by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:
When reality and truth become the sworn enemies of society’s political and economic elites, the society is well and truly doomed.
The risks of Covid-19 and the lockdown have been explored across a wide spectrum of opinion. To hit just a few of too many to count:
— Permanent loss of civil liberties under the guise of “pandemic controls.”
— Failure of control measures to limit the pandemic in any sort of economically manageable manner.
— Schemes for ID Cards identifying those with antibodies may fail as immunity might be fleeting, or low antibody counts may not confer immunity.
These visible risks arise directly from the pandemic and efforts to control it, but the reasons why the economy won’t recover were in force long before the pandemic:
1. Unsustainable dependence on expanding debt to fund consumption as earned income stagnated.
2. Unsustainably high costs imposed by cartels, monopolies, insider-skims/scams, institutionalized fraud, hyper-financialization, exploitation, etc. (Please see What’s Collapsing Can’t Be Saved: Our Fraudulent Economy)
3. The economy-wide creation of self-serving simulations of trust, credibility, transparency and accountability as substitutes for actual trust, credibility, transparency and accountability.
This ceaseless spew of simulacra to cloak self-serving corruption is hidden from view lest the truth–that authentic trust, credibility, transparency and accountability have been dismantled because they inhibit the profiteering and exploitation of insiders and elites– undermine the entire status quo.
And so “success” (as in maximizing profits) in America is now a game of creating believable facsimiles of what was once authentic. Like all mammals, humans retain a sixth sense–commonly referred to as the “sniff test”, i.e. something doesn’t feel right–and so the simulacra are only partially successful in making us believe institutions are trustworthy, credible, transparently operated and governed in a way that enforces accountability.
As a result, the more all our dominant institutions press their claims of legitimacy, the more they erode their legitimacy.
We sense all of these facsimiles are false, but are powerless to uncover the actual machinery of corruption. We are forced to rely on insiders who release the actual processes to the public, and these whistleblowers are hunted to the ends of the Earth (Assange, Snowden, et al.) because their revealing how the status quo actually functions is the most dangerous force the status quo faces.