“We stand today at a crossroads:
One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness.
The other leads to total extinction.
Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.”
America has become a façade. It has become the greatest illusion in a culture of illusions. It represents a power and a democratic ethic it does not possess. It seeks to perpetuate prosperity by borrowing trillions of dollars it can never repay. The absurd folly of trying to borrow our way out of the worst economic collapse since the 1930s is the cruelest of all the recent tricks played on American citizens. We continue to place our faith in a phantom economy, one characterized by fraud and lies, which sustains the wealthiest 10 percent, Wall Street, and insolvent banks. Debt lever-aging is not wealth creation. We are vainly trying to return to a bubble economy, of the sort that once handed us the illusion of wealth, rather than confront the stark reality that lies ahead. We are told massive borrowing will create jobs and re-inflate real estate values and the stock market. We remain tempted by mirages, by the illusion that we can, still, all become rich.
Cultures that cannot distinguish between illusion and reality die. The dying gasps of all empires, from the Aztecs to the ancient Romans to the French monarchy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, have been characterized by a disconnect between the elites and reality. The elites were blinded by absurd fantasies of omnipotence and power that doomed their civilizations. We have been steadily impoverished by our own power elites—legally,
==========Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (Chris Hedges)
The mere proposal to set the politician to watch the capitalist has been disturbed by the rather disconcerting discovery that they are both the same man. We are past the point where being a capitalist is the only way of becoming a politician, and we are dangerously near the point where being a politician is much the quickest way of becoming a capitalist.”
“The wild worship of lawlessness and the materialist worship of law end in the same void. Nietzsche scales staggering mountains, but he turns up ultimately in Tibet. He sits down beside Tolstoy in the land of nothing and Nirvana. They are both helpless — one because he must not grasp anything and the other because he must not let go of anything. The Tolstoyan’s will is frozen by a Buddhist instinct that all special actions are evil. But the Nietzscheite’s will is quite equally frozen by his view that all special actions are good; for if all special actions are good, none of them are special. They stand at the crossroads, and one hates all the roads and the other likes all the roads. The result is — well, some things are not hard to calculate. -They stand at the cross-roads.
—G. K. CHESTERTON, 1874 –1936
The inflation that the Federal Reserve has brought upon the American people is destroying the discretionary purchasing power of the 99% to the vast benefit of the 1%. The financial house of cards built on the quicksand of debt has only become more unstable and systemically dangerous, as the marginal utility of an incremental dollar of debt is likely negative. All of the signs are there, from the surge in financed M&A activity, crazy valuations in financial markets, major stresses being covered up in many cities in America already technically bankrupt, the spectre of resurgent international financial stress particularly in Europe, and of course the total chaos of the American empire close to free fall, the global socioeconomic system is about to implode.
This is not unanticipated by the power elites in our government. They are prepared and the response will be ever more control, ever more tyranny. The clock is ticking and it is getting damn late.
The world economy is just as vulnerable to a financial crisis as it was in 2007, with the added danger that debt ratios are now far higher and emerging markets have been drawn into the fire as well, the Bank for International Settlements has warned.
Jaime Caruana, head of the Swiss-based financial watchdog, said investors were ignoring the risk of monetary tightening in their voracious hunt for yield.
“Markets seem to be considering only a very narrow spectrum of potential outcomes. They have become convinced that monetary conditions will remain easy for a very long time, and may be taking more assurance than central banks wish to give,” he told The Telegraph.
Mr Caruana said the international system is in many ways more fragile than it was in the build-up to the Lehman crisis. Debt ratios in the developed economies have risen by 20 percentage points to 275pc of GDP since then.
Credit spreads have fallen to to wafer-thin levels. Companies are borrowing heavily to buy back their own shares. The BIS said 40pc of syndicated loans are to sub-investment grade borrowers, a higher ratio than in 2007, with ever fewer protection covenants for creditors.
Civilization at the Crossroads: