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    Breaking Free

    Escape the old system for a more meaningful life
    by Chris Martenson

    Saturday, April 6, 2019, 8:56 AM

Executive Summary

  • The importance of continuous learning and clarifying your Why?
  • Why personal integrity is your most valuable asset
  • Why our current challenges are actually a call to greatness
  • The key question is: How will you choose to answer it?

If you have not yet read Part 1: The Lab Rat That Survives Is The One Who Escapes Its Cage, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

There’s a generational breakdown occurring with increasing numbers of young people — let’s define them as the under-30 crowd — falling into despair, dismay and even outright demoralization over the state of the world.  Put bluntly, many of them see nothing to gain by preserving the status quo.

Conversely, the over 50 crowd has already paid into the system and desperately wants to preserve the status quo.  That’s where their retirement dreams exist.  With their finger now on the brass ring, it’s simply unthinkable to ponder that it could slip out of their grasp.

This demographic divide, between those with nothing to gain and those with everything to lose, grows wider every day.

Here’s a very typical comment from a Millennial that I ran across just this morning (4/5/19).  It’s a very common refrain these days:

(Source)

There’s not much I can add to that besides to say, “You’re right!”  And, “Sorry.”

The very worst of it all is that the system into which the young are born ask them to perpetuate that same system by getting good grades, going into college student debt, and then working extra hard as tax donkeys and debt slaves for the rest of their lives.

As the above Millennial pointed out, it’s working in those (often pointless) jobs that is destroying the planet.  Might as well inject oneself daily with a cumulatively fatal poison.

The promises of the generations before them ring hollow.  The pensions have all been raided and hollowed out.  Forced payments into Medicare and Social Security are never going to be returned in kind and are merely last-ditch payments to provide some measure of cover for the boomers relying on them.  Embarrassingly poor infrastructure and massive piles of debt and underfunded liabilities are the true economic bequeathments of the prior generations to the next.

From Stephen Jenkinson we learned that every older person needs to be ready for the day when a younger person walks up to them and asks them two questions. “When did you know?”  and “What did you do about it?”

For a disturbingly large number of olders (not elders) their response will be “Know about what?” because they are too deeply stuck in the current narrative to even notice the damage being done, let alone mount an intelligent, thoughtful response to it all.

For the rest of us, we have to begin plotting our own path to breaking free from a self-destructive paradigm.

Learn, Learn, Learn!

It all begins with educating ourselves properly.  I’m not talking about schooling here, I am talking about learning.  Sometimes those overlap, and sometimes they do not.

At a recent event I was asked by a 22-year-old what he might do to work towards having a career of power and influence.  He wanted to know the path to success, which is a useful pursuit at that age.  I didn’t give him any tips in that regard, but asked him the most important question I could.

“Why?”

Why did he want to be successful?  If he didn’t know the Why? right now, that was okay being so young. But that question should be lurking there, always being asked.  The Why? might well change over time, it usually does.  But without a Why?, ‘success’ becomes its own thing, never really attained because there’s always more success to be had.  A destination without a spot.

I’ve known many people who finally achieved great success in their chosen pursuits only to stand there like a dog with a chrome bumper in their mouth unsure of what to do now that the life-long chase was over.  They become lost, many opting to simply chase more success because it’s what they knew how to do.

The reason is because they never asked themselves the Why? question.  Why am I doing this?  What’s the purpose?

I also told this eager young man that he should be educating himself daily.  Always be learning.  Educating oneself about the true nature of things is a never-ending, life-long process.

Grow, change, remain mentally flexible, and never think that he now knew any particular thing to the extent that there was no more learning to be gained from it.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

  ~ Marcus Aurelius

There’s always another deeper layer to explore. Freeing oneself from the social conditioning and constructs, especially of a culture that has lost its way and that lacks integrity, is the most important work one can undertake.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

    ~ Marcus Aurelius

Part I of this report brought to your attention important information about how we are wired and how that’s been exploited and used against us for a wide variety of purposes, none of them particularly inspiring or helpful.

It’s pretty much considered by the masses to be insane to question the way things are.  The more you research, the more you learn, the crazier you sound to your ignorant friends.  Not stupid, I said ignorant, which is a condition of ‘not knowing’ rather than intelligence.

But who is actually more insane?  The person who shrugs their shoulders and accepts a $85,000 hospital bill for a simple procedure, or the person who understands the many layers of deceitful decisions and financial control that made that possible?

Is the person who brightly points out how cool the latest technology is more well-adjusted than the person who notices that there are no insects on their windshield or around the nighttime porch light anymore?

The one thing that everyone needs to bring into their lives is an open and outrageous dedication to learning.  Education involves two vital parts: learning new things and unlearning that which is plainly wrong.

Personal Integrity

I read constantly.  It’s a big part of my job, and I am very fortunate to have the time and curiosity to follow things where they may lead.  I like to figure out why things are the way they are, and I like knowing how things work.

In fact, I often can’t really grasp a concept until I understand the mechanism.  For instance, until I understood the mechanism by which money is created during the creation of a bank loan, I didn’t really understand either banking or why becoming trapped as a debt slave was both deeply unfair and something I’d prefer to avoid being.

Something has really shifted during my lifetime and we’ve passed from a world where integrity had a meaningful toehold and fundamentals mattered.  Context and education were once valued but now quite often missing from really important conversations.  Without context Trump just appeared and shocked many of the people who lacked insight into or experience with the ways in which the lives of the majority of the people in the US had been hollowed out.

Ditto for Brexit.  Same goes for the Yellow Vests, which the press either completely ignores or smears as an anti-Semitic, conspiracy fueled movement, when it is nothing of the sort.

