I’m going to make this as simple and straight forward as I can: there is now a good chance that at any time in the next few weeks onward, life as we know will simply stop. Money is already drying up for big commercial projects and large scale shipments of commodities. In my town a huge condo development has come to a standstill for lack of ‘favorable investment conditions’. Which might not be so strange, except that where I live the two main sources of income flowing into the city are property investment, and tourism. If they can’t finish a project full of million dollar selling condo boxes, then something is up.

But this is only a microcosm. The macro picture is that all the money in the world is flowing into a hole in the bottom of the tub. The bankers have basically thrown the planet earth under a bus to save themselves long enough to get out. And it may be that they don’t even think they need to get out. In which case we’ll all go down the drain together.There is simply no conception in the public of how utterly bankrupt the whole world is in dollar terms. It will require a long and difficult period of transition before we re-connect with whatever is left of the fundamental physical economy again.

As soon as the lines of credit and cost-profit equations stop making sense, long haul trucking will stop happening. And farther back up the chain, farmers will stop being able to stay afloat, but you won’t see the immediate effects of that. Really you could point out anything in this extensively deregulated and economically liberalized society and recognize that if it requires money, and we have a chain reaction failure of the banking system, it may just grind to a halt. And when it starts up again, it may be at the point of a gun. That may be the only way it can start up again.

The fundamental equation underlying all of this is orders of magnitude worse than that which underpinned the great depression of the 30’s/40’s. There is no reason to think that it won’t be orders of magnitude worse in it’s unfolding. It took world war II to pull the earth out of the last one, and one hesitates to imagine what might be required to pull the earth out of what is going on now. Larouche figures we are repeating the pattern of the 14th century ‘new dark age’ where upwards of one third of the population disappeared, through a combination of starvation, plague and rampaging mercenary companies. Myself, I see very little to to soften my reading of some of those bad numbers from a couple months ago. An economic collapse certainly isn’t going to help in the distribution of an ever shrinking supply of food.

My advice is rather vague and simple: as we go through the phase change from the society we have now to the likely regime of crushing austerity and institutional decay, there will be a window of instability. In chaos-math terms, things that get done in that window are vastly magnified in their impact, as the rest of the system is in a very fluid state and easily absorbs inputs. Which is a complex way of saying: if you’re in the right place at the right time to say and do the right things, you’ll likely be shaping the society around you for generations to come. If it aint you, it’ll be somebody else. In case it weren’t obvious our current crop of leaders is on the way out, possibly in a collection of leak-proof plastic garbage bags. They are not at all well adapted for the things that are about to happen. Make sure that you are.

It’s gone beyond pessimism or optimism. We can probably resume the philosophical discussions in a few months, to a few years. Time to walk the walk.


24 thoughts on “Change or Die

  1. This should be rather interesting. Images of Mad Max running through my mind. It is still quite difficult to understand how it is all going to pan out. I understand that new leaders will emerge with in the chaos. People will look to them for hope. But what happens when the new economy gets established through gun point? I can see some leaders telling their people to not trust the new austerity. I guess that is what the FEMA camps are for. I can see some leaders welcoming it. I get a feeling of complete lawlessness based on what your saying and I would agree almost completely except for one thing. Most likely martial law will be established which would create some type of stability. I heard they have foreign troops on US soil prepared for duty. But are there enough troops for every town in the US? Lots of factors going on here. Lots of drama about to unfold. Take care Z

  2. i have trouble seeing long-haul trucking in america ending, especially with oil prices down. and that it can continue even when the commercial paper market is frozen indicates that things are fairly resilient. it’s likely a racheting effect–five steps forward, three steps back. They still haven’t run out of food in Iceland, even.

    that said, most people’s minds are pretty vulnerable right now. how many people saw a decade’s savings evaporate? even the guys on CNBC have trouble putting those pom-poms in the air.

    what’s curious is how in places like Zimbabwe or Iceland no one seems to give much of a damn. Iceland is bankrupt and in Zimbabwe people just stand in lines all day long–i’m amazed that there hasn’t been any serious political upheaval.

  3. I think everyone is hoping to see the upheaval on tv. gill scott heron would be proud.

    and it’s a good thing too, becuase there sure as hell aren’t enough cops and soldiers to maintain order that way. if things ever get to the point where people realise that there’s no iron fist inside the velvet glove, shit will hit the fan in short order.

    the timetable remains inscrutable, but it still only goes in one direction. I think getting most of the europoean union and the united states to agree in principle to cooperative action was good for a week or two of calm, but I sincerely doubt it will go much beyond that. none of the fundamental drivers of the sutation have changed one iota. a true accounting of the root cuases would require paulson and bernanke to submit themselves for summary execution.

