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2021: If It Wasn’t For Bad Luck, We Wouldn’t Have No Luck At All

Charles Hugh Smith
January 13th, 2021
Of Two Minds Blog
Comments (7)

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

If we have indeed begun a sustained “reversal of fortune”, it might be prudent to consider the possibility we’re only in the first inning of a sustained run of bad luck.

In our self-deluded hubris, we reckon we’ve moved beyond the influence of fortune, a.k.a. Lady Luck: our technologies are so powerful and our monetary policies so godlike that nothing as random as luck could ever crush our limitless expansion.

Thus does hubris beg for a comeuppance: the greater the hubris, the greater the reversal of fortune, the greater the confidence in our godlike powers, the greater the collapse of our prideful faith in technology and economic policies.

So we’ve enshrined our hubris-soaked happy story: the virus will naturally weaken, vaccines will conquer the Covid virus in short order, and by opening the monetary spigots and flooding the global economy with trillions in newly created currencies, we’ll unleash the greatest boom in history, because it’s so righteously “green.”

We seem to have forgotten that to elicit a laugh, tell God your plans. We confused a sustained run of good fortune with godlike powers that are impervious to mere luck.

Unfortunately for all the true believers in our vaunted technology and human agencies, luck still matters, and after 50+ years of under-appreciated, fabulously good fortune, we’re in the first at-bat of a sustained reversal of fortune, for as noted here many times, the way of the Tao is reversal: good luck doesn’t last forever, nor is it some birthright of technologically advanced civilizations.

Are we ill-prepared for seven lean years of increasingly bad luck? Absolutely. Whatever technology can’t resolve, trillions in newly issued currency will: either the magic of technology will work miracles, or the magic of limitless free money will work whatever miracles are left after technology wipes up the spot of bother.

If you wanted to script an unprecedented collapse of faith in the false gods of technology and money-printing, you’d outline exactly what transpired in 2020: a reckless dismissal of the pandemic followed by a monumental financial crash that opened the floodgates of free money, which triggered a massive “recovery” rally in risk assets, driving gamblers’ confidence to new heights of fantasy.

All hail our new secular gods, the Federal Reserve, the most powerful force in the Universe!

Then you’d release miraculous vaccines that promised a permanent resolution to the pandemic and a measured return to the carefree pre-pandemic orgy of debt-based consumption. (Never mind the doubts of some experts about the vaccine protocols: Covid-19 Vaccine Protocols Reveal That Trials Are Designed To Succeed (Forbes.com) by William A. Haseltine)

Then you’d script the opening inning of the tragi-comedy unfolding in 2021: rather than fading as so many were pleased to confidently predict, the Covid virus has made remarkable gains in function, becoming more contagious and more elusive as multiple variants emerge globally.

Rather than conquering the virus, we’re unable to even keep pace. The variant ravaging Britain was finally identified in late December, and subsequent sequencing of previously collected samples indicates that it emerged (or arrived) in September. In the meantime, this variant (and other mutations with similar characteristics) have spread around the world with business travelers, tourists, etc. One or more of these variants may reduce the efficacy of the much-hyped vaccines. It’s all in this report from the New York Times:

As Coronavirus Mutates, the World Stumbles Again to Respond (New York Times)

Everything that was supposed to work smoothly due to our oh-so-advanced technological and administrative prowess is now either in doubt or in shambles. Consider the potential for less than 95% efficacy in the vaccines due to the interactions and mutually reinforcing dynamics of 1) vaccine hesitancy in those who understand the conventional processes of testing vaccines best, i.e. healthcare professionals; 2) the potential for consequential numbers of those who receive the first shot of vaccine failing to come back for the second shot due to unpleasant experiences after the first shot or other conditions such as being overworked, evicted, etc., and 3) variants further reducing the efficacy of the vaccines in unpredictable ways.

So let’s say the efficacy drops from the promised 95% to 65%. Are you in the 2/3 camp who are protected by the vaccine from serious illness (though you may be a carrier and infect others, a possibility that was not tested by the trials protocols), or are you in the 1/3 camp who for whatever reason is no longer protected by the vaccine?

