Category Archives: Alternative Perspectives

Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

 

 

As originally posted on Project Syndicate

 

One of the most pervasive myths about the United States is that the federal government has never defaulted on its debts. There’s just one problem: it’s not true, and while few people remember the "gold clause cases" of the 1930s, that episode holds valuable lessons for leaders today.

LOS ANGELES – One of the most pervasive myths about the United States is that the federal government has never defaulted on its debts. Every time the debt ceiling is debated in Congress, politicians and journalists dust off a common trope: the US doesn’t stiff its creditors.

There’s just one problem: it’s not true. There was a time, decades ago, when the US behaved more like a “banana republic” than an advanced economy, restructuring debts unilaterally and retroactively. And, while few people remember this critical period in economic history, it holds valuable lessons for leaders today.

Continue reading Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

Propaganda, Human Consciousness, And The Future Of Civilization

Propaganda, Human Consciousness, And The Future Of Civilization

By Caitlin Johnstone

As Originally Posted on Medium.com on August 21, 2017

 

While researching the subject of propaganda for an article I will eventually write, I stumbled upon this little gem by Caitlin Johnstone on Medium.com. I have been following Caitlin for several months now, but this article predates my awareness of her. It's a short but powerful read. When you are finished, I strongly urge you to pop over to her website and sign up to be notified of her future articles. She's a keeper. - Cognitive Dissonance

 

A duck floats past two fish, looks down and says “Morning boys! How’s the water?” The fish swim on for a bit, then one of them turns to the other and says, “What the fuck is water?”

Corporatist propaganda is to western civilization what water is to fish. Our culture is saturated in it; it informs so many levels of our worldview and most of us never even examine any of them. It informs all aspects of culture, from our beliefs about what’s going on in the world to our understanding of history to what issues we think we’re supposed to care about on a given day to what opinions we think we’re allowed to choose from. People think they know what’s going on in their society, why their country fought this or that war, how their nation’s government and economy operate, when really they don’t know any of those things. All their most basic assumptions about their world, their culture, and even who they are as individuals is fully pervaded by mass media propaganda narratives. Continue reading Propaganda, Human Consciousness, And The Future Of Civilization

The Pendulum – Part Three – Seeking Balance

The Pendulum – Part Three

Seeking Balance

By High Desert

 

Missing in the mix of hundreds of bug-out stories is a forthright and candid self appraisal of lessons learned containing practical experience along with deep humility and honest self examination. High Desert expressed a willingness to share his and his wife’s adventure with TwoIceFloes and we eagerly embraced the opportunity to post his story as a three part series. Below is presented Part Three. – Cognitive Dissonance

Click here for Part One and Part Two

 

We are the only person living within our world. We may share the same moment and space with billions of others, but our reality is uniquely ours and it is carefully constructed to fit our own worldview and belief system. Ultimately we are alone, even when surrounded by family and friends. While others may share the benefits and blow-back from our decisions, we alone bear the full burden of our beliefs.

I could no more understand the belief system, thought processes and daily lives of a movie star, neurosurgeon, or nuclear physicist than I could a drug kingpin, human trafficker or serial killer. No two people share the same exact world, not even identical twins.

I point this out solely to emphasize this article is not a recommendation or endorsement of any particular course of action. Nor is it a warning a similar course of action will produce the same results for you. My only goal when writing this article was to share our experiences, how we were affected and what we did to cope. Continue reading The Pendulum – Part Three – Seeking Balance

We Are Not Materialistic Enough

By David Cain

Raptitude.com

When a friend of mine inspected the damage from a fender-bender, what upset him most was the discovery that his bumper was nothing but a brittle plastic husk supported by three pieces of styrofoam. The vehicle was new and probably cost about $35,000.

In the documentary Minimalism, on Netflix, sociology professor Juliet Schor articulated something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Essentially she said our society is drowning in needless possessions and consumer debt not because we’re too materialistic, but because we’re not materialistic enough, at least in the true sense. (Direct quote is here.) Continue reading We Are Not Materialistic Enough

Philosophical Quotes About Life, Death, & Everything In-Between

by Jordan Bates at HighExistence.com

Quotes, man. I freaking love quotes.

Proverbs, quips, riddles, excerpts, aphorisms, koans, snippets, lyrics, and limericks — I don’t discriminate. I adore them all.

Quotes often catch a bad rep on the Internet, due to the tendency of certain popular quotes to be shared ad infinitum.

But this is a shame. Because if you really scour the caverns of the Internet, you find a nearly infinite wellspring of mind-liberating, soul-vitalizing gems of language. 

Don’t get me wrong. Quotes are not a replacement for reading entire books, elaborate novels, and longform essays. No way.

But methinks they can nonetheless deliver potent, pithy shots of insight, clarity, and/or invigoration.

So, as a gift to you, awesome Internet-person, I assembled this list of 150 jewels of thought, on everything from love and suffering, to mystery and happiness, to death and morality.

Marinate, contemplate, salivate, and above all, savor these, as if they were intimate notes left to you by some of the greatest minds in history.

Because in fact, that’s precisely what they are. Continue reading Philosophical Quotes About Life, Death, & Everything In-Between