  4. Yeah, maybe. Not feeling so triaged now… On the one hand: Yes. And, what’s more, been reading through old deconsumption stuff to attempt to chart the course of my involvement in this realm of painful understanding – Laguvalin was ridiculously ahead of the curve – the quote, “When nothing happens for a long time, people begin to assume that nothing ever happens. But, sooner or later, something always happens.” has been staying with me. Erg.

    On the other hand, I spent 3 years expecting it all to happen any day now. And now it finally is… I’m finding it hard to believe in any faster crash-processes than we have right now. What’s to stop the governments taking over the banks (if they haven’t already, like in UK) and offering lines of credit to vital businesses, trucking firms, farmers etc? Apart from their satanic desire to see the people suffer, I mean. If things get bad – revolutionary bad, tho they rarely happen in the winter months – they’ll do what they need to to keep the shell game limping along for a few more months, if not years, no? Feed through effect of lower oil prices, huge wheat harvest etc., pretend it’s a mini-recovery…

    Course an environmental black swan could kick in any time and knock the support struts out from any such plan. There’s something on the radio about gylodactl sylaris killing off all the salmon in Norway as I write this. Dammn. Norway was one of my prospective lines of flight. Time to spend some money on useful things while it’s still worth something, I think.

    Anyway. I really don’t know. I can totally see how all the linkages could foul up from tomorrow, when the Lehman accounts have their coming out party, and we could all be eating pigeon by November. On the other hand, I also see how this one could keep running till 2012, just with worse shoes and even more shitty diets, so I gots to keep the 2-year plan moving forward, too.

    Whatever. True what you say. Time to step up. Love and luck to everyone.

  5. Well, it’s a sad day if everything stops just because money stops working. Is moolah really our only motivation for doing anything? Money’s a technology like any other – a technology of exchange. It might be a failing technology but that doesn’t mean exchange of goods needs to cease.

  6. well if you up and decided to start bartering for everything one day, you might anticipate some serious difficulties at first, especially if everyone else is doing the same thing. the ‘prices’ of everything would change radically when food, fuel and rent take on a much greater relative expense, compared to all the disposable entertainment and luxury items that get priced alongside the essentials.

  7. 93

    So I’m glad that we’re seeing eye to eye on this situation Zack. I personally the other day came to the realization that there was absolutely no reason that I couldn’t start a magickal order, with which to A) get away from property taxes, B) organize and collectivize certain means of production, and C) perhaps even simply start printing up what they called “scrip” in colonial america, which essentially is all the bankers have been doing for the last 100 years anyhow. Emperor Norton certainly has come to mind on a number of occasions in these last few days. Also, of course, is the syllabus of the A.’.A.’., which of course includes tenets such as anyone’s ability to join simply by saying they have joined and then acting the part, along with the responsibility of one of the higher grades to publish their doctrine and organize a new school of magickal thought on the planet. The Great White Brotherhood seems to be alive and well, despite certain collapses going on (and perhaps, as you suggest, being aided by the collapse). I am currently in the process of just getting the basic footwork going with organizing the cell (or my garden as Uncle Al would sometimes refer to it, mainly in suggesting that tending the garden is the sole task of the Masters of the Temple and Magi). I’ll keep you posted on my progress here, but I think it is about time for us as Chaotes, Magi, Psychonauts, Buddhists, and other Illuminati to stop being armchair occultists and actually take over the vessel that will shortly be hollowed out in the flushing process we are seeing. This should include erecting abbeys, monasteries, ashrams, and other such structures wherein we can grow for ourselves and survive the coming global superstorm. I may suggest that anyone reading here do similar things as myself, as frankly I see our tasks not as being to become Fathers, but to become Apostles (light-bearers) in the truest sense of the word. A call must be put out to those of all skills, including engineers, botanists, farmers, doctors, scientists, shamans, and any other useful specialization to pool our resources and finally acknowledge the reality that while it may seem that our world is collapsing, it is actually the world of illusion that is being shed, characterized by monopoly money, fear, threats, and locked fortresses.

    Oh, just in case your attention hasn’t been drawn to the thelemic calendar as of late, this year (IVxvi era novi) is symbolized by being the year of the Tower in the cycle of the Emperor. I’ll leave the interpretation of that for every (wo)man for themselves, but it does seem like something worth keeping in mind, if as nothing else than a curiosity within the paradigm of the Aeon of Horus.

    93 93/93

  8. I’m not all that versed on Thelemic lore or anything, but I am right in assuming that, since 2008 is the year of the Tower in the cycle of the Emperor, that 2013 is the year of the World in the cycle of the Emperor?

    And so 2012 is the year of Judgment in the cycle of the Emperor? =)

    (forgive me if I’m repeating something that’s already well know, this calendar thing is new to me)

  9. my issue is that i know that i don’t have enough wisdom or insight to teach, and am 100% opposed to seeing some permanent dark night yogi masquerade as a teacher/leader, who thinks that his special little psychedelic fireworks show from ten years ago qualifies him for anything. the world doesn’t need another goddamn scientology

  10. Well, to add a little more substantial response to the discussion, I think that this is where the idea of the work group can come in. Whether it’s Gurdjieff’s maxim that when it comes to spiritual practice “1 is next to 0” or the Buddhist idea of the sangha being a treasure in-and-of itself, separate from the treasure of the Buddha (teacher) and dharma (teaching), group practice without the teacher has long been seen as superior to solitary practice.

    If we can bring our spiritual, metaphysical, magical, whatever practice into our day-to-day relationships, to whatever degree possible, we can share our experiences with each other and each can help make up for the others lack. Yeah, that’s right, an “each one teach one” kind of thing. =)

    The biggest problem with this would lack leadership. One of the important roles of the teacher figure is to be the one who knows when mistakes are being made, and who can offer correction, guidance, and impetus to move forward. Groups without teachers could easily become a circle-jerk, self-congratulatory thing that would either stagnate or dissolve into infighting and chaos. This is something that would have to be watched for.

    However, if the shit does splatter itself all over the fan and western civilization falls apart, people will be looking for some sort of sustainable order. If groups such as Cykros mentions are already coming into existence, people without any kind of spiritual experience will naturally look to these groups to be their community leader/adviser. This is how the Catholic church became such a large presence in Europe during the Dark Ages, and is also why the various monasteries/churches/brotherhoods became the main preservers of higher learning and culture during those times.

  11. To answer the question about the Thelemic date, yes, 2012 (well, that portion after the vernal equinox leading up to the vernal equinox in 2013) will be the year of Justice in the cycle of the emperor. And, following will be the year of the Universe within the cycle of the emperor (if the names sound different than those you’d have guessed, keep in mind that different decks use different names, and some even use different orders for the cards in the major arcana. I’m using the thoth deck, as is the standard amongst Crowleyans).

    And, to clarify, I’m not aiming for any kind of hierarchical structure wherein I sit in my ivory tower and dictate, a la L. Ron, Hymenaeus Beta, or the Pope. My point is simply that organization is necessary, because while an engineer may be able to solve the problem of oil, they tend not to be so hot at growing food, even if for no other reason than the limiting quality of Time. So far its mainly just been my roommates and a few friends throwing random chaotic rituals, and just kind of setting the actual physical house in order, and each of us has contributed fairly equally. To really get a good idea of how I envision the organizational structure, think about it in terms of various cells being interconnected with each other, and then each of them operating similarly to the depiction Grant Morrison lays down in The Invisibles.

    And of course, it is not my purpose to seek followers on this forum, but rather to simply share the idea and perhaps spark some new ones amongst other folks. In an interconnected universe, it must be remembered that no man is an island…and I would hold that it was forgetting this fact that may be precisely what led to our current state of bankruptcy in the first place.


  12. well i have a few thoughts on all of this…

    -the way the occult is typically practiced these days can only really exist in a kind of rudderless leisure society like we have now. as things devolve to a more survival baseline, the requirements will change. occultists who can’t re-aquire some of the qualities of the shamanic/medicine role will increasingly be seen as dead weight, and rightly so. healing, accurate forecasting, psychological and spiritual counciling, mastery of crafts and sciences, and whatnot. obscure symbolism, allegorical prophecy, and elaborate ritual of dubious and/or ideosyncratic usefullness are mostly luxury.

    -the alternative is that things will not get as dire as it looks from where we’re sitting now. it remains to be seen how viable the underlying structure is or will be when all the bad debt, parasitic government and financier organisations, and bloated and predatory military forces all go bankrupt and implode. in that case, where food production doesn’t collpase, and we don’t start wearing mohawks and carrying rebar clubs, the requirements are different. there becomes a huge vacum of failed ideology and vanished ‘authority’ that begs for a re-visioning of the human project in a way that hasn’t happened in a long long time. in some ways this is scarier, because it means ‘we’ have to start taking ourselves seriously to a level that I doubt most of us are prepared for. it’s easy to be gandiose when no one is listening to you.

  13. I think this is a great conversation to be having, especially considering I intend to be starting a new order in 2010. I’m not quite sure if I agree with the idea that the magician must get back to his shamanistic roots in such a situation. The way I see it, the magician is first and foremost a facilitator of insight (as opposed to the shaman, who is only concerned with Power because his people depend on it); he helps people get enlightened based on his own personal experience, so of course, without that experience he can’t facilitate shit and he ain’t much of a magician. With the possible collapse of our current culture, the public will be left sick of materialism and faith based religions – and that includes Atheism; they will require something more (in fact, they should be hungry for it). Cue the enlightened teachers and a new culture and society based around personal direct experience of the Truth.

    And I will be King of the World! Mwa ha ha!

    Or at least I should get paid for doing magick. But then of course we won’t have any money will we? Oh, the irony of it…

  14. I don’t disagree with you, but a lot depends on how close to the survival line we end up living. if the amount of time we have to spend growing food and fixing things shoots up. expect a lot of blank stares when you start talking about ‘insight’ with people, unless your insight pertains to healing that infected wound or constructing viable agricultural systems.

    in a more subsistance based situation, anyone telling people they need to rise above materialism and do insight practices for hours a day, while presumably eating someone else’s food, will increasingly be seen as parastitical.

    if however the chaos ends up being mostly psycho-social, and people are freaking out because CNN went off the air and their pointless clerical job went away, then space opens up for re-visioning things and injecting a lot of fundamental insight.

    the reality is probably somewhere in the mdidle. as ever, but if you’re counting on it being a global squatters party where no one works, you might be in for a rude awakening.

  15. my complaint is that it is literally textbook degeneration to have blind leading the blind w/r/t “spirituality”… as far as I can gather, most modern occultists are busy grinding themselves into bloody stumps cycling between kundalini and dark night stuff over and over, reading books off the disinfo canon from 1998 and going off on some luciferean psychic power trip. and w/r/t the pragmatic, frankly, i wouldn’t trust your average occultist to watch my cats, let alone heal some infected wound with the “power” of his mind–i guess that’ll be a case of boiled mud mixed with urine, or maggots under a bandage (actually still better at treating infection than antibiotics), before i ask some “xaos majickan” for help

    this is a difficult issue though… a while ago i tended to view the occult skills set as literally “royal art”, a consciousness training course for leaders in a psychologically more primitive time, and while i have disavowed that view, I have trouble coming to another conclusion w/r/t what the practical value of this stuff

  16. well part of the point i tried to make with the whole depth scientists union thing is that any technolgy formed out of depth insight is magick. I agree doing a sigil to treat a staph infection is kind of retarded, when you could just learn how use herbs and massage to stimulate the immune system, and brew topical antiseptics.

    the order i belong to is indeed a 2500+ year insight tradition, but just as much, it is a medical order. you have to adress people at the level they’re at. sometimes it’s physical healing, sometimes it’s emotional, and sometimes you can get down to fundamental ignorance. each of those has a set of technologies that’s appropriate to each level. I guess i’m saying that it’s just as ‘magickal’ to learn the technology appropriate to each situation rather than falling back on naive ‘action at a distance’ which does work, but it’s a fruition of the physical skill, not a way to bypass it. my teacher can do distance healings, for instance, but it took him thirty years of hands on practice to understand bodies on a level intimaate enough to make that work.

  17. and in case you’re wondering, yeah I’m still alive. I just had to move abruptly, and been processing the election and the ongoing upheavals.

    expect radical changes in short order

  18. whatever godless filth a communist socialist satanic terrorist like yourself chooses to believe in, is no business of mine. the stock market is failing because GOD has condemmned it, for it is riddled with the sinfull and the race traitors, who have turned their back on the rightful order of god’s kindgom on earth! in 2012 sarah palin will return at Jesus’s right hand, after the Years of Tribulation at the hands of the Black-Skinned Anitchrist, and cast all you sinners into the lake of fire!

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