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Full Commanding Denial


central casting called for a poised, straight-talking, and
capable-seeming president, it would be hard to come up with someone
better than the Barack Obama who walked and talked around the White
House grounds with Steve Croft on “60-Minutes” Sunday night. He may
perfectly represent the majority who elected him, though, because he
also appears to be in full commanding denial of the realities
overtaking our American experience.
      Those realities include the fact that we can’t possibly return to
the easy credit and no money down “consumer” economy no matter how many
nominal dollars get shoveled into the fiery furnaces of banks
too-big-to-fail. As Treasury Secretary Geithner’s underling, Stephanie
Cutter, said last week, “Our singular focus is on increasing lending to
support economic recovery. Everything we do to stabilize the financial
system is done with that goal in mind.”
      Lending on the scale that became normal over the last decade is
for sure the one thing that we will not recover. We turn around in 2009
to find ourselves a much poorer nation than we thought we were a year
ago, especially among that broad range of formerly middle-class
wage-earners who lived so luxuriously until yesterday. The public can’t
process this reality and the president, for all his relaxed charm, is
either not ready to articulate it, or can’t process it himself.
     Everything that we’re doing right now is engineered to avoid
reality, to sustain the unsustainable, to recover the unrecoverable,
when the mandate of reality compels us to face our losses in order to
move on to the next chapter of a collective American life. The next
chapter would be a society that runs on a much more local and modest
scale, centered on essential activities like growing food, requiring
harder physical work, and focused attention — in other words, the
opposite of a society lost in abstractions, long-range daisy chains of
off-loaded responsibility, and incessant pleasure-seeking.
     In retreat from this reality, we’ve set in motion two forces that
are pretty certain to bring us to grief. The first proceeds from the
fateful FMOC decision last week at the Federal Reserve Bank to begin
buying massive amounts of our own treasury bonds and bills. This is
predicated on the idea that the mechanisms of wealth production — even
of illusory wealth, such as the fortunes created by trading securitized
unpayable debt — can keep chugging along, spinning off limitless
additional suburban villas, chain stores, car trips, and deep-fried
snacks. It would be sententious to explain how this destroys
currencies, but wherever “monetizing debt” has been tried before in
history, that is the outcome. The result would be ruinous at every
level and would lead straight to the second terrible force: social upheaval brought on by the conversion of economic problems into political turbulence.
     Those two forces are underway right now, in fact, since the overt
monetizing of last week was preceded by the shoveling of bail-outs,
which tacitly guaranteed a collapse of credibility in US debt
instruments. I’m not in favor of violence and anarchy, but after the
AIG bonus affair, it’s hard to imagine that we are not one more
corporate misdeed away from a rocket-propelled-grenade, or something
like that, being fired into a glass office tower somewhere — and then
the “first-broken-window” rule of social disintegration comes into
play. Meanwhile, I stick to my time-table of six-to-eighteen months
before the reckless creation of new money-for-nothing filters through
the system, overcomes even compressive mass bankruptcy, and starts
expressing itself in the sinking value of dollars and the revved up
velocity of their circulation in pursuit of tangible commodities.
     We’re already seeing the first twinges of that in the up-creep of
oil prices, busting through the $50-a-barrel barrier last week. Since
scarcity tends to express itself in gross volatility, it’s easy to
imagine oil prices rising swiftly beyond the $147-per-barrel record
level of last year. As that occurs, the most basic premises of everyday
life in the USA will be called into question. If you think car sales
have been bad lately, with oil in the $35-a-barrel range most of the
winter, just wait. The newly-minted unemployed will be marooned in
their subdivisions. They will not be buying GMC Yukons on 48-month
installment contracts, let alone X-boxes on their Visa cards. They
might be very very hungry, though. All bets are off as to how these
social classes may organize themselves to alleviate their hunger (and
express their anger about it).
    Given all this, it’s kind of hard to believe that the savvy,
thoughtful Mr. Obama is going along with such a disastrous program as
the one his “team” is rolling out. Perhaps his ease and confidence
masks a tragically conventional world-view, an incapacity to imagine
“change” outside a very narrow range of possibility. I must say I doubt
this is the case. I think, he is going along, for the moment, with a
consensus of wishes to prop up life as we know it at all costs. This
consensus emanates from the top down and
the bottom up. The millions of “Joe-the-Plumber(s)” out there don’t
want to rethink the terms of existence anymore than the lords of
Goldman Sachs. I also think that circumstances will force Mr. Obama’s
hand before long — specifically that a moment will arrive when he goes
on TV and tells the American public that things have changed way beyond
the scope of what they even imagined when they pulled the levers last
fall and voted for an uncharted future.
      Capable observers are calling, meanwhile, for a robust bear
market rally moving through Spring, on technical grounds that have
little to do with the greater forces roistering in the background.
Reality is a cruel mistress. If the stock market rally rolls out as
predicted, it will surely fake-out the mainstream media. They’ll
conclude wishfully and foolishly that something like “recovery” is
underway. They may even interpret rising oil prices as a “positive
sign” that the great groaning enterprise of the something-for-nothing
economy is back “on track.”
     They’ll be shocked sometime after Memorial Day when it all comes
off the rails again. We have a lot to sort out and very little time to
get on with job. Notice, I haven’t even mentioned the potential for
mischief and instability coming out of the rest of the world — enough
black swans to blot out the sun. Want some concrete advice? For those
of you sitting on US Treasury bonds and bills, now would be a good time
to get out.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

