Author Topic: Suspended Civilization  (Read 3389 times)

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Offline graybeard

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Suspended Civilization
« on: December 05, 2011, 04:55:46 PM »
by James Howard Kunstler
Published : December 05th, 2011

Question du jour: why is Jon Corzine still at large? In what fabulous Manhattan restaurants has he been enjoying plates of cockscombs and lobster with sauce hydromel and cinghiale ai frutti di bosco, while less well-connected citizens of this degenerate republic have to order their suppers from the dumpster in the WalMart parking lot where they have been living lately.


 

Is there still an Attorney General in this country? Will somebody please follow Eric Holder down a hallway and see if he leaves a trail of sawdust on the floor. Or did congress just retract all the fraud statutes by stealth in the same way that the Federal Reserve handed out $7.7 trillion in bailouts back in 2008 (much more than the generally accepted figure of the $800 billion TARP) without anyone finding out until three years later when some Bloomberg reporters rooted the numbers out of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filing. And by the way, what is the US Federal Reserve doing handing out billions of dollars to the Royal Bank of Scotland? Was Scotland admitted to the Union by stealth, too? Or did Jamie Dimon just buy it as a birthday present for Barack Obama, who likes golf.


 

This is what life in the USA is like nowadays: shit happens and shit un-happens, and you find out about it years later. Only a desperate and hopelessly degenerate nation would choose to live this way, in a law-optional society, in which money means everything, and yet nobody even knows what money is (or where it goes, and what it does when it goes there.)


 

Jon Corzine has not revealed the destination of the loot (somewhere between $600 million and $2.5 billion, estimated) that vanished from the "segregated" accounts of his many clients at MF Global. The rumor is that it went to cover a rude margin call from Jamie Dimon's bank, JP Morgan, after JC took some unfortunate positions in European sovereign bonds in a bad month. Beyond the question of why Mr. Corzine is not in jail (as a flight risk, just like DSK) is how come the Department of Justice has not so much as issued a statement saying that they were looking into the matter, so as to reassure both the victims and the financial markets that this is not a culture that just makes shit up as it goes along - i.e. that we have predictable rules and formal procedures for doing stuff.


 

The clowns and villains who run America have accomplished something really epic: they have vanquished meaning. Nobody knows what anything means anymore. Anything goes now. All bets are off. It's not reassuring. It leads to bad things happening like blood in the streets. When nothing means anything anymore, some people will actually strive, make an effort, to reestablish meaning in practical economic and political life, because civilized life is impossible without it. So, in those historic moments when civilization is suspended, people will work like hell to restore meaning. Sometimes though, like Germany in the 1930s, you discover that the suspension of civilization is itself intoxicating, and you ride with that for a while.


 

Things are really flying apart now, and just in time for Santa Claus. The European bond rollovers are about to come in fast and furious during the season of Advent and nobody can make their interest payments. They will be skipped or postponed and promised for "next Tuesday," and yet the bizarro universe of credit default swaps will not be triggered - is there a counter-party on God's green earth who could afford a pay-out? Of course not. It was all a charade. So we'll just learn that there actually is no "insurance" on all this paper. Yesterday's "hair-cut" will be tomorrow's "throat cut" as the middle innings of suspended civilization play out.


 

There are heroes as-yet-sung-and-unsung in America, people who prefer reality over reality-TV, people with a taste for meaning in life, which often requires the recognition that some things are true and some not so true, and you're better off with what's true. What appears to be true is that the old order is finished and a new disposition of things is coming along. The Long Emergency will beat a path straight to the Great Re-set. Sign up for it. Roll up your sleeves. There is so much to do in this country. If you are young, especially, it's all waiting for you.


http://kunstler.com/blog/2011/12/suspended-civlization.html

Offline Sue

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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 05:16:37 PM »
Good article, GB! Excellent video here:


"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline laconas

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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 06:15:23 PM »
Good article, GB! Excellent video here:


Very informative. The Greeks are doing the right thing trading a fish for a jar of olives and avoiding using Euros.
Nobody censors what they agree with

Offline Sue

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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 06:26:26 PM »
Very informative. The Greeks are doing the right thing trading a fish for a jar of olives and avoiding using Euros.

That is what Germans did after WWII as well. After the war my Dad went into the countryside, to the farms, took family photos in exchange for food, eggs or whatever else there was that was edible.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline laconas

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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2011, 06:31:02 PM »
That is what Germans did after WWII as well. After the war my Dad went into the countryside, to the farms, took family photos in exchange for food, eggs or whatever else there was that was edible.

What did he do after he traded his Leica 3G for 2 sacks of potatoes?
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Offline wag

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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 06:51:16 PM »
What did he do after he traded his Leica 3G for 2 sacks of potatoes?

Here, there are more potatoes and less Leicas, and also publicly funded fast food.
Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

Offline EyeBelieve

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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2011, 09:57:26 PM »

Maybe Corzine should have listened to LaRouche who warned in 1977:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:n9Gbo-WXxMMJ:www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1977/eirv04n21-19770524/eirv04n21-19770524_047-european_trade_doomed_to_collaps.pdf+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShuJGCxh8SmzHgSK5-GmiSFaB__tSZiNHvkEJ8Wzoy7Je7iBOCkdAHe1I8BBOS_c-6C0zFCm72LTj_rDD7jR_yPraxupi1Wmp6Ia8Gz2olBjCaK824OHGc2S7To1Itk0OGRVhfC&sig=AHIEtbQedJNu7k0GBhAV5p7RKtHvUiPX7wEuropean Trade Doomed To Collapse Within The Confines Of The Dollar[/url]


The comparative strength of West Germany in relation to Italy, France and Great Britain is an economic myth.  As shown in the included table. West Germany trad­itionally enjoys a trade surplus while the three other European countries are deficit-ridden. But under present circumstances, West Germany has been forced to share the weakness of its closest partners.

