Feudalism

Small Bizness in the Sea of Irredeemable Debt

Off the keyboard of RE

Published originally on the Doomstead Diner

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Table inside the Diner

My good friend and Cross Posting Blogger here on the Diner Steve from Virginia published an article this week called Watch the Banks…. on his Blog Economic Undertow.  It’s one of Steve’s trademarks to title many posts with three Periods after them….LOL.  I cross posted the article here on the Diner yesterday.  It touches on many themes explored here on the Diner with respect to the Creation of Money,  and how Biznesses function  in this economy, both Large & Small.

Indeed,  watching the Banks is the KEY element in following the progress of the collapse.  The “System of the World” as Neal Stephenson put it, the Monetary system we all depend on is run by a few Large Banking Houses, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs et al, and the Central Banks they control like the ECB, the BoJ, the BoE, the PBoC and of course Da Fed as well.  All coordinated through the Bank for International Settlements Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.  The BEST way to follow the Collapse in Progress is to watch the machinations and currency manipulations being undertaken to keep this very large and complex stucture floating another day.

One of the Key Points Steve touches on in his article relates to the primacy of “Small Bizness” as an Economic Driver, in a sense making the postulate that Small Biz preceeds Big Biz in the development of an Economy.  Does it REALLY though?  As I see it,  perhaps in the Dawn of History for Homo Sapiens Small Biz preceeded Big Biz,  but since the development of large scale Agiculture around 8000 years ago, the opposite has been true, and the main economic drivers for this period were the large scale generally Slave Driven Ag enterprises and the War Machine they support and which supports it in a synergistic relationship.

Steve and I have already gone a few rounds in debating how this economy develops on Economic Undertow, I will include these posts as a preface to better grasp the global issues.

From RE:

 I don’t think any “small bizness” earns any “organic returns”, at least not while all biznesses operate under a failing currency structure.

Small Biz is essentially Parasitical off of Big Biz. If Big Biz borrows Capital to put up say a GM Auto Plant in Janesville, Doctors, Dentists, Property Sellers, Retailers and Restaraunters all open up small biz that sieve off the central source of money.

When the Big Factory shuts down, all the Small Bizmen go Broke too, even if they took out no Loans to grow the Biz. Customers with MONEY are no longer in the neighborhood buying their goods or bidding up the price of housing. Just the monthly overhead of the Restaraunt makes them insolvent.

Without Large Public Works feeding money at great scale out into the economy, the ancillary small biz all goes broke too. I wrote about this on the Diner in the Large Public Works Project series.

For the recent Generation in the Age of Oil, the BIG LPWP was the Interstate, and then the Shopping Malls and McMansions that built up around the Ring Roads.

Without such LPWPs, there is no way to distribute out centrally created “money” which has any value. There is nothing for Small Biz to sieve off.

It is unlikely we will create any new LPWP to replace the one built courtesy of the thermodynamic energy of fossil fuels over the last 3 centuries or so. In the absence, Money on the Grand Scale of International Finance will irretrievably FAIL.

Whether any more Local forms of Money can be substituted remains an Open Question.

RE

From Steve

 RE, there is a big information gap before industrialization.

The Middle Ages were as prosperous as Roman period and succeeding modern periods, not for all at all times but the same can be said of the present. Americans live better than Kenyans, Venetians lived better than Saxons in England after William arrived. What mattered most in Europe was tide of war.

Post-Constantine, the wealth of the Western Roman Empire was directed toward the church and away from government and the private sector: this was a big reason for the decline then collapse of the empire. The church made itself the beneficiary of all estates without heirs or issue, over centuries it absorbed vast amounts of property from extinct estates. It became property recorder and mediator of disputes great and small, which gained it fees. The Western Roman government became unable to compete with the church as a business enterprise.

The militaristic Franks eventually absorbed and reorganzed Roman activities in Western Europe, trade was continuous from Asia to Spain, trade centers such as Genoa, Siena, Venice, Constantinople became rich.

The traders in the 8th century were wealthy and successful … as any number of ‘entrepreneurs’ today. They borrowed their fortunes and hived to costs onto their trading partners!

The Romans understood steam power but not plate glass or railroads. Franks understood printing but not moveable type or firearms. The Chinese understood rocketry but not airfoils. Information was hard to come by, in the West the church had a monopoly on education as well as on books. It took moveable type — and a series of bloody wars — to break the church’s information cartel.

The war periods inform the public imagination of European life, up until the rise of publicly available information in 15th century.

This is also when looted gold from the Western Hemisphere began to arrive on European shores by the shipload:

– It financed the renaissance,

– it triggered the largest, longest-duration bout of hyperinflation in history, over 100 years, over America, Europe and Asia,

– it financed the industrial revolution,

– it financed the rise of Netherlands and UK as naval powers to rival Spain,

– it also financed the 13 British colonies,

– it financed 2 centuries of religious wars in Europe which ended with the collapse of the papacy’s temporal power.

Spain ended up bankrupt, Portugal and Netherlands were severed from Spain, both France and Italy expelled entrenched foreign influences to become powerful nation-states, the Holy Roman Empire dissipated to reformulate itself over time as modern Germany … Ireland became a slave state of England, which itself endured a violent revolution and civil war to become a military power … the English civil war extended overseas to North America ending with the American Revolution, then a revolution against the French monarchy. Afterwards came Bonaparte. All of this and much more besides was paid for with Peruvian and Mexican gold (some Eastern European silver, too).

Between wars and recoveries there was a lot of room for enterprise. Both Europe, China and South Asia were wealthy, during the Middle Ages there was strong demand for consumer goods such as sumptuous clothing, carriages, villas and town houses, exotic foods, private botanical gardens and arboretums, paintings and sculpture, illuminated books, lavish public entertainments, theater productions, permanent installations such as public parks, fountains, bridges, stone-paved roads, elaborate structures such as enclosed markets and forums for public gatherings, gigantic cathedrals (filled in places with Roman articles), private galleys, teams of horses, livestock, etc. A common complaint was that people could not determine who was wealthy or a noble and who was not because the commoners wore the same or better clothing. All of these things were made by more or less small-scale craft level workshops, lots of them.

Any town would have stone-and brick masons, a quarry, a brick maker, a foundry, a tannery, a carpenter, a blacksmith, a tinker (make pots and pans), silver- and gold smiths, embroidery shops, tapestry weavers, yarn spinners, shoe-and boot makers, stable hands, street pavers, armorers, arborists, vintners and brewers, gardeners, window makers, musical instrument makers, cabinet makers, roofers, livestock tenders, butchers, barbers, etc. Regardless of ones’ station there was always something to do. Most did not have to toil incessantly, there were many holidays and feasts. The grim peasants in rags … Monty Python or Lord of the Rings.

Most towns in America or Europe do not have any of these things at all: we are dependent upon welfare and television … the poorest medieval town was more prosperous than any of our towns today!

 From RE:

Steve, you won’t get an argument from me that Medieval Towns were more self-sufficient than modern cities, of course they were. From an economic standpoint though, all those Craftsmen you revere so much STILL were parasites off the Big Biz of the era, which was mainly Ag and Warfare.

First off, the fact most goods and services were produced locally meant that commoners used little money at all, they bartered. If you needed the services of the local Quack to Bleed you due to contacting Plague, you paid him 2 chickens. If you Tanned nice skins, you traded them for a bushel of potatoes. etc.

The main way money got into the economy was from Soldiering and Plundering. The local Lord would conscript up promising to Pay in Silver, after they got back from stealing the silver from the next county over. Eventually of course they consolidated up to Kingships and incipient Nation-States of course, then went about ripping off Gold wholesale from the New World, leading to the inflationary period you spoke of. VERY Big Bizness there!

The other way money got distributed out was through the Holy Roman Catholic Chuch (the Mega-Corp of the Era) in the building of Cathedrals, the Large Public Works Projects of the era. This of course provided lots of work for Stone Masons, Carpenters, Stain Glass Window artists, etc. If your Community could get the HRCC to build a Cathedral in your nabe, it was a thriving little Metropolis. No Cathedral, you were a dirt poor backwater town.

As it further evolved, the Big Biz of Plundering via Tall Ships equipped with Cannon led to those next Massive Corps, the Brit and Dutch East India Companies. Said Big Biz of course provided tons of work for Shipwrights, Carpenters, Sail Makers, yadda yadda not to mention the guys forging the 20 pounder Cannon, which was NOT done in a small Blacksmith’s shop.

In the background of all of this of course were the Financiers, floating Stock Issues in Amsterdam and London, and in fact in 1692 when the BoE was chartered, they were pretty much Fresh Out of Gold, as the Spanish had nailed down the best Gold Theft locations and they got stuck with North America, which until the Railoads got built into the interior did not offer up much gold. They got their money for financing up their colonial adventures courtesy of Master of the Mint Sir Isaac Newton, and began to do well providing Letters of Marque to Pirates who would hit on the Spanish Cargo ships on the High Seas. Their Big Biz controlling the Sea Lanes with the Brit Navy brought in the money that all those local craftsmen used fo commerce.

