In which our leaders make the same mistakes over & over
Take the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day. Bill Murray wakes up each day to relieve the exact same daily circumstances and interpersonal interactions. He relives the same day, February 2, over and over again.
No matter what he does, the repetitive cycle won’t break. He goes to sleep, wakes up to his alarm, and it’s the morning of Feb 2 again.
Likewise, in The Truman Show, Jim Carrey lives in a simulated environment where everybody’s an actor in a popular TV show except him. For him, it’s his real life. But although he doesn’t realise it, everything around him is completely scripted and fake.
If merge these two movies together, they perfectly describe the world in which we live today. Welcome to Groundhog Day meets The Truman Show. Let’s call this mash-up The Groundhog Show.
In this composite story you, the plucky central character, wake up every day in a world where the same mistakes are made over and over again by our so-called “leaders”.
Take the central banks, for instance. In this show, they continually blow massive credit bubbles over and over again, which then result in widespread, painful losses when they inevitably burst. And the central planners keep doing this without any indication that they’re aware they’re repeating the same mistakes.
The Fed’s attempts to defeat the business cycle by replacing it with a credit cycle ended badly in 2000 with the horrible Dot-com crash.
Doubling down on that strategy then created the housing bubble and the Great Financial Recession, which resulted in an even worse crisis in 2008.
Neither of those sordid outcomes has factored into the Fed’s thinking, at all, as they — along with the other major world central banks — have set about tripling down on their serial bubble-blowing ways, which have resulted in the biggest-ever “Everything Bubble” the world now finds itself in.
There are no good explanations for that behavior, save this one:
Which really isn’t very satisfactory to those of us who are also stuck in this movie, but cursed with the ability to see and remember cause and effect.
Truthfully, there are no good reasons for why our society is in the mess we’re in. With better decision-making and a modicum of accountability, we could have avoided many of the issues we’ve created for ourselves:
- The widest wealth gap in human history
- Massive income inequality
- Entire generations saddled with high debts and low opportunities
- Broken “markets” that have become policy signaling devices for the central planners, offering no price discovery or reliability to investors
- Ripping the last oil and gas out of the ground as fast as possible while not using any of it to build out a sustainable energy infrastructure
- Losing species at a rapid pace that nobody can comprehend let alone predict what the effects might be
Our daily experience of the world is now being shaped by people busy writing scripts and narratives that are so preposterous that they might as well be penned by screenwriters grasping for new ideas in the 8th season of a show that has already burned through every conceivable plot angle:
“Hey, how about we write an entire show around the idea of a high school kid standing silently while smiling somehow being existentially menacing to the Native American ‘elder’ that actually started the whole thing by walking up to that legal minor while beating a drum directly in his face? We could really play around with people’s emotional buttons big time I think…”
The larger plot of this movie, of course, revolves around the increasing difficulty of those stuck in it to continue to buy its premise. Once you lose the plot line, once you can see the programming for what it is, it becomes nearly impossible to continue to happily participate in a story that lacks any integrity and provides no meaning or purpose.
For example, the Yellow Vest movement in France consists not of a relatively few disturbed extremists on the fringe, but of the majority of the French population. Most citizens of France support and sympathize with the movement.
But if you read the media headlines — output by the creators of The Groundhog Show — you’d be led to believe that the entire movement is populated by a small group of deplorables (the image below is an unaltered screen grab from 2-17-19) :
To scan those headlines you’d be tempted to come away thinking that the Yellow Vests were now all about anti-Semitism and nothing more. Somehow, magically, the mainstream press from across the globe are all writing the same sorts of articles at precisely the same time and releasing them as if they were announcing the product launch of a new cellphone or something.
Last week, coverage focused on an unsourced poll claiming that over 50% of Yellow Vest supporters believed that Princess Diana had been murdered as part of a conspiracy. This week we read that a stunning proportion of them believe in a vast Zionist conspiracy. Perhaps we should start a betting for what next week’s “ignore these crackpots” fabrication will be?
Meanwhile, if you actually bother to review the images from the protests, what you see is … people. Lots and lots of people from all over France’s socio-economic spectrum, coming out in support of the Yellow Vest movement:
There is a huge grab-bag of reasons why so many people — tens and tens of thousands per protest — are out demonstrating. But boiled down, the common theme is that they’re finding it harder and harder to get by.
The social promise made to them is failing. Pensioners simply can’t support themselves. The youth, and those who’ve immigrated to France, can’t find jobs. Business owners are failing.
The French feel under attack by a system that cares more for assuring that the wealthy get wealthier than it does for its own people.
To (literally) add injury to insult, thousands of demonstrators have been grievously wounded by militarized French police — who are using far-too-excessive force when controlling the crowds:
I just wanted to dispel any notion that it’s somehow accidental that so many people are being shot in the face/eyes during the protests. The police are intentionally selected protestors as targets, individually, and then shooting to wound, intentionally.
The people of France are taking notice of this. Both that the police are purposely inflicting life-altering injuries andthat their President (Macron) implicitly and explicitly endorses these tactics and expresses zero concern for those injured. After several months of protests, he’s not yet visited a single injured person in the hospital or put any limits on the police’s suppressive tactics.
Authorities fear losing control of the narrative. If they do, there’s nothing separating them from sufering the consequences of their disastrous and self-serving decisions.
This is why instead of talking with the Yellow Vests and carefully weighing the concerns of the majority of France’ populace versus the limitless greed and quest for power of its ruling class, the government has instead responded with a full media blackout of the Yellow Vests movement and its demands, while steadily demonizing the protestors.
They’re conspiracy nuts! No, wait, they’re anti-Semites! Their popularity is dwindling! (but won’t let you access the actual underlying polling data). There’s nothing to see here…return to your regular programming
And so on.
What such propaganda actually represents is the paranoia of the elites over losing control of the narrative. They fear any actual opening of a realistic dialog with the people whose lives are impacted by their transparently self-serving decisions.
Because they know their position and current advantage is indefensible, morally and ethically. If the majority were to wake up to that and mobilize, the elites would be overthrown by lunchtime.
Because of that, we need to expect movements like the Yellow Vests to grow both in number and popularity as more people ‘wake up to realize they’ve been living in The Groundhog Show. Though, sadly but predictably, we need to expect more violence, too, as those in power do all they can to protect the status quo...
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