When stock markets fall, the real cause will be psychological: the Deadly Sin of Pride.
|As Far as the Eye Can See, There is Hubris: Hubris, Hubris, Hubris
by Donald Croft Brickner
There's now an almost total disconnect between Wall Street and “the little people” -- which is to say the majority of Us, who've been swept under this nation's filthy economics carpet, out here in the field.
We're getting “the bums' rush” -- not just by the decadently wealthy two percent who've pretty much taken over everything within sight, but by our own federal government, Republicans and Democrats alike, who to all appearances don't really want to know the truth about anything.
This apparent fact of life nowadays is president Barack Obama's Achilles' Heel, as well: He's blindly following the advice (dictates?) of economic theorists who are out-of-touch with all of it.
Last week, at this writing (mid-late July 2010), not one federal economist was willing to go on record as stating that a so-called double-dip recession had any real chance of occurring, despite endless lackluster hiring trends -- which, even if that were true merely in and of itself, would be a whole lot better than circumstances actually are.
Wall Street always takes a nosedive now every time it encounters the results of a downward-sliding “consumer sentiment” poll: it's predictably, like -- ...what's the matter with you cowering dwarfs! Invest! Invest!
Then out come the TV ads: Prudential Insurance, they tell us, is still The Rock; and we can't possibly go through life without a Ram truck, whose announcers' bass voices and sub-cactus, cowboy hat twang remind us what it still means to be an American he-man (and hero).
With U.S. unemployment perhaps totaling more than 22 percent (!) (AOL Daily Finance, July 17, 2010/TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence June 2010 polls: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/careers/what-is-the-real-unemployment-rate/195... ) in lieu of the transparently fake total of 9.-whatever percent stated by The Fed and our media, it doesn't take a judge from America's Got Talent to figure out that our prospects of getting blindsided, and blindsided but-good, are not only possible these days, but probable.
Recent polls, at this writing, loosely support just such a notion, as do many “macromonetary indices.” Ninety percent of our population, in another poll conducted just last week, ranked America's train-crash-trending future (of our economy) as “not so good or poor” (Washington Post/ABC News [July 7-11, 2010]). Ninety percent! You can't negotiate 90 percent of today's Americans into agreeing on anything!
We here in the field, propped up on our elbows beneath the Carpet of Entitlement, know the score, if not the drill. It's our purported experts who don't.
Human beings simply don't matter to Wall Street, and never did. We're just useless sheeple.
Oh -- so our insulated, arrogant, irresponsible and hogwash-swilling corpo-rich kind of, sort of messed up the (stupid) Gulf of Mexico, a little bit ... so bleeping what, they continue to think to themselves. (Then, they silently sneer: Get a life, riffraff. And when we tell you to jump, you'd best jump.)
Whatever idiocies are taught in our university economics programs need to be removed from our curriculums. There's not one inviolate theory or belief in any of it. It's all a concoction. It's mere do-do decked out in expensive corduroy jackets (with honorary 130-IQ elbow patches).
All of that, just so we can teach our collegiate young people to speak in carnival barker-ese.
Economically and financially, America continues to devolve into a real-deal house of cards.
Phoo-oof: And down it goes.
* * * * *
Now, look: I have lots of years in newspaper journalism, and I know an editorial statement when I encounter one. The entire shooting match, above, is one long series of acidic editorial statements. But they're worthy and appropriate ones, too, I believe -- which does matter.
Is making statements like this acting responsibly, and being realistically accurate? Yes. There is (and should be) a place for substantive editorial writing, so long as it's advertised as such.
However, some editorial perspectives are now deemed incompatible with capitalistic bravado.
Let's get past this, to those editors among you who are still dragging your feet through last century. If you're feeling pressure “from above” to tone down this style of rhetoric, then you're likely getting squeezed from “corporate,” which has a vested interest in slapping smiley faces all over today's contemporary market news. Ergo, it's now both censored and propagandized.
And making a long-overdue return to objective news-writing is going to be critical to the future.
Everything can't be about protecting profits (and technically, none of it should be!). That's a major part of our failure to speak the truth in reporting, both inside and outside of journalism.
It's time to stand up, and hold your ground. We've lost a lot of our free press -- and we need it back. And whether we know it or not, we want it back. Please, return us to inverted pyramids!
It's simply not enough to accurately report over-hyped football game action -- even with agate.
We need much, much more out of you. A way-long-overdue global humility demands it.
So does world history -- this history we're living through right here, right now.
* * * * *
If we can correct (or at least constructively upgrade) the journalism and higher education “foibles” mentioned above, alone, we can all-but defuse the potentially fatal destructive force within the coming “megastorm,” which shortly will be addressed at length, below.
At least we'll then have given today's manifestation of ruthlessness a face.
Which, Oh-BTW, isn't liberal or conservative.
* * * * *
To such an end, a working definition is in order here -- and for that we'll turn to Dictionary.com:
“Hubris – excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.”
That is the only definition for hubris stated. And it's the only one (short of synonyms) that will be applied in this essay, from this point forward.
Excessive pride -- or, “Pride,” for short -- is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, as I've stated heretofore on countless occasions.
Dictionary.com promotes this (again, singular) statement about the historic seven deadly sins:
“Widely known in the Middle Ages as sins that lead to damnation. They are: pride, covetousness (greed), lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth (See mortal sin/venial sin.)”
* * * * *
What's hubris got to do with all that's taking place in our world today?
Everything. Everywhere we look nowadays, there is hubris -- as far as the eye can see.
Take away the hubris present in every single breathing human soul on planet Earth, and all of our current problems will come to evaporate. Our lights will be on, and we'll be home.
Ba-dump-bump. It's that easy.
* * * * *
There's little question I'm in favor of some “rude awakening” that will engage hubris's antidote (and mirror opposite), humility. This whirlwind storm gathering menacingly on our horizon right now looks, and feels -- to me -- just about right. Yes, I have consistently invited such an Event between the lines of just about every essay I've written over the past three years.
I've been calling it a “category six hurricane” as an analogy, for some time now -- and that fits.
Unquestionably, I've been predicting it. Further, a “double dip recession” doesn't do “it” justice!
* * * * *
There is a caution here, however -- and for the first time, I'll give voice to that now:
This megastorm, let's call it, has a probability built within it -- perhaps for now, as high as 20 percent, although that can drop precipitously if the majority of us simply “wake up” (hello, educators and journalists!). If we remain asleep, as our new New Agers like to phrase it these days, the megastorm, driven by hubris, will destroy everything, but everything, of our planet and cultures -- and nothing, but nothing, can, or will, head that outcome off at the pass.
It should be apparent to most of you by now that this commonly televised “leadership” force, that can casually induce such terrible and irretrievable loss, has zero interest in other human beings. All it seeks are monetary profits -- just for itself, alone. It is less a formal movement by thinking individuals than it is like some kind of aberrant psychological affliction, with an actual world view that honestly believes humanity is some random, awful accident, and no versions of history's existing ethics are the least bit applicable -- most certainly, not any longer.
This emotional affliction behaves like, “I'm OK, you're not OK” -- but in reality … and this is its Achilles' Heel … its far more representative core belief is, “I'm not OK, you're not OK.”
It hates itself as much as it hates the rest of us. Hence, its difficult-to-thwart destructive force.
Never mind its forever-in-our-faces' misanthropy.
It's a scary place to find one's (handful of) neighbors, because what they're really stating is, “You better let me have my way -- and that includes all of the riches (and babes) I desire -- because, trust me: if I'm going down, I'm taking you with me.”
This is nihilism to the nth degree.
It believes its only chance at happiness is achievable solely through its expression of hubris.
It's a hubris that bullies and maneuvers its way into getting into, and remaining, in control.
Take away that control, and its owner could very possibly go car bomb.
And so, therein lies the beauty -- and need -- for this “category six hurricane” I speak of. Its awe and wonder lies in its post-collapse capacity, while we're standing in figurative rubble, of transporting anyone (and everyone) from a state of hubris … into a state of humility.
Alcoholics Anonymous achieves this very transformation every day, and with a whole lot less fanfare.
* * * * *
So, then, okay -- why must all of us go through this “hurricane?”
Because, at this stage in world and human history, we all suffer, to varying degrees, from this sin of excessive pride. I can't say this enough to people: there are no high roads awaiting us.
There is no high ground. Ours is a planetary-wide illness.
I see it every day at work. I see it in fellow workers (myself included, particularly after I get my nose shoved in it); and absolutely, I see it in our customers, and their kids. I'm on the floor a lot, in a clothing store setting, and I'm just stunned at the level of hubris I encounter daily.
One day before I leave this secondary, construct, intelligently-designed world (in this lifetime), I would love to marry once again -- if an appropriate opportunity arises. At such a time, I will have only one question to ask my prospective bride-to-be before I say, “I do.”
It will be this: “Oh, ersatz sweetie-of-mine -- ...when you go shopping for clothes, do you trash dressing rooms?”
If the answer is yes (or, even if there's an unduly lengthy pause!), any hope for marriage is off.
* * * * *
I read a lot of what (Not-So-New) New Agers have to say about what's headed our way in a couple of years -- can't anyone say this year?! -- and I don't believe they're (as a rule) seeing very clearly. “Listen to us,” many self-styled gurus smilingly beckon. “What the world needs now is love.”
Sounds fair-to-good, huh? The thing is, though, making things better, this time around the block, is going to require acknowledging one's Shadow Self (we've all got one, the entire time we're alive -- more about He,.She and/or It for another day) -- and in welcoming “It” on-board during our lifetime travels.
One key intention for our Shadow Selves is they strive to keep us honest. When they've appeared to fail -- as in, nowadays -- it's because we've either ignored them (or, more likely, pushed them aside) in our headlong, culturally-approved quests to become Big Stinky Deals.
Lights, cameras ... action! You get the idea.
But there will be no Graduates of Life in the difficult days ahead -- anywhere. We're all in this together; and when it comes time to suffer, we're all going to suffer.
It's going to be better for everybody concerned if our would-be Life's Graduates tether their high horses outside the door -- and quietly step inside to take a load off, and spill tears with the rest of us.
We're going to want, and need, one another.
That's apt to become a simple priority, all unto itself.
And, yes -- what's coming is still coming.
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