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Heinberg: Traditionalism through the Lens of Cultural Ecology

Public Policy

A battle is raging in Washington for ultimate power, and while it’s being defined by personality (specifically, one “yuge” ego), it also hinges on political philosophies. The common terms liberalism and conservatism have lost their usefulness in navigating these boiling political waters. Traditionalism is a word that has been used to emblemize the recent rightward ideological surge in the U.S. and much of the rest of the world, but it remains widely unfamiliar and poorly defined.

In this essay, I’ll explore the significance of traditionalism using a conceptual tool I’ve sometimes called cultural ecology. Ecology is, of course, the study of the relationships between organisms and their environments; cultural ecology is therefore an inquiry into the ways that society shapes itself in response to geography, energy resources, and other factors of the environment. In my view, the current rise of traditionalism can best be understood in light of these kinds of contextual factors. I’ll discuss cultural ecology and our current global context first, traditionalism a little later on.

Cultural Ecology and the Current Global Context

My own understanding of cultural ecology is derived largely from the work of anthropologist Marvin Harris, who investigated in detail how societies were transformed by their shifts from primordial hunting-and-gathering to agrarianism, and how they adapted themselves to various geographies (anthropologist Leslie White and geographer Jared Diamond also made important contributions along these lines). In the last couple of centuries, a shift as profound as the agricultural revolution of 10,000 years ago occurred as societies came to base their economies on the use of fossil fuels. Now, as the fossil fuel era starts to wane, wrenching changes in the social, intellectual, political, and religious foundations of modern society should be anticipated.

Fossil-fueled society came to full flower during the twentieth century. With unprecedented amounts of energy available economies grew rapidly, and the expectation of further and unending growth became a core feature of economic and political theory. Consumerism evolved as a set of economic arrangements to ensure and manage growth. With growth came the notion that unending progress was to be expected also in the social, scientific, and political realms. Capitalism—the private ownership of what Karl Marx called the “means of production,” along with mechanisms for constant reinvestment in the expansion of those means—was never so much a coherent ideology as a set of cobbled-together agreements and institutions. Since capitalism’s tendency (as Marx observed) was to produce ever greater economic inequality along with worsening boom-bust cycles, efforts were made to restrain those tendencies through redistributive taxation and social programs, along with financial, labor, and environmental regulations (which were seen by many as signs of social and political progress). Immigration and globalization served to reduce labor costs, but were also regarded as evidence of progress toward a more egalitarian, multicultural ideal. The acceptance and resettlement of refugees from political strife or natural disasters represented a national expression of humanitarianism.

This was the milieu within which liberal and conservative political discourse took place; that discourse questioned relative degrees of power and benefit enjoyed by social groups (e.g., workers versus managers versus owners of capital) but seldom challenged the shared allegiance to growth. Within a growing economy, there was always more for (nearly) everyone, even though some were able to obtain a much higher percentage of the increasing overall wealth.

The fossil fuel era is now failing. Unless society migrates rapidly away from carbon-based fuels, climate change will increasingly batter the economy in a hundred different ways. But even ignoring climate change, there is still the problem of depletion: oil, coal, and natural gas are finite resources extracted using the low-hanging fruit principle. While large amounts of these resources remain, each further increment extracted offers declining energy returns on the energy invested in producing them. Economists should recognize this as an instance of the law of diminishing returns. The situation with respect to oil is approaching crisis: while production rates are high, costs to producers overall are soaring (the recent drop in production costs for certain types of U.S. tight oil notwithstanding), and the higher prices needed to cover those costs can’t be sustained because they tend to frustrate economic growth and kill demand for motor fuel. The petroleum industry is between a proverbial rock and hard place, with debt increasing and profit evaporating. Alternative energy sources will need to be introduced at eight to ten times the current rate of solar and wind build-out to avert either a climate or a depletion crisis. In any case it is highly doubtful that renewable or nuclear energy could support the consumer economy we have come to rely on. Since energy is the basis for all economic activity (a fact mainstream economists have been slow to grasp), the end of the fossil fuel era effectively means the end of growth.

Just as a growing economy encouraged the development of the ideological and social constructs of the twentieth century (described above), a stagnating or contracting economy is likely to favor a very different and uglier politics whose main themes are:

  • longing (and promises) for the return of a lost condition of abundance
  • expressions of grievance
  • blaming of identifiable social or political groups for the loss of abundance, and
  • calls for the exclusion of others who are deemed to be competing with “us” for increasingly scarce resources.

This could be a description of what would, in ordinary political discourse, be termed far-right nationalist populism. Traditionalism serves as one of several standards for that strain of politics.

Inside Bannon’s Brain

Let’s look a little more closely at the ideological particulars of traditionalism. It would probably be futile to search the words of Donald Trump himself for signs of a coherent philosophy, because the man does not write books or articles (only tweets), and speaks below a sixth-grade level. However, some meaningful insight into ideological Trumpism can perhaps be gleaned from White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon.

The website Politico recently explored Bannon’s reading list, describing him as a “voracious reader who devours works of history and political theory.” His favored readings “tend to have one thing in common: the view that technocrats have put Western civilization on a downward trajectory and that only a shock to the system can reverse its decline. And they tend to have a dark, apocalyptic tone. . . .”

One of Bannon’s influences is said to be neoreactionary blogger Curtis Yarvin, who writes under the pen name Mencius Moldbug. Yarvin is a leader of a movement called Dark Enlightenment, that rejects egalitarianism and multiculturalism along with the progressive view of world history. Dark Enlightenment implies a support for strong, centralized political leadership along with libertarian economics and socially conservative views on gender roles, race relations, and immigration.

Another Bannon favorite is Nassim Taleb, author of the 2014 book Antifragile, which proposes managing systems in a way that benefits from random events, errors, and volatility.

