Save The World By First Saving Yourself
Save The World By First Saving Yourself by Chris Martenson for Peak Prosperity
We each have a role to play in how the world recovers from the coming crisis
Ripped from today’s headlines:
- Negative Interest Rates Are Coming And They Are Downright Terrifying (Yahoo! Finance)
- Earth’s Lungs Are Burning: Amazon Rainforest Which Contributes 20% Of Planet’s Oxygen Is On Fire
- What’s in our water? Report warns of growing ‘invisible’ crisis of pollution (The Guardian)
- Plants are going extinct up to 350 times faster than the historical norm
From news reports like these, it’s understandable to think that our future looks bleak.
At this point we can only ride out the consequences as the systems we depend on collapse and then ebb away — exposing that the structure of our modern way of life is really a just an edifice built of sand.
That may be true. But not necessarily.
I’m here with some good news today. There remains a multitude of options that each of us can and should do to prepare for what lies ahead. And in so doing, we can help to avert the worst of it, as well.
But only if enough of us try. Critical mass is key here.
Yes, the world is busy collapsing around us. That’s true.
But collapse is a process, not an event. It can be ameliorated and even reversed, depending on the actions we decide to take from here.
And there’s still time left to change our fate. Not much, mind you. But enough to matter.
The good news is that more and more people are heeding the call and taking action. The bad news is that too many still aren’t.
And the worse news is that the many entrenched powers of the status quo are working against our future best interests, as they desperately cling to old notions of advantage, wealth, and privilege.
Privately, many of the wealthiest and most politically powerful people are as worried as you and I about what’s coming. I can tell you from my personal interactions with them that many of the elite are preparing for crisis, building resilient “bug out” retreats and other safeguards.
Don’t Rely On The Herd
Our model at Peak Prosperity remains: Learn, Decide, Act.
It all begins with educating ourselves about the (complex) systems in play and the forces driving where developments are headed.
From there, we ask that you trust yourself. This is especially important because, as social creatures, we are most comfortable moving where the herd is already moving. But by its nature, the herd (i.e., majority) is often behind the curve.
It takes time for privately-held but critically-important information to become acknowledged and accepted by the herd. Which is why so many of the masses become unsuspecting collateral damage when crisis hits. Since they aren’t privy to the early warnings, which are usually only noticed and appreciated by a proactive minority, they are caught by surprise.
And for many, even if they’re made aware of privately-held information, they still won’t depart from the false comfort of the herd. This explains the mysterious “bystander phenomenon” where people fail to come to the aid of a victim in distress if they don’t see other people reacting, too.
We all have the wired tendency to wait until others are moving before we move, too. Take a crowded theater, where a fire breaks out and smoke starts to billow into the space. A few people first take notice and begin to move to the exits. Then a few more. But at some point, the idea of a fire becomes ‘common knowledge’, when everyone believes everyone else agrees the theatre is on fire. Then bedlam and chaos break out.
As we wrote at length in this recent report, it’s really important to understand the importance and power of this tipping point, when previously privately-held ideas suddenly become common knowledge. Because that’s the moment where the status quo quickly morphs into something new, usually catching the herd completely flat-footed.
As I launched our Crash Course video series back in 2008, I implored people to trust themselves on a whole host of economic and financial indicators that were flashing red. We’re trained to trust authorities who sometimes don’t have our best interests in mind and who sometimes are even more clueless than average and really have no good answers, or even harmful ones.
I wanted folks to look at the data and decide for themselves whether the official narrative of “there’s nothing to worry about” truly made sense. Just a few weeks after I published the final chapter of the series, the Great Financial Crisis erupted and oil shot above $100/barrel for the next several years — and the rest, as they say, is history.
I wrote in 2009:
The key to navigating during moments when the dominant story is ‘wrong’ is to consciously block out the ‘programming’ that is constantly reinforcing the status quo and to examine each assertion made by authorities (and by advertising and journalists, and any and all experts, myself included) as though it were possibly a live hand grenade.
