Sample Chapter


The Reillusionment

Globalization and the Extinction of the Individual


by James Robert Strope


The Subduction of the Enlightenment beneath the
Global Corporate Oligarchy and the transformation
of the Freethinking Individual into its loyal Agent
fascinated by the Spectacle of Progress
while producing and consuming the coy Objects of Desire


The Election Industry

If one political party drove progress for the electorate, we would see it in measurements of gross domestic product, public debt, household debt, murder rate, number of countries invaded and personal well-being as that party controlled the Federal government and improved the nation. 

In this work, party control of the Federal government means that 2 out of the 3 elected components (Presidency, Senate, House of Representatives) are in control of 1 of the parties. 

The US Congress has most often been either in the hands of the Democratic party or the Senate and House have been split between the parties.  In the 38 presidential elections since Abraham Lincoln’s victory in 1864, possession of the White House has oscillated between Republicans and Democrats.  Control of the US government has largely been in the hands of the Democratic party interrupted by divided control and least frequently by Republican control. 

US Debt to GDP and Party

Figure 2 Public Debt vs GDP and Party Control of Federal Government.

In the graphic, some of the major economic events since 1929 can be identified, such as the heavy borrowing for WWII in the 1940’s and the Recession of 2008.  The URL includes interpretation. 

US T BillDespite changes in party control, the WWII debt was paid down to 36% by 1979 and has unevenly climbed back to 100% by 2013.  US public Debt-to-GDP ratio has fluctuated independent of party in control since 1929. 

Figure 3 Treasury Bill

Chinese, Japanese, Irish and Brazilian investors are the top holders of US public debt in 2018. 

A high Debt-to-GDP ratio is not necessarily bad.  Currently, the ratio is around 100% for most countries. 

US GDP is financed by public and household debt, in what can be interpreted as an ongoing stimulus package that supports Federal programs of entitlements and defense as well as household buying of real estate, cars, student loans and consumer goods, financed by banks via loans and credit cards. 

However, the American middleclass has experienced flat growth since the 1967 while the lower economic class is increasingly impoverished.  Upper-class income has doubled.  Wealthy Americans are getting wealthier while the poverty rate for Americans without children has almost doubled since 1979 despite oscillations of party-in-power. 

US inequality has increased since 1967 indicated by the flattening of middle-class wages, driven by the export of manufacturing jobs, especially to Japan and China, although American consumers recover some of this loss in lower prices. 

While the concept of austerity is politically forbidden in America, we are subject to unmentionable belt-tightening as middle-class wages flatten, youth is increasingly without meaningful work, total unemployment (including those dropped from the record) increases, more people join the informal economy, government services whither and unions fail to represent workers, irrespective of party in power.  The effects have surprised young whites with minimal education; depression-era unemployment rates have become the norm for this group, ignored by the Democrats and exploited by the Republicans in 2016.  They are joining African-Americans and Latinos at the lower end of the economy. 

The $2.8T Social Security surplus has been loaned at interest and is a component of the US public debt, as it must be repaid if the surplus disappears in 2030.  During the administration of Bush 43, the Republican party tried and failed to replace the program with stock market investments, which would have created windfalls for the wealthy as huge amounts of money redirected into the stock market would bid up the value of stocks, benefitting those who already held them. 

The US public debt benefits aristocracies around the world as there is a surplus of capital and US Treasury Bills are a favored investment.  No other institution is large enough to handle the debt.  Surplus capital and easy credit circulate money globally. 

In the domain of war, the most destructive of political actions, America has invaded about 1 country per year since 1890, irrespective of the party in power.  During the 20th Century, Democrats presided over the most destructive wars as Wilson brought the US into WWI, Roosevelt into WWII, Truman into Korea and Lyndon Johnson into Viet Nam, although Nixon spread and intensified the South Eastern Asian war before negotiating its end.  Abraham Lincoln was the only Republican to bring the US into a very destructive war in terms of American casualties.  Both parties were destructive to the American Indian culture. 

Non-combat deaths in modern warfare are huge, commonly estimated at 55 million civilians in WWII.  While Roosevelt and Churchill excoriated German air raids on British cities during WWII, American and British thousand-bomber raids on German cities killed 500,000 civilians, 10 times the number of British civilian casualties, disproportionally women who ran the cities while the men were at the fronts and children and the elderly lived in the countryside.  American bombers killed 500,000 Japanese civilians, including those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Between Johnson and Nixon, America dropped more bombs on Vietnam than were dropped in all of WWII, killing 2,000,000 Vietnamese, mostly civilians.  Hundreds of thousands more were killed in Cambodia and Laos. 

American action in Iraq, initiated by the Republican presidents but approved by Congress and initially blessed by the American press, resulted in 750,000 Iraqi civilian casualties, mostly the result of infrastructure destruction, economic sanctions, absence of police protection, malnutrition, disruption of health care, sanitation, bad drinking water, risks of migration and civil war.  Much of the malnutrition resulted from the embargo began by Bush 41 and continued by Bill Clinton, resulting in 500,000 civilian deaths, disproportionally children.  The variance between official and unofficial analysis suggests that civilian war deaths are historically undercounted. 

While President Obama pulled US troops out of Iraq, he continued US involvement in Afghanistan, ordered the bombing of Libya and Syria, looked the other way at the suppression of democratic uprisings in Egypt and Bahrain and continued drone strikes throughout the Middle East, maintaining Islamic animosity. 

According to Gallup International and Pew Research, the US has been overwhelmingly viewed year-over-year by people worldwide as the biggest threat to peace, independent of party control. 

Irrespective of party in power, imperial apologists justify punishing the populations of vulnerable errant nations, claiming that if they were allowed to defy imperial policy, to close their markets to Americans, to threaten boycott or to fail to obey their US-appointed puppets, then other nations might join the rebellion.  

In an effort to homogenize world opinion, American policy produces situations that military, economic and political power can be called upon to punish.  The military-industrial-complex conscripts human resources, buys goods and services from contractors and creates enemies and the patriots to fight them.  Centers of political and economic power experimentally exert their power because they can, while justifying the violence as heroic virtue. 

The election industry benefitted from the 2016 election.  Democrats broadcast hateful slogans, eagerly transmitted by the press, as if everything would be all right again if we elected a Democratic president or impeached the Republican.  Democrats accuse Republicans of stupidity, insanity and evil, which is what every party always says about its opponents.  People might get excited enough to vote in 2020 and perhaps parties might exchange places again, while underlying trends toward inequality continue. 

Humans do not live in nature but in our own mendacity.  We live in social, economic and epistemological bubbles. 

When we become aware of the contradictions, we are attracted to books and entertainment that intellectualize and defuse the issues.  The rebellious slogans are sold back on tee-shirts, pop-music and bumper stickers.  We put aside the newspaper with an ironic sigh.  The American bourgeois will never act on its own ideas until action is in its own financial interest, which will be too late.  We practice only the most ineffective modes of dissent.  The lower classes, who have a more obvious stake in revolutionary politics, are divided into groups set against each other.  There is no exit. 

Voting rights have been extended to include the unpropertied, women, older teenagers and felons yet the turnout remains low despite the urging of the media and the noble example provided by the candidates themselves, as if voting were a grand public duty of no small sacrifice, conveniently recorded for the nightly news.  The election industry delivers voters via ad campaigns to ensure that only Democrats and Republicans are elected, as if they were different.  The media industries profit from the advertising they sell to their sponsors and profit again from the sensations freely distributed by the campaigns at celebrity events.

Business offers citizens the tantalizing possibility of becoming the kind of people they envy while guaranteeing that they will not.  Lurid images of glamorous heroes righteously punishing evil-doers and criminals frolicking in the lucrative freedom of murder stampede across the TV screen, presumably satiating the public and adjusting the norm of expectations.  Like everything in business culture, the process derives from a cost-benefit analysis.  What is produced is the consumer, whose buying habits live longer than the purchased product. 

The central problem of culture is crowd control and is solved by the dynamic construction of the homogenized and docile cultural subject. Diverse individuals enter the election industry as raw material and are extruded as processed partisans. The 2 teams of cheering voters, created by advertising, line up on election day with their chosen parties in the smug certainty that they are making a reasoned choice. 

The voter-manufacturing process is driven by contributors donating $6B annually.  Some contribute to both major parties and almost none contribute to third parties. In aggregate, the money is evenly split between the two, creating a 1-party system with 2 colors. The outcome of this mythical exercise in democracy is a continuation of the status quo which is a slowly-changing vector-sum of its financial influences, who rent the federal government at bargain prices. 

This legalized corruption is not necessarily a bad thing, as it tends to stabilize the economy, although in a direction independent of what is good for the nation and its people while benefitting the high-end business community.  Pennies trickle down to the general population while millionaires become billionaires, discovering that consumers will endure much abuse without rebelling when they are reassured by advertising and divided politically. 

The emasculated middle-class, ever infatuated with current trends and celebrities, imagines that it has a comfortable role to play despite the lack of economic progress.  The election industry stabilizes American culture, resolves national crises politically, legitimizes the sense of national citizenship for many, and provides a means of control of the multitude by the few. 

The election industry is evil as it deceives the public it pretends to serve, secretly bowing to the monied class. 

Politics is no longer local.  The 2 national parties identify close races at the national, state and local levels and pour advertising money to swing the vote their way.  Most money for House districts comes from out of the district, even out of the state. 

In concert with many other industries that reward the big capitalists, the election industry is good as it provides an organized structure of business that employs and distributes goods and services to millions, indirectly provides tax revenue to governments who in turn reward the financiers, provide infrastructure and minimize some of the more obvious excesses at the behest of business. 

The business practices that conserve institutionalized capitalism are thoroughly evil, their charity contributions notwithstanding.  Their well-publicized greenwashing offsets the shallow guilt of their stockholders, to which the boards of directors are ostensibly beholden. 

We cannot trust the monied class to operate the national and international economies because they have failed to prevent destructive wars and depressions.  Nor should we trust them to look out for their employees, who have become mere commodities to be rented and discarded.  The 1% in control of the United States are parasites living on the body of the citizenry.  In turn, the business class regards the citizenry as a bloated parasite feeding off the wealth, intelligence and organizational skills of the business upper class.  Thus, we are divided. 

That decentralized-neoliberalism is superior to all other possibilities serves the oligarchy.  Similar to biological evolution, systems of power don’t strive for universal perfection, reaching for a stable utopian plateau, but only require profits during the current 3-year plan.  Extinction, which is the failure of survival, is common in plants, animals, species, businesses, nations and empires. 

People get exactly the government they deserve and always pay its price.  People have all the power and yet fail to exercise it.  The new ruling classes that emerge from revolutions typically preempt the revolutionary intentions that brought them into being, repeating their slogans, deifying their heroes and exploiting the people.  

The industry produces candidates who serve their monied constituency or they would not get contributions from the coven of financial witches and warlocks hovering invisibly over the process.  At the end of their terms, the candidates will have obediently advanced the neoliberal cause at the profit of the aristocracy and at the expense of the citizenry.  In the US, defeated politicians become high-paid lobbyists and consultants because they know who’s who in government.  

During the passage of time, a society is not merely cyclical and circular, returning again and again to a beautiful spring of survivors following a deadly winter, but a chaotic spiral, sometimes widening, sometimes narrowing, crashing, changing direction, trying to serve its powerful constituency, spinning off billionaires and starvelings.  Life on earth is characterized by predation and symbiosis.  Mass extinctions mark geological ages.  If there is a social evolution of personality and government, its motion is as chaotic and pointless as biological evolution. 

The 2016 election amplified the engineered polarity of the American electorate and ensures an exciting 2020 election.  The body of the electorate, already fascinated by the spectacular red-and-blue herrings of their respective victims, will continue to be oblivious to the slower creep of the underlying economic metrics.  Inequality, cost of education, debt and war will continue to undermine the very security incessantly invoked by politicians in their public harangue, ever exhorting the multitude to produce and consume in the face of manifest enemies. 

The White House and Congress have already betrayed the electorate in the 2017 Tax Bill, rewarding the aristocracy with huge tax breaks, throwing a few dollars at the middle class and borrowing to make up the shortfall in tax revenue.  Democrats are disingenuously chanting up their slogans.  If there still is a pendulum in 2020, the political left will be in position to swing it the other way, electing a liberal president and congress, derived from and obedient to the same oligarchy eternally safe in their gated communities.  A new pair of fictitious champions will take the field to entertain us.  Change is vanishingly possible and yet is held in front of the nose of the voting consumer like the tenderest and most desirable morsel ever.  Cruel optimism!

The middle-class personalities are fascinated by the institution’s products, and, being products themselves, are fascinated with themselves. People who are not crushed by the institutions more or less support them.  The whole chaotic process is ridden by its parasitic symbionts who assume that their profit-taking will not kill the beast upon which they feed. 

