Our Systemic Drift to Collapse

by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds

Thus do the lazy complacent passengers drift inexorably toward the cataracts of collapse just ahead.

The boat ride down to the waterfall of systemic collapse is not dramatic, it’s lazy drifting: a lazy complacency that doing more of what worked in the past will work again, and an equally lazy disregard for how far the system has drifted from the point when things actually worked.

In my analysis, decoherence refers to the loss of systemic coherence between narratives, values, processes and systems. Simply put, stuff no longer works and it no longer makes sense, but we’ve lost sight of this disconnect because the systemic drift has been so gradual that the memory of a time when things actually worked has been eroded to the point of total loss.

What remains is a limbic tropism to keep doing more of what’s failed spectacularly because it once worked and therefore should work. In other words, our system has lost the ability to adapt to changing circumstances; the only menu of responses to a novel challenge is the same old menu of policies designed 50 or 75 years ago.

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