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Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CLXXXI–The Politics of Dancing: The politicians are now dj’s…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CLXXXI

Tulum, Mexico (1986). Photo by author.

The Politics of Dancing: The politicians are now dj’s…

It seems nowadays we’re always trapped in the silly season of election campaigning. Perhaps my memory is foggy but where it used to be a short window of inane proclamations and ever-grander promises (that never actually happen as declared), this period of electioneering now appears to carry on everyday, 24/7/365. If it’s not related directly to an upcoming election, it’s about extolling the great work of those in office and the shortcomings of those in opposition parties (or, gasp, wanting to dismantle ‘democracy’)–the bankrolling of which is via that theft mechanism of taxes or, even worse, perpetual debt (I just love that the narrative management/control and surveillance of domestic citizens being carried out by the ruling caste is paid for by the masses themselves that the ‘elite’ are marketing their beneficence to). 

With my understanding of societal change through time, one of the aspects of our complex societies that I’ve come to hold as true is that our polities are ‘governed’ by people focused on improving/maintaining their personal/familial/influential benefactor prestige, power, and wealth. It is not, as they crow on about and market repeatedly, a yearning to benefit society-at-large and others–that’s the narrative they want us all to believe in and support. It is about maintenance/expansion of the wealth-generation/-extraction systems from which the ruling caste mostly and extraordinarily benefits. 

In this vein, I have lost complete faith in our governing systems to do anything but leverage situations to this end. And a lot of the time this has to do with putting in place monetisation schemes in the form of a racket whereby–as U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler argued about war–a small group benefits greatly at the expense of the many, and then, via mass marketing/propaganda/legislation, coercing society to support the scheme (and call out anyone, usually via the media, who criticises/challenges it). And our conditioning and those psychological mechanisms that strive to reduce anxiety-provoking/stressful thoughts/beliefs lead us to believe the narratives weaved by our ruling caste. It’s the water we swim in and don’t even realise it’s there.

“A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”
-Smedley Butler, War Is A Racket (1935).

As I’ve written and argued before, our globalised, industrial societies can be characterised as full of such rackets that funnel national treasuries/wealth from the masses to the few that sit atop the power and wealth structures that develop as a society becomes larger and more complex. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s simply the epiphenomena of societal adaptations to increased organisational needs as the population grows and society problem-solves via greater complexity–thanks, surplus net energy and the technologies that have helped to produce these surpluses. That those who hold positions of power and influence conspire to maintain/expand these should be self-evident to anyone peering beyond the veneer of mainstream social stories. 

What follows is another one of those difficult conversations I had with another following a Facebook post that popped up in my feed recently. 

[NB: I saw Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in concert at the London Gardens (London, Ontario) on November 5, 1980. My friends of the time and I were frequently listening to his music so a few of us had to see him when he performed in our home town.]

JK: You all had better get a handle on our USA 2 party system. If you contribute to the election of Republicans you ain’t seen NOTHING yet.

Steve Bull: JK, Right. Left. Center. Blue. Red. Green. Doesn’t matter. ‘Government’ protects the minority ruling caste, not the masses. Been that way for millennia. Elections are theatre to give the impression of choice and agency in a rigged and corrupt system.

TH: Steve Bull, I have a badge: “If voting changed anything, it would be illegal!” Let the jesters speak! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjJLTslWp_Q

JK: Steve Bull, So 2016 made no difference? Trump/ Hillary, same same? Stupid. Clueless. The parties are not the same, not even close. You just need someone to blame for your failures, might as well be everyone.

TH, It’s easy to move to a better country. Do it!!

Steve Bull: JK, I think you need to read a bit of pre/history—especially as it pertains to how ruling systems developed and changed as large, complex societies arose (pay particular attention to the sociological/anthropological concepts of integrationist and conflict theories as to how hierarchical systems came about—the ruling elite want us to believe in the integrationist perspective but the evidence more broadly aligns with the conflict one).

