“Sometimes Societies Just Collectively Go Insane”

It seems at least once a week that I quote what James Kunstler said in February of 2016 – “Sometime societies just collectively go insane.”

Kunstler’s reasoning for why this occurs is interesting (and he has provided previous historical examples of such) – in that societies lose the courage, the appetite, the willingness to deal with major problems. This is a gradual process – it does not just happen one Tuesday at noon – that evolves into an unwillingness or perhaps even inability to see that major problems exist. Societies which find themselves in this state substitute the trivial, less important or even fictional problems for the actual problems and hence end up living in a fantasy world –  “Sometime societies just collectively go insane” – of spending their time and energy and resources attempting to solve the meaningless or non-existent problems until they are overwhelmed by the inevitable and relentless grind of the actual major problems which they have failed to even acknowledge until it was too late and undeniable.

FYI for some perspective on this – Kunstler is a Democrat who thinks his own party has simply gone insane – so don’t think this is some wild libertarian theory.

FYI some more – Kunstler thinks both parties have gone insane and that it is a reflection of  “Sometime societies just collectively go insane.”

We have real problems and we have real problems around basic things like math and that what governments at all levels have signed up to provide is not mathematically possible without having made those obligations valueless. We have built – to a large extent – our society on government fulfilling these obligations. That we are racing down the trail of making these obligations valueless seems not to be on anyones agenda.

I think is the key word here is valueless. We are racing as a society to make all sorts things which should be of immense value – valueless. We will regret that.

I am not dogmatic about this – but it is truly the best explanation I know of for what is happening to us.

Buckle up…

Amplifying When the “Solutions” Become the Problems

Charles Hugh Smith published an insightful post on his blog this week, you can read it here.

The gist of the post concerns solutions that are simply becoming the next problem. From the post:

If we look at yesterday’s chart of overlapping crises, we note each crisis began as a purported “solution.” The “solutions” are: more debt (now a problem); more centralization (now a problem); financialization (now a problem); promising more benefits to everyone (now a problem), and so on.

The cold truth is all these institutional-state-cartel “solutions” serve the few at the expense of the many. This is not a side-effect; it is the intended output of these “solutions.” In other words, these “solutions” work great for the parasitic few at the top skimming all the wealth, power and income, at the expense of the exploited many and the stability of the system as a whole.
Those benefiting from these destructive “solutions” may think the system can go on forever, but it cannot go on when every “solution” becomes a self-reinforcing problem that amplifies all the other systemic problems.

Andrew Breitbart often famously said, “Politics is downstream from culture.” Our culture appears to be more focused on avoiding the pain than solving the problems – however avoiding the pain requires us to also avoid reality. James Kunstler remarked here:

These days, the hardships of history are shattering the nation and our response politically has been to take refuge in a matrix of rackets. Most of these rackets are economic, because it’s the essence of racketeering to extract the greatest benefit possible from the object of your racket at the least cost to the racketeer. In plain English, it’s an organized way of getting something for nothing. The identity politics of our time is another form of racketeering — extracting current maximum benefits on claims of mistreatment, often bygone, specious, or only imagined.

And so one of the truly existential questions of the moment is whether we’ll continue to be a nation, even geographically, and a lot of sentient observers aren’t too sure. Apparently we’re not too sure we even want to be. This is why the campaign slogan of Hillary Clinton, “Stronger Together,” rang so false when the Democratic Party worked so diligently in 2016 to construct separate identity fortifications and then declared culture war on the dwindling majority outside the ramparts. And you’re surprised that Donald Trump won the election?

We are apparently no longer willing to face our problems as a coherent, cohesive people – we are divided into identity groups fighting each other over table scraps. This trend does not just threaten our economic fortunes but our ability to maintain ourselves as a national entity. Conversely the matters we are focused on have little to nothing to do with our actual problems – and the solutions merely feed into the next set of problems.

So – take a big step back and take a deep breath – understand that no one at the moment has an appetite to deal with our actual problems and there is very little demand to deal with our actual problems as yet.

Hoping to help change that.

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