February 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm #1137
ashvin post=723 wrote: RE,
Nice looking blog you have there, and your latest piece was a very good overview of how societies have evolved more complexity from surplus energy and derived money systems (although anthropological research has shown that many ancient surplus societies have maintained without internal money systems for quite some time).
Many societies, such as the Tlingit and other tribes of the Pacific Northwest worked in surplus for millenia with no money. They used Potlatch, the gift economy instead. However, such societies were all H-G based. To my knowledge, no Ag society has ever been run without using Money.
When it’s all said and done, you are correct that the EROEI from human labor will not support a complex global society such as ours or perhaps even national scales of society. However, you are really talking about a time frame that is well beyond the scope of most of our lifetimes. Human labor will provide plenty of EROEI as long as some level of fossil fuels or alternative energy production remains, as well as modern technological processes. That is especially true if the humans are used as throw-away labor dolls who are only maintained at basic sustenance levels over the course of several years, like many were in the convict leasing systems. If you have over-population and excess labor force, then it really makes no sense to not use them as slaves and work them to death during a prolonged period of contraction.
True enough, I am more concerned with very long term outcomes here. The issues raised around population overshoot bring about the possibility that this is an extinction level event, in which case slavery is a relatively moot point since all will be dead, slaves and masters alike. The debate we had over on OFW we had recently on Overshoot was a very good one, I put that one up inside the Diner also.
Anyhow, Industrialization never got rid of Slavery, it just got transformed. Here in the FSofA we are all slaves except for a few of the Elite, always have been if you are part of this system. It just was a more comfortable form of slavery for a while as Oil did the work and fed the Useless Eaters.
As societies increase in size and complexity they form up rules and hierarchies, you see this through the animal kingdom. Worker Bees, Alpha Males, blah blah. Independent folks seeking Freedom never function well in such societies, and if you go back in Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC Machine to the early days of Industrialization here, Freedom Seekers didn’t stay inside the Industrial Rat Holes, paid in Company Scrip good only until the Mine ran out, at which point you got left high and dry.
Freedom Seekers left those places and went out to the Frontier. To find their Freedom, they stole the land of others who got there before them, using the FSofA Cavalry and the disease of Smallpox to empty the land. A few others went still further out than that, and became Mountain Men. That is abotu the last time anybody could find real Freedom, you cannot even find it here on the Last Great Frontier of Alaska for the most part, at least not yet while the Park Rangers still have their Float Planes and Helicopters you cannot.
Someday though, those beasts will no longer fly, and the few folks who will remain up here and can find a way to survive will once again be Free. Truly Ash, I do not believe that time is all that far away, not so far as you might believe. I think I myself might even be alive to see the day when the Float Planes no longer fly, and the Dogsleds take over from the Snow Machines.
If you stay in the Big Shities, if you stay in the Flatlands where the Tanks can roll, its not just Slavery you face, its Conscription as well. There will never be Freedom to be found there, if you stay you will Die in Chains. You must RUN AWAY. As far and as fast as you can, and then hope you can make it through the Zero Point. I am confident some people will, and this is not going to be the Swan Song for Human Sentience on Earth. Probably not me, I’m just too old now and too soft living as I have, a child of the Age of Oil. I’m not going to leave this world in Chains though. Even if I cannot make it out there, I’ll walk out into the Bush and give myself up to the Bear or I will take that last Kayak trip out to Sea. I WILL NOT walk into the Human Waste Reprocessing Facility in San Antonio. No way, no how. I was fortunate to live as a Slave for many years with comfortable and loose fitting chains, this existence is unlikely to be possible anymore. I will not buy my ticket to the Great Beyond in chains though. I will go out as a FREE MAN, one way or the other. And God as my Witness, I will be damn sure if I have the opportunity I will take into the Great Beyond with me anyone who seeks to chain me, or those I hold dear to me. I will make them regret the day they were ever born. I GUARANTEE it.
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