Why We're Underestimating American Collapse

If you mindlessly imbibe your social-media-sanctioned news feed from the palm of your hand, then you could almost be forgiven for thinking everything is awesome (with perhaps a nod to your implicit feed's bias that things would be 'awesome-er' if "the other side" just got out of the way).


However, if you have your eyes opened matrix-like to the real world surrounding you, the number of divergent and dissonant headlines begins to leave you questioning the reality of exceptional America... record stock prices, record homeless, record wealth, record food stamps, and so on...


But as Umair Haque, via Eand.co, writes the rot goes deeper and is far graver.

When we take a hard look at US collapse, we see a number of social pathologies on the rise. Not just any kind. Not even troubling, worrying, and dangerous ones. But strange and bizarre ones. Unique ones. Singular and gruesomely weird ones I’ve never really seen before, and outside of a dystopia written by Dickens and Orwell, nor have you, and neither has history.

They suggest that whatever “numbers” we use to represent decline - shrinking real incomes, inequality, and so on - we are in fact grossly underestimating what pundits call the “human toll”, but which sensible human beings like you and I should simply think of as the overwhelming despair, rage, and anxiety of living in a collapsing society.

Haque lays out five examples of what he calls the social pathologies of collapse - strange, weird, and gruesome new diseases, not just ones we don’t usually see in healthy societies, but ones that we have never really seen before in any modern society.

America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days.

Why are America kids killing each other? 

Why would people abuse opioids en masse unlike anywhere else in the world?

How did America’s elderly end up cheated of dignity?

And that is my last pathology: it is one of the soul, not one of the limbs, like the ones above.

Americans appear to be quite happy simply watching one another die, in all the ways above.

Read more here...


As Umair notes, If these pathologies happened in any other rich country — even in most poor ones — people would be aghast, shocked, and stunned, and certainly moved to make them not happen. But in America, they are, well, not even resigned. They are indifferent, mostly.

Haque's ominous view of our world concludes

American collapse is much more severe than we suppose it is. We are underestimating its magnitude, not overestimating it. American intellectuals, media, and thought doesn’t put any of its problems in global or historical perspective — but when they are seen that way, America’s problems are revealed to be not just the everyday nuisances of a declining nation, but something more like a body suddenly attacked by unimagined diseases.

Should the world follow the American model — extreme capitalism, no public investment, cruelty as a way of life, the perversion of everyday virtue — then these new social pathologies will follow, too. They are new diseases of the body social that have emerged from the diet of junk food — junk media, junk science, junk art, junk economics — that America has fed upon for too long.

Read Umair Haque's full essay here...


YUNOSELL Thu, 01/25/2018 - 15:54 Permalink

Wall Street successfully scavenged the life-blood from the rest of cross-over America, like parasites stealing their wealth and savings at first through fraud, and now through the inflation created from the government continually bailing out Wall Street.

They were also sucking wealth out of other countries especially the emerging markets, but now the world is catching on to the bag of tricks and de-dollarizing especially China and Russia.

JRobby Zero Point Fri, 01/26/2018 - 07:27 Permalink

Read the entire piece. The nay sayers will immediately say the author is an underminer, probably not "American" and that there are good people in good communities and there are. Yet the homeless are multiplying, people are living in their cars and opioids are coming in the mail and killing people.

I watched the opioid hearings in a "sub committee" on CSpan. Not much getting done. And this is just one aspect of it in a sea of many.

Tipping point. Achieved through massive misallocation of investment reaching it's pinnacle. 

Enjoy the ride down.


In reply to by Zero Point

Zero Point BandGap Fri, 01/26/2018 - 07:02 Permalink

In my defense I drink a lot. So I can put up with dipshits online mostly. There was a time that I mostly lurked here, because the intellectual level of the average poster was quite intimidating. Sadly for us all, it's become as banal as a cat picture sub reddit. So fuck you all bitches, if you're all going to be retarded, I might as well derp it up.

In reply to by BandGap

Posa Zero Point Fri, 01/26/2018 - 03:17 Permalink

The West has turned its back on its cultural legacy on every front. Most people and institutions hate the legacy of Western culture, especially in the arts.

And furthermore, as stated, the Western social order has been hijacked by the historical Predator Class and run off a cliff. But the masses of people rally around these forces, no matter how bloody and depraved they are.

Science and technology hang on, but they are rapidly eroding as well.