The term traditionalism crops up specifically in the work of Italian philosopher Julius Evola (1898-1974). In a recent New York Times article, Jason Horowitz explored Bannon’s fascination with Evola, “a leading proponent of Traditionalism, a worldview popular in far-right and alternative religious circles that believes progress and equality are poisonous illusions.” Evola’s book Revolt Against the Modern World speculated that the near-universal myth of a lost Golden Age was actually a collective memory of a time when religious and temporal power were united, and society was ruled by spiritual warriors. He believed that the modern world represents a serious decline from that society.

In my first book, Memories and Visions of Paradise: Exploring the Universal Myth of a Lost Golden Age (1989, revised edition 1995), I explained how the idea of a lost Golden Age has long been associated with various forms of millenarianism—the notion that the current world is degraded and approaching a cleansing crisis from which a revived paradisiacal condition will emerge. Millenarian movements (of which many variants of Christianity and Islam are clear examples) often spring up during times of secular decline or crisis, and typically take the form of a cult led by a charismatic visionary aiming to “Make the world great again!” The leader is sometimes a benign character (like British socialist Robert Owen, who started an American commune in 1825), though often more malign (like Hitler).

In my view, if there ever was a Golden Age, it was probably not a time of rigid hierarchy; the myth is more likely a deep cultural memory of our shared origin in egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies, when we lived embedded in nature rather than separate from and dominating it. Hunting and gathering was a hard way of life, but psychologically rewarding nevertheless. Evidence suggests humans left it behind not out of a hunger for technology and progress, but because of population pressure and resource depletion. Evola’s avowed fascism, racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-feminism, and his vision of a hierarchical society ruled by a spiritually superior caste are, in my view, based on a profoundly delusional understanding of history and anthropology. But in this respect traditionalism is far from unique: most millenarian movements invent highly fanciful idyllic pasts and possible futures.

In any case, the longing for a cleansing fire is clearly present in Evola. Perhaps Bannon—who has said he wants to “destroy” the state—is especially attracted to Evola’s belief that creating change is “not a question of contesting and polemicizing, but of blowing everything up.”

In short, cultural ecology predicts that a historical moment of change such as ours would provide the ideal growth medium for social and religious movements that glorify a largely imagined past, anticipate a cathartic renewal (which they may seek to precipitate), and promise followers a privileged position in the coming order. And that’s pretty much what we are seeing.

Traditionalism Beyond Trumpland

Not surprisingly, perhaps, some of the basic features of traditionalism are also evident in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Recall that Russia went through its own end-of-growth crisis in the 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. It’s entirely understandable, therefore, that the current Russian leader has gained great popularity by calling for a return to idealized ancient values. In a 2013 speech at the Valdai conference in Russia, Putin warned,

“We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilization. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.”

In a 2014 speech at the Vatican, Steve Bannon called Putin a kleptocrat, but spoke approvingly of his philosophy: “We the Judeo-Christian West really have to look at what [Putin is] talking about as far as traditionalism goes—particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism.”

One of Putin’s influences (though the extent is disputed) is Aleksandr Dugin, a far-right Russian political philosopher, who has himself professed admiration for Julius Evola. Dugin writes prolifically on geopolitics as well as political philosophy, and has asserted that, “Only after restoring the Greater Russia that is the Eurasian Union, we can become a credible global player.” He has helped Putin forge alliances with nationalist movements in Europe, including Marine LePen’s National Front in France, Golden Dawn in Greece, Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD), the Ataka Party in Bulgaria, and Hungary’s Jobbik Party. Putin’s friend Viktor Orbán, now Prime Minister of Hungary, has promised to turn his country into an “illiberal democracy” modeled on Russia. After a February 2 meeting with Putin, Orbán declared that “It’s in the air; the world is in the process of a substantial realignment.” Orbán is virulently anti-Muslim; he sees Islam as a “rulebook for another world.”

Traditionalism demands an enemy, and the fear and loathing of Islam is a key feature of far-right populism in both Europe and the U.S. Here’s Steve Bannon speaking (again at the Vatican) on the dangers of what he calls “jihadist Islamic fascism”: “I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis. . . . There is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global. . . . Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is, and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it, will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act.”

Geert Wilders of the Dutch populist Party for Freedom is the current frontrunner in Holland’s upcoming elections; he has proclaimed that “Islam and freedom are not compatible” and argues for strong anti-Muslim measures, without which the nation will be “colonised and Islamised.”

The expectation of an ultimate cathartic clash between a traditionalist Christian West and jihadist Islam is of course enthusiastically shared by the most radical Islamist movements such as the Islamic State and Al Qaida—which themselves represent yet more brands of millenarianism.

The description of the relationship between Islam and the West as a “clash between civilizations” appeared first in a 1957 speech at Johns Hopkins University by British orientalist Bernard Lewis (he later amended the phrase to “clash of civilizations”). Harvard professor Samuel Huntington popularized the idea, which now makes its way toward center stage in world politics. With both Trumpists and Jihadis as advocates, it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Other Possibilities?

Societies in decline or crisis don’t always elevate far-right leaders and social movements. For example, the medieval Joachimites and Brethren of the Free Spirit (whose followers endured plagues and wrenching poverty), and the 17th century Ranters in Britain (where small farmers were losing their land to the wealthy) promoted a radically egalitarian vision of human relations. Much more recently, a period of economic contraction and crisis in the United States produced one of the country’s most left-leaning presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Indeed, it could be argued that Barack Obama was an FDR-like figure tasked to address the global financial crisis of 2008, but that his too-tepid response (or the fact that the crisis was too deeply-rooted to yield fully to Keynesian formulae) then opened the way for far-right Trumpism.

