[See Part I – The Changes We Seek – What Can Be Done]
The first thing we can do is stop pursuing after those things we cannot hope to change. The present momentum and inertia at work in our world today are now are so great that we cannot hope to sustain or even effect any meaningful changes anymore on any subject that is outside of our direct control.
The very first thought most seem to have when facing the collapse is to somehow stop it from happening. This is a misguided and impossible task. The collapse is the cure for the ills of our civilization and civilization itself — the only true hope there is.
As unpopular as this may be, it is nonetheless true. At no point in our history, have we actually achieved what civilization pretentiously set out to do, such a make men equal, establish justice, work less, live more productive lives and banish obvious things like starvation, disease, sickness or suffering.
Civilization has worsened these conditions, replacing a former more idyllic world with the present one. The cost of this journey has been tremendous; due to our industrial activity geared towards achieving those conditions, we’ve pushed the climate and the natural resource limits past the positive feedback loops that sustained all life on Earth.
Did we simply go to far? It was inevitable that we would have done so sooner or later after we abandoned living within the local environmental limits, and began to push these limits back farther and farther with things like agriculture, industry and transportation because they all require infinite resources (which don’t exist).
Agriculture led to a population explosion due to food production, which created vast opportunities for industry to capitalize on this vast pool of available labor; capitalism developed which led to further exploitation of man, land and beast, and of course transportation of resources made it all possible, as the world overconsumed and exploited nearly every square inch of the planet.
In very short order, just over 500 years in fact, the world went from a vast, largely unexplored but inhabited place to an industrialized, highly interconnected and interdependent civilization with a core but fatal requirement — unlimited resource inputs.
It is self-evident that this is an impossible condition to maintain in a finite world. But the real-world conditions this created, of hugely exploding populations, vast infrastructure and mega-governments and inept political processes created the inertia and momentum that was and still is extremely ill-suited for change and thus, the conditions for collapse were set in motion long before any of us were actually born.
It is very easy to be lulled into the illusionary belief that we can change if we but apply ourselves and do so in great numbers, but the sad fact is we won’t. There is absolutely no sincere evidence of this that we can point to. We are instead doing the exact opposite — looking earnestly for new resources to exploit and new sources of energy instead of addressing the core problems that are making this energy ‘necessary’ in the first place.
This isn’t change — it is perpetuating our present crisis and making it worse. The truth is, we cannot change at the present time or in the foreseeable future either, energy dependence is an intricate fundamental to our present civilization and our present civilization is terribly out of balance with the natural world. Anything that promotes energy dependence for human life is going to forever run into this issue of contributing to the problem.
Anyone who is still arguing that we can change but still advocates energy dependence does not yet understand this concept. These are changes that are not-changes at all, effective as (s)Electing a new President, they are effectively meaningless and will not delay our collapse anyway.
There are many activities today that fall into this category of not-changes, such as ‘alternative power’ (solar, wind, wave, etc.) or even lofty goals such as “sustainable living”. They all contribute to the ongoing industrial activity, greenhouse gas emissions and our inevitable collapse because none of these things have addressed one or more of the core problems of our present civilization: population, resource destruction, environmental limits, true sustainability, avarice, capitalism, and even the concepts of ownership.
We have long since entered into the era where our collapse is a foregone conclusion, but this knowledge has not been widely disseminated, not until very recently. Moreover, understanding the collapse as the “cure” is vehemently denied except by the very few who are not advocating that this civilization be deemed fit to survive for the reasons stated above (and there are many, many more).
Advocates of this position, myself included, have absolutely no intention of forestalling the cure. Hastening it however, would be beneficial in the long run for all living beings, not just humans. This is the only change we now advocate, that we stop those that would try to stop the collapse with their words, actions and deeds (with our own words), and that we permit the collapse to come more swiftly then it might have if left to occur by itself.
A slow collapse will be worse then a fast one; and it will certainly make it worse for all human survivors left on the planet. The sooner this civilization comes down, the sooner we can abandon the practices that are destroying us.
I am fond of saying it is “business as usual” because it really is. It’s all about business and for business, which does not include you or your best interests, long or short term. In fact, civilization has never has been about you for your entire life, it’s always been about who profits and who controls and the ownership of everything. Civilization itself is a business, can you see that?