There are a lot of moving pieces to the story as exponentials bear down and hyper-complicate everything for everyone.  Resources are being consumed exponentially, and technology is progressing exponentially.  Complexity is building higher and higher and people are increasingly seeking refuge in simplicity, drinking, video games and other distractions.

Throughout all of this, I am being asked to participate in a system that utterly lacks integrity.  It does not offer the best outcomes for all, but concentrates resources and opportunities into the realm of the very few.

Our system supports and elevates profits and death above personal freedom and life.  Monsanto gets a free pass from the system because it makes money and is a system of control over farming and life itself.  It is a merchant of poison and death.  Meanwhile, if you dare to care, and become involved in pointing out that black lives matter, or that Monsanto is doing horrible things, the FBI will track you.

The only proper response to any and all of this is to develop our personal integrity.  My word is my bond.  I say what I mean, and I do what I say.  I have dedicated myself to serving others, indeed to serving all of life, and my inner compass is rarely confused about how to behave or what to believe.

We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.

     ~   Marcus Aurelius

Your integrity is your most valuable asset, as it is mine.  I can only break your trust once, and then it is gone.  I cannot lie to you even once, or intentionally hurt you without irretrievably diminishing or connection.

It took me a long time to understand this, but the person I would be hurting the most by acting out of integrity was myself.  With this knowledge, my integrity is finally secure, and unshakable.

That I happen to live in a culture that makes a sport out of lying, and endlessly “forgives” liars and cheats is irrelevant.  My integrity is not swayed by what others are or are not doing around me.  As with a moral position, it’s not situational.

True positions of high integrity are always in play.  They do not bend or depend.  They are not stridently on display over here, but missing in action over there.  They exist independently from the present circumstances.

If you have achieved significance in life, then you are operating from a position of consciously held integrity.   To have one, you have to have the other.

The Road Not Worth Taking

The grand experiment underway only has two paths.  It either works or it doesn’t.  This first, the dominant path, is promoting the current trends of globalization, concentration of wealth, increasing technology penetration in our lives, the loss of privacy (for the little people), and loss of non-human life on the planet.  With luck this path finds a way to persist but most likely it ends in collapse and the loss of everything we hold dear.

The second path requires us to bravely reject the many “truths” and creature comforts of the other path and chart a new direction entirely.  One that has room in its heart for all of life, lives in deep relationship with each other, and values love over hate and war.  It is a more balance path, one that re-elevates feminine attributes to an equal position alongside the masculine traits that now dominate in an unhealthy, unbalanced way.

For those unfamiliar with this line of thinking, I am not saying anything about gender (males and females) nor am I saying that masculine traits are toxic or unwanted.  What I am saying is that our culture has too much of one and not enough of the other.  Balance is key, and we lack that.

As I wrote in The End of Empire Approaches:

One missing element from today?  Reverence for the goddess, for the feminine.  I cannot think of a single western homage paid to the feminine.  No temples to the goddesses and no elevation of feminine attributes.

This is important to note, not because we wish to bash the masculine, but because anything out of balance requires rebalancing. In fact, re-elevating the feminine will actually bring honor and meaning back to the masculine.

Our world is caught up entirely in money, and power, and wars, and force.  We revere power over rather than power within.

So the questions I’d like to leave you with are these.

  • Where do you have beauty in your life?  Do you consciously manifest it?
  • What do you revere?
  • How honorable are you?
  • Do you instill a sense of loyalty in those around you?  Who would rob your grave and how quickly after you passed?
  • Who do you honor, and how?  Also, why?
  • How important is it for you to be surrounded by people you can trust, and whose opinions you trust?
  • Where and how do you respect, honor and encourage the feminine in yourself (whether you are male or female), in others, and especially in nature?

The masculine is outer directed, the feminine is that which is inner directed.  The masculine penetrates, measures, weighs, reasons, explores, conquers, has insight, and initiates.  The feminine looks inwards towards feeling, senses, is directed towards relationships, nurtures, fosters coming together, has intuition and is helpful.

Doing and being.  Masculine and feminine.  Both important, and always best when equally balanced.

My assessment is that our current culture is almost entirely focused on the doing, the masculine, but really needs to pause and reflect on the being.

With a little introspection we might ask why we are so intent on hauling the last oil out of the deep shales right now.  Why do we need to develop new genetic organisms right now?  Why do we need more money for wars and conquest right now?  Why is everything in such a rush that it has to be undertaken right now before more thoughtful reflection can be brought to bear.  After all, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

A thoughtful, reflective culture would weigh its own immediate needs and gratifications against the unknown needs of future generations and probably come to the conclusion that making more money today is not quite as important as leaving the future some seed corn.

All this urgent doing without much being means it is pretty close to random in its effects and all the data suggests it has not given us a better society, richer lives, or more meaning and purpose. It’s given about as much as it has taken, which fits the definition of random.

It’s given us a lot of stuff, and a lot that very distracting and ultimately unhealthy to the planet and ourselves, which is precisely what you’d expect and predict if you set monkeys loose inside a Wal-Mart super center to craft a living from the contents.  The first week would make for some hilarious Youtube videos.  The second month after the food ran out would be sad and tragic.

All doing and no context or meaningful reflection is a bad combo.  Maybe not immediately, but eventually.

The odd part is that the list of masculine attributes includes logic and reason but the current path we are on depends on certain things continuing that simply cannot.

For example, oil and soil are depleting while population is growing and because we eat oil after cycling it through some grains first, that’s a math equation that eventually leads to starvation and a population decline.  One could argue that’s a long way off and maybe we’ll figure something out ‘by then’ but there’s nothing beyond that thin, increasingly tenuous hope.  No plans, no logic, no reason on display.

