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It’s the preppers who are laughing now

It’s the preppers who are laughing now

Since the crash of 2008 much has been made of the fact that the world did not end or the sky fall in on us – unless of course you are one of the people who have been touched by bankruptcy, homelessness, addiction or even suicide as a result of the crash. The truth is that, since the financial collapse, life has not improved, improved very little or even got worse for a huge number of individuals around the world.

Many political and financial pundits have highlighted the fact that the problems that caused the sub-prime crisis and subsequent bank collapses around the world are  in fact a systemic problem. However, it appears that very little has been done to remedy  the situation.  The basic problem is not complex at all – it is very simple in fact:

  1. All closed systems have limits and the economic and ecological world system is  nearing the limits of tolerance.
  2. The main beneficiaries of the current system are a tiny minority (often refered to as the 1%), which is in fact growing smaller, further exacerbating inbalance.
  3. No attempt has been made to address a flawed system that is ultimately unsustainable – papering of the crack is all that has occurred.

If you accept the 3 points above then it is easy to see that we are not in fact headed anywhere better in the short or medium term. If no attempts are made to deal with the distribution of capital, the availability of financially meaningful employment, the facilitation of resources and investment in genuinely productive and beneficial enterprises then circumstances will continue to deteriorate.

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The Illusion of Control: What If Nobody’s in Charge?

The Illusion of Control: What If Nobody’s in Charge?

The last shred of power the elites hold is the belief of the masses that the elites are still in control.

I understand the natural desire to believe somebody’s in charge: whether it’s the Deep State, the Chinese Communist Party, the Kremlin or Agenda 21 globalists, we’re primed to believe somebody somewhere is controlling events or pursuing agendas that drive global responses to events.

I submit whatever control we discern is illusory, as the dynamics unleashed by the pandemic have already escaped the control of elites. The fundamental reason the elites have lost control is that all the systems they depend on have been broken for 12 years, but were successfully papered over by doing more of what broke them in the first place. This papering over of broken systems generated an illusion of functionality: everything appeared to function as before even as dysfunction spread into every corner of every system.

As doing more of what broke the systems in the first place is failing, the illusion of functionality has been shredded. Now that the illusion of functionality has been lost, control of the narrative via institutional authority has also been lost.

I’ve often written about the difference between force and power; elites often mistakenly believe the two are equivalent, but they are worlds apart. Those who wield power persuade the masses to obey without being coerced, and to accept the self-serving narratives of the elite without question. Power leverages institutional authority and cultural myths and beliefs.

Force is costly, as coercion is costly. Force is a poor substitute for power, not only because the costs are so burdensome, but because the masses are not acting on their own volition; they are obeying only because the costs of not obeying are so high.

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Bailouts Can’t Save This Fragile System

Bailouts Can’t Save This Fragile System

Bailouts Can’t Save This Fragile System

It’s obvious the global economy is painfully fragile. What is less obvious is the bailouts intended to “save” the fragile economy actually increase its fragility, setting up an inevitable collapse of the entire precarious system.

Systems that are highly centralized, i.e., dependent on a handful of nodes that are each points of failure — are intrinsically fragile and prone to collapse.

Put another way, systems in which all the critical nodes are tightly bound are prone to domino-like cascades of failure as any one point of failure quickly disrupts every other critical node that is bound to it.

Ours is an economy in which capital, wealth, power and control are concentrated in a few nodes of the network we call “the economy.”

A handful of corporations own the vast majority of the media; a handful of banks control most of the lending and capital; a handful of hospital chains, pharmaceutical companies and insurers control health care; and so on.

Control of digital technologies is even more concentrated, in virtual monopolies: Google for search and YouTube for video. Facebook/Instagram and Twitter for social media. Microsoft and Apple for operating systems and services.

The vast majority of participants in the economy are tightly bound to these concentrated nodes of capital and power, and these top-down, hierarchical dependencies generate fragility.

When unexpectedly severe volatility occurs, the disruption of a few nodes brings down the entire system. Thus the disruption of the subprime mortgage subsystem — a relatively small part of the total mortgage market and a tiny slice of the global financial system — nearly brought down the entire global financial system in 2008 because it is a tightly bound system of centralized concentrations of capital, power and control.

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Bankers Going for Broke Because They Know it’s Broke – G. Edward Griffin

Bankers Going for Broke Because They Know it’s Broke – G. Edward Griffin

Edward Griffin, author of the wildly popular book about the Federal Reserve “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” is holding a conference this weekend called “Red Pill Expo.” It is all about waking people up from the illusions they are being told. Griffin explains, “The illusions are in health, in politics and in education. The illusions are in the media, in money and in banking, which is my specialty. So, people are coming, some of whom are informed, but most respond to the slogan we are using for the “Red Pill Expo,” and the slogan is ‘Because you know something is wrong.’ That sort of spells it out for most people, not just in America, but for people all over the world. People everywhere are being fed propaganda, lies and false stimuli of all kinds, but deep in their hearts, deep in their instincts, they know something is wrong.”

What’s wrong in the financial world with the longest expansion in history and the Fed starting QE (money printing) again? Griffin says, “We are living in a system of the banks, by the banks and for the banks, and that is the reality. . . . They see that the wheels are coming off. . . . The system of inflation in which we live cannot go on forever. . . . All systems of exponential growth always collapse. They come to an end at some point, and it’s hard to tell exactly at what point, but you do know there is a breaking point where it just moves beyond reality. The banks know this better than anybody. So, I am assuming that they feel they are at the end. You can smell it. You can see it. You can touch it almost.

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

The Two Paths to Collapse

The Two Paths to Collapse

The very structure of our systems guarantees their failure once conditions change beyond their limited ability to adjust.
As a general rule, there are two paths to collapse: gradual erosion and sudden crash. The two are intertwined, of course; in most cases, the system slowly loses vigor, resources, efficiency, etc. (erosion) which leaves it so weakened that a crisis that would have easily been overcome in the past triggers a catastrophic decline of production and order.
My new book explores these system dynamics in the present: Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic. As the title suggests, we’ve got a window to prevent the final descent, but it’s years, not decades.
There are two basic drivers of systemic erosion, drivers that have little to do with leadership or policy. Our current delusion is that changing leaders and tweaking policies are enough to stave off systemic erosion, decline and collapse, but the two dynamics cannot be so easily thwarted.
The first is the gradual decline in the system’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Life’s core asset is the ability to evolve and adapt, and organisms, species and systems which fail to adapt fast enough and effectively enough to rapid change disappear.
Today’s modern complex systems are typically optimized to specific conditions, meaning that they’ve evolved (or been designed) to maximize production and output given a certain set of inputs and processes.
If those conditions shift outside the expected parameters, the system’s efficiency and output are heavily eroded. To take a real-world example: airliners are designed to cruise at specific altitudes to maximize the efficiency of the engines and aircraft design while maximizing the cruising speed.
If an airliner is forced to fly at an altitude of 500 feet instead of 35,000 feet, the optimizations are lost.

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

From Economic Crisis to World War III

income inequality usAndrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

From Economic Crisis to World War III

The response to the 2008 economic crisis has relied far too much on monetary stimulus, in the form of quantitative easing and near-zero (or even negative) interest rates, and included far too little structural reform. This means that the next crisis could come soon – and pave the way for a large-scale military conflict.

BEIJING – The next economic crisis is closer than you think. But what you should really worry about is what comes after: in the current social, political, and technological landscape, a prolonged economic crisis, combined with rising income inequality, could well escalate into a major global military conflict

The 2008-09 global financial crisis almost bankrupted governments and caused systemic collapse. Policymakers managed to pull the global economy back from the brink, using massive monetary stimulus, including quantitative easing and near-zero (or even negative) interest rates.

But monetary stimulus is like an adrenaline shot to jump-start an arrested heart; it can revive the patient, but it does nothing to cure the disease. Treating a sick economy requires structural reforms, which can cover everything from financial and labor markets to tax systems, fertility patterns, and education policies.

Policymakers have utterly failed to pursue such reforms, despite promising to do so. Instead, they have remained preoccupied with politics. From Italy to Germany, forming and sustaining governments now seems to take more time than actual governing. And Greece, for example, has relied on money from international creditors to keep its head (barely) above water, rather than genuinely reforming its pension system or improving its business environment.

The lack of structural reform has meant that the unprecedented excess liquidity that central banks injected into their economies was not allocated to its most efficient uses. Instead, it raised global asset prices to levels even higher than those prevailing before 2008.

