05/08/2017

Sitting On The Fence Between The Matrix And Reality Part 2- By Jeff Fitchett

I wrote an article in February of 2016 titled: 'Sitting on the fence between the matrix and reality'.  I've included the full text of that article (Part 1) below Part 2 in case you had not come across it.  Many issues are quickly converging simultaneously and this has caused me to feel a heightened sense of awareness and urgency (hence this update).

Part 2

Systemic vulnerability within the spheres of politics, economics, financial markets, society, the natural world, energy, etc. have been (d)evolving for decades and are now breaking down at an accelerated pace.  I'm often asked; "when will the collapse happen?".  A decline, on a scale that we are witnessing today, takes years to play out.  Degradation is evident to anyone who pauses for a moment and thinks about the cause and effect of what they are observing.  

Detroit did not crumble over night, but over a period of decades.  The end result is as clear as day (a city in massive decline), but the path to Detroit's demise is often not completely understood other than the auto industry having shrunk significantly within that geographical area. Globalization, debt and racketeering are a few of the tools used by the ruling elites to monopolize their position over the common person.  

Greed and power are like heroin to drug addicts.  The sociopaths and psychopaths in positions of power thrive on consolidating wealth and controlling the masses.  The powers that be have mastered the art of manipulation.  Techniques such as divide and conquer (Trump vs Clinton) or outright distractions (Russia) are employed on a scale that has never been seen before.  Technology is an amazing tool both from a positive and negative perspective.  Corruption reigns supreme for those occupying positions of power within the upper echelon of societal structures.  

The disconnect between the have and have-nots is worsening rapidly.  According to OXFAM, in 2010 the richest 388 people in the world had the same wealth as the world's poorest 50%. In 2015, the richest 62 people had the same wealth as the poorest 50%.  In 2016, just 8 people had the same wealth as the poorest 50%. We are witnessing the greatest wealth transfer in human history.  

Central Banks have enabled the wealthiest people in the world to consolidate wealth (and power) while the majority of people, governments and corporations are left carrying the weight of crippling debt.  Central Banks are now in the midst of raising interest rates and potentially selling off the assets they purchased through their quantitative easing programs (printing money out of thin air 'programs').  

The effect of 'monetary tightening' by the central banks will completely alter the financial landscape going forward.  Who will step in and buy the trillions of dollars worth of stocks, bonds and derivatives (and other toxic financial instruments) the Central Banks have been purchasing since the 2008 financial crisis.  I can't think of how anyone or any institution can possibly fill the void and purchase these assets.  Consumer debt, government debt, corporate debt, IOU's, margin debt are all at historic levels.  We have never seen anything like this in human history!  

Interest rate increases steal free cashflow from people, companies and governments.   The fact of the matter is that interest rates should never have been lowered to 0% (or negative in the case of sovereign debt) as they have been over the past 30 years.  This has caused asset bubbles (also known as inflation).  Food, energy, housing and many other types of expenditures have increased immensely in price all the while incomes have stagnated. 

Life is but a dream these days and the majority of people are completely unaware that anything is wrong.  As long as the soma is provided the masses will continue to live their lives like they did the day before.  Distracted, walking at a quick pace on the treadmill of life and not quite understanding why it is they feel like they are never getting ahead anymore.  The clock is ticking and the rules of the game have changed over the past year.  Loose monetary policies cause irrational exuberance in the price of goods and services, but a tightening monetary regime has the opposite effect and we are experiencing the reversal right now.

Government and corporate pension plans are now failing. Only a very small minority of the population have saved enough money to retire or even 'ride out' a job loss or a cut in income.   The societal vulnerabilities all around the world today are like slow moving seismic shifts along fault lines.  Eventually the ground will shake and cause carnage.  

This missive is not to be construed as fear mongering, but more of a call to spark conversation and reflection.  Complacency will lead the majority of people to financial ruin, but even worse will be what happens to the average person's psyche.  Many people will be forced to realize that our global economy and financial system was built on the foundation of a ponzi scheme.  The first person in (the people in positions of power) are the first ones out with all of the wealth.  Hence 8 people now having the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50%.  

Too often, labels, such as conspiracy theorist, are thrown at purveyors of truth.  The charade can only continue unabated as long as the masses continue to whistle past the grave yard as they're mired with cognitive dissonance.  It's not the fault of the masses for 'not knowing what is going on' in our world today. Our current Keysian economic model, bought & paid for governments and the mainstream media have all been working overtime to keep the illusion of "all is well" alive.