In all cases going right back to Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, It was the Big Biz of Ag centrally controlled which got the Money going, and the Big Biz of Warfare which brought in the PMs to use for coinage. Large Public Works projects such as the Great Wall(s) of China, the Pyramids, Cathedrals et al were symbols of successful cultures running the Ag-War Economy. All the small craftsmen and small biz expanded to sieve off this economy. They don’t exist independent of it.

RE

From Steve:

Various non-industrial employments in the 18th century:

http://books.google.com/books?id=YiJJAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA7&vq=%22from+the+constant+exercise+of+industry+in+the+various+occupations+of+life+%3B+or+in+other+words,+it+is+the%22&source=gbs_quotes_r&cad=6#v=onepage&q=resources%20for%20the%20employment%20of%20males&f=false

A Treatise On Indigence: Exhibiting A General View Of The National Resources …
By Patrick Colquhoun

Professional soldiery was a tremendous burden to the state prior to Spanish gold which meant most militaries fielded militias, irregulars or mercenaries. Governments offered letters of marque to privateers to augment their navies.

Another list of medieval (pre-industrial) employments which saves me the effort of making one:

http://www.svincent.com/MagicJar/Economics/MedievalOccupations.html

There was another list over on Guy McPherson’s web site but I can’t find it …

Globe Town

To the east of Bethnal Green (London) lies Globe Town, established from 1800 to provide for the expanding population of weavers around Bethnal Green attracted by improving prospects in silk weaving. The population of Bethnal Green trebled between 1801 and 1831, operating 20,000 looms in their own homes. By 1824, with restrictions on importation of French silks relaxed, up to half these looms became idle and prices were driven down. With many importing warehouses already established in the district, the abundance of cheap labor was turned to boot, furniture and clothing manufacture. Globe Town continued its expansion into the 1860s, long after the decline of the silk industry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethnal_Green#The_Green_and_Poor.27s_Land

The 20,000 looms supported 20,000 households and employed at least that many along with suppliers to the trade, the makers of looms and the houses, the merchants and peddlers of silk goods. This was during periods when population in England was relatively small. Beside Bethnal Green there were other districts in London and in other cities and countries weaving all kinds of cloths … this took place over long periods of time … the citizens always require things to wear. The customers of a country’s goods were often overseas and there was a money trade in even the old Byzantine, Frankish and Roman issues. Before 1520 funds flowed from the East as the Venetians and other Italians traded with the Chinese, the Caliphates, the Turks and Mongols. Afterward the flow was from the West and there was no outbound trade: there was quickly too much money and nothing flowing out to balance it.

The customers of distributed production were pilfered by manufacturers with credit and steam-driven machines, ‘low prices’ and uniformity, the distributed producers working in their houses became little more than serfs.

From RE:

“Professional soldiery was a tremendous burden to the state prior to Spanish gold which meant most militaries fielded militias, irregulars or mercenaries. Governments offered letters of marque to privateers to augment their navies. “-Steve

The great expense of the non-stop warfare in Europe didn’t prevent it from occurring and driving big bizness. It certainly bankrupted a few treasuries and indebted these Kings to the Banksters also.

The Medieval towns you talk about all grew up around Feudal Estates owned by the Nobility, the Pigmen of their time. Ag was the Energy Driver of this economy, and was Big Monopolized Bizness. War was the other Big Bizness, and there is a good reason those medieval castles had 5 foot thick stone walls around them with Moats, Drawbridges and Porticullises. The townees hadda run there every time some neighboring warlord needed to replenish the Treasury. They didn’t build those castles just for show.

“To the east of Bethnal Green (London) lies Globe Town, established from 1800 to provide for the expanding population of weavers around Bethnal Green attracted by improving prospects in silk weaving. The population of Bethnal Green trebled between 1801 and 1831, operating 20,000 looms in their own homes. ”

Steve,from 1803-1815 the Brits were fighting the Frogs in the Napoleonic Wars!! I’m sure the women were doing fine at home on the loom, but a whole lotta poor limeys were being Bayonetted in the French countryside.

If they weren’t conscripted to fight on French soil, they were being Press Ganged to serve as Gunners on the Frigates of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy, consisting mainly of Privateers aka Pirates, a VERY Big Bizness indeed.

