Blaise Pascal
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Monday, September 6, 2010


"Bad Ju-Ju"

I make time every Monday to read James Kunstler.
He calls his site Clusterfuck Nation.
Here's a recent sampling:

"Let me tell you exactly what is going on "out there." The so-called developed world is watching two giant forces race each other to put an end to business-as-usual for industrial civilization. These two forces are the catastrophe of debt and predicament of oil supplies. They had been running neck-and-neck for a few years, but now the catastrophe of debt is pulling slightly ahead. But even this is an illusion because these two forces are actually hitched in tandem, with the rickety cart of civilization bouncing perilously behind them, and whatever one of these forces does will affect the other. Bad debt will eventually cripple the global oil industry's ability to perform, and the failures of the oil industry will only amplify the killing force of debt. It's that simple.
"And the simple moral of the story is that the only sane thing America can do is simplify itself, de-complexify its dangerously hyper-complex organs of daily life. I've stated them before but, briefly, this means simplifying the way we do farming, commerce, transportation, inhabiting the landscape, schooling, medicine, and banking. Everything we do to add additional layers of complexity to these already tottering systems will guarantee an eventual orgy of blood and material destruction to this land. Everything we do to prop up the unsustainable instead of reconstructing the armatures of everyday life will make American life a nightmare in a very few years ahead.
"It must be the case that President Obama and the other denizens of high places do not have a clue what I might mean by all this -- though I am hardly the only one advancing this set of ideas and it is not really radical considering the alternatives. But our leaders' foolish intransigence insures a political convulsion that will follow the onset of an involuntary restructuring that can't be avoided anymore, because reality has mandates of its own, and is closer to God than all the hosts of our ridiculous politics."

"Peak pretending now joins peak oil, peak credit, peak rare earths, and all the other peaks visible to us humble valley dwellers. Pretending bought America two years of respite from the ravages of fraud and mismanagement, but now the true condition of this society reveals itself like the disfigured ghoul in the sewer lowering his mask. Further pretending is unnecessary now. We're even beyond the "modified limited hang-out" stance, as a long-ago presidential counselor once put his PR strategy in the face of crumbling public credulity. When nothing is believable, what's the point in even pretending?
"Here are some truths which I believe to be self-evident: that the USA has been running on fumes since the beginning of the 21st century. That you can't get something for nothing, and attempts to do so always end in tears. That massive expenditures of energy produce equivalent globs of entropy - which you can translate to "bad ju-ju" or the tendency of whatever can go wrong to go wrong. That because we're unwilling to re-scale and reform the things we do, nature is about to do it for us. That America has transformed itself from a nation of earnest, muscular, upright citizens to a land of overfed barbarous morons ruled by grifters. That what has been economics is about to turn dangerously political.
"In times like these politics gets very crazy. The public forgets how misled and confused it is and develops vicious certainties that do not necessarily jibe with reality. The public becomes a mob and democracy turns into a kangaroo court, which is to say: a mockery of the rule of law. I suspect we'll see a correlation of turbulence in politics and markets as the weeks pound forward toward Halloween. By election day, democracy itself will be in disrepute and the streets will run with mad dogs. When this sucker goes down (to paraphrase a past president) it's going to be like a fire in a circus tent. Don't expect much from the clowns' bucket brigade. We'll be lucky if they don't toss gasoline into the grandstands."
"The bigger mystery in all this -- if I may perhaps engage in some nostalgia of my own -- is: what happened to reasonable, rational, educated people of purpose in this country to drive them into such burrow of cowardice that they can't speak the truth, or act decisively, or even defend themselves against such a host of vicious morons in a time of troubles?"
Clusterfuck Nation HERE


1 comment:

  1. I'd respond to the question Kunstler poses in his last paragraph:
    "Reasonable, sane people speak all the time....
    their voices are drowned out by the thoughtless, the heartless, and the greedy who soundly outnumber them."

    I also think Kunstler, who I've admired for a lot that he says, is making a grave omission by not cluing on the governmental militarists in America who have have been doing Wall St's bidding......our country's penchant for permanent war has in my opinion taken us one step closer to yet another larger war in order to hide the insolvency they've caused.

    To them, it is all a game.
    They have no empathy.
    Violence pays, to the Masters of War.