I believe that the debt problem — which caused the crisis of the world economy — is the cause of a much deeper societal transformation. Our solution to the financial crisis was to take a drug called “Quantitative Easing” and it launched, or accelerated, a trip into a place where civic values have completely reversed.
The debt burden everywhere is much higher than it has ever been before
The debt haunts us all as surely as the ticking clock in the crocodile haunted Captain Hook. Though, today’s debt does not come and go like Cook’s crocodile. It’s more like Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell Tale Heart which beats the drum of consequences ever more loudly over time. This unbearable truth makes us drink even more of the potion called Denial.
That is how we fell through the rabbit hole and landed up in a world where everything that was good is now bad and vice versa. …
Savings was good. Now Spending is “good”: The Financial Crisis (and its inflation invoking solutions) punished savers and encouraged us to borrow given low interest rates. Debt is so good that governments tell us you can fix the debt problem by adding more debt and by endlessly postponing its repayment.
Mainstream Media was trusted. Now clickbaiting plus political bias has caused us to trust Wikileaks and alternative news sources more.
Education was good. Now education leaves many jobless and with debt and no income. We admire entrepreneurs and lottery winners and make TV shows about people because they’ve become rich, not because they are smart….
Restraint was good and excess was bad. Now excess inspires – witness the Kardashians and the gold fixtures throughout Trump Tower.
Careers were good. Job hopping was bad. Loyalty to firms is considered crazy now because they are not loyal to you (because the debt means they have to cut costs). Now job hopping is good because you get to spread the risk that you’ll be hurt by any one of your employers. …
Thoughtful, measured responses used to be good (think Bertrand Russell). Now, no one has time to listen and they cannot understand or agree on the meaning of the words. Twitter beats Editorials. Soundbites beat nuanced explanations.
Truth was good. Lying was bad. Now we live in a “post truth” world where we admire crafty wordsmithing, weaponization of words, clever messaging. We know the names of the previously anonymous spin crafters these days.
Traditional religion was good and alternative religions were suspect. Now alternative religions gain followers and adherence to any one established local religion is considered a mark of small mindedness. People search for truth in the self-help section of the bookstore. …
Drugs were Bad. Now drugs are good. We read that drugs were created to generate profits and not to cure people. Breaking Bad popularises drugs. Now we legalize drugs (marijuana, mushrooms and MDMA) and create drugs that will cure each of us individually (personalized medicine). Painkillers we thought were good, turned out to be bad (think OxyContin and the opioid crisis).
Debate was good. Now debate is bad. Opposing views must be silenced, not entertained. Free Speech was good. Now, Free Speech is bad. The view that “Speech should only be free if we agree with it” gains prevalence.
Marriage was Good. Promiscuity was Bad. We are shocked by marriages that last and admire those who succeed in the promiscuous life and who have multiple marriages. We treat people as disposable items that you simply swipe right for and counsel people to try and have sex without attachment. The media not only condones this but provides detailed explanations to under-age children (witness the outcry over the Teen Vogue Guide to Anal Sex).
Being an individual with self-confidence was good and admirable. Now, being an individual is only good and admirable if enough others confirm it through social scoring. Self-confidence is suspect. We admire those who are “liked” and who have many “followers”.
Learning was Good. Now Learning is bad. Instead, we admire clever “hacks” and shortcuts that don’t waste time because knowledge is easy/ not hard
Scoring people was bad. Now scoring people is good. Scoring a person on attractiveness or “hotness” was bad. Now we like high scoring people and entities – the Facebook effect. China’s new Social Credit Scoring system (an Uber for people) is announced almost without comment.
Reading was good. TV was bad. Reading is now seen as a rare, time consuming, seemingly not necessary pastime. Instead, TV now (Netflix) has the best writing and pay scale in the entertainment industry and we admire free YouTubers and Instagrammers.
Spying was Bad. Now, spying is good. After 911, spying was transformed. Instead of aiming at bad individuals, state intelligence aims their efforts at everybody (good or bad) in the hope of catching somebody bad (Prism, Echelon). …
Price stability was good and inflation was bad. Now we hope for moving prices and desire more inflation.
The author is PC, so she doesn’t go into a host of other issues where the “progressives” have reversed social values recently — such as over gay marriage, that color blindness was good but is now considered racist and bad, that Islam has gone from being a dangerous and backward ideology to the religion of peace, and so on.
Who benefits? Or its it just a gigantic car wreck of angry leftists, greedy bankers, apathy, a corrupted media, …