Zero Hedge – A Maturing Fight Club Community or Just an Excuse to be Rude and Abusive?

The title of this essay asks a fair question. For quite a few who comment here on Zero Hedge the ‘Fight Club’ theme appears to be a convenient excuse to verbally bash heads and insult people, in essence to act like the school yard bullies some wanted to be and perhaps might even have been. For others, well………where else can you throw a temper tantrum in public and not be forced to deal with the embarrassing social consequences directly to your face? We’ve all had our moments and I’ve certainly had mine.

Deep down inside all of us is a petulant little boy and girl trying to get out, only for some he or she is more difficult to hide than others. It seems quite a few people who comment here find Zero Hedge the perfect place to let it all hang out and not be forced to clean up their mess afterwards. I suspect the wide open nature of Zero Hedge, meaning no rules and definitely no adult supervision, is the perfect breeding ground for egomania and naval gazing narcissism to run wild and uninhibited. And maybe that’s all we can ever really expect from a virtual Internet mosh pit. 

From my point of view Zero Hedge (ZH) is singularly unique in the blogosphere (or anywhere else for that matter) and I’ve often wondered if the readers who visit or comment on The Hedge have ever attempted to look beyond the oftentimes stark brutality on display here and discern what’s really going on in the background. On the surface there appears to be three virtual worlds within Zero Hedge, first and foremost the avatar world of Tyler Durden and Fight Club (FC) that super secret place from which Zero Hedge’s creator posts a steady stream of articles exposing financial and political manipulation, corruption and other assorted skullduggery.

Tyler Durden is the creator’s alter ego here on Zero Hedge, an animated front man modeled after the principal character in the infamous book and movie “Fight Club”. For obvious and not so obvious reasons ultimately known only to him (though we may intuit a few) the blog’s founder has chosen to remain isolated from both the ‘real’ outside world and the universe of his own creation.

Instead he has chosen to speak with a booming and disembodied voice laced with biting sarcasm and unconcealed contempt for all he chooses to skewer, but usually with common sense, logic and verifiable fact, all arch enemies of the lies supporting the Ponzi facade. Howard Hughes, if he were still alive today, would be insanely jealous of the degree of anonymity the creator has been able to maintain over the last two years. It would be easier to find Waldo than ZH’s Tyler Durden.

However, Tyler’s world is isolated from the rest of the FC community with very little cross talk between the creator and the rest of the readership. Except for the occasional comment left by Tyler in an article thread as well as email conversations with tipsters, contributors and other community members, there is very little interaction. And while there are several dozen “contributors” who post to Zero Hedge, to the best of my knowledge all contributors write, post and comment with complete autonomy and freedom. I most certainly do as I please and other than the occasional emailed comment from Tyler I have no contact with him.

The second virtual world, the largest and most complex component of Zero Hedge, is found within the comment section where the general community talks to each other and where the verbal, emotional and psychological abuse is handed out. The third world, a place that’s rarely glimpsed by anyone other than Tyler and company, consists mostly of transient readers who come and go as they please and who rarely if ever interact with anyone else. It is the second world that I wish to explore more thoroughly and at the risk of being summarily expelled from FC as a heretic or traitor I believe it is time to break the rules and talk about Zero Hedge, if for no other reason than to prepare for the gathering storm.

Gathering Storm


In other essays where I’ve explored our collective insanity I’ve repeatedly asked a bigger and much more uncomfortable question than the title may suggest. Is the at times frightening escalation in rude and abusive behavior in society as a whole just another example of the Stockholm Syndrome playing out? Are the psychologically bloodied and abused of society, and thus by extension some of those who comment here on ZH, trying to gain favor with or appease their abusers in order to deflect or diminish their own abuse, if only in their minds? For many people, particularly the abused (regardless of whether they acknowledge their own abuse or not) these are truly frightening questions because finding the answer requires us all to bare our souls and look deeply within.

The abusers within the general population and here on ZH are in effect pleading to their sociopath masters, “See, I’m just like you. I can hurt those around me just like you do so don’t hurt me. You wouldn’t hurt one of your own, would you?” Psychologically the abused are trying to join their tormentors in order to escape the worst of the abuse. When faced with prolonged and systemic pain and suffering the mind often copes by adopting precisely that which it fears the most.

