Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Great Quote

Here's a gem from John Michael Greer as he ponders a World After Abundance and the lack of vision being shown by most as we approach the coming Great Collapse:

That’s the problem, ultimately, with driving headlong at a brick wall; you can stop by standing on the brake pedal, or you can stop by hitting the wall, but either way, you’re going to stop.


David said...

In general I have a major problem with these "after abundance" folks. They seem to erroneously believe that the abundance we see around us today is driven by availability of natural resources. Simple logic cuts the legs off such foolishness.

The Earth is not a closed system. We bask in the glow of a star. The notion that we are doomed to some sort of cold entropic end-state is silly.

We have not reached the end of invention. There can be no such thing for total knowledge is infinite as each answer creates a dozen new questions. It is the BELIEF in the finiteness of the pie which powers stupid collective behavior that crushes human productivity. We undoubtedly will see total productivity shrink during GS IV but those who blame this on an inevitable shortage of materials are fools. The blame sits squarely on the collective, suboptimal policies gifted us by human nature, the yang to the creative individual's yin.

Flagg707 said...

No questions about the limited view of the "Limits to Growth" crowd. They constantly make the box small and demand we all live in it.

That said, I fear we could see a resurgence in this type of philosophy in the years to come. The 1970's were a Cycle Wave 4 and we are headed down a Grand Supercycle Wave 4 (if Prechter's count is right - and I hope it is, otherwise we just ended a Grand Supercycle 5 Bull Market and this Bear Market will be even worse) and the old philosophies of the 1970s could come roaring back with force.

I read Greer's stuff to get a good pulse on what I think will be the philosophies turned to in the coming few decades.

David said...

You are undoubtedly correct; the foolish collective themes of the previous 4th waves presage what we're to experience and the Paul Erlich's of the world are warming up Stage Right.

As Prechter put it, (and I paraphrase) we're in for at least a century of net-sideways, zero progress in production; given the innate productivity of unhindered individuals, this implies a massive amount of political hamstringing to come, the necessary environment to produce what pattern forecasts.

It all comes back to your inquisition of memes. Which ones will be the bases of dominant trends? The answers to this question will determine the relative level of social danger during this path through the valley. The wrong meme and we get Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. The worst dangers to those residing inside the USA will undoubtedly be from their own politically active neighbors. We can only hope that the themes hew to the less malignant character.