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The case for optimism
At this point, cultivating optimism should be our sacred duty to the future generations.
Amidst the breathtaking pace of global events, many people sense that humanity is at an important crossroads. One path could lead to a dystopian future of totalitarianism, permanent warfare, and a radical decline of prosperity and liberty. The other path leads to a better future, even if many of us can't quite envision what that future might look like, let alone how to advance in that direction. The first option is easy: we just have to obey, do as we're told, and our invisible overlords and hapless leaders will take care of the rest. The blueprints have already been drafted and disseminated.
Frequently salvation comes precisely when it appears as though all is lost - Leo Tolstoy
The other option would require a bottom-up mobilization to steer the ship in the direction that 99.99% of us desire: a more beautiful, more gratifying living in greater prosperity and fuller liberty. It would require that we use our own imagination and creativity to formulate solutions to the many problems our societies face.
However, as there are no blueprints, next to no leadership and no guarantees of outcome, the odds of success may seem remote.
No, the degenerates are not executing flawlessly
In addition, some people seem strongly attached to the conviction that our overlords’ plans are perfect and that they are executing them flawlessly. Their every failure is interpreted as a planned, cunning deception along the straight path to final and complete victory. Supposedly, they own and control all the opposition, all escape routes are blocked and all hope is a delusion for the feeble-minded.
I’ve listened to such arguments many times and they invariably entail a great deal of dark imagination. However, we are not the first generation whose degenerate ruling classes fantasized about cementing their dominance and enslaving the rest of humanity. Our “overlords” are in no better place to realize those fantasies than were the prior ruling degenerates through history.
Probably the most successful and most ruthless attempts at achieving totalitarian dystopia were last century’s Communist regimes of the USSR, East Germany, Romania and Albania. But they all collapsed: in spite of having total control over their police, secret police, courts, military and educational institutions, and an unchallenged monopoly over the media, none of them were able to survive for a very long time.
So why should anyone assume that today’s ruling degenerates can do what no previous ruling ones managed? To be sure, they are very powerful and the struggle is very real, including its casualties. But to extrapolate the direction they took, and envision an inevitable defeat for the rest of us would amount to surrender and an acquiescence to the dystopian option.
It is extremely important for us to understand that this acquiescence has dramatic consequences for the conflict’s outcome. The difference between surrendering and resisting is nothing short of massive, as the following story illustrates.
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The "hope" experiment
In a cruel experiment at Johns Hopkins University during the 1950s, Dr. Curt Richter placed rats in a small tub with no possibility of escape to test how long they would tread water for. The average rat would give up and drown after about 15 minutes. However, just as they began to drown, the experimenter would pick them up, dry them off and allow them to rest for a few minutes. Then they'd put them back for another round. This time, the average rat would tread water for 40 hours!
In the first round, it seems that the rats gave up because they perceived no hope of overcoming their predicament. But their strength and ability to survive only became apparent in the second round of the experiment: they had it in them to endure 160 times longer than they did when they saw no hope of salvation. The advantage we have over the lab rats is that we still have an important degree of liberty, understanding of our situation and free will to demand and make changes.
It’s a kind of magic
In fact, it should be easy for us to recognize the many advantages of our present situation: we are many and we are endowed with communications and information technologies that no previous generation could have even dreamt of. We have the ability to connect across the continents and share a vast wealth of knowledge, information, insights and experiences. We have open access to stupendous resources like YouTube, social networks, high-resolution photography and information tools like Word, Excel, CAD, etc... Thousands of people contribute open source software solutions, engineering blueprints and instructions to build and create almost anything.
This has NEVER existed before. Even if you wanted to look at today’s circumstances dispassionately, as a historian, a scientist or mathematician, you’d have to acknowledge that today’s social and political equations have completely new variables in them and all the old projections and calculations will probably be off mark.
Only pessimism can inhibit us
Unlike Curt Richter’s rats and unlike all the generations before us, we have the ability to come up with better solutions to the problems of society than any that had been formulated before. Only pessimism and fatalism could inhibit us from making the best possible use of these blessings. For sure, the “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy,” that John F. Kennedy had warned us about, will do everything in their power to clip our wings and induce us to give up the struggle. But we should not overestimate their power and imagine that their declarations and their initiatives will lead to victories in a straight line, nor should we convince ourselves that our only option is to surrender.
