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A mong the great sages of the ancient world, there once dwelt a mystic who the ancients heralded as the Мaster of Мasters, the Great-great or the Thrice-greatest Hermes Trismegistus. This man, if man indeed he was, is the author of the Corpus Hermeticum, the discoverer of alchemy, the founder of astrology, and the forebear of occult wisdom.
The Egyptians deified the Thrice-greatest as the God of wisdom Thoth, while the Greeks recognized the equivalence of Thoth and Hermes through the interpretatio graeca and worshiped them as the same deity.
Hermes’s influence on philosophy, dogma, science, mathematics, and — most importantly — our collective map of meaning, spans across two millennia and more cultures and religions than probably exist today.
Hermes matters for this story: not because his arcane teachings have anything to do with crypto or decentralized systems and protocols (he was a prophet alright, but he got nothing on Satoshi), but because one of his fundamental principles of reality — the principle of rhythm — serves as pretty good ruler for mapping out the colossal societal phase shift we’re currently facing today.
It’s time to reflect , writes Allen Farrington in rebuttal — and reflect we will. It was unfortunate, perhaps, that it took us being stranded in our homes, besieged by an invisible, undead enemy to finally question how we managed to mess this up so profusely, but at least we’re finally doing it. Rhythm compensates
The hermetic law of rhythm is the embodiment of the truth that all things rise and fall. That the pendulum swing manifests in everything, and that the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left. This principle, once you’ve witnessed it, cannot be unseen. It applies to all things, at all levels of analysis. It is almost fractal in nature, and much reminiscent of human stupidity .
Relative to whatever-dimensional axis the current cultural pendulum is swinging, one thing is obvious even to the oblivious — the pendulum has reached maximum amplitude.*
Economically, we were very late into the long-term debt cycle even before the coronavirus hit. Adding fuel to the flames, the central bank of the world’s reserve currency or the FED seems to have mistaken West Ham United’s hymn (I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles) for a viable macroprudential policy manual.
Moving past that – culturally, we’ve hardly ever been more polarized; the gap between the haves and have-nots is at an all-time high (and getting worse by the day). Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin has been quoted as saying that every society is three meals away from chaos . If there’s any truth to that, we’re coming dangerously close to finding out for sure.
Systemically we’re unstable; institutionally we’re corrupted; psychologically we’re bewildered; and royally — we seem fu doomed.
In other words, we’re long overdue for a correction, and we feel it in our gut. The law of compensation is ever in action. It’s deeply ingrained in our individual and collective subconscious. The average individual doesn’t need to understand all the intricacies of Keynesian economics to realize that “money printer go brrrr” can’t possibly be the solution to our predicament. The meme went viral for a reason: everyone knows that that’s not how anything in life works.
Now we must face the music. We can’t kick the can down the road anymore. It’s 1986 for capitalism, and we’ve got nothing ready-made to replace it. Centralization as a feature
Acclaimed journalist H. L. Mencken hit the nail on the head when he said that:
“There’s always an easy solution to every problem — neat, plausible, and wrong .”
And that’s what we’re dealing with here, let’s not pretend otherwise.
Today’s financial crisis is hardly a univariate issue. The entire multitude of events that led us to this mess is impossible to encapsulate in one text, so we will instead focus merely on one piece of the puzzle, a piece near and dear to the crypto ethos — the centralization of power, and our ongoing struggle to resist it.
In Morals and Dogma , 33rd degree Master Mason Albert Pike wrote: “as free States advance in power, there is a strong tendency toward centralization, not from deliberate evil intention, but from the course of events and the indolence of human nature.”
Pike’s got it right, but indolence is only half of the equation. The other half is our propensity to take things to the extreme. Consider, for example, the two dominant economic ideologies of the 20th century: communism and capitalism. We took both to the extreme, and in both cases we somehow ended up with more centralization on top of everything else.
Communism concentrated economic power with the government, resulting in corruption, cronyism and, eventually, tyranny. Historians may debate and disagree on what exactly went wrong, but it’s certainly no coincidence that the term ‘central’ appears repeatedly in virtually every text on the subject.
Central prisons, Central Penal Department, ...