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  • in reply to: Collapse Is Humanity Adapting To Its Own Presence #5110

    Fantastic post.

    My post on here from about a year ago.

    “Now the world system is in a structural/systemic crises, in its final stage, once more -we are approaching a transition akin to that of the neolithic/industrial revolutions and eventually a new system will arise. A new world order. This time around things will happen much much faster. It took the neolithic revolution several thousand years to take over the globe, the industrial revolution took just a few hundred and this next one will take just a few decades. Speed of information transfer is the key to rates of change. History seems to actually moves faster, in a kind of telescoping nature for epochal change. Most of us will get to witness the destruction of this old world system and the birth of a new in our lifetime.

    The question is what is next? “

    in reply to: Permanent Growth = Permanent Crisis #4986

    “This is why socialism, or spreading the A.D. around more fairly, is not an adequate response to capitalism”

    He obviously has an “American” definition of socialism.

    “no growth, and not profit-oriented”

    Well, gee, if it is not individual profit oriented, one would assume that it might be more – oh, I don’t know, social or community oriented.

    in reply to: LIBOR, Lies and Derivatives #4969


    So, where is the scandal? Both practices – manipulating LIBOR rates and transferring money to tax havens – are absolutely normal practices in a capitalist world-economy. The object of capitalism is after all the accumulation of capital – the more the better. A capitalist who doesn’t maximize revenue, one way or the other, will sooner or later be eliminated from the game.

    The role of the states has never been to control or limit these practices, but to wink at them for as long as they can. Every once in a while, the practices – of the capitalists and of the states – gets momentarily exposed. A few people go to jail, or are forced to return the technically illegal profits. And politicians talk of reform – seeking to adopt with great fanfare the lowest level of “reform” they can get away with.

    But this is not a scandal, because what is called “scandal” is in fact the heart of the system. Will this ever change? Yes, of course. One day the system will be no more. Of course that opens another question. Will the successor system be better? It’s possible, but far from certain.

    In the meantime, to call the LIBOR manipulations a scandal is to draw our attention away from the fact that it is simply one more normal way of accumulating capital. In 1992, James Carville, campaign strategist for Bill Clinton, then running for U.S. president, famously said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Faced with the so-called scandals, we ought to be saying, “It’s the system, stupid.”

    Copyright by Immanuel Wallerstein, distributed by Agence Global. For rights and permissions, including

    in reply to: This Is Not America #4286

    Reverse Engineer post=3908 wrote: [quote=SecularAnimist post=3896][quote=Reverse Engineer post=3887]

    No, the problem with homo sapiens has nothing to do with our “nature”, intelligence or lack thereof.

    While I agree that a large part of our problem is Greed and a lack of Stewardship of Mother Earth, the fact is that Exponential Growth of the population is the result of conquest over Disease and Industrial Ag processes which produce copious amounts of food from Oil. Both the conquest over microorganism predators and the food apparatus are the results of Human Intelligence and Ingenuity.

    Aynhow, if you would flesh this post and your perspective out a bit more, I think it would make a good Feature Article on the Diner Blog.


    I agree that fossil fuel/big ag profit terror complex is a problem(which is also connected to petrochemical and the MIC. It’s all just a big fucking unnecessary waste machine that needs to be dismantled asap) but not because it was so good at making lots of food. It’s a hugely wasteful and environmental nightmare. The GR(green revolution) did not cause population to explode – though it did support it, which is not saying much except that it is what was the most profitable and pushed by money power(hey, they had all this oil and nothing to do with it). There was a huge corporate propaganda push by the west at the time saying “look how ingenious we are – we are saving the world”. A lot of the peak oil crowd, IMO, misses the points that 1: The GR was a response to the population explosion, not cause. This is malthusian thinking that if you add food humans reproduce. The richest nations with the most food are reproducing the least and the poorest and doing the most. So the opposite is happening 2: That human population would grow exponentially forever if there were no physical restraints. It’s pretty clear from modern population demographics that we are going to peak at about 9 billion and decline. Interestingly and pleasingly, as time marches on and the data comes in, the estimates are getting lower and lower all the time. Back in the 70s when the population bomb was written it looked like we are going to go over 15-16 billion, but as time moved on people started changing their behavior

    Conquest over disease by understanding basic sanitation was the major causal mechanism of the population explosion of the 19th and 20th century – not oil and big ag. And the west’s population growth rate started decelerating in the 60s, just when oil use really started to get going with the wide spread use of cars. Now, much of the west is starting to go negative and most of the rest of the world is following the growth rate deceleration tract, except africa(which really does not matter because sub saharan africans have a tiny tiny ecological foot print compared to the world.) Really you or I are like a village of africans footprint wise. Also, some NGOs are doing some very good work with them. Some real success stories.

    I’m what you would call a cultural doomer but humanity optimist;) Hell, it was the only way I could snap out of my nihilistic fatalism. Regardless, I’ve spent some time researching population demographics in relation to resource depletion and environmental degradation. I think a lot of the doomer crowd gets it wrong on human behavior which is where I part ways. Not the data, the data is clear – global civilization, as it is configured, is a virtual doomsday machine and it is the utmost urgency that we turn it around. I agree with Immanuel Wallerstein, creator of “world systems theory” that a better world is possible barring runaway climate change, mass pandemic or nuclear war. Though, there is a lot of chaos coming until the system becomes completely dysfunctional and social forces overthrow it, one way or another.“Modern capitalism has reached the end of its rope. It cannot survive as a system,” Wallerstein said. “And what we are seeing is the structural crisis of the system. The structural crisis goes on for a long time. It really started more or less in the 1970s and will go on for another 20, 30, 40 years. It is not a crisis of a year or of a short moment, it is the major structural unfolding of a system. And we are in transition to another system and, in fact, the real political struggle that is going on in the world that most people refuse to recognize is not about capitalism – should we have or should we not have it – but about what should replace it.”

    the interesting part is we all get to take part in pushing the world in one direction or another. A new world order is coming, that is inevitable.

    Wallerstein again:

    What happens in a bifurcation is that at some point, the thing tilts and we get into a new, relatively stable situation – the crisis is over, we are in a new system.”

    “I sometimes say this is the historicization of the old Greek philosophical distinction between determinism and free will,” he went on. “When the system is relatively stable, it is relatively determined as a system in which we have relatively limited free play. But when it is unstable, when it is going into structural crisis, free will comes into the picture. That is to say, our actions really matter in a way that they did not for 500 years.”

    in reply to: This Is Not America #4254

    Reverse Engineer post=3883 wrote:

    This isn’t America? I disagree. From the day the FSofA was founded and Alexander Hamilton sold out to the European Banksters, Amerika has always been about THEFT. Theft from the natives who got here first, theft by the military Smedley Butler wrote about, theft by the robber barons who built the Railroads and Standard Oil. The only problem now is there is nothing left to steal.


    Eh, there is always somebody to sell out to in a money/property acquisition system. The current government can never get it right because it has never been a government for the people regardless of what we are taught in school. the weathly appropritate the work of the poor and the state is in the business of keeping the, as james madison put it, the “leveling impulses”of the faceless masses at bay. In modern liberal societies, the rich are pitted against the poor, gaining their wealth by appropriating the work of others; the government is in “business” to protect the ruling class and enforce and propegate this capitalist game.

    Joe Bageant””In the historical view, cultural ignorance is more than the absence of knowledge. It is also the result of long term cultural and political struggle. Since the industrial revolution, the struggle has been between capital and workers. Capital won in America and spread its successful tactics worldwide. Now we watch global capitalism wreck the world and attempt to stay ahead of that wreckage clutching its profits. A subservient world kneels before it, praying that planet destroying jobs will fall their way. Will unrestrained global capitalism, with all the power and momentum on its side and motivated purely by machinelike harvesting of profits, reduce the faceless masses in its path to slavery? Does a duck shit in a pond?

    Meanwhile, here we are, American riders on the short bus, barreling into the Grand Canyon. With typical American gunpoint optimism, we’ve convinced ourselves we’re in an airplane. A few smarter kids in the back whisper about hijacking and turning the bus around. But the security cop riding shotgun just strokes his taser and smiles””

    Adam Smith”Whenever there is great property, there is great inequality. For one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the rich supposes the indigence of the many, who are often driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions. … Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”

    Joe Bageant again just because he is awesome:””It is a form of cultural ignorance to believe that at some point or other, we were more in charge and that our government was somehow more transparent in the past. Societies declining into obsolescence understandably resist looking forward, and hang onto their past mythologies.

    “Once unencumbered by self-induced and manufactured cultural ignorance, it becomes clear that politics worldwide is entirely about money, power and national mythology, with or without some degree of human rights. America still has all of the above to one degree or another. Yet for all practical purposes, such as advancing the freedom and the well being of its own people, the American republic has collapsed. “”

    in reply to: This Is Not America #4253

    Reverse Engineer post=3887 wrote:

    The problem for Homo Sapiens is that we were simply TOO SMART and too successful wiping out anything that predates on us, including many microorganisms.

