Our National Madness

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith vis OfTwoMinds blog,

Fakery and trickery are not solutions; they are a form of self-delusional madness that destroys the nation's ability to face reality squarely and choose real solutions, no matter how painful the choice and path might be.

The nation has lost its common sense, its soul and its sanity. Can we summarize the source of this remarkably pervasive madness?

Our efforts are now focused not on solving core problems but on covering up core problems, as if covering up problems is a substitute for solving them. Down this path lies madness, for this substitution of false narratives for reality erodes our ability to distinguish not just between reality and fantasy but our ability to distinguish between moral rights and wrongs.

The efforts of those in positions of power are now focused on obscuring the truth, marginalizing critics, blaming malevolent external forces, cloaking self-interest with virtue signaling and staking claims to victimhood. These are the five dynamics that are powering the nation's descent into madness and dysfunction.

Consider Harvey Weinstein. Evidence is now emerging that Mr. Weinstein and his army of toadies, bullies, thugs, et al. put enormous effort and resources into obscuring the truth, marginalizing critics, and cloaking self-interest with virtue signaling. Next up for Mr. Weinstein's team of apologists: blame the Russians (or an equivalently malevolent Other), and claim to be a victim of all those testifying against him.

This is the model for everyone in positions of power. The only variation is which of the five will be spewed as a first line of defense, and which will be held in reserve for the last-ditch defense against the truth becoming public.

I'm sorry if this is a shock, but the economic "recovery" is nothing but smoke and mirrors designed to obscure the pillage of the nation's wealth and income by state-protected cartels. The central bank can't actually fix what's broken in our economy, but it can manually push the needle of the stock market higher.

So rather than actually fix what's broken, the "solution" is to make the stock market the primary measure of "prosperity." In effect, the stagnation of real prosperity is a problem that would require profound (and painful to those gorging at the feeding trough) changes in the status quo; so the solution is to label the stock market "the measure of prosperity" and then shove it higher.

This substitution of trickery for reality solves nothing. It is the exact equivalent of the student who didn't study and who learned nothing erasing his F grade and forging an A in its place. Nothing has actually changed in terms of the student's knowledge or skillset, but he has fooled the authorities focusing on superficialities: incompetent, self-serving administrators who then tout the student's high grade as evidence of their own success, the media which mindlessly accepts the fake grade as evidence that all is peachy-keen in the school district, and so on down the line.

If this happens often enough, the student actually starts believing he can get away with trickery as a solution for all problems: just BS your way through any challenge, and if that fails, then marginalize one's critics, blame malevolent external forces, furiously virtue-signal, and if all else fails, stake a claim to victimhood.

In other words, the student loses touch with reality and is lost. The USA has lost touch with reality, for its leadership has embraced the notion that trickery and fakery that covers up problems is a substitute for solving problems--and if this fails to convince an increasingly jaded and cynical public, then body-slam the public with the other four tactics: marginalize critics, blame malevolent external forces, cloak self-interest with virtue signaling and stake claims to victimhood.

Unfortunately for our nation, madness is repeating what's failed and thinking it will work next time. Trickery, maligning critics, virtue signaling, blaming outside forces and claiming victimhood no longer have the desired effect on all but the most delusional (or self-serving) supporters of our profoundly corrupt leadership.

Actions have consequences. Fakery and trickery are not solutions; they are a form of self-delusional madness that destroys the nation's ability to face reality squarely and choose real solutions, no matter how painful the choice and path might be.

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Linus2011 Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:00 Permalink

well, what do you expect from a nation that almost elected a top criminal weirdo hag a president. any half decent country would have locked her up or executed her. whereas in america all these cunty politicians are miraculously protected from anything. 

two hoots toady Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:51 Permalink

The system is screwed up as explained but that does not mean your life must be.   We are not yet captive in mind or body and there is still much to see, learn and hopefully enjoy.   Chances are you will end up baked to ashes or rotting in a box before this circus ends.  Make the most of it while you can.   

