Friday , August 7 2020
Home / Charles Hugh Smith /Why Does It Feel Like We’re in “Life During Wartime”?

Why Does It Feel Like We’re in “Life During Wartime”?

Summary:
The laughably hopeless hope is that by propping up the corpses, the populace will discern some faint flicker of life in the decaying carcasses and return to their free-spending ways. Call it cultural synchronicity, but it increasingly feels like we’re living in the 1979 Talking Heads song Life During Wartime, which was anchored by the lyric “This Ain’t No Party, This Ain’t No Disco, This Ain’t No Foolin’ Around.” Indeed. It also feels like Life During Wartime because the propaganda is so blatant and intense: we’re winning the war on Covid-19, and our wars on everything else, too, of course, as war is the favored metaphor and favored policy at the end of the Empire. In other words, wartime profiteering isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged–yet another sign that we’re in the final

Topics:
Charles Hugh Smith considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Charles Hugh Smith writes If the “Market” Never Goes Down, The System Is Doomed

Mike Maloney writes The Surprising Truth About Silver & the Hunt Brothers

Peak Prosperity writes Daily Digest 8/6 – Investors Fret About Dollar Reserve Status, 1.2M Filed For Unemployment For The First Time Last Week

Mises Institute writes The Hiroshima Myth

The laughably hopeless hope is that by propping up the corpses, the populace will discern some faint flicker of life in the decaying carcasses and return to their free-spending ways.
Call it cultural synchronicity, but it increasingly feels like we’re living in the 1979 Talking Heads song Life During Wartime, which was anchored by the lyric “This Ain’t No Party, This Ain’t No Disco, This Ain’t No Foolin’ Around.” Indeed.
It also feels like Life During Wartime because the propaganda is so blatant and intense: we’re winning the war on Covid-19, and our wars on everything else, too, of course, as war is the favored metaphor and favored policy at the end of the Empire.
In other words, wartime profiteering isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged–yet another sign that we’re in the final decay/collapse phase of Imperial Pretensions.
It’s easy to mix up the propaganda and the counter-propaganda, because they’re both so extreme. There is no middle ground, only pre-packaged positions which dictate which “data” is cherry-picked to support the political partisanship that’s being defended.
In a world of thousands of unread papers published in hundreds of scientific journals no one even reads and a corrupt culture of “science for sale,” there’s a veritable orchard to cherry-pick.
“Robert Horton, editor in chief of The Lancet, one of the most respected professional peer reviewed publications in the world dealing with biomedical research had this to say in an editorial published by The Lancet in April of 2015:”
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”
“And this, published in 2009, by Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, another world leading publication in medical research:”
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”
Metaphorically speaking, the civilian populace believes “we’re winning” until the bombs start dropping on their homes. For some reason, this doesn’t feel like “winning.”
The V-shaped recovery is the propaganda war the status quo must win, for this is the narrative battle for the hearts and minds of the populace. The fear here is that should the populace lose confidence in The V-shaped recovery, they might reduce their borrowing and spending and increase their saving, dooming an economy that depends entirely on marginal spending funded by debt to keep from imploding.
As the chart of the rising wedge model of breakdown below illustrates, when big-ticket costs ratchet higher like clockwork–rent, property taxes, childcare, higher education, debt, healthcare, etc.– while income stagnates for the bottom 90%, any drop in spending, no matter how modest, breaks the system because any reduction in spending reduces tax revenues, corporate profits and debt payments below the critical threshold.
This is why the Federal Reserve is so keen on bailing out bankrupt-in-all-but-name corporations and banks: The laughably hopeless hope is that by propping up the corpses, the populace will discern some faint flicker of life in the decaying carcasses and return to their free-spending ways.
This is also why “stimulus” is being scattered from helicopters: the hope is that by substituting borrowed trillions for earned trillions, people will substitute magical thinking for clear-eyed recognition that the era of “growth” has transitioned into the era of DeGrowth, a state of affairs that signals the demise of all the bloated, sclerotic institutions operated to benefit insiders and Corporate America’s cartels and monopolies: the most protected bastions of the era, colleges and hospitals, are going broke and closing.
As Marx noted, “everything solid melts into air” when it’s no longer financially viable. Helicopter “stimulus” just creates a temporary illusion of solidity.
The foundations are collapsing, but by all means, please keep your eye on the decaying corpses: didn’t an eyelid flicker in that one? I could swear that one moved its foot…
This is “life in wartime,” where the battles are waged in narratives, confidence and magical thinking.
Why Does It Feel Like We’re in “Life During Wartime”?
Recent Podcasts:

NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.
Thank you, John K. ($10/month), for your outrageously generous pledge to this site — I am greatly honored by your support and readership.
 
Thank you, David J. ($10/month), for your outrageously generous pledge to this site — I am greatly honored by your support and readership.
Go to my main site at www.oftwominds.com/blog.html
for the full posts and archives.

Powered by WPeMatico

Charles Hugh Smith
Charles Hugh Smith is an American writer and blogger. He is the chief writer for the site "Of Two Minds". Started in 2005, this site has been listed No. 7 in CNBC's top alternative financial sites. His commentary is featured on a number of sites including: Zerohedge.com., The American Conservative and Peak Prosperity. He graduated from the University of Hawaii, Manoa in Honolulu. Charles Hugh Smith currently resides in Berkeley, California and Hilo, Hawaii.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *