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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AnAnonymous'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.

Yeah, yeah, human nature is bad... Well known song sung by US citizens to hide the core issue: US citizenism.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Yeah, yeah, human nature is bad... Well known song sung by US citizens to hide the core issue: US citizenism.

You know the tune by heart, as it is the one you sing to run away and hide from your own inadequacies.'s picture


It's instinctual to lack altruism to all but those genetically related to you.


Are you suggesting that arbitrarily giving away your children's bread to strangers would make the world a better place? Must I conclude that it's selfish if I feed myself so I will feed Joe and Joe will feed Sally and Sally will feed Ramon and Ramon will feed Mildred.... Such a system has no logic or merit behind it as it can only waste resources and leave everyone poorer.


unless you're family, you get disregarded or cheated unless there is a direct mutual exchange.


If you feel that you are being cheated then make your deal with other parties. If you have money in your pocket and the only way you will part with it is if you can make a reasonable deal which satisfies you then those who want your money have no choice but to deal with you reasonably or leave the money on the table.

ClassicCommodity's picture

The answer is that there is no answer. Ideally we'd all be under some futuristic hybrid socialist society where energy is free (and thus food + water), technology raises us and we'd spend our days pursuing art and music. We'd still fuck i up though. 

It just makes it easier for me to look after only myself and those close to me when SHTF. Knowing how disgusting the human race is makes it much easier for me to protect my own and forget the rest.'s picture

The human race is not particularly disgusting. It just can't measure up to the fairly tale society which your propensity for magical thinking has made you come to expect.

ClassicCommodity's picture

I'm being completely factual/objective in my sprevious statement/s.

I can't list many positive actions carried out by the human race that were altrusitic and not driven by thing such as money, power, sex or fame or self-fulfillment. People in most cases do good things because they want something in return.'s picture

Everything you have at your fingertips which cavemen did not possess and which make it possible for people to live longer and happier lives has been brought to you by the desire of some individuals to make a profit by using their skills to produce things which people want and need. On the other hand the majority of destruction has been undertaken by those who claimed to be following a master plan for the so called common good.

It is unnatural and therefore perverse by definition to believe that goodness can only arise when one expends one's time and energy not for one's own benefit or the benefit of one's family but rather for the benefit of strangers. If it's true that blind altruism is the only means to achieve a satisfactory outcome then send me all your money and all your dreams will be fulfilled.

NidStyles's picture

Altruism is a lie, that is why you can't think of any instances of it.

writingsonthewall's picture

You have issues - I don't see the same humans you describe - where the hell do you live?


Like most people - I suspect you're projecting your own self interested views onto others - expecting everyone else to be as selfish as yourself.


Well they aren't...


If you did give your bread to others - then you may indiviudally be 'poorer' but society as a whole wil be richer as a result of your generosity.


Clearly you do not value anything which you cannot see a price ticket on. I woudl happily share my bread to make sure that I don't need security to protect my 'things' - because in an egalitarian society - there is no point stealing from others as it will be obvious to all who is the thief!


Unlike capitalism where the thieves can claim "they earned it".

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

writingsonthewall said:

I woudl happily share my bread to make sure that I don't need security to protect my 'things'

So where has your altruism disappeared to now? That sounds like a selfish motivation to me. Clearly you do not value anything which you cannot see a price ticket on.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Knowing how disgusting the human race is makes it much easier for me to protect my own and forget the rest.

Sir, are you classified as human? Humans disgust you, therefore you are going to behave like a disgusting human, until the rest of humanity shapes up. Seek professional help in order that you might overcome your self loathing. Your comment say

Bringin It's picture

Tell him he's projecting his inner conflicts and turmoil onto his perceived world around him.

glide21's picture

Not your children's bread but a compassionate society for your sake and the sake of your family. A society where you won't be killed for that same piece of bread. Back to basic interests, unless you want to protect your piece of bread with nuclear weapons, yada.'s picture

Realizing the necessity of taking care of oneself and one's family first and foremost is not mutually exclusive with being compassionate to others.

