Europe Is Sliding Back Into Its Own Past


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    Adolphe-Alexandre Dillens – Capture of Joan of Arc The yields on Spanish and Italian 10 year bonds have been falling lately, though not by much (Updat
    [See the full post at: Europe Is Sliding Back Into Its Own Past]


    Good insights as usual, Ilargi.

    In my more philosophical moments, I realize that it’s Europe and the rest of the world returning the the normal, after 60+ years of abnormality. The periods of peace and prosperity over the last 2000 years have been few and far between.

    When I’m feeling more realistic, I think, “Wow, this is going to suck big-time.”


    Pointing toward violence (to receive: “the streets”, or give: “the right to bear arms”) misses the simpler, less confrontational, and more permanent option of ending the use of money. No need to fight, just stop playing the game. Absent money, greed would have much less leverage and would likely fade over time as a mental construct.



    “In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.”

    Ending the use of money only means that those with power and influence will find another means of exchange to put their feet on our throats.

    Money simply allows us slaves to believe that we are not slaves. We buy the stuff that our masters make for us, giving them more and more money and power. They even make us sick, so they can peddle their drugs to make us ‘better’.

    The best we can do is opt out. But even that is getting more and more difficult. And maybe even one day will be illegal.

    We are toast.

    Otto Matic

    It’s anecdotal but I witnessed a bizarre spectacle in the garden the other day.

    We have a bumper crop of chipmunks. They are usually busy racing around like cartoon characters on methamphetamines.

    Because there are too many of them for the ‘carrying capacity’ of the neighborhood’s natural resources, they have depended on ‘bailouts’ and subsidies from bird feeders and backyard gardens and ornamental trees and shrubs.

    This has caused stress among themselves and with the gardeners in the neighborhood. One guy down the street shoots them with a .22 pistol from his bird feeder but their numbers are huge and even culling them like that does not seem to touch their reproductive rate. There are not 7 billion of them but I’m confident they would be contenders with humans if given enough resources.

    Their desperation is showing. Some now have half a tail from having it bit off by other more aggressive chipmunks. Fights are now constant from sun up to sun down.

    I knew they were omnivores and aggressively hunted for bird eggs but was unprepared for what happened next.

    I came out last morning and rounded the bend to see a baby dove about a week or two out of the nest which could fly a limited distance land on the ground about 10 feet from me only to be pounced on by two chipmunks and quickly killed, They then began to devour the poor little dove with manic gusto.

    In decades of observing nature, I had never seen something so utterly violent from chipmunks. Another friend said he had seen them attacking and eating frogs and snakes close to their own weight, yikes.

    It made me think of what is commencing in the EU now. Desperate creatures do desperate things, shocking things.

    The thin veneer of Civilization morphing into Lord of the Flies

    Alexander Ac

    Fighting for a peace? Seems like oxymoron, but I get the point Ilargi.. excellent overview, if optimistic:

    “We either start restructuring the banks, take the pain associated with that as real men…” – no way for that.

    We are too busy with our own lives. The more debt, the lesser time to think about OPP (ours/others peoples problems)… however, there is one solution we know all about..

    yeah, and I remember a recent e-mail exchange with an slovak economist that the problem are *people saying that we have too much debt.* Huh, only roch people (nations) have debt, not poor ones. The notion that the debt bubbles the prices is not well accepted. So what… who cares?



    “The best we can do is opt out. But even that is getting more and more difficult. And maybe even one day will be illegal.”

    deflationista, opting out individually has little impact. I’m referring to a tipping point change in which the game is ended due to lack of players. You correctly note that it’s not just money but exchange that is at the root. We can end even that. It’s just as arbitrary and unnecessary as money.


    The astounding thing is, It’s like they think they will be immune from the violence. Hardly. If Civilization breaks down, by way of a liquidity freeze, all those protectors with those big guns are going to turn those guns on their paymasters.

    But what is most astounding is, here in America, we know now they have been stealing from us to the tune of trillions, above and beyond what they have demanded outright, like thief’s in the night. And America has reacted to the same degree they have reacted to the Hegemon Obama eviscerating the Constitution, claiming Absolute Power, and preparing for a full-on federal takeover of America by way of Martial Law. 450 million hollow point rounds for DHS? Ho hum.


