Volatility

August 21, 2017

Politics is Dead, Only the Movement Can Bring Life

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It’s wishful thinking to believe that all the systemic horrors will, in the near future, quickly collapse. It’s equally wishful to believe that if everyone just sits passively, doing nothing more than “prepping” on an atomized individual level (and usually not even doing that, just talking about it on the internet), the rising turbulence is likely to bring down the elites before it first further guts the people. On the contrary, it’s far more likely that those peak oil Galtians will hang separately because they refused to hang together.
 
That’s why I insist that the only way we the people can navigate this turbulence with the best chance of adapting to the crises and minimizing the damage is to build the movement which will be simultaneously self-defense, preservation of what little can be salvaged from modernity, and most of all the vehicle of the necessary transformation on the basis of agroecology and other ecological evolutions which are necessary if humanity is to have a future at all. Right now humanity is reduced to the level of the original mammals skulking in the underbrush while giant reptiles still ruled the Earth. So far it looks like no one has any idea other than the remain in that state, even once the reptiles are gone.
 
It’s also true that the stronger this human movement, the more effectively it can help hasten the downfall of the productionist corporate system. In the same way that economic factors will limit how much fossil fuel ultimately will be extracted and burned, so political factors can, if organized and deployed the right way, also limit this and other aspects of corporate power and ability to sustain itself. That’s one of the main reasons I’ve been so emphatic about the possibilities of fighting it out in the food and agriculture sectors. (Of course I don’t say that political factors have been well organized and deployed so far. On the contrary, almost all “political” people in the West today are morbid cultists of historically disproven electoralism. This is a core reason why Politics is Dead.)
 
When I ponder the low traffic and sparse comments this site currently receives, I recall how I used to do much better when I wrote about Wall Street. That was also in the years immediately following the 2008 forced crash. More people were more radical, and it’s easier to condemn Wall Street than to think about our food and feel obligated to actually do something about it, where there’s so many opportunities for constructive action even right now. That’s by contrast with opposition to the finance sector, where it’s difficult to see where one could even get started with action.
 
The other problem is how self-imprisoned everyone has become by social media. It’s a mass disease. But there’s enough of an historical record already to prove that no meaningful thought or action can get off the ground from social media. It can be used as a supplement to thought and organization cultivated elsewhere, as publicity media only. But ideas and initial attempts at organization can only be strangled in the cradle, if they try to arise on social media in the first place.
 
But try telling that to people, try deprogramming them to get them off Facebook or Twitter and onto more human media platforms. It’s literally like talking to a wall: They won’t even reply to such a proposal, let alone try to make a rational argument. But then, that’s standard for all cultists today. I say this in the knowledge that the blogosphere missed its first big chance to be an incubator of new ideas, mostly because it too became dominated by system “reformists”. But I think the potential remains. I do think the internet has one last chance to be constructive for humanity, while there’s still enough grid electricity to power it and still enough flexibility and open space in the structure for independents and dissidents to evade censorship like Google’s and still effectively propagate a message so that large numbers of motivated users, and in certain cases like food even the unmotivated, can register it. But this space, this frontier, is closing rapidly.
 
 
 
 
 
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16 Comments

  1. Yes that’s primarily why your vision is ignored, because it tasks people to actually do something concrete in real life within their own locality, while the people who even see it are already invested in the dead end of cyber-activism as career activists, often flying from place to place to attend protests and rallies with the attendant carbon footprint conveniently ignored as well. Decades of overwhelming propaganda from all sides, including dissent management, now carrying on taking over the internet in earnest at this stage, since people are moving away from mass corporate media.

    The key to any real change are the working poor going hungry. Only when this reaches critical mass with rioting in all major cities unending (the occupy tactic was but a hint of things to come) and a nationwide general strike, will there be any real change, and when this happens things will get worse before they (if ever) get better. However the climate we’re seeing unfolding today is from emissions 40 years ago and emissions have tripled since then. The great culling will happen no matter what actions anyone takes at this point – it’s already ‘baked in’. This is the future that preppers are hedging against, with all your recommendations falling into place only then, as much as practical given the conditions at that time. (and the internet will be long gone by then, only individual’s personal archives will be available for consultation)

    This turning of events begins when the grid goes down. Solar and wind energy will provide islands of modern comfort we’ve grown accustomed to, but like the Amish already do today, the real survival activity will require hard work growing food in harsh weather, and this is what the few remaining survivors will spend most of their time engaged in, all the while on the brink of starvation, because of this much hotter and stormy weather which is already baked in to our future.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 21, 2017 @ 12:27 pm

    • I can’t imagine any general strike, even at a regional level. Food riots there certainly will be, and these might help accelerate the collapse of system cohesion in many regions.

      I suspect it’s true that humanity will insist on general collapse under the worst of circumstances. I’ve written extensively on the potential of agroecology. The science and practice does show the way toward how even as many of 9-10 billion could feed themselves, with much better food than the fat West gobbles today, in an ecologically sustainable way including the best possible mitigation of climate chaos and adaptation to it. But I’ve never claimed to believe that humanity is likely to choose this path, especially since it would require the vast majority of people to work in food production and distribution (albeit under much better working conditions than today). By now my main purpose in still insisting on the possibility is to fight the Malthusian lies which remain so popular even among “leftist” pseudo-radicals, all of which lies always abet the lies of corporate agriculture and neoliberal globalization in general.

      I understand well the impulse to focus only on prepping at the individual level. I need to do more of that myself, though I’m off to a decent start as far as personal food-growing skills. But the aversion to organization that usually accompanies it is self-indulgent and self-destructive. All that means is that the preppers will either be wiped out by “zombies”, or destroyed or enslaved by the kinds of gangs Orlov writes about.

      I guess I need to think and write more in terms of organized relocalization coupled with colonial-style community militias. I’ve always considered that the most likely formula for salvaging any human cohesion and sustaining the most practical knowledge, as the turbulence of collapse becomes extreme.

      Comment by Russ — August 22, 2017 @ 3:28 am

      • I don’t disagree at all that people need to work together and organize but with the concerted effort by the corporate media to atomize us, running sensationalized hit pieces on local petty crimes (even though actual crime rates are 1/2 or less what they used to be a even decade ago) scaring us into believing there’s a thief/rapist around every corner and behind every bush, while ignoring the real criminals (war/climate/corporate criminals, which own these media networks) along with PsyOps like “if you see something say something” has had the effect of making neighbors and communities afraid of eachother, dependent instead on the militarized police which stoop as low as ticket quotas, along with the cop shows glorifying them.

        This is why the power grid failing will be a turning point – the spell of rank propaganda on every station and every channel will finally be broken. I have no idea how quickly it will. Before your individual store of drinking water runs out? This is the very first element of the collapse that will start culling people, and the timeframe will be only a matter of days.

        Most people will die in the first few weeks just from the lack of water and food. Those left by then are the ones who’ll need to get together to plant community gardens and so on.. These people are presently smeared as “preppers” and “hoarders” by the corporate media.. Once the corporate media is out of the picture, the context and narrative will dramatically change. So when a person says prepper I’m not sure what exact meaning or context applies these days.

        General nationwide strikes along with escalating unending protests in all the major cities, were what ended the Vietnam war, which was the last victory for social justice in this country. It’s all been downhill ever since, as evidenced by the decline of Unions, falling real wages and living standards.

        The occupy tactic is but a rebirth of this sentiment – when people are occupying and protesting they’re not working. BLM was a 2’nd attempt at this tactic, brutally suppressed demonized and largely ignored by the corporate media just like occupy was.. I’m fond of saying ‘the corporate media is our single greatest enemy’. To the extent that any prepper actually wishes for the collapse to begin, as far as I’m concerned it’s the death of the corporate media that matters – everything else is only collateral damage. It’s unfortunate that corporate media was allowed to become this powerful to begin with, just as the corporate media cheerleads every and all wars, making them mainly responsible for them, they’ve poisoned the populace’s minds on survivalism, likewise making them mainly responsible for the deaths resulting from lack of water, food, cooking and growing skills which have been systematically stamped out all in the service of big-ag profits. The enclosure tactic of driving farmers bankrupt to turn them into refugees concentrating them into factory workers in cities continues to this very day.

