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The Dysfunction of Civilization

General Ideas

The collapse of civilization quite frankly isn’t half as interesting to me as the dysfunction of civilization is. The main elephant in the room is that this drastic increase in our standard of living might have led to material wealth, but it has merely lead to an epidemic of miserable dysfunctional people, kept alive by a government that’s expected to use technology to fill the gaps created by a society that has started to fall apart. I think rather than staring ourselves blind at oil decline rates and sea ice statistics, we have to consider the possibility that civilization may fall apart simply because it manages to make people so miserable that they refuse to participate.

You can look at the suicide and drug overdose rates to see that our society is not functioning well. The terrorism and mass shooting epidemics we face are simply subsets of the suicide epidemic, expressed in a different cultural framework. In some subcultures you post on 4chan before you go out and kill yourself, in some you write a manifesto, in others you imagine yourself to act out on a religious obligation.

It used to be the case that when you got sick, you got better again, or you died. Today people get sick and spend the rest of their life in a state of impairment. They might have missing organs, they might be stuck in a wheelchair or they might be in chronic pain. A cynic might say that the solution we found to the technological unemployment crisis was to make people so sick that they can’t work, thereby creating jobs for the rest of us who need to take care of them.

In the old days, you found a boyfriend or a girlfriend, someone got pregnant, a shotgun wedding resulted and you spent the next sixty or seventy years together. That’s how my grandparents were married, the marriage might not have been perfect, but I can’t say that I’m under the impression they were worse off as a result. If the relationship really wasn’t satisfying, you’d keep it up for the outside world and you’d secretly agree to have an extramarital affair.

If you had some very unfortunate health condition you might spend the rest of your life alone, but most people managed to get their shit together. Even my grandfather who lost his leg as a kid in an accident simply managed to get married, had a bunch of shitty jobs that required zero education and could afford a nice house with a garden where he raised three children and lived out the last sixty-five years or so of his life. Try doing that now.

Look at today’s society and you’ll see young people have sex with the same person for a few months, anxiously making sure that no pregnancy results with state of the art contraceptive methods, move on to the next partner because the previous one didn’t work out, then eventually find themselves unable to genuinely fall in love again and spend their days alone. Others are for whatever reason unable to enter a relationship. Many grow up staring at smartphones and other screens and as a result never learn to interact with others.

If you read Michel Houellebecq’s book “Whatever”, you’ll notice his thesis that our society is saturated with sex because we’re secretly tired of it. I’m friends with good looking girls in their twenties who spend their weekends poledancing. You’d imagine these would be loose girls perhaps, but nope, I had one of them admit recently that she’s never even had a relationship and fills that gaping hole in her heart with this girl-power clique of superficial hypersexuality. I’d love to say this is a joke, but it’s not. Go to Japan and you’ll find record numbers of people in their thirties who have simply resigned themselves to lifelong celibacy. These are people who would have been married with children fifty years ago.

We think of pole-dancers and girls in thongs, covered in tattoos and piercings as hypersexual beings, but they’re the opposite. People puff up their emptiness. Even if they still have sex, they separated sex from the consequences and unequal power dynamics imposed upon us by nature and as a result it can no longer be called sex, it becomes something entirely different. It has as much to do with sex as a plastic Christmas tree has to do with photosynthesis. The new image of hypersexuality is not Miley Cyrus, it’s Michelle Duggar. Women like her live lives drenched in a kind of sexuality that permeates throughout their lives rather than being confined to the bedroom, whereas the women I date are forced to dress like men due to hygiene requirements in their workplace.

Birth rates are falling because young people today are completely unable to enter functional relationships with each other and develop a sense of financial stability. In the world of upper-middle class young white people, you spend until your late twenties “studying”, with a year or two in between where you travel around the world or visit Africa to help out the orphans there because you need something on your resume. Then eventually, you just dedicate yourself to your career. Children? You get a Chihuahua to fill that vacuum and you tell yourself some convenient story you read on some hip online magazine about how children are bad for the environment.

The future was supposed to be exciting, but I can’t reach any other conclusion than that most people I see are thoroughly bored with the world they live in. They tell themselves that they’re “busy”, whereas in reality they spend five or six hours a day watching TV/Netflix/some other screen because they’re emotionally exhausted from profoundly boring jobs. Your grandparents had to keep themselves entertained through social activities. They might visit the local pub, they would go fishing, they would play card games with each other, they didn’t have a TV to keep themselves entertained with. In the 90’s young people still went to clubs, but most discotheques in my country are now struggling to survive.

You remember your grandparents with the aura of respectability they had when they were old, but they lived wild lives when they were young too. Wilder than yours, I’m willing to guess. That’s another thing worth noting. In every aspect, Millennials like me seem extremely well-behaved compared to generation X and the Babyboomers. Teenage pregnancies are at record lows, alcohol use by teens has gone down, crimes committed by young teenagers have gone down tremendously too.

How did that happen? Well, in reality, we just had the life spirit drained from us. That primal will to live and thrive that leads us to violate social conventions is gone. The friends I talk to are depressed and will claim that they don’t want relationships with others, that they’re happier single than they ever were in a relationship. The girls I talk to are frightened by the prospect of going out to a club to dance, because they envision the girls there will be better looking than them. They’d rather sit at home and stare at cat-pictures on the Internet than act like young people.

Generation Y is doing pretty terrible, but generation Z seems to have hit rock bottom. You can read the news about eating disorders, self-mutilation and all these other problems, but I’d like for people in their sixties or seventies today to simply tell me if this is how young people were back when you were young. These problems are not a normal part of youth, they’re new. The studies we have show that mental disorders like anxiety and depression are far more common than they were in the thirties to fifties, when we still had a functional civilization. Look at teenagers today and you’ll see how they seem to think it’s hilarious to send me_irl memes back and forth about how they think of themselves as pathetic losers who would rather be dead. Again, that’s not normal.

Today’s young people spend until their mid-twenties jumping through hoops, with the message in the back of their head that if they miss any of them, they’re fucked. Bad grade in high school? You’re fucked. Dropped out of high school? You’re fucked. No extracurricular activities to put on your CV? You’re fucked. It continues all the way as they try to get into the most prestigious unpaid internship. Meritocracy has turned your life into a never-ending rat race. Regular normal children today suffer more anxiety than psychiatric patients did in the 1950’s. If you think it’s bad now, wait until the next step follows, where we start genetically testing children to figure out where their skills lie, like they do in China.

In the old days, you could accept that you’re born as white trash and that you’ll live an average existence similar to that of your parents. If you were born wealthy, nepotism would ensure you wouldn’t be publicly humiliated if you failed to get your shit together, you’d have an uncle in management somewhere or your father would know someone who can set you up with something. Today everyone can theoretically accomplish anything and as a result nobody can ever be content with anything. In the words of Sylvia Plath: “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.”


33 Comments on "The Dysfunction of Civilization"

  1. Ghung on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 10:14 am 

    The Well of Souls has run dry.

  2. penury on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 10:51 am 

    I think that people are aware of the oncoming blackness, and this is a method of ignoring reality and attempting to cope with the cognitive disconnect evident in their lives that they have been told would be wonderful and reward them greatly and they find reality sucks.

  3. Revi on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 11:02 am 

    We are all just slogging through, trying to win the big prize…

  4. Revi on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 11:21 am 

    This explains a lot. We are losing more than one person a day in my state to opiate overdose lately. It’s crazy, but it must be due to some kind of a mass depression.

  5. onlooker on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 1:44 pm 

    Yes, I too have noticed people who are not happy. In fact, I have noticed this all my life. Happiness is NOT easy. I truly believe it is attained via Peace of mind. So in a civilization that is so focused on tangible things and on pleasures, people lose the instinctive sense that being at peace is a reward in itself. And now one can add the uneasiness and angst people feel in relation to the future as we all at some level can deduce that this civilization as an expiration date.

  6. Dredd on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 3:21 pm 

    “I think rather than staring ourselves blind at oil decline rates and sea ice statistics, we have to consider the possibility that civilization may fall apart simply because it manages to make people so miserable that they refuse to participate … You can look at the suicide and drug overdose rates to see that our society is not functioning well.” – post author

    Civilization is right on schedule to commit suicide as have those that have gone before:

    In other words, a society does not ever die ‘from natural causes’, but always dies from suicide or murder — and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown. – A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee”

    (Polar Sea Ice Trend At Both Poles – 4).

    That happens when civilizations become lost (You Are Here).

  7. Apneaman on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 3:39 pm 

    Earth’s worst-ever mass extinction of life holds ‘apocalyptic’ warning about climate change, say scientists

    Runaway global warming saw the planet’s average temperature hit about double what it is today about 250 million years ago

    ““The emission of carbon dioxide from volcanic deposits may have started the world onto the road of mass extinction, but it was the release of methane from shelf sediments and permafrost hydrates that was the ultimate cause for the catastrophic biotic event at the end Permian,” the researchers added.

    Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, suggested a major methane pulse was possible.”

  8. Apneaman on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 3:41 pm 

    Cyclic drought threatens to destabilise Amazon

    Researchers have identified a climate feedback mechanism that could have catastrophic consequences for one of the world’s great rainforests.

    “They report that a dangerous mix of human-induced devastation and cyclic drought in the Amazon could launch a vicious circle of forest dieback. The drought that killed the trees could intensify because of the intricate relationship between the rainforest and the rainfall, in which trees play a role in maintaining a pattern of precipitation by pumping fallen water back into the atmosphere.

    “We already know that, on the one hand, reduced rainfall increases the risk of forest dieback, and, on the other hand, forest loss can intensify regional droughts. So more droughts can lead to less forest, leading to more droughts, and so on,” says Delphine Clara Zemp, of Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who led the international team of scientists behind the finding.”

  9. Midnight Oil on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 3:56 pm 

    Mr Ap, All this is “manageable”” with engineering solutions and “adaptation” by our Corporate State paid for by change in Public Policy! That is the view of our current Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson,
    Nope, just the truth, Bob..

    Are these folks serious?

  10. green_achers on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 4:11 pm 

    Other gernerations having taken all of the prizes for lust, avarice, wrath, pride, envy, and gluttony, this one finds itself stuck with acedia.

  11. makati1 on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 5:35 pm 

    Even the most uneducated Americans (and Europeans) sense that they are living in a world that is crumbling around them. A combination of the Permian Extinction, the Great Depression, and the hottest point in the Cold War. Denial puts their face inches from a small screen most of their waking lives. Reality is too much to handle. The choice is drugs, violence and/or suicide.

    “Snowflakes” could not have existed in the days of my youth. They would have been shunned by their peers or put in some psychiatric ward. They would have been told to “suck it up!”. Now they are destroying any remnant of the American education system. I am enjoying the show. Just one more ring in the circus called America.

  12. twocats on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 9:20 pm 

    On the whole a good article. He’s in the right area, not all the way there yet, but close.

    something should be said for a diminishing per capita energy base, stagnant wages, inflation of assets that Y & Z’s don’t own (houses, education), a modern digital age which provides only artifice and almost nothing real. Who can blame these poor kids for being swallowed up by the shell. forget a flying car, we just want our robot lucy liu.

  13. dooma on Fri, 24th Mar 2017 11:58 pm 

    The article made absolutely no mention to the great influence of social media on the younger generations.

    Just as fashion, advertising and television in general was responsible for a large increase in eating disorders, social media and the internet has a lot to answer for.

    Working in the mental health field you get to see the results first hand of just how savage cyber-bullying can be. I am not talking about some of these young people being too ‘delicate’. Some of them have had traumatic things done to them such as rape. Then because the bullies are safe and sound at home, they find it simple to bombard the victim with terms like slut, whore, you asked for it and so on.

    It is harder for people like us that came from an era when this technology did not exist to understand just how important social media is to these kids and how much a thumbs up can release reward chemicals in their brains. To us it is just simple logic to just hit the off button.

