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The One Percent Pt. 2

For discussions of events and conditions not necessarily related to Peak Oil.

The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 00:06:45

Ibon wrote:Well, the point should be that regardless of the system of government the elite have always self served their own interests. In time of tightening constraints we can assume this will become more and more the case. The middle class grew only because of the abundance that allowed opulence to spread down into the masses during the ascendancy of energy. In the decline this opulence will shrink back to the historical norm of a small elite once again. This seems pretty obvious.

If this macro trend is accurate then ones personal strategy for oneself and their children is to make yourself less dependent on the institutional structures that will exasperate this growing disparity. Reduce consumption, eliminate debt, increase your personal resourcefulness by learning skills, work on your emotional intelligence to be an integrated part of your community. These are all exactly the opposite of what consumption culture has taught us.

These adaptations to a shrinking middle class are not ideological. And they are not learned overnight. It takes years. Much of this is just common sense.


It will probably involve more of armed groups preying on the weak and then on each other.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 00:09:07

pstarr wrote:This is certainly true but increasingly irrelevant. What passes for extreme wealth is often phony . . . $100 million homes/penthouses, yachts, Andy Warhol soup cans, insecurities/stock market. And land . . . often a McMansion on an oversized lot with a view of another McMansion. The really really superduper wealthy get a view of a real mountain on a national park. They get Telluride. Whoopdee friggin' doooooo lol

Real super wealth is in quality urban real estate, townhouses and occasionally apartment building (but nothing above the 10th floor) quality farmland, sustainable timberland/plantations, mines and mineral rights. Not ocean front property in flaeedah. The good stuff is rare.

Yes, the rest is often in the hands of remaining top half of our society, but they are slipping and will not return. Giant middle class sprawl outside of the city, away from ports, rail hubs, and sea lanes are of little value anymore. The homes are poorly sited, energy hogs, and without arable land. The poverty of the lower classes, and impoverishment of the middle class is a true threat to the wealthy. The wealthy need their underlings happy, well fed and ready to to die for them.


The hard part is that securing "quality urban real estate" also involves funny money. In the long run, real estate will probably be less of an issue as various groups move from place to place in order to survive.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 00:13:33

onlooker wrote:I think Pstarr, gets to a good point vis-a-vis the 1%. My interest is not blaming them or ourselves for that matter. I am sure after we die we will have to account for all this. No, it is projecting what will likely happen. So to this end the 1% would be better defined by elite power rather than wealth. In the coming future, wealth will evaporate as Pstarr documents well in his above post. All those digits on computers will go poof. So the wealthy 1 percent are in the same boat as everyone else, their nominal wealth will not amount to much or anything. Actually, some of them have understood this and have built bunkers and doomsteads to ride out the Collapse. How feasible that is is open to serious inquiry. How long can they stay there, probably not too long. Then what? As for the power brokers well at some point down the road, since money will become worthless, nobody will obey them. No, the smart people will be part of a flourishing (skill sets) and united community. Given the small number of truly elite people on this planet, I suspect that they are among the worse positioned to be part of a Community. Many will have grievances against them and they will be seen as outcasts at best. So, to the extent that this thread is focusing on the 1 percent it is in fact useless. They will not have much if any bearing on how things proceed into the further off future.


Reminds me of one reporter who shared his experiences covering war-torn areas. One of the things that he noticed, at least for urban areas, is that those who survived longer were criminals.

I do not know what conditions will be like in rural areas, but from what I see in poor countries, some communities are affected by various armed groups, from subversives to government para-military units to bandits.

In both cases, the same armed groups eventually turn on each other and on themselves.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 00:16:41

Ibon wrote:
pstarr wrote:The wealthy need their underlings happy, well fed and ready to to die for them.


A good parasite debilitates his host only just enough.


