Fear & Loathing in the "United" States

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ashvinp's picture
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Fear & Loathing in the "United" States

The current economic predicament is usually explained from the perspective of economists or financial analysts, rather than the psychosocial trends which are inextricably linked to a debt deflation. Elliot Wave Theorists would call this the "wave C mentality", and it obviously has destructive effects on public discourse and interaction. The following piece follows the oft-used analogy of drugs and debt to explore the ways in which American "addicts" are experiencing withdrawal and increasingly projecting their pain onto dealers, authority figures, family and also groups of strangers. Here is the first section:


The late, great Hunter S. Thompson captured the current sentiment of American society best when he wrote the following words 40 years ago, in his book Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas [1]:

"You can turn your back on a person, but you can never turn your back on a drug, especially when it's waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your eye."

        America has defined itself as a society of collective "drug people", pushers, addicts and associates, with our drug of choice being debt. We happily injected drugs worth 300% of our GDP straight into our veins, and made our international dealers filthy rich in the process. The constant influx of drugs into our bodies made us feel super-human, as we were instantaneously able to afford TVs, computers, cars and homes with the swipe of a card and the flick of a pen. Of course, as any regular drug user can attest, the human biological system becomes increasingly tolerant to the jolts of external chemicals and requires ever-larger doses to achieve the same effects. The economy rapidly became saturated with debt, since economic actors needed to take on more and more debt to simply pay off previous debts and maintain their current level of activity. In 2007-08, the private debt servicing costs overwhelmed the "high" produced from this mostly unproductive debt, in the form of artificially elevated asset prices and revenue streams, and the national body had no more financial capacity to absorb additional drugs. With no more access to their drug of choice after a decades-long binge, the addicts began going through severe withdrawal. The drug-induced mentality of happiness, trust and tolerance was quickly replaced with collective feelings of sickness, fear and resentment.

Ful piece - http://peakcomplexity.blogspot.com/2010/10/fear-loathing-in-united-states.html

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