Some say all this insanity is just greed and corruption run amuck. Others claim the political, financial and judicial process has been co-opted in some type of modern day Coup D’état. Might it be both and could it have taken place much earlier in the decade under the cover of some other triggering event? Continue reading An American Coup D’état – First World Nation Style
While scanning foreign newspaper headlines the other day (to get up to speed with the non-USA propaganda view of the world) I read a blurb about the 2010 elections in England. Continue reading Is Capitalism a Rationalization for Rape, Robbery and Pillage?
Of Avalanches and Tipping Points
What a difference a few days can make. Less than a week ago, it appeared on the surface that the powers that be were firmly in control of the reactor control room, the core was safely contained and electricity was being produced to power the promised economic recovery. Continue reading Of Avalanches and Tipping Points
In business, the extremely successful business is one whose product or service appeals to a widely perceived need (whether real or manufactured) and can be quickly and efficiently scaled up if and when demand explodes. Continue reading How To Start A Populist Movement In Under Three Minutes
I started Chapter One with a simple declaration. The more certain I am that I’m right, the greater the probability I’m wrong. I shall continue that discussion in this final chapter, but with particular emphasis placed on questioning the majority held opinion that The Crash, defined as a relatively quick decline of the economic and social systems, is coming.
Rather than try and define the hundreds of variations of how “It” might play out, let’s just say that for the purpose of this essay, the opposite of The Crash is a much longer and slower decline peppered with a few rapid plunges along the way.
Could the Zero Hedge consensus view be wrong? Is everyone keying off the collective bias and missing signs that the crash might play out as a slow exhalation of air and bubbles as The Empire sinks slowly beneath the waves? It’s quite possible this is what’s going on despite occasional rapid drops. Rather than look at the mechanics, it’s far more intstructive to examine our own psychology. After all, it’s the human psyche that’s the ultimate source of the instability that drives the decline and fall.
Layers of Self Deception
It makes it so much easier to deal with life’s ugly inconsistencies when we can sweep them under the intellectual rug. And it all happens in seconds with barely a blip in our blood pressure. The really tough dissonances might take a little longer, but never underestimate our capacity for self deception. And this cognitive tango is always running in the back ground with very little conscious awareness. Unless, of course, we train ourselves to see what’s going on. But who’d want to do that?
Since recognizing these cognitive gymnastics and then compensating for them requires self examination and personal courage, is it any wonder the average Joe’s worldview is distorted? It may come as a shock to learn that for all of us, our worldview isn’t affected so much by a lack of information as our lack of desire to (re)examine, update and accept it. The only information vacuum we live in is the one we create between our ears.
Maybe it’s time to question our fundamental beliefs in the face of a relentless Ponzi. We claim private and governmental interests are pulling a confidence game on the public and that we’re not fooled by it anymore because we clearly see the deception. But is this really the case? How deep down the rabbit hole have we gone and how many holes are there anyway?
For many of us we’ve gone just far enough to confirm our basic suspicions, but not so far as to face some really ugly realities. Or to be fair let’s call them ugly probabilities. We’re willing to think outside the conventional wisdom box, but not too far out. I mean, let’s be reasonable here, some things are just crazy right? But when we offer that excuse, are we respecting society’s reasonable boundaries or our own emotional limits? In most cases I’d say it’s the latter.
We construct and maintain our belief system and worldview not in order to understand reality, but to protect us from the emotional trauma inflicted upon us by reality. We’re taught a fairy tale from birth of how the world and our country functions, including a propagandized and mythical history. For many of us, we spend our lives defending that fairy tale as best we can with the only tools at our disposal, primarily denial and the quasi fantasy world we’ve constructed that we call our belief system.
Don’t get hung up on the word “fantasy” because we’re not talking about absolutes with regard to denial, but rather shape shifting and blurred lines. Since we all see the world differently, it can be argued that while there are many agreed upon “facts” we all share within the consensus reality, there’s plenty of wiggle room for deviation and denial, particularly if we’re the judge, jury and executioner of our own specially constructed inner world.
After all what is denial, but simply an altered perceived reality, our version of what’s real and what’s not as seen through our own infinitely variable cognitive filters? We all own a pair of rose colored glasses that are completely customizable and personalized. One might say that denial is self inflicted propaganda for it serves the same purpose as corporate and governmental propaganda, that of spinning the (ugly) truth into something more palatable.
As we grow, and as needed to survive and thrive, we modify and alter our beliefs to accommodate “the real world”. But we do this begrudgingly and only when we’re left with little or no choice. Most importantly, rarely do we apply logic and consistency to the process nor is there an annual review or a ritual spring cleaning.
Like a partially formed gaseous monster straight out of Star Trek, denial has few clear boundaries or sharp edges. It expands and contracts to fill the emotional needs of its user and it rarely can be positively identified or quantified as this or that fact based truth. However, the key ingredient to denial is convincing ourselves that truth is all we deal with. This nebulous quality is what gives denial its enormous power to leap tall dissonances in a single bound. We may power it, but for the most part denial controls us.
In a positive defense of denial, it can be used as part of a suite of cognitive tools to help absorb new or different perceptions into our belief system. Think of using denial as a holding pattern while we attempt to land new information for assimilation. The problem begins when we become trapped in the holding pattern and are unwilling to accept the differences or reject incorrect beliefs. We then become mired in the muck of our rigid belief system and denial is no longer used as a bridge but as a dam.
Bending in the Wind
When we read or leave comments on ZH that contain the words “I’ll never believe” or “You’ll never convince me” or “That’s impossible” or the classic “I just can’t believe” we know there’s further to go down the rabbit hole and it’s not information that’s holding the person back so much as denial. Terms such as those above are not learning phrases used by an open mind to expand the inner universe, but full stop rejections used to protect a closed mind under attack.
An extremely important concept to understand about denial is that it’s not an all or nothing proposition. There are multiple levels, degrees and side channels to denial. So when conflicts are overwhelming, we’ll concede select points in order to keep others hidden. We’re more than willing to lose a cognitive battle to win the denial war. And denial isn’t black and white, but a hundred shades of gray. So to say someone’s in denial doesn’t mean they refuse to deal with everything, just certain select parts and subtle variations.
The enabling power of the denial process is convincing ourselves we’re not in denial. Thus it’s imperative that we accept certain facts while others are colored or phase shifted to blur the lines in order to introduce a key ingredient of self deception, that of plausible deniability. In addition, we have a remarkable capacity to compartmentalize contrary pieces of information from each other and ourselves. This allows us to hold incompatible and contrary views or beliefs on the same subject at the same time and literally think nothing of it.
A widely held and glaring example of inconsistent or contrary views is that after decades of abuse, many people now firmly believe their government (along with people in and out of the government) has repeatedly lied to them. They know their government will harm them, even going so far as to silence people by destroying them professionally or by reputation. Or even kill them if they present too much of a threat to power. Many now believe their government has repeatedly deceived them, fabricating “evidence” in order to drive the country into war or prolong and/or escalate war.
They realize that the government manipulates statistics about the economy, including allowing companies to cook their books to show (better) profits through national security directives. That they now overtly and covertly manipulate domestic and foreign stock, currency, commodities and precious metals markets to further their goals. And that they do so under cover of national security, saying in effect that the more they meddle, the more they must continue to meddle.
The government lies about the condition of the environment, the BP oil spill, national health issues, spying on its own citizens, torture and rendition, weapons of mass destruction, the list is endless. More and more people are beginning to comprehend that the government will rob the many to benefit the few and will hurt or kill those in its way.
People not only don’t trust the government, but they’re down right frightened of the government and for good reason. They’ve come to believe that the government is lethal to them, a remarkable admission considering it’s such a deviation from the public myth they’ve been indoctrinated into since grade school. This is a very sobering realization and one you’d think would have fully shaken them awake.
