Home » Posts tagged 'zeitgeist'

Tag Archives: zeitgeist

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

The Zeitgeist Knows

The Zeitgeist Knows


Who said the global economy was a permanent installation in the human condition? The head cheerleader was The New York Times’s Tom Friedman, with his 1999 book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, the trumpet blast for the new order of things. Since then, we partied like it was 1999, with a few grand mal seizures of the banking system along the way, some experiments in creating failed states abroad, and the descent of America’s middle-class into a Disney version of Hieronymus Bosch’s Last Judgment — which is kind of what you see on the streets of Los Angeles these days.

Guess what: the global economy is winding down, and pretty rapidly. Trade wars are the most obvious symptom. The tensions underlying that spring from human population overshoot with its punishing externalities, resource depletion, and the perversities of money in accelerated motion, generating friction and heat. They also come from the fact that techno-industrialism was a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end — and we’re closer to the end than we are to the middle. There will be no going back to the prior party, whatever way we pretend to negotiate our way around or through these quandaries.

The USA-China romance was bound to end in divorce, which Mr. Trump is surreptitiously suing for now under the guise of a negotiated trade rebalancing. The US has got a chronic financial disease known as Triffin’s Dilemma, a set of disorders endemic to any world reserve currency. The disease initially expressed itself in President Nixon’s ditching the US dollar’s gold backing in 1971. By then, the world had noticed the dollar’s declining value trend-line, and threatened to drain Fort Knox to counter the effects of holding those dollars. Since then, all world currencies have been based on nothing but the idea that national economies would forever and always pump out more wealth.

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

What’s Behind the Erosion of Civil Society?

What’s Behind the Erosion of Civil Society?

Rebuilding social capital and social connectedness is not something that can be done by governments or corporations.
As the mid-term elections are widely viewed as a referendum of sorts, let’s set aside politics and ask, what’s behind the erosion of our civil society? That civil society in the U.S. and elsewhere is fraying is self-evident. It isn’t just the rise of us-or-them confrontations and all-or-nothing ideological extremes; social bonds between people are weakening.
There are many probable causes: addictive technologies such as social media and smartphones; chronic economic stress, greater mobility and a host of more subtle factors.
One such factor is the erosion of community and its replacement with state (government) or corporate structures. One of the most insightful essays I’ve read in the past few years is a report from the Guardian (U.K.) on What Happened When Walmart Left a low-income rural community in America’s Coal Country.
One of the most tragic findings, in my view, was that Walmart was the social hub of the community: Walmart was the place to go to meet friends, people-watch, walk around to pass the time, etc.
This is a remarkable reversal of a traditional community, which is centered around communal public spaces such as churches, temples, etc., town squares, Main Street, the local marketplace, etc. Now the center of social life is a corporate-owned private space dedicated to maximizing the profits of the corporation.
This dependency on corporate spaces is paralleled by a dependency on corporations and the state for income and the organization of social life.
This leads to the another tragedy: the near-complete lack of any non-state, non-corporate social structures; the general zeitgeist was near-total dependence on the state and corporations not just for income but for the structure of everyday life, to use historian Fernand Braudel’s phrase.

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

The Foundation of the West is Rocked as Tribalism Becomes Normality

The Foundation of the West is Rocked as Tribalism Becomes Normality

In our modern digital age, news comes at you fast. Never before has the spread of information traveled so quickly or social media been so influential. And never before have problems been exacerbated so rapidly.

The West is in turmoil, as chaos seeps into the very fibers of the institutions built up by global elites over the last century—institutions now finding themselves under assault.

Anyone paying attention, or reading my series of articles, knows there is a massive shift occurring in the zeitgeist of the West. It’s a shift that only occurs once in a lifetime, if at all.

We truly do live in interesting times, but they are dangerous too. The risk of structural collapse in many of our political systems is at all-time highs, with citizens all across the West demanding change from their leaders.

People are rapidly descending into “tribes”, consumed with self-reassuring, confirmation bias-assuaging articles written by their fellow “tribe” members.

Whether this comes from the “radical left” or the “alt right” doesn’t matter. What does is the damage it is doing to our systems and the risk they now pose to the dwindling minority of sane centralists.

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

We see this change unfolding in front of our eyes, as scarcely a day goes by without reading about another “crisis” that threatens the very fabric of our society.

Within the past week alone, depending on which “tribe” you belong to, there have been numerous victories or catastrophes develop in rapid succession.

Last night, President Trump scored another major victory in the name of conservatives within the United States when he announced the nomination of his second Supreme Court pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This came after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement a few weeks ago.

 

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase