News & Analysis
'Dreamtime' Rolls Along
States Warned of $2 Trillion Pensions Shortfall ... US public pensions face a shortfall of $2,500 billion that will force state and local governments to sell assets and make deep cuts to services, according to the former chairman of New Jersey's pension fund. The severe US economic recession has cast a spotlight on years of fiscal mismanagement, including chronic underfunding of retirement promises. "States face cost pressure, most prominently from retirement benefits and Medicaid [the health programme for the poor]," Orin Kramer told the Financial Times. – FT
Dominant Social Theme: Find a job, invest, save and then retire. Hey, wait a minute ...
Free-Market Analysis: Once upon a time, Americans dealt with issues of "plenty." There was so much to go around that the US was subject to a plethora of guilt-inducing commentary in the 20th century. But today, the US suffers from high unemployment and decades of public-overspending. In Europe the situation is much the same and has led to the imposition of "austerity."
In this article we want to rehearse once again what has emerged on the Internet – via the blogosphere – regarding the dominant social themes of the power elite, and how the 'Net has confronted Dreamtime both in the US and Europe. It turns out that much of what people learned in school, from the media and via the elective process was a kind of fiction, a promotion intended to render people passive while the hard-work of constructing global governance went on around them.
The hard times are not going away any time soon. As the faux-prosperity of the central-banking economy continues to diminish throughout the West, money comes into short supply not just in the private sector but in the public one as well (see article excerpt above). The unraveling of American prosperity has to be regarded as the single most significant event that most American citizens young or old will face in their lifetime.
In Europe, the comfortable myths about socialism have given way to the harsh realities of modern austerity. Meanwhile, the American Dream is unraveling "across the pond." The idea that municipalities would be able to continue to provide an endless array of upscale social and professional services – education, housing, civil services – is being exposed as a chimera. Ludwig von Mises proves far more prescient than John Maynard Keynes.
American Dreamtime included the perspective that any man or woman had as good a chance as any other to succeed. In America free-speech was not only tolerated but encouraged. Americans were wealthy because they were good; and good because they were moral. The wealth of America created a moral burden in fact, to help the poor and helpless of other countries become better off.
In America, everyone could own a house and a car. Poverty was not a problem because the government would allay it. Children could attend good public schools and solid, state universities. Social Security would keep people secure in old age. Hunger was never a problem in America. Nuclear families were the ideal social structure; Mom and Dad could go to a retirement center when they grew older. Health care – pharmaceutical drugs – would help them age gracefully.
One of the primary proponents of Dreamtime in 20th century America was Harvard's John Kenneth Galbraith. He had the knack of writing in a way that allowed the reader to share his sense of disdain at the antics of the hoi polloi and nouveau riche without feeling targeted. His most famous book was entitled, predictably enough, The Affluent Society. Wikipedia describes it thusly:
The Affluent Society is a 1958 book by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. The book sought to clearly outline the manner in which the post-World War II America was becoming wealthy in the private sector but remained poor in the public sector, lacking social and physical infrastructure, and perpetuating income disparities. The book sparked much public discussion at the time, and it is widely remembered for Galbraith's popularizing of the term "conventional wisdom" ... (a term used to describe ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field).
Galbraith's bête noir involved income disparities. He looked with endless alarm at the wealth in the private sector and saw that government was not doing enough to redistribute income and help the impoverished. He wrote book after book to draw attention to this "problem," and embodied in his prose and attitude the perspective that America's main problem was its wealth – and that wealth would surely accrue forever and ever along with the problems it caused.
Except it didn't. An expanding frame of historical reference reveals the myopic narrowness of Galbraith's subject matter. He can be seen today as an elegant amplifier of a nexus of elite views that reside within Ivy League colleges and beyond – all the way up the ladder to the Anglo-American elite itself – having to do with the unsuitability of middle class wealth. What REALLY bothered Galbraith was not the inequality between those with some money and those with less, but that middle class was growing richer. He waged war against this concept with his ineffably snooty prose. He did well; as it turns out America did not.
Galbraith and the other narrators of the 20th century were engaged knowingly – in our view – in selling Dreamtime to American citizens, much as their counterparts did overseas. The idea was always to comment on the outward characteristics of society without examining its engine, which was central banking. It was central banking money stimulation that made the West's prosperity possible, that and a world war that left America bestriding the globe like a colossus.