The (Cognitive) Border is Closed
But in many cases, people will only acknowledge emotionally difficult insights contingent upon rejecting others they consider far worse. This internal negotiation is carried out in a back room bargaining session with themselves, often with little awareness to guide the horse swapping other than a primal fear that’s driving the urge to hide or get away. But ultimately where do we go when we live within, and depend upon, that which we fear?
Most likely as a form of emotional self defense, many of these very same people desperately wish to believe their government (along with people in and out of the government) would never willinglyignore, encourage, support, promote or execute (false flag) attacks against its own citizens in order to further various goals or objectives, either private and/or governmental.
In other words, they chose to believe there are moral, legal, and physical boundaries that those in government, as well as their political allies and (corporate) enablers, just won’t cross. They in effect wish to believe that the sociopaths running the show will respect certain select moral and legal lines drawn in the sand by society and the governed. That the powerful in and out of government can and will kill a few, but not more than a few, that they will defend their hold on power, but only up to a certain point.
These people admit the government may have crossed these lines in other countries in the past and may still cross them today. And that they might have crossed these lines here in America deep in the distant past. However, distant is usually measured as being longer than they’ve been alive, thus making these transgressions emotionally safer.
Remember again that the perception of personal risk or safety is a function of proximity to the risk. So the further away in time they can pretend the government has violated “the rules”, the lower the personal risk appears to the denier that the government might again violate “the rules”. This allows us to believe that our present administration is the softer kinder sociopathic version (44.0) and really doesn’t have its citizens by the throat.
Or maybe they need to be further from the fact that they were asleep at the wheel, ignoring the obvious or inevitable while it occurred and thus potentially responsible, even if only morally. After all, a popular public sport is to claim we didn’t vote for so and so after the shit’s hit the fan. People in denial are very keen to avoid personal responsibility that might lead them back to their own denial.
Even after admitting all of the above, they still insist the government would never engage in this type of behavior today nor did it ever do so in the recent past, meaning within their adult lifetime. It would be too close for comfort otherwise and to seriously entertain this idea would overload and crash their cognitive process as well as their sense of personal safety. Thus the reason we read the “I can’t believe” and “You’ll never convince me” statements declaring a cognitive dissonant impasse and emotional safety. We all desire our comfort stories.
This “belief” is glaringly inconsistent, logically suspect and strikingly narrow. And not surprising at all considering most of us still wish to believe we live in the America of our history books and public myth and not in a South American banana republic with nuclear weapons and a reserve currency. Perception is reality, thus I control what I believe and what I perceive.
Which begs the obvious question? Whose line in the sand and what forbidden boundaries are we really talking about here? The ones we believe the government won’t cross, the ones we don’t wish to admit have recently been crossed or our own emotional boundaries, the ultimate do not enter stop sign?
This is a reasonable question because a brief look at history offers up dozens of publicly disclosed examples of major lines in the sand repeatedly crossed by so called democratic or representative governments, including the USA on multiple occasions. I say this not to define who’s right or wrong, but to declare under no uncertain terms that if we’re not being consistent in our thinking, if we’re unwilling to honesty assess all information at our disposal, if we’re being selective in when we apply logic, that this is a major signal that there’s denial blocking the way forward.
You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me
For those who (understandably) can’t accept such a horrifying thought and all its ugly implications, it’s rejected outright as impossible or crazy. We can always come up with a thousand reasons or explanations to reject something in order to place as much emotional distance as we can between the frightening reality we’re denying and ourselves. Again, one sees this all the time with posts that begin with “You’ll never make me believe” or “Nothing you show me will ever prove” or “I just can’t believe”.
The person making these statements is declaring that any information contrary to their emotionally safer worldview will be promptly rejected without an unbiased assessment. This is not an open mind on display, but rather a mind whose steel trap is firmly welded shut. The information is too frightening to even be fairly considered, so it’s rejected outright before it ever crosses the cognitive threshold.
