For the most part, people have two desires and fears in life, and in many ways both rule their choices, actions, and decisions. The first one is that they both crave and fear security, and are willing to give up responsibility over their own future to others who promise to provide it to and for them. Secondly, people have a subconscious fear of the end of the world, which leads them to a dichotomy of either fighting this internal demon like Don Quixote, or laying down with their arms wide open to embrace it.
From the beginning of our lives we live a fine line of reliance upon others, and reliance upon ourselves. For the first 18 years of life we rely upon our parents to provide for us, teach us, get us out of trouble, and council us when our actions result in outcomes that are both good and bad. We rely upon schools to teach us to think and learn, and we rely upon local governments to protect us from criminals and entities that would rob or harm us.
But in most older cultures there comes a certain time when society and nature expect each individual to take responsibility for themselves, and shake off the security blanket of absolute reliance upon others. In the time of Jesus that age was around 13 years, and is even symbolically represented today by the Bar Mitzvah where one of the benedictions in the ceremony is the father of the child thanking God that he is no longer responsible for raising the boy. And in many native American cultures a young man would go on a ‘Vision Quest’ to discover his totem and purpose for life going forward.
Yet ironically many in the civilized world continue to act as if responsibility is not theirs and theirs alone, and society has in fact helped to entrench this paradigm. It begins with the fact that only a small remnant create their own businesses while the vast majority put their reliance in working for others, and place their livelihoods in the hands of a boss. That reliance carries over to reliance upon governments to provide security and safety nets for when we willingly or unwillingly leave one reliance, or trade an older reliance for another. And complimentary to this, we also place our reliance upon experts to take care of our money rather than grow it ourselves, and trust in the system and government to ensure our money is cared for properly and available for us when we need it.
This is a microcosm of society today, and it is a programming that has distilled our ability to make necessary choices ourselves because fear and desire are no longer motivating factors in self-reliance since we have voluntarily given up the power of choice in exchange for reliance upon others.
In 2008, government leaders, central banks, and the mainstream media lied constantly to the American people on just how bad circumstances were in regards to debt, the housing industry, jobs, banks, and the overall economy. And even when there were signs out there such as rising defaults in the mortgage market, runs on banks such as Northern Rock in Britain, and over 1000 point drop in stock markets between October 2007 and March of 2008, people still trusted their ‘experts’ to either tell them what was happening was just an anomaly, or that in the end these same institutions would protect them from any adverse fallout. Ultimately however, all of these ‘revered’ entities failed, leaving retirees out over 40% of their nest eggs, and tens of millions out of a job, out of a home, and bankrupt.
Yet history has a way of repeating itself when people and institutions do the same things over and over and expect different results. And as we enter fully into 2016, people once again have the opportunity to break old habits and take responsibility for their futures by getting out of the system before it collapses, or doing what they did eight years ago and simply wait until those that they rely upon force them into a result they might not like.
Like in 2007-08 we have seen stock markets fall by more than 2000 points, and industries such as the oil sector replace the housing market as the current bubble. We are experiencing bank runs in Italy that mirror those done in the UK, and banks so on the verge of insolvency that central banks are calling for both negative interest rates and the elimination of cash. Yet people in the U.S. sit and do nothing, and trust that their government and financial system will stop the collapse before it happens, or be there to bail them out in the advent it does.
Making a clear cognitive choice that goes against the mainstream is not a form of panic if you do it beforehand, and with the understanding that it is the best course of action to protect your security and fears of an ‘end of the world’ scenario. But doing so as the collapse occurs where everyone else is rushing out the door is very much a form of panic as you find it hard to sell at any price, and have fewer choices of where to move your money as safe havens become filled up, or locked out.
The world’s population is at a nexus or crossroads, and what they do over the next few weeks or months will determine if they survive or thrive during the next financial collapse. For as we see above, there is only so much currency to cover the total amount of deposits held by people, and the first ones out the door will be able to get theirs. And deciding now with all the information available if you want to bet your future and wealth through reliance upon yourself or reliance upon others who’s track records are not very good, could mean the difference between prosperity and insolvency, and a future of security or poverty.