Learning From the Collapse of Earlier Societies
Below is the latest PeakMoment Video.
This all sounds wonderful.
But the thinking that goes into believing that we can have a human friendly, controlled collapse, is the same thinking that got us into this mess. We want to believe that this time, things will be different.
No civilization has taken control of it's destiny during collapse and gone down in 'civilized' fashion.
Argentina and Venezuela are our best modern day examples of an attempt at a controlled crash. But they haven't depleted their oil reserves as completely as the US has.
There is no historical reason to believe that we can control our crash, and avoid the same self destructive actions that every civilization engages in, during it's death throes.
Even now, we are proving the rule with our wars of conquest in Afghanistan and Iraq. As the decline continues, the State will seek greater control over the citizenry and will zealously work to expand the wars and the funding for the same.
The United States is converting itself into a total war machine. Increasingly war is becoming the basis of the entire economy. Many people happily embrace this change. All of my life otherwise seemingly sane adults have told me that war is good for the economy. Yet history tells us that war is actually harmful to the economy. But for many of those people, they worked in industries that benefited for war. they would always argue that they preferred peace, while at the same time arguing that slaughtering people for money is a good business for the US to engage in.
Guy Prouty may well understand all of this. He might even agree with me.
I have often been accused of making the message too harsh. That Americans need sugar coating and lot's of corn sweeteners added to any truths they may consider swallowing. That Americans can't handle the truth. And those people are right.
And Guy Prouty is taken a little pinch of truth and is mixing it in with a gallon of corn sweetener.
He is right, the changes needed, will require a radically different mode of thinking. the change is so radical, that it would completely redefine us as a people and as a nation.
Though he paints a message of hope for us, he is actually painting a message of hope for our descendants that will come in a dozen generations or so.
As our population goes through the next bottleneck, only those with hardy genes and an evolved culture, with myths that are compatible with reality, will survive. We can pretend that we can do things to influence how all of this turns out, but in reality, the statical aggregate of all of our actions will overcome any individual actions we may engage in.
A number of friends have pointed out to me that only 20% of the people can recognize a problem that requires change. And out of that 20%, only 20% of them, will act on it. I have found this to be generally true. You see it in markets, in personal finance and many other endeavors in life. This implies that 96% of the people will follow the herd, even as 16% will know that even as they follow, they are on the wrong course.
The last 4% are the trailblazers. They see the new path. They see the herd. They choose the new path. The 4% don't change history. They do get written up that way. When the herd arrives in a new place, they'll come across a sign that reads, "Kilroy Was Here". And Kilroy will get written up in the history books. But change didn't occur when Kilroy was there. Change was enacted when the masses arrived. The masses would've arrived, even if Kilroy had never been born.
Guy is giving good personal advice. The advice is ageless. It predates the Ancient Greeks.
1. Stay out of debt.
2. Grow a garden.
3. Be as self sufficient as you can.
4. Make friends with your neighbors.
What troubles me is that I believe that so long as we sugarcoat the message, the 16% will do nothing. And until they act, the herd will just see the 4% as kooks. So for now, we will remain the borrow and shop society.
And this is the source of my pessimism. I believe in the power of change. But I do not believe that we can change until we're forced to.
Rather than shape the collapse, the collapse will shape us.