Category Archives: Collapse

Denying the Demonic, by Edward Curtin

Many people reflexively give governments and the people who make them up the benefit of the doubt. More than anybody else, they should be judged by their deeds, not their words. From Edward Curtin at off-guardian.org:

In March of last year as the coronavirus panic was starting, I wrote a somewhat flippant article saying that the obsession with buying and hoarding toilet paper was the people’s vaccine.

My point was simple: excrement and death have long been associated in cultural history and in the Western imagination with the evil devil, Satan, the Lord of the underworld, the Trickster, the Grand Master who rules the pit of smelly death, the place below where bodies go.

The psychoanalytic literature is full of examples of death anxiety revealed in anal dreams of shit-filled overflowing toilets and people pissing in their pants.  Ernest Becker put it simply in The Denial of Death:

No mistake – the turd is mankind’s real threat because it reminds people of death.

The theological literature is also full of warnings about the devil’s wiles.  So too the Western classics from Aeschylus to Melville. The demonic has an ancient pedigree and has various names. Rational people tend to dismiss all this as superstitious nonsense.  This is hubris.  The Furies always exact their revenge when their existence is denied.  For they are part of ourselves, not alien beings, as the tragedy of human history has shown us time and again.

Since excremental visions and the fear of death haunt humans – the skull at the banquet as William James put it – the perfect symbol of protection is toilet paper that will keep you safe and clean and free of any reminder of the fear of death running through a panicked world.  It’s a magic trick of course, an unconscious way of thinking you are protecting yourself; a form of self-hypnosis.

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Thirdworldization: The Slow Burning SHTF of America, by Fabian Ommar

It’s a good bet that this thirdworldization is going to accelerate soon. From Fabian Ommar at theorganicprepper.com:

The developed world, accustomed to safety, convenience, and comfort, is facing a slow-burning SHTF called Thirdworldization by some. Each time humankind faces some tribulation like the one we’re currently going through, it feels like the world is coming to an end. In many senses, the threat is present: a pandemic is a serious SHTF. It IS the end for many. 

But the real SHTF isn’t just the pandemic – it’s the effects on the system that Selco warned us about from the very beginning.

The ramifications of such events as Covid-19 and government responses are real and long-lasting. Despite theories surrounding COVID-19 (conspiratorial or not), the fact is real damage has happened to the economy and our lifestyle. To those who say we’ve been through a lot since March 2020, I’d argue we haven’t yet seen the full range of consequences. Objectively, we’re not even out of the pandemic.

The question remains: how and when will this Thirdworldization play out?

I concede this doom-and-gloom talk is growing old and burning out even among preppers. But we’re not talking probabilities: it’s already happening

We must face reality and accept things are not going back to normal any time soon (if ever). It may indeed get worse before it starts getting better again. It’s past time to stop waiting for Black Swans and pay attention to subtle changes already underway.

It’s been a different SHTF for each country, each business, each family, and each person. On a more broad scale, there’s no way to tell for sure whether it will be a storm, “the” perfect storm,” or something in between. These things unfold slowly – the proverbial frog in the pot (until they catch up). As always, multiple interests and powerful forces are acting simultaneously in different directions, which means lots of possible ramifications.

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If You Don’t See Any Risk, Ask Who Will “Buy the Dip” in a Freefall? by Charles Hugh Smith

When a market is breaking down and every second counts, liquidity disappears and sometimes doesn’t reappear for days. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Nobody thinks a euphoric rally could ever go bidless, but as Greenspan belatedly admitted, liquidity is not guaranteed.

The current market melt-up is taken as nearly risk-free because the Fed has our back, i.e. the Federal Reserve will intervene long before any market decline does any damage.

It’s assumed the Fed or its proxies, i.e. the Plunge Protection Team, will be the buyer in any freefall sell-off: no matter how many punters are selling, the PPT will keep buying with its presumably unlimited billions.

If this looks risk-free, ask who else will be “buying the dip” in a freefall? Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan answered this question in his post-2008 crash essay Never Saw It Coming: Why the Financial Crisis Took Economists By Surprise (Dec. 2013 Foreign Affairs):

“They (financial firms) failed to recognize that market liquidity is largely a function of the degree of investors’ risk aversion, the most dominant animal spirit that drives financial markets. But when fear-induced market retrenchment set in, that liquidity disappeared overnight, as buyers pulled back. In fact, in many markets, at the height of the crisis of 2008, bids virtually disappeared.”

For the uninitiated, bids are the price offered to buyers of stocks and ETFs and the ask is the price offered to sellers. When bids virtually disappear, this means buyers have vanished: everyone willing to buy on the way down (known as catching the falling knife) has already bought and been crushed with losses, and so there’s nobody left (and no trading bots, either) to buy.

When buyers vanish, the market goes bidless, meaning when you enter your “sell” order at a specific price (limit order), there’s nobody willing to buy your shares at the current price. The shares remains yours all the way down.

