In the same category

Coasting Toward Zero

IMG Auteur
Published : June 03rd, 2014
745 words - Reading time : 1 - 2 minutes
( 22 votes, 4.5/5 ) , 6 commentaries
Print article
  Article Comments Comment this article Rating All Articles  
0
Send
6
comment
Our Newsletter...
Category : Editorials

I n just about any realm of activity this nation does not know how to act. We don’t know what to do about our mounting crises of economy. We don’t know what to do about our relations with other nations in a strained global economy. We don’t know what to do about our own culture and its traditions, the useful and the outworn. We surely don’t know what to do about relations between men and women. And we’re baffled to the point of paralysis about our relations with the planetary ecosystem.

To allay these vexations, we just coast along on the momentum generated by the engines in place — the turbo-industrial flow of products to customers without the means to buy things; the gigantic infrastructures of transport subject to remorseless decay; the dishonest operations of central banks undermining all the world’s pricing and cost structures; the political ideologies based on fallacies such as growth without limits; the cultural transgressions of thought-policing and institutional ass-covering.

This is a society in deep danger that doesn’t want to know it. The nostrum of an expanding GDP is just statistical legerdemain performed to satisfy stupid news editors, gull loose money into reckless positions, and bamboozle the voters. If we knew how to act we would bend every effort to prepare for the end of mass motoring, but instead we indulge in fairy tales about the “shale oil miracle” because it offers the comforting false promise that we can drive to WalMart forever (in self-driving cars!). Has it occurred to anyone that we no longer have the capital to repair the vast network of roads, streets, highways, and bridges that all these cars are supposed to run on? Or that the capital will not be there for the installment loans Americans are accustomed to buy their cars with?

The global economy is withering quickly because it was just a manifestation of late-stage cheap oil. Now we’re in early-stage of expensive oil and a lot of things that seemed to work wonderfully well before, don’t work so well now. The conveyer belt of cheap manufactured goods from China to the WalMarts and Target stores doesn’t work so well when the American customers lose their incomes, and have to spend their government stipends on gasoline because they were born into a world where driving everywhere for everything is mandatory, and because central bank meddling adds to the horrendous inflation of food prices.

Now there’s great fanfare over a “manufacturing renaissance” in the United States, based on the idea that the work will be done by robots. What kind of foolish Popular Mechanics porn fantasy is this? If human beings have only a minor administrative role in this set-up, what do two hundred million American adults do for a livelihood? And who exactly are the intended customers of these products? You can be sure that the people of China, Brazil, and Korea will have enough factories of their own, making every product imaginable. Are they going to buy our stuff now? Are they going to completely roboticize their own factories and impoverish millions of their own factory workers?

The lack of thought behind this dynamic is staggering, especially because it doesn’t account for the obvious political consequence — which is to say the potential for uprising, revolution, civic disorder, cruelty, mayhem, and death, along with the kind of experiments in psychopathic governance that the 20th century was a laboratory for. Desperate populations turn to maniacs. You can be sure that scarcity beats a fast path to mass homicide.

What preoccupies the USA now, in June of 2014? According to the current cover story Time Magazine, the triumph of “transgender.” Isn’t it wonderful to celebrate sexual confusion as the latest and greatest achievement of this culture? No wonder the Russians think we’re out of our minds and want to dissociate from the West. I’ve got news for the editors of Time Magazine: the raptures of sexual confusion are not going to carry American civilization forward into the heart of this new century.

     In fact, just the opposite. We don’t need confusion of any kind. We need clarity and an appreciation of boundaries in every conceivable sphere of action and thought. We don’t need more crybabies, or excuses, or wishful thinking, or the majestic ass-covering that colors the main stream of our national life.

Coming in August
World Made By Hand 3
Pre-order:

My local indie booksellers… Battenkill Books … or Northshire Books
or Amazon

Data and Statistics for these countries : Brazil | China | All
Gold and Silver Prices for these countries : Brazil | China | All
<< Previous article
Rate : Average note :4.5 (22 votes)
>> Next article
James Howard Kunstler has worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975, he dropped out to write books on a full-time basis. His nonfiction book, "The Long Emergency," describes the changes that American society faces in the 21st century. Discerning an imminent future of protracted socioeconomic crisis, Kunstler foresees the progressive dilapidation of subdivisions and strip malls, the depopulation of the American Southwest, and, amid a world at war over oil, military invasions of the West Coast; when the convulsion subsides, Americans will live in smaller places and eat locally grown food.
WebsiteSubscribe to his services
Comments closed
  All Favorites Best Rated  
Basically, people who live in a world made by hand would be peasants.
But they may be better off than those left behind to eek out a living/existence in a dysfunctional city.
Rate :   1  0Rating :   1
EmailPermalink
The MSM news editors are not stupid but they are owned. Franklly, I seldom bother to look at the MSM anymore.
Rate :   2  0Rating :   2
EmailPermalink
James, the 99% have no idea what you're talking about, and
even if they did, wouldn't care much. It is so sad.
I like your articles.
Derik in Vegas,
now 14 years in USA, orig. from South Africa
Rate :   3  1Rating :   2
EmailPermalink
Kunstler speaks in such generalities that his articles are meaningless. For instance he opens with this: "In just about any realm of activity this nation does not know how to act. We don’t know what to do about our mounting crises of economy." And he closes with this: "We need clarity and an appreciation of boundaries in every conceivable sphere of action and thought." What the hell does that mean?????

But, having suffered myself to read his articles week in and week out, I know that HE knows what to do. Essentially it is this: retreat from our industrial civilization and live in the idyllic woods. That's it.

Many in this nation do know what to do: cut back government to the bare minimum and unleash individual initiative. And, in the process -- drill, baby, drill.

Rate :   1  2Rating :   -1
EmailPermalink
Jim, I don't know if JHK actually wants a world made by hand, or sees it as an inevitable outcome of the current system. Because government will not voluntarily be cut back, no matter how people vote in the Demopublican duopoly elections. Demos (Liberals) deep down hate mankind and want it eradicated to save Mother Earth. Repos (neo-cons, aka Facists) want to rule mankind in a New World Order.

I think JHK makes two good points in this article/rant.
1) There is a good chance that there will be continued increase in uprisings and violence around the world. As nations continue to fragment.
2) The last paragraph.

Expecting item 2 from a bureaucracy is wishful thinking, aint gonna happen. So, what likely alternative is left?
Better head for the woods. (But not for the reasons JHK argues)
Rate :   2  0Rating :   2
EmailPermalink
Kunstler does want to return to a world made by hand, and has expressed such many times. In one article he urged the Japanese to return to their Samurai culture! I guess what makes him so appealing to some is the perception that we are headed downhill and he is offering an alternative, albeit a step backward in civilization.

I agree that the Demos and Repubs are essentially one -- taking turns running our lives. I gave up on the Libertarians years ago but still have hope the Tea Party will cut loose and become independent, much as the Republicans broke from the Whigs in 1854 over slavery.
Rate :   1  1Rating :   0
EmailPermalink
Latest comment posted for this article
Basically, people who live in a world made by hand would be peasants. But they may be better off than those left behind to eek out a living/existence in a dysfunctional city. Read more
S W. - 6/3/2014 at 8:35 PM GMT
Rating :  1  0
Top articles
World PM Newsflow
ALL
GOLD
SILVER
PGM & DIAMONDS
OIL & GAS
OTHER METALS