“You’ll never convince me” is the sign that the mental deck is stacked. Yet after these people have finished the initial denial process and have regained their emotional composure, they consider themselves to be fair and open minded and willing to discuss anything, just as long as it’s “reasonable”. They declare that any information that opens the emotionally uncomfortable box they just closed as crazy or unreasonable or unconfirmed or whatever it takes to keep the monster at bay.
They make their own cognitive rules, which they then use to judge the quality and acceptability of the information. And the rules will always say this information isn’t going to be allowed. It helps immensely if others in their social peer group as well as their leaders affirm their decision that some information’s off limits. Thus we understand the critical need for leadership and its enablers to establish the public myth and to lie in public and on the record.
This is done both in the run up to and after the limits have been violated and the lines crossed. Leadership declares for all who wish to believe the lie what’s socially acceptable to believe and what’s not. This is also the purpose of “blue ribbon” fact finding commissions, the so-called independent experts and authorities. Their primary job is to explore, modify and, after a few shocking “mistakes” have been revealed to allow us the fantasy they did a thorough job, ultimately bless the overall official public myth and lies.
The person in denial is looking for permission or affirmation from an outside (of their own mind) authority that his or her denial is emotionally, socially and morally OK. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to the sociopaths. When we’re in emotional distress or acting in a morally or socially suspect manner, we seek comfort and affirmation from authority figures that we’re in the clear and any guilt is unwarranted. This is why I often write “Daddy, tell me another lie so I can believe it’s the truth.”
Think back to when your own children were very young and they were emotionally insecure or afraid. They were especially eager for you to (re)affirm them in their own denial or to reassure them they were OK, particularly if it was about their own self image, stature or safety. Children aren’t the only emotionally insecure people who wish to be reassured, particularly when they’re in denial.
At one time or another, we’ve all been in a shaky relationship where we made the choice to accept a lie rather than face the truth. Since we all wish to believe we’re strong and mature it’s difficult to accept that we often act infantile and needy. Thus we’ll even repress the understanding of that basic emotional need if awareness leaves us vulnerable.
For those who don’t engage in this level of denial, or more realistically don’t admit they engage in this level of denial, my explanation sounds suspect and “unreasonable”. After all, well educated adults don’t act this way. But this cognitive process is well understood, particularly by the psychological warfare and social control experts who use the knowledge of our inner disorder against us to manipulate and control. This is why I talk about knowing yourself. One can only be violated when one doesn’t understand how and why it’s occurring.
These layers of subtle self bargaining and authority approval seeking are an example of the seductive and insidious nature of denial. And to the person employing it, it all sounds perfectly reasonable. How often do we see directly after the post “I’ll never be convinced” the statement that “It’s not me that’s the problem here because I’m opened minded. It’s you and your crazy information that’s the issue.”
Our worldview is constrained and maintained by ourselves, not by outside forces, regardless of the grand tales we tell ourselves about how fair and honest we are when viewing the world. A sympathetic soul might say “We tell ourselves little white lies occasionally so what’s the big deal? Everybody does it.”
This is precisely where denial begins, with little subtle deceptions that are “harmless” or “inconsequential”. We allow ourselves the comforting self deception that small lies don’t lead to big ones and we can stop lying to ourselves any time we want.
Self Psyops and Propagandizing Oneself
We have met the enemy and the enemy is us. This is why there’s a never ending supply of fall guys and patsies pushed to the front of the public perception as foils and enablers for our own self deception. Why beat ourselves up when we can hate someone else.
We’re all desperate to some extent or another to deny a very basic reality. Psychological warfare is used against us by our government and private interests to manipulate and control, by our social control systems to pacify, maintain order and control, and by ourselves to deny and self deceive in order to live within the insanity and with ourselves.
It’s all about our individual and collective ego and our addiction to the natural dopamine high that supports and enables our denial. It feels so good to convincingly deny something that’s emotionally painful. And that good feeling comes from our endless natural supply of emotional pain killers. The crazier it gets in our real world, the more we’ll reach for the pain reliever that’s just a small denial away. Psychological warfare leverages our own failings by exploiting the age old adage that you can con a dishonest man.