The probability between choosing the successful path collapse and is no longer balanced between the two but tilted ever more towards collapse.

How do I know this is the case?  Because every trend I track is on an unsustainable trajectory.    In many cases the collapse is already underway.  Collapse is a process, not an event.

The young people across the globe have started to figure that out and are protesting and rising up feeling into the futility of participating in a system that has no place for them and offers no reasonable solutions.

The authorities have figured it out too and are working quickly to chip, track, and invade the privacy of every person on the planet.  They have plans to monitor everything, and to eventually move to a cashless society where every purchase can be monitored and, if necessary, any particular individual cut off and shut out of all commerce.

The purpose is control, the driver is fear.  The powerful are as aware of the trends and their significance as anyone at Peak Prosperity.  They can add up the remaining resources and divide by use and extrapolate.  The results are not difficult to interpret.  Plans have been made.

Conclusion

Our call here is to educate yourself as to the true nature of the world and then use your inner guidance to navigate in the ways that feel the best to you, comport with your integrity, and offer meaning and purpose.

In my case, this means living as lightly as I can and using my intellect to grow as much abundance as possible for myself, my neighbors and as many critters as I can bear (sorry woodchucks, not you.  Not here.  You are greedy and destructive and have no mind for the future. Your afternoon snack of bean seedlings is an entire set of meals for dozens a few weeks later on).

I’ve begun to wean myself off of my attachment to screens, banishing them from my bedroom of late.

I’m exploring ways to generally avoid the rigged system of money and stocks by working to build assets that provide value.  Real estate, especially productive land, and forging relationships with younger people who need help finding ways to craft a meaningful life without fully participating in the job, tax donkey, debt slave cage that was built for them.

The everything bubble is being re-inflated even as I type this.  In disappointment after disappointment the central banks have panicked at every slight downward wiggle in the stock market. Now Trump is openly calling for rate cuts, and end to the Fed’s tightening program, and a resumption of QE4.

And he might get it.

Never mind that financial conditions are the easiest they’ve been since 1994, never mind that stocks are already near their all-time highs, and never mind that the main “product” of all the prior money printing (QE) was the largest and most deeply unfair wealth gap in all of human history.

(Source)

The longer this path is followed, the darker the outcomes.  Bubbles are never easy to burst, and it takes guts for a central banker to do that, but there are no brave central bankers left anywhere in the world.  They know the score.  They know what lurks on the other side of this monster bubble that was blown beginning back in the early 1980’s.

That’s when the world embarked on a journey of growing debts at 2x the rate of underlying economic growth.  We now have well over a decade of ~2% growth but debt growth that is now ~ 10%.

We are very confident that’s a very bad idea and that it will crash rather spectacularly someday.  When, we have no idea.

All we can be sure of is that “leaders” devoid of integrity will publicly proclaim all is well even as they work furiously behind the scenes to lock the doors and grab as much of the loot as they can for themselves and their friends.

Your only hope to play the game is to not fall for the distracting diversions of things like Instagram and instead spend your time building your eight forms of capital and investing in your education and inner development.

Build assets but keep an eye on what ‘they’ are up to because the rules will get changed and it’s always best if you can be on the right side of those rule changes.  One example; the most recent tax overhaul was very beneficial to real estate investors (such as Trump).  I know, what a surprise, right?

Most of all, find ways to build connections with your tribe.  The main point of many of the changes of the past 40 years was to cause people to become isolated, feel powerless, and to accept (but not shape) the changes that the corporate/state power structure had in mind.

Let’s reject that out of principle, and because doing the opposite of what ‘they’ want is probably in our best interests.

~ Chris Martenson

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20 Comments

  • Sat, Apr 06, 2019 - 2:39am

    #1
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 110

    2

    Plus ça change…

    …plus c'est la même chose.
    Amazing how relevant are the thoughts of Marcus Aurelius (d.180 AD) to today's world.

     

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  • Sat, Apr 06, 2019 - 12:56pm

    #2
    richcabot

    richcabot

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Apr 05 2011

    Posts: 478

    1

    Leaders

    "All we can be sure of is that “leaders” devoid of integrity will publicly proclaim all is well even as they work furiously behind the scenes to lock the doors and grab as much of the loot as they can for themselves and their friends."
    Isn't that pretty much all of them?

     

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  • Sat, Apr 06, 2019 - 3:48pm

    #3
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 110

    1

    Masculine and Feminine

    One definition I saw somewhere:
    Masculine = Fight or Flight
    Feminine = Include and Nourish
    This world system is run by the masculine mentality. Does anyonet know of any studies demonstrating what it might look like were it run by the feminine?

     

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  • Sun, Apr 07, 2019 - 12:39am

    #4

    thatchmo

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Dec 13 2008

    Posts: 381

    1

    At the risk of exposing my

    At the risk of exposing my ignorance, I think the systemic masculine will never allow the feminine influence until the current system is in ashes.  Thatcher, Pelosi, Feinstein, Clinton, perhaps even AOC are not the ones.  When the smoke clears, we will perhaps embrace the truly feminine and be nurtured, nourished, and renewed.  With a freshly-humbled masculine for balance.....but, what do I know?  Aloha, Steve
    Now, Mother Teresa....

     

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  • Sun, Apr 07, 2019 - 7:20am

    #5

    Waterdog14

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jan 18 2014

    Posts: 146

    2

    Female vs. the feminine

    thatchmo wrote:

    ...the systemic masculine will never allow the feminine influence until the current system is in ashes.  Thatcher, Pelosi, Feinstein, Clinton, perhaps even AOC are not the ones.  When the smoke clears, we will perhaps embrace the truly feminine and be nurtured, nourished, and renewed.  With a freshly-humbled masculine for balance.....but, what do I know?  Aloha, Steve
    Now, Mother Teresa....

