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The Gulag of the Mind

Charles Hugh Smith
August 11th, 2019
Of Two Minds Blog
Comments (12) Read by 1,602 people

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog.

Befuddled and blind, we wander toward the cliff without even seeing it, focusing on our little screens of entertainment and self-absorption.

There are no physical barriers in the Gulag of the Mind–we imprison ourselves and love our servitude. Indeed, we fear the world outside our internalized gulag, because we’ve absorbed the narrative that the gulag is secure and permanent.

We’ve also absorbed the understanding that escape will be punished. Dissent will quickly be suppressed or vilified, and the dissenter socially and economically marginalized.

In a peculiarly human pathology, we now believe the exact opposite of reality:our abuser is our savior, we’re getting wealthier when in fact we’re getting poorer, the government will always save us, even though the government is the problem, not the solution, and we’re entitled to all sorts of good things even as the entire system clings to a veneer of normalcy that is increasingly difficult to maintain.

We dare not realize the crises we’re about to face are novel, and the thinking of the past is worse than useless, as doing more of what’s failed is about to bear real consequences that cannot be papered over.

Michael Grant described this clinging to the past in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire:

There was no room at all, in these ways of thinking, for the novel, apocalyptic situation which had now arisen, a situation which needed solutions as radical as itself. (The Status Quo) attitude is a complacent acceptance of things as they are, without a single new idea.

This acceptance was accompanied by greatly excessive optimism about the present and future. Even when the end was only sixty years away, and the Empire was already crumbling fast, Rutilius continued to address the spirit of Rome with the same supreme assurance.

This blind adherence to the ideas of the past ranks high among the principal causes of the downfall of Rome. If you were sufficiently lulled by these traditional fictions, there was no call to take any practical first-aid measures at all.

The Gulag of the Mind is constructed of both traditional fictions–that all the looming crises can be solved by repeating what worked in the past 50 years– and the new ones of virtual signaling–that publicly signaling our virtuous convictions is magically equivalent to actually solving problems, as if our problems are all nothing but a scarcity of virtuous convictions rather than real-world crises that will require immense fortitude and sacrifice to weather, much less resolve.

The Gulag of the Mind depends on technology–or more precisely, on a magical thinking faith that technology will always effortlessly save us: some new form of magic will manifest at the moment of need and we won’t have to change anything in our lifestyle or our corrupt power structure.

In the Gulag of the Mind, a perversion of justice passes for real justice: there are two sets of laws and two levels of enforcement: the wealthy and powerful escape justice while commoners are given life-crushing prison sentences for Drug Gulag offenses, and their vehicles and belongings are confiscated for being too poor to pay the state’s onerous penalties and fees.

Befuddled and blind, we wander toward the cliff without even seeing it, focusing on our little screens of entertainment and self-absorption. The bottom of the cliff beckons, and filled with the magical sense of security bestowed by the Gulag of the Mind, we imagine we can walk on air and escape unhurt.

Charles Hugh Smith is the author of Money and Work Unchained. The current conventional-wisdom view of our soon-to-be future is rose-tinted: automation will free millions of people from the drudgery of work, then by taxing the robots doing all the work, we can pay everyone Universal Basic Income (UBI), enabling a life of leisure and artistic pursuit for all. The result: A future of Universal Happiness. But is this accurate? Is this what UBI is actually capable of doing? More importantly, is this what we want? And even more importantly: will this “future” be our best future? Will it account for and manage the practicalities of work, money, and automation, given the limits of endless growth on a finite planet? Money and Work Unchained drags the now-popular concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) from the shadows of Pundit blather into a harsh, illuminating light, and in doing so presents an entirely new view of the future that upends our conventional understanding of work and money.

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Author: Charles Hugh Smith
Views: Read by 1,602 people
Date: August 11th, 2019
Website: https://www.oftwominds.com

Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

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12 Comments...

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  1. Genius says:

    Kinda like this…

    Comfortably Numb

    Pink Floyd

    Hello (hello hello), is there anybody in there?
    Just nod if you can hear me
    Is there anyone home?
    See’mon (c’mon see’mon), now
    I hear you’re feelin’ down
    Well, I can ease your pain
    Get you on your feet again
    Relax (relax relax), I need some information first
    Just the basic facts
    Can you show me where it hurts?
    There is no pain
    You are receding
    A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon
    You are only coming through in waves
    You lips move, but I can’t hear what you’re saying
    When I was a child, I had a fever
    My hands felt just like two balloons
    Now I’ve got that feeling once again
    I can’t explain, you would not understand
    This is not how I am
    I have become comfortably numb
    I have become comfortably numb
    Ok (OK OK) just a little pinprick
    There’ll be no more (scream)
    But you may feel a little sick
    Can you stand up (stand up, stand up)?
    I do believe it’s working good
    That’ll keep you going for the show
    See’mon it’s time to go
    There is no pain
    You are receding
    A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon
    You are only coming through in waves
    You lips move, but I can’t hear what you’re saying
    When I was a child, I caught a fleeting glimpse
    Out of the corner of my eye
    I turned to look but it was gone
    I cannot put my finger on it now
    The child is grown, the dream is gone
    And I have become comfortably numb

    Songwriters: David Jon Gilmour, Roger Waters

    © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC, BMG Rights Management

    For non-commercial use only.

