, and dishonorable motives.

Notice here how, unable to deal with his own lack of creativity after repeating the same idiocy ad nauseam, he feels compelled to project it onto his "US citizenism" fantasy.

Another item of interest is his projection of his own inability or refusal to acknowledge basic reality. His need to project this away from him in this instance is probably related to the shame he feels as a result of running away from this comment thread over the weekend:

One observes the same pattern repeatedly. He projects his own inadequacies onto "US citizenism", denies reality, and, if irrefutably challenged, declares victory and flees. Due to his heavy reliance on such primitive defense mechanisms, his prognosis is not optimistic. It is unlikely that he will recognize that he has a problem, thus he will never seek help for his mental disorder.

Ignatius's picture

Just watched a livestream of the successful touchdown of the Mars Rover.  Got that warm fuzzy I felt as a kid when Apollo landed on the moon.  That's the America I grew up with:  the big reach, common sense solutions and engineering prowess.

Now we got ass-raping banksters and meglomaniac war mongers.  No lesson learned from Vietnam other than control of the 'message' (read: better lies and obfuscation of intent).  We've allowed ourselves to become and called "consumers" rather than citizens with well defined rights and responsibilities. 

I see a politician and I want to puke.

Someone say something about a 'loss a confidence'?  Indeed.

Oh, and the livestream came through 5 by 5 even on my older machine.  Youtube?  Those corporate fucks are so busy goin through your online pockets to worry about delivering uncensored, solid and seamless content.

otto skorzeny's picture

that was actually recreated on same soundstage as US moon landings. keep working your ass off to pay taxes to support massive worthless govt bureaucracies like NASA and ignore the ballooning debt. in the meantime millions of children in US go to bed hungry while we send billions to Israel so they can get cradle-to-grave health care's picture

The Russians would certainly have had access to evidence that the US had not landed on the moon if that was the case. They spent billions trying to undermine US credibility but they never said a word about a faked lunar mission. Why would the Russians fail to avail themselves of the major coup such a revelation would bring?

Bringin It's picture

Can't someone with a really good telescope zoom in on the landing sites and see the lower half of the lunar lander, footprints, eventually tire tread, etc?

Help Is Not Coming's picture

Well, probably not from earth, but definitely from lunar orbit. The Indian's Chandrayaan lunar orbiter sent back images of the Apollo 15 landing site.


Just google it:

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


that was actually recreated on same soundstage as US moon landings.

Yes, the soundstage built in 1969 with advanced holographic special effect space technology given to the US earth government by the saucer men, alien collaborators from Planet X, as part of their mission to stamp out the spread of Martian Marxism, Betelgeusian Bolshevism, and Pan-Galactic Communism.

keep working your ass off to pay taxes to support massive worthless govt bureaucracies like NASA and ignore the ballooning debt.

The budget of NASA is a spit in the ocean compared to the massive amount the US government spends on killing people abroad and protecting the "homeland" from its inhabitants.

If you want to discuss matters involving Israel and the United States, please do so. There are plenty of real problems, especially concerning US foreign policy, that are the result of the Special Relationship® between the United States and Israel.

Bringing up NASA's shrinking budget and the fake moon landing meme in the context of foreign aid, most of which is military, doesn't just discredit yourself. It also tends to lump together as a part of the moon rock crowd those who question US policy on Israel and seek legitimate debate. That's not your goal, is it?

LeisureSmith's picture

I saw it too. Watching the pressconference now, high fives galore and the biggest boastfest i have ever seen. Great achievement, but holser that cock and keep your pants on. And yeah...John Holdren is a douche.

old naughty's picture

"Just watched a livestream of the successful touchdown of the Mars Rover. "

We migrated from there:

Move on. Nothing to see. Except evidence of our fuxk-up.

malek's picture

 The major blame for this crisis sits squarely on the shoulders of crony capitalists that rule our country, but the willful ignorance and lack of civic accountability from the general population has contributed to this impending calamity.

Reality is, it's just the other way 'round.
Crony capitalists and crooks of all kind would never have gotten so far, without the preceding breakdown of responsibility and accountability in the general population.

Otherwise, you're article is right on target!!

Bringin It's picture

The Cronistas had to break down sources of potential opposition in order to sieze power.  So you get things like Travistock, Hollywood, MSM, PC-Talk and now it's sheep shearin' time.

Acet's picture

The whole article is based on the experience from a specific society, namelly the US (and up to a point, the UK, which copied the bad things from American culture and then mixed it with the local social hypocrisy).

In each country there is a huge cultural component in things like how much each individual takes in account everybody else around them when making a decision. These different cultural components that mold the behaviour of each individual then add up to the society-wide levels of honesty, long-term-vs-short-term planning and trust. For example, from my personal experience (of having lived there):

  • In Holland, it's very important to be "social". If you take an action without taking others into account you are considered "asocial", which is a strong insult in Dutch. Unsurprisingly, the Dutch are know for being organized and honest.
  • In Portugal, there is a lot less concern with society at large. In fact in some ways one is expected to take advantage of the system if one has a chance. However, people tend to be much more aware of how their actions affect individuals they know directly: people tend to be very open in sharing their internal mental and emotional state with others and in general there is a tendency for people to be warm and caring and try to help each other out. The Portuguese are thus known as very friendly and hospitable, though a bit corrupt and not very organized.
  • In England there is this whole cultural british politeness which goes far beyond the "good manners" into the domain of things like never saying anything critical, giving undeserved compliments, faking satisfaction, giving unfelt apologies and other fake expressions. In general it's all about appearances. The result is that everything here is about short-term effects, about appearances (customer service is pretty much "fuck your customer with a smile") and politics is all about bald-faced, obvious lies delivered with elegance. Unsurprisingly, England is almost as corrupt as Portugal, but here it's all about "gentlemans' agreements".

So my point is that the characteristics of the fall will differ from country to country and be shaped by each the cultural characteristics of each country's society.


Tinky's picture

Good points, and I agree with your main thrust. The reason that the inexorable crash will be so very unpleasant in the U.S. is that the vast majority of the population is spectacularly unprepared for what is to come. This is due, in large part, to their gross over-reliance on the mainstream media for information, and partly due to the fact that, in striking contrast to Europe (for example), there is no institutional memory of truly hard times, nor of the occasional need for, and mechanics of revolutions.

NidStyles's picture

Sounds like idealistic bullshit to me.

Omen IV's picture

this would be a excellent subject for a book for someone who knows the nuance differences between these countries - great prep for international business or just living abroad - do you know of such a book?

ClassicCommodity's picture

Humanity is broken. humanity is disapointing. History shows us that we can't manage ourselves for sh*t. It's instinctual to lack altruism to all but those genetically related to you. Ie - unless you're family, you get disregarded or cheated unless there is a direct mutual exchange.

Bring on the cleansing.