    Don't confuse females with the feminine.  Most of the women you listed (Thatcher, Pelosi, Clinton) are operating from a masculine mindset of striving for power and dominance.  Women who rise to power in our society typically do so based on the masculine energy and characteristics they exhibit.
    Regardless of gender, we all contain both masculine and feminine "energies".  The masculine response to stress (fight or flight) and feminine (tend and befriend) can occur in any gender.  The masculine approach to problem solving (analysis) and feminine (intuition) can occur in any gender.  The masculine approach to others (competition) and feminine (cooperation) can occur in any gender. 
    In recent years, I've let go of many of the masculine characteristics that served me well in my professional career:  working nonstop, doing, doing, doing, crushing people's feelings to get the job done, ignoring my wedding anniversary to focus on work, judging, comparing, analyzing, competing...  My clients appreciated my work.  My employees learned a lot, but didn't necessarily like me all that much.  Now I'm trying to listen more, to open my heart, to use my intuition to solve problems, to meditate, to respect others' feelings.  These feminine attributes are "in there, somewhere" and I'm working to balance the feminine and masculine in myself.
    My gender is female.  I'm an INTJ.  Still a workaholic, but willing to stop and listen, now.
    Waterdog  

     

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  • Sun, Apr 07, 2019 - 8:47am

    Littleskipper

    Littleskipper

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    Joined: Jan 06 2010

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    1

    Waterdog

    I, too, am a female INTJ.  Over the past three years I have been striving to openly embrace my feminine side after years of believing I was much more comfortable operating with my masculine energy.  I was recently doing energy work with a practitioner who explained that muscle pain in the left shoulder/neck has to do with the feminine energies and that pain on the right side is our masculine energy.  Therefore if one side hurts more than the other we are feeling weighed down with concerns that are primarily feminine or masculine oriented.

     

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  • Sun, Apr 07, 2019 - 12:52pm

    thatchmo

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Dec 13 2008

    Posts: 381

    1

    Thanks for the reply

    Thanks for the reply Waterdog.  No confusion here.  Agree with your assessment of female vs. feminine.  I could have written your 3rd paragraph, with minor modifications....Aloha, Steve.

    In recent years, I've let go of many of the masculine characteristics that served me well in my professional career:  working nonstop, doing, doing, doing, crushing people's feelings to get the job done, ignoring my wedding anniversary to focus on work, judging, comparing, analyzing, competing...  My clients appreciated my work.  My employees learned a lot, but didn't necessarily like me all that much.  Now I'm trying to listen more, to open my heart, to use my intuition to solve problems, to meditate, to respect others' feelings.  These feminine attributes are "in there, somewhere" and I'm working to balance the feminine and masculine in myself.

     

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  • Mon, Apr 08, 2019 - 2:38pm

    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 6655

    3

    Balance for all relationships

    Waterdog14 wrote:

    In recent years, I've let go of many of the masculine characteristics that served me well in my professional career:  working nonstop, doing, doing, doing, crushing people's feelings to get the job done, ignoring my wedding anniversary to focus on work, judging, comparing, analyzing, competing...  My clients appreciated my work.  My employees learned a lot, but didn't necessarily like me all that much.  Now I'm trying to listen more, to open my heart, to use my intuition to solve problems, to meditate, to respect others' feelings.  These feminine attributes are "in there, somewhere" and I'm working to balance the feminine and masculine in myself.

    I too am working to balance my masculine and feminine sides, and have been for years.  
    Pre 2011 I would assess myself as being 100% in my head, and 100% in my masculine.  Not in a good way either.  Yes, I excelled in what my culture wanted me to do; was successful, made money, crisp decisions, was very rational, etc.
    But I really wasn't as happy or healthy as I could have been.  I took a really solid knock to my sense of self, the illusion of success that I had bought into, to get me onto a different track.
    By the mother of all surprises I found my heart, and began listening to it, and felt for a while like I had gained some sort of magical ESP or something.  I told everyone that I knew about it, but really lacked the words to express what I had gained.
    Much later, several years on, I had a flash of realization that I hadn't actually gained anything at all, but remembered something I had as a child that had gone so far underground I forgot it was ever there.  That was my ability to connect with nature, and the wider world through a knowing that defies rational explanation (so far...science may someday catch up, I believe).
    This extends know to my relationships as well.  
    After much inner work I discovered something else even more profound; my final stage of life is not about gaining new skills or learning new things but letting go of those things that stand between me and everything and everyone else.  My masks and false beliefs - I'm losing them steadily.
    And now I know.  Of all the things I can share with someone, the most profound is my full, undivided attention.  It is our presence that connects and transforms as much, if not more, than anything else.
    Similarly a good question delivered at the right time beats great advice every time.  Being able to ask the right question, at the right time, for me rests with my intuition.  I don't know how the right question will form, and I don't sweat it, I trust that one will form if it's supposed to.
    Most pwerfully, I have learned that being in my divine masculine is the most important of possible facets of my current relationship. I have learned much from David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man and other excellent books) and if I am in any way going to help heal the rift between the masculine and the feminine that begins at home, with me, first.
    I am a much better, more relaxed, and confident person than I ever used to be, and that often translates into me just sitting back and not saying much of anything, as when I was on a panel recently and the other "contestants" were so urgently displaying their egos.  A few years back I would have been right in the thick of that contest.  Now, not so much...

