We Are Entering An Era Of Shattered Illusions

Submitted by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

The structure of history is held together by two essential and distinct kinds of links, two moments in time to which no one is immune: moments of epiphany, and moments of catastrophe. Sometimes, both elements intermingle at the birth of a singular epoch. Men often awaken to understanding in the midst of great crisis; and, invariably, great crises can erupt when men awaken. These are the moments when social gravity vanishes, when the kinetic glue of normalcy melts away, and we begin to see the true foundations of our world, if a foundation exists at all.

Catastrophe occurs when too many people refuse to accept that around us always are two universes at work. There is the cold, hard reality that underlies everything. And on the surface is a veil of deceit and compromise. The more humanity compromises vital truths in order to enjoy the comfort of illusions, the more mind-shattering it will be when those illusions fall away. These two worlds can coexist only for short periods of time, and they will always and eventually collide. There is no other possible outcome.

I think it could be said that the more polarized our realities become, the more explosive and disastrous the reaction will be when the separation is removed. I feel it absolutely necessary to relate this danger because today humanity is living so historically far from the bedrock of reality, political reality, social reality and economic reality that the stage has been set for a kind of full spectrum destabilization that has never been seen before.

Though my analysis tends to lean toward the economic side of things, I am not only speaking of shattered illusions in the financial realm. In my next article, one last time I plan to go over nearly every mainstream economic statistic used today to misdirect the public (from national debt to unemployment to inflation to retail sales and corporate profits) and expose why they are false while giving you the real numbers. Most of my regular readers are familiar with much of this information, but I think it important to consolidate it all in a single article so that we can take stock of where our society sits fiscally as we enter 2015. For now, though, I want to discuss the core problem of self-deception, the problem that makes all the rest of our problems possible.

When the initial phase of the global collapse was triggered in 2007 and 2008, there was a substantial explosion in interest and education in terms of liberty issues and alternative economic awareness. I remember back in 2006 when I had just begun writing for the movement that the ratio of people on any given Web forum or in any given public discussion was vastly opposed to alternative viewpoints and information — at least 50-1 by my observations. We were at the height of the real estate frenzy; everyone was buying houses with money they didn’t have and borrowing on their mortgages to purchase stuff they didn’t need. Life was good. The shock of the credit crisis came quickly and abruptly for most people, and there has been a considerable shift in the kinds of discussions many are willing to entertain about our future. Yet the idea that such things can happen despite a consensus of social and geopolitical health does not seemed to have soaked into the thick skulls of average people.

Time, unfortunately, has a magical ability to erase vigilance. It’s not that the public has necessarily forgotten that danger can strike anytime anywhere (though some of them have). Many of them know full well that our culture is floating on a paper-thin ship in a turbulent sea. However, the disturbing trend today reveals that people have decided they do not care. “Taking the blue pill” is the rising rally cry from the so-called “new normal.” Yes, the economy is an illusion, the political system is an illusion and the various global conflicts our society participates in are mostly illusions. But we “can’t do anything about it,” so we might as well profit from these illusions while we can, right?

It has been said that during the economic collapse of the 1930s that the Great Depression was a depression only for the 30 percent of people that had lost everything. For the employed and the financially secure, the depression was much like any other time. This is the point at which we stand today in the collective mindset. With nearly a third of the U.S. population kicked off the unemployment rolls and approximately half the country dependent on a government check of some kind for their survival, the current depression is only now beginning to feel like a depression for anyone. The soup lines have received a fresh candy coating of EBT cards and welfare payments, but the illusion is finally fading, and this should be of great concern to us all in 2015.

Even more frightening is our culture’s deluded sense of what a collapse actually looks like. For many, collapse is a cinematic and overnight affair, with zombies, nuclear bombs and mass panic. In real life, and throughout history, collapse is a process. Since at least 2008, the U.S. and the rest of the world have been experiencing that process. Everyone is waiting for equities to implode and for social unrest to erupt before they take the threat seriously, but these are not signals of collapse. These are the things that occur when a collapse has run its course. Collapse never occurs overnight. It takes years for the effects of social and fiscal breakdown to be visibly felt. And when they are felt, many people refuse to notice. Eighty years ago, America was halfway through the Great Depression, and mainstream economists were STILL claiming that recovery was right around the corner. Illusion and self-deception can be so powerful that the worst miseries can be normalized, at least for a little while.

