Make Your Choice: Change By Pain Or Insight

I am attempting to be a smidgen humorous about this topic.
DaveF wrote:

Individually we have the power to chart our own course. Reduce debt, remain aware of the fragilities in the system (especially banking, bank deposits, and sovereign debt), expect the gang in charge to first lie, and then suddenly change the rules we all hold dear. But I don't see Mad Max. The US is the core economy. I don't see it going the way of Zimbabwe. That will happen to the periphery, not the core.
Oh no, no, no, no. I think we are going to have TROUBLE with a Capitol T. And the ability to imagine into this phase of trouble offers a kinds of "preparation" that is just NOT available to one who doesn't embrace their inner Mad Max -- or at least consider the possibility. Consider:
They blew up 3 big skyscrapers in full view of everyone. We have the videos. Then they commissioned a scientific panel to say that it was all perfectly natural behavior of steel to soften and "collapse." Think nothing of it. Then they sold us the story in prestigious and reputable newspapers. Sincere, honest and TRUSTED authorities lied to us. And when scientists doubt this story their words are NEVER printed or discussed in said prestigious and reputable newspapers. The average world citizen has no idea that some great intellects think the story is a lie. Then the fake story is used to sell multiple wars that kill thousands of American soldiers and millions of ME Arabs including literally millions of women and children. NONE of these wars has any link to the American citizen, yet they have PAID for those wars from their taxes. Trillions of dollars. Instinctively we sense that this is all deeply wrong (though we are confused enough to be mostly silent). All this while domestic infrastructure decays, pensions implode, homelessness grows and the medical care system collapses.
At some point, during the collapse and the attempts by TPTB to hold it all together with increasing militant tactics and increased lying (Russian bots made you vote for Bernie and oppose the oil pipeline), a crack appears. People start to catch on. I agree with locksmithuk and themcarthyfarms, people are not stupid. They can be deceived, but eventually they catch on. Maybe during a 24 hour wait to get into the ER with a sick child we start think about how much our world has changed. The sensed truth of how the world is and the official stories are not matching. The magnitude of the deception breaks through. Then the shock, the horror, the rage. First an foremost at ourselves that we permitted ourselves to be deceived so deeply and profoundly. Then, at those who deceived us. This is where you need your rifle. (Along with you water filter, wood burning stove, hand saw and gardening plot.) Got it?

Certainly what you describe is one possible outcome, and it may even be the outcome that happens in some parts of the world. And it might even happen in parts of the US, too.
However, something I’ve noticed in my own life is that whatever I put my attention on - good or bad - tends to grow stronger in my experience. Anticipation of something bad coming soon not only depresses me, it also seems to actually bring it into my experience.
About 15 years ago, I bought a bright red 3rd gen RX7. Prior to this purchase, I had never seen an RX7 on the street, but after I got mine, I started seeing them everywhere. What’s that about? We see millions of pieces of information every day, but our mind filters out the vast majority of them, only letting through the information we have decided in advance is important. If you change your filters, you change your perceived world.
If you go through life with a Mad Max anticipation filter, then the information that will make it past your filters is stuff that is aligned with Mad Max. You will tend to create for yourself the Mad Max experience. It will be a self-reinforcing thing.
Is this what I want? It is not. I do not want to “imagine into” Mad Max, because that’s not what I’d like to create for myself. Instead, I prefer to use different filters, so that (theoretically at least) I am led to have different experiences. Its a big world out there. We all don’t need to have the same experience.
I guess the whole discussion ends up with the following choice: do you believe that you are a powerless victim adrift in a lifeboat, tossed mercilessly about by wind and wave, or are you the Captain of the ship, consciously charting your own course?
Of course I think I’m the Captain. The course I prefer to chart is one that doesn’t involve Mad Max as my own personal experience. I believe that you too can choose whatever experience you prefer…and if you prefer to imagine yourself into a Mad Max experience…well we all have free will, don’t we? :slight_smile:
Perhaps it also helps me because at some points in my life - key points - I have felt “led” to make some critical decisions that changed the course of my life. Not ordered what to do, but just nudged to look at options that I hadn’t previously considered. Because of these experiences, I’m absolutely convinced life and the universe isn’t this mechanistic, Newtonian construct. There really is more to it. Of course, if you aren’t open to being nudged, then you will have that Newtonian, mechanistic experience…woohoo, free will again!

