By James Howard Kunstler
Spring is always convulsive, with new things heaving into life. Under every dead leaf, something stirs and seeks light, the old must make way for the new, and to some degree the earth is not quite the same place as it was the last time it turned, though the scene looks superficially familiar. Winter’s torpor is, at least, a cold comfort, but springtime’s warmth and movement rattle the nerves. Things unseen shift ominously beneath us. Everything is pending and tending, and nothing is resolved.
Having wrecked its latest business model —hypertrophic financial fakery — Western Civ stumbles into the blinding new reality that it takes real stuff to run an economy, and that money itself is not an adequate replacement for the stuff. The trillions supposedly vested, for instance, in stock market valuations mostly represent mere wishes and promises, and for what? Why, for more money — which responds by losing value, so that we’re racing ever faster toward a receding horizon.
The net result: a world with less available stuff and plenty of money that’s increasingly worthless in pursuit of stuff. It isn’t long before people recognize the disutility of both conditions. The idea that we can fix this problem with central bank digital money is hilarious. When faced with less available stuff, resorting to “money” ever more abstracted from any relation to stuff only puts you in thrall to more empty wishes and promises when this is exactly the moment to be less in thrall and more in touch.
America has had enough of being in thrall, especially to figures and forces dedicated to our destruction. This spring is the beginning of a national life with less stuff, including, looks like, stuff to eat. That will sure enough put folks in touch with something real, and then they will naturally have to do something about it. Centralized control of the population via trackable digital money is the last thing that will avail in the face of hunger and desperation. In fact, that is just another set of empty wishes and promises.
The reality is that centralized government, such as the one in Washington DC, is less and less in control of anything — except the manufactured pretense that it can fix the problems of less stuff and decaying money. The federal government is increasingly impotent, unable to discharge its basic obligations to preserve public order and safety. Its previous attempt to fix something was the response to Covid-19, which has culminated in the fiasco of the mRNA vaccines, now pending and tending toward an astounding wave of early deaths among those in thrall to the transparently dishonest promises of officialdom (“safe and effective”).
That’s the trouble with thrall. It narrows the field-of-vision so badly, you can’t see what’s coming at you indirectly, like: hardship and death. The country has been in serious trouble for more than a decade. Cavalcades of bad choices — and then lying to ourselves about these bad choices — has shoved us well over the edge of our cherished expectations. One way out, then, is to simply refuse to remain in thrall to officialdom and the manufactured bullshit that is its only product.
We are lately in thrall to the melodrama in Ukraine, largely engineered by figures and forces in our own government and for their own ends, which look suspiciously at odds with the nation’s actual interests (the nation being us, its people). Perhaps this illustrates the widening gulf between the slouching beast government has become and the people trying to operate their lives and destinies under it. No food for you, no fertilizers for future food for you, no spare parts for you, no free speech for you, no social or economic role for you, no health for you, and (watch it, now!) soon no life for you.
Collectively going crazy has been a luxury we can’t afford anymore. You fell for RussiaGate and it kept you in thrall for years. You fell for the Adam Schiff orchestrated Ukraine phone call impeachment gambit. You fell for the Covid scare and the dangerously defective vaccines forced on you. You fell for the fraud-drenched election of the empty vessel known as “Joe Biden.” Don’t fall for the invitation to World War Three.
Russia means business in its historic sphere of influence. It’s none of our business, and we’re only making it worse for the Ukrainian people by pretending it’s our business with the false promise of our support. The only thing that matters to us about Ukraine just now is that we’re standing in the way of useful negotiations to end the conflict there and egging on various other countries in Europe to aggravate the situation.
It’s been a fine distraction from everything else that is slipping away in our own country, including the loss of liberty, the right to a livelihood, the need for legitimate meaning, the value of our money, our respect for the law, the ability to speak our minds, and our duty and obligations to each other. Our government is not interested in supporting any of that, and we might doubt that it even could anymore if it wanted to. It only wants to keep you in a state of abject thrall while it fritters away our posterity.