Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Did Someone Say Recovery?

I wrote the piece below in response to a post over at financial blogger and trader extraordinaire Rick Ackerman's site. Apparently he is considering featuring it tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a link to a piece that just came out today that buttresses my assertions.

I expect that cognitive dissonance about the land is now both pervasive and immense. The number of unemployed, underemployed, and otherwise financially and economically imperiled has ratcheted up over the last few years, and though the economic deterioration that began in earnest in early 2008 seems to have, at least by some modestly credible measures, abated somewhat in the last few months, the new normal, such as it is, is distinctly less healthy, less favorable to most, than it was.

And yet, despite the immutable facts of a reduction in the standard of living for so many, we keep hearing talk of recovery, which is, by definition, absurd, since a recovery assumes the reclamation of a prior state. The only prior state that has been recovered is the one that Wall Street was operating in before the financial world, as we knew it, ended in a thunderous calamity. In fact, even that picture isn’t entirely accurate since Wall Street has now, de facto, if not de jure, captured at least two, if not all three, branches comprising the Federal Government.

And the Federal Government, whose agenda is unmistakably crafted and shaped by corporations, if we are operating euphemistically, and owned like a mindless piece of chattel (by the remnants of the FIRE economy) if we are not, in concert with the MSM, which is also the province, lock, stock, and barrel of “bottom line” concerns, are all in on maintaining -to the vast majority’s detriment- the grand, if tenuous, illusion of prosperity. That Matrix will continue to function as is until some critical number of those trapped within it lose even more than they have lost already. At that point, one imagines a genuine move towards revolution and freedom- which, as Kris Kristofferson observed, is “just another word for nothing left to lose”- will emerge in a such a way as to make the Tea Party movement look like the tepid, co-opted brew it is. Unfortunately, by then, it may well be too late. Vamos a ver.


Thai said...

I thought you might fin the following links interesting

link 1

link 2


Edwardo said...

Very interesting, especially the first link The problem for anyone trying to get an accurate bead on the makeup of The Tea Party Movement may be encapsulated in the following statement/question, "Will the real Tea Party members please stand up?


Thai said...


Thai said...


Edwardo said...

Thanks for the link. However, nobody is buying any insurance in MA presently.


Debra said...

I skimmed over Thai's link 1. Mea culpa.
I keep harping on about the fact that we are animals that need to perceive differences in order to find meaning, and in order to make things WORK. (Things, not necessarily people...)
Since predicting disaster is what you do best, Edwardo, think for a minute about the fact that a great deal of this mess has been caused because... we have stuck a price tag on EVERYTHING, everything, and, having stuck that price tag on everything, we turn around and start bawling "no fair, everybody is.. INTERESTED, as we say in France (think about it..) or.. as you say in the States, everybody does what they do to make a buck.
Saying and believing that everybody does what they do to make a buck eliminates... DIFFERENCE. The difference between working EXCLUSIVELY to make a buck, and working.. for free, or working for other reasons, or working in the home.
This is what the Old Testament calls.. IDOLATRY.
On a big scale.
And the Old Testament gets down on it because IDOLATRY TAKES YOUR SOCIETY DOWN. By eliminating those differences that give sense to our existence.
Our ancestors didn't make rules JUST TO MAKE RULES (laws..) the way we do. (At least, not all the time.).
And of course, by making MONEY an idol, we also... bottom out money as a meaningful means of exchange between each other.
Sad. Very sad.
(How do you find the time to READ all of this stuff ? With all the links, I would be spending my WHOLE day on the Internet, and not just HALF...)

Edwardo said...

Hey, Deb, I mostly write about disaster, despite occasionally making a prediction about it. Having said that, should my prediction about the demise of The Catholic Church come to pass, that would be a most ambiguous disaster, but let's you and I not do The Vatican Rag again, at least not right now.

Interesting thoughts on the meaningless of money, and by extension our (money saturated) culture. Hold for another prediction: That is in the process of changing dramatically. So much so, that we will not recognize, for better and worse, our pre-2008 functioning in another few years.

I agree, not that you said the following, that the societal practice of placing a monetary value on absolutely everything, which is endemic around these parts, is insidious. Certainly, with respect to motivation, among other things, that tendency is a ahem, uniter of sorts.

But, of course, as a uniting mechanism, it strikes me as a tad paradoxical since competition, greed, and envy, are part of the "uniting" mix, and those elements don't generally lend themselves to harmonious unions.

As I have observed in this blog before, since Mammon is our God, "Doing God's Work" as Lloyd Blankfein asserted, is what he and his odious firm are doing, and how.

"How do you find the time to READ all of this stuff ? With all the links?"

The short answer to your question is I spend too much time on the 'puter on-line.

Anonymous said...

The only true recovery would be recovering a prior state alright, and the one we need to recover is far more prior than any of these criminals would allow is even thinkable.

So far even most "reformers" would seem to agree with them.

But it is thinkable, and will have to be thought, because one way or another it's going to happen no matter what anybody chooses to do.

Debra said...