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

When Long-Brewing Instability Finally Reaches Crisis

When Long-Brewing Instability Finally Reaches Crisis

Keep an eye on the system’s buffers. They look fine until they suddenly collapse.
The doom-and-gloomers among us who have been predicting the unraveling of an inherently unstable financial system appear to have been disproved by the reflation of yet another credit-asset bubble. But inherently unstable / imbalanced systems can stumble onward for years or even decades, making fools of all who warn of an eventual reset.
Destabilizing systems can cling on for decades, as the inevitable crisis doesn’t necessarily resolve the instability. History shows that when systems had enough inherent wealth to draw upon, they could survive for centuries, thinning their resources, adaptability and buffers until their reservoirs were finally drained. Until then, they simply did more of what’s failed to maintain the sclerotic, self-serving elites at the top of the Imperial food chain.
If we want to trace back the systemic instabilities and imbalances that culminated in China’s revolution in 1949, we can start in 1900 with the Boxer Rebellion, which was itself a reaction to the Opium Wars of the 1840s that established Western influence and control in China.
But is this far enough back in time to understand the Communist Revolution in the 1940s? If we want a comprehensive understanding, we must go back to 1644 and the demise of the Ming Empire, and perhaps even farther back to the Mongol victory over the Song dynasties in the late 1200s.
In the same fashion, we can trace the current crisis of global-finance Capitalism back to the expansion of globalization, affordable fossil fuels and credit in the early 1900s. Affordable fossil fuels enabled rapid industrialization and the growth of transportation and communication networks. Add the expansionary effects of globalization and credit, and the consumer-finance economy took off like a rocket until the inevitable consequences of providing leverage and credit to marginal producers, buyers and speculators led to the Great Depression.

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“Reform” won’t solve our biggest problems

“Reform” won’t solve our biggest problems

“You never cure structural defects; you let the system collapse.”

As I contemplated this proposition taken from a recent piece by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, I realized what profound implications accepting it would have for all those engaged in attempting to address our current social, political and environmental ills.

If it is true that modern capitalism is incompatible with effective action on climate change, if it is true that top-heavy, bureaucratic nations always eventually become captive to their wealthy citizens, if it is true that our centralized, complex, tightly networked systems in finance, agriculture, shipping and manufacturing are exceedingly fragile and prone to failure–if these all represent structural defects, then they cannot be addressed by tinkering or “reform.” Those in charge cannot be persuaded to “do something” which is contrary to the structural necessities built into these systems.

The choices then are: 1) Do nothing, 2) insurrection (for which you might be jailed or worse) or 3) start building a decentralized replacement. Since I’m discarding choices one and two, I’ll address choice three.

First, adopting choice three doesn’t mean we should abandon critiquing the current systems under which we live. Quite the contrary. Those systems are where future adopters of decentralized replacements currently do business. They are the Brand X against which new systems can and need to be compared.

Second, we have good evidence that small-scale governments can actually respond to climate change when large-scale governments can’t. Citizens of seaside communities experience the rising ocean waters first hand and have direct access to their elected officials as do those who experience droughts. And those cities have actually taken significant (but still inadequate) steps toward addressing climate change. It is counterintuitive that decentralized governments could act more quickly and effectively on issues of international scope than national governments until we see them in action.

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

What Would Happen If Humans Vanished From the Planet? Video Shows “Lights Out. Nature Takes Over.”

What Would Happen If Humans Vanished From the Planet? Video Shows “Lights Out. Nature Takes Over.”

fallout1

After the crisis, there could be nothing left of human populations.

There is no doubt that a disaster big enough to wipe out humanity exists – the threat of an EMP, a plague-level outbreak event, a total nuclear war, it doesn’t really matter what it is. Even if there were survivors, the larger forces at work will undo the artificial forms that now dot the landscape and define our culture.

How long would it take for nature to reclaim the vestiges and ruins of civilization that would be left on the planet after a mass extinction event in which humans no longer existed on earth?

These events would be catastrophic at magnitudes truly unimaginable in today’s society, and yet the danger is real, however unlikely they may seem.

This is a stunning look at how fragile our world really is, and how close we are to the brink of a drastic “reset” on a truly global scale.

The late Michael Ruppert warned of the coming collapse on a scale not expressed by many others who see what is coming:

We’re at the zero point of systemic collapse. That’s really the point at which it becomes clear that we are experiencing living through a system’s failure of human industrial civilization.

[…]

I would argue that it’s already begun, especially with the crime wave that’s now coming, not just against police officers. But, I’m also tracking violent crime and the predators who understand that there’s a much lessened law enforcement presence out there.They’re feeding on this energy of collapse, are coming out aggressively looking for victims. It’s very important that you learn how not to be one.

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The Structure of Collapse: 2016-2019

The Structure of Collapse: 2016-2019

Leaders face a no-win dilemma: any change of course will crash the system, but maintaining the current course will also crash the system.