Anyhow, I am all for distributed production over Industrial production, but said societies STILL were Central Control Ag-War societies, and the individual craftsmen sieved off of the surplus created by that society.

Anyhow, more tonight, I am just about done with a response article “Small Bizness in the Sea of Irredeemable Debt ” I’ll publish later tonight.

While just about everyone Loves to Hate Big Biz and Corporations, at least in the Heart of most Americans is a Reverance and Respect for the Small Bizman.  The Plucky Guy who started with nothing, works for himself Independently and makes a Good Living, even if not getting Rich off of it.

There is the notion that the Small Bizman is the “Backbone of Amerika”, Small Bizmen “Built this Country” etc.  Although this is a popular meme and one promulgated in the History Books and the MSM, and even on the pages of numerous Blogs, it is not the TRUTH by any stretch of the imagination.

In any country which runs a Centrally Controlled Monetary System, the plucky Small Bizman is just engaged in the process of trying to accumulate the Accepted Currency of the Nation-State.  To Sell at a price higher than he buys at, to pay workers less than the total Value Added to the product so that there is some PROFIT to be made in the extant Currency, against which ALL things, both labor and resource are measured.

Where does this MONEY come from though?  If you look at the Dollar for instance, prior to the end of the Revolutionay War separating the Colonies from Jolly Old England, there were ZERO Dollars in existence.  War is finished, Founding Fathers get their OWN Printing Press, now Dollars EXIST!

In order to have REAL value of course, these Dollars have to Buy stuff in the real economy.  The stuff is the products of the land, through farming, mining and logging to begin with.  It gets more complicated as time goes by and more things are created, but even by itself this is enough to understand what goes on here in Money Creation.  It is essentially coming from the total resources available to the Political Construct of the Nation-State that Rules over those resources.  The Nation-State operates in Synergy with the Money Masters, Banking Houses established long ago which control all Trade and Valuation of any Currency a given Nation-State will create.  This is done through Privatization of the Resource Base for any given country, as well as Privatization of the Industrial Infrastructure since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

The newly created dollars get valued against already extant currencies circulating in Europe, Brit “Sterling”, Frog Franks, Kraut Marks, whatever.

The main constraint any given country has in how much currency it can create depends on how the International market will value said currency.  When just based on Resources it isn’t horrifically complicated, but once you factor in labor and trade of manufactured goods it gets VERY complicated.

Anyhow, what were only a few Dollars created in 1789 at the end of the Continental CONgress has morphed over the last 200+ years into TRILLIONS of them, and that is just what is listed on the Balance Sheet of Da Fed.  Thing is, not JUST Da Fed can create new Dollars, anybody with a Big Enough Bank can do it too!  They do it by creating Paper Contracts which have some Notional Worth attached, say a contract to pay off $1M if some company or Nation-State goes BK.  These contacts are called Credit Default Swaps, or CDS.  Said contract is now traded about as though it is worth $1M, or some fraction of that.  It is more “Money” flowing around the notional economy of traders, though it never shows up in the real economy until somebody goes Belly Up, somebody ELSE has to Pay Off on that and then since they can’t because they don’t REALLY have enough to pay off it gets tacked onto the Taxpayer Balance Sheet.  IOW, the way this shows up in the real economy in the end is as a LOSS, a BIG ONE.

To return here to our Friend & Hero the Small Bizman, the money this fellow is using to conduct Bizness is all subject to the grand pressures created in the International Money Markets.  At any time if/when confidence is lost in a given currency, even the most Prudent Small Bizman can go OUTTA BIZ in an INSTANT.

Let’s take the example of our friends the Nipponese, who make their living converting Oil into Carz and Electronic Gadgets. Because the Demand is falling oveseas for their products, in order to remain “competitive” in the market the Nips want to Devalue their currency.  Except if they do that, it will make the Oil Import necessary for production MORE expensive, so no matter how Efficient he is or How Low he can Go on Salaries or how many Robots he can substitute for Homo Sapiens Workers, he STILL will LOSE MONEY!

Every Small Bizman is going to be subject to the FACT that money on the Grand Scale is NOT being loaned out into the general economy.  Why not?  Because it no longer makes any SENSE for the folks in CONTROL of the resources to do so!  The game NOW is to CUT OFF access to the resources, which occurs either by the currency not being distributed (deflation), or excessive currency being distributed (inflation).  Either way, the Small Bizman is OUTTA BIZ.

