Friday, June 19, 2009

Some Perspective

I was all amped up to write a few rants on the recent "finance reform" package put out by the Beltway Elites and the debt bomb being assembled on the Potomac. Then a moment of clarity hit - you know, like when you wake up missing your shirt in a city two hours away from the one you were "just having a few drinks" in the night before, only to find out it is two days later and you have no idea who that is whistling in the bathroom off of the strange and dimly let bedroom you find yourself in - you know, sort of like that.

That moment of clarity boiled down to: It just doesn't matter.

The "big picture" is already painted. The elites who think they are "leading events" and "working for the good of the people" and all that are just as caught up in this massive wave of mood change as the rest of us. All the world's a stage and we should play our parts as best we can, tending to our gardens, ready to seize the moment when fate may place us in a position to change the course of the future - whether locally or, much more rarely on a national or even international scale, by giving a shove to events in a direction that will lay a path to a more positive future.

But getting caught up in the minutiae of news and debate here in the dying sunlight of the old Great Bull Market, we should probably remember the words of another poet:

4 comments:

David said...

"tending to our gardens"

Perhaps figuratively as well as literally. I strongly recommend this essay as a philosophy more compatible with socionomics than any other.

http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/040.php

Given the axiom of unintended consequences, perhaps it is hubris & delusion to even discuss "when fate may place us in a position to change the course of the future[...]."

Believing one is in a position of such power as to redirect the river's course, even at a point where theoretically a different fork can be taken, places one in the grip of Acton's "corrupt[ed] absolutely."

Even saints turn to demons when they approach Mordor's tower.

As Prechter wrote in ATC (IIRC), the idea is to surf along the tops of the waves. I don't think he meant to alter their expression.

mercury369 said...

"All the world's a stage and we should play our parts as best we can, tending to our gardens, ready to seize the moment when fate may place us in a position to change the course of the future - whether locally or, much more rarely on a national or even international scale, by giving a shove to events in a direction that will lay a path to a more positive future."

If only the "news makers" we see in government and business had such a human and humane outlook. This is not fatalism, the red herring constantly used as an excuse to exceed the critical limits of human existence in so many ways. This is a modest--and realistic--understanding of how to manage that reality rather than struggle and drown in it.

Maybe this will help some other poor bastard who has been worried sick about the suffering to come: I finally realized all these human changes are just what Prechter was talking about as human, not individual, progress. It's got to be too hot somewhere, and too cold somewhere else, to produce conditions for wind. If I'm enjoying a perfect day, it's because someone somewhere else isn't. My individual imperative is to make sure I enjoy as many perfect days as possible. My ethical or moral imperative is to exercise the kind of personal responsibility that minimizes the effects that others may be enduring. Beyond that, IT JUST DOESN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE.

David said...

To mercury369,

The WP is a description of a natural ebb and flow in human social activity. Given this axiomatic reality, being "worried sick about the suffering to come" is a philosophical issue, akin to being worried sick about the inevitability of death.

Adherents of the WP and socionomics are best able to benefit from their unusual viewpoint only if a certain philosophical outlook is part of their approach. We much accept that many members of the herd are fated to suffer during social mood bear markets. It does not make us heartless to accept this fact, any more than we are heartless to forgo intervention when a hawk stoops toward a baby rabbit.

During GS IV we will individually be fully occupied with our own attempts to avoid joining in the suffering. Our basic obligation to our fellow men is to refrain from personally adding to their difficulties. "Men go mad in herds, and regain their senses one at a time."

Flagg707 said...

Thanks for the link David - I appreciate you sharing.

I think your summary of Prechter's view on "surfing" the waves is apt. I don't want to sound defeatist, but there is really only so much that we have control over - and knowing that is half the battle in keeping sane in times of great change