The most tragic species ever

SUBHEAD: We’ll fight each other, even our children, over the last few scraps falling off the table.  

[IB Publisher's note: The following is the end portion of a long article from the Automatic Earth. Follow link below for the whose piece.]  

By Ilargi on 25 December 2011 for the Automatic Earth -

Image above: "Dogs Fighting in a Wooded Clearing" by Frans Snyder (1579-1657). From (

Yes, it's not just generation versus generation, not just parents against their children. The problem is much more perverted. We no longer have a functioning financial system, a functioning banking system, or a functioning political system for that matter.

All these systems died on the same battlefield. Credit. When Richard Nixon threw out the gold standard in 1971, the younger baby boomers were getting their first jobs and buying their first homes. Happy Days! It took an entire generation, actually a bit more than 25 years, for the inevitable outcome of that decision to reach the high point of its devastating glory.

But here we are now. We've all been had. All but 1% of the people. When it's no longer the fruits of his labor that determine a man's wealth, but the fruits of his wagers, when our leaders are those who are best connected to the moneylenders in the temple, instead of those that throw them out, there is no way we could not have ended up where we have. Still, pitted against each other we will be.

Whether in our own countries, or in skirmishes between countries -Europe-, or a WWIII over energy resources that keep the cattle at home docile, we will fall for it all again. We haven't learned much. But then again, maybe it isn't about learning after all. We are ready and willing to destroy our societies, and eventually our planet, over a few scraps falling off the big table, like a Mac Mansion, an iPod, an SUV, because that is who we really are.

Because we can make ourselves believe those are not scraps, that we are indeed kings now, seated at the table, and heaven knows we have lived better than ancient kings of any age over the past decades. And most of all because we are no good at all at planning long-term. We can pay into a pension plan, that seems long-term, but at the very same time we can't figure out that if at some point there's less new contributors than older ones, that plan must and will implode.

We all will swear we love our children above anything in the world, and most would give their lives for their kids. And we honestly mean it when we say it. The reality, however, is that we leave our children with a world that is polluted beyond recognition, in which species disappear at a rate 1000 times faster than before, and in which everything we’ve trained our kids for is vanishing right before their eyes.

Our "leaders" are psychopath lackeys of a long bankrupt financial system that uses its servants to gobble up the yet to be earned wealth of our progeny, and we just sit by and watch it happen. We never noticed what happened to our financial systems when Nixon pulled his trick in '71, after all, we got richer, right, so who's to complain?

We never noticed how the increasing fake wealth drove our societies and families apart, we wanted more space, more individualism, more things to buy and possess. We never noticed how our energy supplies started to run out; hey, we're driving more than ever, so there must be more oil than ever... We have done exactly the same that any primitive life form would do when faced with a surplus, of food, energy, and in our case credit, cheap money. We spent it all as fast as we can. Lest less abundant times arrive.

It's an instinct, it comes from our more primitive brain segments, not our more "rational" frontal cortex. It's not that we're in principle, or talent, more devious or malicious than more primitive life forms. It's that we use our more advanced brains to help us execute the same devastation our primitive brain drives us to, but much much worse. That's what makes us the most tragic species imaginable.

We’ll fight each other, even our children, over the last few scraps falling off the table, and kill off everything in our path to get there. And when we're done, we’ll find a way to rationalize to ourselves why we were right to do so. We can be aware of watching ourselves do what we do, but we can't help ourselves from doing it. Most. Tragic. Species. Ever.


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