And, yes, most every politician and political party is essentially the same—especially when it comes to ‘big ticket’ items. Some marginal differences may exist but in most ways there is little difference. Massive debt continues to accumulate. Various rackets expand and/or new ones arise (think military-security complex, big energy, financial institutions, media, big pharma, etc). Wars continue. Domestic surveillance expands. Inequality grows. Price inflation increases. Narrative management/control enlarges. Ecological systems continue to be destroyed in order to pursue the infinite growth chalice. Etc. Etc.

The most significant change that occurs after an election are the stories we tell ourselves and others. My team wins and all is right or improving in the world (and if it doesn’t it’s because the other team is interfering in our ability to get things done); the other team wins and everything continues to or will soon go to hell in a hand basket. And much, if not everything, that occurs after the election is interpreted through these lenses. We see differences in order to reduce the stress of cognitive dissonance that would occur if we recognize that we’re being bamboozled by those few sitting atop society’s wealth and power structures.

EM: Steve, it really is a shame that more people don’t have the comprehensive understanding how these systems work, who actually benefits (the most), and what the eventual outcome is. Too many people like J are out there telling people to move to a better country when they can’t see that they’re the ones being owned and bamboozled, especially here in the US.

TH: JK, Luckily I don’t live in the US…! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiuA6Tfy-pM

We have our own problems fighting off 5 Eyes, NATO associate membership, and being a very close friend of the US….Empire stretches down here, and a lot of uber wealthy Americans have bolt holes here….

We live with the illusion of democracy, while living under a government of occupation on behalf of Empire. The political classes are owned, and their owners pass down agendas that are all about dividing and conquering any communities of resistance, and continuing to open up the country to rape/pillage/extraction. The owners are the corporations/banksters/elites. We are being farmed.

JK: EM, nobody owns me. I’m doing fine. I work hard and have a great life.
Our tool is the ballot box. Standing on a street, holding signs, protesting doesn’t do shit. Get involved, complaining won’t get you anywhere. Run for office, be psrt of the change. Revolution at this point is not in the cards.

Steve Bull, how do you propose fixing it? Complaining on Facebook? You aren’t going to change the Constitution and feeble little protests do nothing. Americans can run for office and if you look at Congress you’ll see Reps from the poorest of families. Get off your butt and run for office. Bitching Facebook won’t cut it. Going to take a lot of work.

EM: J, first of all, what we suffer from is a predicament, not a problem. Predicaments have outcomes, not solutions. So, you aren’t going to fix squat with politics, period. Vote for whoever you want, we and they lack agency to solve anything because it isn’t a problem we face.

As for Steve, he is Canadian, so he won’t be running for office here in the US.

Steve Bull: JK, Sure, just like this image suggests:

And, I wasn’t complaining. I was making a statement based on my understanding of pre/history.

JK: Steve Bull the mafia? B. S.

The hate I see on these posts and some MAGA cult people are very similar. Lot of whining, victimhood and makes me sick. Blaming Biden and Jews for genocide while HAMAS cowers behind civilians, does NOTHING except kill Jews.”Degrowth” while pretending to be off grid. I’ll give y’all another 30 days. Maybe you’ll figure out Tammy Baldwin is different than Ron Johnson. Biden is different than Trump. Makes me sick.

If I thought the USA and the mafia were the same I would ABSOLUTELY get out of the USA as fast as I could. No question. I sure as hell wouldn’t whine about it. I’d take action.

Steve Bull: JK, Perhaps you can take solace in the fact that this is not simply a US phenomena; it is an epiphenomena of large, complex societies. It pervades virtually every level of government across the entire globe and has been with humanity for some 12,000 or more years. We, in the West, just wrap it up in a cloak called ‘representative democracy’ and hold theatrical performances to give the masses the impression they have choice and agency in societal decisions and actions. All the while, a relatively small group of well-connected and influential power brokers continue to raid national treasuries (especially in terms of natural resources) and siphon wealth from the masses.

