Oct 252012

This begins as a response to an inter­view with Jeff Thomas at Inter­na­tion­al Man https://www.internationalman.com/im-interviews/looking-toward-a-post-crash-world
and expands toward a more gen­er­al­ized arti­cle.

Hi Jeff, inter­est­ing inter­view. I look for­ward to read­ing more of your mate­r­i­al. I am how­ev­er hav­ing some dis­agree­ment with the bias­es from which you seem to draw your con­clu­sions. Thank you for inspir­ing me to write.

Start­ing with, … “cer­tain­ly, lit­er­al­ly mil­lions of peo­ple would be unable to adapt and would fall by the way­side.” This sounds like a nice cold euphemism for “die in mis­ery”. Can I get some fries with that?

Con­tin­u­ing along your “real­is­tic” view are many fac­tors that count toward a zero-sum game and a world not very nice to live in. With­out the nation-states exert­ing con­trol, inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ism North America’s nat­ur­al resources will be fought over by inter­na­tion­al play­ers.

Chi­na will most like­ly con­tin­ue to remain a total­i­tar­i­an nuclear pow­er. Assum­ing that Amer­i­ca were to be de-fed­er­al­ized (as if in a vac­u­um from oth­er nations), what would keep China’s pow­er elite from try­ing to slam-dunk a claim while the states are eco­nom­i­cal­ly dis­tract­ed? Amer­i­c­as pow­er elite would con­tin­ue to play brinks­man­ship, much like the for­mer Sovi­et trans­for­ma­tion. While guns and ammo and all the kar­ma of export­ed war for oil looms pre­cip­i­tous­ly, human-caused (oh, yes!) envi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion pro­ceeds apace.

The myth of “free-mar­ket cap­i­tal­ism” is dan­ger­ous because it only exists in com­put­er mod­els and the­o­ry. Peo­ple do indeed like to build fences, and occa­sion­al­ly tear them down. As long as it’s actu­al peo­ple who con­strue the mar­kets, they will always be “con­t­a­m­i­nat­ing” the mod­el pro­jec­tions with what­ev­er psy­cho-social trau­mas are car­ried along into it. GDP is too nar­row a met­ric for mod­ern Human soci­eties to flour­ish. It’s zero-sum. The Love EconomyThere are oth­er win-win mod­els, includ­ing Hazel Henderson’s Love Econ­o­my and Calvert-Hen­der­son Qual­i­ty of Life Indi­ca­tors

The fan­ta­sy is that there can be a world with­out rules and reg­u­la­tions of any kind, that “Gov­ern­ment” is evil (a meta­phys­i­cal state­ment) and must be destroyed. And yet some­how, pri­vate­ly run Cor­po­ra­tions (which them­selves are high­ly struc­tured abstract enti­ties gov­erned by laws and rules) are “blessed”, and will pro­vide for our every need. This is just one exam­ple of log­i­cal incon­sis­ten­cy. In your post-crash world, it is far more like­ly that Cor­po­ra­tions would fill the pow­er vac­u­um with pri­vate mili­tias, becom­ing defac­to gov­ern­ments. The Human con­di­tion is not thus improved, but more great­ly polar­ized into walled-gar­den haves and “the help”.

With regard to, “It takes courage to retain a con­sis­tent focus on and belief in lib­er­ty, but lib­er­ty tru­ly is the answer to a bet­ter world”, your cheer­ful pos­i­tivism sounds like unground­ed, actu­al­ly kind of zany, Ayn Ran­di­an lib­er­tar­i­an­ism. A glob­al soci­ety con­sists of a great deal more than a post-mod­ern “econ­o­my”, and so I don’t see your con­jec­ture as doing jus­tice to the com­plex­i­ty of the approach­ing sin­gu­lar­i­ty. (The 5-lev­el mod­el of human ten­den­cy dis­tri­b­u­tion you used is fair enough for dis­cus­sion pur­pos­es, but I’d like to direct your atten­tion to a more vigourous and road-test­ed mod­el, Spi­ral Dynam­ics, suc­cess­ful­ly applied as the tran­si­tion map for the non-vio­lent dis­man­tling of for­mer South African Apartheid state. This is just one exam­ple of sources of pos­i­tive pos­si­bil­i­ties avail­able to a ripen­ing human­i­ty.)

The ide­al of lib­er­ty as you rep­re­sent it comes off as a shal­low car­i­ca­ture of it’s real nature, an abstract buzz­word with dis­tort­ed mean­ing. Toss­ing the whole of the spec­trum of human pos­si­bil­i­ty into an unreg­u­lat­ed mar­ket­space with one-sided com­pet­i­tive ideals, and say­ing “there ya go, a lev­el play­ing field for every­body!”, results in an imme­di­ate descent into a des­per­ate gang­land dystopia, full of thugs, rob­ber barons, war­lords and insid­er trad­ing. The fac­tions in pow­er will do all they can to keep it, and con­sid­er­ing the cur­rent lev­els of tech­nol­o­gy, prob­a­bly will. It has always been that way, in every nation the West has tried to “help” become “mod­ern”. That’s been a big part of the whole his­to­ry of Europe on back through much of record­ed his­to­ry.

My per­son­al belief is that Human­i­ty is capa­ble of evolv­ing into a True Awak­ened Plan­e­tary Civ­i­liza­tion (as dis­tinct from an imposed one-world-gov­ern­ment, or com­mer­cial faux-glob­al­ism), and is indeed well on it’s way to doing so in spite of the main­stream media’s per­sis­tent attempts to ignore, deny and ridicule its devel­op­ment. What the Spir­it of Human­i­ty is under­go­ing is a more than just a recov­ery from “expect­ed mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions”; rather a gen­uine heal­ing process where­by it is see­ing and shed­ding it’s attach­ment to self-inflict­ed, par­a­sitic and auto-immune sys­tem-like dis­or­ders. Human­i­ty will encom­pass and sur­pass all of that, as it devel­ops a con­science to itself and it’s opti­mal rela­tion to all oth­er species.

I think it’s impor­tant to see how the so-called and mis­named “free mar­ket” is actu­al­ly the ene­my of true lib­er­al­ism (i.e., true free­dom of the indi­vid­ual), because it requires stan­dard­ized mind­less con­sumers of pre­dictable swill, and is threat­ened by a soci­ety of self-suf­fi­cient off-the grid and tru­ly cre­ative DIY entre­pre­neurs (oth­er than a few it keeps in a can for it’s skunkworks). The cur­rent glob­al banking/market sys­tem is par­a­sitic and there­fore under­stand­ably fos­ters that kind of behav­iour among it’s adher­ents. It must blind­ly con­sume every­thing until there is noth­ing left. Then it calls it’s poop “prod­uct”, and goes around try­ing to sell it to every­one! :-D! Please! There is noth­ing about that sys­tem that is free. Let me not count the ways!

We can do bet­ter.

Lest we con­tin­ue to be mere tools of unex­am­ined gods which may or may not exist, mar­ket forces and unseen hands, I think it’s worth reassess­ing the lega­cy we real­ly want to bequeath to our chil­dren. I actu­al­ly agree with the ideas behind of not auto­mat­i­cal­ly bequeath­ing a finan­cial inher­i­tance to be mis­spent by ungrate­ful and unwor­thy heirs. Spend it all, as con­spic­u­ous­ly you like! Let the kids earn their own mon­ey. But at some point it must be seen that the real chal­lenge is to break the chain of  mal­adap­tive behav­iour that per­pet­u­ates a cul­ture of pet­ti­ness, venal­i­ty and out­right stu­pid­i­ty.

It is a chal­lenge to hold a pos­i­tive atti­tude, but it just isn’t true that there’s no cause for a ratio­nal opti­mism. There can be passed on a more expan­sive vision that val­ues Life in all it’s forms, engen­der­ing the con­scious­ness that cares enough about the future even beyond sev­en gen­er­a­tions, that rec­og­nizes that Women and Men are Equal and dif­fer­ent, our Chil­dren are valu­ables that we do not own, the Races are a trea­sure of diver­si­ty, and the Land and Oceans must be pre­served (not fracked!) for our sur­vival on this plan­et.

There are many dif­fer­ent and dis­tinct intel­li­gences both inside and out­side each of us, and part of the chal­lenge of the human being is to har­mo­nize the sys­temic agen­das inher­ent at var­i­ous lev­els. It’s rel­a­tive­ly easy to just look at the cur­rent sta­tus quo and report on the pre­dictable trends, but it’s impor­tant to real­ize that there are no mere spec­ta­tors, that all are play­ers. With every expressed thought, we con­tribute toward the memet­ic evo­lu­tion tak­ing place with­in the glob­al brain, fos­ter­ing the over­all per­son­al­i­ty com­plex of Human­i­ty as a pat­tern with­in the Gaian organ­ism.

Respon­si­bil­i­ty is ours, whether we accept it or not.


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