In reply to by Zero Point

Lore Posa Fri, 01/26/2018 - 04:17 Permalink

Our standards are under direct and indirect attack in every context. Look at the Political Class. Look at the pathological behavior among corporate and banking elites. Look at Hollywood. Look at Political Correctness and Education. Look to Big Pharma, Big Food and all the junk being put in your body.  Look to the Soros-funded migrant injections.  Individually and collectively, it's a deliberate program to break down the immune system and introduce disease.

There's a shock coming, an induced shock, and it's going to be like nothing anybody has seen before in living memory.

In reply to by Posa

Mr Hankey Zero Point Fri, 01/26/2018 - 10:23 Permalink

'Murica!!!!!FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!! Coming Again to save the mutherfuckin day YEAH!!!!!!!!USA!!!!!!!USA!!!!!!!!USA!!!!!!!!!!$$$$$$$$FREEDUMB  Bombs!!!!!!!!!!!!$$$$$$$$$ BACON DOUBLE CHEESEBURGERS NASCAR MILITARY PARADES AND SLO-MO EAGLES AND FLAGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!$$$$$$FLAGWANKING !!!!!!!$$$$$$$$$$$$$DIABETES!!!!!!!MULLET-HEADED HALF-BREED SHITSKINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$CAPITALISM  $$$$$$$#$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$#$$$$$$$$$

         Oh , and GEE-ZUSS!!!!!!!!LUVZ 'MURICA BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!$$$$$$$$$$##$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

In reply to by Zero Point

Posa Zero Point Sat, 01/27/2018 - 00:31 Permalink

It's true that the Asians have adopted Western "classical" music ... but it's more the form rather than the soul of the tradition. That's because the soul of Western music is Christianity... few Asians have any notion of Christian  parousia and agape. That's equally foreign in Western cultures today.

Science and technology thrive more vigorously in the East than in the US and EU. It's sinking and disappearing everyday. Science in the West is now frank propaganda.

In reply to by Zero Point

LikeyMikey Zero Point Fri, 01/26/2018 - 04:41 Permalink

I agree there is no other nation in the World that is either a shithole or the Government pays you to be a citizen but to deny the off the fucking wall banana republic corruption pushing for socialism like Venezuela is crazy....  it is absolutely the push and the further we get away from CAPITALISM and THE RULE OF LAW, the worse it will get in the United States!  People that say that the U.S. is bad have never fucking lived in ANY other country including Europe or Canada.... 

In reply to by Zero Point

Memedada LikeyMikey Fri, 01/26/2018 - 05:17 Permalink

I've lived in US (from 1999-2001 - participated in the battle of Seattle long before it became cool to be against neoliberalist globalization) and again from 2003-2005. I've lived in many countries in Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and a short period in Burma/Myanmar). I've lived in Estonia, in Norway and my home country and currently location is Denmark.

I traveled to most continents and many-many countries.

USA is bad. One of the most destroyed countries I've lived and traveled in - almost everything is privately owned and ugly (billboards/commercials everywhere, malls, concrete, roads and pollution). But the saddest part of US is the people - they're kept in constant state of irrational fear, ignorance and self-loathing. The fattest, most imprisoned, worst educated/most indoctrinated, most murdered (by police and each-other), most intoxicated (by psychotropic medicine, drugs and alcohol), most TV-watching/dumbed down etc. etc. 

But US also has a lot of good people - for sure - but they're only making it in spite of US society (and are not represented in MSM - and very few are, apparently, here on ZH)...

In reply to by LikeyMikey

bluez BennyBoy Fri, 01/26/2018 - 05:59 Permalink

People all over the world have the power of protest. Even in China. However in the US we  do not. Look at what happened to the Occupy protesters. Our only "recourse" is to vote for one of the two false factions of the Duopoly Party. In other words, we have absolutely no say at all.

The US is the only major totally totalitarian country except Japan. Our problems are directly due to the fact that we have no influence upon our rulers.

If we had strategic hedge simple score voting, this would never have happened to us. We could have stopped all the madness.

In reply to by BennyBoy

BrownCoat LikeyMikey Fri, 01/26/2018 - 10:32 Permalink

@ LikeyMikey,

"People that say that the U.S. is bad have never fucking lived in ANY other country including Europe or Canada."

Two points:
1. The author compares the US to the world. I do not think that comparison is helpful. However, stepping out of a culture allows the observer to see characteristics of that culture that are taken for granted (which go completely unnoticed) while observing within the culture.