In essence this is what the Stockholm Syndrome is all about. If you can’t beat them or even escape then when facing almost certain psychological or egoic damage or death, in order for the mind/ego to survive it must join the tormentor. On an individual level, many surviving victims of childhood or adult on adult abuse often protected their tormentors during the abuse. And often they are at higher risk of becoming abusers themselves; for the children this can occur when they become adults or even when they grow just a bit older and are still considered underage and thus not responsible.

And on a national level, a nation surrounded physically or psychologically by perceived enemies and/or with a long history of its citizens being abused and killed (by internal or external forces, it doesn’t matter) will sometimes adopt the methods used against them and act out while carefully wrapping themselves in religious piety and protective and self serving law. In essence they act out the very insanity they find it impossible to escape from. Israel comes to mind, but there are plenty of others.

In my opinion contrary to popular belief ‘man’ and his social order are not ‘naturally’ violent and abusive. Or maybe I should rephrase that statement. Contrary to popular belief a healthy man and his social order are not naturally violent and abusive. This clearly implies that we are not a healthy society. In nearly every harmonious and healthy indigenous culture I’ve studied going back thousands of years, violence and abuse was simply not a central part of their society as it is today with ours. And if the reader cannot see the violence everywhere s/he looks this is evidence of the reader’s total assimilation and adaptation to our cultural violence. When it has become so integrated and seamless that it can no longer be seen, our conditioning is nearly complete.



In more healthy indigenous cultures of the past, upon reaching puberty or shortly thereafter, each male child (and in some cultures female as well) was required to pass what could only be described as a trial by fire before being accepted by the greater community as a contributing adult member. While the trial was most certainly physically exhausting and sometimes resulted in severe injury and even death, what was really being tested was the prospective adult’s mental, emotional and spiritual maturity and conditioning.

During the years leading up to the trials, which might be conducted individually or with several young adults at the same time, the village at large participated in readying the children for their maturation labors. The entire community understood that its health and very survival depended upon their children successfully passing into adulthood and adding to the communities overall prosperity and growth. But they also understood that a poorly prepared adult could not only be unproductive, thus not contributing to the villages’ standing and development, but he (or she) could be poisonous to the community, causing strife and conflict among members and family.

This is why the community as a whole understood there was a shared responsibility to each other and to the group to nurture and raise their collective children. Everyone ‘knew’ at the most basic and gut level that it took the entire village as a living, breathing and codependent entity to help shoulder the burden of the collective and the individual. When one stumbled or fell, all suffered more or less equally.

So while the principal burden of properly raising and educating the child fell upon that child’s parents, everyone was expected and willing to join in, thus working to assure the continuation of the community and thus the individual. Family first, followed closely by community, was how they lived their lives and almost always in close concert with nature and the natural world.

Supposedly this community spirit still prevails today in our Western culture. But at the risk of sounding like a bitter old man, this cooperative spirit was rapidly fading 50 years ago when I was a young child and it has all but disappeared today, except perhaps in some smaller towns and villages or as small isolated pockets within bigger cities or densely populated counties. The Amish Mennonites come to mind as a modern day example of a mutually supportive and nurturing community that still interacts to a limited degree with those who surround them.

As the personal responsibility for our day to day existence has been shifted to ‘they’ and ‘them’, which so often today means all levels of the government and/or the schools as both parents are forced to work in order to keep a roof over their heads, we as a society and a community have become increasingly childlike, even infantile, in mind, belief and deed. We are dying as a people and as a culture, surrounded by our material possessions while long since become spiritually and morally bankrupt and destitute.

What’s rarely discussed in our present day culture is exactly what it means to be a modern day adult and, equally important, what our individual and collective responsibilities are as both adults and as fully functioning members of our communities, regardless of whether community is measured by walking distance or national boundaries. As hidden entities attempt to exert more and more control over our lives and minds, we are being dumb downed and infantilized to the point where we are little more than children endlessly engaged in naval gazing and self indulgent masturbation.

