June 22, 2012

Blogging in the Post-Dilworth Era

Please excuse the recent hiatus.  It was nothing personal.

I would note that since I read Craig Dilworth's Too Smart For Our Own Good, I find it a little harder to come up with interesting topics, or, to put it another way, topics which actually interest me.  I suppose this is because, despite my self image as an Aware Dude, I had never really focused on just how utterly hopeless the problem of human overpopulation actually was.  Talk about overlooking elephants.

As the result of this "revelation," it has become somewhat harder to get wrapped up in such topics du jour as the "Eurocrisis," for example, which seem merely like passing ripples on a broad stretch of ocean.  Financial imbalances can always work themselves out, usually through violent revolution.  If you think of the natural progression of capitalism or tyranny, it always goes the same way: money tends to shift toward elites; they take steps to preserve their relative advantages, through monopolies and political influence; a broad class of the dispossessed is created; the dispossessed (the Wretched of the Earth, as Franz Fanon called them) tire of the inequality and begin stringing up, decapitating and shooting the elites.  Thus, in no particular order:  the American Revolution (taxation without representation), the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Cuban Revolution of 1959. 

An alternative path, if the elites choose to keep their heads firmly attached to their bodies, is to engage in the kind of Debt Jubilee that the renegade Australian economist Steve Keen has proposed.  This alleviates the debt peonage of the great unwashed masses and allows a fresh start for the economy; however, it comes at a high price for those in the advantageous positions in the current society, namely, those whose wealth is measured by the debt of others (banks, for example).  Thus, the Power Elite are currently in the process of doing everything they can to protect the privileged positions of the banking cartels, particularly in the United States and Europe.  Europe has gone so far as to depose the elected leaders of Greece and Italy and to replace them with hand-picked puppets from the banking industry, in bloodless (so far) coups without even the trappings of democracy.  I would say we are much closer to the end game of such desperate self-preservation than we are to the beginning, and I would expect the violence to start (but not to end) in Europe first, since they have a long tradition of working things out through war and revolution.

But as I say, at base all of these things are simply problems of the phony world of economics, where the "representation" of wealth (money) can now be electronically generated at will by central banks in crazy attempts to sustain a doomed status quo.  One can also add an extra hour to the day by turning the clock back when it's the season for Standard Time again, but how many days in a row can you do that before you're back where you started?  (I can add that metaphor, I guess, to the Yossarian Bomb Line Metaphor, which remains my favorite.)

One interesting matter of perspective: I happened to turn on C-Span the other morning and there was Senator John Kerry (immaculately dressed, by the way) delivering a long lecture on global warming.  As you might imagine, an address to such an archaic, imbecilic body took the usual form of trying to convince the rest of the Senate that global warming was a problem and not a hoax.  That's a measure of our progress on this life-and-death issue.  It can't hold a candle, of course, to the news coverage received by Moody's downgrades of Spanish banks, which holds the financial world's rapt attention.  There will come a day, of course, when global warming will cast the same sort of spell, when the problem is as immediate as the pension crisis in Greece, but the problem is that while the pension crisis in Greece can be alleviated for a while by firing up the printing press at the European Central Bank, by the time we pay attention to global warming, we will probably be about two decades too late.

As I say: I'm one to talk, having just realized that human beings number about 7 billion (and with the obesity epidemic, the number is actually functionally much higher in terms of total biomass effect) where natural balance might support about one million Homo sapiens.  A prodigiously self-destructive species, with a very short attention span, unable to prioritize, and motivated primarily by avarice.  The Earth is certainly going to miss us.