James Howard Kunstler: It's Time To Be Honest With Ourselves

The major systems our society relies on are failing
Sunday, August 27, 2017, 7:55 PM

The ever-eloquent James Howard Kunstler returns to our podcast this week to discuss the dangers of the 'comprehensive dishonesty' he observes in our culture today.

We occupy ourselves with distractions (e.g., the fear du jour that our media continually manufactures) and diversions (e.g., our empty social media addiction), while ignoring the erosion of the essential systems around us. Making matters worse, the leaders we assume are focusing on these issues aren't or are woefully out of their depth.

It's time for society to take a hard look in the mirror and be honest about the shortcoming it sees. Identifying them then opens the door to deciding what to do about them.

Without the courage to be honest, we condemn ourselves to a failing status quo that likely has little remaining time left. » Read more



We Need A Social Revolution

Our future depends on our willingness to fight for it
Friday, August 18, 2017, 6:12 PM

Governments and corporations cannot restore social connectedness and balance to our lives.

Only a social revolution that is self-organizing from the bottom-up can do that. » Read more



Signs Of Distress

The need to change is becoming more obvious than ever
Friday, August 11, 2017, 10:06 PM

The world is edging closer to the final moments after which everything will be forever changed.

Grand delusions, perpetuated over decades, will finally hit the limits of reality and collapse in on themselves.

We’re over-budget and have eaten deeply into the principal balances of all of our main trust accounts. We are ecologically overdrawn, financially insolvent, monetarily out past the Twilight Zone, consuming fossil fuels (as in literally eating them), and adding 80,000,000 net souls to the planet’s surface -- each year! -- without regard to the consequences.

Someday there will be hell to pay financially, economically, and ecologically as there simply isn’t any way to maintain these overdrafts forever. Reality does not renegotiate. Its deal terms aren't compromisable. » Read more



Joel Salatin: Curing Society's Constipation Of Imagination

We can do things profoundly better
Sunday, May 21, 2017, 8:19 PM

The always colorful "renegade farmer" Joel Salatin returns to the podcast this week to share his latest thoughts on creative yet practical solutions society could and should be pursuing vs limiting and litigating everything under the sun.

Much of what's needed is a shift in thinking and priorities, says Salatin. And it starts with embracing initiative, accountability, and a 'do more with what we have' mentality -- which stands in stark contrast to the "we just need more stuff" narrative of today's status quo. » Read more


Danylo Samiylenko/Shutterstock

Off The Cuff: Sowing The Seeds Of Our Self-Destruction

Our broken culture is failing us and our progeny
Thursday, May 4, 2017, 4:11 AM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • Our Sick Culture
    • Disconnected and depressive
  • We Are Deficient In Meaning
    • More & more of us live without purpose and value
  • Emotional Resilience
    • Each of us has the ability to chart a better course
  • Engaging Others
    • How to help others break free, too

This week's Off The Cuff takes a more existential turn, as Chris and Charles focus on the many broken elements of today's culture, and the toxic effects they have on our quality of life. With so much social disconnectedness and disappearing prosperity, more and more of the population is simply surviving as opposed to living.

To have quality of life, it is becoming more important than ever for each of us to become the captain of our own destiny, and seek to break out of the current our culture is dragging us along with.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today. » Read more


Filipe Frazao/Shutterstock

Mark Morey: Cultural Capital (Part 1)

We have much to learn much from indigenous societies
Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 1:46 AM

Mark Morey returns to the podcast this week, for a deep dive into Cultural Capital, one of the more intangible and less understood of the 8 Forms Of Capital. readers may remember Mark from his front-line reporting for us of the situation in Standing Rock as the confrontation there with the government first escalated.

Cultural capital is rooted in society's values and traditions. Sadly, over the past few generations in the West, we have departed from the time-honored (and honed) customs and rituals of our ancestors, and adopted a much more "it's all about me" approach to life. 

The result, argues Morey, is a populace that feels isolated an unfulfilled. Those age-old traditions and rites of passage developed for a reason. They gave our lives meaning, as well as instructed us on how to live. 

Is there a way to recover some of that lost wisdom and sense of "fit" in life? Yes, Morey believes. And there's much the world's indigenous cultures can teach us. » Read more


Honza Krej/Shutterstock

Daniel Quinn: Pursuing A Better Path

The author of 'Ishmael' challenges our cultural insanity
Monday, November 21, 2016, 3:46 PM

Few books have left as large an imprint on Chris' outlook on the world as has Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. 

Our so called modern economy requires the equivalent of two full planets of resources to operate. Therefore, it's living on borrowed time, which means that someday, that experiment must end as must every living arrangement that borrows too heavily from the future. 

Giving that we're indoctrinated from birth that "Growth is good", how can an intelligent person grapple with this contradiction? Get ready for a discussion that upends much of the conventional programing we grew up with, and asks us What different path should we be taking? » Read more

Step 7: Cultural Capital

The guidance provided in this section presumes you have already read the chapter on Cultural Capital in our book, Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting. If you have not, we strongly recommend doing so first.


AlexandCo Studio/Shutterstock

Preparing for the Coming Breakdown

Protecting yourself from social collapse
Friday, April 24, 2015, 12:18 PM

Executive Summary

  • The boom in fossil energy has allowed us to enjoy a stability that we may not be able to maintain in the future
  • As society erodes, power concentrates in those intent on grabbing it
  • Nurturing cultural capital is key to maintaining freedom and fairness
  • Strategies for reducing your risk to societal breakdown

If you have not yet read Part 1: Rising Police Aggression A Telling Indicator Of Our Societal Decline available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Now we need to prepare those people who live in borderline uncivilized nations, which include the US, Mexico, much of South America, and a few European nations for what is coming next.

Ask yourself this: If tensions are this bad now, while relatively abundant resources exist, how bad do you think they’ll get during the next economic downturn or financial crisis?

One of the core predicaments is that the future simply cannot be more wonderful than the past in terms of ease of life and living standards. The pie is no longer growing like it used to, and someday it will begin to shrink.

My Monkey Brain

I have a confession to make. I react strongly to injustice. It simply makes my blood boil. Writing this article has been one of my less fun adventures in a while because of all the horrible injustices I had to wade through to assemble it.

For a long time I thought that my angry reaction to injustice had to do with old childhood slights around unequal Christmas gifts or something, but I’ve since learned it’s a more primal reaction than that.

Or perhaps I should say primate reaction.

Watch how Capuchin monkeys react an unfair situation and if you are like me, you’ll... » Read more


Off the Cuff: Our Culture Is Failing Us

We look more & more like a civilization in decline
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 10:15 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • Broken Markets
    • When all signals are false, how does one invest wisely?
  • The Decline Of Culture
    • A fundamental crisis within Western society
  • The Decline Of Civilization
    • We are on a track to repeat history, and not in a good way
  • Crafting A New Narrative
    • What should a more functional society aspire to?