April 13, 2007
Conspiracy: If you are not in one, you need to start one
By: Rowan Wolf
BY: Carolyn Baker of Speaking Truth to Power
This past weekend I received a call from two friends who with their three children are facing foreclosure on their home. For the past three years I have been warning them about an impending housing bubble, but like many families, they never believed it could actually happen to them. At the beginning of the conversation they stated, "We're calling you because everything you've said that would happen to the economy in the past three years has happened. So we want to know if you think the housing market will bounce back?"
Once again, I had to tell my friends the ugly truth: The days of "bouncing back" are over. The world as we have known it is ending, and the tectonic plates of the economic landscape of the United States and the world are shifting beneath our feet. Earthquakes do not happen in an instant. Fault lines develop and widen over long periods of time, and when an earthquake results, it is the product of centuries, often eons of geological turbulence. Furthermore, just as the quake is an upheaval resulting from the turbulence, it almost always produces after-shocks--the reverberations of which leave the inhabitants of the earth's surface fraught with anxiety, reminding them incessantly that another temblor may be imminent.
The conversation with my friends prompted me to listen again to Catherine Austin Fitts' two superb teleseminars on "Navigating The Housing Bubble". In the first seminar she explains the history of the housing bubble and how we have arrived where we are now in the subprime meltdown, reminding the listener that like the housing bubble of 1989 which was directly related to the savings and loan scandal, this bubble was engineered by corporations and financial systems that intentionally created the bubble in order to profit handsomely from it. However, the 1989 housing bubble was different from and less ominous in a number of ways, not the least of which is that it did not contain the financial volatility that the current bubble contains because the world economy was not yet eviscerated by globalization as it is today. Moreover, the 1989 bubble was not happening concurrently with global warming and Peak Oil. In the late eighties, the savings and loan scandal was the most costly fraud in the history of the world. However, the theft that created the current bubble, we can be fairly certain, will by comparison make the 1989 bubble look like a convenience store heist.
Two statements by Fitts leapt out at me both times I listened to the teleseminar. The first was her assertion that "If you're not in a conspiracy, you need to start one", meaning that like citizens in the resistance movement in the 1930s, we need to plant ourselves firmly in resistance to the centralized financial systems that have decimated the middle class in America; that have stolen $4 trillion from the U.S. treasury; that finance and popularize presidential candidates and their races which are nothing more than marketing campaigns, then disenfranchise voters and rig elections; that are profiting to the tune of trillions of dollars with government contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan; and that like crouched predators are waiting to swoop down upon state and local governments hammered by budget cuts and offer a "choice" that is not a choice, namely, "Either you can raise taxes or you can let us privatize your water, electricity, gas, schools, transportation, hospitals, airports, waste management--indeed, your entire infrastructure."
Cynthia McKinney's March 2, 2007 remarks at KPFA radio's fundraiser, entitled "We Must Resist" underscore Fitts' directive to "start a conspiracy." Going even further at the march on the Pentagon, April 17, 2007 McKinney "declared her independence" not only from every bomb dropped and every civil liberty shattered, but from the leaders who let it happen. For me, such a declaration of independence means that I cannot waste my energy participating in the beauty contest/marketing campaign charade of presidential election politics, nor can I waste my time voting in rigged federal elections where millions of voters are disenfranchised and no candidate who might significantly alter the status quo has a prayer of being nominated let alone elected. Who among the current candidates running for president in 2008 will: 1) demand a repeal of the Patriot Act; 2) demand the return of the $4 trillion stolen from the U.S treasury; 3) demand a full-scale, authentic, impeccable investigation of 9/11; 4) demand full disclosure of Peak Oil and the unequivocal end to the suppression of alternative energy technologies? While Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul may be willing to demand all of these, they have zero, I repeat, zero chance of even getting nominated by their parties, let alone elected.