And it isn’t only the general public that is stricken with crippling bias. There are those within the liberty movement who have bought into false paradigms for various reasons, and this threatens any progress we have made over the past several years. There are those who still think that the “conflict” between Eastern and Western politicians and banking elites is somehow real. There are those who believe that Russia and China, despite their numerous and undeniable ties to the global banking syndicate (information I have covered in multiple articles over the years), are the “good guys”, while Western nations are the “bad guys”, rather than them all being mere subsidiaries and franchises of the same monstrous globalist machine.

They hold onto this illusion, I think, because it is much more frightening to accept the reality that we are alone, that the liberty movement is the first and last line of defense against centralization, that the responsibility for the future of independence and individual freedom rests on our shoulders. It is much easier to fantasize that there are others out there, nations and governments with armies and capital, that are on our side and will fight our battles for us. This illusion will be a painful one for many in the movement as they begin to realize that the East is actually working in tandem with international financiers instead of working against them.

There are also those in the liberty movement who cling to the notion that the fight against globalism will be won without physical conflict. They believe that if we simply protest long enough, play the political and legal game long enough, nullify long enough, refuse to participate long enough, that the elitist edifice, an edifice which has existed for centuries and has manipulated historical precedence for just as long, will suddenly disappear in a puff of fairy dust.

The first problem with this strategy is that it relies on the assumption of time. Sure, anything is possible given ample opportunity. Perhaps the movement could grind away at the New World Order over the course of several decades until the majority of the masses are awake and aware (which is exactly how long it would take). However, I think it infinitely foolish to presume that we have decades to accomplish such a task. If the past has shown us anything, it is that tyranny does not respect reason and, at a certain point, couldn’t care less about image. Tyranny respects only power. It does not respect the protestations of ants it can crush under foot, but it will make a wide path around a rattlesnake ready to strike. While there is utility in the pursuit of intellectual and philosophical combat, if you are not willing to be the rattlesnake as well, then you are not going to affect change against such an opponent. You will eventually be stepped on.

The refusal to accept responsibility for one’s own defense is yet another product of fear — fear that the enemy is too powerful, that all resistance is futile. But resistance is only assured failure if resistance is never undertaken. Sheeple defeat themselves within their own minds before they ever stand up, and so they never stand. This is the only reason totalitarian elements ever achieve success. Again, many in the liberty movement are going to face a rude awakening when they realize they have relied too much on the notion of the system policing itself, instead of preparing for the worst-case scenario.

And finally, the globalists themselves suffer from a veritable fog of illusions to which I can speak only briefly.

We are stepping over the threshold of an age that will shatter the illusions of everyone, and the internationalists are no exception. The root pillar of elitist globalism itself is that some men are born to rule, while other men are born to serve. Some men are born kings, and other men are born slaves. The psychopathy of this belief system should be evident, but psychopathy also elicits blinding ego and hubris, which smothers any inherent questions of motive. I do not think the elites ever actually consider the validity of their own philosophies. I am relatively certain their manner of viewing the world is much like that of a cult, a religious sect driven by the brutality of zealotry rather than the empowering nature of understanding.

Such men cannot be reasoned with. In fact, zealots often revel in their ability to trample all other world views as they grasp for complete dominance of their ideology. The illusion of rightness is far more important to them than actual truth, and this is their greatest weakness. Hidden under all the posturing and power grabbing, deep in the recesses of their own assumed omnipotence, I sense an ever present terror within the globalist culture. I sense a brand of terror that comes only from the seed of doubt.

The incredible array of propaganda leveled at the public, the constant war gaming and mind gaming against the citizenry, the endless hailstorm of legal maneuvering designed to erase our sense of connection with our natural rights and liberties, the tidal wave of fearmongering, and all the manipulations and scapegoats and elaborate theatrical displays, all reek of fear. For if the globalists were truly as omnipotent as they pretend to be — if they really were all-knowing philosopher kings born to rule — then they would already have their New World Order. They would not need lies. They would not need the threat of force. The undeniable power of their ideology would be enough if their ideology actually had any validity. Lies are designed to hide lack of validity and lack of strength. The globalists are, at bottom, a hollow shell desperately clamoring for substance.

What may appear to be the “thoroughness” of the elitist con is actually a form of micro-management that exhibits a fundamental doubt of success. The globalists wish they could predict the future, but they cannot. So they are just as afraid as most of humanity. I believe we are entering an era in which they will feel the stark pain of shattered illusions and the destruction of their own fantasies, no less felt than the pain of the rest of the world.