The inevitable result is that our community is burning down around us exactly as planned. The very same techniques that destroyed indigenous Native American cultures are now being applied to the current population. By this I mean the slow bleeding off of intellectual and cultural independence and self sufficiency which was and is the hallmark of all healthy indigenous cultures. A financial and political belief system based upon exponential expansion and conquest inevitably resorts to enslavement and even cannibalism of its own citizens. If nothing else history teaches us this very well.


So what does any of this have to do with Fight Club and Zero Hedge? Well I suspect Zero Hedge, whether planned or not, is capable of helping us to work through this insanity more or less intact. Or at a minimum to survive whatever comes after society’s great fall. In order to pursue this thought experiment one must ask themselves something that I’ve never seen discussed here or anywhere else for that matter. Why did the creator of Zero Hedge use Fight Club as his central unifying theme? For those who claim it’s all about the fight may I suggest you look just a little bit deeper?

Zero Hedges’ Tyler never allows us to peek into his mind by way of editorial comment regarding the community nor does he conduct state of the community reviews. Because I would never presume to know what he is thinking or why he does anything, one is forced to examine his source material, his inspiration if you will, if we are to try to understand what Zero Hedge really might be………or could be. This requires that we pull out our dusty old dog eared copies of Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and re-read the original text, then spool up that scratched up DVD copy of Fight Club the movie to refresh our memory of Hollywood’s interpretation of modern day insanity. One needs to do both since there are major differences between the book and the movie, particularly the end.

For those who claim that the Fight Club model was used simply to pretty up the place with Brad Pitt’s six pack abs and handsome face or as the means to justify Zero Hedge’s in-your-face sarcastic style of truth mongering, I’d say you don’t recognize the creator’s genius when he beats your face into the concrete floor or he happily pisses in your lobster bisque. After re-reading the book, then watching the movie twice, I suspect the real reason for the Fight Club theme can be found several layers deeper. The disclaimer is that all this is pure supposition on my part mixed with literary flights of fancy. Neither Zero Hedge’s Tyler nor any other Fight Club characters were harmed or consulted during the writing of this essay.

In the book Palahniuk explains. “Most guys are at fight club because of something they’re too scared to fight. After a few fights, you’re afraid a lot less.” One simply cannot gaze into the coming financial upheaval with clear eyes and a deprogrammed mind without some serious trepidation and a churning stomach. The movie goes further by explaining the unique perspective fighting with purpose, honor and dignity brings to the mind and soul. “After fighting, everything else in your life got the volume turned down.”

Those who profess little to no worry about the killer storm on the horizon are either still fully doped up on propaganda Kool-Aid, in serious denial over the coming global dislocations or outright trolls and psyops disruptors. I hear much false bravado and feigned certainty in many ZH voices in the comment section, though few will admit to it. But based upon what I’ve been reading over the last 24 months, many of us are clearly fiat refugee’s looking for an island of sanity along with the intellectual equivalent of three hots and a cot.

Only the sociopaths can look into the face of chaos and sleep well at night. The rest of us need some help to face the gathering storm. In the movie Tyler explains that Fight Club is all about changing boys into men….or rather boys into responsible men with a purpose in life. “Narrator: I can’t get married. I’m a 30 year old boy.’ ‘We’re a generation of men raised by women,’ Tyler says. ‘I’m wondering if another woman is really the answer we need.’” And later, “Fight club isn’t about winning and losing fights. Fight club isn’t about words. You see a guy come to fight club for the first time and his ass is a loaf of white bread. You see this same guy here six months later and he looks carved out of wood. This guy trusts himself to handle anything.”

It appears that we are supposed to be building something here beginning within ourselves. This is boot camp for the spiritually deficient and morally decrepit. “It doesn’t matter.’ Tyler says. ‘If the applicant is young, we tell him he’s too young. If he’s fat, he’s too fat. If he’s old, he’s too old. Thin, he’s too thin. White, he’s too white. Black, he’s too black.’ ……Narrator: This is how Buddhist temples have tested applicants going back for a bah-zillion years, Tyler says. You tell the applicant to go away, and if his resolve is so strong that he waits at the entrance without food or shelter or encouragement for three days, then and only then can he enter and begin the training.”

reclining Buddha

Is this what’s going on within Zero Hedge? I suspect we are being encouraged to look within in order to discover our inner metal, our backbone and courage, with Zero Hedge itself the dimly lit basement proving ground where we clash with other nameless half dead souls looking for some kind of personal redemption. Are we being groomed to be Project Mayhem space monkeys ready to spread the word and bring about some sort of financial and social equality? Or are we just financial snuff film voyeurs endlessly returning to Zero Hedge for our daily blood and guts adrenalin rush? Is it dead yet? And when can I get a good look at the fiat corpse?

Before the reader brushes away that last paragraph as preposterous and not directed at you, maybe you need to conduct a fearless examination of your own motives for visiting Zero Hedge. All some seem to be doing is picking fights and bullying others while reveling in the present day insanity that presages the pushing of the global reset button. Oh, and working on their “I told you so” speeches. This was not the purpose for Fight Club put forth by Chuck Palahniuk when he penned his novel. The fighting was a means to an end, a tool used to move forward personally and collectively, not simply a fast vehicle to more blood sports and ego boosting.

Why are you really here? What is your real purpose for showing up on Zero Hedge on a daily or weekly basis? Once again this is a reasonable question, one only you can answer but only if you are capable of being honest with yourself. Are you here to strengthen yourself emotionally, mentally and spiritually as you work to prepare yourself and your community for the coming worldwide trials? As corny as it may sound to some, that’s mostly why I’m here on Zero Hedge. I see The Hedge as my virtual community, a place I wish to nurture and grow just as I would my local physical community.

More to the point, are you going to participate in the rebuilding of our physical world by preparing minds (beginning with your own) before they are paralyzed in fear by the coming collapse, the central theme of Palahniuk’s classic and something I believe Zero Hedge’s Tyler is doing? Or are you just slowing down the car a bit to get a better look at the decapitated financial mess jammed under the crushed tractor trailer and school bus strewn all along the side of the road? Look ma, is that a head? Yuck! Go slower for crying out loud, I can’t see a thing.

After several generations of media in-breeding and propaganda conditioning for abject apathy and subliminal boob tube pacification, this blog’s creator, just like Palahniuk’s Tyler Durden, has some very poor raw material to work with despite the lies we tell ourselves and the false bravado we display to each other after our morning preening ritual and in between meals of tasteless bread and mystery meat. As Tyler reminded the Narrator in the movie, “We are all part of the same compost heap.”

Fight Club is far more than just a physical challenge, far more. From the book: “I see the strongest and smartest men who have ever lived,’ he says, his face outlined against the stars in the driver’s window, ‘and these men are pumping gas and waiting tables.’…And this…. ‘If we could put these men in training camps and finish raising them.’…Still more…‘You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don’t need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don’t really need.”

Palahniuk spares no feelings and gets down and dirty here in the book. “We don’t have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression.’ Even more to the point is this quote from the movie. “We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.”

Junior won't be a rock star and neither will we.

This is a theme repeated endlessly in both the book and the movie, that our lives are wastelands and that we have become willing and compliant slaves to the social and political order. Palahniuk holds nothing back in his scathing review of modern man. And when this blog’s creator, through his Tyler Durden alter ego, mocks the insanity of the financial and political status quo, whether he intends to or not, we are being mocked as well. And very often we are blissfully unaware of it because we have convinced ourselves we’re completely different from all the rest of the mindless zombies because…………because why exactly? Might this be just another lie we tell ourselves to kill the pain and get through another day of silent screams and abject misery?

Like the commodities we are to the ruling elite, many of us are packed in like sardines in our own cooking oil. “Home was a condominium on the fifteenth floor of a high-rise, a sort of filing cabinet for widows and young professionals.” We are desperate to kill the pain we share with our fellow canned anchovies and one of the ways is to become material girls and boys. “And I wasn’t the only salve to my nesting instinct. The people I know who used to sit in the bathroom with pornography, now they sit in the bathroom with their IKEA furniture catalogue’.

