The Investment Delusion… and every other self-delusion…

Posted: March 1st, 2009 by: h2

I liked parts of this recent blog posting by John Michael Greer, I think he really helps explain this situation as it’s unfolding, without the massive self-delusion that seems to fill most other people who are currently in power.

We are thus entering a period of prolonged economic contraction – not a recession, or even a depression, but a change in the fundamental dynamic of the economy. Over the centuries just past, a rising tide of economic growth was interrupted by occasional periods of contraction; over the centuries ahead, the long decline of the industrial economy will doubtless be interrupted by occasional periods of relative prosperity. Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, a falling tide lowers them all, and if the tide goes out far enough, a great many boats will end up high and dry.

The desperate attempt by full-time and part-time members of the rentier class to avoid dealing with this unwelcome reality has had the ironic result of making the situation much worse than it had to be. As actual investments in productive economic activities stopped yielding a noticeable profit, more and more investors sought to make money via a menagerie of exotic financial livestock notable for their complete disconnection from the economy of goods and services. The result was a series of classic speculative bubbles, culminating in the crash of 2008 and the crisis still unfolding around us. In the process, eager investors who might have lost their money slowly over a period of years have, instead, lost it all at once.

Continued under the fold

Still, in a contracting economy, on average, all investments lose money. This is the hard reality with which all of us will have to deal. This is why, in the twilight years of the Roman world, a complex money economy that made heavy use of credit and investment gave way to purely local economies of barter and customary exchange, in which money played a very minor role and credit was unheard of. It is also why the two great religious movements that rose out of Rome’s ruins, Christianity and Islam, both considered lending at interest a mortal sin – though Christianity managed to talk itself out of that useful teaching some centuries ago.
The Investment Delusion

Now if we could just have such voices come from places in our society where they will be listened to… but he’s been doing a good job overall despite the druid stuff (and common John, nobody in history has anything real to say about druids, and you’re certainly not living in a world where such people could really exist, we live here, now, in this bizarre industrial garbage strewn landscape)

WASTELAND – Paul Weller
Meet me on the wastelands – later this day,
We’ll sit and talk and hold hands maybe,
For there’s not much else to do in this drab and colourless place.

We’ll sit amongst the rubber tyres,
Amongst the discarded bric-a-brac,
People have no use for – amongst the smouldering embers of yesterday.

And when or if the sun shines,
Lighting our once beautiful features,
We’ll smile but only for seconds,
For to be caught smiling is to acknowledge life,
A brave but useless show of compassion,
And that is forbidden in this drab and colourless world.

Meet me on the wastelands – the ones behind,
The old houses – the ones – left standing pre-war –
The ones overshadowed by the monolith monstrosities –
councils call homes.

And there amongst the shit – the dirty linen,
The holy Coca-Cola tins – the punctured footballs,
The ragged dolls – the rusting bicycles,
We’ll sit and probably hold hands.

And watch the rain fall – watch it – watch it –
Tumble and fall – tumble and falling –
Like our lives – like our lives –
Just like our lives.

We’ll talk about the old days,
When the wasteland was release when we could play,
And think – without feeling guilty –
Meet me later but we’ll have to hold hands.
Tumble and fall – tumble and falling –
Like our lives – like our lives –
Exactly like our lives.

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