        I call this economic terrorism, conducted by the rich against the working poor.

        Some of our ‘favorite’ billionaires (like Omidyar of eBay, owner of the Intercept) are doing this presently, in countries such as India (euphemistically called micro-finance) causing hundreds of thousands of small farmers to commit suicide and driving the rest into slave labor in the cities.

        https://pando.com/2014/05/31/ebay-shrugged-pierre-omidyar-believes-there-should-be-no-philanthropy-without-profit/

        So when some people fault the idea that blame is to be focused on ‘preferred villains’ (implying this isn’t the correct course of action or attention) the facts on the ground say otherwise..

        Comment by Anonymous — August 22, 2017 @ 5:56 am

      • All completely true about the corporate media, including the many sham “alternatives” like the Omidyar gambit. I think in terms of it not being sufficient to wait for the corporate media to collapse solely of its own unsustainable bloat, since that may take a long time yet, and in the meantime few will ever even hear of the necessary ideas for any affirmative future. So even if it turns out not to be possible to build an anti-system movement which politically challenges the corporate system, at the very least we absolutely need a well-ramified anti-system media movement, including robustness and redundancy vis internet censorship and actual inability, whether economic or from actual grid collapse, to access the internet as such.

        Comment by Russ — August 22, 2017 @ 7:30 am

  2. The main reason why Online Social Media has never – and will never work – is the inherent Hierarchy involved, versus, the peer centered one on one, or many with many real life situations.

    I tend towards quite sadly agreeing with Anonymous that nothing major will happen until the [Social Media] grid goes down. For one, even outside of Facebook sites, the larger Social Media sites have always willfully, or just blindly, cruelly patronized, or just ignored and abused those with the least – or none at all – internet access.

    I will never forget (and likely not forgive, as I’ve yet to see any regret or acknowledgment) being humiliated and chided at that second (Daily Kos, being the first), largest, US™ Progressive!™ orange fonted site for not ‘nesting’ my comment appropriately when I was utterly unable to do so. I’ve always used [Landline] Dial Up access (first it was my choice, now it’s my only option, affordability wise) to The Web™, unable to download a new browser as a consequence (and certainly couldn’t at that point/can’t still afford other internet options), I found myself unable to use the reply ‘icon.’ I was told to correct it, or stop commenting on the site, by the number two person there. Of course it’s telling and instructive that the same site, in ♪ Musical Chairs ♫ fashion, has a popular tag:The destruction of the middle class, yet no tag regarding those who never attained, or those who were subsequently booted from that Middle Class™.

    As to that personal experience, the largest and incurable Online Social Media problem – as I see it – is that a majority with the resources remaining to run popular Online Social Mediasites for more than a handul of commenters don’t admit it, but chillingly think they are far wiser (an interesting word with quite the history) than those who don’t, or have lost those resources to. Far, Far Worse, they are utterly willing to sacrifice thosethey consider below them, to the horrid voiceless transience and utter lack of community they perpetrate for those with no access to widespread communication.

    The On Line Grid was never available in any affordable, consistent, and reliable sense of the word for millions in the US, let alone billions worldwide. Further, increasingly many like myself soon (despite their ability to navigate the internet), will be cut off totally when AT&T, et al and the FCC has it’s way in insanely and utterly obsolescing Land Lines and way upping the cost of any means of access to The Web™.

    Those who were never on the internet, and those who lost access will not be prone to taking any suggestions from those who never acknowledged this huge – HISTORIC and now exponentially increasing access problem – just like they’ll possibly never forgive Facebook users for posting pictures of them and sharing personal data they were never asked consent for and Amazon users (who didn’t need to use it, and knew of and ignored its evils) for destroying brick and mortar grocery, clothing and book stores, introducing ghastly delivery drones into their daily lives; and re-introducing grueling slave labor.