JK: Steve Bull, What do you mean “pre history?” Sounded like complaining. Hey, I have no problem with complaining —that’s what I’m doing. I’m complaining about the anti-semitism I see, hypocrisy, misunderstanding our political system, thinking the 2 parties are the same, whining without acting, and misinformation. For example, I saw an interview of an LGBQ woman holding a pro-Palestine sign without understanding that HAMAS would kill her if she were there. It’s insane. I’ve never seen an anti-Hamas word in these posts.

Steve Bull: JK, Prehistory is simply human history prior to written documentation. It begins a couple of million years ago up until about 5000 years ago with the introduction of writing systems. Most of our knowledge of those times is determined via physical anthropology and archaeology–the latter an area of study that I concentrated on for a few years and received my Master of Arts in. As far as a misunderstanding of our political systems, most people ‘misunderstand’ them because it is in the interests of the few that benefit (power and wealth wise) from them to keep the masses ignorant, mollified, and complacent…so they craft narratives that these systems provide agency and choice to the masses and that they are ‘representative’, and ultimately serve as a net benefit while hiding their true intent: the control and expansion of the wealth-generating and -extraction systems that provide their power, influence, and prestige. Quite frankly, sociopolitical systems are in place to protect the ruling caste of a society; they are not there to protect and serve the masses apart from throwing them a few bones occasionally. And there is about 12-15,000 years of evidence to support this assertion.

JK: Steve Bull So is your point that little has changed in all those years?

Steve Bull: JK, No, much has changed. But not the general tendency of a ruling elite to leverage as much as possible to their advantage.

JK: I do realize the power of big money, millionaires and billionaires, but smart voting will go a very long way toward fixing things. I guarantee you that if Hillary had won in ‘16 the world would be better. If Biden loses this year things will even worse than we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes. There is a gigantic difference between the parties now. Anyone with integrity who doesn’t vote or votes 3rd party is supporting Republicans. The danger is real.

Steve Bull: JK, We have to agree to disagree. And your comment aligns with what I said above: “The most significant change that occurs after an election are the stories we tell ourselves and others. My team wins and all is right or improving in the world (and if it doesn’t it’s because the other team is interfering in our ability to get things done); the other team wins and everything continues to or will soon go to hell in a hand basket. And much, if not everything, that occurs after the election is interpreted through these lenses. We see differences in order to reduce the stress of cognitive dissonance that would occur if we recognize that we’re being bamboozled by those few sitting atop society’s wealth and power structures.”

I also wanted to share this piece of writing from my late step-grandfather, Jack Flynn, written some 40+ years ago but that could have been penned today. I miss the long conversations/debates we used to have over any number of social and political issues of the day. He was one of, if not the most important influences in my thinking during my formative years.

Can This Be Our World?

As we waste and squander finite natural resources,
that are our children’s heritage.
As we watch their future disappear.
Are we witnessing the beginning of the end?

As I view the waste and squander,
one thing comes to mind.
“Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.”
Seems to be the universal trend.

How did a species such as ours,
with the ability to reason, and think,
who certainly knows wrong from right.
Allow such a magnificent planet
to fall into such plight?

Truth and wisdom are lost in a barrage of words,
Which emit from mass media, twenty-four hours a day.
Endless innuendo, rhetoric and cliches,
We are expected to understand and obey.

In our modern world a few powerful nations
dominate the whole planet.
Co-operation is considered, passe.
They use and abuse, threaten and gesture,
invade smaller nations, and no one can tell them nay!

Inevitably there must come the time,
when the “immovable object, meets the irresistible force”,
then things should become more clear.
Being powerful nations, afraid to lose face,
they will probably try something Nu-clear.

