It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
And I feel fine, I feel fine…..

– R.E.M.

I was traveling to some high-end meetings in Europe – outfitted in my nice sport jacket and striding through glitzy airports. I had a nice laptop bag slung over my shoulder and was editing important papers along the way. And then…

My small-town bank’s security people saw that charges were coming in from “overseas.” (God forbid!) They cancelled my card. The human-like automaton at the railway counter looked at me like I was a terrorist and seized the card. Then I realized that I had forgotten to bring a back-up and that I didn’t have much cash. I made it to the hotel, but I was now broke. (After I had waited four or five hours for my lost luggage.)

After some very unhappy conversations, the bank Fedexed me some money, but it wouldn’t arrive till the next day. With nothing to do but wait, I followed my schedule. “What the hell,” I thought, “I can survive without eating for a day.” Then, just as I left my downtown hotel, it began pouring with rain. And, of course, I had forgotten to bring an umbrella. And, the hotel had just given out their last one. I didn’t have money for a cab. So, after some serious grumbling, I started running.

Five or six deluged blocks later, I walked into another hotel lobby to meet my associates. I looked like a soaked homeless guy with a laptop. All they could say – once they realized it was me – was, “Are you okay?”

“Boys,” I said, “once in a while everyone gets kicked in the ass. Today’s my turn. Anyone have a towel I can borrow?”

AND NOW…

It’s now clear that we’re taking new steps into a period of significant economic destruction and difficulties. Apollyon is making one of his cyclical appearances. A whole lot of us are about to have “our turn.” That’s not really important. What matters is that we make our way through it to the other side. Accept it, deal with it, and get across. Have a cry if you need one, but then get up and get back to work. Sometimes we all get kicked in the ass.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Even though we’re heading into some difficult times, I think there’s one thing a lot of us need to get out of the way first: We were right! People said insulting and hurtful things about us when we talked about fiat currencies, credit cycles and sane economic principles. (As if “Prosperity Through Ever-Increasing Debt” would actually work!) Some were bullies, some were brainwashed and some were trying to protect fragile psyches. They didn’t want to know the truth of the matter. they only wanted to shut us down. They were unkind and sometimes cruel. But we were right and they were wrong.

So, yes, we have a right to gloat a bit. But, gloating won’t pay the bills and it has a really short shelf-life. So, once we get it out of our systems, we need to let it go and deal with the current situation.

As someone who remembers that last serious recession, I can tell you that there will be suffering. Sure, we’ll all come out the other side, but crashes are not fun. So, for whatever they’re worth, here are a few things that I expect, based upon my previous visits with Apollyon. Maybe they’ll be of some use to you:

THE BORING YEARS END

A neutered “McCulture” has spread over the western world in recent decades. The music has been utterly dull (no matter the volume), movies are either senseless or predictable or both, and the news outlets all sing variations of the same song. Sure, there has been some action on the fringes, but most of it isn’t worth your time either. We have youths who think they’re rebelling with piercings and tattoos. (Oh my, how threatening to the bosses!) In other words, the western world, for a lot of years, and with almost the sole exception of the Internet, has been deathly boring.

But as safe, reliable ways of living fail, people begin to re-engage their minds. Many will be forced into adaptation, simply because the authorized way no longer works.

One way or another, more people will be thinking more thoughts than they were previously. That’s good and that’s interesting. Moreover, things that are new or different will be more accepted than they have been recently. Some of the new stuff will stink, but some will be creative and good… finally!

OPPORTUNITY

Change may bring pain, but it also brings opportunity. Once the monolithic cult of “acceptable thinking” is broken, new people with new ideas actually have a chance to operate without being attacked. When people are distracted by larger fears, they tend not to care about someone with a different outlook. When the old way fails, they’ll finally listen to your different ideas.

BAD GUYS RAMP IT UP

One final issue with rough times is that the various thugs of the world will see opportunities and will move to cash-in on them. Ah well… remain fleet of foot and stay away from big noises.

SO…

Destruction may not be our friend, but it does tend to knock the masses out of their stasis. (Often for the better, but sometimes for the worse.) So, if you end up taking a few lumps this time around, shrug it off, adapt, and look for places where a bit of cleverness can pay-off. This should be a moment where you won’t get shot down solely because your idea is different.

You can handle this. Strap on your helmet and proceed.

* Apollyon is the Greek name of The Great Destroyer. He’s one of the really scary characters in the book of Revelation.

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