Time to bury the dead

The final nail in the global financial coffin was hammered into place this morning by the masters of the Eurozone. The trillion-dollar bailout Ponzi scheme to save Greece is yet another example of kicking the proverbial can down the road, hoping the taxpayers fail to notice the 800-pound gorilla fighting its way out of the can.

And, because the taxpayers are so easily swindled by TPTB, there is little doubt they will fail to notice or, more likely, will believe the inflation-induced salvation of Greece is a brilliant move by the Economists In Charge. Judging from today’s explosive jump in stock markets, the swindle worked brilliantly. But volatility in the stock markets is back, so today’s huge gain will be wiped out by week’s end, perhaps in a ten-minute spasm subsequently blamed on a computer glitch that cannot be rationally explained. Glitch? If you believe that, then I’ve sell you some ocean-front property in Arizona. Well, it’s not ocean-front property yet. But we’re certainly headed in that direction.

But let’s go back to that coffin. Following the lead of the last remaining hyper-power, Europe is generating a mountain of debt so high it cannot be imagined, and therefore cannot be dealt with.

The black hole of debt has gone global. We’ll never pay off the debt because it cannot be paid off. But the average American believes every word that ends with illion is the same as every other word that ends with illion, so he goes back to the television while sucking down cheap beer and cheese doodles. Failing to recognize the effects of debt for him and his equally ignorant children, he keeps cheering on the military while booing the politicians, gleefully following American Idol while bitching about the quality of the public schools, bemoaning those poor fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico while filling up his SUV with gasoline and blaming Obama for not fixing the deep-sea oil gusher, blaming his elected representatives for high taxes (sic) while demanding eternal solvency of Social Security and Medicare, and calling Barack Obama a socialist even as the president nominates a fascist to the Supreme Court.

Citizens have become consumers. (Ben Franklin: “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”) We have abandoned the pursuit of inquiry, thus trading skepticism for suckerism. (One every minute is a massive underestimate from people who cannot distinguish millions from trillions.) We traded in our union cards for the promise of free money without reading the fine print. Having thoroughly fucked the planet and ourselves, we’re all playing extend and pretend, wishing for economic growth for our own generation (while willingly shit-canning future generations, as we’ve always done).

Eyjafjallajökull blowing smoke, ice melting at an accelerating rate from Antarctica, oil covering the Louisiana coast, biodiversity taking the fast track to oblivion at our oil-soaked hand, and on and on until the real news becomes so sickening we readily, eagerly, happily turn to reality TV (sic) or other mind-altering substances to get us through the week. If I weren’t a rationalist, I’d swear the third rock from the sun was trying to even the score with its most clever species.

Fortunately, even Ben Bernanke knows the odds are dimming on an orderly collapse. Don’t look away from the television now, but the post-industrial Stone Age is coming into full view.

Will it arrive in time to save the last remnants of the living planet? Will it arrive in time to save our species? Considering the planet’s atmosphere currently holds 387 ppm carbon dioxide, with 350 ppm the likely upper limit humanity can tolerate for an extended period, I have my doubts. Toss in methane, which is far more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, and we’re currently experiencing the equivalent of 460 ppm carbon dioxide.

If that seems problematic to you, perhaps you’re numerate enough to distinguish between millions and trillions. Consider yourself a rare industrial human.


This essay is permalinked at Counter Currents and Island Breath.

Comments 15

  • As usual, there are those who are Too Big To Fail, and there are the rest of us.

    This global meltdown has interfered with our plans to start an ecovillage, and it looks like we’re going to lose at least half of what we put into it.

    We want to save the planet from the bottom up, by living an example of what life could be. But we need a big cash partner at this point to make it happen!



  • Well said, Guy. It’s all pure bullshit. Someone on Kunstler said that the real terrorists are the financiers. Also, that Greece is really being bailed out, in part, by American taxpayers, as the U.S. kleptocrats funnel bailout money into the IMF.

    Jan, sorry to hear about the plans for your farm. It looks truly beautiful. Best of luck for finding the right solution.

  • Guy, a bit more edgy than usual and as usual right on target. Thx for all your efforts

  • One gets the feeling this is a momentous week. Class warfare initiated
    from the top down, to steal trillions from working and lower-middle classes in EU, UK and USA, is meeting with General Strikes and massive resistance in its first test case, Greece. As a former Junta General, the lone surviving member from the Greek military dictatorship of the early 70’s said a few days ago, we are only at the beginning of the crisis. Indeed. I expect convulsions for years. Unlike the much more passive response thus far from Americans who have been shafted, I do not
    expect the draconian theft of wealth from bottom to top in Europe and UK to go down easily – if it goes down at all. There may be some revolutions.

    Probably this is a good thing, as long as it challenges the hoarding and
    brutality by the few against the many, and can reverse some of the Fascism that has been erected.

    Global capital is scared stiff. They are grasping at straws, stealing more from everywhere and churning digital phantom $$, in a desperate transparent move to skirt the core fact – that the global banking system, global capitalism has collapsed. Their only solution is trickle-up economics i.e. Fascism. State Regulation – as long as it allows “legalized” theft of wealth from the many to the few, and big business, speculators and some superbanks to make $$ – is now lauded as necessary to bail out the “free-market” economy. Orwell is vindicated more each day.

