by Charles Hugh-Smith
Individuals caught on that the returns on the frenzied hamster wheel of “regular” have been diminishing for many years, however everybody was too busy to note.
The superficial “return to regular” narrative focuses solely on first order results: now that individuals can dispense with masks and social distancing, they’re resuming their pre-pandemic spending orgy with a vengeance, which augurs nice earnings for Company America and better tax revenues. Yea for “return to regular.”
This superficial narrative ignores second-order results of the pandemic. Recall that first order results: each motion has a consequence. Second order results: each consequence has its personal consequence. We will additionally consider these as direct (first order) and oblique (second order) results.
The pandemic’s first order impact was to close down the frenzied hamster wheel of American life. The consequence of the pandemic–shutdown–had its personal consequence: individuals had the chance to expertise life exterior the frenzied hamster wheel, and ask themselves why they tolerated the dead-end purposelessness, demeaning rigidity and life-draining stress of the entire spinning contraption.
For a terrific many individuals and dynamics, the pandemic was a transformative catalyst, and there’s no going again to pre-pandemic “regular.” Many individuals skilled a liberty and expansiveness they’d both by no means skilled or forgot that such issues even existed. This expertise triggered a Metamorphosis, they usually’re by no means going again to pre-pandemic “regular” as a result of “regular” was a nightmarish panorama of exploitation, drudgery, pathology and meaningless servitude.
Think about the re-chaining of the digital workforce to the Cubicle Plantation, the place “free” (heh) snacks are purported to compensate for the dreary Underworld of catatonic-inducing conferences and the remainder of the plantation’s soul-crushing routines.
Many wage-slaves really feel they haven’t any alternative however many others have determined they’re by no means going again.
A terrific most of the working poor have additionally determined they’re by no means going again, and the time away from their low-paid wage slavery opened up new prospects, from better-paying jobs to versatile gigs to getting by on casual earnings and part-time work.
Although not one of the spending orgy cheerleaders appears to have seen, world tourism caught a doubtlessly deadly illness within the pandemic’s shutdown, as residents found their cities, seashores and neighborhoods have been really lovely and habitable once more as soon as the vacationers all went away.
Whereas all the firms and investor-“hosts” profiteering from overcrowded, ruined cities and islands cheer the return of the hundreds of thousands, the residents are vowing to by no means return. In Venice, the residents don’t need the large cruise ships returning ever once more. In Hawaii, solely 14% of the residents approve of a return to the pre-pandemic crush that was ruining the state.
Freed of the burdens of tourism, individuals are actually asking cui bono, to whose profit? The apologists and PR hacks reply is at all times the $10/hour dead-end jobs, however the residents not purchase the bogus PR, as they understand all of the “advantages” stream to distant traders, not residents.
The overwhelming majority of Hawaii residents need far fewer vacationers, and need these vacationers to pay much more for the privilege of visiting. Additionally they need limits on what number of guests are allowed every day into seashore and different parks, they usually need the guests to pay admission and parking charges so locals can go totally free. (Hawaii’s annual customer depend topped 1 million in 1969, once I was in highschool, and the state was already crowded with vacationers. In 2019, the annual customer depend topped 10.4 million.)
Residents from Barcelona to Maui need investor-owned BnBs in residential neighborhoods banned, as the worldwide investor class has purchased up actual property in “must-see” locales to profiteer off tourism, over-burdening infrastructure, destroying native neighborhoods and pricing locals out of properties.
The spending orgy cheerleaders are selling a fantasy model of a time machine through which we reset the calendar to September 2019 and the whole lot “goes again to regular.” Sorry, cheerleaders: second-order results can’t be reversed and the cultural revolution is effectively underneath means.
Individuals caught on that the returns on the frenzied hamster wheel of “regular” have been diminishing for many years, however everybody was too busy to note. All of them attributed their burnout, exhaustion and vacancy to specifics inside their very own lives, however now they’ve woke up to the truth that burnout, exhaustion and vacancy have at all times been systemic, i.e. the consequence of the system because the returns for members diminish with each passing day.
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The Story Behind the Ebook and the Introduction.
Charles Hugh Smith on the Period of Accelerating Expropriations (38 min) (FRA Roundtable Perception)
Covid Has Triggered The Subsequent Nice Monetary Disaster (34:46)
My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts