Volatility

August 17, 2010

Eschatology (Peak Oil vs. Techno-Class War)

 

A big part of the consumer indoctrination program the kleptocracy is using to boil the frogs is to string them along with their faith in the cult of technology.
 
Today it seems both quaint and scary that anyone still believes in “progress”. If that terms means things get “better”, then we know there’s no such thing as progress, in any area.
 
Science and technology may accomplish lots of things that people consider good, but this has been accompanied by ever greater harms. Man has become more comfortable? He’s also become more harried and overworked and stressed. Medical technology had advanced? So has killing technology. We have this information cornucopia? Yes, and its core character is creeping totalitarianism. man’s technology has empowered him to remold the earth – yes, and destroy it.
 
And by now all of these things have become weapons of class war. Even advanced medical technology is an assault on the people if it’s available only to the people’s oppressors.
 
Modern tech is the destroyer of both the environment and the human spirit. There was a time, and perhaps post-oil there will come a time, where human beings walked the earth and not rump appendages of machines marking time for their existences in the ICU.
 
What does it even mean to think anymore? Given the fact that a necessary human attainment is the capacity for real thought, if from an early age one’s every moment is smothered in a bombardment of gadgets, electronic toys, idiotic texting and cellphone jabbering, when do you ever even learn how to think in the first place, let alone have time and peace for thought? What kind of ICU zombies is this “civilization” processing?
 
Then there’s the fundamentally totalitarian inertia of technology. This inertia is endemic to it and is operative even in the absence of bad faith on the part of corporations and governments (though as we know this bad faith is almost always present as well). Look at how today’s world accepts as the norm levels of intrusiveness and domination which would have immediately triggered a revolution fifty years ago. People stupidly say, “Orwell was wrong”, when we’re really 99% of the way there. All that’s lacking is for the elites  to intentionally use the technology that way. Today everywhere we look we see this will to use “progressing”.
 
9/11 only accelerated this process, which was already well advanced. To put it a different way, if a full-blown totalitarian system would be the car driving down the road, what we have now is: The road and the car are fully built, the tank is full and the engine’s running, and Bailout America is sitting at the wheel. All that’s lacking is to put it in drive and go.
 
Which is the salient step? If you wanted to go for a drive and nothing needed existed yet, what would you consider the most important, decisive step – to build the roads and the vehicle, and procure the fuel? or simply to get in and go once all that was done? Modern technology has already done all the real work. All that’s left now is the political mopping up.
 
Any lover of freedom hates a world of omniscient databases and omnipresent surveillance. It’s odd – in America we have so many who claim to revere things like the Boston Tea Party and the Underground Railroad, even as they celebrate technology which would’ve made those things impossible.
 
Technology implies that the will to freedom itself was only a passing mood. Who still loves freedom today? it has nothing to do with material luxuries, with “consumerism” (what most Americans evidently mean when they use the word “freedom”). Most of all you have to be free within yourself. But a slave to machines is the most condemned of all slaves, for there can never be even the thought of escape.
 
The craziest and most pernicious notion of the green cornucopians is that we’re somehow going to:
 
1. Transform the West’s entire automobile fleet to plug-ins.
 
2. Do the same for the putative auto fleets of the industrializing world.
 
3. Do all this with renewables.
 
4. Do it while at the same time renewables are also maintaining the accustomed energy consumption in all other sectors, again in both the West and the industrializing world.
 
They may claim that’s a caricature, but it’s implicit in everything they say. (Which is how we know that corporate environmentalism is an astroturfing campaign. None of this can ever help the people, but is only part of elite luxury concentration. But the green cornucopians want to string people along toward the false idol of a renewable utopia. That’s their designated role according to neoliberal resource fascism.)
 
 
As for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), here’s the two main points.
 
1. The reckless rush to deploy GMOs in the ecosystem without even the slightest idea what kinds of effects they’ll have, and the assault on all attempts to impose any sort of control and prudence, is a radical repudiation of the precautionary principle. Since this is one of the absolute core principles of environmentalism, it follows that it’s impossible to be a real environmentalist and yet support GMOs, at least the way they’ve been and always will be deployed. (So that’s one of the ways to recognize a sellout corporate environmentalist – support for GMOs, along with biofuels, nukes, cap and trade.)
 
2. With GMOs, whatever stupid rhetoric we’re subject to about prosperity and liberation, it’s really about patents, profits, and power. Monsanto has openly declared its goal is world domination of the food chain. Both morally and socially this is unacceptable. If the biosphere’s genetic code, upon which all biotech work has been done, belongs to anybody it belongs to humanity as a whole and can never legitimately be enclosed. The idea of a patent on an organism is on its face invalid.
 
What’s more, the food supply must be seen as first and foremost a social property. Even beyond moral considerations there remain the considerations of sociopolitical stability and national security. These demand that the integrity of the food supply not be held hostage by sociopathic corporations, that we not be reliant upon one strain of genetically modified monocrop, and that we diversify way beyond monoculture in general.
 
 
The human world view, while recognizing no bounds to imagination, also finds its freedom in self-control and in recognizing the physical limits of reality and the tyranny limits of power, unless we would wish to see freedom destroyed forever.
 
It may be a paradox to small minds, but the eternal struggle between freedom and power’s tendency toward tyranny, the core ideological precept of the Founding Fathers, decrees that if we would maximize freedom we must in turn harness it by restraining power.
 
So far the ideology which would place no limits at all on power and wealth accumulation has had its way. But their gains become ever more marginal and ever more expensive. Energy return on investment (EROEI) gets worse and worse. That’s Peak Oil setting in.
 
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So far we’ve managed to hold off the reaction, even as the sum of our action becomes ever more monumental.
 
The potential energy being stored up is astronomical. It can’t, and it won’t, be long before that energy is rendered kinetic.
 
Do we really think we can keep it up forever? Do we really think our Tower of Babel will make it to heaven?

7 Comments

  1. Great piece. Every major technological development has eventually been used to extend the hand of oppression. How long will it be until we have Chinese-style censorship of the Internet in America? With the truth becoming more and more dangerous to the status quo, I believe it may be surprisingly soon.

    Comment by poopyjim — August 17, 2010 @ 7:54 am

  2. It seems like a race to the bottom for the Internet, between the primary economic censorship threatened by the gutting of net neutrality, and the secondary Chinese-style censorship Lieberman and the other thugs want.

    More on that censorship distinction here:

    https://attempter.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/net-neutrality-battle-lines/

    Comment by Russ — August 17, 2010 @ 9:09 am

  3. so why do you require email if you’re against Oceanic-style intrusion? Not my most pressing question, though. I have a new label for myself, a partial Green Cornucopian! I do not think we will continue to operate at the same level, I DO think that biodiesel is workable, it was the original intent of the diesel engine designer…it will be an uneven adjustment, reading online by candlelight, so to speak.

    Comment by RubyGlare — August 18, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    • I require such things in the same sense a conscripted soldier requires a bayonet. He didn’t want or need it in the first place, but now that he’s been forced into a situation where everybody uses it, he “needs” it too.

      On-site constructive biodiesel generation and use, like a farmer extracting it from manure to run his tractor, works fine.

      Of course that’s not what the system has in mind, and that’s not what the subsidies are for.

      The system wants to destroy food in order to run luxury machines for the rich, in particular to prop up the personal car and private jet paradigm for those who will be able to afford it going forward.

      Far from being sustainable on the land, biofuels represent a destructive extension of Liebig’s “separation of town and country”, where soil fertility (and land stewardship labor) is destroyed, and synthetic fertilizer waste created, all in the countryside; while the food (or in this case “food”, the crop hijacked for fuel) is consumed in the city, creating a waste problem there which cannot be recycled into the soil the way nature intended.

      So the politico-economic dispensation destroys a balanced system in order to construct two imbalanced ones with waste problems. That was endemic to the industrial revolution. Now biofuels are further aggravating it.

      Comment by Russ — August 19, 2010 @ 5:26 am

  4. I am not talking about the system but the people, & so are you, then. What is normal in the 3rd World, with the wealthy living in gated compounds, etc. is what I’d like to cut off at the pass; at any level possible, whether state, city, or Federal. So keep that distinction in place, with an asterik if needed, when you rail against the “green cornucopians”. Since the starting position of the Founders was not without hope or possiblity, so our current position has other avenues available.

    Comment by RubyGlare — August 19, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

    • OK, I’m not saying everyone has the same malicious intent, but the result in practice has been clear across the board.

      Since corporate environmentalism has largely come to dominate over other philosophies, and since corporations in turn are absolutely dedicated to feudalizing the West in the same way it’s being done outside the West, then it follows that corporate environmentalists, like corporate liberals in general, are feudalists themselves, who just want to somehow slightly slow and ameliorate the expropriation and liquidation process, but not fundamentally alter the process itself.

      When you cite the possibilities of the starting position of the Founders you’re speaking after my own heart. I’ve written quite a bit on that here. That’s what I mean when I say I want to resume the American Revolution.

      Comment by Russ — August 20, 2010 @ 3:33 am

  5. Would you save the Earth, please

    Comment by Balkan Forest — August 23, 2010 @ 5:41 am


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