Since we’re chasing a fast-mutating virus, there may not be a fast, accurate way to identify who’s fully protected and who isn’t. Since this may be unknowable, everyone will have to continue the behavioral methods of limiting exposure and transmission of the virus. In which case the vaccines will have accomplished very little in terms of returning the world to the pre-pandemic glory days of 2019.

If we have indeed begun a sustained reversal of fortune, it might be prudent to consider the possibility we’re only in the first inning of a sustained run of back luck. We might want to consider learning a new theme song for 2021, Albert King’s Born Under a Bad Sign (composed by Booker T. Jones and William Bell): “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”

The cycles of human history are amenable to a reversal of fortune: please consider historian Peter Turchin’s three indicators of systemic disorder: check, check, and check.

Suppressing discussions about the potentially lavish banquet of consequences set by a reversal of fortune won’t actually change the outcome of the next eight innings, it will only serve to increase the odds of catastrophically consequential decisions being made by those at the top of the hubris-heap.

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    Author: Charles Hugh Smith
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    Date: January 13th, 2021
    Website: https://www.oftwominds.com

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    7 Comments...

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    1. You make your own luck.

      In the United States Abraham Lincoln acknowledged that secession might be possible through amending the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court in Texas v. White held secession could occur “through revolution, or through consent of the States.

      Speaking of Albert King and such.

      Muddy Waters red guitar should be seized from Steven Segal and returned to the African American community whereas it might be placed in a museum or whatever they choose to do with it.

      It is just this type of “operative” arrogance causing the Bad Blood.

    2. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      I do not believe that 74 million people voted for Trump any more than I believe that 78 million people voted for Biden. I am not convinced that the election was stolen either. Trump permitted all of this to happen. Trump knew all along that the machines were prone to such sabotage, and Trump knew all along that massive write in ballots made the outcome of the election prone to speculation by increasing the liklihood of massive ballat fraud, and in the true spirit of Trump, in eleventh hour madness of disliking the election results, Trump cried foul play, which he allowed to happen.

      I questioned why anyone voted for Trump in 2020 on Unz. I still have not heard a legitimate reason for voting for Trump in 2020, after the scamdemic, lockdowns, vaxxing, masking, and  banning freedom of assembly in all things except BLM. I heard reasons for not voting for Biden, and circular logic, but not a single legitimate reason for voting for Trump in 2020, because there are none! 

      This is all deep-state hocus pocus and smoke and mirrors, staged by the largest incompetency community in world history! The police state surveillance state which includes the media, universities, and medical mafia! 

      If there is any doubt in anyones mind as to the unprecedented level of incompetency and organized crime within the police state surveillance state, just take a look at what is going on in America and it will lay any doubt that you have to rest! It is simply not possible to be more incompetent and corrupt than they are! You couldn’t do it if you tried!

      The only people that are supporting Trump are in the police state surveillance state, or are beneficiaries of the bogus stock market. There is no legitimate reason for voting for Trump in 2020 after the scamdemic which benefitted the corrupt police state, surveillance state, and stock market, and nobody else, other than perhaps some paid speech propagandists, who do not even believe a word that they wrote, because they know that it’s not true!

      Andrea Iravani

      • It’s pretty simple actually. By voting Trump your voting out the other bozos if you don’t vote they win by default because they’ll assume there is no opposing force and just take it all. They were originally going to plan it to be that way but too many Trump votes surprised them so they had to do some last minute adjustments.

    3. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      I do not believe that 74 million people voted for Trump any more than I believe that 78 million people voted for Biden. I am not convinced that the election was stolen either. Trump permitted all of this to happen. Trump knew all along that the machines were prone to such sabotage, and Trump knew all along that massive write in ballots made the outcome of the election prone to speculation by increasing the liklihood of massive ballot fraud, and in the true spirit of Trump, in eleventh hour madness of disliking the election results, Trump cried foul play, which he allowed to happen.

      I questioned why anyone voted for Trump in 2020. I still have not heard a legitimate reason for voting for Trump in 2020, after the scamdemic, lockdowns, vaxxing, masking, and  banning freedom of assembly in all things except BLM. I heard reasons for not voting for Biden, and circular logic, but not a single legitimate reason for voting for Trump in 2020, because there are none! Considering that not being Biden is a legitimate reason, that qualifies everyone in the entire world, equally, except for Biden, so the liklihood of a groundswell Trump suuporters appears extremely bleak!

      This is all deep-state hocus pocus and smoke and mirrors, staged by the largest incompetency community in world history! The police state surveillance state which includes the media, universities, and medical mafia! 

      If there is any doubt in anyones mind as to the unprecedented level of incompetency and organized crime within the police state surveillance state, just take a look at what is going on in America and it will lay any doubt that you have to rest! It is simply not possible to be more incompetent and corrupt than they are! You couldn’t do it if you tried!

      The only people that are supporting Trump are in the police state surveillance state, or are beneficiaries of the bogus stock market. There is no legitimate reason for voting for Trump in 2020 after the scamdemic which benefitted the corrupt police state, surveillance state, and stock market, and nobody else, other than perhaps some paid speech propagandists, who do not even believe a word that they wrote, because they know that it’s not true!

      Andrea Iravani

    4. Confederate Bill says:

      With JB as the new prez, and the Dems. holding the majority, we are going to see a slew of new buzz words, phrases, catch words, propagandistic terms, etc. being cranked out by the establishment. New words and phrases have already cropped up. “Insurrectionist” is one of those words you rarely heard, now you hear it to describe anyone who is a conservative, or traditional, or someone who voices an opinion contrary to the establishment, especially if they are white. “White supremacist” has become another. Anyone who does not advocate for leftist causes or disagrees with prevailing social policies will be labeled as such. A “right winger” will automatically be assumed as Hitlerian and will be said to endorse violent racism, proof is not required. Being called “Nazis” has become synonymous with anyone who voices an opinion contrary to the establishment or disagrees with PC culture. One that is being heard more is “soulless”, used to describe well educated whites or whites from wealthy families, this term is to be applied specifically to whites. And of course “white privilege” applies to anyone who is white, regardless of circumstances.
      All these terms are to also apply to those who believe in personal freedoms and individualism, and those who promote personal responsibility. There are many more to come, these propagandistic terms are meant to control behavior, and what people say and think.
      Furthermore, all these new terms are not heard only in the public square. No doubt new terms and words are being formulated to be used specifically in the class room to inculcate students.
      New words, etc. will be designed to be related regardless of application, to generally describe Trump supporters, all those who Hillary described as deplorable, or as the new prez described as dregs of society, and like others (so much for the “unity and healing” they profess to desire).
      I must add that the most despised, most demeaned, most reviled group of people in America are not illegal immigrants, they are not blacks or any minority, not homosexuals, and not Muslims, etc. The group that is the most hated by far are traditional straight white Southern Christian males, we are at the apex of hatred. We are always depicted as illiterate, inbred, and hopelessly racist. Hatred for us is officially sanctioned.

    5. Anonymous says:

      Both BLM and OMLM (Orange Man’s Lives Matter) are pursuing false gods in their beliefs.

      Yes, the Orange man and his family are nothing but a bunch of grifters. They have used the office of the president to enrich themselves. Trump himself raised more than 300 million to go toward expenses to fight the so-called “fake” election. But if you got the fund raising e-mail and read the fine print, it said that these funds could be used for other purposes including personal use. The election fight is over and the money you gave to the “legal fund” is now his personal fund. Sad.

      Notice that he dropped his support of OMLM as soon as the Congress and Pence approved the electoral votes on Jan 6. He dropped you guys like a hot potato. Sad. Yet you still support him. Sadder still. He did nothing for the common man. He is a con man and always has been.

      Time for the Grifter-in-Chief to back the U-Haul up to the White House and load up Melania’s spike heels and head to Mar a Lago to soak up the sun. The next grifter family is moving in. Sad.

    6. It’s time to get your shit ready to go on the run in the woods. They are coming for us. By the end of the year roadblocks will be in a lot of places except rural areas outside of major towns and cities. There you will have to fend for yourself due to no law enforcement as nobody will want to serve the UN in more rural spots.

      The only real urban area here in Oregon is Portland. 80 percent of our state is largely rural even immediately outside of Portland you get away from the ‘tent’ city.