This post was named after Re-Flex’s 1983 pop song based upon people’s expressive nature displayed during dance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht-S4YQpteg. I love the music of the 1980s. I spent some years as a ‘disc jockey’ including a brief stint at Western University’s radio station and some paid party gigs. I also continue to hold a rather large album collection, with the very recent addition of a signed Men Without Hats disc cover that I purchased at a concert they performed at our town’s annual music festival and around the corner from our house–what was not to love? Free. Close by. And, mid-afternoon so I didn’t have a late night and mess up my early-to-bed, early-to-rise routine…

If you’ve made it to the end of this Contemplation and have got something out of my writing, please consider ordering the trilogy of my ‘fictional’ novel series, Olduvai (PDF files; only $9.99 Canadian), via my websiteor the link below — the ‘profits’ of which help me to keep my internet presence alive and first book available in print (and is available via various online retailers).

Attempting a new payment system as I am contemplating shutting down my site in the future (given the ever-increasing costs to keep it running).

If you are interested in purchasing any of the 3 books individually or the trilogy, please try the link below indicating which book(s) you are purchasing.

Costs (Canadian dollars):
Book 1: $2.99
Book 2: $3.89
Book 3: $3.89
Trilogy: $9.99

Feel free to throw in a ‘tip’ on top of the base cost if you wish; perhaps by paying in U.S. dollars instead of Canadian. Every few cents/dollars helps…


If you do not hear from me within 48 hours or you are having trouble with the system, please email me: olduvaitrilogy@gmail.com.

You can also find a variety of resources, particularly my summary notes for a handful of texts, especially Catton’s Overshoot and Tainter’s Collapse: see here.

It Bears Repeating: Best Of…Volume 1

A compilation of writers focused on the nexus of limits to growth, energy, and ecological overshoot.

With a Foreword and Afterword by Michael Dowd, authors include: Max Wilbert; Tim Watkins; Mike Stasse; Dr. Bill Rees; Dr. Tim Morgan; Rob Mielcarski; Dr. Simon Michaux; Erik Michaels; Just Collapse’s Tristan Sykes & Dr. Kate Booth; Kevin Hester; Alice Friedemann; David Casey; and, Steve Bull.

The document is not a guided narrative towards a singular or overarching message; except, perhaps, that we are in a predicament of our own making with a far more chaotic future ahead of us than most imagine–and most certainly than what mainstream media/politics would have us believe.

Click hereto access the document as a PDF file, free to download.

The Great Ukraine Robbery Is Not Over Yet. Ron Paul

The ink was barely dry on President Biden’s signature transferring another $61 billion to the black hole called Ukraine, when the mainstream media broke the news that this was not the parting shot in a failed US policy. The elites have no intention of shutting down this gravy train, which transports wealth from the middle and working class to the wealthy and connected class.

Reuters wrote right after the aid bill was passed that, “Ukraine’s $61 billion lifeline is not enough.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went on the Sunday shows after the bill was passed to say that $61 billion is “not a whole lot of money for us…” Well, that’s easy for him to say – after all it’s always easier to spend someone else’s money!

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, was far from grateful for the $170 billion we have shipped thus far to his country. In an interview with Foreign Policy magazine as the aid package was passed, Kuleba had the nerve to criticize the US for not producing weapons fast enough.

“If you cannot produce enough interceptors to help Ukraine win the war against the country that wants to destroy the world order, then how are you going to win in the war against perhaps an enemy who is stronger than Russia?”

How’s that for a “thank you”?

It may be understandable why the Ukrainians are frustrated. Most of this money is not going to help them fight Russia. US military aid to Ukraine has left our own stockpiles of weapons depleted, so the money is going to create new production lines to replace weapons already sent to Ukraine. It’s all about the US weapons industry. President Biden admitted as much when he said, “we are helping Ukraine while at the same time investing in our own industrial base.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

An Urgent Matter

An Urgent Matter

“If the government can suspend your rights anytime it deems something is a crisis, you don’t have rights. You have permissions.” — “Pismo” on “X”

While our country sleepwalks through the deadly aftermath of the evil Covid-19 operation, the World Health Organization (WHO) puts the final touches on a nice bit of fuckery called its Pandemic Treaty on International Health Regulations (IHR) or “One Health” initiative, a Globalist power grab disguised in the saintly white robes of public health medicine. The agreement, to be finalized at the end of this month, will cede what’s left of your liberty to this unelected bureaucracy for the sake of global “equity and inclusivity,” meaning more lockdowns, constant surveillance, forced “vaccinations,” restrictions on medications, and censorship of anyone who voices a contrary opinion of these actions.

Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s Covid-19 all over again, a second crack at controlling everything you do and every choice you might make by a cabal of governments and corporations, in other words, an international gang of fascists. The WHO is an agency of the United Nations, run out of Switzerland. You might recall this is the same place where the World Economic Forum (the WEF, a.k.a. “Davos”) has its headquarters. For years, the WEF has been issuing blueprints for a techno-fascist global regime under which, they state baldly, “you will own nothing and be happy.” (And eat bugs.)

These birds are not kidding around, though anyone can see the megalomania on display, the grandiose will-to-power that seeks to subjugate the plebes of the world — and radically decrease our numbers — so that a remaining tiny elite can enter into a post-modern, techno-transhuman utopia uncluttered with us “useless eaters.” The corporate money and organizational mojo out of Davos is behind what amounts to a homicidal racketeering scheme masquerading as disease prevention.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLIII–War. What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing!

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLIII

Teotihuacan, Mexico (1988) Photo by author

War. What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing!

Today’s ‘contemplation’ is derived from a conversation on a Facebook Group post I was recently involved with[1]. I’ve been reluctant to write anything regarding the current Russian/Ukraine conflict due to the extreme polemic and emotional aspects such events create, especially in the early moments when people are reacting rather than reflecting[2], and the propaganda on all sides has been ramped up to warp speed. Nonetheless, here it is:

War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

So the Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong song goes[3], and this is especially true in times of overshoot given the drain on resources (which have for some time been encountering significant diminishing returns) that modern warfare entails. It is self-evident that military adventurism is heavily resource dependent, and a World War or even a significant increase in a ‘Cold War’ between geopolitical rivals will expedite the coming collapse of our global, industrialised societies as assuredly as a gargantuan ramping up of the industrial processes required to try and replace our fossil fuel-intensive energy needs with non-renewable, renewables[4] that many, even well-intentioned ‘environmentalists’, advocate for[5].

But depending upon one’s perspective, war can be quite good. In fact, fantastic. It is one of the longest lasting means throughout pre/history for a complex society’s ruling elite to maintain and expand power, gain access to resources, and with our current debt-/credit-based fiat currency monetary system and concentration of industrial/corporate ownership ensure gargantuan profits for a select few[6].

Many in the West have jumped upon the patriotic bandwagon to vilify Russian/Putin ‘aggression’ (conveniently ignoring/denying the ongoing aggression of their own elite over the years). This is not surprising given the slanted narratives they are provided by our politicians and their media mouthpieces on a regular basis to garner our support[7]. We are fed lies constantly through both omission and commission. Propaganda is everywhere, all the time[8].

There is a very good argument to be made (based upon history and context) that it has been the West’s ever-expanding encroachment towards Russian borders that has precipitated much of this[9]; to say little about the US-orchestrated coup[10] that led to the current West-leaning Ukrainian regime. And, quite naturally, there has been a full court press on to counter these arguments from US/NATO advocates[11]. The idea that it is unpatriotic to criticise or counter war ‘efforts’ is rampant. The ‘you are with us or against us’ mentality is everywhere. Of course it is nothing new to leverage our ‘natural’ tendency (what some refer to as tribal instincts) of patriotic feelings towards our nation state and her allies; it occurs both in and out of war time[12].

Is Russia innocent in any of this? Absolutely not; they are a nation-state based upon a ruling elite whose primary motivation is the control/expansion of the wealth-generation/-extraction systems to maintain their revenue streams and power/prestige like every other. The West’s elite (who are driven by the same motivation) have challenged the East’s elite and many innocents (the vast majority of the rest of us) are caught in the middle of this power play.

