A few months further down the road, a few feet closer to the edge… why aren’t things getting better?
Why should they? How could they?
Old issues remain, new issues arise…
First aid kits are regularly provided by our corrupt governments, kits mostly made up of words and paper.
Lots of words, notably in Europe, where the Merkozy duo is enchanting the financial oligarchy every other Sunday.
Lots of paper, notably in the US, where Bernie and his helicopter are constantly showering the same oligarchs with fiat money and ultra-low interest rates.
These placebos have little or no effect on people living in the real world, yet they still manage to influence the virtual world of finance, giving welcome boosts to the crumbling Ponzi-markets.
Hopefully, the number of people seeing “the light” (a.k.a. reality) appears to be increasing.
Besides the brainless and hopeless couch-potatoes, only MSM journalists and a herd of die-hard bulls still believe that the world is on a path towards recovery.
Politicians seem to be ready to capitulate; in fact they would probably stop pretending searching for solutions, if only voters were willing to accept the new world (dis)order.
Yet, with protests sprouting here and there like mushrooms, the “kick the can down the road” game must go on.
Many observers say that “we are doomed” and probably are we.
But, when it comes to explain why, confusion reigns.
Our sad fate is generally blamed on too much this or that; too much debt, too much inequalities, too much unemployment, too much population, too much natural disasters, too much wars…
But what about not enough?
Because all these serious “too much” issues are in fact consequences, and one shouldn’t confuse the consequences with the problems.
To solve a problem, one has to go to the root, that is, its cause(s), not after its consequences.
And if one looks deep enough, one may discover that there is a common root to most, if not all, of our problems.
What if Western civilization’s multiple woes shared a common root, a root grown out of the rejection of a fundamental law of nature:
the process of creative destruction
What if there wasn’t enough… destruction?
(Keeping in mind that destruction wrought on our Iraqi friends’ backyard is not part of the natural process, and can’t make up for the destruction missing in our own backyard)
Over the past decades, Westerners (Japanese included) have become more and more arrogant, believing that their mastering of technology was setting them apart, while conveniently forgetting the destructive consequences of their so-called progress.
Brandon Smith writes:
“One of the most enduring and frightening similarities between crumbling nations is an overwhelming belief amongst the people that they have somehow “advanced” beyond the need for concern. Each self-destructing society presumed itself invincible. Each country thought itself the pinnacle of human potential…”
Westerners have come to deny the concept of death, not only their own, but also that of their creations.
They have come to believe that they could work for 40 years, then collect a retirement pension for 30 years or more; forever if possible.
They have come to believe that they could forever spend 110% of their income.
They have come to believe that happiness is a function of the quantity of stuff one owns.
They have come to believe that they couldn’t live without gadgets that didn’t even exist a few years, sometimes months, ago.
They have come to believe that they could change forests into deserts and deserts into golf courses.
They have come to believe that they could light the night (with a little help from toxic emissions) and darken the day (with a little help from the pollution produced by the former toxic emissions).
Westerners don’t accept death anymore, even though they don’t really know why they want to live longer; they don’t want to reform their systems (social, economic and so on…), even though they are not adapted to the present situation; they don’t want to let their biggest corporations (banks, insurances, car manufacturers and so on…) fail, even though they are morally and financially bankrupt; because they have decided that destruction, at least within the confines of their so-called developed world, is simply not acceptable.
After decades of delusional behavior (and of watching too many dinosaurs movies), the consequences of their mindless actions are coming back to bite them and are, ultimately, going to destroy them.
Wars in the Middle-East are consequences for refusing to let their gigantic oil industry (the core of their energy system) die and be replaced by new providers of new forms of energy.
Sovereign debt crises are consequences for refusing to let their gigantic banks (the core of their financial system) die and be replaced by more efficient and honest ones.
Social security and retirement pensions bankruptcies (the core of their social system)are consequences for refusing to let the elderlies die a natural death and make way for younger generations.
Climate change is something else.
It is the ultimate consequence, the consequence of all consequences.
It will wipe the slate clean, once humans have become too poor and too weak to protect themselves from more and more frequent extreme weather events.
Westerners believe that, thanks to their technology, they could live almost forever, in a forever growing economy, within the confines of the closed system that is planet Earth!
Their hyper-materialistic society, completely deprived of spirituality, has wandered further and further away from the path of wisdom and lost its soul.
Unlimited and unbridled freedom has become its God, and unlimited and unbridled consumption its religion.