Globalization harnesses the subjectivity of the individual to the team of draft animals hauling the imperial monolith into the future.  When worn as a fashion accessory, the postmodern individual takes to the harness eagerly to the generous applause of his peers.  Increasingly compromised, individuality as a mode of existence will evaporate when its last member, the last keeper of the stories illustrating the myth, finally dies.  Only then can the tragedy of the individual be written, not the usual story of he who cannot get what he wants, nor of she who is prevented from being all she can be, but the story of the last of our kind, the choosing individual disappearing completely, replaced by a yet-to-be-named human of unimagined consciousness. 

If elections could actually change things, they’d be illegal.  Because the 2 parties are working for a small group of financiers, the press fabricates the Deep Dark Partisan Divide to distract the electorate as the metrics continue their insidious creep, commentators left and right notwithstanding. 

The Closing of Culture

Sustainable culture is a persistent network of adaptable, self-funded, self-justified, and inter-constructing institutions.  The constituent personality is the atom of the institution. 

Instabilities threaten the personalities while institutions dynamically compensate their members by providing personalities as adapters to handle the immediate situation and over time drive the sightless evolution of culture. 

As an institution succeeds, it improves its techniques by imitation and invention, becoming similar to other institutions as they learn from each other to generalize the mass-production of products, producers and consumers. The success of techniques tends to reduce the number of techniques by eliminating the suboptimal in service to systems of power. 

It is not that we must create stable institutions for our culture to survive but that we create each other simultaneously, with no purpose, meaning, or destiny other than what develops in the moment, convenient to the relationships, plans notwithstanding.  The cunning intelligence of the institutional leaders enables them to choose the best techniques for manipulating their domains, reducing the kinds of things they have to do to maintain profit and power.  The only metric is success. 

The individual is a type of personality devoted to independent, self-serving ideologies that are produced by families, schools, churches and workplaces in concert with advertising.  The successful mass-production and herding of personalities, who think they are in charge of themselves, closes society, restricting real choice in favor of group-thinking redirected to the array of products for sale.  As we wheel our shopping cart down the supermarket aisle, selecting a desired commodity, we’re gratified in the consumption of our choice and yet annoyed at an inconvenience, such as the line of consumers ahead of us at the cashier, as if the market served us, that we were its critics, that it listens to us, when in fact we’re under its control, trained to select from its apparent variety and to line up to pay. 

The election industry is funded by the captains of industries who invest profits in candidates who will likely act in the interests of the funders, enacting laws that favor them with tax advantages, competitive edges and governmental deregulation.  The latter effort has been so successful that American business now regulates the Federal government, effectively renting it at bargain prices.  The harnessing of government at all levels reduces the freedom within the system and trivializes democracy in favor of a broad oligarchy devoted to their own privilege, which narrows the scope of the society, eliminates channels of freedom and closes society.  A closed society is brittle, as it over-constrains it subjects, and has a short life expectation. 

Mass-produced voters dutifully repeat the slogans of the corporate funders.  Everyone tribes up, hears the same thing from everybody they know (after casting out the heretics), ignores their opponents, and thus guarantees a plentiful absence of individuality.  A successful advertising campaign creates an accelerating desire for the candidate, igniting a complementary pair of cultural firestorms that draw everyone, awake or not, into the election process.  It is the job of presidential administrations to reillusion the dispirited voters of earlier elections, enlisting them in yet another false revolution, publicly reassuring the reliably faithful and quietly betraying the lower and middle classes to the profit of the commercial oligarchy. 

The cohort who voted Trump into office, despite their enthusiasm, are sinking into economic oblivion.  After they are no longer useful, they will be ignored again. 

The victors justify themselves in talk shows and their fans repeat their talking points. 

The election industry resembles the industries of entertainment, incarceration, manufacturing, marketing and the military, which use the techniques of corporations, creating producers and consumers who are the regular customers so highly-prized by marketeers. The annual Super Bowl is an analogue of the national election as the seasonal buildup climaxes in the championship watched by millions of excited people and changes nothing.  Our society threatens to close into a single spectacle sport. 

In totalitarian societies, the people are ruled by coercion and spies.  In a free society, the producers and consumers are herded by advertising, with coercion lurking surreptitiously in the background.  We don’t have surveillance cameras in our rooms, monitored by overseers with coercive powers.  Instead, consumers buy cheap projectors displaying what to buy and how happy to be with the purchase.  There is only production and consumption of mass-produced goods produced and consumed by mass-produced people. 

It’s incorrect to justify an industry and its customers as a society of knowledgeable free agents, choosing among jobs and locations and products.  We create and are created by our institutions, which are not under our control.  We subject ourselves to the system of control that requires our subjection. 