    Ruthless drug companies have the DSM-IV in which you can find a mental illness for anybody and naturally a pill to manage it. So little Johnny is being drugged from an earlier age and many of these ‘victims’ will use the diagnosis as an excuse cloak to avoid doing pretty much anything that is physically or mentally taxing and are happy to stay that way.

    WE this created this environment that the younger generations are moulded into. Not them. Even though many frustrate the crap out of me I always remember that.

    Unfortunately, children are either brought up terribly or spoilt rotten. There is a massive gulf between the two.

  14. superpeasant on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 3:38 am 

    This is what happens when society passes ‘Peak Prosperity’. Some say it was the late ’50s and the ’60s, others put it in the ’70s and early ’80s. The fact is that, apart from the 0.01%, everyone else is on a downward slope. The consumerist ‘American Dream’ was actually a mirage. ‘Making America Great Again’, whatever that is supposed to mean, only raises hopes of re-running the dream rather than facing reality. Humanity has a choice;

    We either face up to the reality of over-population, climate change, over-consumption etc etc and work together to face up to the situation and dealing with it, or we fight and blame each other for not following the ‘correct’ fanciful economic or religious dogma until ist all comes to a tragic, horrible end. I wouldn’t bet on the first option.

  15. Cloggie on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 5:00 am 

    Solving space problems in China:

  16. Davy on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 7:40 am 

    Clog, better yet have smaller populations and don’t let them grow into a China. I would like to see how that picture works when fossil fuels and energy are in short supply. Those high-rises won’t function very well without reliable power and economic resupply. The key is not mega cities it is relatively few small urban centers with purpose and the rest on farms. Techno solutions are fine for now but their days are numbered by decline.

  17. Cloggie on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 7:46 am 

    Clog, better yet have smaller populations and don’t let them grow into a China.

    No need to convince me about the desirability of that. But how to get there? Nobody is voluntarily going to role over and die.

    And not having children just because the UN says so isn’t going to work either if offspring is seen as a pension package.

    So what then? War?

  18. Davy on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 8:17 am 

    “So what then? War?” No argument with your realization of a catch 22 of a failed civilization of population growth and techno progress. I guess just be patient because nature will catch up to all this fun and there will be solutions. War may be part of it but surely the traditional 4 horsemen will get involved as a traveling posse of nature’s judgment. Clog, at our age we may not have to worry about the posse but my 10 year olds will. I am speaking for them and the younger gen’s.

  19. cerita hot janda muda on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 8:36 am 

    Even though all women will vary, there are several universal signs that cheaters have if they’re doing something they shouldn’t be.
    When a single person strays beyond your marriage vows it
    is a clear sign that something inside relationship wasn’t working for them.
    Step back from your situation and earn the concerted effort not to
    concentrate on you.

  20. sunweb on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 10:32 am 

    For some reason the video “images” don’t show in Safari. They do show in Foxfire.
    Clicking on the link in Safari will bring them up. Sorry for the bother.


    This essay was prompted by Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: a history of violence and humanity,
    his assertion that violence is less today.
    His view to me is very narrow.

    We live in a very violent world. The multitudes dying from violence are not the only violence we are visiting on the earth. We have a callous blindness to the fate of others. The living world around us experiences the after-effect of our arrogance, our hubris and our disconnection. Tensions, threats, shadows of violence fill the air. None are immune.

    Connections globally via electronics and satellites underline the comparmentalized awareness felt by many of us, regardless of our economic circumstance.

  21. onlooker on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 11:40 am 

    A nod to what AP has been consistently saying and linking. We will do anything not to confront disturbing futures or realty
    “90% of people don’t want to know about a negative future”

  22. Apneaman on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 12:20 pm 

    onlooker and 99.9999% don’t want to know there is NO future at all for the dumb assed ape. Less than 1 human lifetime IMO and half or less than that for civilisation.

