Friday, June 13, 2014

The Key Sign of A Civilization's Decline

Simon Black over at SOVrEIGN MAN looks at the lessons of civilization's histories and finds the cyclical pattern of "civilized" human experience.

Throughout the 18th century, for example, France was the greatest superpower in Europe, if not the world.

But they became complacent, believing that they had some sort of ‘divine right’ to reign supreme, and that they could be as fiscally irresponsible as they liked.

The French government spent money like drunken sailors; they had substantial welfare programs, free hospitals, and grand monuments.

They held vast territories overseas, engaged in constant warfare, and even had their own intrusive intelligence service that spied on King and subject alike.

Of course, they couldn’t pay for any of this.

French budget deficits were out of control, and they resorted to going heavily into debt and rapidly debasing their currency.

Stop me when this sounds familiar.

The more things change, the more they stay the shame...which is the same thing as defining insane, no?

The French economy ultimately failed, bringing with it a 26-year period of hyperinflation, civil war, military conquest, and genocide.

Looks like we are approaching another critical juncture in the cycle of human civilization's decline. Debt and debasing of the currency is the hallmark of all civilizations in decline...but Simon points out a common feature in the history of collapsing civilizations and empires -  when the rulers in debt are borrowing money to simply pay the interest of the debt, the end of the world as one knows it is nigh.

In 1868, the Ottoman government spent 17% of its entire tax revenue just to pay interest on the debt.

And they were well past the point of no return where they had to borrow money just to pay interest on the money they had already borrowed.

The increased debt meant the interest payments also increased. And three years later in 1871, the government was spending 32% of its tax revenue just to pay interest.

By 1877, the Ottoman government was spending 52% of its tax revenue just to pay interest. And at that point they were finished. They defaulted that year.

This is a common story throughout history.

And we all know what happens when a Government defaults. We have some very recent instances of this very phenomenon occurred 13 years ago in Argentina.
Which brings us to the present day.

USA Inc. is currently in the phase of borrowing money to "service the debt."  SOVrEIGN MAN illuminates the situation:

Taking this into account, total US interest payments in Fiscal Year 2013 were a whopping $415 billion, roughly 17% of total tax revenue. Just like the Ottoman Empire was at in 1868.

Here’s the thing, though– it’s inappropriate to look at total tax revenue when we’re talking about making interest payments.

The IRS collected $2.49 trillion in taxes last year (net of refunds). But of this amount, $891 billion was from payroll tax.

According to FICA and the Social Security Act of 1935, however, this amount is tied directly to funding Social Security and Medicare. It is not to be used for interest payments.

Based on this data, the amount of tax revenue that the US government had available to pay for its operations was $1.599 trillion in FY2013.

This means they actually spent approximately 26% of their available tax revenue just to pay interest last year… a much higher number than 17%.

So apparently, while it looks like we are at the point the Ottoman Empire was at in 1868 -- 9 years away from default in 1877 -- we are actually closer to the Ottoman Empire in 1871's 32% of tax revenue to service the debt.

But the pattern is unmistakable.

Bankster usury to fund indebted Government operations appears to be the primary means for bringing empires to ruin.

Considering the global nature of the economy, the ability to manipulate the masses with mass media propaganda and hide the extent of the problem until it is too late, we probably don't have 6 years until our own inevitable default.

In any case, if one doesn't consider the financial situation of the world's centrally planned economy and the usurious debt nearly all nations are in to the global banking cartel as a sign of impending collapse, you can always look at the arc of the cultural zeitgeist instead, to see we haven't much time left as a "civilized society" -


'Reality' Doug said...

Six years, huh? It would not surprise me, but the ability of the masses to support tyranny is astronomical. The Byzantine Empire was the Roman Empire, and they muddled along almost seven centuries after the 'Fall of Rome' in 476. Little would surprise me at this point. Does anyone remember the hyperinflation of the Carter years? I thought the sky was falling then.

'Reality' Doug said...

I meant to say in my first comment, that picture concluding this post: priceless!

Keoni Galt said...

Ahh, but Doug, the difference this time is that I do believe their exists a cabal working towards Global Government, and the collapse of civilization will be the precursor for their intended One World police state.

I don't believe this current cycle of decline is so much natural as previous cycles of rise and decline have occurred. This current one has been escalated..on purpose.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Unknown said...

The political scientist Kevin Phillips pointed out all past empires went through three phases: agricultural, industrial, financial - and being in the financial always presaged collapse. Then everyone rebuilt,

Keoni Galt said...

Good reference there, Bob.

Difference with this time, is that I think we are in the throes of a controlled collapse, and there will be no "rebuild" because we are being collapsed into the "New World Order."

Anonymous said...

How can we be broke? We still have checks. I'm only half kidding.

Question: What happens if the bank runs out of money?
The Bank never "goes broke." If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker
may issue as much more as needed by writing on any ordinary paper.

This is the rule for the game Monopoly. Sadly substitute Fed for bank and it's also the rule for real life.

Samuel E. Hancock said...

Welcome back sir. I have sincerely missed your thoroughly researched (with a touch of humanity thrown in for good measure) posts. The ones pertaining to food are a special favorite. My wife and I have been attempting to eat an all natural diet with absolutely o soft drinks or HFCS in anything for several years now. We do not eat processed food at all. All meat / chicken has to be organic w/ no hormones. Everything is purchased fresh and cooked at home or grilled. I am convinced it has made an amazing difference, not only in our lifestyles but also on our immune systems. Neither of us has had so much as a common cold for the last 3 years at least. Additionally we supplement with a daily multivitamin, the highest rated super B complex available, fish oil and vitamin D. We really appreciate the fact that in the beginning the Good Lord created plants and animals for our nourishment. He did not create Round Up.