In reply to by toady

LightBeamCowboy junction Tue, 11/21/2017 - 10:30 Permalink

Enforcement is expensive; it's much cheaper for the system to rely on a population ignorant enough to swallow the lies voluntarily. It's important to understand that the ignorance here is not dependent on education level; our country is full of lie-swallowers with fancy degrees on the wall who damn sure ought to know better, but are "too busy" if you try to point them towards some truth.

In reply to by junction

ThrowAwayYourTV Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:05 Permalink

Americans are the most soul less, anti christ god less hollow core people on the planet and would hang you upside down and shoot you with flaming arrows for a dollar just so they could afford another ass dildo.As an American I am SO fed up with these serial life suckers that I can berely handle it anymore.

Rainman Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:05 Permalink

Fakery and trickery defined : Non-GAAP performance measures.      " Here's a partial score : Notre Dame 6 "              ~ George Carlin

JBO Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:08 Permalink

Society is becoming more and more like a dysfunctional family. Create the family myth that everything is allright, create a conspiracy of sience so no one draws attention to reality and then scapegoat anyone that disagrees.

Storm-Clouds Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:12 Permalink

If you haven’t noticed we are long past trickery......

The USA & EU are now just ignoring reality...terrorists?....it’s the new normal.

TSA, NSA, they will just take you away.......nothing else to say...

The dead don’t care.....

rwe2late Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:13 Permalink

But, but "take this, it will make you feel better"How about those Knicks?Support the troops!can't believe those Black Friday sales, can you?

Let it Go Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:13 Permalink

It seems many of us are drawn to a good illusion and this proves true for most people in their daily life as well. In some ways, it could be said that our culture has become obsessed with avoiding what is real.We must remember that politicians and those in power tend to throw people under the bus rather than rise up and take responsibility for the problems they create. The article below looks at how we have grown to believe things are fine. http://The Allure Of Ilusions-Five Favorite Financial Myths.html

Moving and Grooving Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:18 Permalink

This will be relegated to the 'Tin-Foil Hat' bin. What! A Conspiracy to make insiders wealthy and powerful?? Ha ha ha ha! Global you say! Governments, media, and Hollywood you say! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!! .

seataka Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:23 Permalink

WHY the big lie "WORKS"The Reverse Blockade “Reverse Blockade: emphatically insisting upon something which is the opposite of the truth blocks the average person’s mind from perceiving the truth. In accordance with the dictates of healthy common sense, he starts searching for meaning in the “golden mean” between truth and its opposite, winding up with some satisfactory counterfeit. People who think like this do not realize that this effect is precisely the intent of the person who subjects them to this method. ” age 104, Political Ponerology by Andrew M. LobaczewskiProof? Just ask Tom Cruise about XENU

Solio Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:25 Permalink

Here is some truth: Americans have been in servitude since 1913, and the dual citizen congress people work against the goals of the nation. Pedophiles, cannibals and vampires have always been with us and they get into positions of power for the protections that it offers. There should be no surprise that some of this is coming to light. There will be, there must be, more.

Salzburg1756 Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:28 Permalink

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..."Hey, we started off by lying and have never stoppedMake the world safe for democracy, affirmative action...

insanelysane Salzburg1756 Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:45 Permalink

Had this argument with liberal friends in Massachusetts about no one wants to be equal.  They were shocked just shocked that I dare say it.  We live in an upper middle class suburb.  I point out how all of us provide our children with all sorts of extra tutoring and extra coaching and special diets and expensive computers and sports equipment because we are trying to provide our children with an edge over other children academically and athletically.  No one wants to be equal.

In reply to by Salzburg1756

MedicalQuack Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:40 Permalink

Nice to see others writing about this now too, I started a few years ago, people can't tell the difference any more between real world and virtual world values, or as I call it Operation Perception Deception.  http://ducknetweb.blogspot.fr/2015/06/operation-perception-deception-in… software you can do someting about anything, create little virtual worlds where folks function and make up values, but what matters is the real world.  You can find that stated in the Quant documentary from a few years ago, from the software writer that created the algos that all the banks used for the big fall of the stock market with the housing industry. This is one of the best documentaries made ever and you learn a lot from it on how some of this works. http://ducknetweb.blogspot.hk/2012/09/quants-alchemists-of-wall-street-…

insanelysane Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:40 Permalink

See Volkswagen and their diesel engines.Instead of building a clean diesel engine or informing governments that clean diesel was impossible they used software to create "clean" diesel.  I am sure at the outset this was supposed to be a temporary fix until the engineers could actually make a clean diesel engine.  However it became much easier to program the software to create extremely efficient clean diesel making it impossible to actually build a clean diesel engine so R&D on diesel engines probably stopped at Volkswagen which is why even today there is no solution to fixing the diesel engines.  It was all a sham.

malek insanelysane Tue, 11/21/2017 - 16:19 Permalink

You swallowed the exhaust limits set by delusional bureaucrats hook, line, and sinker.

For comparison:
Remember how ~16 years ago, when the car diesel engines were permitted to emit higher levels than what the "violating" VW diesels do today, how pedestrians were dropping dead at the sides of the streets? /sarc

Sure, less emissions are always better, but as with everything in life there is a trade-off between efforts (=costs) and results. Why was there a difference made in emission limits between petrol- and diesel-powered cars in the first place? (And are you aware that in other pollutants, petrol-engine limits are more lax than diesel ones??)
And it's nice to suffocate diesel car emissions to tiniest levels, but what about trucks? Diesel locomotives? Ships?

So basically VW answered a sham with a sham.
That doesn't make it right, but criticizing should cover both parties involved!

And you presenting them as a prime example of the ills Charles described in his article, only show off your (assisted) self-delusions.

In reply to by insanelysane

FreeNewEnergy Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:43 Permalink

Ya know, CHS, I understand your inner need to publish, but your articles are becoming more and more like Michael Snyder's infamous lists of things that are wrong.Preferably, you could skip over the pedantry because you're preaching to the metaphoric equivalent of a choir here at ZH and go stright to providing solutions, but, I suspect you have none. That's not your fault, in particular, because only a few of us have reasonable solutions to the various national maladies which confront us every day.Still, you could try.I know you'd like all of us to purchase your kindle books, but, judging by the titles, especially, Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform, your literary contribution largely consists of pointing out the obvious and aren't probably worth the coin.You might think I'm just berating you because I'm jealous of your success (a little) or just like to needle independent authors (a little), but I really believe that the ZH community - in addition to readers of your blog - would be better served by articles pointing to possible solutions.I have my own websites and blogs, and I know supplying fresh content is demanding and difficult. Focusing on solutions rather than problems has become an aim for me on my sites. While I'm prone to error (we all are), at least I'm trying to do more than inform, but also to educate and prompt individuals to act upon the monstrosity that is our government, legal system, financial system, etc.I encourage people to beat the tax man, and often with great specificity. I encourage investment in hard assets and currencies (gold and silver), regulation avoidance techniques, legal strategies, off-grid living, and more. It's not for everybody, because everybody is not like me, but, at least I'm offering some way out.I suggest you try it. I'd be very interested in seeing your proposals for a better America.Good luck.

Manipuflation FreeNewEnergy Tue, 11/21/2017 - 10:09 Permalink

OK, you are very serious but I see that you like sports and beer.  I don't think my writing style will fit well with your style.  Oh look, it's another Gordon Brown British Sovereign!  If you want another writer.... tkufalk2@gmail.com  I am serious but I would rather that people get a laugh out of me.  If it doesn't work then it's OK with me.  No foul. 

In reply to by FreeNewEnergy