If we stand our ground, we have every reason to be optimistic. Recall, three years ago they were beating the drums about the New Normal and how the ‘old normal’ would never come back. That was probably the greatest, most lavishly funded and most extensively planned assault on humanity in all of history. The Great Reset was here, they said. Free will was over, and ‘what it means to be human,’ would change forever. Almost four years later, they’re still trying, only every new attempt they make is growing more feeble and pathetic. We had Monkey Pox, then there was some Scandinavian variant, remember that? They all only caused a global pandemic of shrugs.
Through millions of acts of friction and noncompliance, it seems that we brought their whole enterprise to ruin. The “all-powerful elites” are neither all-powerful nor elites. Their actions must be recognized for what they are: the ruling parasites’ desperate attempts to defend the extraordinary privileges they had usurped in the decades and centuries past. Their actions also betray disarray and panic in their own ranks.
It’s all hands on deck moment!
However, regardless of any of our individual convictions, there’s also a purely pragmatic case for optimism – even if you believed nothing about the future. At present, humanity is a ship sailing through extremely stormy seas. Our odds of survival depend on our actions: if we ‘keep calm and carry on,’ man our stations and focus on holding things together, we will likely pull through and emerge to safety. But if too many among us succumb to defeatism and people start grabbing their life vests and jumping off, the likelihood of a happy ending declines precipitously. Always keep in mind, it will be the future generations who’ll collect the fruits of our actions today.
And there’s still more. As a reader of the first draft of this article commented, optimism even changes how we respond to challenges. It energizes; it boosts the morale; it enhances our resourcefulness and creativity... It makes us more effective in almost every way. Here’s the story my reader shared:
“Something interesting along these lines just happened in the US. In American football, one of the best quarterbacks is a very California guy named Aaron Rodgers. He played the last 15 years or so in the smallest city with a professional team, Green Bay, Wisconsin. He is nearing the end of his career and finagled a trade to the New York Jets. The Jets have been horrible, dream-crushing, and humiliated in a variety of ways for decades. And here Rodgers brought his power of positive thinking.
‘Once we start believing and start playing the right way, you’ll see everyone else like yourself start believing,” Rodgers said. “And you won’t be saying sh** like ‘What if it doesn’t go right?’ And then when everybody else is believing in this city, there is a never-ending unstoppable wave of positivity and energy that we’re going to take all the way.’
His first game was last night. The team has plausible dreams of the championship. Heavy rain stopped right before the game and a double rainbow came out. Rodgers lasted four plays before suffering an injury, which could well be season (or career) ending. His replacement at quarterback was notorious for blaming everyone in his losses last year.
They prevailed against one of the best teams in the league, winning in overtime on a spectacular play by a guy who willed himself onto the team this summer.
From the US publication The Ringer: “Rodgers played just four snaps, but he may have already delivered on exactly what he said would happen: The players would believe in themselves, and then they’d convince the city to believe in the players. It is not easy to find a way to describe a moment as electric as what happened Monday night in the Meadowlands. But one phrase that comes to mind is a ‘never-ending unstoppable wave of positivity and energy.’ Rodgers started that wave, but now it seems it will be up to the Jets to figure out how far they can ride it, likely without him.”
Indeed… an “unstoppable wave of positivity and energy” which calls to mind Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s haunting words:
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
We’ve no excuse!
There is no excuse for us not to use all the energy and initiative we can muster to steer this ship right and gift future generations a better and more gratifying life. Cultivating faith and optimism should not only be a priority but even our sacred duty to the future generations. There is clearly a lot to lose, but also so much to gain: a future that could eclipse even our most daring hopes. It really depends on you and me and the choices we make today.
In my next article, I’ll share a beautiful personal experience that further supports the case for optimism, as it shows the extraordinary power we can exert through simple noncompliance.
Alex Krainer – @NakedHedgie is the creator of I-System Trend Following and publisher of daily TrendCompass investor reports which cover over 200 financial and commodities markets. One-month test drive is always free of charge, no jumping through hoops to cancel. To start your trial subscription, drop us an email at TrendCompass@ISystem-TF.com
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