Think about it, Edwardo, the practice of putting a price tag on everything..
You know where is goes back to ?
Way, way back...
It is behind the idea of.. blood money.
Paying $$$$$ to COMPENSATE a victim for a human life, INSTEAD OF... doing the eye for the eye bit, like people were doing in Turkey not so long ago, still, and like what is behind the surreptitious reasoning involved in the death penalty... a life for a life. (Actually, the JEWISH eye for an eye (Talion) was originally intended to, uh, LIMIT the "benediction" effect of violence which tends to explode in exponential fashion, right ?
Now that I bring that up... the U.S. is a country which practices the death penalty in the "eye for an eye" fashion but STILL idolizes Mammon...
Now how does that work, I wonder ??
Keep infusing some sanity in the Saloon, Edwardo..
We're all going to take off in flying saucers if there isn't a down to earth man to keep the nonsense from spinning out of control..
Or should I say... the... arguing about the number of angels on the head of a pin.
You know what the French call that ?
Sodomizing flies..
Enculez les mouches.
How about THAT one for your next cocktail party ??

Edwardo said...

It seems, Deb, that mankind discovered that having a medium of exchange was preferable to barter, at least in matters of commerce, if not jurisprudence.

With that in mind, an eye for an eye, while possibly being more equitable in some matters, does seem to come from a barter mentality.

And I did not know that the original justification behind the prescription to take an eye for an eye was that it would effectively cap violence. The ancient Hebrews were apt to be quite sensible in some ways.

I don't know if I will be a force for grounding discussions or not at The Saloon, but that's kind of you to suggest I might be. Now please excuse me now, as I'm off to swat (but not sodomize) some flies.

Debra said...

Too bad there are no smileys, here, Edwardo, because if there were, I would plant a loud, noisy kiss on your cheek.
Can talking about it suffice ?
Rather.. DISINCARNATED, don't you think ?
Talion was around starting with the Hammurabi code, I think. Why not.. LOOK IT UP IN WIKI ? lol...

Debra said...

What luck, Edwardo, I rediscovered your piece today and reread it and now have NEW things to say.
Two years ago when I was back in the mother country, I saw a MONUMENTAL amount of mindless waste going on.
Waste that struck my imagination.
Mountains of paper, plastic containers, that could have buried even Everest if we had piled them up.
Rivers of drinking water spewing out continuously and down the drain in a land where apparently people were thinking that there was no... NEED even for tomorrow.
Lots and lots of mindlessness, Edwardo.
And... the bailouts are to preserve this mindlessness ? (I know you don't support them...)
HOW MUCH LONGER is this wanton WASTE, SPOLIATION, RAPE AND PILLAGING OF NATURE'S GIFTS going to continue ? Considering that the American people as a whole is raping and pillaging more than any other people at this time ?
Acts have.. consequences. There is no vengeful big daddy God who is going to punish the American people, RICH AND POOR alike for so much wanton behavior.
We conjure up God and point our finger AT him in order to avoid the fact that acts have consequences.
As for the revolution..
Be wary of calling for revolution.
I have known for a long time that in a revolution, I TOO would have my head chopped off.
You, too, Edwardo would NOT escape a revolution.
You are a prophet...
Unless you are a Talleyrand figure. I AM NOT. I am a... Jesus figure.
I... go down with the ship.
A few days ago we heard about the rescue of 250 ? Chinese miners in a mine accident. The international press called it a miracle. It was a miracle of cooperation between those men that enabled them to do what had to be done to survive.
Who knows, maybe the.. emergency ? before us will build new capacities of cooperation between us ?
Another point.
I thought you would like to know that you are essentially a.. WRITER, Edwardo.
You have a definite gift with words.
Is this blog ENOUGH for you given your gift ?
Maybe you would like to expand your talents a bit ?
Maybe you already are, come to think of it..

Edwardo said...

Once again, Debra, you are very kind regarding my writing, such as it is. Well, however it may sound, I agree with you regarding what I take to be your suggestion that this here blog does not provide adequate terrain for all my, good, bad, or indifferent, writing impulses.

FWIW, before I went all blogger, I authored several plays, one of which came close, but, alas, not close enough, to receiving a prestigious workshop.
C'est la vie.

I once wrote scripts for a very low budget sketch comedy show, but that is long since over. In any event, the short form drama scribbling wasn't exactly scintillating literature, though It was playable and occasionally laugh inducing.

Extended pieces of fiction, or non fiction, for that matter, have not been my oeuvre, and for a variety of reasons-I am not a born storyteller- they may never be. I am trying, ever so gingerly, my hand at short fiction presently, but the jury isn't apt to be out on that experiment for some time.

Now, about revolution and the likelihood that I will be unaffected by it. Your determination is likely correct. I will no more be exempt from any large scale societal upheaval than a blade of grass in a pasture is safe from being either ingested, trampled on, or rendered the province of a large cow pie.

I also agree with your perception regarding the wasteful tendencies of folks living in America. That one is pretty hard to argue against, though the Chinese do seem hell bent on emulating some of the United States' worst tendencies where environmental waste and degradation are concerned.

Thai said...

I completely agree with Deb and your writing.

Indeed, I've thought several times you really should be a professional writer but never said so for whatever reason so I'm saying so now.

Be well

Debra said...

The incredible inconvenience of having to put meat and potatoes on the table in a society which is determined that IT IS GOOD FOR ALL OF US ALL TO BE SLAVING away, day in and day out at PRODUCTIVE, SERIOUS activities...
Takes some of the.. unbearable lightness of being away, doesn't it, Edwardo ?
Since I think that you write well, I will simply suggest that you not put ALL your eggs in the rant basket.
It ends up... eating away the soul.
Check out my last piece on Waris Dire in the Saloon.
It is NOT a rant. You may like it...

Edwardo said...

I agree. Man can not live by rant alone. And I will read your piece.