Michael O’Meara has a long review of Dimitry Orlov’s Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects. As the title suggests, the book (which I haven’t read) explores the likely future trajectory of the United States in the wake of a Soviet Union style collapse of the global economy. The culprit of this doomsday scenario is Peak Oil.
Although O’Meara fails to mention him by name, the Mad Max Dark Age described in his review owes much to the vivid imagination of James Howard Kunstler, whom longtime readers of this blog are undoubtedly familar with. Kunstler uses the term Long Emergency to describe this future period of national breakdown. In World Made By Hand (2008), he provided a fictional portrait of everyday life in upstate New York under these conditions.
A year ago, I spent a lot of time writing about these issues. In retrospect, the stock market did collapse as predicted; the NYSE lost over half its value. Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, and Wachovia went under. The other major big banks and brokerages survived (so far) as a result of taxpayer welfare and massive government intervention in the private sector. GM finally went bankrupt. Chrysler was bought out by Fiat. The official unemployment rate now hovers around 10%. The consensus is that we are in the worst recession since the Great Depression.
In the Spring of 2008, it looked like we were headed towards revolutionary conditions. The price of a barrel of oil (artificially driven up by speculators) was approaching $150. The airlines were going bankrupt, cutting flights, raising prices. Truckers were going on strike in protest of high fuel prices. The economy was clearly tanking as consumers reigned in their discretionary spending. In the Third World, there was famine and food riots. Haitians were eating dirt and overthrowing their government.
If the price of oil had risen, say, another $100 to $150 … what would have happened? It is easy to imagine a massive die off in the Third World; refugees flooding into the West; the just-in-time system breaking down; all kinds of shortages; massive political unrest.
Ultimately, the U.S. economy couldn’t handle $150 per barrel oil and cracked last summer. The price of oil collapsed to around $30 per barrel as the speculators flooded out of the commodites market. The conditions associated with high oil prices were ameliorated, but it was only a temporary reprieve. The rate of oil depletion ensures that it is a problem we will have to face again someday.
In the wake of our economic collapse, Kunstler and his associates have often made an important point: weaning America off its oil addiction isn’t going to be as easy as some have suggested. The havoc in the capital markets and the collapse of oil prices has cut the knees out of alternative energy and future oil development projects.
T. Boone Pickens was on television last fall touting the massive wind farms he planned to build to wean America off foreign oil. His efforts have since come to naught. The volatility of the market continues to stiffle any sort of long term planning for our energy needs. This flaw could one day prove fatal for the capitalist system.
If anything is true, the 2007-2009 recession has proved that the government’s cures for our economic ailments are often worse than the disease. Alan Greenspan’s meddling with interest rates following the collapse of the New Economy/Dot.Com bubble only created a new and even bigger bubble in the housing market. I won’t hazard to predict the consequences of the massive expansion of the money supply under Bush/Obama in response to this latest economic crisis.
The possibility of collapse gives us hope that one day the awful system we live under will one day meet its demise. If Barack Obama’s America is indicitive of our future, that is a fantasy worth clinging to.
Note: Before anyone points out the obvious, I stopped linking to Kunstler months ago over his Zionism and warnings of “cornpone Nazism.”
What the hell is “cornpone Nazism”?
Before anyone points out the obvious, I stopped linking to Kunstler months ago over his Zionism and warnings of “cornpone Nazism.”
I don’t follow Kunstler, so it wasn’t obvious to me, though it hardly comes as a surprise to hear it.
From the bits you cited last year it seemed clear enough that his cornpone jewish distaste for suburbia springs largely from a distaste for Whites. Kuntsler puts too much effort into ridiculing and finding fault with ordinary people trying to make the best of a situation they had no part in creating, and not enough effort into identifying and criticizing the rich and powerful machers at the top.
It’s no wonder why.
cornpone = countrified
He believes White Southerners are a heartbeat away from Nazism. They will call for an authoritarian dictatorship in the wake of Peak Oil.
I believe rootless cosmopolitan anti-anti-semites are a heartbeat away from recreating the NKVD and their gulags. They will call for an authoritarian dictatorship in the wake of any upheaval they can.
I think my belief is more grounded in reality. The bolshevist “hate” legislation passing through congress right now is not supported by even one Nazi senator.
If he thinks Southerners are a heartbeat away from nazism yet is a Zionist, meaning he supports the Jewish National Socialist apartheid state (the Jewish Nazi state), the only way to make that consistent is to conclude that rather than a man of principle he’s a mere tribalist tooting the horn for his tribe while dutifully sounding the alarm about what he sees as his tribal enemy. That’s easy. Anybody can do that. It’s just that when anybody else does, the Jews have conniption fits.
“If he thinks Southerners are a heartbeat away from nazism yet is a Zionist, meaning he supports the Jewish National Socialist apartheid state (the Jewish Nazi state), the only way to make that consistent is to conclude that rather than a man of principle he’s a mere tribalist tooting the horn for his tribe while dutifully sounding the alarm about what he sees as his tribal enemy. That’s easy. Anybody can do that. It’s just that when anybody else does, the Jews have conniption fits.”
by Fred Scrooby
So, you believe he is projecting?
“In the Third World, there was famine and food riots. Haitians were eating dirt and overthrowing their government.”
Yes, but aren’t they always?
“The havoc in the capital markets and the collapse of oil prices has cut the knees out of alternative energy and future oil development projects.”
Interesting and something I actually haven’t thought about. One reason many give for the Collapse of the USSR is that they were not making enough Capital Investments. The main date when things started to come to a head for the USSR is 1985, at that point alot of Americans had Apple IIe-s and Commodore 64s. Alot of businesses were using computers… the USSR had none of this and were falling behind!!
Looks like America is falling behind now!
“The possibility of collapse gives us hope that one day the awful system we live under will one day meet its demise. If Barack Obama’s America is indicitive of our future, that is a fantasy worth clinging to.”
YES! Collapses DO happen! The Progressive ‘linear’ development model that everything is going to go on great on a straight line until we reach Utopia is wrong!
There is an alternative Viewpoint: The Esoteric Indo-Aryan CYCLE of Ages (as articulated by Baron Julius Evola and Priestess Savtri Devi) and its EXOTERIC socio-political expression: Social Cycle Theory!!!
One can take the advice of Baron Evola and ‘RIDE THE TIGER’ until the system Collapses to a point when an Authentic Right can take control!!!
” Consequently the crisis of the modern world could represent, in Hegel’s terms, a “negation of a negation,” so as to signify a phenomenon that, in its own way, is positive. This double negation might end in nothingness–in the nothingness that erupts in multiple forms of chaos, dispersion, rebellion, and “protest” that characterize many tendencies of recent generations; or in that other nothingness that is scarcely hidden behind the organized system of material civilization. Alternatively, for the men in question here it might create a new, free space that could eventually become the premise for a future, formative action. ” — Baron Julius Evola from the Book ‘Ride the Tiger’.
Kunstler on Orlov:
You’re right to call me on that, I didn’t phrase it clearly. I should have put “if he condemns Southerners for being a heartbeat away from nazism, yet supports Israel, which is a Jewish Nazi state, he is …. [etc.]”
To be clear on where I stand: I consider National Socialism a fine, legitimate, admirable system, and I consider Nazi Germany, Nazi Israel, and Nazi Japan (all National Socialist states) fine, legitimate, and admirable.
I also maintain that it is legitimate for those of Euro race to oppose Israel, side with the Palestinians, favor Israel’s dismantlement, in retaliation for Diaspora Jewry’s tribal war on the Eurosphere.
Fred Scrooby: I agree, he is projecting. It seems odd to only want your ethnic group to remain pure, unless there is something suspicious.
I am also a supporter of National Sovereignty!