It is incorrect to describe advertising as information for a free citizenry because this information is produced, monitored and quantified demographically to identify patterns that seek the creation and manipulation of desiring personalities under the advertiser’s influence.  Advertising creates not just the desire for a product but creates the consumer as a self-interested creature designed to acquire the advertised objects of desire. 

The product of advertising is the consumer, the devolved individual, the far-removed descendent of the conflicted Shakespearean and Cartesian characters brooding profoundly over their dilemma or the Jeffersonian individual, watering the tree of liberty.  The postmodern individual is a deceived creature tasked with perpetuating the ever-reducing ideology to deceive the next generation. 

This criticism is not a conservative position, yearning for prior greatness, because there is no going back to the modern.  Past, present and future are constructed presently.  There is no exit from the postmodern because there is no industry creating free personalities searching for the exit.  The only industries to survive are those who create its consumers at a sustaining Hilary and Donaldprofit. 

4 What’s so funny?

The controllers of the industries try to minimize the cost of labor, making agile plans to manage the business cycle.  When down, they lay off and when up, they hire. Meanwhile they integrate processes, merge, spin-off, bankrupt and package corporate components for sale.  Layoffs excrete corporate liabilities.  Doing more with less reassures the shareholders.  Will the parasite kill its host?  The controllers reduce the number of techniques in play, closing culture. 

The paradox for corporate economy is how to minimize labor while keeping them as customers. 

Every large corporation has an infrastructure-improvement effort that asks middle-management for suggestions on increasing productivity, customer satisfaction, and sales. On the basis of cost/benefit, strategic goals and resource requirements, the profitable projects are selected, scheduled, implemented and the results measured against expectations. 

Eventually, the accumulating person-hours saved enables a reduction in force. The most loyal employees are retained to do all the work and the rest are cast into the unemployed labor pool. Those who can’t find work within a few months drop from the unemployment numbers.  During decline, many are unemployed, driving wages down.  The uniformity of this technique applied across corporations homogenizes the culture. 

The oligarchy fears the masses of diverse people, who produce and consume the products and who might look up from their personal electronics and become conscious of their circumstance.  The oligarchy approaches this problem by dividing and conquering, pitting one segment against another, white against black, north against south, young against old and party against party. One of the pair is assured of enforced privilege and the other a smoldering resentment flaming into violence, bringing police oppression and preserving opposition. 

The election industry neutralizes incidental angst by selecting candidates who publicly pretend to oppose each other.  After each presidential election, despite the acrimonious debates and their commentary, the candidates get with the press and ridicule the campaign.  The October 21st 2016 Wall Street Journal front page displayed a photo of Hillary and Donald having a good laugh.  The press gets the joke and then in the editorials, insists that we vote anyway. 

The campaign-money finances staff travel, publicity, political consultants, and more fundraising.  Campaigns try to amplify the scandals into earth-shaking revelations to be multiplied by the news.  Newsrooms benefit from the scandals, which draw the public attention to their sponsors. 

Only Democrats and Republicans can win.  The illusion of choice is maintained while choice is strangled. 

The big spenders have to finance only 2 parties and, in aggregate, the 2 parties split the income evenly.  While elected candidates publicly pledge open access, large contributors have private expectations.  Bills are constructed to run the congressional maze by ancillary provisions, each buying support, giving the financial interests their reward.  Democracy becomes a storefront. 

The system closes further when the government uses its financial power to implement its agenda.  Arrest and trial, lawsuits and regulation can cost the citizens cash to fight the intrusions while the deep government pockets, filled with tax money and working for the oligarchy, is inexhaustible. 

Outside of elections, there is no shortage of oppositions, fringe groups, shock-jocks, lunatics, crackpots, and tiny parties on the wax or wane.  The individual in all its rabid specificity appears within a cacophony of fulminating opinion, each voice electronically insulated from its consequences, a fragmentated allegiance of quarreling pieces such that unity becomes ever less possible, a situation that begs the demagogic would-be emperor to step in with his iron hand to clean up the mess in government and end the stressful, chaotic babble of end-stage democracy, to close down the supermarket of ideas.  Meanwhile Democratic and Republican candidates wait in the wings of the political stage with their handlers for the more or less annual adjustment. 

