Futility of pretense

I was recently asked how I can manage it; knowing that the global economy is in the process of controlled demolition, that a major world war is unfolding and it’s just a matter of time before it goes nuclear, and the global “elites” have plans to kill half of us and completely subjugate the rest.

My response was “what’s the alternative?”

I can pretend everything is fine but that takes away my power to do what little I can to be aware and prepared, essentially to watch for the direction of the falling tree before I start running. I cited the example of a leaky window frame – I can either pretend there’s no problem, and ignore rainwater seeping into the wall and the black mould colonies, I can be aware of the problem and do nothing about it because it’s not my problem to fix, or I can be aware of the problem and do something about it. The only options that include any agency on my part start with awareness. Sure, it’s not very comfortable to know that the world that we know is pretty much doomed. But what is the alternative? Live in an illusion? What problems does that solve? It’s like having a brake light on my car turn on, but I say it’s fine because the brakes haven’t failed yet. Yes, fixing the brakes is a hassle – get an appointment with the mechanic, wait, travel there and back and spend some money. But what’s the alternative? Wait until the brakes fail completely, hope you don’t wreck the car when they do, and then still have to fix the problem, only with an undriveable car so you have to have it towed. How would that be helpful?

With the civilizational collapse, the matter is different only in the sense that one can say we’re doomed anyway and no degree of preparation can help, so it’s better to just not get stressed over it, but that is a fallacy right there. Let’s assume the worst-case scenario – total doom, and nothing you can do can save you. Oh, really? You can’t meditate, you can’t pray to God for guidance, you can’t resolve your attachments, you can’t put your affairs in order? You can do many things, because souls do survive the death of the body, at least for those who in fact have a spiritual core worth speaking of. Let’s say there’s a nuclear exchange, and it kills the total of 3.5 billion people, which is more-less the worst-case scenario estimate. With today’s world population of 8.1 billion, this means 4.6 billion survivors, which is more than the world population was in the year 1980. There would be no nuclear winter; that’s known to be pseudo-scientific rubbish. Sure, there would be some dust injected into the high layers of the atmosphere, but no worse than the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, which puts a definite upper limit on all my estimates, and the global climate effects of that were trivial. Radiation will be really bad in hot spots, but those will be the exact hot spots where the likelihood of surviving the nuclear explosions and their aftermath will be lowest, anyway, so it’s like shooting a corpse; not really adding to lethality. If you’re not in one of the directly impacted zones, you will likely not even know what happened because there will be a total or almost total loss of communications. There will definitely not be real-time reporting on the Internet or the cable TV.

Let’s say it’s just the economic collapse and the war threat fizzles out for some reason. Economic collapse looks like Yugoslavia in the 1990s, only everywhere, and there isn’t a stable foreign currency to use, because everybody is impacted at the same time. If only one could have known in advance and bought gold and silver to trade with. Oh wait…

Knowing what’s about to happen might not change the outcome, but it gives you some degree of control over your situation, it gives you time to spiritually prepare for death, and it gives you time to prepare for a survivable bad situation in ways that can possibly mitigate the hardships, and even if it doesn’t help in the end, you feel better knowing you at least did what you could.

Honestly, I’m not sure what good my preparations will do, if any, because every single actual hint I got “from above” was about the “other side”, afterwards, and it felt wonderful. I wasn’t warned to stock up on canned beans because I’ll have to survive a nuclear holocaust or something. I was told that this nightmare will end for me. So, why am I still buying gold coins, fixing my car, fixing the leaky roof window and buying a new computer? Why am I not just letting go and letting everything turn to shit? Because that’s not my style. When the end comes, it will find me firmly in control of things, acting as if everything will go on forever, with car serviced, phone batteries charged and with enough gold to ride through a really bad shitstorm, God willing. And at every single second of dealing with things as if they are to go on forever, I will be ready to go at any moment.

Closing window

There have been multiple reports from America that the banks are closing the accounts of the local precious metal dealers. There have been all kinds of analyses based on the assumption that there isn’t a conspiracy and that the coin shops have merely been “acting suspiciously” according to some AML/KYC bullshit the banks are implementing, but I find this extremely unlikely, as no evidence of it has been presented. Rather, let’s approach this from the position of game theory.

The banks in America are reporting a very significant outflow of deposits, caused, obviously, by the fact that the banks are either going bankrupt or are being rescued by the state, and the legislature is in place allowing the banks to bail themselves in with their clients’ funds, as long as those are above a certain threshold, which in America is the FDIC limit of $250000. In theory, everything up to this limit is “safe”, and everything above that limit will be treated according to the principle of “steal from the rich, they can afford it”. In the EU, the guaranteed limit is much lower, 100000 €.

