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Home / Charles Hugh Smith / Once “Prosperity” Falters, the Legitimacy of the Status Quo Evaporates

Once “Prosperity” Falters, the Legitimacy of the Status Quo Evaporates

Summary:
All we're doing is waiting for the fake "prosperity" to crumble, and the resulting loss of credibility and legitimacy will follow like night follows day. The citizenry of corrupt regimes ruled by self-serving elites tolerate this oppressive misrule for one reason and only one reason: increasing prosperity,which we can define as continual improvement in material well-being and financial security. The legitimacy of every corrupt regime ruled by self-serving elites hangs on this single thread: once prosperity fades, the legitimacy of the regime evaporates, as the citizenry have no reason to tolerate their rapacious, predatory overlords. A broken, unfair system will be tolerated as long as every participant feels they're getting a few shreds of improvement. This is why there is such an

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All we're doing is waiting for the fake "prosperity" to crumble, and the resulting loss of credibility and legitimacy will follow like night follows day.
The citizenry of corrupt regimes ruled by self-serving elites tolerate this oppressive misrule for one reason and only one reason: increasing prosperity,which we can define as continual improvement in material well-being and financial security.
The legitimacy of every corrupt regime ruled by self-serving elites hangs on this single thread: once prosperity fades, the legitimacy of the regime evaporates, as the citizenry have no reason to tolerate their rapacious, predatory overlords.
A broken, unfair system will be tolerated as long as every participant feels they're getting a few shreds of improvement. This is why there is such an enormous push of propaganda touting "growth"; if the citizenry can be conned into believing that their deteriorating well-being and security are actually "prosperity," then they will continue to grant the status quo some measure of credibility and legitimacy.
When the gap between the propaganda and reality widens to the breaking point, the regime loses its credibility and legitimacy. This manifests in a number of ways:
1. Nobody believes anything the state or its agencies reports as "fact": since it misreported economic well-being and security to benefit the few at the expense of the many, why believe anything official?
2. Increased lawlessness: since the Ruling Elites get away with virtually everything, why we should we obey the laws?
3. Opting out: rather than become a target for the state's oppressive organs of security, the safer path is to opt out: quit supporting a parasitic and predatory Status Quo of corporations and the state with your labor, slip into the shadows of the economy, avoid debt like the plague, get by on a fraction of your former income.
4. Breakdown of Status Quo political parties: since all parties are bands of self-serving thieves, what's the point of even nominal membership?
5. Increasing reliance on anti-depression and anti-anxiety medications, more self-medication/drug use, and other manifestations of social stress and breakdown.
6. Those who can move away from crumbling high-tax cities, essentially giving up civic hope for fair, affordable solutions to rising inequality and social disorder.
7. Increasing defaults and bankruptcies as households and enterprises no longer see any other way out.
8. Increasing mockery of financial/corporate media parroting the propaganda that "prosperity" is real and rising-- S&P 500 hits 3,000, we're all getting better in every way, every day, etc.
Truth is the most essential form of capital, and once it has been squandered to serve insiders, vested interests and Ruling Elites, the nation is morally, spiritually, politically and financially bankrupt. All we're doing is waiting for the fake "prosperity" to crumble, and the resulting loss of credibility and legitimacy will follow like night follows day.
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Charles Hugh Smith
At readers' request, I've prepared a biography. I am not confident this is the right length or has the desired information; the whole project veers uncomfortably close to PR. On the other hand, who wants to read a boring bio? I am reminded of the "Peanuts" comic character Lucy, who once issued this terse biographical summary: "A man was born, he lived, he died." All undoubtedly true, but somewhat lacking in narrative.

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