Where do most people get their ideas about “the way things ought to be?” How is it that people can enthusiastically and vehemently support entities and policies that act in ways that are objectively contrary ways to the interests of those very people? For crying out loud, who thought it was a good idea to eat bacon at breakfast?
…Bernays approached a doctor with a simple question: Was a hearty breakfast better for a person than a smaller, shittier one?
Once he had the obvious answer, he then asked whether bacon and eggs could be considered a hearty breakfast. Again the doctor agreed. That was all he needed; Bernays repeated this process with 5,000 doctors, using this roundabout method to get them to actually say that strips of fried pig fat was a healthy way to start your day. Newspapers across the country treated this bullshit publicity stunt as a scientific study and ran story after story about how if you weren’t starting the day with a big plate full of bacon and eggs, you were signing your own death warrant. Beech-Nut’s sales soared.
And obviously, that’s kinda how it works with the first two points as well. Except they’re not just telling us what to have for breakfast, they’re telling us “the way things ought to be.” And they’ve sold us quite a bill of goods, which is now quite dramatically unraveling.
National Nervous Breakdown
Charles Hugh Smith of the Of Two Minds blog very handily describes this dramatic unraveling:
Last week I used the phrase National Nervous Breakdown without clarifying its meaning. (The War on Our Intuition That Something Is Fundamentally Amiss)
By National Nervous Breakdown I do not mean the breakdown of civil order or the economy; I mean the breakdown of the officially sanctioned narratives that underpin the Status Quo. These Master Narratives legitimize the current arrangement; once they erode or break down, the legitimacy of the Status Quo is lost.
The shell remains in place, but nobody believes the system is a fair, just meritocracy.
What does Smith mean by “the Status Quo” (you can be sure he’s not referring to the English band known for, among other things, the song “Pictures of Matchstick Men”)? Well, he means some or all of the following: bailouts, QE, biggest wealth gap on record, too big too fail, ZIRP, stagnating wages, record consumer and world debt, forever war, and so on. None of these things benefits the average person, of course, yet they continue and are in fact defended by those who have the least to gain from this state of affairs, what Smith calls “the current arrangement.” Here is one such actual online defense of the Status Quo from a person for whom the Status Quo, to put it kindly, has done no favors (first appeared at LRM here):
“Screw you whinny liberal bitches who want to punish the rich folk in this country. Yeah, they are the people who make your life so friggin miserable. YOU have NOTHING to do with it right? It’s the corporations who fucked your life up, they don’t pay taxes, or their fair share. (they do, more than enough). Yet when asked of you what is fair, you look about as dumb as Barney Fifthe of Mayberry RFD. Daily all you do is complain, complain, complain and yet you have no answers to your whiny issues. You take NO responsibility or actions by example for your problems, you just yell them from the highiest mountain top and get pissed because NOBODY gives a shit!
Then you say if we don’t agree with you, we are dumb, ignorant, or “just don’t get it”. Ya ever look in the mirror? Maybe it’s YOU who has the problem and fail to see the forest through the trees. You complain every single day, looking for what’s wrong and never spend one friggin minute looking for what’s right! Every things a conspiracy designed to keep you down and disenfranchised, as if! You’re your own worst enemy and you prey on the weak and ignorant. People who don’t know any better, ANYONE who will buy your lame ass theories that you get off the internet. WAKE UP ASSHOLES! Start looking inward and STOP blaming people who are “well to do” for your problems. They didn’t get there by being stupid or blaming others like you do. And it sure wasn’t handed down to them, and if it was, it’s a daily challenge to keep it. THE WORLD OWES YOU NOTHING… Learn that and the rest will fall into place…Libtards sicken me and now they all deny they were or are! ASHAMED? I should say so…YOU ALL SHOULD BE!
Oh and FUCK Minimum wage! Stop being a minimum human!”
A dead-on description of the “Master Narrative” to which Smith is referring was laid out in a recent story entitled “How I Got Rejected From a Job At The Container Store”:
“For years we Americans have been fed the convenient lie: study hard, work hard in your chosen field, work hard at your marriage, save money, organize your flour, salt, and sugar into labeled bins, and you will be in control of your life and your destiny.
And that simple story is how so many have been convinced to “go along to get along.” That story that goes: “If things aren’t working out for you right at the moment, don’t worry—it’s just you, not the system. OK, maybe a few of your friends are in the same boat. Oh, and maybe some of your friends’ friends. But rest assured, that’s as far as the problem goes.” But as Smith points out, this story—the Master Narrative—is quickly being revealed for the fraud that it is:
When the master narratives have broken down, legitimacy is lost. What’s left is authority without accountability or recourse and abuse of power without limits.
When the citizenry cease to believe the lies, the nation suffers a nervous breakdown.
Power without limits=criminal cartel
And that brings us to a Master Narrative-busting list from my Facebook friend Herman Shorts. When I read it, I knew I had to share it. As Smith concluded, what we now have is “authority without accountability or recourse and abuse of power without limits.” In other words, criminality—lawlessness. As I wrote last year, debunking one part of the Master Narrative, “America Is A Nation of Men, Not of Laws.” That article quoted Paul Craig Roberts on this subject of lawlessness:
…justice is no longer the purpose of US law and it is no longer thought necessary for the US government to be accountable to law. To insouciant Americans these might seem like extreme statements, but the conclusion is unavoidable.
In the United States there is no longer law. There is only retribution.
In my mind, Shorts’ list about criminals being in control piggybacks perfectly on Smith’s parting words and Roberts’ words above. Here is Shorts’ list:
The implications of the list are quite clear: we have to change the way we have been operating. We have to stop “going along to get along.” We have to stop complying. Stop playing their game. We have to rewrite the Master Narrative. And we have to do it now.