And one more from Palahniuk that hits just a little too close to home. “Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own; now they own you.” Understand that Palahniuk isn’t just referring to physical possessions when he says ‘the thing’ own us. We create a fantasy world view in our minds and then twist facts and information to fit our comfort level. When our controllers turn up the fear we constrict our worldview to conform to their manipulation. It is our denial that ultimately owns us lock, stock and barrel.

Our national fiat credit card, our SUV’s and our flat screen TVs have become 24/7 oxygen masks used to kill the pain of our existence. “Tyler Durden [pointing at an emergency instruction manual on the plane] You know why they put oxygen masks on planes?” Narrator: “So you can breathe?” Tyler Durden: “Oxygen gets you high. In a catastrophic emergency, you're taking giant panicked breaths. Suddenly you become euphoric, docile. You accept your fate. It's all right here. [in the seat back instruction manual] Emergency water landing - 600 miles an hour. Blank faces, calm as Hindu cows.” Narrator: “That's, um... That's an interesting theory.”

No……it is not a theory at all, but rather a sad fact. It’s all around us yet we claim we’re different, special cases who aren’t affected by the insanity like all the others. We can see the truth and thus we are immune to the disease. But we always seem to miss the big question. How does one see his own insanity when the only measuring stick offered is fundamentally broken and has been created by the insane?

Would we recognize our own insanity when we’re totally immersed in everyone else’s? The creator of the Zero Hedge blog has softened the egoic blow of self recognition when he holds up the mirror by allowing us to believe it is a see through mirror with a view of outside. And in so doing, many of us never find the courage to take a really close look at whom or what stares back.

So how do you escape from your own insanity? How do you break from the herd when all you know is the herd? What does insanity look like? Palahniuk takes us to the edge and shows us the spectacularly warped view, insanity carefully disguised as a 9 to 5 office worker. “What I would do, I say, is I’d be very careful who I talked to about this paper. I say, it sounds like some dangerous psychotic killer wrote this, and this buttoned-down schizophrenic could probably go over the edge at any moment in the working day and stalk from office to office with an Armalite AR-180 carbine gas-operated semiautomatic. My boss just looks at me.”

How many of us have fantasized about getting back at all those who we believe have harmed us, who have exposed our cowardice to all the others, who have not participated in our insanity confirming social rituals, who have laughed at us as we rush for the safety of the pack just as the herd is being corralled for the next culling. All those petty social injustices can finally be rectified, balancing the scales and bringing us back from the edge of the abyss. Instead we mindlessly bang away at any one within reach on Zero Hedge. And we call this awareness? Tell me again how good it is to be so well adjusted to an out-of-control and totally insane world. 

But of course we rarely follow the urge to kill. Instead our normalized insanity is repressed or more accurately morphed into something that can be expressed in a more socially acceptable and personal way, as part of our genuine imitation self image. We paint over our madness with pretty colors and pleasing pastels. “I flipped through catalogs and wondered: What kind of dining set defines me as a person?”….And again…“It's just, when you buy furniture; you tell yourself, that's it. That's the last sofa I'm gonna need. Whatever else happens, I've got that sofa problem handled”…and again…How embarrassing, a house full of condiments and no food”…and again….”I had it all. Even the glass dishes with tiny bubbles and imperfections, proof they were crafted by the honest, simple, hard-working indigenous peoples of... wherever.

And the piece de la resistance; the mattress warning tag we assume is meant for everyone else, but most certainly not us because we are the end user, the ultimate consumer, the cosmic dead end. Tyler Durden: Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think everything you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned- Tyler.

Warning Tag - Do Not Remove

Isn’t this what Zero Hedge does for us on a daily basis as Tyler and his contributors trot out one financial, political and social snapshot of insanity after another for our daily inspection? We declare to ourselves and any other person within blog earshot that we know the truth, that we are one with Tyler, that we see the Golden light and the Silver path to heaven. Is this really true or just a different form of herd masturbation? Are we simply a sub herd of the insane, tightly packed together for warmth in our own little corner of the Zero Hedge insane asylum, our territory carefully marked out in Gold to identify the Zero Hedge tribe? Just because we might be correct about the financial insanity doesn’t by itself make us sane by any stretch of the imagination.