Our mission as an opposing force to globalism is to come to terms with our own illusions and to erase them, to stop compromising and to stop waiting for the final shoe to drop and to take positive action now rather than after the endgame develops. This means preparation and organization for the worst-case scenarios. This means making one’s family, neighborhood and community as self-reliant and secure as possible. The excuses have to stop. The distractions and intellectualized silver bullet solutions have to stop. Hard work and risk are all that are left, all that matters. If we do this, and if we do this now, then victory is possible. In any contest of strength and will, he who knows himself best, he who sheds all illusion, will be the winner.

A Socialist Math Problem Of Extreme Difficulty

Answer the following, real-world math question:

“If your mother goes to a government-subsidized supermarket and buys two pounds of sugar and three pounds of meat, how many pounds does she have?”

Think about the answer hard, because problems such as these may be coming to a common socialist core curriculum near you soon. For now, however, they are confined to the borders of that socialist paradise, Venezuela, where as AP reports, students study math “by calculating the benefits of government land takeovers.” They practice English by reciting where late President Hugo Chavez was born and learn civics by explaining why the elderly should give him thanks.

You thought propaganda in the US was bad: “pro-administration messages scattered through the pages of Venezuela’s textbooks have become yet another point of conflict in this hyper-polarized country, where Chavez’s socialist party won a bare majority in the presidential elections of 2013.”

However, unlike the US, the locals in the oil-rich, everything else-poor Latin American country have the temerity to act out against propaganda: “parents recently tossed books into the streets in front of some schools and burned them, acts the loyalist media compared to censorship by the Nazis in 1930s Germany. As children head back to school after winter break, many Venezuelans remain outraged over texts that treat the founder of a deeply divisive socialist revolution with the sort of reverence U.S. textbooks reserve for George Washington.”

A deeper glimpse into Venezuela’s indoctrination machine:

Math lessons include calculations of how much production has increased as a result of the government’s agrarian reform initiative, and how much land the government still has to reclaim from private owners. Students are asked to figure out how much shoppers save at government-subsidized appliance stores created by Chavez.

Goldman’s 2015 Political Outlook: Will Congress “Audit” The Fed?

The 114th Congress formally convened yesterday. In what follows, Goldman Sachs presents its views on some of the central questions regarding the political and policy outlook for the coming year. In general, they continue to expect more substantive legislative activity to occur in 2015 than occurred in 2014, and in a few cases–trade agreements, a highway bill–these proposals could become law. Goldman expects most of the deadlines Congress faces over the coming year to result in only limited uncertainty, though the debt limit increase that will be necessary later in 2015 is the main potential exception.

1. How does the agenda for 2015 differ from 2014?

The legislative outlook for 2015 resembles the outlook for 2014 in many ways, but we expect more legislation to reach the President’s desk and, in a few cases, policy changes to actually become law. Like 2014, we expect debate on a number of broad reforms, particularly immigration policy and tax reform. However, immigration reform looks just as difficult as it did last year; major changes to tax policy are more likely but still a long shot. Congress also faces a number of deadlines this year, just as it did last year (a calendar of selected deadlines and events is shown in Exhibit 1). In many cases Congress will likely simply kick the can by temporarily extending these deadlines, though the prospects for enacting longer-term policy measures in some areas (e.g., Medicare physician payments or the highway bill) look slightly brighter in 2015 than they were in 2014. Finally, just as in 2014 policy changes through executive actions look likely to continue, with implementation of the President’s recently announced executive action on immigration likely by mid-year, additional changes likely to be announced in the run-up to the State of the Union Address later this month, and substantial regulations on carbon emissions, overtime pay, and higher education expected over the course of the year.

Fed’s Evans “Catastrophe” Comment Sparks US, Japan Stock Surge; China Purge

Chicago Fed’s Charlie Evans appears to have decided to flex his voting member status, Bullard-ness this evening. Speaking during a forum in Chicago, after The FOMC Minutes showed data-dependence was the thing… Evans exclaimed “raising rates would be a catastrophe,” and that “housing hasn’t shown the strength he’d like to see,” prompting S&P futures – with the help of USDJPY – to suddenly surge 16 points (and drag WTI Crude futures above $49.50 for fun). Nikkei futures enjoyed the ride ramping 200 points as USDJPY hit 119.70. But, much to the chagrin of the millions of freshly minted retail investors there, Chinese stocks plunged 2.2%… “we love the smell of stability in the Asian morning”