The fundamental paradox of civilization is freedom versus order.  When order wins, the nation becomes a fascist police-state that destroys itself.  When freedom wins, the nation self-destructs, falling into anarchy, warlordism and unpredictability. 

A culture, like a person, does not exist in a single stable state but instead participates in a changing network that tries to maneuver the social creation and destruction of personalities into a closed and predictable system.  Its success leads to its failure. 

Opening of Culture

Closed societies lose their resilience and become brittle.  The natural rebelliousness and complacency of people can be amplified by their leadership, poverty, repression and illiteracy.  Institutions continue to optimize the techniques needed to control their domains but the subjects must be rewarded to stabilize their participation and punished away from the alternatives.  Police and military repression make a brittle culture more fragile.  The disloyal and disgruntled are fired from their jobs, imprisoned or murdered, creating additional hatred.  Authoritarian leaders stupidly think that if a little forceful repression is good then a lot will be better.  Shoot a few and they’ll all scatter.  How much abuse will the people take?  

Liberal democracy controls by minimizing coercion, giving the people the illusion of freedom from oppression.  Variations in effectiveness of the control can accumulate to where a substantial number of the governed fail to be reassured by bread and circuses.  Repeated recessions, price instabilities, extreme weather, decaying cities, decline in health, lack of job and educational opportunities, frequent wars and declining industries accumulate residues of the impoverished and disgruntled.  For institutions, the challenge is how much profit can be extracted from the society without causing the revolutionary destruction of the governing institutions, how to minimize labor and maximize customers, how to propagandize the people, build prisons, recruiting armed forces and above all identifying and punishing revolutionary leadership. 

When control fails, accurate prediction becomes more problematic.  The system of institutions is no longer an engineered control system, no longer a predictable machine, but a chaotic open-loop system wildly trying to respond to its input demands. 

The government can reply with other ploys, such as foreign war, which tends to unite the polity against the foreign enemy and to provide the agile oligarchs with yet another source of income.  Civil war results from extreme polarization.  Continuous war and states of emergency drain the confidence and some people detach from the imagined social body, becoming third-party critics, graffiti artists and saboteurs smoldering in the wings of the political stage.  Wars are financed by public debt, which the consumers and producers must pay down while doing the killing and dying. 

Because society contains humans, who are simultaneously the creators of culture and its victims, society includes mutating uncertainties, estimates, guesses, desires, hatreds, lies, fantasies, myths, diverse histories and demonstrable systems of facts.  Societies that insist on closure become brittle and corrupt.  The earlier constructed truths disintegrate under the onslaught of physical and political reality.  The oligarchy must continue to prop up its institutions by reinventing new slogans and passing new laws while profiting its owners. 

Personality is constructed during imperial ascendency and deconstructed during decline. At the leaving behind of empire, facing reductions in fortunes and impending social catastrophe, the stories we tell each other become songs of woe in the language of decimation, reflecting the disintegration or become pretty fantasies designed to ignore the disintegration until the dreams finally evaporate entirely to be replaced by the songs of triumph invoked by the new personalities created by the revolutionary social order.  New gods are added to the pantheon while the old gods sulk in oblivion. 

Although the imperial monolith has 14 billion eyes, it is blind.  Although the gigapede has 7 billion brains, it has the intelligence of an amoeba.  And yet it employs us.  It is us. 

Democracy, the collective intelligence of the people, is progressively trivialized to the enthusiastic cheers of the electorate.  Dissent and opposition are marginalized and dismissed.  Eventually, power fails to homogenize its subjects in the face of chaos. 

Stresses exceed the ability of the institutions to handle them.  Inefficiency and corruption of those in control, the immunity of law enforcement, the concentration of wealth at the expense of the producers of wealth and the growing hatred between classes undermine the personalities of consumers and producers ultimately responsible for the creation of wealth. 

Subjective confidence fails, rebellious personalities spontaneously emerge and civil solutions yield to physical coercion as the powerful try to protect their investments.  Gentler techniques of crowd control wither away and the avalanche begins. 

Can the aristocracy sustainably feed 7 billion?  We might face a global famine, driving the greatest extinction event in the history of the planet as billions of starving humans scourge the planet for food, accelerating the breakdown of the distribution system in the most vicious cycle imaginable. 

The Anthropocene could be the shortest of the geological ages, its geological strata indicated by a thin layer of broken glass.  In a globalized revolution, only the most brutal will survive.  Books will be burned for fuel. 

Loyalty does not equal obedience. 

Be all you can be.  Work for justice.