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Kunstler: Things Have Changed


At least in wartime, the bars stay open. That’s how you know this is a different thing altogether from whatever else you’ve seen in your lifetime. Even those of us who signed up for this trip — that is, who expected a long emergency — may be a little bit in cosmic awe at just how much shit is flying into the ol’ fan. I know I am. The gods must have glugged down a mighty draft of Dulcolax.

Did you get the feeling, as I did, watching the Sanders-Biden debate last night — the inadequate versus the irrelevant — that the world they were blathering about possibly doesn’t exist anymore? The world of institutions that actually function? Like, the ones that conjure up whatever sum of money you demand to keep all the wheels spinning? Remember that Hemingway line about the guy who went broke? Slowly, then all at once. That’s us. Medicare for all now? Really? More like, a year from now every physician in America may be the equivalent of the old country doc toting a black bag around to home visits. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough horses left in America, and the few buggies we’ve got are all in the museum.

The mega financial bubble-of-bubbles is deflating with frightful velocity precisely because of the efforts since 2008 to artificially inflate it. The Federal Reserve gave it one final blast Sunday night — while everybody else was counting their rolls of toilet paper — and the effect was like blowing hot air into a shredded Zeppelin. Stock futures are “limit down” as I write, before the Wall Street open. Gold is getting pounded into the ground like a grape stake and silver is so low it looks like the hedge fund managers are down to pawning grandma’s table service. (Hint, the PMs will bounce back hard; the rest, probably not so much.)

Nobody really knows how deep and how harsh this gets (and perhaps the ones who have a clue ain’t sayin’). But the situation presents two salient questions: how much disorder is entailed in this ordeal? And what does the world look like when the convulsion phase of this thing is over?

Americans have never been through anything remotely like this. The disorders of the Civil War were sharp and horrendous military operations conducted mostly in cornfields, pastures, and woods (yes, and some small cities like Richmond, pop. 38,000, and Atlanta, pop. 10,000). When the smoke cleared, battered Dixieland emerged to numb civil order. Up in Yankeedom, the New York draft riots ran for a week around the small patch of Manhattan island, but everybody else went along with Mr. Lincoln’s program. After all that, America got on quickly with the lively business of the 19th century: railroads, mines, factories, and all that. The world wars took place in foreign lands, and the home-front scene of the 1940s now looks nostalgically idyllic.

The stresses mounting on the national scene today reflect the extreme fragilities of the way-of-life we constructed since then, and an awful lot of bad choices we made in the process, like suburbanizing the nation and making everybody a hostage to happy motoring. I won’t belabor that point, except to ask how are those vast regions of the country going to manage daily life as the supply chains wobble? I’d say a shortage of toilet paper may only be the beginning of their problems.

The cities — at least, the few that didn’t already implode from the inside out — made assumptions about how big and tall they could grow which don’t jibe with the new circumstances chugging ferociously down the line. Just think what a lockdown of the global economy will do to all those residential skyscraper projects lately hoisted up in New York, San Francisco and Boston? I’ll tell you: They are assets instantly converted into liabilities. And how will these cities even begin to pay for maintaining their complex infrastructures and services when the money for all that no longer exists and there’s no way to pretend that it will ever come back? Answer: They won’t be able to keep borrowing and they won’t manage. These cities will depopulate and there will be battles over who gets to live in the parts that still may have some value, like riverfronts.

I guess just about everybody can now see the idiocy of concentrating the nation’s commercial life in super-gigantic organisms like Big Box stores. It seemed like a good idea at the time, like so many blunders in history, and now that time is over. Any ecology thrives on redundancy — a lot of players doing similar things at the appropriate scale — and America’s chain retail model for a commercial ecology was an obvious fiasco waiting to happen. The people who run that, and other people who run other things in our society, must be wondering whether those supply-chains from China will come back. It’s no different than the cargo cults of the Solomon Islanders circa 1947, after the military airplanes stopped landing with all their magical goodies: time to go back to fishing from the dugout canoe.

The foolish, idiotic identity politics ginned up by the Left and their racially-inflamed, sexually-disturbed scribes in the Thinking Class have successfully destroyed the last shred of an American common culture that held the country together through earlier vicissitudes. So, one concludes that we’ll be left stewing in poisonous tensions, and perhaps some violent conflicts, before those matters head toward some sort of resolution.

Where does this all lead? Eventually, to a land and a people who operate their society in a very different way at a much more modest scale. The task of reorganizing our national life is immense. (There will be plenty to do, so don’t worry about that.) You can forget about the grandiose techno-narcissistic visions of electrified motoring and a robotic nirvana of perpetual sex-crazed leisure. Everything we do has to be downscaled, from whatever manufacturing we can cobble back together to rebuilding commercial ecosystems at a finer grain from region to region — in other words, what we now call small business, geared locally.

Expect giant AgriBiz to founder on a shortage of capital, especially, and expect smaller farms to organize emergently, worked by more humans working together. That is, if we want to keep eating. Expect the small towns in the well-watered parts of the country to revive while the groaning metroplexes spiral down into entropic sclerosis. Consider the value of our vast inland waterway system and the opportunities to move goods on them, when the trucking industry unravels. Consider lending a hand at rebuilding the railroad system in this country.