As what I have elsewhere referred to as the Terminal Triangle of economic meltdown, climate chaos, and global energy depletion converge, I have only one objective: to prepare myself and those I care about, as quickly and efficiently as possible for the disastrous consequences that such a convergence will inflict on the earth and its inhabitants. Resistance is an attitude but also requires action; however, we must act in a manner that does not waste our time and energy.
How one "starts a conspiracy" and how one knows where to direct one's energy are inextricably connected with the second statement that leapt out at me from Fitts' teleseminar on the housing bubble: "You need a map, a plan, and allies."
A map means sifting through the information with which we are constantly bombarded and constructing the most intelligent map humanly possible for navigating collapse. Most readers to Truth To Power have that map; others are perhaps in the process of formulating a map. It's extremely important to understand that no one has an infallible or foolproof map, and forecasting the exact time frame of collapse is, in my opinion, irresponsible given the volatility and unpredictability of the events that are currently unfolding. Some have speculated an Armageddon scenario in which everything collapses abruptly. Others insist that nothing will happen suddenly but that the repercussions of the Terminal Triangle will unfold gradually over time, resulting in a hollowing out civilization instead of a crash. For me, a both-and approach makes more sense. For example, a train may be traveling toward a distant brick wall 1000 miles away at 70 miles per hour, but along the way, it may encounter a stretch of track that is broken or uprooted which may result in a catastrophe equally as deadly as slamming into a brick wall. Any event or combination of events of sufficient proportion such as another Katrina-type disaster, a terrorist attack (real or orchestrated), the sudden devaluation of the dollar, massive unemployment or a host of other scenarios could constitute a tipping point analogous to broken tracks under a speeding locomotive.
The current housing bubble and the resultant unraveling of the economy we are presently witnessing, may be an example of the stretch of uprooted track. It is certain to send aftershocks through other aspects of the economic landscape, the outcome of which are unknown at this time. One aftershock will almost certainly be a credit bubble which will cause interest rates to increase dramatically, which will then continue to elevate prices.
A map, which must take into consideration both slow burn and Armageddon, will essentially determine how we formulate our plan. In my recent article "Preparing For Collapse: Three Things You Can Do" I underscored and generally supported Mick Winter's suggestions for increasing the sustainability of individual and family lifestyles. What Winter's material does not address and which Fitts does, are the specific economic preparations that must be made in anticipation of collapse which include paying off debts, downsizing one's life, considering the possibility of cashing out home equity and acquiring as much liquidity as possible, renting instead of owning, relocating to another part of the country or to another country entirely, investing in precious metals (one does not need enormous amounts of wealth to do this), implementing alternative energy systems in one's home, learning skills that will not be available during or after collapse, and investigating plans being made in one's community for the privatizing of public services.
A map and a plan, however, cannot be formulated without allies. All three are interconnected and interdependent. Since collapse affects everyone, it cannot be prepared for or navigated in isolation. As Fitts repeatedly emphasizes, the paramount criteria in creating allies is: Who do you love and trust, and who do you want to share your life with? Now, not tomorrow or in the midst of a tipping point event, is the time to find one's "tribe" and make preparations for economic and hydrocarbon energy collapse as well as climate chaos. This means not only making preparations with one's family members but organizing one's neighborhood, if possible, as well as developing allies in one's town or region. Additionally, developing allies will also mean struggling with the patterns of alienation, narcissism, individualism, arrogance, judgmentalism, and paranoia that we have all internalized from a psychologically toxic culture. Creating and maintaining harmonious community will be a daunting task for most Americans, but also a challenge replete with opportunity for emotional and spiritual transformation.
This week I posted on my site a news story "Bill ties climate to national security" which stated that the Pentagon is trying to pinpoint "the regions at highest risk of humanitarian suffering and assessing the likelihood of wars erupting over diminishing water and other resources." Clearly, the United States government is aware of the chaos that looms in the face of the Terminal Triangle and is making preparations for the social upheaval that will attend it. Its conspiracy is well underway. What about yours?