These are the fundamental driving forces behind the design of our world today. The world and its resources has been divided over and over again into tinier and tinier slices by self-declared “owners”, and their agenda has always been the same as ever — profit, ownership and control.
This is why when something becomes unprofitable, it’s abandoned or sold off and the process is then repeated, over and over again. Everyone does this. Can’t afford your mortgage? What do you do? You sell the home if you can, or you abandon it and start over, repeating the process elsewhere. You have been taught to believe in the same things that are in practice by the corporations and private interests that control this planet, by the government, by politicians, by business, by the media, by almost everyone. You believe you must “own, control and possess” and when you cannot, you abandon your position and regroup elsewhere to repeat the process again.
Even if you really don’t believe in them, you are forced to participate in them. This is ‘positive feedback’ loop that perpetuates the status-quo and how our civilization is forced to work. You cannot change this even if you try.
It is the way the world works (this world), but it was not always so, and it is a driving force behind the collapse of our civilization. It created our entire industrialized world where everything is a resource to be exploited for profit: plants, animals, humans, minerals, water, oil, even the air we breathe. It spawned an entire world of devastation and pollution and destruction, laying waste to everything in its path an calling this ‘progress’.
It spawned countless wars and the loss of hundreds of millions of human lives, laying waste to an entire planet of beings. We were encourage to fight for these concepts and kill each other in very large numbers, deeming these things more important then human lives. But the truth is that things have been more important then our human existence.
And this continues on today, despite our knowledge and awareness that our insistence on “possession” (things) and micro-managing every possible thing we can imagine, is leading us to the ultimate destruction of all life on earth. But we can’t seem to stop, can’t seem to change no matter how hard we try.
So let’s just stop trying, ok? Let’s just stop pretending we’re going to change anything now voluntarily by ANY amount of effort, because we’re not. We’re going to keep on doing what we’ve always done. And we’re going to keep making it worse and worse and worse as a result. Isn’t it already obvious? Isn’t it STILL TRUE that we keep making it worse and worse and worse? And that NOTHING has caused us to actually stop?
We must utterly abandon the idea that we can change anything and stop our coming destruction. It is an ABSOLUTE LIE. We cannot plan our way out of this, or redirect our course to save ourselves, or achieve sustainable living or any other such nonsense now. It’s far too late for that. The ruination of our world is very advanced and 7 billion humans a planet capable of sustaining only 1 billion will never sustainable.
I think people need to understand this because fighting this momentum and the “way things are” (inertia) is very difficult. This is the wrong fight and always was. It is about who controls what, who owns what and how they can get more and how they can dupe you into being a complicit and very willing part of it and keep you appeased enough throughout your entire life that you don’t make too many waves. They’ve got almost everyone convinced that supporting this insanity is good! Stupid, stupid slogans and concepts like “what’s good for business is good for you” fail to engender the real horror of what this really means and the planetary rape and destruction this causes.
I’ve been accused off-site of promoting the “us versus them” viewpoint, which is a true accusation. The average Joe has no representation in today’s world, nor any effective voice. He is manipulated from birth, brainwashed and indoctrinated into a entire encyclopedia of lies and delegated his assigned role to blindly perpetuate these falsehoods his entire life.
He has been taught to believe that he lives in a democracy, despite his having no voice or representation but only the barest illusion of this, and that has has absolutely no effective opportunity to change his world. All he has is the pretense of representation and the pretense of opportunity for change and nothing more. On this fabrication of intricately woven lies he lives his entire life, duped into believing that he’s not insignificant, which in itself, is also another lie.
Can we say that our politicians truly represent the will of the people? No, we cannot. Or can we say that they even remotely represent reasonable people? No, we cannot. We can say they represent special interests and big money and business, but they do not even remotely represent a reasonable man. They can go on doing this because there are few reasonable men to stop them, and the private (secret) and public interests which politicians claim they represent are cloaked in lies and falsehoods which we are to expected to stupidly go on believing “really are for our own good”. Often as not they are wrapped up in the phony bloodstained robes of righteousness and patriotism.
We go along with this for two reasons: we simply don’t know anything else, which is an attribute of our collective brainwashing everyone has participated in (Jenson calls us and our culture all insane, I agree). Secondly, we secretly know we really have no choice, even though we are disgusted with the evil that they practice, so we avert our gaze very often, pretending that it is not really happening since it hasn’t happened to us (yet).
