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Collapse: The Practical Paradigms

By Peter Goodchild

27 June, 2011

The entire global economy is collapsing, although very few people are aware of this: mainly the very rich and the highly educated. By understanding this, one becomes a member of the illuminati oneself, or if not at least an enlightened refugee.

The word “economy,” however, is a misnomer, because economics is based on a misconception, like alchemy or astrology. Economists think everything can be explained in terms of money, which is seen as a closed system, perfect and eternal, like pure mathematics. What is happening, though, is not a closed system: the decline in natural resources, especially petroleum, and conversely the terrible rise in global population.

The decline in resources cannot be remedied. Those who believe in windmills and solar panels are closing their eyes to all questions of scale. Unfortunately we live in an age in which it is considered more important to have an opinion than to have an education.

Truth is another scarce resource: in particular, no one should trust television. A TV set is a machine for spreading lies, like the manure spreader behind a tractor. TV is controlled by an ever-shrinking number of corporations, and its goal is neither to inform nor to entertain, but to make profits. This is done by censoring the fundamental truths, and by depicting human society as a sitcom of seven billion characters, each of them too rich to be real and too mindless to be human. Yet we stare at the screen, longing for that illusory paradise, and then wander off to spend our hard-earned money -- hard to win, easy to lose.

Overpopulation is good for business. If a company in China or India can sell a product at a fraction of the price charged by an American company, that is because the cheaper product is based on what is virtually slave labor: the backbreaking misery of the poor.

The world is divided into a small number of the very rich and a much greater number of the poor. There is also the middle class, a vanishing breed who have neither the money of the rich nor the leisure of the poor.

Overpopulation is also correlated with crime. Contrary to its depiction on TV, there is nothing mysterious about crime. Anyone born in a poor neighborhood must occasionally break the law in order to survive. Prostitution, for example, is not an occult society: to a large extent, it is just a way of paying the rent.

As global society decays, those who plan wisely to survive and succeed must head for the hills, or if not the hills then the forest, the prairies, the seacoast. Nevertheless, for the next few years, until money as such is no longer the principal means of exchange, a little cash will probably still be necessary.

The most common mistake in such a transition “back to the land,” therefore, is to recreate an urban house in an rural setting: the same house but with a greater distance to one’s neighbor. One’s cost of living has not changed, while one’s income possibilities have droppped considerably. To renounce a modern income in order to break the ties to the collapsing global economy, one must also renounce “modern conveniences.”

The future will be the Great Lurch Forward, crazier than Mao’s and far deadlier. It will not be a mere extension of the American Dream, with fatuous executives guiding TV crews through a “green” domicile the size of a palace.

The transformation will be more than superficial. It will be psychological, philosophical, spiritual, and long-term, not technological and temporary. In the process, those who find the way must reconsider the ancient virtues, from fortitude to charity. They must recover their lost humanity, their identity as Homo sapiens, devoid of its plastic accoutrements. They must stop acting as if they were aliens on their own planet.

Peter Goodchild is the author of Surivival Skills of the North American Indians, published by Chicago Review Press. He can be reached at odonatus{at}live.com



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