    Those who had, but lost, access who watched as news sites stunningly dropped (or deliberately obscured) using a telephone as a means to contact someone at a local news station with important news about threats to living for nobodies; along with witnessing almost all of the well known Anti Technocracy Experts offer up insanely non-private GMail (I’ve always thought DOD funded Sergey Brin and Larry Page got little hard-ons about the similarities between the words GMen and GMail) addresses if one might want to contact them with information regarding The Technocracy. I do understand that they might have had that GMail via Academia jawbs, yet still: no disclaimer or privacy warning???? unable to privately open a non GMail account?

    The insane need to access money in order to survive – which then ultimately devolves to: make money no matter how one does it – is the largest problem for humans, and subsequently, all life on earth.

    Comment by diane — August 21, 2017 @ 6:28 pm

    • Economic barriers to access and technological control of how one can communicate are a big part of the creeping totalitarianism of Mammon and technocracy.

      Comment by Russ — August 22, 2017 @ 3:47 am

  3. Regardless of social media, reform seems impossible unless and until enough people agree on the source and nature of the fundamental problem we face. Most people misidentify the nature of the fundamental problem because the problems most people experience are caused by the basic problem and merely symptomatic of it. They then tend to compound their error by misidentifying the source of the problem, choosing instead to lay blame at the feet of their preferred villain(s), who are usually other human beings not corporations, for example. Even when one is able to correctly identify the source and nature of the fundamental problem, which I think you have, the tendency is to focus on addressing one aspect of it, e.g., GMOs, instead the entirety of the problem.

    Comment by taojonesing — August 21, 2017 @ 8:14 pm

    • We sure see Biblical floods of that today. To give examples from just one controversy, I wonder which is more effectively misdirectional, making a fetish of “free speech”, or just directly putting a literal shiny thing in front of tantrum-prone children (those who fetishize statues in either way, exalt or condemn).

      Once in awhile I check in at your IP site but still find it under construction.

      Comment by Russ — August 22, 2017 @ 3:52 am

      • I am starting to blog again just to get into the habit of publishing things without polishing them forever, which should help me finish the IP book in my lifetime. I will put any IP-centric posts up at the IP site just to get that going, otherwise I will post at the TJ site.

        The goal of the IP book is to start a longer conversation intended to abstract away the apparent complexity of the modern world. That is going to require resetting expectations to be inline with reality. So much of what we think we know is the modern day spin of hucksters and fraudsters.

        Comment by taojonesing — August 22, 2017 @ 12:06 pm

      • Sounds good. My agriculture posts also are ideas/drafts toward a book.

        Comment by Russ — August 22, 2017 @ 2:39 pm

  4. Before the internet era we used BBS’s which were almost exclusively dialup. Then there were the newsgroups. My strategy has always been to work with the bandwidth I have, and make what use of it I could, always with the idea that it will eventually go down. So I started archiving in earnest in ’95, collecting the first several GB via dialup, tried DSL a few times, then went exclusively to wi-fi. The archive is up to ~ 3 TB so far and consists of tens of thousands of ebooks, 23 thousand audio tracks and 8 thousand movies/shows/videos. (converting them all to H.265 format starting in 2014, and still adding more daily) so when the internet is gone there is a lifetime of media material to go though, along with a medium size library worth of reading. I consider the internet good for little else.

    The source of the problem IS capitalism which along with the climatic changes it’s already put into motion, will destroy it’self along with most animal and plant life.

    The 6’th mass extinction. Space is no answer either, only the Earth’s atmosphere can provide sufficient protection from the deadly radiation of space, and neither Mars nor any other body of the solar system has either such protection or possesses environmental properties structural engineering can withstand.

    This is the real reason why the space program was abandoned.