Traditionalism therefore may characterize only one phase of the cultural and political aftermath to the end of growth. While for the foreseeable future (and in certain nations or regions) circumstances may favor strong leaders who demonize racial or religious groups and promise a restoration of forsaken values, their regimes may disappear as quickly as they arrived on the scene. Polities may fragment, with formerly united regions choosing to follow separate paths. In a time of such ferment, most socio-political forecasts are foolhardy. However, I’ll venture one: the least likely outcome for America is a return to the liberal, secular, consumerist order that characterized the post-WWII decades.

Currently, large swathes of America (accounting for over half its total population) are proving highly resistant to the Trumpist mental virus, and much the same could be said with regard to most of the European far-right movements. Further, the likely practical administrative failure of the Trump regime might immunize the nation—or at least large chunks of it—from any other rightist millenarian leader or movement for the foreseeable future.

A far-left millenarian movement could arise in response, given a sufficiently charismatic standard-bearer. In the decades since 1980 the West has gotten used to recurrent crops of fairly ineffectual and innocuous movements on the political left, but a more militant egalitarianism is entirely feasible (think Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, or the Red Brigades) and could potentially prove as dangerous as any other brand of extreme millenarianism.

Fortunately, our future options need not be limited to choosing between competing brands of millenarianism. Individuals and communities can simply concentrate on practical efforts to bring the greatest good to the most people (and other species) over the longest time by rethinking and redesigning production and consumption patterns in anticipation of the failure of existing consumerist institutions. The word “good” in the previous sentence is of course open to definition and redefinition, but even a meager understanding of ecology and psychology would suggest that it should point to values like diversity (permitting the flourishing of many kinds of species and cultures), happiness, health, autonomy, and sustainability. Identify existing efforts pushing your community in those directions. Start new efforts along those lines, and work to build the resilience of your community to economic and social disruption. Millenarianism is a collective psychological expression of stress and powerlessness. The antidote is to act. In a time of division, unite. In a time of demonization, reach out.

##

Want to dig deeper into the topics I explore in these blog posts? Post Carbon Institute has just released a new online course called Think Resilience: Preparing Communities for the Rest of the 21st Century. Learn more at education.resilience.org.

 

 

Disengage from the spectacle

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Behold today’s edition of Empire’s End—the biggest, best-ever 24/7 reality TV show! It’s been decades in preparation, with a budget in the trillions, a cast of billions! Its hero-villain is far more colorful and pathetic than Tony Soprano or Walter White. One day he and his team of oddball supporting characters appear to be winning bigly; the next, they’re crashing and burning. We’re all on the edges of our seats, alternately enraged, horrified, thrilled, or brought to tears in uncontrollable laughter. Who could bear to miss a minute of it?

Still, maybe at least some of us are better off severely limiting our consumption of American national news just now. It’s not that events in Washington won’t affect us. They most assuredly will. Rather, I’d argue that there are even more important things to attend to, over which we have far greater agency.

I’ve invested as much attention in the outrage-of-the-day distraction machine as anyone, spending scores of hours reading news reports and analyses, and I’ve written at least a half-dozen essays about our current tweeter-in-chief. And I’m here to tell you that full immersion in the news cycle is just not healthy.

Some readers may find this conclusion too cynical. I propose it only after a great deal of thought, and on the basis of two premises.

First Premise: We are at the end of the period of general economic growth that characterized the post-WWII era. I’ve written extensively about this, and there’s no need to repeat myself at length here. Suffice it to say that we humans have harvested the world’s cheap and easy-to-exploit energy resources, and the energy that’s left will not, much longer, support the kind of consumer economy we’ve built. Further, in order to keep the party roaring, we’ve built up consumer and government debt levels to unsustainable extremes. We’ve also pumped hundreds of billions of tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and oceans, putting the entire biosphere at risk. Yet our current economic and political systems require further, endless growth in order to avert collapse. Almost no one wants to discuss this situation—neither politicians nor economists. Therefore the general public is left mostly in the dark. Still, everyone senses a change in the air: despite jiggered statistics, workers know that their wages have stagnated or fallen in recent years, and members of the younger generation generally expect to earn less that their parents. This generates a persistent low-level sense of fear and dissatisfaction, guaranteeing a significant political shift such as we are seeing.

Second Premise: The new and current U.S. regime is adopting an essentially fascist character. When empires decline, people often turn to leaders perceived as strong, and who promise to return the nation to its former glory. In extreme instances, such leaders can be characterized as fascist—using the word in a generic sense to refer to authoritarian nationalism distinguished by one-party rule, the demonization of internal and external enemies (usually tinged with some form of racism or anti-Semitism), controls on press freedoms, and social conservatism. Here’s the thing: Once a nation turns decisively toward fascism, there’s rarely a turning back. Fascist regimes ruthlessly hobble and destroy all opposition. Typically, it takes a foreign invasion or a complete economic-political-social collapse to reset a national government that has gone fascist.

Now, put these two premises together. Those who get the second premise but miss the first tend to conclude that, at least until the new regime neutralizes significant opposition within the government, there is still something we can do to make everything turn out okay—in the sense that life would return to “normal.” Just defeat the fascists, no matter what the cost. But the end of growth ensures that, beyond a certain point, there will be no more “normal.” We’re headed into new territory no matter what.

Taking both premises into account, what are the likely outcomes?

It’s possible that the Trumpist insurgency will succeed in rooting out or suppressing opposition not just in Congress and the media, but also in Executive-branch departments including the CIA and FBI. In that case we may see at least a few years of authoritarian national governance punctuated by worsening financial and environmental crises, all against the backdrop of accelerating national decline. It’s just a guess, but the regime may have only two more months to somehow overcome resistance within the intelligence community; if it can do so, then the task of undercutting the judiciary and the media can be pursued at a more leisurely pace over the next year or two. But thanks to Premise One, short-term success probably will not lead to a regime that is stable over the long term. Eventually, no matter how vigorously it suppresses real or perceived enemies, the U.S. federal government will collapse as a result of war, economic crisis, or the simple ongoing erosion of biophysical support systems. At that point a possible trajectory for the nation would be to break apart into smaller geographically defined political entities.

However, the short-term success of the current regime is not yet guaranteed. It is still entirely possible that establishmentarian Democratic and Republican members of Congress, working with with renegade CIA and FBI mid-level officials and mainstream media outlets, could mire the new leadership in a scandal that is too deep to survive. Or, if Republicans lose control of Congress in 2018, articles of impeachment could be brought against Trump. This would not, however, guarantee a return to status quo politics in Washington. Not only does Premise One guarantee that the old status quo is no longer tenable, but also on its own terms the political system is now too broken and the nation too divided. In this scenario, pro-regime and anti-regime elites might just continue to escalate their attacks on one another until the whole system crashes—as I explained in a previous essay, citing the conclusions of ecologist Peter Turchin, which he based on his comparative study of over a dozen ancient and modern societies in analogous circumstances.

It’s just a guess: if the regime is successful in the short term, we might get a slower crash; if it fails, we might get a faster one. In any case, there’s no national team to root for that is capable of restoring the status quo ante Trump, at least not for long, if that is even desirable. Under either scenario, competent local governance might provide significantly better living conditions than the national average (more on that below), but the overall picture is pretty grim. A few years from now I expect that we’ll be in very different territory socially, politically, and economically. This is not a conclusion that I relish, but it’s one seemingly demanded by history and logic.

Nevertheless, what we do in the meantime could make a big positive difference to people and planet, both over the short term and also over the long term. Here are some specific things you can do:

  1. Disengage from the spectacle. Learn what you need to know in order to assess immediate threats and general trends, but otherwise avoid spending long periods of time ingesting online, print, radio, or televised media. It’s bad for your mental health and takes time away from other items on this list.
  2. If you haven’t already done so, make a personal and family resilience plan in case of a temporary breakdown in the basic functions of government (everyone should do this anyway in view of our vulnerability to earthquakes or weather disasters). Where should you be living? Are you growing any of your own food? Do you have some food and water in storage? Have you reduced your energy usage to a minimum, and installed solar PV (with short-term battery backup) and hot water solar panels? Do you have some cash set aside?
  3. Work to build community resilience. If and when national governance breaks down, your local community’s degree of social and biophysical resilience will make all the difference for you and your family. Biophysical resilience relates to local food, water, and energy systems. A socially resilient community is one in which people are talking to one another, institutions for resolving disputes are trusted, and people look out for one another. Identify organizations that are building both kinds of resilience in your community and engage with them. These could be churches, civic government, non-profit organizations, food co-ops, energy co-ops, health co-ops, neighborhood safety groups, local investment clubs, or Transition groups. Get involved with existing organizations or start new ones. Yes, it takes a lot of time. But friends are more important than money in the bank—especially in times of social and political upheaval.
  4. Direct some of your resilience-building efforts toward long-term and nature-centered concerns. This might take the form of conservation work of various kinds. In my last essay, I discussed assisting the migration of forests in the face of climate change. Carbon farming and providing wild bird and insect refuges are other options—not (only) because they’re enjoyable hobbies but because they help maintain the biophysical resilience of the ecosystems we depend on. Again, this is work that proceeds best in the company of others.
  5. Take some time for the conservation of culture—arts and skills that are their own reward. Connecting with others in your community by enjoying or playing music together, singing, dancing, or making visual art deepens relationships and gives life more dimension and meaning.

While the legal and social functions of liberal democracy persist, vigorous and sustained protest efforts could help rein in the fascist tendencies of the new American government. Participating in protests could enable you to get to know other members of your community. On the other hand, protest could further fragment your community if that community is already deeply divided politically—and it could eventually get you in a lot of trouble depending on how things work out, since protest under fascist regimes doesn’t produce the same result as protest in a liberal democracy.

Don’t obey the new leaders when they call for actions that undermine democracy and justice; instead, choose to actively disobey in ways that actually matter in the long term. Refuse to define yourself in terms of the regime. Yes, at certain moments in history it is necessary to take a stand one way or the other on a particular issue (such as the issue of slavery in mid-nineteenth century America), and in the days ahead some issue may require you to plant your flag. But this historical moment may be one when many real heroes and heroines choose to engage in ways that are not scripted by any of the elites.

richardheinberg.com



34 Comments on "Heinberg: Traditionalism through the Lens of Cultural Ecology"

  1. Cloggie on Tue, 28th Mar 2017 5:44 pm 

    “The fossil fuel era is now failing. ”

    Nowhere near as your predictions about it, mr Heinberg.

  2. Davy on Tue, 28th Mar 2017 6:30 pm 

    Heinberg has gone off the deep end into denial. While I agree Trump and the republicans are a hopeless mess the democrats are so far in to hypocrisy and denial it is a joke. They think they are squeaky clean when they are now just as bad in so many ways. Heinberg is no longer relevant to Ecological reality of the world. That reality is above politics and points to a different way of life from the privilege and elitism of the modern democrats. He is now part of the fake news democratic movement.

  3. onlooker on Tue, 28th Mar 2017 6:36 pm 

    Politics has become a worthless distraction to the plight of humanity as are its adherents

  4. makati1 on Tue, 28th Mar 2017 8:47 pm 

    “…fascist—using the word in a generic sense to refer to authoritarian nationalism distinguished by one-party rule, the demonization of internal and external enemies (usually tinged with some form of racism or anti-Semitism), controls on press freedoms, and social conservatism. Here’s the thing: Once a nation turns decisively toward fascism, there’s rarely a turning back. Fascist regimes ruthlessly hobble and destroy all opposition. Typically, it takes a foreign invasion or a complete economic-political-social collapse to reset a national government that has gone fascist.”

