The Politics Of Pretense: The Status Quo Is The Problem, But It Can't Be Touched

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Ultimately, all doomed ruling elites face the same problem: there isn't enough money to fund their take and fuel the vast machinery of power.

The politics of the U.S. boils down to one sustained pretense: politicians win votes by promising to fix problems that are the direct result of our bloated, corrupt, unsustainable Status Quo, yet they fund their campaigns by promising insiders and self-serving elites that they won't touch their Status Quo gravy trains, power and privilege.

This is of course the politics of collapse: by protecting the entrenched, self-serving elites at the top of the wealth-power pyramid, including the political class itself, the political class is condemning the Status Quo to systemic implosion.

The political class is the handmaiden of a Status Quo that is doing everything in its formidable power to fend off any change that threatens its privileged-insiders-plunder. In effect, the political class is doing what's it been paid (via tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions) to do: protect the Status Quo by any and all means available.

Throughout history, the ruling Status Quo self-destructs by refusing to adapt to changing circumstances. The real world is not static, but those in power are so thoroughly soaked in hubris and the delusions of power that they focus not on painful adaptation but on maximizing and protecting their self-aggrandizement.

Ultimately, all doomed ruling elites face the same problem: there isn't enough money to fund their take and fuel the vast machinery of power. Their solution is always the same: rather than make painful sacrifices to reduce their skim, they "print money" by one means or another: reduce the silver content of coinage, issue paper money, issue "stimulus" via central banks, and so on.

This self-serving mechanism hollows out and corrupts the economy, which consequently becomes increasingly fragile. The system's resilience (its buffers and ability to respond quickly and effectively to crises) erodes to near-zero, and one crisis or another that would have been handled in the past brings down the entire rotten edifice.

Here's the two-party system stripped to its essentials:

Here's our "leadership class" displaying their self-serving "leadership skills":

As the saying goes, follow the money:

Philanthro-crony-capitalism is a favored pretense of self-serving elites: things can go south when the plunder reaches extremes, of course...

So keep this in mind when voting in this year's elections: you'll be promised "change" but real change is impossible because the real priority is preserving a self-serving, corrupt, bloated and unsustainable Status Quo by any means available.

You'll be told what you want to hear: the problems will all be fixed within the existing Status Quo. But the existing Status Quo is the source of the problems.Pretense feeds delusion which guarantees collapse.

As a reminder of how systems become fragile and collapse:

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cougar_w Fri, 06/08/2018 - 17:08 Permalink

Best line; you'll be promised "change" but real change is impossible.

You need to take that to heart. It is simply true. Debate it if you want, it remains true. Like gravity, it doesn't stop being true while you are running around with your hair on fire trying to find a way to make it not true.

ravolla wadalt Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:30 Permalink


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In reply to by wadalt

cougar_w ravolla Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

Shut up.     <--- that's me telling you to shut up   <--- that's me wishing I'd written an AI-based site-ban filter already. <--- and that's me lamenting that I have too many shitty projects and not enough time to conquer the world and crown myself Emperor the way I'd promised myself I would do so that I could randomly sentence stupid fuckers to hard labor in the fields goddamnit.

In reply to by ravolla

bobsmith5 wadalt Fri, 06/08/2018 - 23:40 Permalink

Exactly wadalt, the real ruling elite are the central banks especially the Federal Reserve which can print up unlimited amounts of fiat currency to fund anything.  It has lent 20 trillion to the Federal Government which is owns as a subsidiary corporation.  This article is a complete failure in that it does not define the true ruling elite. 

We are a fascist world where every corporate central bank in every nation on earth prints up all the currency it needs to own and control every country on earth and it's government.  The merger of the corporation and the state is fascism - Mussolini

The owners of these private central banks are the true rulers of the planet.

You can change government all you want.  You can change the politicians every year, but until you change the total control that the private owners of the Federal Reserve has over this nations concept of money, the money supply, and debt, you will change absolutely nothing of significance.

In reply to by wadalt

RedBaron616 cougar_w Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

The problem is getting people to understand that BOTH PARTIES are taking us in the same direction. The only difference is the speed at which we get there. If you want to make a difference, find a third party, like the Constitution Party, and back it with your time and money. Otherwise, we are going over the cliff.

In reply to by cougar_w

cougar_w RedBaron616 Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:37 Permalink

I don't trust that recommendation, nor any like it. Switching things up does not solve the problem even a tiny bit. Thus I find now I am perfectly happy going over said cliff. Sooner is better. Maybe after I finish remodeling my house, is all. So give it a few years -- but then yes absolutely over the cliff.

In reply to by RedBaron616

NidStyles cougar_w Fri, 06/08/2018 - 21:24 Permalink

I want some changes, but I know better. I know nothing is going to change just because of location and faces changes. Human everywhere are fundamentally the same. 

One person tells you something and expects something from you, the next person tells you something and expects something slightly different. It the same tired repetitive nonsense no matter where you go.

I have dozens of people telling me what to do everyday, and every single one of them is a stranger that wants something from I am not interested in giving them. Even my own family constantly lies through their teeth telling me great stories and fairytales. If someone truly wanted something to change for me, they would walk up to me and introduce themselves without hiding what they already know.


Humans in general just plain suck, and constantly make stupid demands, and expect you to make blind choices without references. I don’t play that game, I want to know what I am getting myself into, and I am not playing the let’s screw another man’s wife game.


Basically I am revolting against the entirety of the whole system.

In reply to by cougar_w

Scipio Africanuz cougar_w Fri, 06/08/2018 - 20:00 Permalink

Change in reality, is not impossible, but good luck finding folks that'll subscribe to real change! It requires folks who love their country, and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, not for themselves, but for the future, real heroes, underated, unknown, and unappreciated, but true legends nevertheless!