An important part of individual denial is how it coordinates with society’s collective denial. Again, this is what I mean when I talk about the public myth and the keepers of the public myth. We as a society maintain half truths and outright lies about our history and ourselves in order to brush aside uncomfortable dissonances and unpalatable facts.
Our leaders lie to set the public myth in stone as well as to support prior or future lies. And once a lie is released by “reputable authorities”, the very fact that it exists and that it was recorded as “truth” because an “authority” spoke it, defies anyone to say otherwise. Are you calling the great and exalted authority a liar? Daddy doesn’t lie, at least not to the kids.
The public myth is always rigid and easily understood and many are deeply woven into our own personal worldview and belief system. “They hate us for our freedom” is one of the more egregious and nonsensical phrases that warms the cockles of our patriotic mythology. I wrote about this extensively in my “Welcome to the Insane Asylum” series as well as other articles.
Even those who feel a sense of social responsibility and wish to do something to stop this are beginning to pull in their horns and hide from the coming storm. When they begin to understand that the government is no longer just a roadblock, but a potentially lethal enemy, they discover within themselves a bone rattling fear of their government, their presumed protector.
This primal fear is something many people alive today have never experienced before. Sort of like waking one morning to discover that a mass murderer is sleeping next to you or down the hallway and across from the kids.
These realizations about our government’s motives and methods fly in the face of everything we’ve been told. It contradicts our social conditioning and mythology about a somewhat benevolent but bumbling government that eventually gets it right. Infinitely worse, and thus ever more frightening, it places upon us total responsibility for our own life, happiness and wellbeing. No more playing the victim and no more excuses since Daddy isn’t here to save us, but maybe even to kill us.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
But does this creeping realization that we can’t trust our government anymore actually serve to feed our bias when it comes to The Crash? Since our instinct is to reject all official pronouncements and information coming from the government, is this tendency backfiring when it comes to our assessment of what’s coming and how it will play out?
In many respects, it doesn’t make any difference whether the governments lies or not with regard to longevity and stability when every other government is doing likewise. Remember that while we might not trust the government, many still do. Even those who don’t trust the government continue to act as if they do simply because it’s in their own self interest. Combine this with the natural inertia of continuing on the same path and there’s still plenty of momentum to keep this Ponzi churning for a long time.
The obvious question here is, are we thinking clearly and unbiased when considering the economic and social disaster we expect is just around the corner. Personally I doubt it. As I pointed out in chapter one, it’s easy to become biased and hard to recognize when we’re emotionally involved. Often we’re attracted to information that confirms our beliefs and regardless of how accurate it is, Zero Hedge and other contrary websites help us do this.
Even if we’re ultimately correct about the crash, it might make sense once in a while to check our assumptions. But do we really want to prove ourselves wrong? Naturally, we tell people (and ourselves) that we’re willing to admit when we’re wrong in order to maintain public (and internal) credibility. But often we engage in the illusion that we’re double checking, just like we did during grade school to fool the teacher.
If we’re serious and really do check, we might find something we don’t like which certainly won’t please us. No one likes to contradict themselves, especially when we’re emotionally involved. It’s so much easier to say we checked and that everything’s fine, then leave well enough alone.
That might also be why we hang around Zero Hedge so much, to allow us the illusion that someone else is on the case. And why some get nervous when it goes off line for any extended period of time. Where’s my ZH fix? Left alone without our constant spin and reassurance, doubt may seep in or we might start to drift from the message. Would we still be so resolute if Zero Hedge wasn’t here?
After all, on Zero Hedge we receive constant assurance that we’re right and they’re wrong. Plus we get to mingle with other like minded individuals, which lends us moral support and positive feedback. It’s all right there and everything we need, delivered up in 10 to 15 articles a day and a dynamite comment section. We’re in Nirvana, also known as our own little contrary universe.