These people don’t give a shit about you or me except in terms of extracting labour and wealth to support them. But on some level they also need our consent to participate in such actions given how significantly outnumbered they are. This consent is, for the most part, manufactured by leveraging our fear of the ‘other’ and our sense of ‘patriotism’ — in this vein, we are sold all sorts of emotional narratives about ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, ‘liberty’, ‘duty’, ‘evil’, ‘tyranny’, etc..

It’s all bullshit but because of our tendency to defer to authority[13] and to identify with the elite we imagine it is ‘us’, the ‘average person’, that the ‘other’ hates and wants to fight[14]. We end up standing with our elite ruling class and support/cheerlead their pillaging of the nation’s treasury (both ‘wealth’ and natural resources) to engage in war…while it is them who are profiting given they own the industries and financial institutions that have to provide the ‘loans’ and armaments. It’s all based on lies and manipulation. It is a racket, plain and simple, just as US Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler argued[15].

In the meantime, it pushes us further into overshoot through its significant resource drawdowns and sink overloading — to say little about the environmental impacts should this go nuclear.

The best thing the vast, vast majority of us could do is not choose a ‘side’ but walk away from this insanity by not supporting it at all. Refuse to participate. Refuse to repeat their propaganda. Refuse their lies and manipulation. Don’t be a pawn in their game. Reduce drastically your consumption. Reduce your dependency upon long-distance supply chains. Relocalise as much as possible. Build your community’s self-sufficiency and -resiliency. Grow your own food. Trade with your neighbours. Support each other, not the ruling class whose interests and motivations have nothing to do with you, your family, or your local community (unless of course its sitting on natural resources they want).

Refuse to remain in the Matrix as much as possible.

[1] https://www.facebook.com/groups/460086781192413/posts/1213941985806885/

[2] Not that discussing cornucopian techno-fixes to our dependency upon fossil fuels with some is not — it can be very contentious, especially when one is attacked for being a fossil fuel shill/cheerleader for simply highlighting the problems that arise with alternative energy sources to fossil fuels.

[3] Although originally sung by The Temptations in 1969 and then rerecorded in 1970 featuring Edwin Starr, I personally was introduced to the song during my formative years of the 1980s and know it as a Frankie Goes to Hollywood one.

[4] Non-renewable, renewables is a term I have seen increasingly used by people to describe more accurately our energy harnessing technologies of solar photovoltaic, wind, and wave energy. The natural sources we are attempting to harness energy from are, for all intents and purposes, ‘renewable’ but the technologies used to harness and convert this energy to something humanity can use are not given their reliance upon finite resources, particularly the fossil fuel platform but also the many earth-based minerals that go into the components.

[5] From mining to mineral processing to transportation to reclamation and/or waste disposal, these complex energy-harvesting technologies require much in the way of finite resources and energy inputs, and add significantly to the overloading of our planetary sinks.

[6] See especially US Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler’s War is a Racket (https://ia802605.us.archive.org/29/items/WarIsARacket/WarIsARacket.pdf); but also https://www.nber.org/digest/jan05/economics-world-war-i; https://www.visionofhumanity.org/surprising-economic-benefits-peace/; https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/war-profiteering/; https://wri-irg.org/en/war-profiteering-and-co

[7] See Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance (https://archive.org/details/HegemonyOrSurvivalAmericasQuestForGlobalDominance/Hegemony%20Or%20Survival%20-%20America%27s%20Quest%20For%20Global%20Dominance/) and his book with Edward S. Herman, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (https://archive.org/details/pdfy-NekqfnoWIEuYgdZl).

[8] For an insightful, early look at the role of propaganda in the modern State, I would refer readers to Edward Bernays’s Propaganda (https://archive.org/details/BernaysPropaganda).