What has been happening behind the scenes is perfectly logical – people have been trying to rescue their money from the looming threat. Some think that the bigger banks are safer so they are moving their money to the biggest banks, although this logic might be misguided, since the state is using the biggest banks to rescue all the problematic assets, which might in fact collapse those biggest banks together with the state economy – essentially, they are trading strategic balance for a tactical respite. Other people are trying to move money into real estate, or something else that is out of harm’s way. One of those obvious options is to order gold and silver bullion from a bullion dealer and wire him the money. The banks noticed the pattern – basically, there is a “sink” to which the money can escape from their accounts, and “someone” told them to close this option, and thus all the “unexpected” and quite coordinated closures of the bullion dealers’ bank accounts.

Basically, the time window for rescuing money from the system is closing. Either its value will be inflated away because the states are drowning in debt, and inflating the money in order to make the debt manageable is too tempting an option for any scoundrel to resist, and/or all citizen assets will be subject to such a tight control, everybody will essentially be given an allowance sufficient for bare survival, in the short time before this totalitarian neo-communist control scheme collapses, following the example of all such schemes that have been tried in the past.

My expectation is that the next thing the banks will do is limit the amount one can wire out from their account using the Internet banking system, under some fabricated cause; a good example is the OTP bank in Croatia, which limits the wire transfer amount to 30000kn, or something under 4000 €. For anything more than that you need to come to your bank physically and sign the transfer. Now, let’s say there’s a lockdown due to the next plandemic, and the banks are closed because reasons, and so you can’t physically go there and order a transfer. This would effectively bottleneck your ability to transfer money out of the trap it’s in, and if you make too many successive 4000 € transfers, this would likely qualify as “suspicious activity” and your account would be suspended, pending review. If you think this is paranoid or unrealistic, you are an idiot, because all the mechanisms for this are already in place. You can already use your money only for things the state/bank conglomerate allows, and stringent measures are in place to ensure compliance. It’s merely a matter of them modifying the list of allowed behaviours, so soon you’ll have to ask for your mommy’s permission to use your money to buy toilet paper so you can take a shit.

When the general populace wakes up and smells the coffee, it will be far too late for them to do anything constructive. That might not be a problem, though, for most of them are up to their eyebrows in debt anyway, so the issue of them rescuing their assets from the system is moot.

What people value

I was thinking about the difference between the things people say and what they actually do. For instance, they will say they are for equality, compassion, freedom of choice and so on, and in reality they just want to be seen supporting the popular things in order to virtue signal in society. So, what they actually want is not to be socially ostracised and isolated, they want to be popular and they want to have as much power and influence as possible.

Also, they say that money doesn’t matter, that love is everything, but on a practical level they will despise people who don’t have money, they will envy those who do, they will buy all sorts of trinkets in order to augment their social status, and so on. Hypocrisy is a significant factor, and so I can’t really take people’s word for it. Instead, I’ll use a different approach – see what people actually do on an empirical level. People will say that money doesn’t matter and you shouldn’t value people according to how much money they have, but the problem is that money is invented exactly as a measure of value. What else would I use? Saying money doesn’t matter in assessing how much people value someone is like saying I shouldn’t use a meter to see how big a house is. I’m definitely going to experiment by taking a look at where the money goes and assess people’s priorities in life based on whom they made rich.

Here’s a list of top ten companies by revenue:

So, it’s retail and online stores, energy and fancy computerised gadgets.

Let’s see who the wealthiest individuals are:

How did those people make all that money? There’s an empire of luxury goods, there’s one guy that sells fantasies about clean cars and going to Mars, one has a big online store and sells server space, several got rich on computer software, some successfully invested money, and one can imagine all those oil companies from the previous list made some people very rich, but curiously they are not on this list, probably because they are too wealthy and want to stay behind the curtains. There’s also that idea that religions are super wealthy, so I looked into that, too:

Surprisingly, whole religions representing beliefs of vast numbers of people and having all kinds of clergy to support pale in comparison with the wealth of individual billionaires, which brings us to the obvious conclusion that luxury goods for wealth-posturing are a greater priority for people than religion, statistically speaking, and judging by where they put their money.

I am trying to exclude anomalies such as the insurance industry and American health “care” from analysis because they don’t tell me much, other than the fact that America is based mostly on fraud of some kind, and most of that milks people for money; the fact that the insurance companies are getting rich means they are finding ways to eschew payouts, which means fraud. There are also huge conglomerates that own all kinds of real estate, that are conspicuously absent from those lists, and pharmaceutical companies that are incredibly wealthy, and also hidden from sight for some reason.

However, let’s say that people put most of their money in housing, which makes the banks, insurance and real estate companies rich. They buy cars and consume lots of petroleum products. They consume food and hygienic products. They buy smartphones and computers, and consume telecommunication services. Also, and quite disproportionally, they buy luxury goods in order to show off, and the interesting thing is that they all do it, and especially the lower and middle class, because the companies that service only the rich people aren’t featured on those global wealth lists – you need to cater to the average in order to be there. You see, everybody owns smartphones, everybody consumes energy, pays for housing and transportation, and buys food and hygienic products. Also, obviously, everybody buys LVMH products. They are advertised as “rich people things”, but obviously average people are the main buyers of “rich people things”. It also seems that Rolex products are mostly bought by the middle class, as it’s an aspirational thing.

Religion does feature in all this, but when you understand how many members they supposedly have, how much actual money they work with, and how much it must cost them to pay for the clergy and the expenses, they simply can’t compare with the incredible wealth of the people and companies that sell them ordinary worldly goods. The Mormons seem to be an exception, but other churches simply pale in comparison with individual billionaires, let alone the huge multinational corporations.

Many things are hard to see from those lists, but one can guess – for instance, gambling, gaming, entertainment, alcohol and drugs are huge business, that possibly outweigh most of what I already mentioned. Education must also feature somewhere, but it’s usually categorised as student loans, which enriches primarily the banking sector.

So, if we summarise, people pay for housing, cars, fuel, food, hygienic products, electricity, telecommunications, technological gadgets, medical costs, education, luxury goods, religion, vice and addictions. They will go to great lengths to present themselves as members of a higher social class, to the point where they will debt-finance luxury purchases, such as cars, trinkets and bling, and I should also probably include travel to fancy destinations and housing that’s too expensive for what they can actually afford. In addition to that, they will go to social media and show all of that off, and waste time trying convince others that they are happy.

In addition to that, 56% of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 emergency expense with savings. Some polls report even worse findings, such as the SecureSave, whose study found that a 67% of Americans don’t have enough money saved to cover an unexpected $400 expense. The implication is that even those families that are seemingly well off, judging by the size of their house and the cars they own, are running a very tight budget – their house is financed by a mortgage loan, their cars are either leased or financed, and they buy everything on credit cards, and juggling with monthly payments. If anything goes even a bit wrong, they are too stretched financially to be able to respond. They all look wealthy and prosperous, but the only ones who are actually wealthy in this pictures are the banks giving them loans, and the companies selling them stuff they can’t really afford.

The conclusion is that social posturing is so important to humans, that they will almost invariably choose to overextend themselves financially and put themselves in a position of stress, suffering and high financial risk just to keep up with the neighbours and show off a false facade of success, and this seems to apply more to the low and middle income brackets; the truly wealthy people seem to care less about showing off their money, and statistics show that the most common brands of automobile driven by American millionaires are Toyota, Ford and Honda.

Also, one in six Americans is on antidepressants. Millions are consuming opioids. When we add cocaine, alcohol, marijuana and other addictive substances, it is apparent that almost everybody in the West is addicted to something nasty, and it’s not because they are living happy, healthy and balanced lives. Oh, and I forgot the epidemics of obesity, violence and suicide.

However, when you ask those people what they think the world’s biggest problems are, they will invariably speak about climate change.


Welcome to the real world

I see a pattern in lots of seemingly independent sources in the West.

People increasingly perceive that things are not working out for them. The people who work hard doing an honest job can’t even make ends meet, let alone buy a home or feel good about finances. The people who went to college like they were told end up with debt and are either unemployable or end up working low-paying jobs that are significantly beneath what they expected to be working with their degree. People increasingly understand that they can’t retire because their retirement fund is basically guaranteeing them poverty if they do. Women who believed in feminism find out that they are undesirable and ruined after their youth has been consumed whoring around and chasing irrelevant “careers”. Men are asking themselves why the hell are we doing all this for? People who have been getting in debt and spending the money they don’t have in order to keep pretences that they are doing well, like they were told good consumers should do in order to drive the machine of capitalism, find out that they are financially distressed and without hope on the horizon. People increasingly invest in high-risk schemes trying to multiply their insufficient funds because they are desperate.

The emotional undercurrent of this is “that’s not what I signed up for”; basically, the deal was that they get to be rich and powerful, above all those “third world” people. The deal was that they get to ironically complain about having “first world problems” because all the money they have is so hard to keep track of, or parking for all their cars being expensive in that high-rent neighbourhood they live in. We, who live in countries that are not America and not “the West” get to be poor and we are supposed to try hard to get a visa to get to America and try to join their privileged club. They get to earn more than our doctors and lawyers by just pumping gas and working at the cash register in America. They get to have the greatest ego trip and they get to feel successful, powerful and in a position to teach the rest of the world how to exist properly. They weren’t supposed to have a favela of homeless people in their rich California, with human excrement mixed with drug needles on the sidewalks; they weren’t supposed to have fucked up lives with nothing to show for and no hopes outsides of drugs, alcohol and suicide. Sacrifice, failure and suffering was for other people. This is not what they signed up for. Buddha taught that suffering is inherent in this place because he was a loser living in a third world shithole; he should have been born in America, then he would have said otherwise.

The thing is, you can make almost everything seem like a good idea for a short period of time. All kinds of questionable financial schemes, for instance having money that’s based on debt and not gold, look like a great idea, until the bill arrives. People knew the current economic model was unsustainable in the long run when it was originally introduced, and Keynes himself answered “in the long run, we’re all dead”.

Yes, in the long run you’re all dead. You spent ten trillion times more than you’re collectively worth, and now you’re going to die on a pile of manure. The Western civilisation introduced several dangerous experiments – atheism, egalitarianism, republic, democracy, communism, feminism, fiat money and so on, and some ended in disaster sooner than others, but apparently it took time for the entire thing to unravel, and now the bill is due. Truly, how much of this progressivism had produced true and legitimate progress, something worth keeping and building on? Most of it all was some ego-trip or another, for the sake of hunting for mirages in the world and calling it emancipation. This might not be what they signed up for, but what they signed up for will have destitution, ruin, hopelessness and humiliation as the ultimate result.

Limiting ideas

When we’re talking about tools, there’s another thing that usually crops up – you see, people who are used to thinking in terms of getting the maximum performance for the money have problems understanding the position of people who don’t have their monetary constraints, and who think in terms of getting the best thing for their needs regardless of cost. The usual comment is “more money than brains” or something along those lines.

It’s a tricky thing, because I understand both positions, and neither is without merit. Truly, there are people who routinely overspend on things and indulge in never-ending excesses, and none of it makes much sense. On the other hand, there are people who don’t understand that, if you can afford it, sometimes it makes much sense to spend more on equipment, especially if it’s the stuff you use every day, lasts many years, and you can obtain advantages that would otherwise not be available. You see, I’ve seen situations where other kids made fun of my son because he used a Macbook – the standard arguments were that it’s a computer for stupid people with money, and imagine what kind of a gaming machine you can get for that money, and so on. The next scene was kids with a Windows laptop waiting for the Windows update to finish and they need the machine for the presentation or they fail; you can imagine the panic and frustration. Oops, so it’s not actually for stupid people only, but also for people who absolutely need it to work in a mission-critical environment. Also, they laughed at him for having an iPhone because the battery is so much smaller than in their Android phones, but curiously they all seemed to constantly run out of battery before him.

Apparently, the danger in getting by with limited resources is when you start thinking in terms where everything better and more expensive than what you have is useless and those who can afford it are idiots for buying overpriced crap. Don’t go there, because it actually limits you, and you might actually impose artificial financial limits on yourself and not allow yourself to make money because money is for stupid losers. Instead, get by with what you can afford, but allow yourself to expand into something better when you can, because frequently the people who buy the stuff you can’t afford are very smart people who just happen to have money. The actually stupid stuff starts when people from low or middle income brackets think they’ll become rich if they overspend on rich people things, such as expensive clothes and trinkets. That’s the way to remain perpetually poor. However, buying high quality tools if you can afford them is always a good idea, and is almost always going to pay off in the long run. If it is more reliable, faster, quieter, less quirky, integrates better between many devices, puts less strain on your body while you work with it, and just gets out of the way and allows you to do your thing, it’s probably worth it. If it creates additional problems for you, you might want to migrate away. Also, I’m almost always against taking loans and for buying everything with cash, but tools you use to do work and make money might be an exception I’m willing to make. Tools are productivity multipliers, if it’s something you actually need and are more productive with, and not only the new shiny gadgety thingy you desire. Tools are also idiosyncratic, so don’t make fun of someone who bought an expensive guitar that just “feels right” for him, even if it feels psychological. The feeling you have when using something that’s “right” might put your psyche in the “right” place and allow you to really spread your wings. However, don’t delude yourself into thinking that you will obtain skill by buying stuff. You won’t. If you can’t code on a cheap computer, you won’t do any better on the most expensive one. If you can’t make nice pictures using a smartphone, buying the most sophisticated medium format system won’t make any difference.

So, basically, don’t get into a place where you think all beautiful women and rich people must be stupid or morally corrupt. It’s a really shitty coping mechanism that is closely related to envy, and is of no use to anyone. Rather, be free to acknowledge what is worthy, and to aspire to better and greater things. Sure, some assholes are rich, but God is also rich (if owning the entire reality counts). Some stupid whores are beautiful, but female angels and Gods are also beautiful. Don’t spit in the direction where you want to be heading.