    “Eventually, no matter how vigorously it suppresses real or perceived enemies, the U.S. federal government will collapse as a result of war, economic crisis, or the simple ongoing erosion of biophysical support systems. At that point a possible trajectory for the nation would be to break apart into smaller geographically defined political entities.”

    A bit of hopium at the end but a good piece.

    He forgot to mention one other option: GET OUT OF DODGE!

  5. JuanP on Tue, 28th Mar 2017 10:58 pm 

    I hardly pay any attention to national and global politics any more. I am very focused on implementing local, small scale measures in Uruguay and Miami, particularly dealing with food, energy, water, shelter and personal defense.

    My two favorite urban organic farms in Miami are closing in three weeks. The owners of one are moving to Homestead and the owners of the other are going back to their home in Quebec. My wife and I are considering whether to buy one of them or continue our volunteering with school and community food gardens. Right now we are designing a food garden that we will build in ten days at a rehab clinic for women. I am tempted by the idea of buying a farm here but I think I find volunteering with the food gardens more rewarding. We will be farming until we die in our old age so I am in no hurry to start doing it. From what I’ve seen running a commercial farm is quite brutal.

  6. GregT on Tue, 28th Mar 2017 11:05 pm 

    Good for you Juan. Have you ever thought about starting a blog?

  7. makati1 on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 2:38 am 

    Guys, the only thing to think about is how you are going to survive when the SHTF. Miami is NOT where I would want to be. If you have an option, you best take it while you can and get your net worth out of the F$A. Your access to cash will be locked down tight one of these days. The $10,000. you can carry in cash, or equivalent, out of the country now, will be cut to $5K then $2K the Zero.

    Take that as a bit of advice from one who DOES read the current events about the U$ police state and the coming events. It is unsettling and scary at times, but important for preparing.

    Did you know:

    “Here is an excerpt from the Passports page of the State Department of January 12, 2016: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Friday that Real ID-compliant identification, such as a passport or a driver’s license from a Real ID-compliant state, will not be required … to fly domestically … until 2018.”

    Note the date YOU will be required to have OFFICIAL permission to travel between U$ cities on an airplane. 2018. Next year. And that is only the first step to total control of everything in your life, including your life. Eventually you will be stopped on the road and asked for your “papers”. Checks will be history. Cash withdrawals will be limited. Credit/debit purchases likewise. (See India and China for current examples.)

    Ignoring current events outside your little local interests is another form of denial that will destroy ALL of your plans if you are not aware and adapting. Freedom in the land of the slaves is only for the masters. Not YOU. Nuff said.

  8. Anonymouse on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 3:23 am 

    Isnt it odd that during that last 8 years, Mr Weinberg, seldom talked politics directly, and the rare cases where he did, only obliquely at that. He had a severe aversion to directly addressing the root cause of, well, the reason for his cause.
    When it came to candidly discussing the role of the amerikan empire, and its leadership play in the grand scheme of things, he adhered to a , See no evil, hear no evil policy.

    He was no Paul Craig Roberts, or Micheal Hudson, to say the least.

    Now, that the president drumpf is ‘in’, that former reticence of his we saw for the last 8 years looks like it just got chucked out the window. RH, seems to have discovered ‘politics’, and (now) seems to have no problem directing his ire at washingdum in a way he never could seem to do when obomber and shillary were waging endless war against the planet and its peoples.

    A side of him we seldom (ok never) saw when BO and his merry band of noe-liberal marauders were ‘in charge’.

    Funny that.

  9. GregT on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 3:28 am 

    All symptoms of much bigger problems Anon.

  10. Cloggie on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 3:49 am 

    Heinberg is a typical American history distorter and faker. He uses the word “fascism” seven times in his nasty piece.

    Even the encyclopedia of the New World Order Wikipedia has to admit about fascism:

    Following the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II, the term fascist has been used as a pejorative, often referring to widely varying movements across the political spectrum. George Orwell wrote in 1944 that “the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless … almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist'”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

    What is fascism really? Short answer: an Italian authoritarian nationalist defense mechanism against the immense threat of Soviet communism that wanted to export its “blessings” to the rest of the world, secretly financially aided by certain kosher circles in Wall Street. Communism always systematically kills all the higher elements/best genes in society. Fascism took over in Italy in 1922, at the same moment that the communist revolution had succeeded in Moscow. And that was no coincidence.

    But you will never hear this creepy beta male Heinberg, the embodiment of the coming downfall of Anglosphere, about communism.

    Let’s compare the humanitarian track record of Soviet Communism and Italian Fascism. How many of its own citizens did both these systems kill in cold blood in peace time?

    – Soviet communism: millions
    – Italian fascism: 10 for the entire duration of this ideology between 1922-1943, that’s less than half of what Texas executes each year.

    But the likes of Heinberg and most other Americans don’t like to stress this too much, as they need to hide the fact that the Anglo-Zionist victory and subsequent colonization of Europe was achieved mostly thanks to the efforts of the greatest mass-murdering operation this world has ever seen.

    Heinberg is a commie, a typical American commie, which means a racial commie. Little mouse Heinberg opposes the efforts of European America, spearheaded by Trump, to protect itself against its own demographic demise.

    Anglosphere (both Britain and the US) are busy committing demographic suicide, at a rate far worse than in continental Europe, as designed by the kosher dominated deep state. Britain will simply disappear in the night without a fight. Let them go. But America is different. The largest minority there is of German descent (with Heinberg a bad apple). They will likely put up a fight against their own demise.