Samuel E. Hancock said...

I apologize the comment should have benn appended to the last post.

rycamor said...

I have no doubt there are those who *want* to institute the New World Order. I just question the idea that a controlled collapse would aid in this endeavor. I think Vox Day's narrative makes a lot more sense. Things will fall apart, and the Big Boys won't be able to put them together again. There will be a few decades (or more) of chaos, genocidal warfare, ethnic cleansing and the like, with many of the larger nations breaking up into smaller ones, of all ironies.

Look at Europe. A few years ago we Americans would have said Europeans were safe in the hands of the globalists, and were quite happy with this arrangement. Now that collapse is nigh, nationalism is starting to break out everywhere.

Honestly, extending the feelgood business-as-usual so that everyone can relax with their iPhones and flatscreens has benefited the globalists much more than chaos ever could. Well-fed, lazy, clueless sheep are much easier to manage than packs of feral dogs, which is what people tend to become when things go boom. Ergo, I think this is exactly what's happening: the unexpected unraveling of the grand plan.

After that, I suspect the wiser of them are making the usual plans to abscond with the wealth, set up refuge with warlords, remote plantations, fiefdoms in places far and wide, etc...

Yes, this could just be confirmation bias on my part. I would prefer global chaos to a global iron bureaucratic fist (by the smallest of margins). I just don't see signs of any master plan coming to fruition. I see anxious scurrying.

'Reality' Doug said...

@rycamore, I tend to agree with your scenario as the 'better' approach for the NWO. However, I wonder if the psychological conditioning could be so good as to make reactive people dogs of globalism rather than nationalism, thus fitting @Keoni Galt's view. So many sheeple suck at math and will believe any promises (credit vouchers). Regardless, the top elite are smart enough to stay on point with their goals but adapt with agile methods, Hegelian dialectic and all. If the collapse must happen at some point, they will work to steer it. Maybe that is what happened with Cyprus banking system? What worries me is that in the chaos the people at the top will never be identified and rendered benign before they can regroup and pass on family alchemy secrets to their posterity. That which does not kill something makes it stronger.

rycamor said...

I agree that there are always people in power conspiring to increase their power. However, they are not omniscient, and they don't have the gift of prophecy. I don't think any of them really apprehended the explosion of the internet, for example. They can try to put that genie back in the bottle, sure, but we are almost to the point where a freedom-loving people can create an alternate internet just by hopping through wireless networks*. Clamp down too hard and that's exactly what will happen. The surveillance state is their answer, but the database is so huge, and people are saying "anti-government" things in such a torrent that the data is practically useless. Its only real value is as a deterrent: the ability to reach in, do some data-mining on a particular person in order to make an example of him.

*Alternate internet:

Cusefan said...

I suspect there are people that believe a controlled collapse could lead to their desired One World Government...but I suspect they aren't as brilliant as they think themselves to be. it's far more likely that what happens will be what happened to Rome - large empires tend to break into lots of little ones, not grow even bigger when they collapse.

Cane Caldo said...

So 6 years of feast left until the famine, huh?

I better get cracking.

kfg said...

" . . . many of the larger nations breaking up into smaller ones . . ."

Smaller nations which necessarily have fewer resources than larger ones are can be more quickly and efficiently taken over by by international finance cartels.

"There will be a few decades (or more) of chaos, genocidal warfare, ethnic cleansing and the like . . ."

The principle is called "Order Out of Chaos." Much the same is used in "brainwashing" an individual. You don't gradually bring him around to your point of view. You destroy his sense of self utterly, in order to later impose a new one.

In the middle there is a period of insanity.

"I think this is exactly what's happening: the unexpected unraveling of the grand plan. "

The plan may be going according to plan, and yet fail. Chaos is a tricky little thing.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Jefferson said "A private central bank issuing it's own currency is a greater menace to the people than a standing army." This was over 200 years ago when he said that. There is a plan to destroy the middle class going on. One other thing which precipitates a collapse is the decline of the family and moral values. No civilization has gone down as far as it is now and turned it around and recovered.

kfg said...

What's more interesting is that it is the one thing on which he and Hamilton not only agreed, but cooperated in, going to a market together to collect random samples of silver dollars.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned that default always looks the same, but it doesn't need to. The US Govt can default on it's debt in stages. it can default on bonds first. It was all make believe anyway, so there is no rioting in the streets when it defaults. That clears away a few trillion. Even that can be stratified to hard first bank owned bonds held by the fed, then bonds the government issues to itself (social security), then bonds owned by foreign governments, and then little billy's savings bonds.

Again, no rioting in the streets for any of that and no seized bank accounts or retirement savings. But that really only delays the appointed day since the govt will still be living beyond its means. And it's new debt will be wholly fabricated without even the facade of issuing bonds.

The rioting in the streets is what happens typically when the government attempts any sort of austerity. people getting free bread don't like it when the bread stops.

CarpeOro said...


While those aren't directly connected, you have to remember they ALL connect to credibility. When the manufacturers lose faith that they will get paid, they stop shipping the goods. The US produces much less than it once does, so you will see an impact at much earlier stages. That is one reason for a belief in a hyper-inflation scenario. Even though the paper money still appears to have value, there may be far fewer goods available. That will drive up prices. The government may try imposing price controls, but that always fails.

Anonymous said...

Gender of a Lesser God....