I hate to do the “I was sad because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” thing. But occasionally I stoop that level.
I’m currently reading “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.” When the author gets to talking about iridium, he points out that a 2 foot cube of iridium weights as much as a Buick. He goes on to say that a meteor, 6 miles in diameter, containing large quantities of iridium struck the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago. Coincidentally, or not, every land species larger that a carry on suitcase (including the dinosaurs, who had dominated the planet for 160 million years) became extinct at the same time.
I’d say a Mt. Everest sized meteor of Iridium trumps our global debt problem combined with all the other problems we face.
Feel better?

SP, I fully agree except I’m not sure the masses will wake up to the fact that it is their own government attacking them, at least not initially. The information just won’t be out there and I see almost no chance of this ending through some natural organic market crash. It will be a fully engineered catastrophic event, I’m sure it’s going on right now. 9/11 was a long-planned strategic event and we will see something like this but orders of magnitude greater. The MSM is bought and paid for so the average person will be led what to think. I’ve noticed that over the last few weeks Youtube has been on a binge deleting all videos pertaining to conspiracy theories about the ongoing terrorist attacks or school shootings being false flags (except for Alex Jones of course, because he blames Muslims which is exactly what TPTB want people to believe). This censorship will intensify.
I have noticed a visceral repulsion of people to opening themselves up to conspiracy theories, because it challenges their core beliefs. These beliefs won’t shake easily, and can be directed to do great damage to innocent parties if the media spins it right.
But as social decay continues and it becomes obvious that the military is not on the average person’s side, I think these illusions will fade. Probably like a lot of Eastern Europeans from the 90’s would have no trouble believing that their own governments are/were evil, because they have direct evidence that they are.
I think I disagree with Dave to some extent, I see a full-on Mad Max scenario emerging. I get this from logically following through with what will happen. The trade deficit will end. That is a fact, and it will probably end abruptly. What is the consequence of this? The US economy is consumption driven, powered by the trade deficit. It is oil driven, powered by the trade deficit. Most jobs are in consumption or finance; both powered by the trade deficit. Agriculture is mechanized and average Americans can’t do that hard labour anyways. After the final “event” the trade deficit and financial sector will immediately end. Immediately, unemployment jumps to 60% at least. Immediately, oil available will drop to 1/4 of what it is now, if we’re lucky (due to the end of the oil trade deficit and the death of the shale oil patch once the financial system ends which props it up).
The suburbs will mostly be un-livable due to the cost of transportation and the inability of people to feed themselves because they will have no job and no way of growing their own food. A war zone. I see no way out of this. Maybe some miracle will happen but I can’t imagine what.
I know this will happen and to be fair to dave, I admit that the current system has gone on much much longer than we originally thought, and focussing on these negative things has prevented me from years of otherwise positive life experiences, due to both financial positions and from a fear of taking on certain risks or doing things due to a fear of the system collapsing, which it hasn’t, yet.
I guess one way to positively prepare for it rather than simply focussing on the negative to no avail is to move away from the cities, since most people there will end up dying anyways so they won’t be able to get far into the hinterlands. Northern Canada looks good, and if you are American, why not Alaska? Or leave the continent altogether and go to Asia or South America. The latter may be a bit risky.
Also, I recommend buying an old vehicle like a Toyota Landcruiser without a computer chip, which will survive an EMP blast.
Edit: I think there may be a possible “positive” way out of this crash scenario. Since America is self sufficient in producing food, there is no fundamental need for people to starve. So the challenge would be getting the food to the people when unemployment hits 80% and they can’t buy it. If the government / military set up a basic universal income system, or food stamps for everyone, and tasked the military with taking over food production and delivering it to the cities and dispensing it, then potentially we could avoid mass chaos. But this would be eerily communist and I don’t think it would be very stable, certainly not a nice outcome.
The other option is that they will just abandon the metropolises and let the population automatically wipe itself out; this would be an easier route to take and based on what I have seen from the US Government of late, I can’t imagine them intervening on humanitarian grounds.