There will be economic roles and social roles for all those willing to step up to some responsibility. Young people may see tremendous opportunity replacing the wounded economic dinosaurs wobbling across the landscape. It’ll be all about going local and regional and making yourself useful in exchange for a livelihood and the esteem of others around you — aka, your community. Government has been working tirelessly to make itself superfluous, if not completely ineffectual, impotent, and rather loathsome in the face of this crisis that has been slowly-but-visibly building for half a century. Something old and played-out is limping offstage, and something new is stepping on. Aren’t you glad you watched all those debates?


72 Comments on "Kunstler: Things Have Changed"

  1. REAL Green on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 4:35 pm 

    The pink poodles REAL Cute Davy.


  2. JuanP on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 4:36 pm 

    I am extremely depressed and suicidal these days. Man I fucked up. This virus is so much worse that I blathered it would be.

  3. Boney Joe on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 4:38 pm 

    The pink poodles REAL Cute JuanP

  4. JuanP on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 4:46 pm 

    Whoever stole my identity again really has no idea of what I am. I welcome the COVID-19 Global Pandemic with open arms. I hope that millions, or even billions, suffer irreparable harm, horrendous pain and suffering, bankruptcy, and death, but it’s just a hope. I find most humans thoroughly repulsive and not worth the air they breathe. Realistically, I expect things to keep getting worse in spite of the pandemic. It’s going to require a lot more than this measly virus to slow us down.

  5. JuanP on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 4:47 pm 

    In other words, I am extremely happy about this Global Pandemic. It is one of the most entertaining things that has happened in years!

  6. Davy on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 5:12 pm 

    So true juanPee. So true.

    I been planning for US collapse for 20 years. It’d be a shame if I wasted my hole life for nothing.

  7. The Board on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 6:04 pm 

    Look everyone, the end result of davyskums 30 years of living in self-isolation. He finally learned how to use AVATARS.

    Well done davyskum. Now you know how to do three things on the internet, besides cut and paste.

  8. Davy on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 6:50 pm 

    Another dysfunctional juanPee night. Mr AsiaUp makato the failure is here and don’t forget the Anglo deranged Cloggo and his EuropeUp nonsense. I have crushed these fools and this is so rewarding. Where is annoy? I bet he is under the weather. LMFAO

  9. JuanP on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 7:14 pm 

    The only thing you have crushed is your own limp dick on all those goats’ assholes! ROFLMFAO! Little wonder your family has been hiding you for so long! Does the twins’ mother still let you see them, Davy, or did she get a restriction order against you already? I know your former wife in Spain and your daughter don’t want to ever see you again. Things are looking very bad in the USA, Italy, Spain, and Germany. I guess bugging out to Italy wasn’t such a good idea after all.

  10. Davy on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 7:28 pm 

    Poor juanPee is showing his emotions because he is like a wounded animal in a trap lashing out as he bleeds out. juanPee, you days are numbered. An asshole living where and how you do means no future. I very much enjoy moderating your mental illness and neutering your stupidity. You really are dumb but with this huge pride. Must be an gimmigrant thing. Go home to your failed continent stupid!

  11. JuanP on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 7:32 pm 

    Davy, please free me from my obsessive stalking and trolling and be my friend. I want so much to be you so I steal your identity and do crazy stupid socks. The reason I do this is I love you but in a sick way.

  12. Davy on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 7:43 pm 

    juanPee, get a life please. Get off the internet so you can clean your sick mind up. You can’t handle the digital world. As far as being your friend there is no you and me, stupid. I will ignore you if you ignore me. That is as good as it gets…Got it hamster!

  13. Duncan Idaho on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 9:11 pm 

    1866 — England: Immigrant ship Monarch of the Seas leaves Liverpool for NY; its 738 passengers & crew are never heard from again.

  14. Davy on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 9:20 pm 

    Pink poodles are are favorites. Next to Goats.

    We like to dress are goats up in pink some times to.


  15. JuanP on Thu, 19th Mar 2020 9:59 pm 

    I am not the one who had his whole family turn their backs on me, Exceptionalist!

  16. Davy on Fri, 20th Mar 2020 4:32 am 

    “I am not the one who had his whole family turn their backs on me, Exceptionalist!”

    AH, juanPee, you are in exile from your wealthy South American family in Miami Beach living like a spoiled brat. No wonder you blather about how the virus ain’t shit. You are terrified of a real life with little. They don’t want you back and from what your behavior here illustrates we understand way. You are a liar, asshole, and petty criminal spewing mindless crap. FUCK YOU and the whore that bore you.

  17. JuanP on Fri, 20th Mar 2020 4:33 am 

    Pink poodles are are favorites. Next to dildos.

    I like to dress up cute and use my dildo.


  18. Richard on Fri, 20th Mar 2020 12:21 pm 

    I think the article isn’t that accurate on the present, but sure some society living may change.

    Anybody that thinks of the past is being ignorant. I wouldn’t put of automated vehicles or automation in the business sector just yet.

  19. Abraham van Helsing on Fri, 20th Mar 2020 3:50 pm 

    Breaking: Erdogan withdraws his islamist “refugees” from the Greek-Turkish border!

  20. Abraham van Helsing on Fri, 20th Mar 2020 3:53 pm 

    ‘Refugees at Turkey-Greece Border Being Sent to İstanbul Esenler Bus Terminal’

  21. Richard Guenette on Sun, 22nd Mar 2020 11:31 am 

    Erdogan and his party are terrorists, not leader. Replace him with the Grey Wolves.

  22. Richard Guenette on Sun, 22nd Mar 2020 11:34 am 

    Elect people like Marine Le Pen in public office.

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