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Kunstler: Dreams Die Hard

Public Policy

Somewhere between the fevered Zzzz’s of American Dreaming and the blinding shock of being “woke,” there is a recognition that an awful lot about contemporary life is not working and can’t go on. At the bottom of this discontent is the mistaken notion that the unwind of modernity can be arrested or mitigated by “smart” and “green” this-and-that.

The disappointment over it will be epic when we discover that the laws of physics override the bright ideas of politicians. America has been blowing green smoke up its own ass for years, promoting oxymorons such as “green skyscrapers” and “clean energy,” but the truth is we’re not going to run WalMart, Suburbia, DisneyWorld, and the interstate highway system on any combination of wind, solar, geothermal, recycled Fry-Max, and dark matter. We’re just running too much stuff at too great a scale for too many people. We’ve blown through the capital already and replaced it with IOUs that will never be honored, and we’re caught in an entropy trap of diminishing returns from all the work-arounds we’re desperately trying.

For all that, there are actually some sound proposals in the mostly delusional matrix of the Green New Deal promoted by foxy front-person AOC.

  • Revoke corporate personhood by amending our Constitution to make clear that corporations are not persons and money is not speech. Right on, I say, though they have not quite articulated the argument which is that corporations, unlike persons, have no vested allegiance to the public interest, but rather a legal obligation solely to shareholders and their boards-of-directors.
  • Replace partisan oversight of elections with non-partisan election commissions. A no-brainer.
  • Replace big money control of election campaigns with full public financing and free and equal access to the airwaves. Quite cheap and worth every penny.
  • Break up the oversized banks that are “too big to fail.” And while you’re at it, resume enforcement of the anti-trust laws.
  • Restore the Glass-Steagall separation of depository commercial banks from speculative investment banks. Duh….

Of course, a lot of the proposals above may be obviated when the money system we’ve been using, and its subsidiaries in markets, blows up, taking much of the world’s notional wealth with it, along with our hopes and dreams for replacing the fossil fuel economy with “Green technology.”

The Green New Deal may be an exercise in throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, so let’s just assume that a lot of the “social justice” pander-jive in it will slide down the wall onto the floor and make its way to the dumpster. Stuff like: “the right to full employment” (there is no such right), Free college and medicine (doesn’t pencil out with our capital gone, though the current odious rackets must go), “ending the war on immigrants” (how about ending the Democratic Party’s war on enforcing immigration laws?)

There are two kinds of deadly narcissism at work in American culture these days: techno-narcissism — the belief that magical rescue remedies can save the status quo of comforts and conveniences — and organizational narcissism — the belief that any number of committees can lead a march of humanity into a future of rainbows and unicorns. Both of these ideas are artifacts of a fossil fuel turbo-charged economy that is coming to an end. Societies and economies are fundamentally emergent, non-linear, and self-organizing as they respond to the mandates of reality — which are not necessarily consistent with human wishes. Circumstances in the world change and sometimes, when the changes are profound enough, they provoke episodes of flux and disorder.

A better index for our journey into the unknown frontier beyond modernity will not be what is “green” and “smart” but perhaps what is “sane” and “insane.”


60 Comments on "Kunstler: Dreams Die Hard"

  1. Cloggie on Sun, 10th Feb 2019 6:55 am 

    Who runs America latest:

    “Jimmy Carter believed he lost a second term because he opposed settlements, alienating Jews — Eizenstat”

    Jimmy Carter was one of the most well-meaning (and naive) presidents America ever had.

    Under the even more naive Reagan, the infamous neocons entered the scene in US politics.

  2. Cloggie on Sun, 10th Feb 2019 7:58 am 

    Always interesting, Americans discussing the possibility of CW2 among themselves:

    These discussions don’t exist in Europe. Demographic thingy.

  3. Davy on Sun, 10th Feb 2019 8:03 am 

    “These discussions don’t exist in Europe. Demographic thingy.”

    Just because you think these things are not discussed doesn’t mean it isn’t so! LOL. Americans are letting off steam but it is building in Europe. Besides some of this kind of talk is illegal in Europe where speech is not freeish. Why do you think you are here 20/7. You can talk Nazi shit and not get your hand slapped.