Therefore, whatever changes we seek, we already know that they will not really happen, they cannot happen and they will not even be permitted to happen. In effect, in participating or in silence, we are still in a complicit agreement that we will continue to go along with all of the lies and misrepresentations because we keep doing the same thing ourselves.
We embrace lies and we know it. We live lies and we know it. We walk, talk and breathe lies and we know it. We are in fact, no different then they are, but when someone comes along and tells us something different, we react in one of two predictable ways. We either reject the message or the messenger, attacking one or both, or we seek to embrace the message or messenger, but we find ourselves unable to go any further.
Why? Because it is all outside our realm of experience and knowledge and we’re still bound by the chains that bind us all. We’re not taught to be autonomous for example, or to be truly responsible for our own lives. We do not even truly possess our own lives, they belong to others who control us and teach us and tell us what to think, believe, act and do. The thought of this is often rejected out of hand, but it remains just as true nevertheless.
We can go no further because we are bound. Rules, regulations, laws, agreements, contracts and socially accepted norms and cultural understandings. These are the fabric threads of our civilization and they bind us at least as much as they enable us. The difficulty lies in our understanding or even recognizing which of these are helpful and worthwhile, if any and which of these should be rejected as dangerous folly. But I do not think that this is really that difficult, because they only need to be examined for what they are and what they require to understand what they really offer (if anything).
If they do not offer what they profess to offer, then why do we still hold onto them? In part, because they are supported by many other threads in our lives that have really become our chains, keeping us in the same well-worn groove that leads to the same inevitable conclusion (collapse).
For example, we have all been taught to believe that our elected and appointed politicians are our “representatives”. But can anyone actually say that their personal interests are truly represented by the politicians (and they’re appointed bureaucrats) that govern over them?
I’ve yet to see, meet or even hear of a politician that represents my personal interests — or even my best interests, or even my reasonable interests, which are to be safe, happy, prosperous and secure. There exists not one politician in this entire country that actually represents this or even understands this!
Taken this thought just a bit further, I’m not safe, happy or prosperous either, nor am I even secure. I am in fact, threatened on every side by the very people who claim to represent me. They advocate what I hate, they support what I despise, they promote what should be destroyed. What my politicians are actually doing is to actively undermine my safety, my happiness, my prosperity and my security. So why do I support them? I in fact, don’t — not at all, because I have come to understand that they do not represent me or my interests at all. Not even close. They are as alien to me as visitors from Mars who have come to plunder the planet.
They may be human beings (some of them are highly doubtful) and filled with the same fears, doubt, ambition and concerns I have, but what they do and what they represent is what I am measuring here. But it is not just politicians that I can pick on, it’s almost everything.
What does your boss actually represent? Compassion? Or tyranny? Fairness? Or judgment? Is it really fair that you do all of the work and they receive all the glory (and pay)? Of that your hard work only helps this faceless company grow bigger and more profitable, but you remain the same? Is that really “fair”? No, it is not. It is exploitation at a very refined degree. It is also how the world works.
More importantly, what does your company actually do? Does it exploit land, resources and people? Show me one profit oriented company that doesn’t. Show me one that is actively working against this civilization. We’ve all been duped into supporting the ongoing planetary destruction to one degree or another and we’re all a part of it. If you’re still buying shrink-wrapped meat or driving a car you’re as guilty as I am.
How about your neighbor, does he offer a helping hand, or is he always needing help? Are you even secure from your neighbors, or do they steal from you when the opportunity arises? Are they reasonable people that you can talk to and resolve complaints with, or are they quick to call the cops over every slightest infraction or disturbance? Do they seek to control you and your behavior by doing so? Is this really “just life”, or is this something more?
What about all these other institutions that allege to “be there” for our help and assistance when we need them? How has the building codes actually helped you? Did the homeowners restrictions assist you or harm you? What about that new levy you’ve been forced to pay for something you didn’t want? Did the county spend the money wisely, or did they actually spend it on themselves? Do we really need more civilization, or less?
