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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Jena's picture

I voted for him in the CA primary and I'll be writing him in the general.  I don't see much choice.

Hohum's picture

Dr. E,

Vote for Gary Johnson.  You don't have to bring a writing implement.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Ah, that was Rand Paul not Ron Paul.  Still writing the latter in and will sleep well.

Lucky Guesst's picture

I love RON Paul. I have his magnet on my car and sing his praises. I'm even ordering his wifes family cookbook but I'm sure his son knows what is up.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Ron's career is pretty much over (unless he is written in for president and TPTB don't manipulate the vote), Rand is just playing the game, for now.

Harbanger's picture

"(unless he is written in for president and TPTB don't manipulate the vote)"

I don't know what State you're voting in, but most States only allow a write-in vote for the Primaries, not the general election.  So your vote will most likely be discarded, not counted.  I used to think the votes were manipulated before the 2010 elections and Wisconsin recall.

Cathartes Aura's picture

Rand's "playing the game, for now" - he's taking the other side to you, yes?

that's the game - .gov vs. the people.

10mm's picture

Dont's let the Po Po see that magnet.They will send out a flying thingy to see whats up.

Lucky Guesst's picture

They could save money and just ask me whats up. I have no problem speaking my mind :-)

RiotActing's picture

Ron Paul is running interference, wake up, he's just laying ground for Rand, he never had any intention of being president. Everyone is so easily played its really sad...

NotApplicable's picture

Dr. Ron Paul is looking to recapture the Republican Party and return it to a more coherent outlook.

Dr. Rand Paul... well, he simply doesn't exist anymore. Hopefully the people of Kentucky feel the same way about this worthless scumbag posing as a mere shadow of his father.

NotApplicable's picture

Here's Mr. Worthless Scumbag's contact page, if anyone cares to let him know how you feel.

As for the idea that the Bilderbergers threatened him, well... did he really not expect that before he ran for office? Surely Boy Wonder wasn't that fucking naive.

As always, government is nothing but the most organized form of crime.

Cathartes Aura's picture

'Bergers don't need to "threaten" - they merely entice. . . look at their history with "candidates" it's all in plain view.

CheapBastard's picture
Home prices drop despite rate cut

AN aggressive interest rate cut failed to halt a 1.4 per cent plunge in capital city residential values in May, according to researcher RP Data-Rismark.

CynicLaureate's picture

Ron Paul as an independent just splits the Republican vote and gives Obama the election (just as Ralph Nader split the Democrat vote and gave George W Bush the election over Gore).

All they're deciding is who gets to preside over the collapse.

It remains to be seen if that means the other party gets to preside over the rebuilding.  We may be smart enough as a nation to through them both out and start over.   But George Soros is banking on controlling us all post-collapse.


Lucky Guesst's picture

In that case if I don't get Ron Paul then I would rather Obombya stay right where he is! The collapse should be on him and the rebuilding will be on us. Soros will be dissapointed when reality hits him. The plan will not go as they plan... it never does.

CynicLaureate's picture

Four more years of Obama's rule by Executive Order?  Even if a crash is inevitable, we can still choose between landing on a golf course or plowing straight ahead into a mountain.


I'm on record as being all for Ron Paul as president.  But the reality is I can't have him, and that doesn't make Obama a good idea.

azzhatter's picture

And you don't think Romney will rule by executive order?

gnomon's picture

There would be a WORLD of difference between Obummer ruling during Martial Law and Romney ruling during Martial Law.  Obummer is a snake with totalitarian tendencies, and the people around him are toxic trolls of the same ilk.  The little people with their firearms would be "kulaks", and we know what happened to the kulaks under a tyrant named Stalin.

And don't forget that one of Obummer's soulmates said that 30 million Americans would have to be cleansed to get this nation in the right frame of mind for what they have in mind.  

Think CAREFULLY.  CHURN IS GOOD.  Churn this Obummer (and his cohorts) out of office.

Chaos_Theory's picture

Two words....Eric Holder.

More than anything else in this election, him remaining as the AG is determining where my vote will go.  Whatever it takes to send him back to being a civilian racist a-hole is where I'm voting, even if it means the Robot.

Although letting the current Admin reap the whirlwind of passing the Event Horizon into the Black Hole seems like poetic justice, I'm not sure if the inevitable period of (unknown duration) full monty Big Brother without the mirage of empathy and concern for the plebes is worth the fun. 

Abiotic Oil's picture

You mean 4 more years of Obama ruling by executive order just like W. did for 8 years before him? 

Lucky Guesst's picture

Yes and the same executive order Hillary would be executing as well as Romney.

gnomon's picture

You are being disingenuous.  Hacking away at the Constitution during a period of relative stability (like Bush did) is totally different from a Martial Law environment in which there are urban riots because of economic collapse/race baiting.  There would be NO brake on Obummer and his totalitarian tendencies.  There would be a Stalinist Purge of both the Left and Right, leaving the ignorant sheep in the middle to be fleeced at gunpoint.

No one who had ever expressed a strong opinion, (one way or another), would be safe.  Remember that Stalin purged as many of his previous allies as he did of those who had opposed him from the beginning.