    That’s what we in continental Europe and Russia should be waiting for and realize that Europe and Russia have three times as many soldiers as the US and more than 10,000 wide body aircraft to deploy hundreds of thousands in a matter of 48 hours. Europe should use the coming few Trump years to set up a European military command and control structure to prepare for things to come.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3wPQgMAll8
    (the logistics of intercontinental troop deployment)

    In the thirties Anglos fought in Spain on the side of the Stalinist communists (and failed). This time it will be precisely the other way around: right-wing Europeans solving the little Anglo-Zionist problem the white race has once and for all.

    Now patiently wait for the moment they go at each others throat.

  11. Cloggie on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 5:45 am 

    Britain in distress:

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/783542/Lord-Heseltine-Brexit-Germany-takeover-Europe-as-if-it-won-war

    Lawd Heseltine freaking out about what is happening to Britain right now. Heseltine is much smarter than the British deplorables, who seized the opportunity and took a hike from Europe. In his heart Heseltine, like the rest of the British elite, is with his deplorables, but his mind is much sharper and much more able to foresee the consequences of Brexit.

    The former deputy prime minister claimed Angela Merkel’s country will “win the peace” after the UK’s role in the Brussels bloc is diminished following Brexit.

    It is more likely that France, Germany and Russia will win the peace. But not Britain, so much is certain. All 27 remaining members of the EU have announced that they will use Britain to set an example and not create a pretext for other members to follow.

    44% of British export goes to the EU. Britain can forget about a continued membership of the common market without being a net contributor.

    He also claimed Britain will lose out to Germany in terms of the US, claiming President Donald Trump will shift his focus to Germany after the EU exit.

    Touche! Trump embodies the desire of the Heartland folks to remain European-American. Britain, that has a majority Muslim capital, is not an example. The fellow-populists in Europe and Russia are more attractive for the Heartland. After we get rid of Merkel first.

    In an interview with The House magazine, he said: “We’ve now abandoned the opportunity to influence Europe, the council of ministers will meet and we won’t be there.

    You got that right mr Heseltine.

    “And if I can put it to you, for someone like myself, it was in 1933, the year of my birth, that Hitler was democratically elected in Germany. He unleashed the most horrendous war.

    Last time I checked it were the British who declared war on Germany, not the other way round.

    “This country played a unique role in securing his defeat.

    Absolutely, by teaming up with the Soviets and Americans in order to defeat a country that always wanted to be your ally.

    “So Germany lost the war. We’ve just handed them the opportunity to win the peace. I find that quite unacceptable.“

    What are you going to do about it, Michael?

    Der Spiegel is anti-Brexit, but now that it happened here is a list of why Britain has a losing hand of cards:

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/brexit-grossbritannien-beginnt-verhandlungen-mit-eu-a-1140806.html

    1. Brussels. Will be very hard. They demand a sum of 60 billion euro for starters.
    2. Scotland. Wants to remain in the EU and therefore applied for a new referendum. Now with better chances.
    3. Norther Ireland. Also wants to remain in the EU. Could jeopardize fragile religious peace. The EU membership of Ireland was seen as a compromise for the Catholics of Northern Ireland.
    4. British economy. British employers union EEF published a report containing strong warnings. Tariffs are almost certain going to be installed again.
    5. British politics. If a negotiated settlement will be reached (a very big if), parliament still has to decide about the settlement. It remains to be seen if it will be 48-52 like in the British street.

    The other strong possibility is that negotiations will fail and a hard Brexit will follow, with Britain having relations with the EU, comparable to EU-North Korean relations.

    Oh and then there is Gibraltar. If Scotland and Northern Ireland secede and the Islamic flag will wave over the Great Mosque of London, um make that Houses of Parliament, nothing will stop Spain to finally take the rock back and bring control over the Strait back in continental European hands.

    Another strong possibility is that Britain will have second thoughts about the Brexit and decides to stay. I think that this unfortunately has a more than 50% chance of happening. Let’s at least ensure that the coming 24 months are used to press through all the issues that Britain so far managed to block, first of all an EU army.

    https://www.ft.com/content/fde7616a-e6cf-11e6-967b-c88452263daf
    Here a media Jew Gideon Rachman confirming what Heseltine fears: Trump-America will choose the side of the EU (after Merkel), not Britain.

    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201611181047581518-britain-brexit-referenda-disaster/
    The news that the country’s Office of Budget Responsibility, a department set up by the Government to produce independent data on the state of the country’s finances, has just announced a £100 billion (US$124bn) shortfall in revenues post-Brexit, tells its own story.

  12. Davy on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 5:58 am 

    Heinberg has some great ideas expressed in his earlier books. I have many of his books and they offered insight into our predicaments just when the realization of these predicaments were starting to gel. The problem with people in this earlier movement like Heinberg is their message has become redundant, irrelevant, and bought off. Bought off by the need for popularity and by what the basis of that popularity is. That basis is a cake fest of eating the cake and having it and that revolves around green affluence. There is no green except poverty and complete submission to nature. They are preaching hope in alternative energy when this is just more of the same techno living with no future. He is not commenting on overpopulation and drastic action with that. He only wants to point fingers at DJT when his side is part of the problem. Getting out of lies only happens by self-reflection. It is not about blame and complain.

    The evolution of a new and mature message with relevance is more like Guy McPherson and his message of no long term hope. We need to be building lifeboats and hospices not talking politics like Heinberg and Kunstler. Politics is lost and the more you get into it the more you get tainted by it. We need to be making drastic decisions on the personal level because there is no changing the train wreck called globalism. When globalism fails there will be a die off and everywhere not just the 3rd world.