While you may ultimately end up agreeing with the assertion or claim, your first instinct should be one of suspicion. Often my first clue that I need to do more research into a particular assertion is simply a gut feeling that “something is not right here.” Even when I cannot quite articulate why, and maybe have almost zero hard data on the matter, I have learned to trust my instincts for when a story just doesn’t add up.
This principle can be applied to the Bernie Madoff swindle. Many investors have recently described that they had suspicions and concerns over the years about the steadiness of Bernie’s investment returns. Yet they kept their money with him. If they had simply trusted themselves and decided to move their money to an institution where they did not have these gut-level concerns, they’d be in infinitely better shape right now.
The benefits of trusting yourself, and applying your private knowledge, can be huge. The Bernie Madoff case illustrates this perfectly.
Lots of people had their private concerns, but since ‘nobody else’ seemed to notice or care, they did nothing. It was only once it all became “common knowledge” that the whole Madoff swindle broke into a shocking, wealth destroying scandal.
To avoid this fate, a key success strategy we can practice is to ‘trust ourselves’. Trust that our private knowledge is sufficient, and be confident that, eventually, the common knowledge crowd will catch up to us.
So what matters most is that we Act in advance of crisis. Especially, when those around us aren’t.
What I most want you to do, is to act on what you know. Because it’s time. Because you already know just how screwed up the systems are. Because your trust in the collective political and corporate leadership to act responsibly has eroded. Because you just know it in your gut.
It Takes Effort
Once the ball gets rolling, and more of the above concerns move from private to common knowledge, you should expect the pace of developments speed up quickly.
It’s like how Hemmingway answered the question “How did you go bankrupt?”. Gradually then suddenly.
So my question to you is, how many of these things are you holding right now as private knowledge?
- The US justice system is corrupt and favors the wealthy
- US financial markets are rigged and unfair
- Our food system is, by and large, selling us toxic junk
- Chemicals, such as neonicotinoids, are not fully tested before their deployment and are more harmful to our ecosystems than publicly admitted
- Pharmaceutical companies often hide test results from the public that would reveal their drugs are less effective than advertised and have far riskier side effects
- We should be a hell of a lot more concerned about the massive die-offs in animal, insect and marine life.
- Weather patterns are become more extreme at a faster rate. Drought, heat, fires, hurricanes, and floods are happening with greater frequency and intensity than experienced in the past century.
- The US political and military systems are not concerned about human rights or democracy. Instead, the US operates more as a modern version of the British empire, whose Redcoats mainly protected trade and other mercantile interests.
I’ll wager few, if any, of these feel untrue to you.
I think part of the reason that such damaging revelations still remain as private knowledge is because moving them into common knowledge requires the destruction of closely-held belief systems. It takes time, mental effort and emotional strain to admit to ourselves that those in charge of society may actually not have our interests at heart.
Again, nature has provided strong protections to maintaining existing belief systems. Maybe it’s just too hard or expensive to alter them?
Whatever the reason, the more central the belief system, the more tightly we cling to it.
Some of the most tightly-held beliefs being:
- Faith in authority
- A belief in the fundamental goodness of people
- Believing that your country is both moral and good
- Bedrock knowledge that the justice system is blind and fair
- A belief that nature will always bounce back
It’s far easier to live day to day walking around believing the above are true. A thousand times easier than giving them up.
To lose faith in these beliefs means squinting at every package label of food, wondering what hidden toxins might be lurking within.
It means questioning every news release. Take the recent coverage of the Epstein “suicide” (in quotes because it has been reported that after allegedly leaning forward onto paper-thin bedding to strangle himself ‘multiple bones in his neck were broken, among which was the hyoid’ … yeah, right, got it…ummmm…wait…back up… multiple bones?)
It means Googling your medical symptoms because you don’t fully trust in the treatment plan and prescriptions your health insurer is willing to cover.
I get it. All this work is definitely not as easy as trusting in the basic systems that govern and support our lives.
But the biggest fallacy of them all, the biggest belief system that is increasingly under attack in both private and common knowledge, is the idea that perpetual exponential economic growth is good, let alone possible.
Those like us at Peak Prosperity are unsettled with our private understanding that it isn’t. The public is catching on, albeit very slowly. While the keepers of the system remain busy deflecting attention and delaying the inevitable.
But it won’t matter. Eventually the reality catches up. Private knowledge becomes common knowledge and then everything changes very suddenly.
All of which brings me to my conclusions: Think for yourself. Make up your own mind. Be secure in your ability to think for yourself. And act now, before things get materially worse and your options become much more limited.
Which leads to my motto: I’d rather be a year early than a day late.
Tomorrow Needs Heroes Like You
You already know that it’s time to prepare for whatever is coming. None of us knows exactly how and when it will manifest, but our Spidey Senses are tingling loudly at this point.
We see the building tension in the mass Yellow Vest restiveness across France. And in the millions of protestors in Hong Kong.
It’s in the quickening breakdown of political goodwill between nations. It’s in the trade disputes. And in every tweet and headline desperately floated out there to divert the public’s attention from the problems we face.
It’s in the sudden appearance of $16.5 trillion of negative yielding debt and the many companies that make no profit but are apparently worth tens of $billions of dollars each.
All of which signals: It’s time. Time to act before the system falls apart.
Change is happening. Abrupt departures from the script are already occurring.
Which is why I implore you to see to your own provisions now, and to take the necessary steps to align your personal actions with your private knowledge.
Specifically, we have and continue to encourage folks to:
Step 1: Make sure your wealth is safely managed by prudent professionals or is entirely out of the markets. Our endorsed financial advisor uses a variety of hedging techniques to manage risk on existing positions to both limit downside as well as generate some additional returns.
Step 2: Have at least 3 months in physical cash on hand, and out of the banking system, for immediate access during an unexpected emergency. Beyond that, consider holding any remaining cash you have ‘in the system’ inside the US government’s TreasuryDirect program, where it will earn a higher return with greater safety vs being in a bank. Read our primer on how to use TreasuryDirect.
Step 3: Have a ‘crisis stash’ of physical gold and silver stored somewhere safe where you can get to it yourself, possibly quickly. Read our free primer on how to purchase and store precious metals.
Step 4: Get prepared. Be sure to have all the emergency basics safely stored and readily accessible. Food, water, personal protection, medical supplies, etc. This is smart preparation against any kind of unexpected crisis — be it a natural disaster, a painful economic downturn, social unrest, or something even worse. But it also to give you the peace of mind that will free you up for step 5.
Step 5: Be positioned to help those less prepared than you. Review our detailed What Should I Do? Guide, which is full of steps to take to get yourself well-prepared in advance for what’s coming. The most likely outcome of all this, probability-wise is a grinding decline that causes people to lose jobs and hope. Your role, as one who prepared in advance and hopefully still thriving, will be to offer as much support as you can to the masses who were caught unawares.
…and the above are just the absolute basics. We get into MUCH more detail on the wide range of steps you can (and should!) take to live with greater resilience in your life at the PeakProsperity.com website and in our book, Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting. You should start reading both
These are all reflections of the idea that the current way of doing things cannot last. It’s no longer a good strategy to assume that they will.
It really all boils down to this: To save the world you first need to save yourself.
But first you have to trust yourself enough to act on your own. You may be the first among your friends and neighbors, or one of the final early movers within your community who shakes the herd of out its complacency to bolt for the exit.
In Part 2: Becoming Tomorrow’s Hero, we provide specific guidance on additional critical steps every one of us should take to bolster our (and our community’s) ability to persevere through the challenging times ahead.
Act now to get yourself safely and smartly positioned. Inspire as many others as possible to follow your model. And perhaps, together, we just might be able to save this world.