[9] https://www.vox.com/22900113/nato-ukraine-russia-crisis-clinton-expansion

[10] https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/06/03/how-why-us-government-perpetrated-2014-coup-ukraine/

[11] Claims and counter-claims about history and context, justifications and criticisms of events is common in such times.

[12] See ‘Patriotism’ and Manipulation of it by the State, that I wrote some years ago on the subject:

[13] Refer to social psychologist Stanley Milgram’s experiments on deference to authority: https://nature.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/article35.htm.

[14] Here I recommend Murray Rothbard’s Anatomy of the State for some insight: (https://cdn.mises.org/Anatomy%20of%20the%20State_3.pdf).

[15] War is a Racket (https://ia802605.us.archive.org/29/items/WarIsARacket/WarIsARacket.pdf)

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CLIX–Ruling Elite Rackets Everywhere…

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CLIX

Mexico (1988). Photo by author.

Ruling Elite Rackets Everywhere…

My very brief comment on The Honest Sorcerer’s latest article:

Throw on top of our energy predicament the overarching predicament of ecological overshoot and the situation is even more explosive.

And I can’t help but think that since everything in our world has become a racket for our ruling sociopaths in one way or another, the dominoes will fall even more quickly — especially for the masses of non-elite in our world.

I expect even more expansive surveillance, narrative management/control, authoritariansim, ‘othering’, price inflation , ‘austerity’, divisive politics, civil disobedience, denial/bargaining, breakdown of rule of law, sociobehavioural control, economic manipulation, geopolitical manoeuvring and clashes, etc., etc., as the-powers-that-be scramble to maintain their tenuous grip on control and sustain the various wealth-generation/-extraction systems that provide their revenue streams and thus power and prestige.

Homo sapiens have learned nothing from all the previous trials in large, complex societies and will indubitably repeat the same failed approaches to holding the centre that so-called ‘leaders’ have attempted repeatedly before our current experiment. What will be will be with respect to the insane and suicidal actions/policies of the ruling elite.

Intelligent creatures, just not too wise.

Personal/community ‘energies’ are best directed towards relocalising as much as possible in the limited time available to us, but especially food production, potable water procurement, and regional shelter needs. Any steps towards self-sufficiency in these basic needs will help (marginally) to mitigate the ‘collapse’ for some.

Are You Infuriated Yet?

You should be. I certainly am…
More and more, I’m encountering people who are simply infuriated with how our “leaders” are running (or to put it more accurately, ruining) things right now. And I share that fury.

It’s perfectly normal human response to be infuriated when an outside agent hurts you, especially if the pain seems unnecessary, illogical or random.

Imagine if your neighbor enjoyed setting off loud explosives at all hours of the day and night. Or if he had a habit of tailgating and brake-checking you every time he saw your car on the road. You’d been well within your rights to be infuriated.

Or to use a much more common example from the real world : When your politicians repeatedly pass laws that hurt you in favor of large corporations — that, too, is infuriating. Especially if those actions run directly counter to their campaign promises.

There’s a lot of be infuriated about in the world today, so go ahead and embrace your rage. By doing so, you’ll be in a better mindset to understand things like Brexit, Catalonia, and Trump, each of which is a reflection of the fury of your fellow citizens, who are finally waking up to the fact that they’ve been victims for too long.

An easy prediction to make is that this simmering anger of the populace is going to start boiling over more violently in the coming years. Welcome to the Age of Fury.

‘Over The Top’ Dumb

Do you ever get the sense that, as a society, we’re being dangerously reckless? Perhaps so dumb that we might not recover from the repercussions of our stupidity for many generations, if ever?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NATO as a War-Racket

NATO as a War-Racket

NATO is the anti-Russia military club of nations, even after the communist Soviet Union and its military club against the U.S., the Warsaw Pact, ended in 1991 — NATO didn’t reciprocate that by ending itself, as it should have done (and would have done if the U.S. President at the time, George Herbert Walker Bush, had had any basic decency; instead, he said in private, “To hell with that; we won, they didn’t!” but he continued telling Gorbachev that NATO wouldn’t move “one inch to the east” — which promise he was planning to violate, and which his successors have been violating). 

