It's Not "If;" It's "When"
By Jeff Thomas /
Cicero had it right when he described the Sword of Damocles.
To be the leader of a country is like having a sword constantly dangling over your head from a single horse hair. You never know if or when the sword is going to cause your demise, but you know that the danger is ever-present.
That is just as true today as it was in Cicero's time, but the modern-day Sword of Damocles hangs over the heads of not just the world's leaders. It hangs over the heads of the populations as well.
If we rely on the conventional media for our interpretation of world economic and political conditions, we may well be scratching our heads continuously as to what needs to be done to "save" the situation.
Whether the discussion is over the debts of nations, the likelihood of war, or the increase in the loss of rights, the governments of much of the world are heading in a similar direction.
And that direction is not a positive one.
However, the pundits in the media offer a wide variety of solutions for the problems being discussed.
The solution to national debt is either to expand monetisation or to back off on it, depending upon who is speaking at the moment. Whether debt monetisation is the right thing to do in the first place is rarely discussed.
The solution to the Middle East problem is either to arm the rebels or send in the military.
The solution to domestic terrorism is either to build up the power of the various authorities, or to pass more dramatic laws restricting basic freedoms.
And so, we are to be forgiven if we imagine that the solution to such problems lies in whether we choose one destructive approach or another.
Truth be told, the most difficult assessment for us to make is that we should sit very far back from the rhetoric and ask ourselves, "Is a solution even possible at this point, or have the powers-that–be gone past the point of no return?"
Here's why the problems won't be solved:
As regards the debt of the most prominent countries of the world, the point of no return has certainly been reached by most.
Historically, once the present level of debt has been reached, no amount of monetisation will save the economy. It may be possible to give the addict yet another injection of heroin to stave off the immediate withdrawal symptoms, but at some point, it becomes necessary to go cold turkey.
It may be a very painful thing to do, but it truly is the only solution. A country cannot reach solvency through increased debt.
However, political leaders are loath to go cold turkey. To do so is to cut the horse hair that holds the sword hanging above their careers. Better to push the situation further into ruin, if it can buy a little more time.
As regards the rapid deterioration into police states that is occurring in so many countries, no amount of discussion by the pundits in the media will reverse the present destruction of basic rights. After all, the decision is not in their hands. It is in the hands of congresses, parliaments, presidents, and prime ministers.
They know that, very soon, the façade of "economic recovery" will come tumbling down, and they have no intention of allowing the populace to have the basic freedom of removing them from power, once the veil has been removed from the lie that a solution is in the works.
Political leaders, whose hold over power is in danger, will always do whatever is necessary to retain that power.
As regards warfare, it is interesting that none of the pundits who discuss the subject in the media ever raise the question, "How can a country that is facing bankruptcy possibly fund a war—traditionally the most expensive undertaking for any country in any era?"
Yet, throughout history, political leaders have often used warfare as a distraction when a government has reached the tipping point economically. As Hermann Goering said,
"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
The disconnect here seems to be that the populace seems to believe that the governments of the West sincerely hope to avoid war, so the discussion in the media revolves around what can be done to that end.
However, far from seeking peace, the governments of the day consciously seek to create war. After all, a populace that is otherwise unhappy with its government tends to toe the line if the country is at war. Further, the government has a greater ability to silence domestic detractors in time of war.
Thus, the ability to hold power is assured. A state of war is the single most effective tool in silencing dissent in any country.
In considering all of the above, not only as a present-day anomaly, but as a recurrent theme throughout history, any discussion of "if" there will be an economic collapse, "if" there will be an increase in the loss of basic freedoms, "if" there will be a ramping up of warfare, becomes a non-starter. It is a question of "when."
Of course, in spite of this, there will be those individuals who will say, "I like to be positive. I'm going to hope for the best."
But, in truth, this is not positive thinking at all. If we see the truth before our eyes and then cover our eyes in order to be positive, we are merely delving into self-deception.
Positive thinking begins with truth. Once we accept what is true, we may then be as positive or as negative as we wish regarding what that truth means to us.
If we are faced with the fact that much of the world is, once again, passing through the classic cycle of economic decline / removal of rights / distraction of war, we can either shut our eyes to that fact and hope for the best, or we can open our eyes and recognise that the one choice left to us is to try to step aside of coming events.
As Benjamin Ola Akande wrote, "Hope is not a strategy."
If we recognise that the sword of Damocles is indeed hovering above our own heads, we would be unwise to continue to sit below it and ponder whether the horse hair may break.
Instead, we should understand that our very first move should be to put some physical distance between ourselves and the potential harm that unquestionably hangs over us.