Ask the Russians, and the Chinese, they'll confirm!...

In reply to by cougar_w

abgary1 Fri, 06/08/2018 - 17:09 Permalink

One of our major problems is career politicians and bureaucrats.

There are solutions:

-Recall legislation for politicians to remove the worst of the worst.

-Term limits of 2 for politicians at any one level of government and contract limits of 8 years for bureaucrats at any one level government. If our legislators know they will spend the majority of their working careers in the private sector they will not be writing laws that strictly benefit the public sector.

-Balanced budget laws that require referendums to repeal. The people should decide whether we go into debt as a a nation.

Grassroot party members need to demand change.


Our governments have a spending problem not revenue problem and they believe that government spending drives the economy which it does not.


Automate (blockchain) the public sector to increase efficiency, decrease expenditures and taxes.

Ban automation of the private sector, put people back to work and let them keep their money.


Automation of the public sector means higher efficiency, decreased expenditures and taxes.

Automation of the private sector means we become wards of the state.

Automation of both means the end of civilization  as we know it.

cougar_w WTFUD Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:53 Permalink

Okay I'll bite; They shot Archduke Ferdinand in the face, and the rest of us got World War 1. Called "1" only after the fact once WW1 gave rise to WW2 and the rise of Nazi Germany. It was all-told about 30 years of mechanized warfare, from which we also got the Cold War and its bastard child, the MIC.

The takeaway here should be that the MIC today simply loves it when you shoot people in the face. So many possibilities emerge for arming both sides, etc.

In reply to by WTFUD

Faeriedust cougar_w Fri, 06/08/2018 - 21:45 Permalink

Right.  Anyway, the majority of Americans have chosen the Roman alternative -- a general work slowdown and sit-down strike by the working class combined with quietly "privatizing" any corporate or public property of any use that they can get their hands on.  It's slow.  But it gradually reduces the funding/resources available to the elites to operate the biq "squeeze" operation of control and taxation, especially as the elites insist on continuously increasing their own cut of available resources.

The result is that government gradually loses the ability to enforce the laws limiting the workers' freedom and confiscating their property.  For instance, consider the effects of years of decreased funding at the IRS.  The dreaded Internal Revenue Service now lacks the manpower to audit more than 2% of tax returns.  They have entirely ceased doing random audits and now save their resources to concentrate on known tax fraud techniques and persons-of-interest.  "Known" means that all tax lawyers and most laymen who bother to read up know that they will be targeted if they use them, and therefore can avoid those particular dodges.  Meanwhile the are able to take advantage of massive "grey areas" in the code that the IRS can't afford to prosecute.  This is only the beginning.  As the costs of policing go up, larger areas are abandoned to residents to do for themselves; groups like the Bundy family and the Standing Rock Sioux can survive armed standoffs with government forces without ending up dead.  Contrast Ruby Ridge, Wounded Knee, and the Branch Davidians.  Slowly but surely, the combined monetary and political costs of suppressing rebellion are becoming too high for the government to afford.  

Meanwhile, unlike the Spartacus rebellion, the slaves participating in the long-term passive resistance get to live out their lives and often even have families.  Most of them don't even know that they are doing anything at all, except pursuing their own interests.  But together, they can succeed where armies fail.

We are the worm in the wood

We are the rot at the root

We are the taint in the blood

And we are the thorn in the foot!

In reply to by cougar_w

IntelligenceActs Faeriedust Sat, 06/09/2018 - 18:08 Permalink

What you advocate is "Starving The Beast Light"; most Americans are ignorant and indolent by choice. I pray for them to prove my assessment incorrect. What is needed is a "Starve The Beast" on Steroids; a non-violent refusal to participate. This is the only way, short of all out revolution and violence (which I am OK with if the fat/lazy American refuses to wake up and ends up being part of the "unintended consequences" or collateral damage) against the leadership. Attacking the monetary system seems to me to yield the most bang for the buck. Short all multinational businesses with a ticker symbol and buy tangibles only....

In reply to by Faeriedust

doctor10 abgary1 Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:55 Permalink

How does it come to be Congress is fixed at 495 CongressCritters in 1894 when the Founders stimulated 1:30000?

Which BTW-would give us 10,000 congresscritters meeting electronically from their districts today.  Impossible to buy off.


Only need to own 1000 people today in DC o run the world.  495 Congresscritters, 100 Senat-us, 5 of 9 SCJ, the heads of most federal agencies ...thats it.


Hillarhea stole 900 FBI files on this crowd in 1997 and rode that horse about as far as she could. She is STILL running the DOJ today!!!!  At least thats how it looks form out here.

In reply to by abgary1

Quantify Fri, 06/08/2018 - 17:23 Permalink

Is this a ruling elite issue or just a human overpopulation issue. Appears to be a bit of both. But if you take away the overpopulation the elite issue just goes away. No need to lie too if everyone is able to be productive and no need to print money for the poor if everyone is once again productive.

Faeriedust Quantify Fri, 06/08/2018 - 22:08 Permalink

Yes, overpopulation is the fundamental problem.  Elites can only control all the resources when there aren't enough resources to go around.  Otherwise, smart people just walk away.

Overpopulation must be controlled and will be controlled.  The only question is how.  You can do it by radically suppressing births, massively increasing deaths, or a little of both.  One thing that WON'T work, however, is the sweetness & light ideal of saving every starving or genetically defective child and maintaining every fragile (and senile) elderly on life support.  

In reply to by Quantify