The End of the World as Advertised
A creepy feeling ushers in President’s Day this year as the
suspicion grows that nobody in charge of anything knows what what to do
next. The usual yin-yang consensus has solidified in congress along
party lines, both equally idiotic. In the White House, Mr. Obama is
under excruciating pressure to "do something" as systems unravel and
economies augur into darkness. Amid all the anxiety and raging
cluelessness, one thing is clear: we’re doing everything possible to
The reality we can’t face is that one way of
life is over and a new one is waiting to be born. It’s been waiting,
really, since the early 1970s, when God whacked the USA upside its head
to announce that we’d outgrown our once-stupendous domestic supply
of oil. I remember those fervid months following the OPEC oil embargo
of 1973 (I covered the story as a young newspaper reporter.) The basic
message was this: from now on we’ll be running this show on other
people’s oil so we better start doing things differently. Back then,
the not-yet-lost-in-a-fog-of-greed Baby Boom generation rolled up its tie-dyed sleeves and got to work doing a lot of forward-looking things: micro hydro-electric,
passive solar houses, rural homesteading, the next generation of public
transit (BART, the D.C. Metro), the first wave of urban gentrification….
in 1979, the Ayatollah tossed out the Shah of Iran, we got another dose
of oil problems, and a year later, President Jimmy Carter’s clear-eyed
view of the oil situation as "the moral equivalent of war" got
overturned in favor of Ronald Reagan’s dreadful Hollywood nostalgia
projector. As usual in times of severe social stress, the public got
delusional. Mr. Reagan was very lucky. During his tenure, two of the
last great non-OPEC oil discoveries came into full production —
Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and the North Sea — and took the leverage away
from the Islamic oil nations who had been making us miserable with
their threats, embargos, price-jackings, and hostage-takings.
drew the false conclusion that Ronald Reagan was an economic genius (a
similar thing happened in Great Britain with Margaret Thatcherism). The
price of oil went down steeply while they were in office. Britain could
kick back and enjoy it’s last remaining industry, banking, on a
majestic cushion of energy resources. The USA resumed its major
post-war industry: suburban sprawl building. Reaganism got elevated to
the status of a religion, though it was little more than a twisted
version of Eisenhower-on-steroids. Under Reagan, WalMart embarked
on its campaign to destroy every main street economy in the nation. The
Baby Boomers came back from the land, clipped their pony tails,
discovered venture capital, real estate investment trusts,
securitization of "consumer" debt, and the Hamptons. Greed was good.
The first President Bush’s Gulf War jolted the
oil markets briefly, but Saudi Arabia was demonstrably on our side in
that conflict, while the non-OPEC oil supply was goosed up by
production from Mexico’s giant Cantarell field. The slight economic
shudder caused by the Gulf War was enough, though, to unseat Bush
Number One in favor of the Boomer Bill Clinton. A puzzling figure in
many ways, articulate and magnetic, Bill Clinton was hardly a reformer,
surely not in terms of the national lifestyle. He was in so many ways
an exemplar of it. He’d been governor of WalMart’s home state (and his
wife sat on its board of directors). He was a pure product of the New
South, the sunbelt, with its economy literally driven by everything
connected to cars — new suburbs, malls, fast food huts, Nascar. He
wasn’t about to pull a Jimmy Carter and try to prepare the people for
some harsh realities.
Really nobody saw what was going on
during the Clinton years. The public was sleepwalking in a Martha
Stewart nesting fantasy. Clinton was as lucky as Reagan. The only
geopolitical conflict he faced was the Balkan gang-war that attended
the collapse of Yugoslavia. Baby Boomer greed went into overdrive
during the Clinton years as the former hippies hit their mid-life
career strides, epitomized in billionaire-worship and the eventual
money-grubbing book deals both Clintons made on departure. Does anyone
remember Mr. Clinton saying, even once, that an economy based on
suburban sprawl building and car dependency might not be such a good
thing? Of course not. Under Clinton, the SUV became our new national
bird. The price of oil flat-out crashed while Clinton was in office,
sinking to the $10-a-barrel range by the time he handed over the White
House keys to Bush Number Two.
Poor dim "W" rode his
generation’s last wave of cultural inertia into two terms as little
more than custodian of things set into motion by others years before.
Reality was shifting starkly "out there" but "W," raised in the
protective globe of great wealth, coddled in made-to-order business
deals, surrounded by political triumphalists and Jesus Jokers, couldn’t
see through the brush-piles in his mind. (Maybe it was all that cocaine
from the years before.) He paid lip service to a murky notion called
"energy independence," but to him that just meant finding a home-grown
way to maintain extreme car dependency and all its perilous usufructs.
The 9/11 tragedy allowed him to pretend to be a man-of-action, but as
the various wars and occupations ground on, "W" more or less
disappeared into the deep groove of his own limited programming.
those years, more than a few things happened to inform the American
people — not all of whom were dim, of course — what was up. For one,
a cohort of senior geologists retired out of service to the oil
industry and started publishing their own dark thoughts about the
world’s energy future. The discussion of these matters spread to the
internet, where it grew in clarity and insight. We began to understand,
for instance, the connection between our energy predicament (peak oil,
so-called), and the growing parallel fiasco in hypertrophic debt
creation that was driving the banking system and threatening to wreck
Now we’ve arrived at the moment of wreckage. Meanwhile,
Barack Obama sailed into the White House on a tide of "hope" for
"change." The change was unspecified, by both Mr. Obama and the general
public (and the news media that audits its thinking). What is dogging
many of us who supported Mr. Obama is the delayed entrance of
much-vaunted change. At this moment of "stimulus" and TARP-II, it seems
to have been about a desperate attempt to preserve the hypertrophic
debt economy of "miracle" mortgages, blue-light-special shopping
on credit cards, and endless happy motoring at all costs. And by "all
costs" I mean literally bankrupting our society at every level to keep
on living as if it were still 1999. This naturally alarms those of us
who perceive a need for more drastic reprogramming in American life.
Obama is not dim. The euphoria that attended his election was largely
about acquiring a leader of first-rate intelligence and sensibility,
compared to his lamentable predecessor. I like to think that Mr. Obama
really does know what’s up — that "change" means we have to live a lot
differently, not mount a campaign to sustain the unsustainable. I
suspect that President Obama has learned over the last several weeks
that the nation’s banking system and economy — indeed, the whole
world’s — are in way worse shape than anyone imagined before January
20. He is faced with the immediate crushing problem of appearing to do
something while a tsunami of catastrophic debt deleveraging sweeps away
the first outlier nations and their economies and bears down on the
G-7. I suspect that in a few weeks, or possibly even a few days, Mr.
Obama will have to start announcing all kinds of new and more drastic
measures that will shock the stunned American public — things like
bank holidays, nationalizations, possibly even dollar devaluation.
As I’ve said more than once, I believe this basically honest and
intelligent president will have to take on the role of the nation’s
hand-holding camp counselor or school teacher. When the time comes that
he assumes this role, I think he’ll do it pretty well, even though
great pain and misery will be abroad in this land.
paying attention to politicians and analyzing their policies is a waste of time. they’re all pawns of the bankers. presidents just ride the rollercoaster and have no ability to change it. yet they meddle in it in the attempt to "fix it" but all that ends up happening is they steal money from the little people and payoff the bankers (that’s what Obama is doing, it’s what Bush did, it’s what Clinton did with LTCM, etc etc).
unfortunately Obama is going to go down with Bush as the 2 most unpopular presidents in history because he just happens to be in charge at the beginning of the biggest bear market in a long long time. there’s nothing that can be done about it. I almost wish McCain would’ve won so he’d be the one going down with the ship. both parties suck. maybe this will open up the possibility of a real 3rd party initiative that finally strips power from the bankers.