4 Responses to “Full Commanding Denial”

  1. FincaInTheMountains May 26, 2018 at 5:24 am #

    Hillary Clinton, who is still at the helm of the Deep State, during 2016 elections, was campaigning under frankly anti-Christian slogans, in particular, promising to oblige all American churches to marry homosexuals.

    The European Union, that in its constitution is forbidding the mentioning of the historical role of Christianity in the formation of European culture, has invested tremendous funds in her electoral fund, and Saudi Arabia, which just funded the genocide of Christians in Syria.

    And yet she lost despite her tremendous financial superiority, colossal ballot falsifications and, most importantly, the application of 25th frame technology!

    The elections of 2016 showed the utter futility of these technologies as applied to the working class, and the only positive result of these elections for the Black Project was that graduates of colleges and universities remain vulnerable to Clinton propaganda for at least 10 years after graduation.

    I communicated with many of them during the election campaign and I got the impression that it is the 25th frame technology or brainwashing, since any mentioning of the crimes of Hillary Clinton caused their eyes to glaze over, and for some time they simply loose the ability to communicate and perceive new information. And besides the obvious effects of English 101, I had the impression that the very methodology of teaching in prestigious colleges, contrary to students will, makes a person an easy pray of this propaganda.

    Social Darwinism in such colleges was introduced relatively recently from the pitch of the Black Project and high prestige of those colleges makes it especially cruel, forcing students to fall into depression and causing depletion of the bodily defenses.

    Eczema and depression become a common thing among students and not surprisingly in this state they become especially suggestible, in particular in natural science faculties, which teach using the methods of real schools.

    In particular, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that is, in the main source of highly-trained professionals for the US military-industrial complex, this phenomenon recently acquired so catastrophic scale that it became the subject of discussion on the main Clinton channel:

    ‘Portraits of Resilience’ destigmatize depression at MIT.


    In my opinion MIT became the victim of a colossal experiment after in the early 70s MIT students actively participated in anti-war protests, including demanding the refusal of their institute to participate in the development of the technology of multiple individual-guided warheads (MIRV).

    On the other side, the gymnasium system of training (for example, in Harvard) was either incapable of providing the necessary level of brainwashing, or as a gymnasium system in the Soviet school of the 1960s-70s even provided additional resistance to such influences.

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