24/02/2016

Normalcy Bias - by Jeff Fitchett

Yesterday I had a number of meetings and I was asked at one point if I thought I could be wrong?  He was asking if my assessment of the world could be inaccurate.  Normalcy bias is an understandable phenomenon given that we have been taught that the official narrative presented by governments, mainstream media, influential entities and 'respected' individuals is the precise story and therefore reality. A family member that I respect immensely has said to me on multiple occasions that the uninitiated can find my confidence and views off-putting because I am so sure about my outlook and understanding of the world.  From my perspective, I analyze the global economy and financial markets using basic math and following trends.  As well, I look at the actions of the powers that be, society and different cultures and I try to make sense of the contrast between what we are being told and what is actually happening.  I use logic to evaluate information that I am presented with.

"Normalcy bias is a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster and its possible effects. This may result in situations where people fail to adequately prepare and, on a larger scale, the failure of governments to include the populace in its disaster preparationsThe assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred, it never will occur. It can result in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation." (Wikipedia)

I listen to what politicians say and I dig into their actual policies.  One of the most famous and obvious contradictions we have witnessed in modern times came from Colin Powell while he addressed the UN Security Council on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.  Listen to what he said; Colin Powell in the security council.  Now listen to Colin Powell admit that the US would not have had the 'case' or support to justify going to war in Iraq.  It was all just a facade.  Colin Powell created a picture for the masses to think about and then they subsequently supported a policy of war.  The US government tried to link Iraq to September 11th, 2001.  The population was easily manipulated into supporting a war against 'evil regimes and terrorists'.  The entire Iraq war was based on a false premise.  When you cut through all of the information you can clearly see that the powers that be wanted a war and therefore provided lies so that they got 'their war'.  Millions of lives have been destroyed in Iraq.  I'm sure that if Iraq's major resource was broccoli instead of oil there would have never been a Western military entanglement.      

We continually see policies of propaganda play out over and over again.  The message does not align with reality.  The demise of Ukraine is a more recent example.  We have been told that Russia invaded Ukraine.  We are told that Vladimir Putin is a modern day Hitler.  That 'Putin' wants to rebuild the Soviet Union and expand into Europe.  The portrayal of Russia is fiction. Throughout my entire life I have grown up being told, through most mediums, that Russia is bad.  When I listen to Vladimir Putin speak he comes across as the only rational politician  on the world stage today. His line of thinking makes sense to me. His actions align with his thoughts and communication. I bet the majority of people would dismiss my sentences about Mr. Putin being rational and making sense to me. Russia is often the enemy in Hollywood movies. Politicians are quick to remark Russia and Putin as evil. Our views are shaped by the information that is presented to us.  If you want to understand what is actually transpiring in Ukraine you should start by listening to US politicians such as Victoria Nuland.  In this clip she discusses, while at a Chevron Oil sponsored event, that the US has spent $5 billion funding 'democratic policies' within Ukraine.  Now listen to Victoria Nuland discuss, with US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, how they are shaping the political future of Ukraine.  The general public is led to believe that Russia is responsible for the chaos that has ensued within Ukraine.  The US military along with NATO are building up armaments along Russia's border and this is a direct violation of the agreement made between the Soviet Union and the USA when the cold war ended in the early 1990's. The agreement stated that the US would not take one step, militarily, east of Germany.  The risk of a military conflict between NATO members and Russia is at the worst level it has been in decades.  

Another dichotomy to ponder deals with the legal system and how the population is represented under law. Matt Taibbi's book; 'The Divide', goes into great depth describing how American laws protect the elite and persecute everyone else.  Minority populations definitely are treated the worst under US law, but overall the average person does not receive the same rights as Wall Street executives or other branches of industry. Politicians and media personalities always tout the freedoms America enjoys.  Anyone who observes reality sees that the US is a police state.  It is fairly easy to contrast propaganda with fact given the vast amount of information provided by people like Edward Snowden, Julien Assange or Chelsea Manning.  These truth tellers have shattered the masquerade.  

From an economic standpoint, the US is in an extremely precarious position.  As I stated at the beginning of this article; all it takes is for someone to use basic math skills to understand that the US economy is in free fall.  Take a look at the US debt clock to see what I am trying to convey.  President Obama leads the masses to believe that anyone who states that the US economy is in decline is "peddling fiction".  Listen to Obama speak.  During one of my meetings yesterday, as we reviewed a portfolio, my client mentioned that the US seemed to be doing ok.  I asked him; "How are they doing better?"  "What is it that leads you to believe that the US is in fact doing better?"  I asked if he thought; "Are they the best looking horse at the glue factory or the best looking house in a bad neighbourhood or is it that you have been told that there is an economic recovery?"  I could see the realization emerge by way of his body language changing and I knew that he understood that mainstream messaging had shaped his thought process. This is how normalcy biases are created. It is not his fault or the fault of the general public that they are being misled.  If a lie is told over and over again the lie eventually becomes truth in the eye of the beholder.  On May 24, 2005 George Bush stated; "See in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."   The US Bureau of Labour Statistics publishes fraudulent data.  Studying macro-economics and geopolitics is not an fun or an easy subject to understand.  It takes a lot of mental agility to make sense of the information that is presented to us.  It is quite understandable how the masses are manipulated because it has been going on for ages.  

Normalcy bias is something everyone should strive to shed as soon as possible.  We are standing on a slippery slope.  All throughout history there are examples of how societies were decimated during economic depression and times of war.  'Intellectuals' that speak truth to power are often rounded up, imprisoned and in many cases; executed.  Minority groups are always targeted by the masses.  Laws and regulations are passed that stifle any hope of improving economic conditions and reducing the potential for war.  Because the public is not aware of the true state of affairs; the public tends to fight to preserve the system that is ultimately going to destroy their way of life. We currently live in an unsustainable culture of fascism, corporatism and socialism.  What gives me hope, in all of this, is knowing that this system is so over taxed, burdened and unstable that when it does crash it will give us the opportunity to rebuild a new way of life. How we rebuild; is anyone's guess.  There are many movements and creative people who are actively thinking about and planning for a better future.  There are so many solutions that counter today's problems, but not enough people are aware of the current state of our world.  

Looking back on my life, coming out of high school and university, I see how I was indoctrinated.  Time passing has allowed me to gain some wisdom and understanding of reality.  Young people do not have enough life experience for them to be able to see through the veil and comprehend the paradigm in which we live. The old axiom; "the truth will set you free", has been paramount in my development as an individual. It is hard to put into words how much my life has changed after I became aware that our way of life is an illusion.  The perception that we have to follow a set course in life such as how we work, our day to day tasks and keeping up with the Jones' are conceptions that have been shaped into us by the powers that be.  I recognize that I have the choice and ability to live a more simple meaningful life.   Lucky for me, at age 38, I have 'seen the light' in figurative terms.  I am trying to unwind a lot of the circumstances I have found myself in.  My life, like most people, has been built with a combination of unique experiences, ideas, desires, misdirection, unfortunate events and a societal presence that has routed me along a path that is considered the 'norm'.  My efforts on a day in and day out basis are about setting myself free.  In turn, the people I care about who are closest to me have the option to travel the path with me or at least interact with a happier more free me.  

To conclude, the normalcy bias is a very powerful system that negatively impacts an individual's outlook on reality. Many people have had their lives destroyed because they did not see the warning signs of trouble ahead and were unable to take action before the crisis hit. It is a hard thing for people to accept that nothing is as it seems. It is especially difficult for older people because learning later in life that the world is not what they had thought can leave them feeling like they have been lied to their entire life.  Many older people have done well within the matrix paradigm and it is easier for them to continue on and ignore the truth.  I do not believe that most people will have the luxury of time on their side because the world is unravelling and breaking down. For those few people that go through the process of deconstructing their manufactured reality and awakening to the 'real world'; the overall outcome is life changing.  How we handle the truth can make or break a person.  I have found happiness and purpose, but I know others who are mired in grief.  I wish you all the best on your journey!

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