I think everybody should be informed that this post is from Jim Kunstler’s blog, Clusterfuck Nation, which is posted every Monday morning. Just an FYI.
Damnthematrix, thanks again for your daily dose of total crap from yet another far left nut. And before someone posts, in defense of Damnthematrix, that these were not his words – he was merely posting an article, know that Damnthematrix does not post articles he doesn’t agree with.
Insulting our presidents, referring to some of us as "Jesus Jokers", etc. isn’t terribly helpful in our goal of learning how to move forward. You have indeed posted some helpful suggestions in some of your posts. Even those were generally offered only as a critical response to what someone else had posted.
While I have personally been moving towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle for several years, I only recently learned about Peak Oil, and then the economic crisis became obvious to everyone in October. I’ve known for decades that the economy had to fail someday, but couldn’t figure out why it hadn’t already happened, until I found the Crash Course. Not quite enough time has passed for me to change from being a God-fearing man who loves my country, to a far-left zealot who despises his country (USA) and mocks God.
You are further ahead than most of us in your preparations for a more self-sustaining life. I’d like to hear what you have to offer. Do you have a website? Pictures? Detailed descriptions? You have olive trees – that’s good, I think. I don’t like olives, but being able to make my own cooking oil appeals to me. With the Internet, anybody can do their own research, but it’s more personal when someone, a friend, tells you about their personal experiences. Tell us more about the transition you made, when you started, what you did first, what worked and what didn’t work. I’d like to hear it.
[quote]Damnthematrix, thanks again for your daily dose of total crap from yet another far left nut. [/quote]
All hostility aside, I agree.
Matrix, why not post your own thoughts as opposed to long articles?
I generally skip right over them in favor of someone’s actual thoughts.
Also, you might consider changing your name to "My matrix is better than your matrix".
(PS – sorry about the jab – it’s in good humor)
No one knows what to do because we’ve never experience a recession/depression/opression during a "globalizational" period. The brightest mathemeticians in the world wont be able to predict, accurately, what comes next since the variables extend the worldwide. Didn’t anyone play Sim City to play this scenario out before they started this f’d up "globalization" thing. Now the $800 Bil stimulus bill is nationalizing trade because they found that globalization does suck. Oops.
Damnthematrix, thanks again for your daily dose of total crap from yet another far left nut. And before someone posts, in defense of Damnthematrix, that these were not his words – he was merely posting an article, know that Damnthematrix does not post articles he doesn’t agree with. [/quote]
If he wants to post "total crap" then that’s his choice. He started the thread. He did not invite you nor did he force you to comment here. Move on if you don’t like it. If he wants to "post articles", what’s the big deal? IT’S HIS CHOICE.
[quote=stpaulmercantile] Insulting our presidents, referring to some of us as "Jesus Jokers", etc. isn’t terribly helpful in our goal of learning how to move forward. You have indeed posted some helpful suggestions in some of your posts. Even those were generally offered only as a critical response to what someone else had posted. [/quote]
I don’t know what country you’re from, but in the U.S. and Australia, we have what’s called ‘The Freedom of Speech’. He can insult the president if he wants to. If he only wants to offer "critical" responses then by all mean he can, but you don’t have to read them.
[quote=stpaulmercantile] While I have personally been moving towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle for several years, I only recently learned about Peak Oil, and then the economic crisis became obvious to everyone in October. I’ve known for decades that the economy had to fail someday, but couldn’t figure out why it hadn’t already happened, until I found the Crash Course. Not quite enough time has passed for me to change from being a God-fearing man who loves my country, to a far-left zealot who despises his country (USA) and mocks God. [/quote]
It is up to you if you’d rather be a "god-fearing" man or one that mocks god; Just as it is up to him. If you’re implying that we’ve all moved in this one-directional pattern is a joke. Some of us, due to the global geological and economical crisis have moved in this direction from "god-fearing" to "god-mocking" but EVEN IF they do, who are you to judge them regarding, religion, of all things? How do you make the connection from your first two sentences to your third sentence? Most of the posts on the CM.com forums don’t even speak of religion.