West Germany is thus progressively losing its trade surplus from capital and basic goods exports. and West German firms no longer have the base for new invest­ments. As a consequence, the ability of West German industry to invest is crippled. The West German index of all industrial production is now at a level of about that of 1974-1973. while the industrial workforce has steadily declined since 1974. The mechanical engineering sector-- vital engine of industrial development - is the most badly affected.

Offline Sue

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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2011, 10:39:47 PM »
What did he do after he traded his Leica 3G for 2 sacks of potatoes?

I don't quite remember exactly what he did after that, he was an architect and did some work along those lines, there was a lot to fix and rebuild. My Mom did laundry for young soldiers who were stationed not far away from us. I actually came up with that idea when one of these fellows spilled something on his shirt, I said my Mom can wash this for you and I'll bring back tomorrow and did. This happened at the kids Christmas party given by the Brits, they were young and pretty decent fellows, most missed their families too. They paid with coffee, cigarettes and tea, this lasted for quite a while and helped a great deal.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline EyeBelieve

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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2011, 07:56:56 PM »
I don't quite remember exactly what he did after that, he was an architect and did some work along those lines, there was a lot to fix and rebuild. My Mom did laundry for young soldiers who were stationed not far away from us. I actually came up with that idea when one of these fellows spilled something on his shirt, I said my Mom can wash this for you and I'll bring back tomorrow and did. This happened at the kids Christmas party given by the Brits, they were young and pretty decent fellows, most missed their families too. They paid with coffee, cigarettes and tea, this lasted for quite a while and helped a great deal.

A born entrepreneur you are!  My gran raised 4 kids in a small town by doing laundry & housework after her husband died.  These days the authoritays would have shut her down for illegal home business & the small income wouldn't pay enough to support a family anyway.  I once watched a show about the post-WWII smuggling business in Germany...they had guys running tobacco & coffee, often in (IIRC) souped-up Porsches.  Rather like the old US moonshine runners that were the forerunners of NASCAR racing.

Hmm, with the coming collapse perhaps consumer commodities like tobacco & coffee might be a good investment, one could train the kids to roll smokes.  A lot more tradable than gold.

Offline Sue

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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 10:10:42 PM »
Hmm, with the coming collapse perhaps consumer commodities like tobacco & coffee might be a good investment, one could train the kids to roll smokes.  A lot more tradable than gold.

It is definitely a thought worth thinking about, we don't really know how bad it might get. With Coffee and tobacco you can't go wrong. 1 cigarette sold for 5.00 Reichs Mark on the black market, I remember my dad mentioning that.   

"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline laconas

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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 10:27:36 PM »
I don't quite remember exactly what he did after that, he was an architect and did some work along those lines, there was a lot to fix and rebuild. My Mom did laundry for young soldiers who were stationed not far away from us. I actually came up with that idea when one of these fellows spilled something on his shirt, I said my Mom can wash this for you and I'll bring back tomorrow and did. This happened at the kids Christmas party given by the Brits, they were young and pretty decent fellows, most missed their families too. They paid with coffee, cigarettes and tea, this lasted for quite a while and helped a great deal.

A lot of good lessons to be learned.
Nobody censors what they agree with

Offline Brezo

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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2011, 11:32:03 PM »
It is definitely a thought worth thinking about, we don't really know how bad it might get. With Coffee and tobacco you can't go wrong. 1 cigarette sold for 5.00 Reichs Mark on the black market, I remember my dad mentioning that.

Don't forget liquor.

If or when the collapse occurs we will have a surplus of mechanics, carpenters, and other skilled laborers getting by as handymen. This sector of the workforce has a insatiable appetite for strong drink. You could hire a plumber or mechanic for as little as a liter of Canadian whiskey.

Offline Sue

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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 07:54:43 AM »
Don't forget liquor.

If or when the collapse occurs we will have a surplus of mechanics, carpenters, and other skilled laborers getting by as handymen. This sector of the workforce has a insatiable appetite for strong drink. You could hire a plumber or mechanic for as little as a liter of Canadian whiskey.

Alcohol would be a little too risky, I would not touch it. Cigarets are easier to hide. 
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline FrankDialogue

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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 08:17:26 AM »
Don't forget liquor.

If or when the collapse occurs we will have a surplus of mechanics, carpenters, and other skilled laborers getting by as handymen. This sector of the workforce has a insatiable appetite for strong drink. You could hire a plumber or mechanic for as little as a liter of Canadian whiskey.

If it ever explodes here in the USA, first thing that will happen will be all chain stores i.e. Wal-Mart, Rite Aid & CVS pharmacies, Home Depot et all, will be cleaned out...This will provide a temporary surplus of consumer goods and drugs to be bartered...Liquor stores too, but with the smaller mom & pop ones, the owners will be there with a pistol and shotgun to protect the goods...But chains, everything's gonna go....Convenience stores, too, and this will feed the need for tobacco for a while.


Offline Sue

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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 08:33:42 AM »
A lot of good lessons to be learned.

Indeed, Laconas! Where there is a will, there is a way! The American version; when the going gets tough, the tough get going? Something like that.  :)
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.