Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Economic Collapse, Net Energy and Societal Complexity, Peak Oil, The Archdruid Report, The Long Descent
Here is a new and lengthy interview with John Michael Greer on a website called Legalise Freedom:
“The politicians don’t know what’s going on; they have no clue. They don’t get it. There’s a lot of very good reasons why they shouldn’t get it because one of the things that’s going to happen down the road is that they are toast. Their entire world is toast. The only reason that the politicians and the financiers, the modern rich and powerful, have the wealth and the power that they do is that they know how to manipulate. They are in a position to manipulate this very complex, very intricate, very brittle, very fragile system that runs on vast amounts of fossil fuel energy. As that system breaks down, their power goes away. And they’re going to be in roughly the same situation as all those heads of Communist Parties in Eastern Europe when the Communist Parties in Eastern Europe suddenly dissolved out from under them. This is what happens when very complex civilizations start breaking down. The former leadership finds that it has no skills at all that are relevant to the current situation. In the meantime they’re going to increase their grip on the levers of power and flows of money with everything they’ve got.
And you can go out there and protest; you can wave a sign; you can shout obscenities at the status quo or what have you and it will either be ignored or, if it causes sufficient embarrassment, the police are going to come and beat the living crap out of you. Or eventually you may be dragged from you bed at 3 a.m. and shot in the head and tumbled into an unmarked grave. This is the kind of thing that can happen, and it does happen all the time in the Third World. And this is something we can understand in our current situation where the modern industrial nations are becoming Third World countries. The Third World country is a country in the modern world that doesn’t have access to a lot of energy.” – JMG
A bit of background on Mr. Greer:
The world is finally beginning to wake up to its critical dependence on oil and the vitally important issues associated with it such as rapidly rising energy prices and the threat of climate change. Unlike the energy crisis of the 1970s, however, there is a lurking fear that now the times are different and the crisis may not easily be resolved.
The Long Descent examines the basis of such fear through three core themes:
1. Industrial society is following the same well-worn path that has led other civilizations into decline, a path involving a much slower and more complex transformation than the sudden catastrophes imagined by so many social critics today.
2. The roots of the crisis lie in the cultural stories that shape the way we understand the world. Since problems cannot be solved with the same thinking that created them, these ways of thinking need to be replaced with others better suited to the needs of our time.
3. It is too late for massive programmes to implement top-down change; the change must come from individuals.
Hope exists in actions that range from taking up a handicraft or adopting an ‘obsolete’ technology, through planting an organic vegetable garden, taking charge of your own health care or spirituality, and building community.
John Michael Greer is a certified Master Conserver, organic gardener, and scholar of ecological history… Follow him at The Archdruid Report.
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