Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Chump Phase In Action

Last year we discussed the "Chump Phase" of this crisis on several occasions (see here, here, and here for representative examples). Basically, I described the Chump Phase as:

...What any potential "solutions" to a crashed system have in common is that the active and strong personalities that will be faced with rules suited to the legacy system that by then will have ceased to have a future. We will be in the "Chump Phase" - where the majority of people are still hard-wired to believe in the legacy system and all the attendant laws, regulations and law enforcement techniques. They will be played for chumps - work hard for a corporation, spend lot's on credit cards, don't rock the boat, keep up with the Joneses, buy that big house in the exurbs and oh yeah, by the way, the Man has re-jiggered the bankruptcy laws to make you a debt slave when the economy doesn't allow the majority of workers to grow their income enough to keep up with their debts.

All these social and economic norms that we've been taught for the last few decades will only lead those who adhere to them down a blind alley.

At the same time, there will be a wide variety of behaviors that don't match up well with the legacy system laws. To succeed in this new world, you must adopt new habits, but in adopting new habits, you might get your ass tossed in prison for a variety of property rights violations, drug law infractions and who knows what sorts of affronts to social norms (i.e., polygamy or group "marriages" to build up capital and provide for defense of property and aid in raising children, seizing vacant land to grow food, economic activities that violate current law such as operating bot networks as part of a GlobalGuerrilla "tribe" or growing dope, not paying property taxes, etc.).

It will be a time that you must be nimble and adaptive, but the legacy system will still have tremendous power to hobble you and cage your creativity. It will prove interesting.

We see a little of that in this story out of suburban Kansas City:

Urban chicken movement taking roost in KC area
By Joe Lambe, The Kansas City Star

Chickens could be coming to roost in a backyard near you.

Across the country and the metropolitan area, people are joining the national urban chicken movement, sometimes turning outlaw to raise the birds...

...Four years ago, another Overland Park family tried to get [a permit to grow chickens in their subdivision]. By a vote of 7-5, the City Council wouldn’t allow it.

Opponents said then that chickens did not belong in Overland Park. Some said the birds were unsanitary.

Overland Park City Councilman Jim Hix, who voted against the chickens in 2005, said this week that he would probably do so again.

“Wanting eggs is not unique,” he said. “It’s not a good idea to have chickens in a suburban area under normal circumstances...”

"Normally" none of us would want a neighbor to have a yard full of chickens. "Normally" the uptight suburbanites of OP, Kansas would have good arguments on their side - such as the sanitary conditions argument or effect on house prices (that always go up). In a former life I lived in the suburb right next to Overland Park, in a nice big McMansion that looked like all the others on the street (so much so that I pulled into the wrong driveway multiple times in the first six months I lived there, seriously) and know their mindset. The chickens will be banned and all will be well and if we just wish enough and count our mustard seeds, all will return to "normal" soon.

What Councilman Hix, and millions of city, county, state and federal government officials - and the shiny happy investors in suburban vinyl & sheetrock castles - don't get is that these are not "normal circumstances."

Normal, as defined by expecting the world to behave in the coming 20 years as it did in the previous 20, is dead. Normal is a zombie striding the land, devouring the brains of city planners and citizens in humble shacks to big McMansions, preventing them from processing the data right in front of their eyes that screams "make big changes to your lifestyles now!" Normal is gone. In a few years cities will be passing ordinances to encourage, if not force, residents to grow a portion of their own food and meat. But probably not today. We are in this gray hell of the Chump Phase, first movers beware and have a Marrano Option in place, just in case...

1 comment:

Greg B said...

Columbia citizens are taking the first steps toward making it legal to keep a few hens in your yard.

Thursday May 14 evening we go to a meeting of the Public Health Board. It ought to be an interesting experience.

My guess is that the majority of those who show up tonight will be pro-chicken. But once it hits the newspapers that future meetings will be much more of a battle between the status quo and those who want change.

Conflict is what happens when you try to change the ol' quo...