  4. Cloggie on Sun, 10th Feb 2019 8:03 am 

    Yesterday in Lyon, France, exactly what you want to see happening: battles between the antifa-left and Yellow-Vests.

    Antifa, that’s the pro-US establishment (that needs to be overthrown).

  5. Cloggie on Sun, 10th Feb 2019 8:14 am 

    “Besides some of this kind of talk is illegal in Europe where speech is not freeish.”

    In Europe I can and do say everything, except:

    – holohoax
    – official WW2 narrative

    I can very well and do agitate against mass-immigration.

    Actually, it depends on the tone. Nobody is going to arrest me for this, not in Holland:

    In principle you can deny the holohoax in Holland for the law, but even populist forums will ban you for it, especially in Germany, where I post a lot.

    Our liberal PM Rutte is against persecution, good for him!

  6. makati1 on Sun, 10th Feb 2019 5:29 pm 

    Cloggie, I watched your Manila trolley boys vid. Interesting! I didn’t know that. Never saw any in my 10 years here.

    But $10 per day is $3,650. per year in a country where you can live on $2 per day. And, that $10 is NOT taxed. Not to mention that they are likely healthier than any desk jockey.

  7. makati1 on Sun, 10th Feb 2019 5:34 pm 

    A picture of American insanity: “Pussy John Bolton and His Codpiece Mustache: Examining the Freak Show”

    “American government has become a collection of sordid and dangerous clowns….We have until recently never had government as aggressive, reckless, or psychiatrically fascinating as now. Again, it is not a matter of Republicans and Democrats. No administration of any party, stripe, or ideology has ever pushed to aggressively toward war with so many countries. These people are not right in the head.”

    Worth posting again. Slip slidin’…

  8. makati1 on Sun, 10th Feb 2019 5:38 pm 

    BTW: The trolley boys are a perfect example of why I think the Ps will survive the coming collapse. They still are inventive in finding ways to make money and/or move things. Can you imagine this in police state America. There are laws that would prevent it in so many ways, and if it was possible it would be taxed and regulated to death. Self-sufficiency is still alive in the Ps. It is dead and rotting in Amerika.

  9. Darrell Cloud on Mon, 11th Feb 2019 7:11 am 

    “TPTB on Sat, 9th Feb 2019 1:41 pm

    Darrell Cloud

    You do realize your comments are totally inaccurate.

    Firstly, the map you provide shows geography, but geography doesn’t vote. Matter of fact, only 1 in 5 Americans live in what you classify as “flyover country”. And rural populations continue to decline in population due to economic activity occurring in urban and suburban America.

    What is your point?”

    TPTB, You may not understand the fact that 49 of the 50 states have counties. Louisiana has Parishes. These counties and parishes are their own political entities. How they vote in state and national elections reflect the local majorities political position.

    The blue islands are democratic counties that make up the mega cities in the U.S. Their populations are much more diverse consisting of swaths of imported populations from all over the world.

    These population centers control their respective states forcing their socialist views on the counties in fly over country. They want to disarm us and tax us in to oblivion. The majority of these mega cities are bankrupt because of their massive bureaucracies and their welfare dependents. They are bankrupting their whole states.

    These city states are able to function on exponential debt. They are totally dependent on supply chains that circumnavigate the globe that are sustained by debt and a very fragile power grid.

    The grid has a one in eight chance of collapsing from natural causes. No one knows the risk of it being taken down by man made causes resulting from EMP or sabatage. It can be shut down by simple rifle fire.

    What I fear is systemic collapse and the golden horde coming out of the mega cities looking for food, fuel. I fear a resulting race war between blacks, hispanics and whites.

    I fear the hell that will be unleashed as we shed two thirds of our population as predicted by Deagel.

  10. Cloggie on Tue, 12th Feb 2019 1:48 am

    “Gridlock UK: The British cities where it is now faster to cycle than drive with motorists clocking up average speeds of 7MPH during final mile of journeys”

    Holland same story. Can be solved with shared autonomous van (cycling is always a good idea, below 30 minutes in dry weather).

    Reps and Dems are believed to have reached a broad agreement to avoid a 2nd shut down. Trump: the Wall is going to be built, one way or the other.

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