The end-state of unsustainable systems is collapse. Though collapse may appear to be sudden and chaotic, we can discern key structures that guide the processes of collapse.

Though the subject is complex enough to justify an entire shelf of books, these six dynamics are sufficient to illuminate the inevitable collapse of the status quo.

1. Doing more of what has failed spectacularly. The leaders of the status quo inevitably keep doing more of what worked in the past, even when it no longer works. Indeed, the failure only increases the leadership’s push to new extremes of what has failed spectacularly. At some point, this single-minded pursuit of failed policies speeds the system’s collapse.

2. Emergency measures become permanent policies. The status quo’s leaders expect the system to right itself once emergency measures stabilize a crisis. But broken systems cannot right themselves, and so the leadership is forced to make temporary emergency measures (such as lowering interest rates to zero) permanent policy. This increases the fragility of the system, as any attempt to end the emergency measures triggers a system-threatening crisis.

3. Diminishing returns on status quo solutions. Back when the economic tree was loaded with low-hanging fruit, solutions such as lowering interest rates had a large multiplier effect. But as the tree is stripped of fruit, the returns on these solutions diminish to zero.

4. Declining social mobility. As the economic pie shrinks, the privileged maintain or increase their share, and the slice left to the disenfranchised shrinks. As the privileged take care of their own class, there are fewer slots open for talented outsiders. The status quo is slowly starved of talent and the ranks of those opposed to the status quo swell with those denied access to the top rungs of the social mobility ladder. 

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How Systems Break: First They Slow Down

How Systems Break: First They Slow Down

Alternatively, we can cling to a state of denial, and the dominant system will be replaced by archetypal systems that are not necessarily positive.

Understanding our current socio-economy as a system of sub-systems enables us to project how and when unsustainable sub-systems will finally unravel.

The reality that cannot be spoken within the conventional media is that all the primary financial systems we believe are permanent and indestructible are actually on borrowed time.

One way to assess this decline of resilience is to look at how long it takes systems to recover when they are stressed, and to what degree they bounce back to previous levels.

A compelling article on this topic was recently published by The AtlanticNature’s Warning Signal: Complex systems like ecological food webs, the brain, and the climate all give off a characteristic signal when disaster is around the corner.

“The signal, a phenomenon called “critical slowing down,” is a lengthening of the time that a system takes to recover from small disturbances, such as a disease that reduces the minnow population, in the vicinity of a critical transition. It occurs because a system’s internal stabilizing forces—whatever they might be—become weaker near the point at which they suddenly propel the system toward a different state.”

Recent email exchanges with correspondent Bart D. (Australia) clued me into theDarwinian structure of this critical slowing down and loss of snapback (what we might characterize as a loss of resilience).

Beneath the surface dominance of one system are many other systems that are suppressed by the dominant system.

As the dominant system weakens / destabilizes / slows down, these largely invisible systems compete to occupy more of the ecosystem.

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Like sheep to slaughter: You still aren’t grasping the systemic risk in the stock market (or else you would have sold everything already)

(NaturalNews) If you still own stocks and mutual fund shares, you still aren’t grasping the systemic risk in the stock market. No matter what you claim to BELIEVE, it is your ACTIONS that actually determine your true grasp of reality. Failing to sell all your stock holdings right now could result in massive losses as the world’s bubble markets continue with an implosion that could wipe out 50% of current valuations for many stocks.

The massive market bubble currently in place has been propped up by a steady stream of fiat money being printed by the Federal Reserve and handed out to banksters who have ties to Washington. This, combined with near-zero interest rates, is the only thing propping up the bubble market (and creating the illusion of economic prosperity).

High-tech companies are back into bubble territory with unrealistic valuations based on hype and vapor. Meanwhile, the corrupt mainstream media continues to lie to the gullible public, telling them the market can only go UP… even as it careens on the verge of systemic collapse.

The coming market collapse will be the largest in human history
The systemic nature of the global banking system and its insane derivatives debt means the next collapse will be a SYSTEMIC firestorm that’s unstoppable and absolutely devastating. Pensions, bank accounts, investment funds, bonds and much more will be nearly wiped out, and the corrupt, criminal government regime will make sure everyday Americans are the ultimate losers when the dust settles.

The pathetically stupid and dishonest financial media is desperately running stories right now to maintain false faith in the markets, even while their own people are behind the scenes selling like mad.