Reminds me that meme featuring Jason Read:

Image
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 00:19:43

Subjectivist wrote:
I am not a fan of elitists, but tell me any group of humans who do not serve their own self interests? Even most charity work done by Christians or Budusts or Humanist groups comes with rewards. They might be social status within the group, or and expectation of acreward in the afterlife, but the motivation is very rarely pure altruism.


Indeed. I recall Simon Michaux refer to such in his talk on sustainable communities:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM_aBS1HlUk

That is, governments, military forces, households, and businesses generally look after their own interests, and all of these are connected to the assumption that things will go on as usual.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 00:21:48

Hawkcreek wrote:If you get into too much of that, you run into the analysis paralysis that seems to beset so many.
At some point you have to make value judgements. What is right, and what is wrong?


I suppose it will be based on trying to meeting basic needs (that which provides optimal health) of the most number of people.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 01:36:19

[I do not know what conditions will be like in rural areas, but from what I see in poor countries, some communities are affected by various armed groups, from subversives to government para-military units to bandits.
Yes, no doubt we will see some of that. But Ralfy in poor countries you also see great solidarity and sharing/caring. So it will be a mixed bag as it has been throughout our history. This is partly because we are constantly confronted with the binary choice of cooperate or compete
Last edited by Tanada on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 06:50:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The One Percent

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 04:27:32

ralfy wrote:
Reminds me that meme featuring Jason Read:

Image


That's it! Parasitism is a perfect analogy.
As Pstarr mentioned this arrangement as it stands has a short shelf life but at the moment this is where we are.
Our resiliency resembles an invasive weed. We are the Kudzu Ape
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Unread postby Squilliam » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 06:37:18

Who would be the parasite though? It is really appropriate to call people parasites for simply having certain failings associated with being human?
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 06:54:14

Very short sighted to claim parasite leadership only occurs in Capitalist societies. Stalin was hardly a paragon of selfless leadership, nor was Mao, nor was Castro, or pick any of the current crop.

Monarchy, Military Dictatorship, Communist Dictatorship, Socialist Dictatorship or so called Republican Democracy. The leaders are always at best mildly symbiotic and at worst total parasites.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 08:23:47

When people lack the lower tier of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, they can't think rationally, they yearn for escape- providing the market for drugs. Drugs provide the surviving capitalists a means to acquire weapons, with which they control what's left of society. Nobody wins, except the remote arms supplier.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 12:01:48

The above descriptions of criminals make perfect sense to me.

They thrive because they are not hide bound to convention. They are opportunist who will survive. They have strong family ties that make them valuable members of their local community.

I suspect that the rise of gangs is in part a response to the failings of our city 1,000,000 plus) city governments to retain cohesive communities. It may be impossible on such scale.

If/when social collapse occurs these gangs, which are nascent local governments, may well flourish as they may provide the only effective local social organization.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 12:47:22

In the United States money has flowed to the white racist automobile suburbs for a century. With de-industrialization and unemployment, cities are broke and the inhabitants discouraged and angry. Reasonable response . . . however unpleasant for those stuck with a no education in an underfunded school system. And no chance of work in the ghetto. Trapped like rats

newfie wrote:If/when social collapse occurs these gangs, which are nascent local governments, may well flourish as they may provide the only effective local social organization.

Perhaps the gangs are already the stabilizing force in the ghetto? Perhaps drug laws are a means of dividing, conquering and controlling the people? Perhaps the entire city would have burned already without the gangs brutal organizing presence?

Perhaps that is the way of the world. Maybe the oil fields would have burned, the pipelines destroyed if those gangs in the Middle East hadn't stepped into control the flow. One should consider that peak oil collapse has started all over the world. Just not in our own little lily-white American dreamland
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby shortonoil » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 14:47:14

"Perhaps the gangs are already the stabilizing force in the ghetto?"

