May you live in interesting times

By 15 November, 2010February 15th, 2011Uncategorized

Hello again.

We have reached a point in our civilisation where government no longer works. Government has become ineffective, bloated and dangerous. The wheels move slowly and churn up anyone who is unfortunate to get in the way. The more government sticks its nose in, the more barriers there are to progress. More and more boxes have to be ticked, which means there are less and less people available to oil the wheels. Eventually, they will grind to a stop and we will look out at a society strangled to death with red tape.

It’s happened before. It will happen again.

It is my firm belief that there are 3 books everyone should read.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayrn Rand

This book explores the concept of what happens when government becomes a bloated bureaucratic nightmare, where progress is stifled and society collapses under the weight of red tape.

1984 by George Orwell

This book explores the final stages of totalitarian government. It shows how evil straw men are used to keep the population in fear and justify oppressive domination of the populace. It introduces us to the concept of Newspeak where the meaning of words are reversed to instil Cognitive Dissonance. Everyone is watched, and the truth is changed at the whim of a faceless official.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

This book explores the ultimate corporate dream. People are grown in vats to become wards of the state, brought up to believe that material goods are the centre of happiness and that emotional connection with other human beings is to be avoided at all costs.

Of course our present world is nothing like those three book, but we are starting to see snippets of their teachings emerging in our society. Here are two examples:

Bloated government

As an example of how ineffective government has become, we need only turn to that small hole a mile down in the Gulf of Mexico. The Governor of Louisiana has, for the last month been trying to get oil extraction barges sent out to the gulf to suck up the oil threatening the coast. The barges are there, the people to man them are there, but they are sat in port. The reason being that, even though the Governor is supposedly in charge of the state, he is powerless against a myriad of Federal agencies that keep stepping in the way to beat their chests and display their incompetence. The fishing and tourist industries of over 4 states are very close to being wiped out for the foreseeable future.

Corporate incompetence:

Allegedly (got to be careful about those lawyers now don’t we) it is reported that there were problems with the well head and the casing weeks before the explosion that killed eleven people and resulted in the worst environmental disaster the USA has ever seen. It is also alleged that BP knew of this problem, but actually cut corners and ignored basic safety controls that had been long established. Now we have millions of gallons of oil collecting in huge plumes under the surface of the Gulf killing the entire ecosystem. And the oil keeps coming, despite what you hear on the news. There are alleged reports that the drilling well casing is fractured a thousand feet below the sea floor, allowing the oil to escape through fissures in the sea bed…… miles away from where all BP’s cameras are.

There is a lesson here, our society needs to change. It no longer works to the benefit of the planet and mankind. Yes you can go to the computer store and buy the latest gadget, but you don’t really need one. We are manufacturing useless objects (that are NOT made to last) with an ever dwindling resource base. Despite seeing the truth of things in 2008 we are still trapped in the illusion of infinite growth. Spend spend spend is still the mantra that millions adhere to.

Buying things will not make you happy…… most people learn this eventually, even if it’s just subconsciously. And yet most of us still continue doing as we did before.

It’s a sign of madness. Our society is clinically insane

The slight challenge that has occurred in the gulf is due to us wasting resources. America consumes 25% of all the world’s oil. They live in huge suburbs which could not exist without the motor car, fuelled by cheap petrol. The fact that we are now trying to get oil from under a sea bed 5000 feet down shows how desperate we are getting to keep our madness going. Our society can only survive on cheap plentiful oil…..unfortunately we’ve used most of that up already. Now we are left with the hard to get, dangerous to extract stuff.

We therefore have 2 choices

We can revel in our madness and ride an inevitable collapse down into resource wars, totalitarianism, and societal break up

Or we can realise that now is the time to change, whilst we still can. And we are the ones who have to change. Government won’t, corporations won’t. We have to be the change we want to see in the world. We have to accept that infinite economic growth is not possible. We have to accept that some time in the future the oil will start to run out. We have to accept that it is better to take the pain now whilst we are still able to survive. That way we can come out stronger than ever.

Mine is not a message of doom and gloom. There is enough of that on the internet already. And I am not going to tell you what you should do. I am merely here to show you two paths. Which one we take I leave up to you.

It’s up to us. It’s up to you. If we do nothing, if we take the easy path of doing what we have always done, it’s highly likely that we may not be there to witness the consequences of out inaction. But our children will. And they will be far from pleased.

What kind of a legacy do we want to leave our children?