    From Canada to Siberia, Permafrost Thaw Produces ‘Hell’s Mouth’ Craters, Sinking Lands, and 7,000 Methane Pockets Waiting to Blow

    “(Recent research indicates that up to 120 billion tons of carbon could release from thawing permafrost this Century due to the warming that is now being caused by human fossil fuel burning. Such a release would roughly equate to 12 years of present fossil fuel burning adding approximately 40 ppm of CO2 equivalent gasses to the Earth’s Atmosphere [adding about 0.4 C to medium term warming and 0.8 C to long term warming].”

    “Locked away in all that permafrost is a massive store of carbon. Including peat, methane and methane hydrates, permafrost is estimated to have sequestered some 1,400 to 1,700 billion tons of a material that, if released as gas, could considerably contribute to the volume of heat trapping substances (like CO2 and CH4) already held aloft in the Earth’s atmosphere in a process that scientists call an amplifying climate feedback.”

  23. Apneaman on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 12:46 pm 

    We just need to bring back tradition and everything will be Golden again.

    How human sacrifice propped up the social order

    I say we start with the 1%ers. What better way to show the gods we love them and want to be saved than by sacrificing our “best & brightest”?

  24. Cloggie on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 1:58 pm 

    I say we start with the 1%ers. What better way to show the gods we love them and want to be saved than by sacrificing our “best & brightest”?

    I have this suspicion that Jews are going to be exempt from Apneaman’s neo-Bolshevik killing fields dreams.


    You are quite the creepy mass-murderer, Friedman.

    Historically nothing new here.

    Read this earlier today. Exactly the same mold as Apneaman:

    Americans are under exactly the same dire threat as the Russian upper layers were after 1917. This time the proletariat will be of a racial nature.


  25. Boat on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 2:49 pm 


    Most violent crime in the US is white on white, brown on brown, black on black etc. So back to the drawing board with your racism.

    On a side note is the continued push of the idea of a weak US military because we don’t win wars anymore. The military was not authorized to kill civilian populations in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia, etc. After Iraq through an election, now ground troops have been basically been taken away from the military. Do not discount the power of militaries given the green light to kill.

  26. Cloggie on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 3:06 pm 

    Most violent crime in the US is white on white, brown on brown, black on black etc. So back to the drawing board with your racism.

    You probably wrote your post in response to my previous post, showing that you absolutely did not understand a iota of its meaning.

    Than you switch to the unrelated topic of crime in the US and lump together all X-on-X crime, deceptively masking who is the real violent group:

    Mind you, these are absolute figures. Blacks are merely 13%, whites 61% or so. This shows that blacks are at least 10 times as violent than whites.

    So back to the drawing board with your reality denying “anti-racist” baloney.

  27. Boat on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 3:21 pm 


    You keep making the point about how whites are losing control and should fear the dark man. Looks to me dark men should fear dark men. How did whitey get mixed up in your reasoning?
    You know where most of the crime is? Youth, gangs, drugs and the struggle for territory. There is no huge racist movement for control over the government or it’s military. Lol

  28. Dredd on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 3:42 pm 

    crockman is everywhere.

  29. GregT on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 5:17 pm 

    “On a side note is the continued push of the idea of a weak US military because we don’t win wars anymore.”

    Anymore? Name one war that the US has won.

    “The military was not authorized to kill civilian populations in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia, etc.”

    That certainly didn’t stop them from doing so, now did it. Over two million in the 4 above mentioned illegal invasions alone.

  30. Davy on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 5:30 pm 

    Greg, you know of any countries that have won any wars? At least the Americans can fight when called to. Name some countries with a military that can fight. Your military couldn’t find its way out of a wet paper bag.

  31. GregT on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 6:05 pm 

    I don’t have a military Davy, and neither do you.

  32. GregT on Sat, 25th Mar 2017 6:09 pm 

    “Greg, you know of any countries that have won any wars?”

    Thank you for answering my question to Boat. He’s obviously too stupid to do so on his own.

  33. Cloggie on Sun, 26th Mar 2017 8:27 am 

    “Made in X”

    This label was originally invented by Britain end 19th century as a WARNING against “made in Germany”.lol

    Marketing data bureau Statista developed an index that allows for ranking nations according to prestige of “Made in X”. Here are the results:

    Little warning… Statista is “Made in Germany”.

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