Gangs are a form of tribalism; humans preferred form of social organization for the last million years. We already see their resurgence around the world as centralized governments begin to fail. Centralized governments require huge inputs of energy, and fossil fuels are losing their ability to deliver it. Take a look at what is happening in India, and the Middle East to see examples.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 15:24:45

Some would say that tribalism is our shared pack behavior, as we are social predators like wolves. Ethnopaleontology tells us that 100 adults and children is the natural optimum size of the group, as our brains are able to comprehend and identify hierarchies no larger. Such units can exist gracefully on a given ecology, as each member is involved directly with food acquisition and territory maintenance. Net energy.

Larger groups require forced social structures and rules, and finally dependents who require extra energy/food from the group to enforce that order. These bureaucrats are feudal parasites. Feudal groups are not sustainable as the bureaucrats require constant additional energy from outside the group and its ecology. The police force must evolve into an army for conquest.

Collapse is regional at different rates. Lucky geographies (perhaps California?) have isolation, energy, arable land/water, recyclable feedstocks and infrastructure to maintain complex societies. Other insufficient populated areas must collapse into war and finally optimum population size. Smaller and smaller feudal police states on the way down.


It will happen in the United States but on a much different scale.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Squilliam » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 18:38:52

The whole point of 'white flight' was that these people wanted to physically isolate themselves from those that were poorer and of a different ethnicity to themselves. I don't know how accurate this is, but I did see that the assault statistics between ethnic groups for instance were horribly skewed towards black on white violence. Even in prisons the whole 'prison rape' phenomenon is largely along a racial bias. I suppose the more intelligent a person is the less they are dominated by instinctual biases, so for instance your 'bleeding heart' liberal is probably quite intelligent; however they make the mistake of assuming that everyone else shares their enlightenment.

The law makes a distinction that requires the person committing the crime to have actual knowledge that what they are doing is wrong. When you are far removed from the negative consequences of your actions, and are dealing with complex systems that make interpretation of the nature of your own actions difficult along with a reward system that encourages you to interpret things in a certain light you get a recipe for badly behaving elites. You can see this when people watch sports because they only complain about the referee calls against their own team as they want their team to win they have an interpretation bias with respect to the rules. So I wouldn't go so far as to call people evil parasites that willingly and knowingly bend the rules, but instead they are simply people for the most part that are just responding to the system that rewards a specific kind of thinking.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 19:10:12

Sqwilliam,

Many good points. I would only spade that "Intelligence" is a slippery slope. There are all kinds of intelligence besides what comes out on an IQ test. I think the recent USA election has shown the "intelligencia" were pretty unintelligent about the mood of the country. They were removed into a world of their own imagination, and continue to be.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Squilliam » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 19:23:59

Oh yeah it definitely is a very slippery slope. The better definition is something like 'traits more suitable to living in modern civilization'. If you take any school child you can predict their grades with very high accuracy simply by knowing the grades of their parents at school, and it doesn't matter whether they are adopted or not. We have already gone through a few generations of sorting, and the lowering of economic mobility for instance could be based on the fact that people have already been placed in the right position on the social ladder -- that is a very convincing explanation. When your 1%ers have babies with other 1%ers then a significant proportion of their children's successes could be ascribed not to being born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but with the genes of the people that have silver spoons. How do you explain for instance that Jewish people have 22% of all nobel prizes awarded without some element of trait selection/genetics?
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 24 Apr 2017, 21:30:14

My parents had a 5 years of education.....between them.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Squilliam » Tue 25 Apr 2017, 05:32:12

I wouldn't doubt that for a moment. Not being afforded the opportunity for education does not mean a person is not capable, or even that a person cannot educate themselves so long as they learn how to read. There are many forms intelligence can take, and there is a large amount of diversity in how it is expressed. If you read a Dilbert cartoon for instance you can see the conflict between technocrats (like this forum's membership) and the managerial types. That conflict really represents the imbalance between those with strong interpersonal/emotional intelligence and those that have strong faculties with respect to reasoning. Our leaders can handle the problems with respect to the management of people, but not with respect to the challenges of an idea. If you cannot handle the challenge of other people they might say you have Asperger's syndrome, but what do they say if you cannot handle a challenging idea?
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