Anti-capitalist, Anti-Imperialist, Anti-Militarist, Capitalism, Chris Hedges, Climate Change, Climate Tipping Points, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Consumerism, Corporate State, Eco-Apocalypse, Ecological Overshoot, Environmental Collapse, Extinction of Man, Financial Elite, Fossil-Fuel Based Economy, Gross Inequality, Inverted Totalitarianism, Mass Die Off, Military Industrial Complex, Overpopulation, Peak Oil, Peak Resources, Police State, Professor David Correia, Professor Julian Cribb, Resource Wars, Runaway Climate Change, Security and Surveillance State, Technophiliacs, Wall Street Fraud, War for Profit, War on Terror
We’re approaching the one year anniversary of this website and I really have not explicitly stated my core beliefs and ideas. So let me begin by stating ten essential positions of this website:
1.) Anti-Capitalist. Capitalism has several fatal flaws which we’ve discussed here in numerous posts. It is at the root of our social and environmental ills. A system which atomizes society, turning each against the other as competitors and targeting all members of society with a nonstop stream of marketing and advertising propaganda, is the antithesis of a community-building ethos.
…cast your eyes on capitalism as a meme that effectively mutates the thinking of people, turning them into over consumers and profiteers. It is the relentless drive to grow profits that pushes us to do what we do. And that meme has metastasized globally. That is the real disease.
The original capitalism arose as a means to aggregate enough excess harvest so as to re-invest in capital equipment (before formal depreciation entered the scene) for the farm or village. It quickly led to investment in growing the capacity of a community to support more people and have more stuff and that led us, eventually, to what we have today — unbridled avarice and waste… ~ George Mobus
2.) Anti-Imperialist. Imperialism is the economic dominance and exploitation of a country, often underwritten by military force.
3.) Anti-Militarist (not the same as Pacifist). This stance goes along with 1 and 2. The Military Industrial Complex (MIC) has become a branch of government unto itself. ‘War for profit’ is big business with retiring generals becoming consultants to the weapons manufacturers. A large percentage of congressmen and senators are personally invested in the American war machine. With the War on Terror, the tail is wagging the dog.
4.) Man is part of nature, not separate from it. All life forms on Earth have intrinsic worth which cannot be accurately monetized or commodified. Economic activity by humans incurs environmental costs, but these costs are externalized. An economy which internalizes these costs is the only sustainable system able to support human societies long-term. What is the final cost of CO2 emissions, but likely the extinction of the human species along with everything else (6th Mass Extinction).
5.) Technology is not corrupt, the system is. I am not anti-technology. How a society applies a particular technology determines that technology’s social worth. Do we use it to keep vegitative patients alive at great cost? Do we use it to produce energy whose byproduct is toxic waste lingering for eons? Do we use it to annihilate each other under a mushroom cloud?
Many citizens of industrial capitalism have become technophiliacs, developing an unhealthy and unrealistic faith in the ability of technology to solve any and all problems. That’s a failure of a social system which deifies technology, promoting it as a cure-all while also using it to reproduce inequality and injustice.
Speaking on the Arab Spring and the Egyptian Revolution, Professor David Correia says:
…In the end, the particular objects and artifacts of everyday “technology” are the tools of corporations and authoritarian governments. And by now it should be clear that democracy and capitalism do not cohere and the revolution cannot be carried out via “technology.” Rather the struggle must become a struggle over the social, political and economic conditions that have made the everyday objects of technology—our digital campfires—nothing more than the tools of authoritarian despotism and capital accumulation.
6.) We live under a form of growing tyranny called inverted totalitarianism. I first read about the term inverted totalitarianism from journalist Chris Hedges who quotes from political philosopher Sheldon Wolin. Hedges has done a great job of documenting and explaining the rise of the corporate state in this country and around the world. From the Fourth Estate to higher education to all other social institutions and venues, we have literally been ‘occupied’ by corporations.
Recent chilling interview(mentions climate change):
7.) Climate Change, or more aptly ‘climate disruption’, is human-caused.
Our use of fossil fuels since the beginning of the industrial revolution has disrupted the natural carbon cycle of the planet. I have numerous links on this site to scientific findings proving that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity. The evidence is overwhelming and supported by near unanimity amongst the scientific community. The fossil fuel lobby is extremely powerful and has financed a ‘public deception’ campaign to cast doubt on the root cause of climate change.
8.) Peak Oil is real and happening. It’s all about Energy Return on Investment (EROEI), and it’s a liquid fuel crisis. Despite the rampant self-deception of carbon man and the ‘public deception’ campaign by the fossil fuel industry, America is not and will not become energy self-sufficient in its current configuration of ‘urban sprawl to nowhere’ and its capitalist cornerstone of the automobile industry (individualized transportation).
Despite increased efforts to get more drivers to adopt fuel-efficient vehicles, U.S. households spent the highest percentage of their income on gasoline in 2012 than they did in any other year in nearly three decades except for 2008, according to new estimates.
The Energy Information Administration reported that the average household spent $2,912 on gasoline in 2012, or nearly four percent of their pre-tax income. – source
9.) Peak everything is happening. From industrial minerals which serve as the building blocks for modern civilization to the seafood that we eat, humans are eating the planet out of house and home. The energy bonanza of fossil fuels enabled the human population to spread far and wide, becoming a force of nature which now has the dubious distinction of having a geologic era named after it – The Anthropocene – and which has spurred one Professor to start a campaign in order to rename Homo sapiens to something other than ‘wise’. The Four Horsemen of Industrial Civilization (Climate Change, Peak Net Energy, Ocean Acidification, and Peak Water) are converging to bring Homo sapiens reign to an end.
10.) With business-as-usual, humans will likely become extinct by the end of this century or shortly thereafter. Multiple tipping points have already been triggered which will have non-linear and self-reinforcing feedback effects. We have covered many of these feedback loops on this site. Suffice it to say, only the timing of the final consequences is debatable at this point. Massive and radical changes to our society could always be started to lessen the final impacts, but such a proposal is like telling a nicotine addict, who smokes through their tracheostomy, that “it’s never too late to quit.” Ugghh!
So I think we can all agree on most if not all of the above statements. If there are any questions on my core beliefs or if there are ideas which you think should have been included, then let me know. By the way, none of the above positions makes me a “Doomer”. I hate that title. I’m a realist.
Humans are the premier practitioners of hype.
At this very moment, brave conservationists are risking their lives to protect dwindling groups of existing African forest elephants from heavily armed poachers. And here we are in this safe auditorium talking about bringing back the Woolly Mammoth. Think about it… Hype can come back to bite you.