And it has come close to achieving its goals of immortality, at a steep price, that is.
Thus, at age 81, Warren Buffett remains at the head of an empire of “too big to fail” banks and insurance companies.
Thus, at age 80, Rupert Murdoch remains at the head of a devious news publishing and broadcasting empire.
Thus, at age 81, Bernie Ecclestone still reigns supreme over his Formula One empire.
The list of octogenarians still at the helm and running the show is long, and getting longer every year…
And the new “immortals” are not all billionaires, so far.
My own family has plenty of them…
For example, at age 85, one of my uncles had a heart bypass and has now reached 90!
Who knows how long he may live (maybe until 99, like one of my still alive great aunts)… and how much this “fantasy” will ultimately cost to society…?
But these are not matters of discussion, because in today’s world, (Western) human life is sacred and its constant extension is only the reflection of mankind’s progress.
Germany and Japan are now dealing with the delicate issue of a fast growing aging population.
Curiously though, in the wake of WW II, these two countries became a perfect example of the benefits of the process of creative destruction.
They were reduced to rubble in 1945, then rose from the ashes to become the two most successful economic powers of the second half of the twentieth century.
The point here is not to suggest that war and total destruction are necessary evils, even though they often become the solution of last resort, once decline and decadence have reached a point of no return.
But destruction, in one form or another, is not only unavoidable, but necessary, and preservation at all costs will prove to be counterproductive and is doomed to fail.
Yet, our governments appear to be totally oblivious to this basic law of both nature and capitalism, the economic system they are supposed to support.
Despite three years of intensive care, the pulse of the economy is still barely audible, and while clueless doctors (of the PhD kind) are scratching their heads, they are getting ready to inject more bailouts, of even greater size.
As a matter of fact, Europe is reportedly preparing a 2 to 3 trillion euros “bazooka”, a remedy that will leave a big hole in its already anemic finances and will probably end up killing the patient.
Meanwhile, the general population is barely aware of the major changes that are taking place right in front of its nose.
The few who protest are doing it for the wrong reasons, rejecting responsibility on their governments and, at the same time, expecting miracles from them.
Yet, the fact is that everyone is responsible; everyone has enjoyed a 30 years party, started in the early 1980s, and no one wishes to see it ending.
Living a delusion was so good!
Governments can be blamed only because they have repeatedly given in to demands for more freedom, in order to please everyone and be reelected.
The problem is that no distinction has been made between “good” freedom, such as removing or smoothing inequalities, and “bad” freedom, such as getting rid, page after page, of the book of rules formerly implemented to hold together the systems on which our civilization has blossomed.
Having said all that, now has come the time to face the music or, more exactly, to face destruction… in our own backyard!
And since everything will be done to avoid a quick collapse, as in the former USSR, our civilization is probably going to follow the Roman way of a slow and painful decay.
There are many kinds of stars:
A big one may end its life as a supernovae, releasing in space the seeds (atoms and molecules) that will allow the formation of something more complex and advanced, such as our solar system.
On the other hand, a smaller star may extend its life, almost indefinitely, and become a white dwarf, also called a degenerate dwarf…
At its peak, some 30 years ago, Western civilization could have transformed itself into something more sophisticated, more wisdom oriented.
Yet, instead of following such a path, it has chosen to give free reign to human worst instincts, starting with greed.
Its most brilliant minds have deserted research and teaching, to answer the sirens’ call of investment banking, only to see their talent ran aground on the reef of corruption.
Others, less gifted, young people have received an education of an ever lower level (1), leaving them unprepared to face a reality in which not everything has been made easy by technology, as they have been led to believe.
Today, the first ones collect the dirty money recycled by their banks, while the others collect the fake money printed by their government.
It took approximately 4 centuries to the Roman empire to decay into oblivion.
In our world, where things are going much faster, 4 decades might prove to be enough to achieve the same result, keeping in mind that decay already started 3 decades ago…
(1) As a matter of fact, in the space of one generation, we have gone from a school system in which only the children not able to keep up with public schools’ level were sent to private schools, to a system in which any child who wish to learn anything must go to a private school.
To end this post on a high note, I would like to share with you the plot of the next James Bond movie, currently in development.
It goes like this:
Two Iranian secret agents collude with Mexican drug dealers (whether they communicate in Spanish or Farsi remains unclear), in order to assassinate a Saudi ambassador on US soil.
As usual, the plot twists are far-fetched.
Yet, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the original story was published by White House Press, renowned for its high fantasy novels.