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FTX and the Crumbling of a Consciousness
Today I posit that while fraud — as a concept and as an activity in our human family — appears more rampant than ever, it is actually disappearing. That goes for all of it’s siblings, too, like deception, dishonesty, and duplicity. Buh-bye. Indeed, the inner infrastructure we’ve had that long countenanced it all in our everyday collective consciousness — what held it, acquiesced to it, and encouraged it — is crumbling. Enough of us are simply no longer willing to abide these relics of the old consciousness. Everything means what we make it mean, beliefs matter and choices abound, and that’s what this conscious politics practitioner chooses to believe.
But come on, you say, don’t be an idiot. Fraud is being perpetrated almost everywhere we look…whether it’s crooks and liars on Twitter, Facebook and the like or the former president and his never-ending antics or that newly-elected U.S. Representative who calls himself George Santos — to name but a few glaring examples. So how can you say fraud is disappearing? It’s disappearing, I say, because when we reach for something new like, I don’t know, demanding to live in a world built on trust and transparency, anything that is not that will stand out and make itself known — and that’s what’s happening. It comes up so we can proffer our final goodbyes. Up and out. When we see it, it is up. When we no longer abide it, no longer engage it, no longer fight with or judge it, out it goes. Now, our inner infrastructure has changed.
This was the case, for example, with me and war. I used to tolerate it in a very general way as a regular, citizen-like thing. Governments big and small have defenses that are strong and weak, I reasoned, and, in the overall scheme of things, I was always quite happy to be in the big and strong category, ready for whatever comes. We’re number one and all that. I followed news and information about war, domestically and internationally, more often than I even realized. Over time, though, that changed. My beliefs changed. My consciousness changed. My inner infrastructure changed such that news and information about anything associated with war whatsoever no longer stuck to me. Not only did I stop taking it in, it showed up on my radar less and less frequently all the time. When enough of us have changed our inner war infrastructure enough, our defense department will shrink. I believe that, at this point, enough of us have changed our inner fraud infrastructure.
It only took about four years for this twenty-something CEO to go from a multitude of dishonest intentions to skyrocketing “success” in the form of billions of dollars in corporate profit and personal wealth to a spectacular fall replete with corporate bankruptcy and the fastest drop in personal wealth ever recorded in a single day.
Witness the FTX/Sam Bankman-Fried show. The cryptocurrency company filed for bankruptcy last November, its CEO (Bankman-Fried, 30) was arrested in December on eight charges including defrauding customers and regulators and was back in the news this past week. Court filings show that prosecutors in New York believe he could be tampering with witnesses while otherwise cooling his jets under house arrest on a $250 million bond at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, CA as the wheels of justice grind on. Oh to be a White, white collar criminal in America, but I digress.
One need not know anything about cryptocurrencies or the difference between FTX and FTT to appreciate that this is something more than just ye olde failed entrepreneurial endeavor. One need only look through the lens of intention to appreciate that what once flew rather readily into and flourished within our capitalist ecosystem will no longer fly and flourish. It only took about four years for this twenty-something CEO to go from a multitude of dishonest intentions to skyrocketing “success” in the form of billions of dollars in corporate profit and personal wealth to a spectacular fall replete with bankruptcy for his company and the fastest drop in personal wealth ever recorded in a single day. It’s the rapidity of that journey that convinces me that the tide has turned on fraud. The process of starting new companies in America hasn’t changed all that much (yet). Corporate governance hasn’t changed all that much (yet). Lobbying our two-party political system — which Bankman-Fried made a show of — hasn’t changed all that much (yet). What seems to have changed is our collective consciousness around fraud and fraudulent activity and behavior. One might say we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore. I’ll give you it’s a non-linear process. I’ll give you it can move at the speed of molasses in winter and, for the record, nobody said it would be smooth and orderly. Yet I implore you to consider this perspective.
To be sure, it’s a perspective that requires us to remember that it’s all happening at once — the crumbling and the imploding alongside the birthing and the rebuilding. So the concept of developing alternatives to the Big Finance juggernaut once deemed too big to fail that are, themselves, intended to be more fair and more transparent, generally aligns quite well with the new consciousness. But diving into that new world with dishonest intentions, defrauding customers, regulators, journalists, and elected officials and using force in the form of of a huge public relations machine to create a facade of wiz-bang American entrepreneurial spirit and success? Uh uh. No more. The jig is up because enough of us have changed our inner infrastructure enough that there’s just no there there. We are mad as hell and we are all connected.
As we see more and more fraud and deception and dishonesty on full display in the coming months and, maybe years, we will likely become even less and less tolerant of it. That’s part of the process. The average bear, seeing it run rampant, might throw up its paws in disgust, believe there’s nothing to be done, turn off “the news,” and do their best to avoid all of it. Conscious politics practitioners, however, might pop some popcorn and watch the planned implosion of the old consciousness. To be sure, it can be entertaining. Then again, we might choose to focus our attention upon what’s being born like banking in this country with institutions we trust and appreciate inside a system built on truth and transparency.
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ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBERS: Greetings and salutations! :) When last we met I knew I could no longer maintain the pace of devoting three days every week to produce this newsletter — to say nothing of maintaining the website and offering free monthly trainings — without benefit of compensation, growth in readership, or any reach into the mainstream. Simple facts! Since then, I have lived in 18 different places from New York to California and the project of “getting the word out” has been, let’s say, postponed. I just didn’t know I was headed for a stint of being in constant motion, but that’s what went down.
To be sure, I have missed writing this newsletter terribly. And while I cannot say with any confidence what I’ll be able to produce in the coming weeks and months, I am thrilled to be back at it however, whenever I can. I hope it’s good for you, too. —SM