    Americans have been conditioned for many years to not speak-out nor protest, because it usually doesn’t do any good. Besides, I’ve been told, that ‘we’ have already fought for our rights and freedoms, and we have laws and regulations to ‘protect’ us.
    Then I’ll say something about all that fraud and corruption, and our money being stolen.
    I’ll be told that goes on all the time, there is nothing we can do about it, and then these people go back to buying stuff with credit cards.

    When people have no money, no credit cards, nothing to eat, then they will wake up.


    “When people have no money, no credit cards, nothing to eat, then they will wake up.”


    Maybe. Some of them. Many others just might continue to look to the government to protect us, by way of total control. Others might just lay down and die. A few saw it coming, and took steps to prepare. Will they cherished, or will they be perversely blamed in the way of making scapegoats, for “causing” the problems?

    Viscount St. Albans

    Welcome to the Austerity Woodshop.

    The sharp file of austerity grinds down the rough nubby stubs of consumer expectation. I look at the wood-work and smile. Gasoline consumption stumbles to multi-year lows and then continues falling. Good or bad? Oil refineries are shutting down production and closing-up shop. Good or bad?

    Back and forth, back and forth, the austerity file works its magic. Little flakes of desire drift downward with gravity, toward the shop floor. Less meat more potatoes. Fewer light bulbs means we see the nighttime stars more clearly.

    I say: Let the sharp file continue to grind. How else would you make man and his stuff part ways?

    TAE Summary

    * We are toast; We are chipmunks writ large; Only hunger pangs will wake Americans

    * The last 60 years were abnormal but the abnormality will soon end. Normality sucks big-time. BTW, BigTime was Dick Cheney’s nickname while VP.

    * Debt is the opiate of the masses; Without money greed will atrophy; Real men take the pain; Opting out is not an option

    * Money leads to power; Power leads to women; Where women lead, productivity improves; It’s all good

    * Obama is full of hollow point promises. He has evicerated the Constitution. No guts, no glory.

    * Americans are conditioned to accept what they can’t change, change what they can and look to Fox to tell them the difference.

    * Austerity files down consumers. The bastard.

    Otto Matic

    “Obama is full of hollow point promises”

    Instead of a PowerPoint presentation, we will get a HollowPoint presentation Point Blank.


    One could argue that defending the broken Euro is part of the problem or that the banking system is broken too and is in a deflationary spiral but that still leaves the sovereign debt problem and that is simply another way of saying many nations are consuming more than they produce and there is no way to ‘fix’ that problem without a reduction in living standards.

    At first glance that shouldn’t be that big of a problem. Afterall a reduction of GDP by 10 or 20% shouldn’t mean a return to the stone age just living at the same GDP per capita of a decade or so ago which didn’t seem harsh at all to anyone alive then. But GDP maybe a phantom statistic cooked up by economists and governments to give the illusion of economic progress when all it is measuring is money circulation not real wealth. I grew up in California. That state was genuinely rich in the 1960’s. 18 million people had a functioning and affordable university system, modern highways, generous welfare system and affordable housing. In fact, my stepfather built houses in Palo Alto and Marin county that cost about $35000 and were bought by middle middle class people that can no longer come close to buying those exact same houses.

    Despite more than 40 years of GDP growth all we’ve really gotten are better consumer electronics, a bit better cars and marginally better medicine. What we lost was a functioning society. What in the hell happened?


    Viscount, It’s worth remembering that petroleum consumption has gone down only in the developed world, Demand has increased enough in the rest of the world to maintain both prices and consumption. It only makes sense that refinery capacity will follow the consumption.

    BTW, this is one of the things that makes me a tad skeptical of the TAE predicted nominal price crash. The relative worth of a gallon of gas to pump water for your family and livestock (intead of doing it by hand) is much higher than that of a gallon of gas for a second trip to the mall this week.

    plumb local

    We know the system as is will implode. The careful descriptions of the slo mo crumbling can be mesmerizing. I love reading them here. The danger is that we’ll assume a helplessness before them, a resignation or cynicism or isolationist stockpiling.

    We’re a smart species and we’re smart individuals.

    We evolved through striving for local advantage in a world of competition for resources. Now survival means something different but we’re still in the old mindset that worked for so long – “us” vs “them”. There’s only “us” now imho.

    Can we develop new models and for those of us who can see the writing on the wall, do something locally? There are lots of “new models” and Alex Anton provided a beauty on this site very recently . . .

    Something’s dying and something’s being born. Things are bad, but there’s lots we can do to help the baby.

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