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

 

Why The Status Quo Is Doomed, Part 1

Why The Status Quo Is Doomed, Part 1

The current world-system is as doomed as the Titanic.

We’re like the passengers on the Titanic 10 minutes after the mighty ship struck the iceberg: there is virtually no evidence to those on deck or those snug in their warm cabins that everything they reckoned was safe and secure was doomed to perish.

Only those who witnessed the damage below the waterline and who knew the limitations of the ship’s design grasped that the loss of the ship was inevitable and could not be reversed.

The current world-system (call it whatever you like–cartel-crony neoliberal-state capitalism, etc.) is as doomed as the Titanic, for the same reasons: the design of the system is the source of its failure.

I recently had the opportunity to discuss the inevitable systemic failure of the current arrangement with Chris Martenson of PeakProsperity.com and Cris Sheridan of the Financial Sense Newshour. The podcasts are:

With Chris Martenson: Fixing The Way We Work: Closing the wealth gap with meaningful work (44:54)

With Cris Sheridan: Book Interview: A Radically Beneficial World

Why is the current world-system doomed?

1. Automation will not just continue replacing human labor–the pace of this trend is increasing exponentially.

2. The wishful thinking that technology always creates more jobs than it destroys is, well, wishful thinking: just ask the music industry, which “grew” in the era of digital technology from a $14 billion industry to a $7 billion industry.

3. The wishful thinking that taxing the owners of robots and software will pay for guaranteed income for all: nobody who favors this seems to have done any math. Current corporate profits (which are about to be eviscerated by global recession and the commoditization of goods and services via automation) are around $1.9 trillion annually, while current government (federal, state, local) spending is $6.2 trillion.

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

Time Is Running Out For Pax Americana’s Apologists

Time Is Running Out For Pax Americana’s Apologists

Time Is Running Out For Pax Americana’s Apologists

The paradox of the current global crisis is that for the last five years, all relatively responsible and independent nations have made tremendous efforts to save the United States from the financial, economic, military, and politicaldisaster that looms ahead. And this is all despite Washington’s equally systematic moves to destabilize the world order, rightly known as the Pax Americana.

Since policy is not a zero-sum game, i.e., one participant’s loss does not necessarily entail a gain for another, this paradox has a logical explanation. A crisis erupts within any system when there is a discrepancy between its internal structure and the sum total of available resources (that is, those resources will eventually prove inadequate for the system to function normally and in the usual way).

There are at least three basic options for addressing this situation:

  1. Through reform, in which the system’s internal structure evolves in such a way as to better correspond to the available resources.
  2. Through the system’s collapse, in which the same result is achieved via revolution.
  3. Through preservation, in which the inputs threatening the system are eliminated by force, and the relationships within the system are carefully preserved on an inequitable relationship basis (whether between classes, social strata, castes, or nations).

The preservation method was attempted by the Ming and Qing dynasties in China, as well as theTokugawa Shogunate in Japan. It was utilized successfully (in the 19th century) prior to the era of capitalist globalization. But neither of those Eastern civilizations (although fairly robust internally) survived their collision with the technologically more advanced (and hence more militarily and politically powerful) European civilization.

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Does This ‘Elite’ Magazine Cover Predict A Major Global Event For November?

Does This ‘Elite’ Magazine Cover Predict A Major Global Event For November?

theeconomist

Last week highly acclaimed cyclical analyst Bo Polny warned of an imminent failure in stocks that could lead to a complete meltdown in world markets in November. As Michael Snyder recently noted, Polny has accurately predicted market movementsover the last three months, suggesting that his current cycle theory may be worth considering:

In recent months he has correctly predicted that U.S. stocks would begin to drop in July, that there would be a huge plunge in August and that that the month of September would be rather uneventful.  Now he is saying that he expects “November to be a complete meltdown on the U.S. and world markets”.  Just because he has been right in the past does not guarantee that he will be correct this time around, but lots of people (like me) are starting to pay attention.

Though the Fall of 2015 was forecast to be rocky for the global economy and financial markets, we have yet to see the full-on collapse that many expected. This has, in many cases, left the impression that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing. But those who follow economic news and recent financial reports from some of the world’s leading companies know different.

We may not be seeing an overt collapse of the system as we know it, but behind the scenes it is clear that we are experiencing an implosion and loss of confidence. This is apparent by the massive flight of capital from some of the world’s leading investors into safe haven assets like gold and silver. Moreover, wealthy individuals around the world are expediting their efforts to prepare for the eventuality of collapse by stockpiling food and acquiring stylish emergency shelters.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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