But central banking and the graduated income tax have now done their work. The graduated income tax has sent multinationals abroad for better terms. America is broke and impoverished. The surges of paper money generated by the Federal Reserve have created an entire false economy that is prone to breakdown and ruin. Human hunter-gatherers may have worked a few hours for sustenance; modern Western couples can work up to 12 or even 16 hours a day.
It is truly a crime. The whole issue of money creation was off-limits in the 20th century (how long ago that seems) and the result was a mythos that people grew up believing regarding their "prosperity" because they had no way of determining the truth.
Galbraith and others lied by omission while the Anglosphere's various intelligence operatives misled the West via commission. It is increasingly evident, if one examines history dispassionately, that both World Wars were in a sense planned to further the cause of global government. The IMF, World Bank and UN were set up with this cause in mind. America's further serial wars were fought to impoverish the US and to make the world more amenable to central banking and Western finance – especially in Asia.
"Enemies of the West" such as the Soviet Union were funded by Western bankers (see Edward G. Griffin) and hundreds of millions suffered under these regimes. The lies are plenteous and they range the gamut from the large to the relatively small. But essentially the Western narrative was a false one. It was a Dreamtime. Now, as economies distorted by a 100 years of money stimulation refuse to respond to further prodding, as cities and governments throughout the West face insupportable responsibilities, the veil has been ripped away; people confront a far harsher reality. But they do so with far more knowledge than Western elites expected. The Internet has provided an unexpected education.
Conclusion: We indicated above that we would explain how the Internet was debunking the elite's Dreamtime and we will do simply with the following question: You've read this article, haven't you? Now multiply the Bell by a thousand – no, a million – outlets. The dawning realization that the West's "progress" in the 20th century was not what it seemed will generate considerable tension social for the foreseeable future in our view. Elite media continue to play the beguiling tunes of 20th century Dreamtime, but for many the music has stopped.
Posted by Catevala on 01/21/11 07:06 PM
"Thanks for publishing the Jiddu Krishnamurti link yesterday,-ye are True Angels!"
Really?! Where? I can't read everything on-site this days and I'd like to see the context of ANYthing on Krishnaji. Frankly, he would have been on my short list of people I would NEVER have thought would be mentioned on this kind of forum! Bravo! Krishnaji was one of my seminal formative influences.
Posted by Old Geezer on 01/21/11 04:19 PM
Leonardo Pisano – watch out with the term bulls eye. Some may think you a gun toting, pot smoking Repub looking to knock off some wousy Demmies. Shame on you.
Posted by RF on 01/21/11 02:20 PM
The basic premise of our society started with the Roman Empire-the Republics Democracies are Latin rooted wordsn as well as the concepts-- Yet to our current understanding they were hedonistic, food and alcohol binging, fringed, political murders , those were the polititions, the rest of society was somewhere between chattel ans merchants- all expendable i9n the name of Zeus..
-- Every word you say about the elite manipulating societies around the world is absolutly true-I'm surprised at the length of your answer--we read the same tone of editoriasl every day at the Bell " no one is asking you to change-certainly not me-- but of what you speak is human nature .
All the priviled societies ,I would believe back as far as to Neanderthal man ,people had ambitions, leaders, followers, those with greater luck to gain control-- certainly becoming a gold hoarding, bankless free market , society isn't going to change that at all-- what was it they said in the 70's "Revolution is simply power changing hands" there will simply be new a elite, that eliminated the last- the cycles of empires are shortening as the earth ages--
How long will your's last?? till the gold runs out??
Reply from The Daily Bell
Yes, the Bell has a certain tone, style and subject matter. But it charts the memes of the elite and their rise and fall. Investment blogs - even the Wall Street Journal - have no more variance in their tone or chosen subject matter. They are simply larger. The Bell's audience, while growing quickly, is not the same every day.
We are optimists frankly, but our predictions have been borne out by reality. Much of what we predicted - the ever-enlarging battle between the fear-based promotions of the elite and the truth-telling of the Internet has come to pass.
We postulate a new kind of historical analysis, based on the conflict between communication technology available to the masses and the control-oriented promotions of the elite. This is a battle going back thousands of years but it has sharpened considerably with the advent of the Guttenberg Press and the Internet.
