Listening to: The Black Keys - Sinister Kid
Reading: Paris 1919
Watching: Star Trek DS9 Season 3
Drinking: Water atm
Ok, so I will confess to a bad habit. Nine times out of ten I post in this journal when I'm drunk. This time is no exception.
You may have noticed that I like to post Noam Chomsky and/or Frank Herbert quotes from time to time in this journal. Not to take away from the wisdom of said men, but chances are I was drunk when I did so.
Why you ask? Well, I don't like to go to bed drunk. I would rather stay up tired and drunk than wake up hungover. So, I stay awake, sober up a bit, and as such I need something to pass the time. Thus, I write.
The Black Keys are pretty dammed good, now that I think on it.
Also, I happen to think we live in a faith based society. I mean "faith" in the wider sense. Why does paper money have any value for instance? Faith of course, that it can successfully be exchanged for goods and services. Why do most people walk the streets unarmed and unafraid that they'll be mugged? Faith in our system of law enforcement (to varying degrees) of course. Faith can be defined as a system of belief that helps you make sense of the world around you. It does not have to depend on religion, probability, rationality or scientific evidence, it simply has to be relied on. For some, it means that Jesus Christ is their personal Lord and saviour. For others, it means that the paper money in their pocket is worth something, that the gas station will always have gas to sell and the supermarket will always have food on the shelves. Otherwise, we'd all be growing victory gardens and riding bikes wherever we go, working on a barter system. I happen to think that in most developed countries (I live in Canada), it's taken for granted that things just work (i.e. the market, government, society in general, etc) to provide for them. Few people realize how little it would take to shatter all that. In less developed countries people are more likely to rely on themselves and/or family (i.e. multi-generational homes, subsistence farming, higher rates of saving) rather than in society at large.
It's been said by a wiser man than myself that faith and reason are like the shoes on your feet. You can walk farther with both than you can with just one. Frankly, I think often people rely on faith (in society sustaining itself) more than they should. I include myself in this assessment. Note to self; Start a victory garden, acquire some serfs in anticipation for the inevitable fall of post-neo-liberal global capitalism.
If you look at most civilizations historically, they tend to expand to their economical/ecological/military limits, then collapse. Greek and Roman farmers exhausted their lands, leading to a drive for expansion/colonization. It helped for a time, but only for a time. The same could be said of Europeans about two millennia later. China seems bent on a never ending process of working toward unification (harmony) followed by internal strife (because harmony sucks) followed by collapse. For centuries the limit of Ottoman possessions in Europe were limited by distance from Istanbul, with respect to the time it took to march/resupply armies from same. On Easter Island, the inhabitants duly exhausted the land in favour of building monuments to the Gods, leading to cannibalism, and eventually, societal collapse. These are but a few examples. The point is, as a species we have a tendency to learn and forget the same lessons, over and over again. We use up the resources we rely on until they exhaust, then things fall apart.
Sadly, as it turns out we all live on Easter Island now, for the first time in history on a global scale, although few want to admit. Those who speak out on such issues tend to find themselves ostracized. Funny, how we tend to discount those who tell use what we need to hear. I suppose it should come as no surprise. We live in a faith based society after all. We believe what we want to believe to believe, heathens be dammed! The market will provide, commies can go home to cry to their mommies! The third world is looking to catch up to first world levels of consumption, which frankly, is not sustainable. At present however, current global macro economic policies are based on the assumption of unlimited demographic and economic growth on a planet of finite resources. Such belief is folly, idiotic really, yet we stick to it. In short, I think we're pretty fucked. We tend to shit the bed where ever we go. This time however, we're shitting everywhere at once. There's no new frontier to colonize as a safety valve. Sooner or later, things will fall apart, and a lot of people will die as a result. Enjoy the height of human civilization while you can.
Can we avoid the avoid the ecological/economical collapse that is likely to come? I would bet on no, given how short sighted we tend to be a species. My money is on a global collapse, sooner or later, with the nations most tied into the global economy being the most likely to fall the hardest.
There's a lot going on today that could benefit from a dose of sober second second thought. Sadly, few are in a position to do so, myself included at the moment.
In retrospect, the structure of this entry seems to be in reverse. Try reading it backwards, see if it makes any more sense to you.