With the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact gone, NATO’s claimed raison d’etre was also gone, but NATO shamelessly continued on, and it even has expanded right up to Russia’s borders (just try to imagine what John Fitzgerald Kennedy would have thought if it hadn’t been Soviet nuclear missiles merely in Cuba in 1962, but all surrounding the U.S. — and that’s the situation today but reversed: today’s Russia is in the situation of 1962’s U.S., but even more so, though NATO has the audacity to accuse Russia of ‘aggression’ for, essentially, defending itself from NATO — from the enemies that are increasingly surrounding it!). (Yes, what America has been doing, really, is that bad.)

On April 6th, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (son of Norway’s Defense Minister) said that NATO must now expand outside Europe and North America:

Millions fleeing the region in a humanitarian crisis of a magnitude not seen since World War Two.Terrorist groups like ISIL taking hold of ungoverned spaces. And spreading violence across the region and beyond. Inciting attacks on our streets. From Brussels to Istanbul, Paris to San Bernardino. These are attacks on our open societies. On the values we share. 

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Pretend to the Bitter End

Pretend to the Bitter End

Forecast 2016 

There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate.

Given where we are in human history — the moment of techno-industrial over-reach — this crackup will not be easy to recover from; not like, say, the rapid recoveries of Japan and Germany after the brutal fiasco of World War Two. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen.

Those terms might be somewhat negotiable if we could accept the reality of this re-set and prepare for it. But, alas, most of the people capable of thought these days prefer wishful techno-narcissistic woolgathering to a reality-based assessment of where things stand — passively awaiting technological rescue remedies (“they” will “come up with something”) that will enable all the current rackets to continue. Thus, electric cars will allow suburban sprawl to function as the preferred everyday environment; molecular medicine will eliminate the role of death in human affairs; as-yet-undiscovered energy modalities will keep all the familiar comforts and conveniences running; and financial legerdemain will marshal the capital to make it all happen.

Oh, by the way, here’s a second element of the story to stay alert to: that most of the activities on-going in the USA today have taken on the qualities of rackets, that is, dishonest schemes for money-grubbing.

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Organized Plunder, a.k.a. The State

Organized Plunder, a.k.a. The State

Whose Side Are You On?

On one side: the Fed… the NSA… the CIA… Fannie Mae… Freddie Mac… the trade unions… Wall Street… the dollar… Obamacare… New York’s taxi system… QE… the wars on terror, poverty, illiteracy, and drugs… Dodd-Frank… the TSA… the ATF… millions of retirees and disability scammers… General Motors… Hillary Clinton… and many, many others…

StatismA widely held and quite erroneous belief …

On the other: Airbnb… Uber… cryptocurrencies… “Main Street”… businesses… families… gold… young people… savers… Freemasons… Ron Paul… truck drivers… the Episcopal Church… Elks… entrepreneurs… free markets… and millions of honest people who make their livings and live their lives as best they can without holding a gun to anyone else’s head.

Yes, dear reader, maybe it was too much alcohol or too little food. But in the night, a vision came to us. It revealed the big picture in a way we hadn’t seen it. Zombies, you’ll recall, are people and institutions that live at the expense of others. How?

Some are freelance criminals. But most depend on government to get the flesh they need. People don’t give up their own blood readily. They run. They hide. They try to protect themselves. But government maintains a territorial monopoly on the one thing that does the trick – violence.

So today, we stoop to admire the institution of government. What a beautiful racket! It typically takes 20% to 50% of an economy’s output. It makes the rules. It sets the pace. And woe to anybody or anything that gets in its way…

murray_rothbard_poster-rf988ce7ae6e04a73bd0086fe28baac98_wvo_8byvr_324Murray Rothbard’s concise definition of the State

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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