Harbanger's picture

"The collapse should be on him"  What the MSM will suddenly stop covering for him?  The collapse will be blamed on everything but Obama, and the joke will be on you when Obama stays in power long enough to "rebuild" us in his image.

Dr. Engali's picture

Yeah that pissed me off. Traitor.

tmosley's picture

Same here.  I thought that Ron probably wouldn't win, but now that he is out, I will be cementing my plans to leave this country permanently.

I am tremendously dissappointed in Rand.

Cloud9.5's picture

In a binary world, he could not endorse Obama.  Like the rest of us he will vote for what he perceives to be the lessor of evils, and like the rest of us, he will discover evil is still evil.


At some point, we will do the right thing but it will be long after all other options have passed.


I voted for John McCain the author of the National Defense Authorization Act.  Many others voted for the President that signed it into law.


Gully Foyle's picture

I think you all fail to comprehend the utter insdiiousness of all these collapse posts. None of these are written out of the goodness of anyones heart.

The fact is we are being Psychologically managed. First the 2012 bugaboo sets the scary imagery. Next all the collapse speak drives the nail home.

In simpler terms the reset is planned and all the anxiety we have built up is factored in to makes the GENPOP thankfull to OWG for saving their ass.

We are being managed straight down the road TPTB wants us on.



Sean7k's picture

Rather insightful, for a change Gully. +100

koperniuk666's picture

Gully, 'we are being managed'  -  this comment along with the many on ZH alledging that 'the Queen" or the "city of london'   are 'managing' the whole collapse  scenario makes me LMAO.

As someone who has ACTUALLY WORKED IN AND FOR THE UK GOVT . I can assure you that not a SINGLE one of them could find their own arsholes in the dark; they couldnt organise a piss up in brewery.

They are laughably untalented. Dont believe that Spooks or CSI crap. Even if  the staff were good when they arrived they will  have been ground down to zombie 'yes men' after a few years. 

They are just trudgeing along along in the hamster wheel waiting for retirement. 

Remember it is  governments INCOMPETENCE that got us into this mess.

Conspiracy - my arse. Govt is the ROOT of the problem Masquerading as the cure. Eliminate most  of the govt and the problem will be solved! 

all the c.nts in charge can offer is  - ' if you give us more power and more  tax, everything will be ok.."



Frankie Carbone's picture

Well thanks for the reassurance. I take it that you're in a position of rather significant importance, have cross agency and cross department experience in every facet of government, and know precisely that every mook in the government is an incompetent boob and that there absolutely would be no dark ops plans hatched on the public "because you would know". 

Tell me, from your experiences behnd the scenes in the top hierarchy of MI-5, how did such incompetent boobs rise to the top of the food chain there? 

Once again thanks. Sure is nice to know that someone so connected to even the more shadowy aspects of the government is here to give us absolute assurance. 

RockyRacoon's picture

Well done!  Sarcasm of the highest order that needs no explanation as same.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Ron Paul cannot win the nomination.  What do you expect Rand to do?  Let's see what concessions Rand and Ron get.  If they do not get a prime time slot or two for speeches and the seating of about 500 delegates, I would say that Ron has blown it.

tmosley's picture

Have a backbone?

Might as well have endorsed Obama for all the differencs between those two.

beachdude's picture

Then let's get on with it...

Bring it.

Creepy Lurker's picture

Agree. Been seeing it coming since '93. Just get on with it already.

redpill's picture

Friday comedy...


"The private sector is doing fine. Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government."

President Obama, June 8, 2012


Ride, Choomwagon, ride!

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Who needs money?!

President Obama, June 1, 2012

potlatch's picture

The very fact no one is discussing this as a solution -- a choom summit in the choomwagon -- makes me think, I am guessing this *is* our most potentially fruitful course of action at this juncture going forward...


Who's in!!!!??

hedgehog9999's picture

Really funny and the 700K jobs created: $10/hr Mcflipping and McCleaning type of jobs enhanced by the infamous Birth/Death model of creative statistics.

And what's wrong with state and municipal governments cutting back, they are overbloated anyways, the Feds should cut back as well except they own the printing press........the really sad part is the only reasons state and municipal governments are cutiing back is because their bloated and unsustainable pension plans are nearly broke......

As far as housing, incomes need to recover before a sustainable housing boom takes place. Hard to do that with Mcjobs type employment growth.....



shovelhead's picture

Can't cut back...

Union rules.

Lucky Guesst's picture

Sounded like it was bullish for a Union bailout to me.

Blankenstein's picture

Here are a couple of statistics from Obama's old stomping ground.   Illinois' pension plans are underfunded by about $83 billion and Chicago's an estimated $20 billion.  

Normalcy Bias's picture

Where can we get some of the shit Barry's smokin'? Just kidding. He's clearly on the powder now.

Lucky Guesst's picture

The sooner he progresses to MJ's drip line the better.

penexpers's picture

[slams fist down on desk]

This guy is a fucking moron!

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The solution is to buy silver.  The silver market is extremely small, due to industrial use, and once P* gets pushed higher, JPM defaults on its naked short pos.  And those who do buy the bullion end up with real money.

Just a thought......