     

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  • Tue, Apr 09, 2019 - 4:48am

    #9

    TwinTown

    Status: Member

    Joined: May 10 2010

    Posts: 6

    1

    Gen X

    The Millennial quote reminded me of Douglas Copland's book "Generation X: Tales for an accelerated culture". Published in 1991, it's a work of fiction that captures the listlessness, restlessness, of the under 30 crowd -- nowhere to direct their anger, no one to assuage their fears. I read the book again last weekend and those themes still resonated with me but its angst toward boomers and consumerism is quaint compared to today's intensity.

     

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  • Tue, Apr 09, 2019 - 5:47am

    #10
    drbost

    drbost

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    Joined: Aug 18 2010

    Posts: 35

    1

    The Power of Questions

    Thank you, Chris, for your emotionally transparent insights (see comment #8, above).
    Your insight that "...a good question delivered at the right time beats great advice every time" is a crucial component of compassionate care.  Responses to such questions determine whether or not the other person is ready to consider the information or perspective you have to offer.  If their resonses suggest that they're ready, then--wonderful--offer it, and follow-up with more questions.  If not, affirm them and move on; they may become ready later.  Asking good questions is necessary in helping others discover whether or not they are ready now to consider changing their beliefs.
    PP readers who are interested in the science and application of asking questions may find Motivational Interviewing and CBT by Naar and Safren (2017) to be valuable.  While written for mental health clinicians, it's readily applicable to those of us concerned with beliefs regarding the 3 E's.
     

     

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  • Tue, Apr 09, 2019 - 6:47am

    #11
    vitalvision

    vitalvision

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    Joined: Dec 08 2015

    Posts: 12

    0

    Balance

    As always Chris, thanks for sharing your journey.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 10, 2019 - 10:43am

    #12
    DavidSV

    DavidSV

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    Joined: Oct 29 2011

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    0

    More empathy equals more cooperation

    Unsure if empathy should be more associated with feminine side, but I always thought so.  
    https://theconversation.com/empathy-is-the-secret-ingredient-that-makes-cooperation-and-civilization-possible-115105?
    Using a branch of mathematics called evolutionary game theory to explore this feature of human societies, my collaborators and I found that empathy – a uniquely human capacity to take another person’s perspective – might be responsible for sustaining such extraordinarily high levels of cooperation in modern societies.
     

     

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  • Fri, Apr 19, 2019 - 6:29am

    #13
    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

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    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 6655

    5

    Breaking Free - Extinction rebellion

    How should the media actually sound?
    Like this:

     

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  • Fri, Apr 19, 2019 - 2:36pm

    #14
    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

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    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 6655

    1

    Let's not forget this...

    This is from a rather extensive PowerPoint presentation made to a division of the GCHQ, the Biritish version of the NSA.
    It outlines, in table form, the sorts of modules that can be brought to bear to "influence" on-line discussions and comment areas.
    Each box represents a deep line of inquiry and experimentation.  Some of the boxes requrie human operators, and some are now fulfilled by AI bots that have been trained to exploit human wiring to plant false ideas, cast doubt on undesirable truths, and conflate real events with planted hoaxes.

    I shiver when I look at the sophistication involved.
    At any rate, if you find yourself confounded by what appear to be devout morons on Twitter, or in the comment section of the NYTimes, it's always helpful to remember you may be reading the 'thoughts' of an AI bot, a Monsanto PR firm employee, or a private in the AirForce at Elgin operating 50 accounts from a cubicle.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 19, 2019 - 11:09am

    #15

    thc0655

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2828

    1

    Truth-telling


     

     

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  • Fri, Apr 19, 2019 - 1:34pm

    #16

    thc0655

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 2828

    1

    On conspiracy theories

    http://alt-market.com/articles/3728-are-conspiracy-theories-tearing-society-apart-or-saving-us-from-destruction