Blind altruism negates compassion as compassion depends on a sympathetic connection between he who is being helped and he who does the helping. That's why it feels good to drop a few dollars in the jar to help a little girl with leukemia but it doesn't feel good to have to pay taxes even though we're told that some of the money goes to someone somewhere who has some kind of need.

glide21's picture

Compassion is an independent statement/mode of being requiring no reciprocity. As St Augustine pointed out "charity is no substitute for justice withheld". Feel good, not feel good, only one word to differentiate the 2, sounds wasteful. 

analyzer_66's picture

'Cause I'm praying for mayhem;
I'm praying for tidal waves

AnAnonymous's picture

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 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

'Americans' denying their own existence. 'Americans' equating themselves with humanity. How typical.

Quite a number of crisis happened with US citizens while a few others happened with 'American' nature slowly emerging as to become the new paradigm to impose of the world.

US citizen nature is eternal. And that includes substituting 'Americans' with "human beings" anytime it allows 'Americans' to shift the blame, dilute their responsibility.

writingsonthewall's picture

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


So pray tell - why is it a good idea to operate a system which actively encourages these traits?

Capitalism is based on GREED - the GREEDY are successful capitalists (as it's all about accumulation of capital)


Despite the denials by the pricks who talk of 'considerate capitalism' and 'socially responsible capitalism' - this is illogical nonsense.


...a bit like the way you try to define 'crony capitalism' because you fail to recognise that the current situation is merely the next stage of capitlaism.


Once the capitalists have gained enough capital (their objective) they can use MONOPOLY power to exploit further and gain more. It's only the natural progession of capitalism - unless you are going to contradict it and ask for Governments to step in with 'laws' preventing the abuse of monopoly power (good luck schmuck)


Anyone who didn't see this coming is a true idiot.

Anusocracy's picture

So you are willing to give power to the lowest form of human life-the psychopaths that make up government? The entire world economy is run by government for government.

You're the idiot, idiot.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous nature is eternal. And that includes substituting 'AnAnonymous' with "US citizens" anytime it allows 'AnAnonymous' to shift the blame, dilute his responsibility.

AnAnonymous's picture

More about crony capitalism.

US citizens cant define it and especially underline how crony capitalism is supposed to be different from communauty spirit, as promoted by 'Americans'

Crony capitalism: the perception developed when 'Americans' find themselves no longer to be the recipients of the 'American' communauty spirit.

'America' is a big club and they are no longer part of it.

Mad Cow's picture

The formed theology gins a drivel. An example creates a projected unconscious past a background and the strange narrative stretches opposite the cynical flipperflapper.


GMadScientist's picture

The spongiform encephaloid has been sitting in Plato's cave for too long. Wait a few and your eyes will adjust.


tsuki's picture

Where did the 86% number come from?  I have tried to find the poll, but all I find are references to the 86%. 

Skateboarder's picture

Someone at some point pulled it out of their arse with decent intentions in signifying the concept that most people haven't heard of the fool. Since then, others have taken the number to be truth. It might as well be true though - I can guarantee that no one in my family or friends have heard of the name. A pity...

By the way, 92% of statistics are made up by 3% of the population, 84% of it on the spot.

Duke of Con Dao's picture

You didn't build that Monster, Victor...


enjoy... new one on the way soon. 

ok, one more...

"You didn't build that Nazi Party. Someone else Bill Koch-ed it up for you."

goodnight, el Dukerino

glide21's picture

Welcome to the world of smoke and mirrors, identified thousands of years ago by the likes of Plato and the Buddha. A world of pure illusion for the benefit of the sleeping masses. 

Me_Myself_and_I's picture

"If it can be affirmed, with any degree of truth, that the luxury of the Romans was more shameless and dissolute in the reign of Theodosius than in the age of Constantine, perhaps, or of Augustus, the alteration cannot be ascribed to any beneficial improvements which had gradually increased the stock of national riches. A long period of calamity or decay must have checked the industry and diminished the wealth of the people; and their profuse luxury must have been the result of than indolent despair which enjoys the present hour and declines the thoughts of futurity.

The uncertain condition of their property discouraged the subjects of Theodosius from engaging in those useful and laborious undertakings which require an immediate expense, and promise a slow and distant advantage. The frequent examples of ruin and desolation tempted them not to spare the remains of a patrimony which might, every hour, become the prey of the rapacious Goth. And the mad prodigality which prevails in the confusion of a shipwreck or a siege may serve to explain the progress of luxury amidst the misfortunes and terrors of a sinking nation."

Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Book III, 1781

vinu02's picture

Add FT, Reteurs, CNBS to the list who r finding secret sources everyday

writingsonthewall's picture

Another post which misleads based on a simple assumption.


"History has taught that there will forever be manias, bubbles and the subsequent busts"


...only the history of CAPITALISM. This is not part of a deity's grand design - it's a MAN MADE FLAW.


Capitalism is inherently unstable - but this is not the only system. Evern it's supporters cannot muster much more than "the best system we have tried"


Well try harder then.....or face social breakdown, war and starvation - just because you havne't the imagination (or desire) to find a system which isn't based on the exploiation of others for your own self interest and gain.

writingsonthewall's picture

I see capitlaism has at least 1 fan left!


How sad that you needed to vote down the truth because facing it is so hard for you to do!

Dodgy Geezer's picture

Since this article is about panics and manias, it seems fitting to recall that Kindleberger is by no means the first to write this kind of article.

The first, and by all accounts the best  one of these is Charles McKay's famous book:

'Extrordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds'

 published between about 1810 and 1840, and available cheaply off Amazon.... lovely title!


Floodmaster's picture

Banks are still making money out of naive people (Australian, British, Canadian, Norwegian, Spanish etc ... ).Being Naive Can Make Your Fortune.

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

This article goes a long way to perpetuate the myth that "it's in our DNA" and that you and I are a product of "human nature" rather than a product of our environment. DNA predetermines next to nothing. Environment determines so much. "Human nature"... well that is just a cop-out, rubber stamp, explanation for things that are really much more nurture than nature.

writingsonthewall's picture

This is very true - and the idea that it's 'nature' simply gives people the excuse they need to behave immorally or anti-socially.


"it's not the bankers fault he's greedy - it's just human nature"


If this were true then we would all be greedy bankers.


The sins of humanity are designed by environment - not some pre-disposed command from a deity.


Otherwise we have to start accepting


"I didn't mean to kill all those people - God made me do it"

As nobody can prove the existence of God and check - surely we have to accept this premise.

....unless of course you embrace reality and accept that people are a product of their environment and not a pre-formed design.


I am glad someone out there agrees with me - we are an island of sanity surrounded by drowning maniacs.

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

The first hour of Zeitgeist Moving Forward made me a believer and prompted me to look deeper into the "it's in our DNA and you can't change that" myth.

silverdragon's picture

Live Free, Buy Silver and starve the beast.

mholzman's picture

I liked the essay. Many (not all)  responses to it on the message board seem bizarre. Lots of anger, fixation, over interpretation,...

I ordered one of the books mentioned. Thanks.

Jim B's picture

Capitalism is the answer!


Tarp, Ponzi printing, bailouts, and crony capitalism (fascism) are the problem!  There is little to no capitalism in the financial sector! 

Shizzmoney's picture

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.

This "vast swath" are also commonly known as "women".

memyselfiu's picture

As opposed to the vast swath of 'men' that spend every waking moment watching sports and collecting memorabilia? This is better how?

ucpamphleteer's picture

"The thing that hath been, it is THAT which shall be; and that which is done IS that which shall be done: and THERE IS no new THING under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 1:9

GMadScientist's picture

"Like this and like that and like this and uh." - Snoop Dogg

alfbell's picture

If there was irrefutable evidence that we all come back, life after life, that would be all that would be needed to begin an amazing evolution of humanity. One wouldn't be messing up the environment, destroying resources, creating war, etc. etc. if they knew they were coming back to reap what they sowed.

Just a thought.

suteibu's picture

On the other hand, it could be more like "Groundhog Day" and people would be able to do anything they want knowing, in the end, it all means nothing.  Enjoy the ride over the cliff.  In your next iteration you can learn to play the piano...unless you come back as some psychopath's pet poodle who gets a foot up the ass when his owner has a bad day.  Karma is a bitch with an eternal memory.

GMadScientist's picture

And yet you never stop to wonder if perhaps capitalism itself is inseparable from "protracted crisis".


stiler's picture

Man can be so selfish that he is no better than the beasts. He would learn a lot by just going out into a field and eating grass like an ox, growing his hair while 7 seasons pass over him.

Abraham took nothing for himself, but only for his servants (Gen. 14:12-14). In the same way the just person takes nothing for himself from the world or from the applause of the world, but only for their passions which they use as a master, saying to one: Go, and to another Come (Luke7:8).