    No, the problem with homo sapiens has nothing to do with our “nature”, intelligence or lack thereof. The native americans”and other indigenous were very aware of not degrading the earth. Not that they did not do it at times, but it was part of their philosophies and it was well understood. Modern industrial societies have no such concepts – its actually frowned upon to bring up, why? Because it would fuck up the economy! See Bolivias new constitution for an example of institutionalizing this concept, which was integrated from indeginous philosophy

    To the Cree, and most Native North Americans, greed was a serious psychological malfunction. The Cree called it Wetiko.
    “”””Forbes writes, “The overriding characteristic of the wetiko is that he consumes other human beings, that is, he is a predator and a cannibal. This is the central essence of the disease.”[ix] Predators, ‘full-blown’ wetikos are not in touch with their own humanity, and therefore can’t see the humanity in others. Instead, they relate to others either as potential prey or as a threat to their dominance. As if a different breed who is more animal-like predator than ordinary human being, someone fully taken over by the wetiko psychosis consumes others lives, physically, emotionally, psychically and meta-physically, beyond just the material body and physical possessions to the level of meaning itself””””

    The problem with the inhabitants of industrial capitalism is a soul sickness. Individual “profit”over social need is essentially a gun to the head of humanity. Which is another product of the neoclassical anglo saxon mind that we have been spreading around the world for the past 500 years. That this individual profit acquisition is good for the whole – what a load of shit. We’ve kind of socially regressed since agriculture.

    Cognative illusion is another interesting concept. Which is essentially a mental blindspot. We seem to have cultural cognative illusion. This is embedded in our economics – massive blind spots. To acknolwedge the blind spots would destroy it. live in a world where a constellation of cognitive illusions – that infinite growth can be sustained on a finite planet, that consumerism can make us happy, that corporations are persons – are dragging us into an ecological apocalypse. These cognitive illusions won’t disappear because they’ve been proven false – they must be overcome at a deeper level. We need something other than rationality, statistics, scientific thought … we need something more, even, than what has passed for activism thus far. We must spark an epiphany, a worldwide flash of insight that renders our blind spots visible once and for all. This collective awakening begins the moment we look inward and ask ourselves: Am I caught inside a grand cognitive illusion?””

    Corporate backed money helps maintain these cognative illusions with infotoxins

    Reverse Engineer post=3887 wrote: The only question I see as still open is whether this results in an Extinction Level Event or just a vast knockdown of the population like the Deer on St. Matthews Island.

    Well, this is certainly not baked in the cake. Our tragectory is towards this but, it looks like it is being stopped before we do too much damage by economic collapse. Thank god for peak oil and debt, otherwise we surely would have done some serious damage. We needed something to knock the wetiko out of us – lets just hope for a fast collapse

    The earth can handle the 9 billion coming – though we are way way over populated in americanus consumerous pathogenous. Mammon isn’t the biggest player in the spiritual race. But our ability to deliver on our promises is unique and our moral flexibility is unmatchable.


    Because you deserve to live the good life!

    in reply to: FPC: The Dollar-Oil Nexus #3567

    The US has used threats of violence and outright violent force since its inception to control and spread markets. “Market” non-intervention is an historical oxymoron. The dollar -Oil nexus is the US’s final conquest, which it is so deceptively and violently trying to maintain. When it goes down, so goes the capitalist world system.

    Electroinic frauds, backed up with mass destruction weapons, ARE the fundamentals of the real world’s current “economy.”

    “Economic” competition is just war by other means

    Reverse Engineer post=3175 wrote: Meanwhile, the House of Saud will keep selling Oil for Dollars, because they have a great Big Gun Duct Taped to their Heads. The Gun of the Big Ass Military.

    In other words, capitalist BAU.

    in reply to: FPC: The Concepts of Money and Capital #3505

    RE – It made sense if you were an Anglo-Saxon Enlightenment economic douche bag trying to prove antisocial market behavior as humans natural state of beng. When it appears to be behavior that different peoples did instead of bashing each other over each others heads. Graeber goes on say how Adam Smith completely fabricated stories about the first nation’s barter
    society as well.

    in reply to: FPC: The Concepts of Money and Capital #3499

    From the cover of “Debt: The first 5000 years” by David Graeber. Every economic textbook says the same thing: Money money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems – to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem wi this version of history? There is not a shred of evidence to support it.

    in reply to: The Imperial Symbolism of Pizza Hut #2803

    Funny. The last issue of Adbusters had a 7 decker cheeseburger on the cover with the caption “Are we happy yet?” The mass psychology of capitalism is that of constant culturally-induced striving for perennially unsatisfiable desires that often conflict with basic bio-cultural needs. It’s a mentality of addiction.

    in reply to: Teju Cole: The White Savior Industrial Complex #2119

    Good job on getting under people’s skin, Ash. Keep it up

    in reply to: Our Depraved Future of Debt Slavery (Part III) #1025

    They are knocking down “tent cities”

    The are police constantly breaking up encampments here in San Diego. Which is a popular homeless destination. I’m not quite sure what the benefit to society is to make these people’s life harder than it already is. Living for free will not be tolerated!

    in reply to: Our Depraved Future of Debt Slavery (Part III) #1024

    In other words, capital is about to get rough. Systemic preservation is going to get ugly.

    Ash, another great piece.

    in reply to: We're Still Sinking With the Titanic #836

    Ash, you knocked it out of the park with this one. Fantastic!

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