    The phrase “conspiracy theory” is often used by establishment agencies, the mainstream media and useful idiots as a tool to dismiss legitimate evidence or viewpoints that disagree with their predetermined version of events. This method of propaganda was not always as widespread as it is today. The phrase was not “created” by the CIA, but it was in fact weaponized by them in the 1960's after the assassination of John F. Kennedy with the express purpose of shutting down rational debate.
    CIA memo 1035-960, circulated within the CIA in 1967 and exposed through a freedom of information act request by the New York Times in 1976, outlines strategies the agency would use to shut down critics of the Warren Commission Report. Specifically, they suggested the accusation of “conspiracy” with negative connotations attached, predominantly in mainstream books and articles. This was indeed done through the CIA's many puppets in the media, and the concept of “conspiracy theory” as a pejorative was born.
    Through the use of strawman arguments, red herring fallacies and sophistry, the incredible scale of evidence (exposed by investigators like New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison) suggesting the Warren Commission was either corrupt or ignorant in its findings was buried in a flurry of hatchet jobs and hit pieces. And this was the goal, of course; to attack the messenger and silence the truth without having to go through the ugly process of directly confronting the truth.
    Until recently, this strategy was highly effective. Attacking a person as a “conspiracy theorist” was the only tool critics really needed to keep a piece of evidence or a concrete viewpoint from going viral. Conspiracy theory is equated to insanity, or stupidity, or buffoonery. Everyone knows a conspiracy theorist is not to be taken seriously, so why waste time listening to what they have to say in the first place?
    It should come as no surprise that conspiracy REALITY is not something these people want entertained by the public. Conspiracies are a fact of history. Governments lie, all the time, and they have been caught doing it. The media lies, constantly, and has been caught doing it. Yet, we are supposed to ignore this and assume that anyone daring to stand contrary to government and media claims is some kind of lunatic?
    In the past 5-10 years, however, things have been changing. Suddenly, anti-establishment views and investigations of corruption are bulldozing the mainstream scripted narrative, and the elites and the media are bewildered. They can see they are losing control of popular thought and they are disturbed, to say the least. A steady stream of articles and essays have been flooding the MSM recently lamenting the rise of “conspiracy culture” and warning of the “death of democracy” if this is allowed to continue.
    They seem specifically angered by the idea that their “journalistic” and “professional” status no longer matters to most people. Not long ago, anyone wearing a suit, a uniform, a lab coat, a journalist's badge or collecting a government paycheck was supposed to be immediately taken seriously as a designated “expert”. As Noam Chomsky describes them in his book 'Manufacturing Consent', they were the professional class, the top 10% or less of individuals with “all the answers”. These were the people the establishment sought to indoctrinate most of all, because these were the community leaders that many in the public listened to without question.
    Now there is a growing movement of people who could not care less about what kind of degree someone's parents purchased for them from an ivy league university. They don't care about establishment designations and fake accolades and titles and credentials. What they care about are facts and evidence. What they care about are the arguments a person puts forth, rather than how important they purport to be. This is causing some consternation among the elites.
    A key figure and gatekeeper in the propaganda war against the alternative media and conspiracy reality is Cass Sunstein, former “Information Czar” in the Obama Administration. Sunstein has written numerous books and articles lamenting the growing influence of the alternative media, including his book 'Conspiracy Theories And Dangerous Ideas'.
    The main thrust of Sunstein's position is that conspiracy theories isolate the populace into small groups of like-minded people perpetuating each others “misguided” views. He also suggests that these groups represent a concrete threat to the stability of government and of society by spreading wrong (or perhaps inconvenient) information and civil unrest. In other words, a few decades ago all information was centralized and filtered by the corporate media and government, and now the internet is decentralizing information flow thereby allowing people to think differently and break from the majority narrative, which is unacceptable by Sunstein's standards.
    Sunstein sees the creation of a public hive mind as the best outcome for social order. He suggests in his book 'Nudge' the concept of “Libertarian Paternalism” (which is neither libertarian or paternal). He advocates for the control of societythrough subversive means of influence (nudging) while allowing people to continue believing that their choices are actually their own.
    But how would Sunstein go about executing this influence? His solution to the threat of the alternative media was first made clear in his paper titled 'Conspiracy Theories', published in 2008. In it, he argues in favor of government interference or control of alternative media or “conspiracy theory” sources. His primary tactic was the infiltration of alternative media forums and sites by government agents or private actors paid by the government to disrupt discussion, derail activism and sow seeds of doubt or chaos. Effectively, Sunstein wanted the covert destruction of the liberty media by paid agitators.
    So, the same man who accuses the alternative media of conspiracy mongering and the destruction of the western world is actively seeking to foment a conspiracy to undermine that movement. Is this irony, or hypocrisy or both?  Doesn't this mean that Sunstein is a part of one of the very conspiracies he criticizes people like me for being concerned about?
    Sunstein and his elitist ilk want the power to erase or sabotage the alternative media. In fact, there are probably a few of their agent provocateurs attacking this article in the comments below right now. They would prefer that the government eventually take full control of the internet and dictate the terms of media participation directly. This gives rise to one of the most important questions that the establishment does not want to answer – Who gets to decide what is and what is not “dangerous conspiracy theory”?
    If pressed, the elites will ultimately suggest that they are the best qualified. Sunstein describes the general public in his books as essentially lazy, unintelligent, impulsive and not to be trusted to make good decisions. He does not seem to include himself and his globalist comrades as being prone to the same weaknesses. They are apparently wise and benevolent enough to make the best decisions for all of us. Imagine that...
    This elitism bias and Sunstein's overall methodology for biting at the ankles of the liberty media is being carried over into a new wave of propaganda in the past couple of years, primarily coming from (though not limited to) the political left.
    Sunstein's gatekeeping has spawned a cancerous growth of copycats in progressive academics. This is going on everywhere, but one particular example I found recently was on Vox, a leftist rag which shamelessly flaunts its political bias and actively slanders conservatives.  Vox's article 'Conspiracy Theories Are Getting More Absurd And Harder To Refute' promotes a new book which regurgitates Sunstein's propaganda model. The article takes special time to reassert the old disinformation narrative by stating that:
    Democracy requires a minimum amount of mutual trust among citizens, and conspiracism destroys it.”
    Are you getting the sense yet that there is a repetitive message coming from these people that they want you to embrace? Is there ANYTHING true about the statement above?  The fundamental root of their argument is that conspiracy theories (viewpoints outside the mainstream) must be treated as existential threats to society. In other words, some ideas are so dangerous that they must be controlled or outlawed. The basis of this argument, though, is entirely fraudulent.
    First, leftists incessantly refer to our society as a "democracy", I think because they believe if they tell the lie enough it will become reality by default.   The US was never intended to be a “democracy”, but a Republic, and with good reason. Democracy requires blind and often misplaced faith in the system. A Republic requires constant vigilance and healthy skepticism. In a Republic, we are not supposed to simply “trust” that our leaders are going to do the right thing. We are supposed to put them under a microscope, uncover criminality and corruption, and generally make them uncomfortable at all times. It is our civic duty to become “conspiracy theorists”.
    The establishment prefers a democracy because in a democracy 51% of the population can dictate the individual liberties of the other 49%, and they are rightly convinced that they can influence the thinking and decisions of the larger half. Also, in a democracy, society revolves around moral relativism and the ever arbitrary “greater good for the greater number”, instead of governing according to individual liberty, inherent moral compass and human conscience.
    The Vox article goes on to make the claim that while there are some correct conspiracy theories, they have all come from the left side of the political spectrum (which they call “progressive” conspiracy theories”). They then assert that there are no verifiable conspiracy theories coming from the political right. This is madness.
    When Cass Sunstein describes the tribalist isolation and conspiracy delusions of certain groups, he was clearly trying to mislabel conservative activists and the alternative media, but the REAL conspiracy nutbags have actually been on the left this whole time.
    A lot of young leftist millennials, professional (I say this with the utmost sarcasm) mainstream media personalities and celebrities foolishly bought into the Russiagate conspiracy theory; a theory based on ZERO concrete evidence and a garbage heap of empty conjecture. For example, how many sessions of Real Time With Bill Maher or Late Night With Stephen Colbert was the Russiagate fantasy propped up as verified fact by a screeching flock of leftist parrots, blanketed in the protective peanut-brained imbecility of the audiences in their Los Angeles and New York echo chambers?
    Even today, after the long anticipated Mueller Report led to no indictments, leftists continue to cling desperately like hemorrhoids to the anus that is Russiagate.
    Leftists have to this point justified much of their schizophrenic and sometimes violent and criminal behavior on the lie that Donald Trump is a usurper put into office by Russian manipulation of US elections. Now isn't this the epitome of a conspiracy theory that is destructive to society?
    Not all conspiracy theories are started by the alternative media. Many are started by the establishment itself, and these are indeed designed to cause the destabilization of the nation.
    At the same time, the fabricated Russiagate conspiracy has been very effective at leading the left away from the very real conspiracy of Trump's saturation of his cabinet with banking elites and globalist think tank ghouls like John Bolton, Steven Mnuchin or Wilber Ross. Weren't these the same elites that Trump was going to “drain from the swamp”? Why hasn't the left talking about that for the past two years?
    The article also makes no mention of the DNC rigging of the Democratic primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Bernie Sanders. This was a conspiracy conservatives had to help expose, while the left sat idle and ignored it, hyperfocusing on their hatred of Trump while propping up Hillary Clinton, a repeat criminal offender. But, hey, conservative conspiracies are always wrong and leftist conspiracies are often correct according to Vox and friends...
    And what about the verified fact of mass digital surveillance by government on the public?  This was a conspiracy that conservative groups had been warning about for years.  We were called kooks, because why would the government care about what the average person did in their day-to-day life?  Our fears were verified by the exposure of classified data by people like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange (who is now facing extradition and prosecution for nothing more than publishing truths on the internet).  Both the political left and political right are aggressively hostile to both these men, and are seeking to bury them.
    My question is, what is really more dangerous?  Conspiracy theories, or the actual conspiracies governments and elitists execute against the people?
    The message here is not ambiguous at all. To summarize, the establishment wants control of internet media, by hook or by crook, in the name of protecting people from themselves and from ideas they consider unsettling to the world order. The political left is all on board with this as long as their conspiracy theories are treated with legitimacy; and they will be, because their conspiracy theories are the establishment's conspiracy theories.
     
    The only theories that are being threatened with subjugation are those of conservatives and the alternative media that are contrary to centralization and government power. Not because our theories are dangerous to the fabric of society, but because our theories are dangerous to the people who want to dictate the fabric of society. Our activism and journalism represents decentralized thought which could choke the engine of the globalist agenda. We aren't tearing down the western world, we're the only thing keeping it alive.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 19, 2019 - 6:11pm

    #17

    lambertad

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Aug 31 2013

    Posts: 244

    1

    persuade. change. influence.

    Chris, 
    I can (nearly completely) assure you that there are no privates at Eglin AF base controlling SM accounts. I spent 6 years in Psychological Operations in the Army. One of the first things we learned in psyop training is that it is illegal to target US audiences. Point blank. Period. It wasn't even considered. This was US special operations command. 
    What I also know is that people were trying out for jobs within the military where I'm assuming they were targeting US citizens. E7s usually were the ones trying out. It involved TS security clearance for the try out. Then it was a trip up to DC along with who knows what else. They weren't privy to share the info, likely because it was TS. It was a serious ordeal. 
    It's happening, just not at the scale you think it is and likely not with privates, but with more sophisticated actors. 

     

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  • Sat, Jun 20, 2020 - 5:23am

    #18
    planfortomorrow

    planfortomorrow

    Status: Member

    Joined: Dec 28 2017

    Posts: 2

    1

    I am not selfish, I do care for others, I have always told the truth...

    ...my hand shake is my bond. I will help you, no conditions attached. I will honor my family each and every day. What I do does reflect on my family. I do not care at all what you think of me. I am not rigid. I will forgive you. I will always allow you your first emotional response then you have to gather yourself and try and explain what the hell you meant. Trust is something you better never break with the people you love most. I don't care about trusting completely others with no emotional attachment to me. I will still listen, and I'll take as my own something they say that I can apply. I am married to my Lady, my wife and who's trust is complete. As for you, I don't care. I am loved and I love hard those in my care. Education isn't a process for me it's an imperative.