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The Ugly Truth About Printing Press Money, by MN Gordon

The monthly budget deficit in March of this year was $660 billion, which was the annual budget deficit in 2017. It takes a PhD in economics to believe a government can perpetually borrow and never go broke. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

Weeping and gnashing of teeth shall come…

We don’t know when, exactly.  But we do know a certain catastrophe’s approaching.  In fact, we can see it on the horizon.

Does anyone in Washington give a rip the nation’s beyond broke?  Does anyone in Congress care that outright money printing is what’s financing their stimulus bills?  Does House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters think it’s all a real hoot?

Surely, someone in the legislature is aghast at federal spending that’s gone completely out of control.

Are you aghast?

We are.  But there’s nothing we can do to stop it.  Nearly all remnants of fiscal conservatism have been quarantined from federal government.

The majority of the electorate have voted for generous gifts from the public treasury.  They want free education, free food, free phones, free transportation, and free drugs.  They want debt forgiveness.  Most of all, they want free money.

Many representatives are pushing the President to give the voters what they want…and what the politicians have promised.  Specifically, more stimmy checks.  According to MoneyWise:

“More than 75 members of Congress say that until the pandemic is over, there should be regular stimulus checks.  President Joe Biden is being urged to wrap them into the $2.3 trillion infrastructure spending plan he’s now promoting.”

Stimmy checks, as far as we can tell, have nothing to do with infrastructure.  Yet that’s the beauty of perpetual stimmy checks in the interminable pandemic era.  The legislature can “wrap them into” just about anything.  All it takes is a simple stimmy check earmark.

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Some clear thinking on the yesterday’s massive deficit announcement, by Simon Black

They have a name for countries where the government’s central bank is the largest buyer of the government’s debt: banana republics. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

Every single month, the US Treasury Department is legally obliged to publish monthly financial statements to the public.

This is typically a pretty boring ritual which attracts minimal fanfare; few people pay attention, or even care to look at the federal government’s accounting of its assets, liabilities, income and expenses.

Yet yesterday’s financial statements were pretty groundbreaking, as they showed that the US federal government deficit so far this fiscal year is an astonishing $1.7 trillion.

Bear in mind we’re only halfway through the fiscal year (which began in October 2020). So there’s a lot more red ink to follow.

That $1.7 trillion deficit figure doesn’t even include a lot of recent and pending legislation, including COVID relief, infrastructure, and all the other fantasy spending bills the Bolsheviks are putting forward.

Now, rather than focus on the headline figure, I’d like to take you on a quick tour of the federal debt today and have an objective discussion of what lies ahead.

First off, it’s important to understand that when the federal government goes into debt, it does so by issuing bonds; bonds are financial securities (like stocks) which entitle the holder to be repaid with interest.

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The Time Has Come for a Campaign of Resistance, by Gen Z Conservative

It’s past time for a campaign of resistance, but better late than never. From Gen Z Conservative at genzconservative.com:

a campaign of resistance

As Jordan Schatchel recently wrote on AIER, Covid has killed the free world. The West, that brave group of countries that stood up to and defeated first the fascist threat then the Soviet threat, standing up for republican and democratic ideals against the tyrants of the East, has fallen into the grip of tyrants. Petty tyrants, to be sure, but, as CS Lewis noted in his quotation about the worst type of tyranny, those tyrants are some of the most insidious and evil. Well, I say NO MORE! The time has come for a campaign of resistance. We must stand up to tyranny.

First, let’s review what the Covid tyrants have done to this land and the nations of our friends.

In the US, practically every state not run by a deep-red governor is still shut down to some extent and bureaucrats with any scrap of power are abusing it. The government was prodding people to take a vaccine that can cause blood clots, masks are still a requirement in most stores and restaurants from sea to shining sea, various arbitrary restrictions on opening and capacity plague small business owners, and overweight people still glare (or scream) at you for “putting their health in danger” by not wearing a mask or properly social distancing. As if a lack of a piece of blue cloth is worse for them than fifty years of unhealthy eating. In any case, we have become a nation of tyrants and informants.

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Joe Biden’s Demonic Phase, by James Howard Kunstler

Biden and the Democrats proceed from stupid to evil. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Joe Biden’s party must be thinking — if you call it thinking — that being psychotic isn’t enough… it’s time to go demonic! How else to explain the supernatural doings of the folks in charge of things in our nation’s capital. The casual observer might suppose that these things are spinning out of control, but you also have to wonder how much Joe Biden & Company are spinning them that way. Are they looking to start a war, for instance?