We’ve been taught to accept these things because they are alleged to be “representative” of life and our lives on this planet, but this is simply not true. They are not without their consequences and these are the results that I think we need to consider. What has been the consequence or end result of these things? Are we better off, or are we not? Is this really the best we can do, or could we — have we done better before?
We have politicians who do not hear the people, I have absolutely no idea any more what they actually do, but I do know what they are not doing. They’re not making this planet a better place to live, they’re help making it much worse. They’re not fixing what’s broke, they’re not stopping what’s wrong, they’re not preventing what’s illegal, immoral or injust. In fact, they’re not doing a damned thing that justifies them being paid anything.
And I can say the same exact things about almost every business, corporation and institution we have today. What they claim is “better” often isn’t. Better is meant to be understood as “better for me” as in self-serving. Everything they do has severe and serious side effects, making our environmental problems significantly worse. Even our educational systems are in deep denial, churning out millions more of the uselessly “educated” minions that are totally clueless to how the real world actually works and how they’ve been indoctrinated into accepting and promoting slavery and destruction for the rest of their lives.
You can point this out to a few and they will agree, but they are quite powerless as I am to stop it. Why not? Because like every one of us, they are bound with the same chains, caught up in the same system of lies and deceit, caught by forces and momentum and inertia that they themselves cannot control, or even hope to control. They cannot change it — and neither can you.
I realize that this, like much of what I write, strikes at the very core of our beliefs. We feel shot to pieces when our cherished beliefs are discovered to be full of holes. All of these beliefs are predicated on the principle that change can happen if we follow the established processes and procedures that are traditionally employed to create and cause change. But momentum is now very much working against us and it’s too late to change that.
Societies create their own inertia on how they do things in many different ways. Once they achieve a certain level of momentum, they are unable to change their course or direction easily or even within their own established processes. This is why civilizations collapse. This would seem untrue — but consider how true this actually is in real life. The reason why it is true is not because the processes don’t work — it is because they are not allowed to work anymore.
This is why business fail. This is why marriages fail. This is why many things fail, not because they can’t change, because they can, but because they cannot change fast enough and have become to unwieldy to manage.
Perhaps you didn’t like how your spouse changed and the end result was divorce. Change happened, but you didn’t allow it. Or your business failed, because you couldn’t change fast enough, although you tried. Change is possible, but not when it fails to overcome the existing inertia at work. And this is why changing public perception as a mechanism for change will NEVER work, it’s too slow and too ineffectual to overcome the existing inertia in a timely fashion. We no longer have the time to delay critical, important and lifesaving changes that are now necessary to avoid our collapse.
This is very important I think, because it also means that our institutions and mechanism for change are being manipulated against us who desire change.
We must look beyond this present condition to what we know is coming our way. Our failure, should we fail to do even this, would signify our death as a species. The challenges that we face must be born with dignity, but not with distractions that are ineffectual and meaningless. The present events and distractions are really just dangerous delusions, they only serve to do what they have always served to do and that is to take away our valuable time, money and attention to those things that are truly important and meaningful.
We need to give up our delusional distractions and entertainments and get on with the business of figuring out how we are going to adapt to the coming world changes. That is the change we can do and the key to our survival. This is a process in itself and not a destination. Adaption requires us to be flexible to the changes coming our way and to abandon all of those things that have brought us to this point.
We cannot adapt our civilization — this has long since proved to be an impossible task and every effort to do so should be abandoned. This civilization needs to be destroyed or allowed to die a quick and overdue death. A new civilization could be built that has learned to live off the increase of the Earth and not the decrease. But we will never have this until this one dies first.
I am not seeking to under represent the changes we need, I’m seeking to emphasize the changes we ought to embrace. That change includes the collapse of our civilization. Our civilization is sick, the cure for it is death. We cannot gloss over our ills and ‘redirect our ways’ as so many seem to think we could, or should. This is foolishness and I won’t have anything to do with it.
Apparently nobody understood the “Days Of The Dead“. I wrote that when I was quite sick (still am), but the fire is civilization. It devours and consumes everything in its path. Everyone knows it, but it’s so obvious nobody is paying any attention to it until it destroys them. Departing from this civilization and letting it die is the only hope there is. There will be no fire-department rescue or any other institution to rescue this damned existence (or should be). We need to let it consume itself right down to the bedrock before it consumes all of us.