The political dysfunction that is spreading globally is a tell tale sign that the global citizenry are getting more restless.  Currency wars and trade wars (think sanctions) are intensifying and this is leading us down the path to war. The mainstream media is losing their credibility as more and more people realize that they are the providers of 'fake news'.  Stock and bond prices are now completely detached from economic reality.  Amazon's valuations are a prime example of this.  The same goes with Facebook, Tesla, etc.  Does anyone really believe that the US unemployment rate is 4.3% given that over 100 million working age Americans do not have a job.  

In the meantime, take advantage of the resources you still have available and make decisions that will help alleviate some of the hardship that is coming your way.  The problems we face today are baked in the cake.   Some people are adamant that technological innovation will save the day, but I liken those assumptions to hoping that a unicorn will solve our global problems.  A world of finite resources cannot provide infinite growth.  Debt is only an illusion of wealth. Relying on others for your wellbeing is futility at its finest.  Only you have the ability to control your actions.  Everyone is influenced by external factors, but it is you that can make decisions to better your unique situation.  


Part 1

I often see myself sitting on the edge of a fence with my legs dangling on the side of the Matrix.  Directly behind me is the real world and it is a mixture of beauty, harshness and everything in between.  I feel much more comfortable in 'reality' than I do within the contrived world that the majority of people live in.  While I sit on the fence pondering life and the world around me I can't help but think about how precarious it is for the minority of people who are like minded and desperately want to see the masses awakened from their slumber.  It is such a difficult task to enlighten others because the message, at first glance, is disturbing.  It is much easier for the populace to remain apathetic and maintain a state of cognitive dissonance.  

The problems we face are epic in scale.  We live in a world where our leaders are pushing us down a path to human catastrophe.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Short term thinking rules the day.  The extinction of the human race is a real possibility in the centuries ahead. If the neocons within the US government have their way we could see a nuclear winter in the foreseeable future.  Environmental degradation is increasing rapidly.  Drought conditions are spreading and many nations have called 'states of emergency' because of water issues.  Water was listed as the number one risk, from an impact standpoint, at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland.  Modern farming is killing our natural support systems.  The bulk of industrial farmland soil is dead and requires vast amounts of chemicals for plants to grow.  Our food has become void of nutrition.  Debt is enslaving the global population.  As economic conditions decline societal collapse is a real possibility.  Our entangled distribution systems are extremely complex and rely on debt for them to function properly.  In the West, most of the products we use on a day to day basis are produced in far off places.  Food, water and housing are the basics for our survival.  We are boxing ourselves into a corner and most people do not realize that desperation is right around the corner. 

As a parent, I find it unbelievably challenging to raise my daughters in a manner that will allow for them to see the world in a broad context rather than through the scripted lenses that society dictates.  Peer pressure is a formidable adversary that most parents, who understand the ways of the world, find extremely challenging to deal with.  At every turn, children are shaped into perpetuating the mainstream point of view.  Technology and media portray an unrealistic way of life.  I live a life of self-reliance.  As my daughters grow up I hope that they will understand what I am trying to do and why I am living in this manner.  The cards are stacked against us, but giving up is not an option for me.

Theoretically speaking, we can fix our world and undo the carnage that the human population has unleashed on our world.  Many individual efforts can equate to a larger positive effect on our environment and society.  We all have the choice to either put our heads in the sand or face reality and act in a meaningful manner.  Each and every moment offers us the opportunity to do something positive.  Rome was not built in a day.  It takes time to gain momentum, but when the wheels start turning the destination is often only limited by our own imagination.  

"If you want to understand the causes that existed in the past, look at the results as they are manifested in the present. And if you want to understand what results will be manifested in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present."   Buddha

As I think about the view from my perch on the fence I see myself turning my back on the Matrix and swinging my legs over to the reality side of the fence.  After all, I am much more comfortable being immersed in reality than I am in the unsustainable dog and pony show that our Western culture has become.  I embrace the challenges that are present and I will continue to do my small part in making the world a better place.  Nobody is perfect, including me, but we all have the ability to strive for perfection.  Our world has the potential to thrive with life as it has done in past eras.  The Industrial Revolution unleashed a pattern of thinking that needs to be changed. Economic and environmental conditions will force change upon the masses one way or another.  We have the choice to either embrace change or feel the negative consequences of our inaction.

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