2. I've lived in the US 50 years ago. Guess what? The US today sucks and is way worse than that older version of the US.


In reply to by LikeyMikey

BrownCoat Zero Point Fri, 01/26/2018 - 10:19 Permalink

@ Zero Point,

I'm a Western chauvinist too. Unfortunately, Western Civ created the Marxist ideology and the current Cultural Marxist mindset that is suicidal to any society that holds Cultural Marxist beliefs.

Asia (Russia, China, India, Pakistan) gets more kudos than it deserves. Western societies have had greater achievements than the rest of the world combined in a much shorter period of time. Western Civ has also had some notable dead ends; like Marxism/Socialism/totalitarianism.

I see no way for contemporary Western nations to avoid destruction. Marxism is too deeply entrenched. The invasion of foreigners means Western nations will adopt the inferior values of the invaders. It's the end of the world as we knew it!

In reply to by Zero Point

Voluntary Exchange I am Groot Fri, 01/26/2018 - 04:33 Permalink

True Capitalism is being destroyed by Anti-Capitalism. True Capitalism is voluntary exchange, which improves with time as people learn to become more productive.  Anti-Capitalism is the accumulation of wealth and power through involuntary exchange:  taxation, theft, fraud, physical aggression, paper money, slavery, warfare, well-fare, and so on.

A wise person once instructed that wars come from "asking amiss" (from whence come wars?) That is, DEMANDING, not asking!   Taxation, theft, fraud, physical aggression, state mandated paper money, warfare, etc ... all forms of demands.    Voluntary exchange is asking and respecting the preferences of your productive "brother". Honestly giving in fair exchange for what is asked for.  Who are you to demand?????  Make a demand against someone who is also the child of the same creative principle? Someone thinks making himself a "God" with respect to his fellow man will work out in the long run?

Americans miraculously won their freedom powered by the truth that all are equal with regard to natural law and the resulting natural rights. (All "men" -mankind- are created equal). This victory was quickly stolen from us by the US Constitution, which contained this evil anti-capitalist seed: Art. 1 Sec. 8 - The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes.   This seed in time if not eliminated, always grows into the greater evils that are:  Wall Street, taxation, paper money, conscription, theft, fraud, murder, warfare, welfare, hunger, poverty, monopoly, Hollywood, conspiracy, covetousness, moral collapse, and ultimately destruction.

It is the nature of Evil to call itself good and to call that which is good, evil. Thus today with so much evil, so many call capitalism, (honest productiveness that they do not understand), evil while calling anti-capitalism -(socialism, communism, authoritarianism, despotism) good. Human history shows what the results will be. Repeat the lesson till you get it correct.

In reply to by I am Groot

Jessica6 Voluntary Exchange Fri, 01/26/2018 - 10:06 Permalink

The growth of income disparity lines up pretty well with the expansion of the welfare state. This has been known since Ancient Roman times; so long as the populace is fed and entertain they will do nothing to disrupt the status quo. The top echelon lobby for all these programs, offshore their own taxes and force the middle class to pay for it. Those on the left just refuse to grasp this.

In reply to by Voluntary Exchange

Bárðarbunga FEDbuster Thu, 01/25/2018 - 22:24 Permalink

Yeah. Because what kind of word is holerabbit? If you want to make a Matrix meme, at least use spell check.

Was sort of looking for better examples in this piece. Like the freak who went bath salts walking dead out in CA and started chewing on a dude. Or the newest thing about keeping your kids as tormented slaves in the basement. Fucked society it is, but there are far better examples than school shooters to work with. Hell, even eating Tide Pods is a better example. Pass the ketchup, bro.

In reply to by FEDbuster

bunnyswanson stizazz Thu, 01/25/2018 - 22:01 Permalink

"Foreign investment risk.  The fund faces the risks inherent in foreign investing. Adverse political, economic or social developments could undermine the value of the fund’s investments or prevent the fund from realizing the full value of its investments.

In June 2016, citizens of the United Kingdom approved a referendum to leave the European Union (EU), creating economic and political uncertainty. Significant uncertainty exists regarding the timing of the United Kingdom’s anticipated withdrawal from the EU and the effects such withdrawal may have on the United Kingdom, other EU countries and the global economy."


Cornering the market and holding it hostage may be the strategy.



In reply to by stizazz