    Politics is comedy and fun on some levels but it is truly tragedy in our insane world today. If I am harsh on liberals it is because they are now as warped as their nemesis they are obsessed with. They don’t deny science they just deny what science is clearly telling us. They preach social justice which is so important in a world that is fragmenting and in horrible unfairness but they want to do this as they pursue affluence. Their rich leadership want social justice just not in their back yard. They want to defend free speech but just so it conforms to theirs. They have become what they hate and that is a story of man’s evolutionary dead end. That dead end is living an existential lie that is also the planets dead end.

    I am a liberal leaning tree huger that lives what I preach. I have goat shit on me daily from living permaculture. I am stuck in the hypocrisy of the status quo and my own part in that. I can only relatively detach and still make a difference to those I love. To truly follow my beliefs means venturing into the land as a monk without a footprint. Basically today that is called being a bum. There was a time when society respected monks, sages, and shamans but now in our religion of affluence these people are called bums.

    The liberals whose values are the only ones that match what I am preaching have gone off the deep end of hypocrisy and I can’t stand hypocrisy. Heinberg is now off the deep end into his affluent west coast groupie hang preaching politics when he should be preaching hospices and lifeboats. He is offering false hope when he should be acknowledging all is lost and we need to pull together to save something and leave some wisdom from our planetary existential mistake to those who come after us into this destroyed planet.

  13. Davy on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 6:47 am 

    More reality smacks Trumps grand vision of “Making America Great Again”. It appears it will not be the hypocritical democrats that stymie DJT it will be reality of a nation that is broke and divided.
    “Trump’s Border Wall May Force Government Shutdown”
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-28/trumps-border-wall-may-force-government-shutdown

    “All of the committees, House and Senate leaderships, are working together to try to finalize the rest of the FY17 bill,” he added. My guess is that “comes together better” without Trump’s additional request for the border wall and military programs and could be considered “at a later time.”

  14. JuanP on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 6:56 am 

    Hi Greg, I’ve thought about starting a blog or a website many times, but I never get down to it. I once started a blog about packrafting and ultralight hiking but I deleted it after a few posts. Other than on this website, I am a very private and reserved person. I don’t exist online. I have no blogs, website, Facebook, Twitter, or any online presence. If I google my name I can’t find any info on myself other than a handful of public records. I guess I could do it under a nickname or pseudonym.

    I do think that what I am doing now and the info I’ve collected should be put online because there is no single place that has all the info needed to easily start a school or community food garden and I think that is part of the reason why so many of them fail. I have a lot of useful links that should be compiled somewhere. I am saving some emails, links and materials for possible future posting online. The useful things people like us have learned should be shared openly, IMO.

  15. JuanP on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 7:07 am 

    Mak, My wife and I have always been ready to leave Miami or the USA in five minutes. My wife and I have BOB ready to go in the car and at home. We assume that what little properly we have here will be left behind when we leave. We have already taken to Uruguay the things we want to keep like tools, materials and other emergency supplies. We do like our lives here, though, and we feel we can be more useful and helpful here, too. The skills and knowledge I am acquiring will stay with me wherever I am. The principles of starting a food forest or raised bed garden are more or less the same everywhere. Every time I build a garden here I acquire knowledge and practice skills that I can apply anywhere.

  16. Davy on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 7:22 am 

    A great thought provoking article:

    “FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE: IS DONALD TRUMP THE MULE?”
    http://tinyurl.com/kzz5o2o

  17. Cloggie on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 7:23 am 

    Brexit application is a fact:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-politics-39424391

  18. makati1 on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 7:28 am 

    JuanP, sounds like you are well prepared. Learning is a good thing, just don’t delay too long. I suspect that the gates will slam shut quickly when it happens. The imperial treasury is getting desperate for cash and soon the NSA restrictions will make China’s restrictions look weak by comparison. Or so it seems to me.

  19. Cloggie on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 8:09 am 

    “FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE: IS DONALD TRUMP THE MULE?”

    Don’t know about the “Mule”. The most appealing comparison for me is with Mikhail Gorbachev, who understood that the Soviet empire was walking on its last legs and tried to reform it (Glasnost & Perestroika). Gorbachev never had the intention to blow up the Soviet empire, but it happened anyway. On his watch Eastern Europe escaped from the Soviet empire in 1989 without blood shed. There was nothing to reform about the Soviet empire other than to bury it. Gorbachev was toppled by the old guard, came back but in the end was finished off by Jeltzin. Under his presidency the USSR fell apart in 15 countries. Jeltzin volunteered to act as a stooge for the West; enter the kosher oligarch vultures. Ten years later a strong man appeared on the scene, kicked the oligarchs out and true independence returned to Russia, until today.

    Trump could unintentionally initiate the end of the US empire in a strikingly similar fashion. He already signaled to the Europeans that he is no longer interested in playing the imperial overlord and that they should organize their own defense and that NATO doesn’t matter much to him (later he retracted somewhat). Predictably, the US vassals (politics + media) in Europe don’t like this development too much, as they have all vested interests and careers in the Western empire. They correctly fear that they could suffer the same fate and wrath of the population, as happened to their colleagues in Eastern Europe by 1989. The European populists already smell blood.

    In the US meanwhile the old guard and their media, MIC and intelligence are trying to get rid of the unwanted intruder. The longer Trump manages to stay in office, the more irreversible the final downfall of the US empire will become. France could play the role Poland played in the dismantling of the Soviet empire. A le Pen presidency would mean a defection from the US empire. And Trump will do nothing about it and instead will shake hands with le Pen and will NOT present her with a fake invoice of $400B, like he did to Merkel.

    After Trump has implemented his domestic agenda and survived, he will no doubt approach Putin in an amicable matter. Crimea will not be discussed but he will have secret discussions and agreements with Putin.

    The breakup of the US will begin on the moment Trump loses his office, in a coup, impeachment, deteriorating health, losing the 2020 election, whatever and no successor in the same mold is in sight and the old guard will attempt to return to power.