Palahniuk’s Fight Club wasn’t about daily beatings and its attendant letting of blood. Nor was it about humiliation of our opponent or about revenge seeking, flailing about in the dark basement at all the anonymous bags of skin and bones as we feed upon our inner demons. Fight Club was not about posing in front of the mirror admiring our own muscles or beating others simply because we haven’t the courage to strike back at our real tormentors.

Fight Club was and is about personal growth and community, of discovering what we are all made of, of seeking the inner steel and honing it to perfection, then using our newly strengthened muscles to build a tighter more functional community. Fight Club is about creation, not random destruction. When the fight ends we lift our fallen brother from the floor and hold him tight as others tend to both our wounds. And after a while even the fighting is no longer needed, a fact directly acknowledged in both the book and movie when Tyler Durden declared to the Narrator that either they move up to the next level or it all dies a stillborn movement.

This is about teaching each other how to cope, live and love, not to spit on each other because we are too cowardly to fight our mutual enemy. We weep together in bonded self discovery and we become blood brothers in a manner only those who have shared blows and blood can understand. Fight Club is the means to building brotherhood and community, not a means to rage against our frustration and dull the unrelenting pain of our own self imposed impotence. As Tyler Durden explains in the movie, “Fuck what you know. You need to forget about what you know, that's your problem. Forget about what you think you know about life, about friendship, and especially about you and me.

Fight Club is all about pushing beyond the limits we allowed to be set for us many years, even decades, ago and which we are all terrified of crossing. Fight Club is about the process of breaking down and purging, of hitting bottom and then rebuilding. In the movie Tyler tells us to go back to basics. “Reject the basic assumptions of civilization, especially the importance of material possessions.” From the book: “Disaster is a natural part of my evolution,” Tyler whispered, “toward tragedy and dissolution.’

We think we’ve hit our limit, but we’re not even close. It’s easy to stop now, when every fiber of our being is screaming for us to halt. If success were that easy, everyone would never fail. ‘Tyler says I’m nowhere near hitting bottom yet. And if I don’t fall all the way, I can’t be saved. Jesus did it with his crucifixion thing. I shouldn’t just abandon money and property and knowledge. This isn’t just a weekend retreat. I should run from self-improvement, and I should be running toward disaster. I can’t just play it safe anymore. This isn’t a seminar. “If you lost your nerve before your hit bottom,” Tyler says, “you’ll never really succeed.” Only after disaster can we be resurrected. “It’s only after you’ve lost everything,” Tyler says, “that you’re free to do anything.” What I’m feeling is premature enlightenment.

Hit Bottom

There it is and there’s no hiding from it any longer. Premature enlightenment is that thrill, that excitement we feel in our toes when we begin to discover the truth and we know we’re on to something. We desperately want the pain to stop and this certainly looks like our final destination. Or at least it’s as good a place as any to stop….right? Please, someone tell me the storm has passed and I can come out now. Our biggest fear is that our cowardliness will be so obvious even those trying not to look can’t avoid it.

But it is not our final destination and deep down we all know this. What really scares us to our core, what keeps us tossing and turning in the dead of night, is the knowledge that the spiritual fight of our lives, of our generation, has only now just begun. And we don’t know if we have the courage to initially engage, let alone fight to the bitter end. We aren’t talking about those pitiful sheep and the walking dead any more. Nope, this is all about you and me and us.

There is no escape from ourselves, from our own deep seated fear that we find staring back at us from within our own black abyss. This is why we fear looking within and precisely why we are so easily manipulated. This is where all our personal blackmail material can be found, conveniently stored in our own cerebral lock boxes. And it doesn’t even need to be exposed to be effectively used against us. Just the threat of showing us to ourselves is more than sufficient to keep us all plugging away within our customized hamster trail.

What we are beginning to see and think on Zero Hedge and other blogs is suddenly starting to make sense. This is what Zero Hedge appears to offer, premature enlightenment. But we don’t really know if we have the balls or the courage to do anything about it. This in effect makes us tits on a bull, useless to the bull and to pretty much everyone else. But look we say, they are tits… if that makes all the difference in the world and that alone should bring value to an all together useless entity. It’s not the information that makes the difference my friend, it’s the information carrier. This is why the controllers don’t even try to hide their crimes anymore. What are you going to do about it? What am I going to do about it? What are we going to do about it?

How far are we willing to go to find our bottom? What depths of our soul will we plumb for our salvation? These are the questions Zero Hedge’s Tyler asks us on a daily basis. Hour by hour he throws the gauntlet down in front of our faces and asks us to determine how much pain we’re willing to withstand before we let go and are reborn. Tyler can’t do it for us; we must commit and bravely move forward into the fear and pain. “The back of your hand is swollen red and glossy as a pair of lips in the exact shape of Tyler’s kiss. Scattered around the kiss are the cigarette burn spots of somebody crying. ‘Open your eyes’ Tyler says, his face shinning with tears. ‘Congratulations,’ Tyler says. ‘You’re a step closer to hitting the bottom. You have to see how the first soap was made of heroes.’

Soap was made of heroes

Under these circumstances there are only two ways to die, by our own hand or by the hand of another. Fear is what controls us and nothing else. What we refuse to face, outright deny, bargain with or flee from has us by the balls. This is why we must jump from the cliff, to face our mortality and be free of deaths grip. We must shed everything if we are to gain anything of substance. “I’m breaking my attachment to physical power and possessions,” Tyler whispered, “because only through destroying myself can I discover the greater power of my spirit.”

Once we clear all that clutters our mind, only then can we be truly free. “The liberator who destroys my property,” Tyler said, “is fighting to save my spirit. The teacher who clears all possessions from my path will set me free.” Only by surrendering our illusion of control do we gain something even greater. “And then, something happened. I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.”

It's long past the point where people can simply be shown what's really going on and they will understand and embody it. The programming and conditioning has been so thoroughly assimilated that the average person will rationalize away anything contrary to the image of the fantasy world constructed for their mind by their mind. One, two, even 100 pieces of truth will be lost in a sea of propaganda and disinformation repeated endlessly day after day. All we have to do is not look.

Sure people understand that something is terribly wrong. But given the choice between looking into the abyss and floating back into another few hours of mindless bliss, few will choose the path of emotional pain, particularly when they can believe they are already free. How can we expect anyone else to face the pain and shock of their own cognitive dissonance if we aren’t willing to do the same?

So……is it up to you and me to show the way by example? If so, how do we do this? For most of us the fight has been bred out generations ago. This is the purpose of breaking down within Fight Club, to reanimate those dormant DNA strands. Palahniuk explains that those who might possibly resist will only truly fight when cornered and have nothing left to lose. This is when you learn who you really are. “A man on the street will do anything not to fight. The idea is to take some Joe on the street who’s never been in a fight and recruit him. Let him experience winning for the first time in his life. Get him to explode. Give him permission to beat the crap out of you. You can take it. If you win, you screwed up. ‘What we have to do, people,’ Tyler told the committee, ‘is remind these guys what kind of power they still have.”

And what kind of power might that be? What kind of power could a slave possibly posses? I’ll tell you what power. Power enough to change our world while sweeping away our hated tormentors, for we hold an innate and naturally derived power only found deeply within. Besides, we are the machine. “Remember this,” Tyler said. “The people you’re trying to step on, we’re everyone you depend on. We’re the people who do your laundry and cook your food and serve your dinner. We make your bed. We guard you while you sleep. We drive the ambulances. We direct your calls. We are cooks and taxis drivers and we know everything about you. We process your insurance claims and credit card charges. We control every part of your life.

Either we begin our own process of deprogramming beginning deeply within, then progressing to those around us willing to listen and learn, or we lie to ourselves that we will survive while all around us are herded off for the next culling. One approach is proactive and supremely liberating, the other narrowly defensive and mind constricting. One doesn’t free oneself from physical slavery until the mind has already been liberated.

The idea that I see bandied around Zero Hedge, of buying PMs and filling the storm cellar with the basics and hunkering down, is just another form of self delusion. One man cannot withstand an assault from his own community let alone the county, state or nation. Either we begin to educate ourselves and our communities now or we will eventually be overrun by those very same communities. First you look within and find yourself, then you find the others and begin rebuilding your community.



Cognitive Dissonance

To find yourself, think for yourself

Like this article? Take a second to support Cognitive Dissonance on Patreon and gain access to exclusive Patreon Only articles!
Become a patron at Patreon!

2 thoughts on “Zero Hedge – A Maturing Fight Club Community or Just an Excuse to be Rude and Abusive?”

  1. For many years I was searching for answers. The walls of the matrix were blurring but elucidation was lacking. I realized that conventional sources of information were not Truth, I felt the deception and journeyed on frustrated. Then I clicked on a chance link on Drudge and my life changed. I found something, yet I didn’t understand it. Furiously I delved in for hours in a day. All my spare time was reading, taking notes and looking up in Investopedia for definitions. My husband thought my approach was quite obsessive but he noted a definite change in me. He started reading too and his eyes went wide.

    After a year, he asked why I hadn’t joined. Simple, I am a clinical microbiologist. I have no voice, nothing to share on ZH and my comments would be a waste of time. Oh, I thought you were just too frightened. I joined the next day and after a week and two posts, my virtual head was slammed against the virtual wall by a well known poster. I fought back and was slammed again. Thinking the newb was toast he walked away and I came back strong. In the end of the sortee, he blooded my forehead and welcomed me to fight club. I had survived and I found a new found respect for myself.

    ZH taught me there is more than searching for knowledge in the world. One must find the courage to defend and spread this to others. Just as when I was in a dojo when I was 15. It was easy to learn forms, punches, kicks and blocks. Truth came when I, the only girl, had to walk up and spar with a black belt while all watched. This was the culmination of my teaching, the revealing whom I was when confronted with the unstructured nature of fighting. Many times I lost, a few times were a stalemate and once I was dropped to the ground repeatedly for refusing to back up as the Sensei instructed. The group of men who did not want a young girl in their midst slowly gave me respect. I look back at them now as foundational to my survival on ZH. They never knew how many times I came home and as silly girls do, sobbed in my pillow humiliated.

    The one mistake my husband claims I made was posting as a woman. He says this has prevented the honest exchange men would make with me. He has begged me to drop Miffed and create a new avatar so I would experience a less edited, more brutal and frank exchange. He has a point. In some ways I have changed the entire experience that anonymity provides. I may be experiencing my own fantasy of illusion inside a blog trying to reveal a form of enlightenment. My problem is that I cannot veil myself adequately in an assumed persona. Who I am would leak out eventually. I cannot attack someone who is vehemently belligerent when I sense deep underlying sadness inside. My compassion gets the best of me and I must reach out and offer my hand to them.

    There must be some middle ground between Fight Club and Testicular Cancer support group. This is the path of the Way where the pendulum remains in the center as long as there is no force influencing it on either side. Yin and Yang. Black and white. Masculine and feminine. Perhaps when we exhaust these polarities we can find ourselves eventually in the middle in understanding.


    1. “ZH taught me there is more than searching for knowledge in the world. One must find the courage to defend and spread this to others. “

      For the first year as a contributor on Zero Hedge the verbal and psychological beatings I took were terrible, particularly since I was NOT talking about what everyone else was; the financial world. In fact I usually discussed disturbing subjects about which those who commented either didn’t wish to hear or at least didn’t think should be posted on Zero Hedge.

      Since I had been severely abused in every manner possible beginning with my first memories as a child until I left home, I was especially sensitive to the ZH brand of abuse. But I realized if I did not learn to rise above it I would never grow. I quickly decided I would always try to take the high road by pulling back and seeking perspective before commenting or responding.

      This helped me immensely, particularly when the commenters were especially brutal…..which was often during the early ZH years. But by always attempting to be thoughtful and helpful and sticking it out even when I really wanted to run and hide, slowly I began to win over even my worst critics. It was, and still is to this day, an excellent learning experience.

      Cognitive Dissonance

Comments are closed.