Zero Hedge has just as much bias as CNBC, just in a different direction. Remember that the term bias doesn’t measure accuracy, just direction, momentum or magnitude. That’s just a statement of fact and not a condemnation of ZH or any other contrary website. One must always understand and compensate for the basis and bias of any information we consume. Just read the Zero Hedge disclosure.
Are we willing to subject our view of the coming crash to as rigid an examination as we do the Ponzi view? Or do we just assume the Ponzi is lying and declare anything opposite the lie must be the truth and the “real” reality? Is the real reality what we believe it “should” be or what it really “is” day to day?
Why do we think the “truth” will prevail? That’s not a foregone conclusion by any stretch of the imagination. Nor that exposing the “truth” will sink the lie that’s supposedly supporting the economy when it’s clearly in nearly everyone’s short term best interest to lie and live another day. Does “truth” always prevail or is that just another part of our individual and collective myth by way of our grade school conditioning and indoctrination? Here comes Mighty Mouse to save the day.
Why would we possibly think people are motivated not only to learn the “truth” but then live the truth? My personal life experience doesn’t support this supposition though I will admit it’s one of my comfort stories.
More to the point, the “truth” will not force the government to stop promoting a lie when to do so will put people in physical, emotional and financial peril, not to mention the leadership. We all understand that at times it’s so much easier to maintain the lie than to finally begin to speak the truth. So much needs to be undone and explained so why even try?
The government creates crisis after crisis to frighten the herd. And based upon every cowboy movie I’ve ever seen, stampeding herds just want the fear to go away. To think that at some point there will be such an overwhelming outcry from the public that the sociopaths will cease and desist and perp walk themselves to jail is beyond childish. Frogs in the bottom of a pot brought slowly to a boil don’t do much of anything other than complain about the weather.
Now that we know the “truth” and are some of the early adopters, are we acting to support the truth and stop the lies or are we just cueing up for another ZH exposé? Why do we expect others to act differently than we have acted once they learn the “truth”?
I’ve asked this question a few times before here on ZH as well as other places and I’m mostly ignored. It appears I’m cutting too close to the bone because while most won’t admit it, we seem to be waiting around for someone else to do what we don’t wish to do.
We claim to have truth and justice on our side, but just knowing the truth doesn’t stop the lies. There seems to be this belief that once the “truth” becomes widely known, reinforcements will swell the ranks and then we can strike at the belly of the beast. I suspect this is just another comfort story we tell ourselves in order to sleep better at night. And that this dissonance between what we say and what we do feeds into our collective denial.
Even better (worse?), do we claim the moral high ground where all is sacred and self questioning is blasphemy? I fully understand the importance of declaring the emperor to be naked, but the sociopaths deduct points for truth and they have control of the reins and the game. Righteous indignation, something we love to revel in, has throughout the ages covered up a lot of bad thinking by the so called good guys.
An example of an inconsistency in our thinking might be that the Ponzi has lasted much longer than many predicted it would. Very few on ZH considered the possibility in March of 09 that the stock market would be much higher a year and a half later. It was obvious systemic death was just around the corner, right?
Even fewer believed the US, British and EU governments and central banks could have repeatedly issued multiple trillions of dollars in sovereign debt and Treasury paper in multiple currencies at ever decreasing interest rates without a currency crisis and collapse. And yet that’s precisely what they’ve successfully done if success is measured as paper issuance and no collapse.
Or maybe the dissonance can be found within the precious metals arena. While there were some who felt otherwise, many people were convinced that once the public was told of the Federal Reserve’s Gold price suppression techniques that the Gold paper trade would collapse. And yet it continues to this day, even if it’s hobbled to some extent. How can that be?
Lately I’ve heard the explanation that there wasn’t enough public exposure of Gold manipulation to cause collapse. While that sounds reasonable, won’t the public ignore what they don’t want to hear no matter the quantity or quality of evidence? You can bring the horse to water but….
I agree that it defies common sense that a market as manipulated and undercapitalized with actual physical Gold wouldn’t disintegrate the moment the news of manipulation hit Bloomberg. And yet it didn’t disintegrate and still functions today. Is this not an aberration that must be carefully examined? It seems we’re incrementally increasing our denial as the Ponzi marches on.
All I see people doing is pushing back the expected date of collapse, saying next time there’s a run on Comex or the Chinese want more physical or more tungsten is found inside 400 ounce bars, then it will collapse. Even if it does collapse, what comes next? When only Gold has perceived value, it would be foolish to think the sociopaths will allow us to keep ours. Think about that and then read some history. The insanity isn’t extinguished; it ebbs and flows or just morphs into new bodies and forms.
We continue to brush aside multiple contradictions to the quick collapse scenario without seriously considering this could continue on for many more years. Some may not wish to recognize this, but those who understand what’s going on, meaning the principal supporters and benefactors of the Ponzi (both on Wall and Main Street) will cling to the devil they know rather than face the black abyss of the unknown. This alone assures a much longer unraveling than we’re acknowledging.
I’m not taking “sides” in this argument as much as I’m asking a more fundamental question. Are we taking a side and then ignoring evidence that might prove us incorrect? The more our argument for the crash or a collapse can withstand critical scrutiny and the more we probe and dissect its weaknesses, the stronger it becomes unless it’s weak or baseless.
However, the more we shield our argument from scrutiny, either by overt or covert denial, obstruction or obscuration, the weaker it becomes. This method of interrogation is how we pummel the Ponzi, by relentlessly questioning its suppositions and evidence. Shouldn’t we apply the same acid test to our own arguments or is our only claim to fame simply that since we proved them wrong, we must be right?
Shoot the Messenger, Ignore the Message
What’s obvious to you and me is rarely obvious to others, not because it can’t be seen, but because it can be ignored and rejected. The same can be said in reverse. Many people, including this author, are at times irritated with certain contributors and commentators and their barrage of articles and comments on Zero Hedge that seem to defy the laws of common sense.
“You live in a fantasy world” or “Sooner or later you’ll be crushed” are all common refrains left to refute these people. I’m not saying the comments are or aren’t valid. But we must ask ourselves some questions if we’re to face our own emotional outbursts. Are we angry with the authors because they’re delusional or because they represent everything and everyone that’s holding this Ponzi together and precisely the reason it’s lasted longer than we expected? Maybe we’re holding it together ourselves?
These authors are an emotional and intellectual trigger for many here on Zero Hedge. Rather than rant at them, we should step back and examine why we’re being triggered. Often we yell and scream in order to hide from self examination. Is that what’s going on here? I suspect that for many it’s not the money that’s upsetting, but instead a sense of bloody outrage over the magnitude of the thieving and the colossal gall exhibited by the principal sorcerers that’s clouding our vision.
Once we look within and understand the trigger, we can discover the underlying dissonance that’s obscuring our worldview and beliefs. I know that when I experience an emotional outburst, particularly when I’m feeling righteous indignation, this is a clear indication I’ve been triggered and that something’s unsettled within.
It could be seen as a huge blow to our ego to admit that it might be time to hunt within for some inner truth when the streets are filled with the thieves and the complicit. But I know if we continue to be triggered, we’ll be easily manipulated and seriously out of balance. Only when we’re at peace with ourselves can we be effective in all other aspects of our life.
When we’re triggered, rather than get caught up in the details of the information being argued, we should be looking closely at what we fear or what we’re avoiding that’s causing such an outburst. We’re angry that the Ponzi uses diversionary tactics to distract and bluff the public from the “truth”. Yet we use the very same tactics on ourselves rather than take a long hard look within. Maybe some personal housekeeping is in order?
Admittedly this is a difficult task and it requires self confidence and discipline to pull back and pause when our ego is screaming for us to “do something” to defend our ego honor or ego self respect. When we’ve been emotionally triggered and we’re upset over something that was written or said, what’s really going on here, what’s really been triggered is our sense that our worldview is under assault. This is precisely when we must calm down and reach within to find the courage to look deeper into what’s going on.
