Guest Post: The "Solution" Is Collapse

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The "Solution" Is Collapse

So the root problem is the system, human nature, blah blah blah. There are no "solutions" that can fix those defaults. Thus the "solution" is collapse.

Policies create incentives and disincentives. Some are intended, some fall into the category of unintended consequences. Regardless of their intention, policies that create windfalls ("easy money") or open spigots of "free money" (or what is perceived as free money by the recipient) quickly gather the allegiance of everyone reaping the windfall or collecting the free money.

This allegiance is soon tempered into political steel by self-justification: humans excel at rationalizing their self-interest. Thus my share of the swag is soon "absolutely essential."

Humans don't need much incentive to pursue windfalls or free money--seeking windfalls in the here and now is our default setting. Taking the pulpit to denounce humanity's innate greed, avarice and selfishness doesn't change this, as seeking short-term windfalls has offered enormous selective advantages for hundreds of thousands of years.

That which is painful to those collecting free money will be avoided, and that which is easy will be pursued until it's painful. Borrowing $1.5 trillion a year from toddlers and the unborn taxpayers of the future is easy and painless, as toddlers have no political power. So we will borrow from the powerless to fund our free money spigots until it becomes painful.

It won't become painful to borrow from our grandkids for quite some time, and it will probably not become progressively painful, either, because we will suppress the pain with superlow interest rates and other trickery. The pain will more likely be of the sudden, unexpected, "this can't be happening to me" heart-attack sort: the free-money machine will unexpectedly grind to a halt in some sort of easily predictable but always-in-the-future crisis.

"Solutions" that turn off the free money spigots are non-starters, not just from self-interest but from ideology. Any attempt to tighten the spigots steps on ideological toes, as each spigot is ideologically sacred to one political camp or another.

Liberals don't want to hear about scamming of their sacred "we must help everyone in need" welfare programs, and conservatives don't want to hear about cartel looting of their sacred "free enterprise" system.

And so we have gridlock, what I call profound political disunity. Everybody at each trough of free money fights tooth and nail to keep their spigot wide open, and so the "solution" is to borrow 10% of the nation's output in "free money" every year until the free-money machine breaks down.

Each ideology worships their own version of cargo-cult economics: if we wave the dead chicken over the enchanted rocks while dancing the humba-humba, prosperity and abundance will magically return and we can "grow our way out of debt."

We're like a sprawling family bickering over the inheritance: we'll keep arguing over who deserves what until the inheritance is gone. That will trigger one final outburst of finger-pointing, resentment and betrayal, and then we'll go do something else to get by.

The "solution" is thus collapse. This model has been very effectively explored in The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization by Thomas Homer-Dixon. The basic idea is that when the carrying costs of the society exceed its output, the whole contraption collapses.

The political adjunct to this systemic implosion is that the productive people just stop supporting the Status Quo because it's become too burdensome. The calculus of self-interest shifts from supporting the bloated, marginal-return Status Quo to abandoning it.

So the root problem is the system, human nature, blah blah blah. There are no "solutions" that can fix those defaults. The "solution" is collapse, as only collapse will force everyone to go do something more sustainable to get by.

Until then, arguing about "solutions" is a sport to be enjoyed sparingly.

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Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:41 | 2507496 A Lunatic
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Rand Paul Endorses Romney...



collapse imminent...........

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:41 | 2507503 jcia
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<----Infiltrate the GOP establishment
<----Wants to progress in his political career

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:46 | 2507513 Almost Solvent
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The "bickering" results in the inheritance being SPENT on lawyers, accountants, etc., not just dissipated into the ether.


WE lose, THEY win.


Same as it ever was . . .

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:51 | 2507533 Ahmeexnal
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Nuclear false flag attack on US soil currently underway:

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:55 | 2507556 Manthong
Manthong's picture

People don’t want to step out of their comfort zone and deal with reality, CHS.. 

Speaking of stepping out, isn’t it time for “Humba-Humba with the Stars”?

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:09 | 2507607 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Seems to me the USS Librty echo has begun.

Not good at all. Be well everyone...


Fri, 06/08/2012 - 14:45 | 2508214 Michael
Michael's picture

I've been thanking God on this site for the complete and total worldwide economic collapse since ZH started a few years ago.

