Marc Faber, a legend in investment circles, said in an interview that he has always underestimated the madness of crowds. In an interview he articulated his best investment call and worst bet when he predicted the demise of the dot com bubble...2 years too soon. He lost the bet but was right on the prediction. He went against the herd mentality of that delusional era, was right in his rational perceptions but none the less, because of timing, failed to profit from his wagers.
Crowds are mad. People are mad. Collective group think is almost always a form of mass delusion driven by humans innate desire for the perceived safety of numbers and their abject fear of being un-accepted by the collective. People are "borg", the mindless, selfless drones of Star Trek fame, shaped and molded into psychological copies of each other all moving in the same direction intent on "absorbing" anything different or unique into their "collective" consciousness.
You see it all the time all around you but most of you are powerless against its relentless pursuit of your independence. Radical Islam, Evangelistic Christians, Democrats and Republicans, special interest "groups" of all types and persuasions, demographic "groups", the "Pepsi", "me", "yuppie", "now" generation, nationalities, ethnic "groups", on and on...like gravity, pulling you with constant and unwavering determination to "belong", to be a cog in some machine, to "fit in" be "accepted".
"It is no measure of mental health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society"
I love this quote. It encapsulates my philosophy and empowers me to reject the "borg" mentality of my fellow human beings. I have no compelling drive to be a "born again Christian", "Muslim", "Democrat" "American citizen" "Polock" "middle aged man" or any other category that defines my identity. I reject definition. I reject being what a uniform says I am. I reject being what a "group" says I am. I reject being what commercialism, advertising, pop culture, heritage, faith, fad or fashion says I am. I don't have tattoos because they are stupid. I wear white socks because I like them. I play the bagpipes and wear a kilt because I like them. I rail against religion because they are mindless and irrational. I hate banks and wall street because they are evil. I'm indifferent towards homosexuals but I hate with a passion fat people because homosexuals, although having an appetite for kok, don't eat like pigs, hogging resources with indifferent self maximizing selfishness. I don't clap when the president speaks because he is an asshole and I wouldn't piss on the pope if he was on fire because he is a delusional psychological sheep herder of millions of delusional mindless sheep. And above all of this resides my attitude that doesn't give a flying fuck what you think of me, what you say of me, how you perceive me or whether or not you think I'm sane or insane...I know who I am, I know I'm rational and I know you are "borg" with no thoughts or insights of your own just some party line from whichever group perspective you've aligned yourself with.
Back to "economics" and "investing" the two most delusional pursuits of all...
The " borg" embraces the collective mindset of Wall Street. "Greed is good", "growth" is good, housing growth, expansion, lending, banking, jobs, money, wealth....all good. I say bullshit. Nothing is "good" or "bad" without context. without dissection, without evaluation. Nothing.
Is it "good" when it's reported that global auto sales hit a record? What of fuel usage, pollution, congestion, traffic, the suburbanization that takes place with increased mobility? Is it "good" when China reports an increase in factory output? What of poisoned rivers and dead zones in the sea, increased cancers and premature deaths? Is a million run rate in new home sales "good"? What is good about a relentless drive towards the pavement of every last acre of land from sea to shining sea? Is a million new global jobs "good"? What if they are jobs making jdam bombs, plastic flowers, sub-assemblies of gadgets that get thrown into a landfill within a year as planned and perceived obsolessence demand replacement? Where does the "quality" of life fit into this model? What is the destination as a people this model is shooting for? I say it doesn't matter to mindless madmen. I say that the "borg" collective has adopted a mentality of money equalling morality where the measure of everything is return on investment regardless of consequence and irrespective of the toll it takes on the "borgs" and my future.
It is myopic madness now marked by a singular goal in global financial circles to reanimate the corpse of lending for consumption,nurture ever expanding GDP, have more raw tonnage mined and harvested and more money created at the expense of everything and anything else. And you follow along like the automated "borg" that you are. You grasp for your share of the pie unwilling to take a stand against the madness of mobs, unable to see beyond the now, incapable of being an independent free thinking rational man even if a part of you knows the absolute folly of pursuing the unsustainable. You sit in the lifeboat making a feast out of the rations knowing full well that there will be nothing left for tomorrow and because you are within the safety of the collective and have the endorsement of the masses, nothing matters but acceptance, complacency and the will of the mad myopic mob.