skipr wrote:
If there's a severe economic downturn it seems to me that the price of silver could crash since the industrial demand will be next to zero. That might be offset somewhat by safe haven demand. Have any opinions on that? That electric car stuff makes me roll my eyes. The energy to charge them has to come from somewhere. The vast majority will come from the usual fossil fuels. It may actually increase the CO2 produced since there will be yet another inefficiency factor that's introduced. Instead of burning the fuels directly in the car engine we would burn it some centralized and remote power station to generate electricity that will then be used to charge the car. The additional inefficiency of converting that power plant heat energy to electricity, transmitting that electricity over miles and miles of power lines, etc will result in an increase of usage. It's a win-win for the Koch brothers. Increasing consumption under the illusion of saving the planet is a perpetual profit generator in the short term. Self driving cars makes me think of the 60s song "In the year 2525." They could also be used in a new episode in the Comedy Channel's South Park where self driving cars evolve (as long as it maximizes profits) to self driving humans. At the front end is a combine in a factory farm that pipes the preprocessed food directly into the strapped in consumer's mouth. Another pipe is connected to his other end which then pumps the left overs back into the farm. A self driving CEO could be the ultimate horror flick.
I actually diverge from most here because I am a big supporter of electric vehicles. I agree that the current hype around electric cars is overblown, but on a fundamental level, they make very good sense. I take a more rational fact-based approach to electric transportation (admittedly, years ago I had unwarranted optimism for the changes brought about by EV's) than the polyannas in the media, and on the other side the naysayers who can't see the benefit of a technology because they are turned off by the hype surrounding it. Charging and driving an electric car requires less energy than a petroleum powered car does. Furthermore, a petroleum powered car requires liquid fuel -- gas or diesel, the two most difficult forms of energy to bring forth right now because they only come from oil and we have already passed peak conventional oil. The remaining oil is difficult and expensive. In contrast, electric cars are powered by electricity, which can come from a whole range of sources, from burning coal, to nuclear, to geothermal, to hydro, wind and solar. Any of these is more efficient than burning oil. And, equally importantly, will be longer lasting since oil production will the first thing that's going to tank. Electricity will basically last "forever" and I put that in quotation marks because I believe that the electrical infrastructure will go down before we hit any supply constraints due to natural resource depletion. There are huge amounts of coal out there and the world will end because of some other catastrophe long before it would run out of electricity. It is the cheapest and easiest form of energy to provide. It is now cheaper than it ever has been, not much more expensive than it was 100 years ago, on a direct cents per kW-hr basis. When you factor in inflation, electricity is astoundingly cheap. EDIT: I finally found some statistics for electricity 100 years ago, rather than relying on my memory form what I read in a book a few years ago. Prices were about 6 cents/kW-hr. Now they are about double that right? In a peak-oil type scenario, I have a really hard time seeing why owning an electric car, and promoting them, is a bad idea. Forward thinkers would have solar panels on their roofs which could charge their cars to allow for basic activities. Detractors will point out, "But solar panels and electric cars are made with oil!". EXACTLY. That's exactly what we should be doing with the remaining oil resources -- building out a more efficient infrastructure which requires less oil to run! It is also argued that we won't have enough lithium for the batteries. Wake me up when we have evidence of this. And the "first" real EV's used Nickel Metal Hydride batteries which have no lithium. But I agree that the hype around self driving cars is nonsense. And I also understand that in the Mad Max scenario I see ensuing, the whole system will go down so even an electric car isn't going to help you. In that respect I need to be realistic.

Let’s rethink this. In a future of unknown restraints, why would we need a “car”, electric or otherwise. How about an electric bike- taking 1/10th the resources to build and power? Heck, I’m just needing to get to my community garden to put in my hours and bring home a basket load. Or a mule…Aloha, Steve

Just 3 days of slightly more snow in an average UK winter created delays in restocking, shortages & some panic buying.
Food for thought (pun intended)