It's the only solution.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 18:10 | 2508935 gwiss
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Nietzsche: "that which is about to fall deserves to be pushed" -- the premise of Atlas Shrugged, no?  So.  Whose gonna be our Ragnar Danneskjold or our Francisco d'Anconia?  If Bill Gates wanted to do some good, he'd quit pissing his money down a hole in Africa and instead help push the reset button -- he'd be a hero for ages, rather than being forgotten within 50 years of his death the way he is headed now.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 19:54 | 2509235 Cathartes Aura
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BillyGoatGates supports the globalist agenda via his "Foundation" for aerosol delivery of "vaccines" and whatever else shit he can spray humanity with.

fuck Gates, and the Trojan horse buggy system he rode in on.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 22:06 | 2509466 Dr Benway
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very good article

Sat, 06/09/2012 - 19:09 | 2511133 The Alarmist
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10% of GDP is added to debt each year, which given that debt is currently at 100% of GDP means that debt is essentially growing at 10% per year while GDP grows at less than 2% per year.  So the economy doubles in roughly 35 years while the debt doubles in 7 years.  

Yeah, sounds like a sustainable path to me.


What would be nice to hear just once is a serious discussion of the evils of baseline budgeting.

Sat, 06/09/2012 - 14:28 | 2510566 pan-the-ist
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Please do not lower Nietzsche by mentioning him in the same breath as that idiot Rand.  She's a clown, the same people who used her to attract idiots like you to their cause laughed at her stupidity behind her back.

Sat, 06/09/2012 - 19:11 | 2511134 The Alarmist
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Sorry to break the bad news, but Nietzsche is dead.  God has the last laugh.

Sat, 06/09/2012 - 20:07 | 2511217 gwiss
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Interesting that you should respect Nietzsche, whom I respect as well, yet on the basis of no understanding of my personal philosophy whatseover decide that I must be an idiot.  Care to expand?

There is also a big difference between Rand's philosophy, which is incomplete and therefore stillborn and lifeless, and her novels, which are quite penetrating studies into the routes by which society becomes parasitized and eventually collapses.  Philosophy was not her strong point, that was a bridge too far for her.  She was able to understand people and human nature in a way that remained almost subconscious for her -- she was able to replicate the progression of the disease of the tragedy of the commons without ever being able to consciously spell out exactly what philosophical errors were being made when it was pursued.



Sat, 06/09/2012 - 09:24 | 2509995 RiverRoad
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And "they're" letting the collapse happen while they stuff "theirs" into tax havens.  Nobody knows better than "they" do how this is all going to end.

Sat, 06/09/2012 - 09:36 | 2510007 kentmills
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Michael - you're right.  The Federal Reserve system, Agenda 21 edicts, IMF scams, etc. won't go away on their own.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:57 | 2507568 Dr. Engali
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I read that...I'd sure like to have more information. That's awfully close to home.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:09 | 2507608 El Viejo
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Selective disasters causing a consolidation of the population to small areas in preparation for evacuation by flying saucers.

(It is Friday isn't it???)

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:39 | 2507699 Ahmeexnal
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Chicago was on high alert a few weeks ago. They were planning on major evac of the whole city.


Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:03 | 2507589 RiotActing
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Alex Jones is a disinformation asshole. Fuck Alex Jones...

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 13:56 | 2507991 Ace Ventura
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Some of his news flashes are alarmist, but by and large you don't hurt yourself by mining his websites for useful information. Doesn't mean you have to believe he is the next Paul Revere, just that even if his main motivation is capitalizing on the growing survivalist/prepper movement, he still highlights events of significant concern that the corrupt MSM will never tell you about.

Maybe he's a sincere believer, maybe he's just a psy-op frontman for the spook branch of the NWO. I know that I've been helped towards my current state of awareness by guys like him, Jim Sinclair, James Rawles, Bob Chapman (RIP), Gonzalo Lira, and of course Ron Paul.

They are sources and influences, but in the end we're the captains of our own intellectual ships.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 14:34 | 2508161 F. Bastiat
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More of a cult "leader", frankly. Whether or not a thousand years of Western civilization can survive a hundred years of mass TV media remains to be seen.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:15 | 2507630 q99x2
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Ordered by the Kenyan Peace Prize Alciada agent osama bin obama

Sat, 06/09/2012 - 14:32 | 2510576 pan-the-ist
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You're just sad because the real terrorist tricked bush into attacking Aphghanistan to bankrupt our country.  News flash, Bin Laden won, the game was over before the Kenyan took office.  It's been extend and pretend since then.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:34 | 2507681 Normalcy Bias
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Very sad and disturbing, but bullish for cancer centers and Service Corp. Intl...

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:59 | 2507755 Citxmech
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If this were a false flag - why sanitize media reports?

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 14:18 | 2508091 pods
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So how much did the Pentagon misplace this time?


Sat, 06/09/2012 - 09:33 | 2510005 ootofthehoos
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Here is the audio of someone calling NRC hotline over it:

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:47 | 2507523 baby_BLYTHE
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Obama's election to lose, sadly. The only good part being collapse will happen sooner rather than later with Obama. Next four years will not be kind for the political elites.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:04 | 2507594 RiotActing
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These things are not won or lost, they are decided. Stay home it won't even matter. Obama is a lock.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:05 | 2507597 Ahmeexnal
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is Oprah still backing Ogolfer?

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 14:01 | 2508009 Ace Ventura
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I thought so too, until the recent word that Flip Romulan was seen at the Build-a-Burger conference. Since Flip is nothing but a pure vanilla version of Barry O, I think the establishment is quite pleased to select him as their puppet of choice.

It's quite possible that they soured on Barry because he truly and demonstrably doesn't really give a fuck about the job.....other than the considerable perks. Those he clearly enjoys.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 20:03 | 2509259 Cathartes Aura
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Romney goes to the 'Bergers, and then Rand Paul endorses him.

interesting times.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:43 | 2507641 slewie the pi-rat
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correct, as usual, baby_B

lotsa radiation just SE of you recently, so i am advising caution 4 you&yers

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:02 | 2507588 Everybodys All ...
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---> would vote for anyone besides Obama

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 14:07 | 2508039 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

anyone? sure but not anything.  Romney is some sort of failed fucking lab experiment.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 14:36 | 2508170 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

At least the alternative to the Hawaiian Allende are not actively undermining the country, as the "Great Destroyer" is doing.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 21:23 | 2509403 PersonalRespons...
PersonalResponsibility's picture

Both; one helps the other.


The question is, do you believe or have you given up?


Actions speak louder than words.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:45 | 2507514 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

That crushes my hopes that RP would run as an Independent. I'm not going to set myself on fire but I am really, REALLY PISSED!!!!

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:46 | 2507522 Dr. Engali
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I'm still writing him in.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:52 | 2507543 Lucky Guesst
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I'm thinking everyone should write themselves in as an act of screw you all rebellion. At least then they will see how many votes they missed and not because we were to lazy to go vote.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:03 | 2507591 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Sounds like an interesting idea. But I'd sure like to shake the establishment to their knees and show them we aren't going to stand for the choice between two of the same ilk.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:12 | 2507620 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

Me too but I'd at least like to know that his own flesh and blood has the same convictions that I do. Maybe he is playing the game but I DON'T WANT TO PLAY and I'd have more respect for him if he didn't either.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:22 | 2507640 Dr. Engali
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Agreed. But I had my reservations when watching them being interviewd side by side. Rand would tread lightly on certain questions that Ron would respond boldly to. I had hoped it was due to inexperience, but we all know where "hope " has brought this nation now.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:27 | 2507663 Lucky Guesst
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OK, you've talked me down off the cliff... for now, but Ron has some explaining to do!

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:45 | 2507714 Goner
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I am a bit confused (normal) The article say that Rand endorsed Mittens, not Ron. Why would Ron have to explain vs Rand?

Or is it a simple misunderstanding that started with the commonly writin RP (for Ron Paul) so people thought this was Ron instead of Rand?

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:51 | 2507734 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

Beacause I believe that RON would talk to his family before the entire world about any future plans he has. So WTF is up with RAND?

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:55 | 2507746 Lucky Guesst
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Rand can explain to the people of KY, but he isn't accountable to me.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 14:35 | 2508162 Chaos_Theory
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Robot:  Hey Senator Paul, Robot here.  Listen, there's no way I can win without getting a good chunk of your Dad's supporters on board.  So, in the interest of party unity and paying back the interests of the libertarian independents, how would you feel about the VP nod?

Rand:  Hold on, let me call Dad first.

RP:  Oh f-ck yea Son....I thought the best we'd get would be the Sec Treasury slot!  Like they say in Prometheus, big things have small beginnings! Have them reboot the Robot and input the new programming!

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