17th November
written by Randy

We’ve been cheated. We were promised something and we’re never going to get it. We believed in something that isn’t true. We’ve been robbed, swindled, cheated, lied to. We’ve been had.

Most of us grew up believing that if we do well in school, pick a good career, work hard, get married, raise kids, and be “productive members of society”, we could have a good life, and one day retire and enjoy the fruits of our labors.

We’ve been taught to think of people as human resources. Most of us learned to define ourselves by our jobs. We perceive our value in the world as relative to our income, our consumption, the size of our houses, our cars, the prestige of our job titles.

We’ve been taught to believe in democracy, and capitalism, and the invisible hand of the free market, but we were never taught how to be citizens. We’ve only ever been taxpayers. Consumers. Nothing more than cogs in the corporate profit machine.

And we believed. We bought into it. We went to school. We went to college. We chose good careers that were in demand. We bought those big houses and those fancy cars and convinced ourselves that this was the good life, and that we were happy.

But in 2008, the bubble burst. Some call it the real-estate bubble, a few call it the banking bubble, but it was something bigger. In reality, it was the consumerism bubble that burst. It was the end of capitalism.
It was the end of the world as we know it.

Now, we’re left with the self-delusions of recessions and recoveries and stimulus and tax-breaks; delusions that we feed ourselves to avoid admitting the truth: we have no idea what comes next.

The world we grew up in is gone. The truths we thought were true aren’t true any more. The things we took for granted are gone. We live in a new world. The world as we knew it ended in autumn of 2008, when the world economy collapsed. This thing we’re in right now — it’s not a recession, it’s a correction. This is the new world.

A century of technological progress and innovation has raised efficiency so that much more work can be done, and better, by fewer people. And with free-trade and outsourcing and offshoring, we’ve spread the limited resource of “jobs” all over the world, to the people who would do them for the lowest wage.

And now we’re unemployed. Unemployment isn’t just a problem in the US, it’s a problem throughout the developed world. And it’s not going to go away. Why would it? Nobody’s going to hire first-world talent to do work that they could have performed for pennies in the third-world.

It’s the great normalization. The result of the “world economy” will be to make the working class equally poor, no matter where they are in the world. This change is already happening, and it won’t take long. We can’t afford to hang on to our delusions any longer. There is no such thing as “creating jobs”, no matter what the politicians tell you. Capitalism is over.

It might take 50 years for the dust to settle. But that’s just because we all need to get old and die off, so that we can get out of the way with our old world way of thinking and let the youth grow up and show us how to survive and succeed in this new world.

It’s either that, or wake up and figure it out for ourselves. Which would you prefer? Would you rather slowly rot away in poverty and die, wondering what happened to your American Dream™, or figure out how to adapt and overcome, and survive happily in this new world?

In the new world, there is no place for consumerism. In the new world, there is no place for big cars and big houses. In the new world, we don’t have the luxury of being so careless and frivolous.

Here in the new world, less is more. Rather than earning more, the key is to spend less. Here in the new world, the minimalist is king. Possessions get in the way. Experiences are the new currency. And really, that’s how it should have been all along. The end of the world as we know it is a good thing.

Instead of living like slaves and using excessive consumerism to numb the pain of that life, we are on the edge of freedom. We’re standing on the edge of an awakening. We’re close to the realization — either willingly or by force — that capitalism isn’t the life we were meant to live. It’s not the good life. It’s slavery. But we’re not free yet. First, we have to unplug ourselves from The Matrix…

  • http://twitter.com/barcodex barcodex

    Ouch. What a great post. I want to know you personally in real life more and more.

    The capitalism is over, but the make-up on its rotten face will be visible until US Dollar will be given a boot as universal currency. I was born in USSR, and I remember how one economic system has crashed and another was painfully born. Now, another system is crashing, and I know we will survive it. If our parents did, why shouldn’t we?

    The more difficult question is what will come to replace capitalism. When Soviet system crashed, we at least knew what to get accustomed with. This time, future is not that clear.

  • http://www.yearlyglot.com/ Randy the Yearlyglot

    Indeed! I think the end of American world dominance is a scary thought because without the USSR and without the USA, we’re left with big holes that could be filled by anyone (China, EU) or no one at all (pirates in Somalia, etc).

    I’m convinced that there are drastic changes coming. And soon.

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