    Trust!? Some here may not trust me but, if you were to walk main street Richmond here in Michigan and asked any of the established businesses or even knock on the neighbors doors and ask them if they knew me then I would be shocked if it wasn't complimentary. I do get involved but, I'm telling you that what does it matter. It usually means you've given them something that they required of you, and are happy to be kind with words about you but it doesn't carry beyond your lifetime and who cares if Chris or Adam of Peak Prosperity trusts you. They are weighing you against their lives, what benefit you give to them. It's natural and I don't care, not really, I never see or interact in a helpful way these people anyways. I only come to this site to learn and to reinforce my goals, no one else's unless asked. Chris has invited anyone to come with T-shirts on to help he and Evie out at the Honey Badger Farm ( a perfect name for their farm" . I would NEVER do this in a million years. I don't require people in this way. I have a hundred plus family members just from my 12 other siblings and so I have help, I just don't want it. That's family. I would not allow non family members to come as close as they are now to Chris's/Evie's  dreams but, I wish you both well. That's just top much trust in people that I don't share.

    In saying all of this I have to admit that I am truly on a pathway of total self reliance (ego trip? I will want any help as it regards your wisdom, and you have gifts I want to tap into, so I can't never achieve this, not really). I will live the life of my dreams. I have dreamed my core beliefs since I was 7 years old when I decided I would marry, have two son's, Robert and Paul, and I have only added to this list since. But only my final home, having a fireplace and I have always helped in a garden  from helping my Grandfather with his victory garden that he maintained his entire life. I had good, solid teachers. I only lash out when people try and control me with their stuff, I've always stayed the course as it relates to the stuff I adore to have. Simple stuff.

    I have had a terrific life with less and know how to live life of more using less. I had good parents, they taught me well what is important. Asking my Dad who was a Man's, Man and a living GOD to me what a Man's responsibility is to his family. "Keep your word, do what you say, and you are only responsible for a roof over your head, food, clothing, heat and an education". Simple enough tasks so I pursued them and he was absolutely right. I spend no time on population control, I vote knowing I'm voting for a shmuck. I know food, good food will get scarcer so I grow it. I know meats, protein is important so I have a stocked and managed pond of yellow perch, bass, blue gill and bottom feeders. I have chickens, lamb and turkey, free range for the birds. I raise these from Spring to Fall then process then. I hunt for deer out back of the homestead. I have an ample supply every year and I DO NOT feed the wild life that I eat. I do not agree with food plots to bring them in, or sugar cane or corn, apples too. I am blessed to just get a deer every year.  I have plenty of Oak firewood and other species. Perhaps many thousands of cords. I do replant too and many trees I propagate and then plant of the same species. Why not, their already conditioned in my soil so grow mighty again. I will live isolated and invite those into my daily lives. Mostly though, I just want to work and learn, take care of the things in my life that are meaningful. Food, clothing, shelter and heat. All of this I can gather on my own property except clothing but I think I have all the clothing I really need. I'm basic shorts, jeans and coveralls. Boots, that's all I need and have already in many different colors!, never really having to get in my truck to pursue and this FOLKS is what I intend on doing. When I say I don't care it is meant to mean I am not caring at all what you do, I only care about what I do.

    I know many who comment here at Peak Prosperity haven't yet begun what will be needed to be in place for the coming change, what ever change occurs. They comment as though they have a handle on things but are just here for some reason. That's normal too I think. You are stuck, can't find a way to transition from this world to the next, I get it. I'm just NOT built this way. If it is clear to me then I simply move on it quick as I can. It may not change much, I just don't know but I do know I want a change, so I pursue this change using old world techniques and more primitive tools used back in the day before gas lawn tractors and such. Don't get me wrong, I prize  my tractor because I duplicate myself over and over and it still has the strength that I lost over the years because of getting older. How do you prepare for what is yet known in the future. So I do what my father has always taught me and is why this part of the site here has my full attention. Population growth has no meaning to me at all. I don't care to discuss it at all. If you all think it's such a great idea then take your own life, right now, you won't be missed! I bet this offended some of you but please, that's what's being promoted if you want a better place to live. At least some will interpret this as a grand thing to do so their family will have one less person to worry about. It's a silly conversation to have because NO ONE wants to really participate, hell, they won't even wear a mask. Mother Earth will take care of that I am absolutely certain. We are no different than any other life form on earth. If the Virus proves anything it is that things can happen in this world that goes swiftly and doesn't care if your young or old, it will find you and bury you just because it can. I say everything with all due respect even though it doesn't sound like it sometimes. Have a great day Folks, hope all your dreams come true. Mine have already. Peace...incidentally, I have the love of all my family, I literally will give the shirt off my back and any money in my pocket if you need it. That's all we can do, right. Everything else is to be lead by example. Do not knock on my door or just show up because I will ask you to leave, naturally. Dah! LOL

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  • Sun, Jun 21, 2020 - 6:56am

    #19
    Mike from Jersey

    Mike from Jersey

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Jan 22 2018

    Posts: 1436

    0

    Masculinism and Feminism

    When the feminist movement started in the late 60's, I was a young man.

    I thought from day one that the direction that the feminist movement took was incorrect. Too many of the feminists that I met wanted to masculinize the female.

    I thought that the opposite should happen. I thought that there should be a feminization of the male. By feminization I mean the encouragement of males to show greater compassion, nurturance and understanding. I also wanted to see a shift to cooperative resolution of problems  - and away from the utilization of the conflict/dominance modality.

    These days you can't even make such suggestions without be accused of all sorts of gender identity crimes. But I still feel the same way. I don't believe that we must shatter the "glass ceiling" so that more women can rise to the top of mega-corporations. I think that we have to remove support for mega-corporations and return to life on human scale.

     

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  • Wed, Jun 24, 2020 - 2:29pm

    #20
    Warmist

    Warmist

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jul 27 2015

    Posts: 4

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    CONGRATULATIONS

    Chris and Adam it takes real guts to take on the population elephant. I now see why you wanted the survey done before reading the article. I have had so much trouble with folk that I'm very careful with whom I discuss this vital factor. I wish you success in this hazardous journey.

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