The Abuser/Abused Paradigm
The reason I always talk about our ego not being “us”, but rather a separate and distinct entity, is because we’re constantly led to believe by our ego that our ego is our friend and can be fully trusted. Our ego accomplishes this by convincing us that our ego is “us” and that “we” are one and the same as our ego. Thus we believe that when our ego is talking, in fact it’s “us” that’s talking.
As I said in Chapter One, this is hardly the case. The ego considers itself to be a separate and sovereign entity, not a part of “us”. Thus the ego is not bound by any moral, emotional or social boundaries nor does “it” feel constrained from lying, cheating or using subterfuge to get what it wants. Since our ego doesn’t physically control our bodies, it must use manipulative methods (essentially self psyops or self propaganda) to achieve its goals.
In a remarkable example of how the fabric and structure of our society and social order mimics our internal disorder, the control system (the Ponzi, the banking cabal aka the Federal Reserve and other central/commercial banks, the political and justice systems, the so called free press aka main stream media, religions, corporations, academia and the education system etc) does exactly the same thing to us externally as our ego does internally. And for the most part we fully participate in this.
Using subterfuge and illusion as well as encouraging our own self deception, the control system convinces us that it’s “our” control system. We’re told that the decision to send “our” troops (I didn’t know I had an army) into foreign wars is “our” decision and in “our” best interest. That it’s “our” government despite the fact that “our” government doesn’t act in “our” best interest. We’re repeatedly told that “we” must save “our” too-big-to-fail banks in order to save “ourselves” from those very same too-big-to-fail banks.
The main stream media, an integral part of the control system, assures “us” that “we” must protect and enable “our” financial elites and “our” government so that they may employ and protect “us”. If the financial elites are treated poorly by “us” taxpayers, they’ll take their ball and go home and “we” shall starve.
Yet for decades we’ve been assured they’ll trickle down some of what we give them so I guess it’s all good folks. Yet the income and wealth disparity continues to grow to new records each year. Without judging the validity of my statements, understand what’s really going on here.
We the (self) abused have been and are being conditioned to love and cherish our abuser. Or at least tolerate it. Whack! “Thank you very much sir. May I have another?” Whack! To tolerate such a disparity without revolt takes a great deal of emotional and intellectual bargaining and denial.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to you and me because we understand what’s going on, right? I hear this all the time on ZH, that we’re the informed and thus immune. Is this another comfort story we tell ourselves or are we just caught in the emotional headlights and frozen in our tracks?
The Big Bang or the Little Whimper
So, what if “it” doesn’t end with a bang but with a whimper? I believe this unraveling can and will go on much longer than we expect and we should plan accordingly. Since no one really wants our way of life to end, many will subtly and covertly maintain it even if it means they must maintain the lie. And that’s the key to a slow and painful death of the Ponzi rather than a collapse.
As was so wonderfully illustrated in “The Matrix”, nearly all of the population will fight to remain within the lie for as long as they can simply because the alternative is too horrible to accept. For them, to lie is to live. So they’ll bargain away anything they can’t maintain and deny the pain for as long as they can.
Like walking down a staircase, only when forced will they accept another step down into the abyss. Once there, they’ll acclimate all over again using the only coping tools they have, those of denial and bargaining. Then they’ll take the next step and the next step and the next step in a slow walk to hell.
For those who have forgotten, history’s littered with failed Empires, some as recently as 65 years ago. The one constant throughout history is that the citizens of those failed empires lived in great denial of their current condition and they slowly bargained away their souls for another day in misery. This doesn’t need to be, but it usually is anyway.
While we as a society and a collective are slowly relinquishing our sovereignty to the powers that be, the one area that is under our complete control is our own mind. Let’s not cede that as well by blindly following our own contrarian herd.
We should not adopt positions or beliefs that oppose the Ponzi simply because it’s contrary to the Ponzi. Doing so just shifts the illusion of control to us, but still leaves us dancing to the Ponzi beat. Our views should be adopted only after rigorous examination and vetting. This is the only way to a truly peaceful, free and sovereign life.