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Kunstler: When Giants Fall


It was only a few decades ago that Walmart entered the pantheon of American icons, joining motherhood, apple pie, and baseball on the highest tier of the alter. The people were entranced by this behemoth cornucopia of unbelievably cheap stuff packaged in gargantuan quantities. It was something like their participation trophy for the sheer luck of being born in this exceptional land, or having valiantly clawed their way in from wretched places near and far ­— where, increasingly, the mighty stream of magically cheap stuff was manufactured.

The evolving psychology of Walmart-ism had a strangely self-destructive aura about it. Like cargo cultists waiting on a jungle mountaintop, small town Americans prayed and importuned the gods of commerce to bring them a Walmart. Historians of the future, pan-frying ‘possum cutlets over their campfires, will marvel at the potency of their ancestors’ prayers. Every little burg in the USA eventually saw a Walmart UFO land in the cornfield or cow-pasture on the edge of town. Like the space invaders of sci-fi filmdom, Walmart quickly killed off everything else of economic worth around it, and eventually the towns themselves. And that was where things stood as the long emergency commenced in the winter of early 2020, along with the Covid-19 corona virus riding shotgun on the hearse-wagon it rolled in on.

We’re in a liminal, transitional moment of history, like beach-goers gawking at the glassy-green curve of a great wave in the throes of breaking. Such mesmerizing beauty! Alas, most people can’t surf. It looks easy on TV, but you’d be surprised at the conditioning it takes, and Americans are way, way out of condition. (All those tattoos don’t give you an ounce of extra mojo.) And so, in this liminal moment, the people still trudge dutifully to the Walmarts with their dwindling reserves of cash money to get stuff, going through all the devotions that we took for granted before the wave welled up and threatened to break over us.

Which is happening. Despite all the fake-heroic blather from the Federal Reserve, from Nancy Pelosi, from Mr. Trump and Mr. Mnuchin ­— from everybody in charge, to be really fair ­— and in the immortal words of another recent president — this sucker is going down. Specifically, what’s going down is the aggregate of transactions we call “the economy.” Meanwhile, the people in charge struggle to prop up the mere financial indexes that supposedly represent economic activity, but more and more just look like a shadow play on the wall of some special slum where the street-corner economists peddle their crack. Eventually, the people don’t even have money for the crack, and to make matters worse, whatever money actually remains on the street is worthless.

The wave is breaking now, and a lot of things will be smashed under it — are getting smashed as you read. As in any extinction event, it will be the smaller organisms that survive and eventually thrive and that’s how it will go in the next edition of America, whether we remain states united or find ourselves organized differently. Accordingly, the giants must fall. When the communities of America rebuild, it will be the thousands of small activities that matter, because they will entail the rebuilding of social capital as well as exchanges that amount to business. Social capital is exactly what Walmart and things like it killed in every community from sea to shining sea. People stopped doing business with their neighbors. It took a cataclysm for them to finally notice

If you think Walmart will survive the same cataclysm that’s killing chain-store retail generally, you’re going to be disappointed. Everything about it is over and done, including the Happy Motoring adjunct that allowed the cargo-cultists to haul their booty those many miles home. (And, ironically, it wasn’t the oil issue that determined this, but the end of the financing system that allowed Americans to buy their cars on installment loans, when it ran out of credit-worthy borrowers.) Amazon will be the last giant standing perhaps, but it will go down, too, eventually, on its ridiculous business model, which depends utterly on a doomed trucking system. It will be like the last dinosaur roaring at the dimming sun — while the little proto-mammals skitter to their hidey-holes beneath it.

One thing remains constant: human beings are very adept and resourceful at supplying each other’s needs, which is what business amounts to. Young people, freed from the fate of becoming serfs to corporate giants, can start right now at least imagining what they can do to be useful others in exchange for a livelihood. The earnest and energetic will find a way to do that at a scale that makes sense when a new order emerges from the wreckage. After a while, it won’t matter much what any government thinks about it, either. Like all the other giants, it will fall, too.


66 Comments on "Kunstler: When Giants Fall"

  1. Chelsea Clinton ( Clinton III ) on Sat, 23rd May 2020 11:09 am 

    Its ok, over time we can evolve like Kevin Costner in water world.

    We will have gills and adapted cardiovascular systems to process CO2 and wear more floral over the shoulder numbers to deal with the heat darling!

  2. Condoleeza Rice n beenz on Sat, 23rd May 2020 11:14 am 

    Lord master Clinton challenges the orange clan of Trump to a duel.
    This will take the form of a deep fried chicken and Coke drinking contest.

    The survivor is the new glorious leader of the free worlds and the looser gets Puerto Rico!

  3. Duncan Idaho on Sat, 23rd May 2020 11:36 am 

    CDC Issues Alarming Triple-Fatality Report On COVID-19 Cases At Arkansas Church

    I have no issues with open church services.
    Simply a way of culling the herd of bad genes.

  4. Duncan Idaho on Sat, 23rd May 2020 12:04 pm 

    Cigarette smoke exposure and inflammatory signaling increase the expression of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 in the respiratory tract

    Not good news for our Repug Friends.
    Smoking is a class issue–and Repugs are more at risk.

  5. IHate JuanP on Sat, 23rd May 2020 12:09 pm 

    These are mindless juanPee socks:

    Chelsea Clinton ( Clinton III ) said Its ok, over time we can evolve like Kevin Costne…

    Kermit the Frog said The second wave of explosive wet farts have hit!,…

  6. Sock Buster on Sat, 23rd May 2020 12:10 pm 

    This is a mindless juanPee sock:

    Condoleeza Rice n beenz said Lord master Clinton challenges the orange clan of…

  7. JuanP on Sat, 23rd May 2020 12:40 pm 

    End odd Ramadan day 30
    168 boom
    709 went to see Muhammad the pedifiler

    Careful out there end of Ramadan is most dangerous muzz earn extra credits

  8. IHate JuanP on Sat, 23rd May 2020 1:51 pm 

    JuanP on Sat, 23rd May 2020 12:40 pm

  9. These are Lunatic Davy Socks on Sat, 23rd May 2020 1:52 pm 

    IHate JuanP on Sat, 23rd May 2020 12:09 pm

    Sock Buster on Sat, 23rd May 2020 12:10 pm

    JuanP on Sat, 23rd May 2020 12:40 pm

  10. Another Lunatic Davy Sock on Sat, 23rd May 2020 1:53 pm 

    IHate JuanP on Sat, 23rd May 2020 1:51 pm

  11. Duncan Idaho on Sat, 23rd May 2020 4:49 pm 

    “The State is the curse of the individual. . . The State must go! That will be a revolution which will find me on its side. Undermine the idea of the State, set up in its place spontaneous action, & the idea that spiritual relationship is the only thing that makes for unity, & you will start the elements of a liberty which will be something worth possessing.”
    –Henrik Ibsen

  12. Abraham van Helsing on Sun, 24th May 2020 6:48 am 

    Michael Moore still worried that “2nd amendment people” could win again:

    “Liberals get scared easy”.
    “Trump could postpone the election”

  13. Abraham van Helsing on Sun, 24th May 2020 3:40 pm 

    The defeat of the WASP:

    “Kevin MacDonald: Puritan Individualism To Anglo-Saxon Hegemony To Jewish Infiltration – 6“

  14. Abraham van Helsing on Mon, 25th May 2020 2:15 am 

    Essen-Germany, end of Ramadan, last week:

    The Imam howls his prayers through a (very) loudspeaker as of 4:30.

    Social distancing for Muslims in Germany:

    The answer:

    Amazone Tatjana Festerling and her Bulgarian buddies at the Bulgarian-Turkish border.

  15. Abraham van Helsing on Mon, 25th May 2020 3:47 pm 

    Karachi plane crash possibly caused by pilot FORGETTING to put wheels down:

    “Did pilots FORGET to put wheels down on doomed PIA 8303? Airbus performed a belly landing and took off again before crashing on second attempt killing 97 people onboard“

  16. Duncan Idaho on Mon, 25th May 2020 5:05 pm 

    98,034 deaths
    Soon about twice the causalities of the Vietnam War for the US.
    That took 5+ years.
    This took 5 months.

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