Three weeks ago, Ol’ White Joe called Vladimir Putin “a killer.”  This week, Ol’ Joe called Vlad on the phone and suggested a friendly in-person meet-up in some “third country.” In the meantime, Ol’ Joe essayed to send a couple of US warships into the Black Sea to assert America’s interest in Ukraine, the failed state whose American-sponsored failure was engineered in 2014 by Barack Obama’s State Department. Turkey, which controls the narrow entrance to the Black Sea, was notified that two US destroyers would be steaming through its territory. Hours after the announcement, the US called off the ships. Then, hours after Ol’ Joe proffered that summit meeting, his State Department imposed new economic sanctions on Russia and tossed out a dozen or so Russian embassy staff. How’s that for a coherent foreign policy?

What’s going on in Ukraine, anyway? The US and NATO have prompted Ukraine to move troops and tanks toward the ethnically-Russian breakaway Donbass region. Russia countered by massing 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border. Though supplied with Western armaments, Ukraine’s ragtag and incompetent army has no ability to control the Donbass, nor do either NATO and the US have any real will to interfere there with their own troops — the logistics are insane. Mr. Putin’s elegant solution: evacuate the three-plus million Russians stuck in Donbass into Russia — which needs labor — ceding the empty territory to foundering Ukraine — soon to be an ungovernable post-industrial frontier between East and West. For a rich rundown on these matters, read Dmitry Orlov’s mordant disquisition on the subject: Putin’s Ukrainian Judo.

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Vaccine Passports vs. Freedom Itself, by Paul E. Alexander

Vaccine passports will end any remaining smidgen of freedom. From Paul E. Alexander at aier.org:

To reject the creeping totalitarianism and dictatorship is the lifeblood of all freedom-loving individuals across the world. Those under despotic control yearn for freedom. We need only to look at the failing state of Hong Kong, where once freedom reigned and commerce enjoyed an unprecedented expansion of wealth and enviable quality of life, and now finds its democratic pursuits thwarted while it cowers under the dictates of Chinese Communism.

CS Lewis said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.”

And it is with that in mind that we find ourselves both stunned and aghast concerning the fact that our Governments are even considering the issuance of what have become known as Covid-19 ‘vaccine passports.’ The very idea is anathema to our democratic principles and rights that are enshrined in the US Constitution as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights. The vaccine passports are being considered and/or introduced by various government bodies which will constrain the rights of citizens under the questionable guise of safety!

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From the Notebook: The Digital Yuan, Proof of Guns, and the Expiration of Money, by Tom Luongo

Central bank digital currencies aren’t going to fix the mess central banks have made of their non-digital currencies. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

One of the things that converted me to the Austrian way of thinking about the economy was the concept of money with an expiration date.  Early articles at Lewrockwell.com and Mises.org covering hyperinflations of various forms and kinds horrified me when banknotes and government scrip reached the point of forcing people to spend money versus having it lose its ‘legal tender’ status.

Money that ‘expired’ like points on your credit card was simply a horrifying idea.

Martin Armstrong makes the point all the time that the main reason why the U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency is because it is the only modern government-issued currency that hasn’t been defaulted on in over two hundred years.

In fact, it was the consolidation of the Colonial government debt held over from the Revolutionary War which ultimately doomed the government under the Articles of Confederation giving rise to the current U.S. constitution and its monopoly power to issue dollars.

That power gave the Constitution its power as an international player, telling the world the new government honored its debts. The inability of the ECB today to control the debt issuance of the euro-zone states is that currency zone’s fatal flaw and why any move towards consolidation of that power is the goal of all EU fiscal and EU monetary policy.

Absent that the EU is doomed to the same fate as the Articles of Confederation.

Fast forward to today with the world awaiting the birth of the first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the Digital Yuan from China, and we see the concept of expiration being embedded directly into what looks like the next monetary system planned for us.

We’ve come full circle, folks.

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Liberal Democratic Anarchy, by The Zman

Modern technology leaves no time to think, no time to reflect, no time for anything but random emotion and crowd psychology. From The Zman at theburningplatform.com:

In theory, the difference between mob rule and liberal democracy is that the former operates outside of authority, while the latter is limited by a set of principles. The former is operating in the moment while the latter is deliberative. Instead of just doing what feels right in the moment, like exacting revenge, liberal democracy has processes and limits, forcing people to think about what they are doing before they act. It is majority rule slowed to a crawl by the ideals of western liberalism.

The problem is that liberal democracy is an industrial age political philosophy that is unsuited for the technological age. Fifty years ago, information flowed primarily by words on a page, carried around by men. Television and radio sped up the flow of information, but the information still got into those networks by foot. Before it could be on television, someone had to go out to the scene, make video, carry it back to the studio and then edit it. It was still a slow world.

Today, information flows at the speed of light. A conspiracy theory can be hatched and promoted to millions on-line in a matter of minutes. As the old expression goes, a lie is around the world before the truth is out of bed. It is why the race hoax has become a phenomenon of this age. By the time the truth of the incident has been revealed, we are onto the third or fourth race hoax. These stories collectively build up in the system to the point where they cumulatively become a truth of their own.

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