    Data from: LyricFind

  2. Clown World says:

    Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, which caused the downfall of most of the contest winners, was ironically as dangerous as the Hunger Games.

    I think that negative people or altruists will find an outlet, no matter what you give them or where they are put.

    Make a conscious effort to do well and be happy.

  3. rellik says:

    I’ve often commented on how automation will put a lot of people out of work and nobody knows what we are going to do with them. Universal Basic Income(UBI) isn’t going to work as evidenced by the rot of our inner cites which basically has a UBI now, and high unemployment.
    It is happening and the only solutions I see being offered, more government, has never worked in all of the history of mankind.
    Additionally a lot of effort is being expended by society is in areas that are of no use to improving our situation.
    Climate change, alternative renewable energy, get rid of meat,
    et al. We can’t affect the over all climate, pollute less, yes,
    but CO2 isn’t a pollutant. Why don’t we have fusion power, that is “RENEWABLE”? That fact that I raise cattle, chickens and such on my land is not the world’s problem!
    I see no real difference between Chinese, Russian, Indian, Europeans governments, from our own Democrat run governments, in the America’s. They are all Democrat governments in the modern definition of Democrat as
    it means today.
    Until we eliminate Democrat supporters, we will
    continue to walk over the cliff.

    • Kevin2 says:

      relik

      It was “Welfare” in the 1960s, now it’s “Universal Basic Income(UBI)”. Regardless, the Biblical Phrase, “Idle time is the devils play” comes to mind. Better the CCC Camp of the Great Depression public works than paying people to do nothing. We’re going into a time where labor is becoming largely obsolete.

    • Montana Guy says:

      rellik, we despise the Democrats’ Welfare State. Yet how is any different than the Republicans’ Warfare State, Torture State, Police State, Prison State, Security State and Surveillance State? All are Big Government programs used to steal our liberties and steal the wealth of producers and transfer it to non-producers.
      Failure to understand that Republicans are an enemy of liberty is to have missed the whole lesson of America’s slide into tyranny.

  4. Old Guy says:

    Over on the Daily Stormer they have a picture of dead Epstein. However it don’t have his nose & ears. The 3ews cant have a Mossaid agent be brought too justice.

  5. jakartaman says:

    As AI and technology advances the One World Order is planning out demise. They will not need the 95% climate killers or the wasteful eaters.

    The plan is coming together rather nicely.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Decent article.
    Distraction-Deception-Disasters Real and False Flagged-Big Media mind control. These are Tools of your Beast system-AI-Robot-TechBully-“Elite”-Deep State, control freak censorship masters.

    Seems like that is what some of the present false narrative psyop is about. It is about instilling CONFUSION-Chaos-Fear into the sheep.

    Logic, Problem Solving, Critical thinking, calmness of the mind and spirit within extreme adversity, YOU being able to remaining frosty facing the chaos of combat/collapse event/emergency.
    Those are skills that you can not buy. Can not hoard. Yet those skills are what Really get you through the crucible of chaos and difficult hardships. I would also add the importance of Faith and Hope.

    Faith in Jesus Christ, and that good eventually wins over the present evil. If you don’t have faith and hope in Jesus, then many people give in to their present adverse circumstances. Those without faith, give up. Those without faith, suicide.
    What a sad waste.

    Never give up. No matter the darkness of the present. Jesus wins in the end. Battles lost don’t seem as important, as long as you log a win in the end. Jesus wins.

    Many modern young people indoctrinated in atheist transhumanism society often fold when faced with true adversity. They lack internal tools of self control/accountability to Heavenly Father.
    “Fear of the Lord God of Jesus Christ is a First Step to Knowledge.”

    Without protection of Jesus you will be a sucker, chump, victim, of deception/Lies. “If you don’t believe in something. Then you will believe anything!”

    You are living in times of Deceit Deception Lies Fear- Mind Control Chaos. We all need Jesus, so as we are not deceived by a false narrative reality.

  7. csaaphill says:

    Money? really is that all this was about?
    I hoped it would talk about the gulag of the two-party system mindset. People don’t support a third party fro they are locked in in their mindset and very similar to what I thought this was or should of been about.

    • Montana Guy says:

      csaaphill, I agree 100% that folks can’t think of solutions beyond 1 of 2 boxes that they have put themselves in. How many times have you seen both parties use a 3rd party candidate as straw man to pull votes away from the other party’s candidate. I see it as a real possibility in 2020.
      The only vote that has ever mattered in history is secession. We need a divorce.

    • Clown World says:

      Where dogs were bred, and bitches were allowed to roam between pens, some would claim the wrong puppies, resulting in fights. (I have a more-primeval understanding of this cuss word, now, that comes with bruised bones.)

      Angry geese assume possession over golf balls.

      Muggers and assailants assume turf, in open fields and public rights-of-way, and will yell you so, forcibly.

      I think that dialectics, the balance of powers, and Delphi method, etc, were intended to preoccupy the war-like kinds of people with a fool’s errand.

      My question is, what will be the great debate, the great circus distraction, if not (D)labor vs. (R)capital and wars to obtain plentiful(here) resources. Why should people with all their living needs provided be baited into existential crises, and what else motivates most people.

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