You are incorrect in our view to simply state that history rolls in weary cycles without change. History IS changing. The elites in our view have been rocked back by the Internet. And when the next new communications technology comes along, they will be similarly surprised.
They seem literally do not know what to do next, except become more authoritarian, which is what they spent the last century trying NOT to do.
This is history's swivel - and secret. There are hundreds of thousands of historians in the West with high degrees but not a one so far as we know has advanced this sort of historical analysis from a doctrinal standpoint. Maybe Marshall McLuhan, and we disagree with some of his analysis.
Our analysis - as we have propounded it - will last until the end of time (as we can conceive of it) because the battle between those who have more and those who have less is an eternal one. But that does not mean it is static; that does not mean that humanity's larger pool of have-nots can continue to force concessions from the elites.
The powers-that-be dream of High-Feudalism. It is not to be, or not as they imagine it. Their modern franchise is under severe attack. The 20th century was kind to the Anglosphere; the 21st century may be less so.
Posted by Heuristic on 01/20/11 12:27 PM
"Allowing the Internet"
Remember Fidonet? Click to view link It is still going and all it needs is a phone line, modem, and software running on your PC, to connect to a world-wide community of bulletin boards.
Fidonet was entirely a matter of spontaneous order. If DARPA had never invented the Internet then Fidonet surely would have evolved into something we can hardly imagine today since we went down the other path. But if they ever shut down the Internet, Fidonet is still there. What are they going to do, shut the phone system?
Posted by Bill Ross on 01/20/11 08:16 AM
DB: "The Internet has provided an unexpected education."
It is necessary to understand exactly what has / is happening here. The internet is a process, a mutually advantageous synergistic relationship between information providers and information consumers. In a sense, we have been living in the information age for all of history, since mankind's primary need (goal) is to survive and information (knowledge: relationship between action and consequence) is required to make effective survival choices. In the final analysis, there are only THREE basic choice domains (and therefore, knowledge areas) regarding how to achieve survival:
Force: Historically refined methodologies regarding how to force others to make the choices that you desire, despite their fully informed non-consent and active opposition. How to forcefully prey and suppress the forceful opposition of your victims.
Fraud: Historically refined lies, targeting human intellectual weakness and predisposition to believe comforting lies such as: Relax, give up your freedoms, it is necessary that we control the "freedom to be evil" (as opposed to sanctioning evil acts, after the fact), we will take care of you. Machiavelli wrote the elite bible in this area.
Honest Trade: The knowledge required to enforce / encourage an environment which allows peaceful civilization (the rules by which we cooperate for MUTUAL self-interest).
The point is: Elites, in their arrogance, hubris and frankly, stupidity have lost "consent of the governed", creating serious survival threats for the majority (action) and blowback for themselves. This has resulted in the consequence that people are seeking knowledge in the area of how to survive these times, as well as using the internet's communication capability to connect consumers with producers to trade for mutual advantage, whether it be physical or intellectual (survival knowledge) goods that are traded.
Allowing the internet was a very serious elite mistake (survival threat, to them) and constitutes their number one priority to deal with. Truth is the enemy of lies because lies are annihilated by those in possession of truth, on contact. The internet has neutered fraud as a viable goal seeking methodology. This means, at some point, unless elites blink and back off, it must come down to a clash of naked force versus knowledgeable CHOICE by "we, the people" (unseen hand). To physically destroy the internet will take some serious, perhaps fatal damage to the physical infrastructure of civilization (nukes). THINK about it:
Click to view link
Elites should be careful what they wish for, they may get it, good and hard.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"Allowing the internet was a very serious elite mistake (survival threat, to them) and constitutes their number one priority to deal with. Truth is the enemy of lies because lies are annihilated by those in possession of truth, on contact. The internet has neutered fraud as a viable goal seeking methodology."
Posted by Mel Lindley on 01/20/11 07:14 AM
Mankind lives by exploiting the resources of the earth.
BP's debacle in the Gulf illustrates clearly that in order to extract these declining resources we must now operate at the very edge of technology. To work at the 'coal face' today a man requires a great deal more that a pick & shovel, consequently ruling out the greater mass of citizens from the wealth creation process.
A lump of coal stores the energy from the sun that shone millions of years ago, enabling us to utilise that energy today. In contrast the energy expended by human activity cannot be stored for later use, like A/C electricity it has to be used as it is generated.
It is this inability to store human energy that makes saving for old age so fraught and this difficulty is compounded by the peculiar belief that you can store your own energy in banknotes for use in your infirmity.
Not even gold can store energy but it is highly likely that gold will be more acceptable by the young and energetic in exchange for their labour when you are too old and feeble to dig your own garden
Posted by Heuristic on 01/20/11 04:22 AM
Weebley, freedom to bypass the credentialists, the professioriat, the argument from authority, by applying simple Socratic method to the cyber ocean of knowledge, is kinda cool too. ;-)
Posted by Akhil Khanna on 01/20/11 01:37 AM
The blame for causing the financial crises is to be shared by all the parties involved.
Individuals kept on spending even in face of declining incomes by using the cheap and easily available loans handed over to them by the bankers.
The bankers kept on lending to the individuals, who they knew would never be able to repay their loans, because they were getting commission and charging exorbitant interest on the loans. Moreover they were able to sell the poor loans (after getting them fraudently rated as AAA) to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The bankers also sold these toxic products to the pension funds and fixed income investors for commissions knowing very well they will go down in value when the borrowers default. The bankers were confident that the government would route tax payers collections to them in case of any mishap as they had become too big to fail and controlled the politicians, rule-makers and the rule enforcers.
The politicians around the world are nothing more than auction items which can be sold to the highest bidder. They will do whatever they can for the lobbyist paying them the maximum amount of money or votes, be it the unions, the banksters, the richest corporations or individuals. They are in the power seat to extract maximum advantage for themselves in the small time frame they occupy the seat of power.
The rest of the population is least of their concerns. The only activity they do is pacify the majority of the population using false statistics and promises of a better future so that they do not lynch them and their masters while they are robbing the taxpayers.
Click to view link
Posted by Wayne on 01/19/11 11:57 PM
George Carlin may have said it best
Click to view link
Posted by AmanfromMars on 01/19/11 11:40 PM
"An intellectual revolution is spreading out of control. It involves questioning and discarding the most fundamental premises of knowledge taught from birth. It is profoundly disturbing and difficult. Our hope is that once people see the truth, they will recognize it. Only a few will; the power of self-delusion and the guilt from practicing it over a lifetime are not broken easily." ..... Posted by John Danforth on 1/19/2011 9:02:37 AM
"We obviously believe this as well." .... Reply from the Daily Bell
You may like to reconsider the "out of control" element in that thinking, and replace it with the much more likely component "into the control of A.N.Others".
And the following hyperlink, which takes you to Inside This Book and Browse Sample Pages and First Pages, is in relation to the above more likely component, a helpful foreword/taster/tester of what is in store ....... Click to view link ....... awakening, and flexing ITs muscles for virtual hustles ..... Nearly Perfect Stings in Immaculately Conceived Operations.
And "nearly perfect" because, anything better in AI Beta, would be actually worse, introducing as it would, the complacency of arrogance which blights and blinds one intelligently with future ignorance.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 01/19/11 10:35 PM
Posted by Ivan on 01/19/11 09:46 PM
Yes I liked the article. I hope you are right that more people are waking up; but even if they are not one can still be sovereign...if they only would.
Posted by RT Carpenter on 01/19/11 09:30 PM
Dreamtime is the word--but it is a terrifying Nightmare! Americans now give Pres Obama a 53% approval rating. He expanded these mindless wars, got unemployment payments and tax cuts for the wealthy extended. No new revenue for these unpayable progarams. What are Americans thinking of? The only "good news" is complete propaganda.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Why do you trust these polls or the questions they ask?
Posted by Rdnoble on 01/19/11 08:58 PM
Not being an expert on this subject......curiously with all our plans of global government were the likes of China involved in this? Or has the US and it's little buddies just been trying to work around China and pretend it isn't there?
Personally I think we're all screwed.
Posted by John Danforth on 01/19/11 08:47 PM
Thank you all for your nice comments. I value reading your comments, too. It's part of what keeps me coming back!