[quote=stpaulmercantile] You are further ahead than most of us in your preparations for a more self-sustaining life. I’d like to hear what you have to offer. Do you have a website? Pictures? Detailed descriptions? You have olive trees – that’s good, I think. I don’t like olives, but being able to make my own cooking oil appeals to me. With the Internet, anybody can do their own research, but it’s more personal when someone, a friend, tells you about their personal experiences. Tell us more about the transition you made, when you started, what you did first, what worked and what didn’t work. I’d like to hear it. [/quote]
So would I. You may be in a completely different climate than he is. He lives in Australia.
i like kuntsler but he is obviously drinking or has been drinking koolaid to think obama is anything but the latest employee of the people who own the federal reserve and by extension own us.
i would have thought that by now the wonderfully intelligent people reading site and posting here would realize by now that none of this is an accident.
we are witnessing the end game in the establishment of the new world order.
anybody read the gun control sections of the stimulus bill?
excuse me i have been off my meds and my tv is broke. ie. i am the new american
I think the point stpaul and Aaron were trying to make is this:
Rather than have DTM tell us what is wrong with a poster’s ideas, country of origin, political leadership, religous preference, opinions, shoe size, etc., instead offer constructive criticism, additional info or silence. Too often his posts are laden with not too subtle undertones of implied "My way is better than yours" or "Why would you possibly do it that way, you need to do it my way." It’s as if he is criticizing those of us who are at a different point in their journey through this mess than he is. Would we like to learn from his experience? Yes. Would we like to be where he is? Probably. Would we want to BE like he is? Certainly not.
Free speech and opinion aside – you certainly have the right to say whatever you want, but if you choose to be bombastic and snotty and know it all, people aren’t going to listen/read anymore. And that would be a true loss, because every now and then there is great stuff in his posts.
I have no doubt he has a wealth of information that he could share, but let’s face it – his message delivery system sucks. Nuggets of good info are buried in banality and IAAM noise and are of little utility to new arrivals to the site who haven’t figured out the various personalities here on the site. I figured DTM out after about three posts. Now, it’s something of an effort to sift through the tons of dirt to find the nuggets.
Caroline, my, my. If only you would defend my right to speech as much as you defend Damnthematrix’s. If you reread my post, I didn’t tell him to stop talking, or not mock presidents, etc. I just remarked that once again, he has posted far left wing crap that demeans the USA and mocks those who believe in God. That’s what he did. There isn’t a single sentence in that article that does anything to help anybody move forward in preparation of what is to come.
I’m just trying to get him to realize that he isn’t helping anybody move forward by only offering criticism and demeaning articles. Can he post them if he wants? Absolutely. Can I criticize him? I hope so. This guy is far ahead of most of us in his knowledge of self-sustaining living. I’d like to learn from him. But the only time he posts anything helpful, it is in a critical response to what someone else has said. I posted a stupid list of 100 items that will quickly become scarce when TSHTF. It was just a list somebody emailed me. He responded with criticism of some of the items on the list. Within his criticism was some good information.
So I’ve learned how to get information out of him. Post something, then await his criticism. Maybe his matrix IS better than my matrix. So, tell me how to make mine better.
The politics of right and left aren’t going to mean much in a decade or so. The difference between Republicans and Democrats has been disappearing for a long time. None of our presidents have taken leadership on the important issues that are facing us today, and I doubt seriously that they didn’t know this was coming.
And yes, I know he lives in Australia. He doesn’t like aluminium foil (aluminum foil).
And Caroline, I hope you realize that My Matrix is Better Than Your Matrix posts this stuff with the intent of getting a reaction. Unlike some of the longer-term members here (several of whom have emailed me and told me to ignore his obnoxious quotes because he does have some good ideas), I haven’t developed the self control yet to ignore him. He is taunting. I am taking the bait. So if YOU don’t like the debate, in your own great words, "you don’t have to read them".