    There’s the horrific ecological disaster in the Gulf, which could cost 1
    trillion dollars…of which BP may be asked to pay 1%. The environmental and ecological cost – incalculable, and ongoing…

    A Fascist nominated to the US Supreme Court, an incompetent crumb thrown in a cynical appeal to identity politics.

    In America, there is an even deeper context to events unfolding…See:


  • Strange Bedfellows:

    In today’s Wall Street Journal, 5/11/2010,in the Opinion(Editorial) section there is an editorial entitled “The Real Euro Crisis”.It could
    easily have been written by ProfEmGuy as it says essentially the same
    things he wrote above.

    This is not meant to imply any association by Guy,with The Wall Street Journal.It’s just interesting to note agreement from the world’s primary
    flak sheet for the Capitalist system.

    Frank Mezek

  • Scott Schneider, thanks for your thoughtful comment and the link to your blog. I recommend readers of this blog to pay a visit to Scott’s blog.

    Frank Mezek, thanks for the tip to the op-ed piece in today’s Wall Street Journal. The link is here.

  • When you measure wealth by pretty pictures printed on linen you open yourselves up to slavery. The bastards that control the worthless linen can only survive by loaning it out to others. The concept of real wealth, food water, energy and freedom escapes those trapped in the fiat money system, they fear the truth.

  • Oddly enough there is one way that the economy can grow, moving to the ocean on floating islands. With 71% of the earth covered by ocean there is room to expand. Even if we do expand to the ocean we can only put off the Malthusian bottleneck for another 50 years or so. Humans must learn to limit growth and respect the source of all that we have, nature.

    The islands can be built using recycled barrels, bottles, styrofoam and even inner tubes to cut costs and can be built by the refugees, homeless and the poor. Consider what the islands can do before you dismiss the idea out of hand.

    The islands could be used to grow crops that require no pesticides or herbicides. The islands could collect rain water and the excess shipped to land. The islands could have windmills and solar furnaces that could produce hydrogen fuel.

    The islands would cool the ocean beneath them while removing the excess atmospheric carbon that is killing us. The area under the islands would provide a safe breeding area for marine life.

    The islands would allow the poor to live and work in peace. The islands, by their very isolation, would be ideal reservoirs for bees, wild flowers and heirloom crops. There are many reasons to expand into the ocean, I cannot think of one reason why we should not do it.

  • Cheer up comrades! The economy is fine! Stay the course! Carry out the five year plan! Defeat the doomers, the neo-troglodytes and the enemies of socialist industry! The future is glorious now that the capitalist running dogs are on the run! All hail the great triumph of world socialism and the liberation of the working classes!

  • I thought one bright spot from the recent news of the past week was the unveiling of the huge banners on the walls of the Parthenon proclaiming “People of Europe Rise Up!”

    I increasingly hope for this in our country, but we have had our balls cut off. What is a protest today but a cordoned off, police surrounded and completely ignored event? There is no lack of outrage in our country, it’s just that TPTB have learned how to neuter public protest.

  • Guy and others this may be of interest,




  • Man has settled and stopped thinking. Our version of the planet is static but requires dynamic thought. We rely on faith when we should inspire critical thought. Instead of seeking truth we accept something as true. This is the “Cul-De-Sac Effect”, a place where we have settled and refuse to acknowledge that we’re in fact trapped. The pain of this acknowledgement is too great and awareness of it would require critical thought to solve. So as social groups with advantages continue to exploit their privileges the idea of entitlement grows and grows. This entitlement leads dominance which then becomes the norm. All of this distorts our boundaries and supremacy rules the day. Supremacy can only lead to violence and destruction of the planet and its species.

    As a person who is very near the top of the hierarchal food chain I must say that the view isn’t that bad. I mean most things are geared to flow to me, so the bubble I live in grows thicker every day. Except I notice once and awhile that people outside the bubble are whining. I can’t really hear what they’re saying but it sounds unpleasant. They’re probably not working hard enough. Oh well back to progress.

  • Doctor Doomlove,

    I’ve been told before that I don’t understand irony sometimes. I think this is one of those times.

    I get that you are saying up is down, but I don’t understand why you are classing McPherson and Bernache together or why you would be supporting corporatism.

    Or are you just mocking Guy’s readers by grouping them with Greek communists and pissed off municipal workers?

    When you hear the phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats” do you think of Reagan or unions?

    Michael Irving

  • Matt,

    Dark Mountain seems to be oriented toward intellectual activities involved with creating a new set of myths to carry us into the future. I wonder if it is not a cart-before-the-horse system, building myths to direct the course of civilization. I thought generally myths described what was happening or had happened, rather than being the initiator of events. For example, “Manifest Destiny” as the myth of American supremacy was used as an excuse for all kinds of acquisitive actions; however, the West was being won (nature destroyed, natives killed or displaced) long before a name and a literature were developed.

    Or maybe myths just describe the activities of early adopters and thus become both a history and a road map for people who follow; for example, the myth of “Guy the Drop-outer” who, by his example, helped a small band of people in their journey into an uncertain future.

    Of course I may not understand at all.

    What are your thoughts?

    Michael Irving

  • Well honestly it’s all a myth. We all have our version of “how things came to be this way” as Daniel Quinn puts it. Then of course we follow the road map without even realizing it. If the Dark Mountain myth is less destructive then I say why not at least consider it? I’ll read the manifesto and go from there.