On the former America, Ayn Rand said it best when she said she had hopes for the future because Americans don't like being pushed around. Alas, that was a long time ago. Nowadays at least half of us are beggars and thieves, and don't mind being pushed around at all. Cripes, look at the airports! Still, there are a few left.
Posted by Lewanna on 01/19/11 08:25 PM
"Brilliant and profound" comment! MY hat off to YOU! Thank you DB. I love Elves!
Posted by Mark Y on 01/19/11 05:39 PM
DB: "America was once a shining light on the hill. No more."
Exactly. The problem I find is that most Americans that consider themselves to be freedom loving and supporters of The Constitution and the "American Way" do not realize that the America they love no longer exists. In fact, the America of today is actually much closer to the Soviet Union in character than to the United States as it was formed by Jefferson, Madison and the founders. Moral courage is required to accept this fact.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Well put from our perspective. See our response on this subject, just above.
Posted by Bionic Mosquito on 01/19/11 05:38 PM
"Do you have any good comments about America?? out of curiosity??"
What follows is not my attempt at balance. The query was for ANY good comments. The bad ones are quite well known, and each can judge on their own the tipping of the scales.
America holds a special place in my heart. I suspect this is true for many Americans and non-Americans. I believe the "special place" has its roots in the concept of what was once "America." Or at least what many of us were taught to believe was true about America.
One cannot read The Declaration of Independence without seeing a glimmer of what could be. Call it exceptionalism. There are only sparks of respecting the individual as sovereign in recorded history. America 240 years ago was one such example, perhaps the best on such a scale. Of course, we must ignore slavery and Native Indians (or whatever the PC term is for the indigenous of the time).
This belief in this glimmer of hope adds weight to the anger aimed at America by many. Call us jilted lovers, or idol worshipers or whatever. The scorn is greater because the hope and the possibility were greater (or at least many thought so).
Even today, America offers certain freedoms not found elsewhere, or certainly not to the same degree as found elsewhere: firearms ownership, home-schooling, worship, (somebody help me here....).
Reply from The Daily Bell
Unfortunately, right now, when anybody begins a list of America's "positives" one almost immediately begins speaking in the past tense. Those who love America - as many of the elves do - recall her past greatness and hope that she rises again. The culture of freedom and free-markets - and self-reliance - still exists in America as nowhere else. This is a hopeful state-of-affairs. Perhaps the Internet will prove a turning point.
Posted by Heuristic on 01/19/11 05:37 PM
This discussion of dominant social memes has sentitized me a bit to what I might have missed. DB deserves some praise for that.
This afternoon I was at a client's premises and he had the TV on (Sky, a Murdoch satellite channel). I haven't watched the telly in many years and I noticed something in the hour that I was exposed to it. It was a relentless bombardment of sentimentality, of triggers to "tug the heart strings." The news segments had the Chinese president and Obama standing silent while their national anthems played, hand on heart. Then there was an ad for donations to "adopt a jaguar" (pic of cuddly jaguar) because the rain forest is shrinking, then there was news of the heroic boy in oz who sacrificed himself for his brother (sob), then the was an ad for donations to help the forlorn, dying child in Africa and then there was more news of disasters and sad people. At the end of it I was wrung out! Bring on the Kleenexes!! (joking)
I get home and I think: how strange. Is it just the UK televison. The video "entertainment" I normally ever view is the occasional American movies and that is rarely like that. So this evening I open this week's download of "No Ordinary Family" (I know, I'm retarded) and I notice something:
It features "criminals" being found out and captured by a district attorney and his friend, a wholesome citizen who happens to have super powers. Good (the government) saves us from evil (escaped convicts, murderers, greedy capitalists). Oh! Wait! Nearly ever movie coming out of Hollywood is basically like that (give or take a super power or two).
What struck me was the (national?) difference between the two media. The British fare with it's unrelenting emotional milking of the viewer and the American fare with its unrelenting aggressive statists combating lone, greedy, cowardly criminals.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Promotions obviously take on the tinge of the national culture. But thanks for the above analysis. An interesting read.
Posted by Cat Writer on 01/19/11 04:39 PM
Once upon a time, long long ago when my wife was a child, she had worms. The cure: drinking a cup of coffee into which was mixed a spoonful of kerosene.
Thus, the solution. We must go and act in similar fashion.