    Those who propose sending people to their deaths from radiation poisoning to Mars are on a fool’s errand. They’re willfully and intentionally misleading people on the issue too. Two people smart enough to know better that come to mind are Musk and Hawking.

    NASA did studies of this in the late 70’s which reached this conclusion:

    “Activation of Sodium, Lithium, and Potassium in compact fast reactors and it’s effects on shielding”

    http://www.osti.gov/scitech/biblio/4510752

    my local copy:

    my name’s public webpage URL followed by the file “K-40 from neutron activation ( NASA paper).pdf”

    you’ll need to use Tor, or put .to or .link after the onion to use a web-to-tor gateway, if you can’t grab the paper from the clear web link above (I didn’t see a place to actually D/L it there when I checked, but it may be because of my browser configuration)

    I originally also tried to include an embedded image from wikipedia when I tried to post this reply earlier, using IMG tags:

    Comparisons-RadiationExposure-MarsTrip-20131209.png

    WordPress silently ate the post..

    Comment by Anonymous — August 22, 2017 @ 4:48 am

    • They abandoned the manned space program because they were afraid astronauts would get radiation poisoning or cancer? That doesn’t really sound like something they would lose sleep over. Maybe if it happened too quickly and unanimously, it would be too hard for them to lie about it, and so they fear the political fallout.

      But I think it’s true in another sense: If they did stop sending glorified tourists into space because they consider it impossible to prevent a quick death, that’s an admission on their part that space colonization is impossible, and therefore that they view the whole continued “space” hype only as a propaganda campaign rather than a seriously intended project. But then, the space program always was far more about religious indoctrination and ideological propaganda than about reality.

      That sounds like an extensive archive. It’s reskilling stuff?

      Comment by Russ — August 22, 2017 @ 7:38 am

  5. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jul/28/apollo-deep-space-astronauts-five-times-more-likely-to-die-from-heart-disease

    They were only exposed to higher radiation flux for a few days (spent time outside the Van Allen radiation belts) and 2 have already died from cancer.

    In near-Earth orbit, the dose isn’t as high. Some people at MIT also did a study on Musk’s plan to have a small colony on Mars (not even considering the radiation issue) and their analysis concluded that the people would all die within a year, due to accumulation of CO2 (the greenhouse wouldn’t be able to generate enough Oxygen nor provide enough food with the amount of materials Musk planned to send with them)

    He discounted this assessment and still ignores the Cosmic radiation issue..

    this chart ^ shows what we’re facing, both the long trip to Mars AND spending time on Mars expose a person to near lethal doses of radiation..

    As for the environmental impacts, the sheer volume of rocket fuel required to achieve escape velocity precludes lifting the huge weight needed send anymore than a small handful of people anywhere beyond the Earth’s gravity well.

    re: archive

    Yes all the books I can lay my hands on (I save everything I ever D/L even youtube videos)

    Comment by Anonymous — August 22, 2017 @ 8:29 am

    • I can’t tell why, but your second link refuses to show up, even when I tried to post it.

      Link.

      Thanks for highlighting yet another reason why space colonization is impossible.

      Comment by Russ — August 22, 2017 @ 9:04 am

  6. yeah wikipedia can be tricky. Here’s that MIT study (since updated, the part about the O, CO2 and N balance has been changed but the conclusions remain the same) actually it’s worse now, they say the colonists will start dying in 68 days!

    An Independent Assessment of the Technical Feasibility of the Mars One Mission Plan

    http://images.spaceref.com/fiso/2015/021115_sidney_do_mit/Do_2-11-15.pdf

    Comment by Anonymous — August 22, 2017 @ 9:19 am

    • While I don’t think any serious colonization attempt will ever be undertaken, I wonder if some true believer billionaire might recruit some lunatics, stick them in a capsule, and try to launch them to Mars with some alleged terraforming equipment. It wouldn’t end well, but I could picture that being done, especially given the talent of Musk types at raking in public subsidies.

      Comment by Russ — August 22, 2017 @ 2:38 pm


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