by Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity:
Ripped from today’s headlines:
- Negative Interest Rates Are Coming And They Are Downright Terrifying (Yahoo! Finance)
- Earth’s Lungs Are Burning: Amazon Rainforest Which Contributes 20% Of Planet’s Oxygen Is On Fire
- What’s in our water? Report warns of growing ‘invisible’ crisis of pollution (The Guardian)
- Plants are going extinct up to 350 times faster than the historical norm
From news reports like these, it’s understandable to think that our future looks bleak.
At this point we can only ride out the consequences as the systems we depend on collapse and then ebb away — exposing that the structure of our modern way of life is really a just an edifice built of sand.
That may be true. But not necessarily.
I’m here with some good news today. There remains a multitude of options that each of us can and should do to prepare for what lies ahead. And in so doing, we can help to avert the worst of it, as well.
But only if enough of us try. Critical mass is key here.
Yes, the world is busy collapsing around us. That’s true.
But collapse is a process, not an event. It can be ameliorated and even reversed, depending on the actions we decide to take from here.
And there’s still time left to change our fate. Not much, mind you. But enough to matter.
The good news is that more and more people are heeding the call and taking action. The bad news is that too many still aren’t.
And the worse news is that the many entrenched powers of the status quo are working against our future best interests, as they desperately cling to old notions of advantage, wealth, and privilege.
Privately, many of the wealthiest and most politically powerful people are as worried as you and I about what’s coming. I can tell you from my personal interactions with them that many of the elite are preparing for crisis, building resilient “bug out” retreats and other safeguards.
Don’t Rely On The Herd
Our model at Peak Prosperity remains: Learn, Decide, Act.
It all begins with educating ourselves about the (complex) systems in play and the forces driving where developments are headed.
From there, we ask that you trust yourself. This is especially important because, as social creatures, we are most comfortable moving where the herd is already moving. But by its nature, the herd (i.e., majority) is often behind the curve.
It takes time for privately-held but critically-important information to become acknowledged and accepted by the herd. Which is why so many of the masses become unsuspecting collateral damage when crisis hits. Since they aren’t privy to the early warnings, which are usually only noticed and appreciated by a proactive minority, they are caught by surprise.
And for many, even if they’re made aware of privately-held information, they still won’t depart from the false comfort of the herd. This explains the mysterious “bystander phenomenon” where people fail to come to the aid of a victim in distress if they don’t see other people reacting, too.
We all have the wired tendency to wait until others are moving before we move, too. Take a crowded theater, where a fire breaks out and smoke starts to billow into the space. A few people first take notice and begin to move to the exits. Then a few more. But at some point, the idea of a fire becomes ‘common knowledge’, when everyone believes everyone else agrees the theatre is on fire. Then bedlam and chaos break out.
As we wrote at length in this recent report, it’s really important to understand the importance and power of this tipping point, when previously privately-held ideas suddenly become common knowledge. Because that’s the moment where the status quo quickly morphs into something new, usually catching the herd completely flat-footed.
As I launched our Crash Course video series back in 2008, I implored people to trust themselves on a whole host of economic and financial indicators that were flashing red. We’re trained to trust authorities who sometimes don’t have our best interests in mind and who sometimes are even more clueless than average and really have no good answers, or even harmful ones.
I wanted folks to look at the data and decide for themselves whether the official narrative of “there’s nothing to worry about” truly made sense. Just a few weeks after I published the final chapter of the series, the Great Financial Crisis erupted and oil shot above $100/barrel for the next several years — and the rest, as they say, is history.
I wrote in 2009:
The key to navigating during moments when the dominant story is ‘wrong’ is to consciously block out the ‘programming’ that is constantly reinforcing the status quo and to examine each assertion made by authorities (and by advertising and journalists, and any and all experts, myself included) as though it were possibly a live hand grenade.
While you may ultimately end up agreeing with the assertion or claim, your first instinct should be one of suspicion. Often my first clue that I need to do more research into a particular assertion is simply a gut feeling that “something is not right here.” Even when I cannot quite articulate why, and maybe have almost zero hard data on the matter, I have learned to trust my instincts for when a story just doesn’t add up.
This principle can be applied to the Bernie Madoff swindle. Many investors have recently described that they had suspicions and concerns over the years about the steadiness of Bernie’s investment returns. Yet they kept their money with him. If they had simply trusted themselves and decided to move their money to an institution where they did not have these gut-level concerns, they’d be in infinitely better shape right now.
The benefits of trusting yourself, and applying your private knowledge, can be huge. The Bernie Madoff case illustrates this perfectly.
Lots of people had their private concerns, but since ‘nobody else’ seemed to notice or care, they did nothing. It was only once it all became “common knowledge” that the whole Madoff swindle broke into a shocking, wealth destroying scandal.
To avoid this fate, a key success strategy we can practice is to ‘trust ourselves’. Trust that our private knowledge is sufficient, and be confident that, eventually, the common knowledge crowd will catch up to us.
So what matters most is that we Act in advance of crisis. Especially, when those around us aren’t.
What I most want you to do, is to act on what you know. Because it’s time. Because you already know just how screwed up the systems are. Because your trust in the collective political and corporate leadership to act responsibly has eroded. Because you just know it in your gut.
It Takes Effort
Once the ball gets rolling, and more of the above concerns move from private to common knowledge, you should expect the pace of developments speed up quickly.
It’s like how Hemmingway answered the question “How did you go bankrupt?”. Gradually then suddenly.
So my question to you is, how many of these things are you holding right now as private knowledge?
- The US justice system is corrupt and favors the wealthy
- US financial markets are rigged and unfair
- Our food system is, by and large, selling us toxic junk
- Chemicals, such as neonicotinoids, are not fully tested before their deployment and are more harmful to our ecosystems than publicly admitted
- Pharmaceutical companies often hide test results from the public that would reveal their drugs are less effective than advertised and have far riskier side effects
- We should be a hell of a lot more concerned about the massive die-offs in animal, insect and marine life.
- Weather patterns are become more extreme at a faster rate. Drought, heat, fires, hurricanes, and floods are happening with greater frequency and intensity than experienced in the past century.
- The US political and military systems are not concerned about human rights or democracy. Instead, the US operates more as a modern version of the British empire, whose Redcoats mainly protected trade and other mercantile interests.
I’ll wager few, if any, of these feel untrue to you.
I think part of the reason that such damaging revelations still remain as private knowledge is because moving them into common knowledge requires the destruction of closely-held belief systems. It takes time, mental effort and emotional strain to admit to ourselves that those in charge of society may actually not have our interests at heart.
Again, nature has provided strong protections to maintaining existing belief systems. Maybe it’s just too hard or expensive to alter them?
Whatever the reason, the more central the belief system, the more tightly we cling to it.
Some of the most tightly-held beliefs being:
- Faith in authority
- A belief in the fundamental goodness of people
- Believing that your country is both moral and good
- Bedrock knowledge that the justice system is blind and fair
- A belief that nature will always bounce back
It’s far easier to live day to day walking around believing the above are true. A thousand times easier than giving them up.
To lose faith in these beliefs means squinting at every package label of food, wondering what hidden toxins might be lurking within.
It means questioning every news release. Take the recent coverage of the Epstein “suicide” (in quotes because it has been reported that after allegedly leaning forward onto paper-thin bedding to strangle himself ‘multiple bones in his neck were broken, among which was the hyoid’ … yeah, right, got it…ummmm…wait…back up… multiple bones?)
It means Googling your medical symptoms because you don’t fully trust in the treatment plan and prescriptions your health insurer is willing to cover.
I get it. All this work is definitely not as easy as trusting in the basic systems that govern and support our lives.
But the biggest fallacy of them all, the biggest belief system that is increasingly under attack in both private and common knowledge, is the idea that perpetual exponential economic growth is good, let alone possible.
Those like us at Peak Prosperity are unsettled with our private understanding that it isn’t. The public is catching on, albeit very slowly. While the keepers of the system remain busy deflecting attention and delaying the inevitable.
But it won’t matter. Eventually the reality catches up. Private knowledge becomes common knowledge and then everything changes very suddenly.
All of which brings me to my conclusions: Think for yourself. Make up your own mind. Be secure in your ability to think for yourself. And act now, before things get materially worse and your options become much more limited.
Which leads to my motto: I’d rather be a year early than a day late.