  20. Cloggie on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 8:42 am 

    Frontpage large German newspaper “die Welt” today:

    https://twitter.com/alistaircoleman/status/847017967145627648/photo/1

  21. Cloggie on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 9:22 am 

    Charles de Gaulle was right: Britain doesn’t belong in Europe:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/27/newsid_4187000/4187714.stm

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/de-gaulle-knew-it-britain-does-not-belong-in-the-eu/#

    Now that Britain will (probably & hopefully) leave, the road has been cleared to finally realize the vision of de Gaulle: the Europe of the Fatherlands (“Paris-Berlin-Moscow”) and create the greatest civilization this earth has ever seen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gvbS09gN80

    [16:39] Vladimir Putin, the Russian successor of de Gaulle: Francois Mitterrand spoke of a European confederation with Russia as a member. I think this opportunity still exists. We will have it in the future.

  22. efarmer on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 10:36 am 

    I do admire Heinberg, he has his corner and bias, but a large enough mind to float an overarching theory, that we are faced with a great change in climate, energy, and living arrangments, and it drives the duality of our liberal and conservative political postures to go to their time honored “safe ground”. I rather like to read people who can float an overarching piece, and I encourage more of them. In the US, we keep doubling down on “the right person for President” which to me is like arguing about getting the best driver around to pilot a vehicle with four wheel drive that has the front and back set of wheels locked in opposite direction of rotation. Mr. Heinberg laid unnecessary glove on Mr. Trump, perhaps out of habit, and it undermines the worth of his overarching theme somewhat. In truth, if the big picture is painted right and well, the figurehead du jours are able to be ignored as noise, and this is true if they be Conservative, Liberal, or Socialist since none of them have any stones or legs without endless growth, and to date nothing but fossil fuel exploits have been able to provide the illusion of endless growth.

  23. Apneaman on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 11:43 am 

    More obsessive primitive monkey politics. Losing oneself in these extreme ideologies (all made up by the way) is yet another way to distract and deny that there is no future for this retard species.

    Many paths to denial and reality rejection eh?

    US heroin use has increased almost fivefold in a decade, study shows

    Researchers say increase is seen across all social groups, ages and sexes and highlight link between misuse of prescription opioids and heroin abuse

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/29/us-heroin-use-has-increased-almost-fivefold-in-a-decade-study-shows

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2FxwTLeIqg

  24. Cloggie on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 12:11 pm 

    US heroin use has increased almost fivefold in a decade, study shows

    Especially white males.

    European-Americans are about the only ethnic group in the world with declining life expectancy:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/health/life-expectancy-us-declines.html

    The reasons are psychological. Thanks to the kosher run US deep state and its mass immigration program from the third world since 1965, designed to wipe the Euro’s out, European America is gradually pushed ever further into third world status. For these people there is no perspective and hence the depression, drug use and declining life expectancy.

    Don’t believe me, I might be a “European Supremacist”, hell bent on restoring Europe’s old position, you never can be sure.

    Believe this US insider:

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/03/no_author/is-the-left-winning/

    Apneakike belongs to the ethnic group who organizes your demise around the clock and gleefully is pissing on you:

    there is no future for this retard species

    It is time for European-Americans to realize that they are better of in a European Commonwealth, rather than serving those who want you dead.

  25. Apneaman on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 12:26 pm 

    Hair clog the entire species is suicidal, albeit unintentionally. Like all cancers they must consume until they kill the host that sustains them. Can’t opt out of their evolutionary programming now can they?

    If you prefer your simply minded, primitive, emotional human constructed narratives instead, then……….. IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT.

    Global warming is causing extreme weather, and new research shows humans are to blame.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/03/climate-change-global-extreme-weather

    Me, I built the Alberta tar sands plants, refineries, pulp mills and other assorted industrial cancer infrastructure projects and I sleep like a baby.

  26. Sissyfuss on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 1:38 pm 

    It’s off, Cloggerass. Learn to spell.

  27. Sissyfuss on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 1:42 pm 

    Love the metaphor about cross direction axles, efarmer but you forgot about the avalanche headed towards the vehicle as Trump smashes down on the accelerator.

  28. Cloggie on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 2:55 pm 

    It’s off, Cloggie. Learn to spell.

    It was never on to begin with.

    But you are never going to forgive me that I reminded you that a even child knows how to spell “Zbigniew Brzezinski” without having to look it up.

  29. efarmer on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 3:48 pm 

    Perhaps Sissyfuss, but I think Mr. Trump is pursuing a return to the postures of the 1960’s in the belief the postures somehow formed the desired era instead of the fossil fuel exploit and the Post WWII American hegemony of global proportions. The CIA and intelligence community has never suffered under any illusions of where our real reach and power came from, and Mr. Trump being estranged from them is very telling to me.
    Being 5% of the world population and garnering 20% of global resources made us an enviable place to be, so did our novel political system.

  30. GregT on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 4:13 pm 

    You can’t spell zbɪɡnjɛf bʒɛˈʒɪnski correctly using the English alphabet. Even a child knows that Cloggie.

  31. Apneaman on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 4:55 pm 

    Trump finally got one right.

    http://i.imgur.com/xvsng0l.gifv

  32. Apneaman on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 4:58 pm 

    Connect the dots.

    Evidence That Robots Are Winning the Race for American Jobs

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/28/upshot/evidence-that-robots-are-winning-the-race-for-american-jobs.html?_r=0

    Greatest rise in heroin use was among white people, study says

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/29/health/heroin-abuse-increase-study/

  33. Cloggie on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 5:18 pm 

    Now Lawd Heseltine on BBC Newsnight announcing he is going to fight Brexit tooth and nail. Brexit according to Michael is the largest loss of power of Britain in decades.

    UK GDP could decrease 7.5%.

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