I know this will happen and to be fair to dave, I admit that the current system has gone on much much longer than we originally thought, and focussing on these negative things has prevented me from years of otherwise positive life experiences, due to both financial positions and from a fear of taking on certain risks or doing things due to a fear of the system collapsing, which it hasn't, yet.
My advice: go where you are drawn. When you visit a place, and find yourself saying, "I don't want to go back home" - try moving there. That's what worked out for me. Its a whole lot better than fleeing (to somewhere? Anywhere!!) just because you expect everyone where you currently are living to die. My favorite quote, which I use on myself when I feel myself being overly worried:
Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard. It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come. In the play, would Caesar have survived for a day had he cowered in his house? Probably. But if he lived his life with that mindset, he wouldn't have conquered Gaul, or marched on Rome, or won the Civil War. And his enemies may well have just decided to whack him the next day anyway. If you can get to a point where you can eliminate the fear, you will hear the voice of your inner nature more clearly. It has processed more information than your conscious mind can ever sort through, and it most likely already has the answer of where you could go and what you might do - but that inner voice cannot be heard clearly until you can release that fear first. We are only here for a limited time. Find a way to enjoy yourself wherever you are, work to eliminate as much fear as possible, and follow your inner nature as best you can. Your inner nature will protect you better than your fear will. I say this both to you, and to myself as well. A lot of the stuff I write, I am writing to myself, first and foremost.
thatchmo wrote:
Let's rethink this. In a future of unknown restraints, why would we need a "car", electric or otherwise. How about an electric bike- taking 1/10th the resources to build and power? Heck, I'm just needing to get to my community garden to put in my hours and bring home a basket load. Or a mule.....Aloha, Steve
Got one. Love it. Dramatically more versatile than a regular bike. Contrary to what you may think, you can get more, rather than less exercise. I ride mine more often because I will take it on windy or hilly rides where I would leave a normal bike at home. Plus, I only use the motor to assist, not transport which, in all but extreme cases, gives me a range of well over 60 miles. If you haven’t kept up with e-bike technology in a while, you should check out mid-drives. I was on the fence about converting one, when hub motors were all that was available. The mid-drives take advantage of available gears. Granted, on a recumbent, the term mid-drive is confusing. Of course, a doomsday ebike would be best based on a cargo bike frame.

The sides of the big conflict, as I see it, seem to be:

The citizenry
An international oligarchy
The oligarchy have high levels of control of the government through regulatory capture, but I believe that to consider *the government* to be the opposition seriously misidentifies this group. The oligarchy includes the media, the owners of global corporations, private security firms, NSAs private contractors, high level LE organizations, NGOs, weapons makers, energy firms and the oligarchy exerts high degree of influence in scientific and medical establishments (through research funding, promotion,tenure, journal ownership). And banking. Previously, I explored the connection between one ethnic / tribal group and the oligarchy. I have abandoned that viewpoint as the overwhelming majority of my Jewish family and friends do not share the values of the oligarchy and have no interest or knowledge of the oligarchy's actions. They are "the citizens." (Admittedly, a few are a bit cliquish and carry a tinge of superiority. But most are not.) I am now considering this mostly a red herring. Just as the drone assassins are Americans, the overwhelming majority of Americans are not drone assassins. So to identify drone assassins as "the Americans" seriously misrepresents the issue.

Mad Max or not Mad Max this is the question.
One analysis on this thread I found very New Age. That if we think it will be Mad max then it will be. That seems rather facile as does most of New age thought. IE. we create our own reality. I have no idea whether we will experience a complete and violent collapse but I don’t think my thoughts on the subject will affect the other 330 million other people in this country. As has been pointed out that grocery shelves are good for about 3 days w/o restocking. Try a week or two and I think the social fabric gets torn wide open.
Having been involved in these sorts of discussions for 50 years I have observed they always follow the same pattern. A. this is all going to shit. B. We need to prepare. We need to have our own food supply, water, power, etc. C when it all goes to shit there will be a lot of people unprepared. Many of these people will then find themselves in desperate straits. Desperate people become very dangerous. D We need to be well armed to defend our preparation castle.
That is the way the discussion always goes. There are some who believe in the innate goodness of human nature and there are those who do not. Judging by the preps of the state, increased militarization of police departments, increased surveillance, increase in incarceration rates, My guess would be that the state is preparing for some violent times ahead.
This site is devoted to a certain paradigm. As one poster has said embracing that paradigm has cost him not only money but opportunities to pursue activities that might bring more happiness. I don’t spend a great deal of time here, though I have read this site off and on for 10 years (mostly off) as I find it too depressing on a regular basis. For me what is clearly lacking is a spiritual component to the discussions. There is a lack of visionary thought beyond what can be illustrated in graphs and charts. There is a useful purpose here but there are more useful purposes to be found. If I see Mel Gibson I will give him all your regards

MM: There are some who believe in the innate goodness of human nature and there are those who do not.
A lot of wisdom in your comment. Not everyone here is defeatist, though (note my comment above).
One can accept the reality of human nature, as well as the current cultural implosion (truly breathtaking imo) yet remain energetic and hopeful about the future. A good way to start? Keep 10% of one’s net worth in precious metals plus grow a garden with a hand-pump well (all cheap insurance). Then live a non-consumer, healthy, active, productive, happy, and hopeful life. At this stage, every possible future has a silver lining…just like 2008, I expect the next post-crash crisis will be even more profitable for the optimistic investor who can see through all the doom and gloom.

Sounds like a perpetual motion machine.