Friday, July 10, 2009

Corrupt Government II

Here is an interesting opposing view to many of my contentions, and it's worth a read and thinking about.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/08

I profoundly disagree, but the points raised are valid and interesting, and to take the time to answer some of the objections raised is worthwhile.

Discussion here:

2 comments:

David said...

I disagree with the article.

The major problem with the current progressive viewpoint is it ignores resources and therefore the natural economy, ironically in much the same way as "free market capitalism" (incidentally neither free nor capitalist). Quite startling considering most progressives consider themselves environmentalists. Modern progressivism centers around social justice issues inside the industrial economy and has no plan on how to support itself and function once that economy becomes the least disfunctional.

Entropy here is the decider. Less resources leads to less complexity full stop. How it plays out is uncertain. I dont believe Nazi Germany could happen large scale post oil as there wont be the surplus resources to feed such a gargantuan system of administration in the first place, let alone create a new one. Robber Barons seem more likely though only if they were retrenched far enough back as to survive the fall of the large scale administrative systems from which they feed. Wall street seems already retrenching to Robber Barron status down from global hegemony.

I dont see Tsarist prisons and Hitler comming because those were all large scale oppressors cashing in on sweeping up the surplus wealth of mass populations in a time of increasing resourse "extraction". They just took controll of an increasingly larger pyramid. Well what happens when the pyramid starts to crumble dur to lack of fuel to support its complexitey. Its going to crash into smaller ones which can survive on a lower level of resources, simpler systems by definition. Entropy and thermodynamics say nothing about how equitable this process will be or how socially just. But the sure thing is they will be smaller scale than the current organizations, so any attempt to steer the current doomed organization is going against nature not working with it.

Progressives as idealists seem as disconnected from the natural environment as free market capitalists. They both assume resource production is merely a political and social issue.

Both these ideologies are in for a rude awakening when natures limitations become relized and the game at all levels of the hierarchy becomes more like classical physical manouver warfare with nature making all the major offensive moves. Physical positioning not just ideological positioning then becomes very important. In this scenario humans and human organizations who take anything other than defensive positions will likely be long term losers. Just to be clear, for example building a global system of Alt-peace-n-energy is entropically offensive. Dismantling a suburb for enough scrap for partial build back to a micro farm is entropically defensive.

I'm betting on being humble before nature staying out of the way of overextended human systems.

Dave

okonek said...

I don't believe that you and Jensen are that far apart. I have read a lot of his work which provides some context for his opinions in the article. As far as I can tell he is simply stating that acts of personnel responsibility are not by themselves going to bring the system down in a time frame that would allow life to continue. If you want to minimize the destruction and consequently maximize the health of what is left we need to bring it down quickly. The system will collapse on its own whether it is due to the end of oil, mass migrations due to flooding from global warming causing political instability and war on a mass scale, massive crop failure from disease magnified by loss of biodiversity resulting in widespread famine(thanks Monsanto), whatever. He is saying that it won't happen soon enough so he is advocating overthrow. He doesn't take issue (as far as I know) with the idea that we need to learn new ways to live with an emphasis on sustainability, community, local control, etc. It is imperative that folks like you are helping to show us the way. But I have seen what Madison Avenue is doing with the simplicity movement and it looks a lot like business as usual with many people believing albeit naively that their personal shopping choices make some kind of a difference when in fact they just continue to support an abusive, world destroying system. You simply cannot compete with this by living consciously because you will not reach enough people in time...it is too late. But you can and should begin to develop viable alternatives for those who do survive.