The ONLY folks with access to the Money to keep on going here with this paradigm at the moment are those at the very TOP, closest to the Center of Money Creation.  Since the Industrial Age began, this Center began in Venice under the Medici Banking Family, moved to Amsterdam and London, then to Wall Street and after that to Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing.  In the end of course, it will all collapse. The resources are no longer there to back it up.  The debt cannot be collected anymore.  It is IRREDEEMABLE Debt.

To try to simplify this,  imagine the entire World Economy as the Big Island of Hawaii right after the first Catamaran rigged Sailing Canoe made it there from the Marquesa Islands around a Millenia Ago.  The Island is the WHOLE ECONOMY,  which the smart Navigator who piloted the Canoe claims as HIS OWN.  The way he Distributes out HIS resources to everybody elso is to LOAN them Money to buy said resource.  Which he does, with an Interest Charge attached of course, so that a percentage of the exploited resource he controls always flows back to him, keeping him (and his heirs) wealthy in perpetuity.  The more of the resources that get exploited, the larger the population gets, the RICHER he gets!

He keeps floating out MORE credit endlessly so he can sell the resources of Hawaii to other Hawaiians and it works JUST GREAT until Hawaii is Chock FULL of People and FRESH OUT of resources.  They have fished out the local waters and the Lagoons are stinking sewers filled up with Human Waste.

This of course did not occur in Hawaii because it was not a closed system, but something similar did occur on Rapa Nui (Easter Island), populated by the same extraordinary Polynesian Navigators who found the Big Island of Hawaii a good 500 years before Cook found it.

The entire Earth though IS a closed system, so no matter how much Credit you issue, if you no longer have resource to sell, the Credit is worthless.  Creating more Dollars does not make more Cheap easy to pump up Oil available, and it doesn’t replenish the Ogalala aquifer either.  When you are Out, you are OUT, nothing left to sell here.

In fact we are not COMPLETELY out of Oil or Water, but relative to the size of the population that ballooned up here through Rapid Exploitation of these resources, they are becoming scarce and so the Credit necessary to buy them is being Triaged off, most obviously in places like Greece and Spain, but really occuring everywhere now.  It shows up here in the FSoA as 50M people on Food Stamps and an ever decreasing percentage of people participating in the Workforce, because just about ALL jobs are not productive of ANYTHING!  You waste more energy getting to work each day in your SUV or even on the Subway than any “value” you add to the economy in ANY job in the Industrial Economy.  All you do by participating in it is waste the energy of fossil fuels a bit faster.

In such an environment, the Small Bizman is the Individual Version of the Small Country like Greece.  You get Triaged Off the Credit Bandwagon first here.  You can’t make a profit, first because your customers ALSO are outta credit to buy your stuff; second because some TBTF Big Bizness still DOES have access to credit, so they can dump products on the market cheaper than it costs you the Small Bizman to make them and drive you outta biz!  This of course has been the meme of Capitalism since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution at least, though it really does go back to the Dawn of Agriculture and Money.

At NO TIME in the last 8000 years or so has Small Biz been the Driver of Economics, only a Passenger in the Back Seat.  The driver during  the Ag Era was Big Ag utilizing Slave Labor and in the Industrial Era,  Factories  burning copious quantities of Fossil Fuels.  Through BOTH eras, the Banksters controlling the flow of credit directed it in such a way to bring the maximum Benefits to themselves at the expense of everybody else, and Mother Earth as well.

Nothing lasts forever of course in a world of Finite Resources, and this paradigm is coming to a close.  The only question remaning here is how long the Triaging of the Small Bizman and the Small Countries can go on before Billions of People with Nothing Left to Lose get very, VERY angry.

RE

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Off the keyboard of RE

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

The Anniversary date of Occupy Wall Street has passed, barely a Blip on the Radar in the pantheon of major Newz Events unfolding around the world these days.  Die hard OWSers showed up on Wall Street, vastly outnumbered by the Massed Force of the World’s 7th Largest Army, the NYPD of Billionaire Mayor Micheal Bloombug.

With the exception of a few Striking Teachers in Chicago who Capitulated after a mere 6 Days of Striking, Amerika mostly proceeds onward here in gradual deterioration of Opportunity for most people, while a few at the top have access to the now ENDLESS supply of ZIRP Funny Money being produced by Da Fed.

Over in Asia, disgruntled Chinese are taking their Anger out on the Japanese, who didn’t manage to succeed in dominating China though WWII, but as the Chief Agent for Anglo-Illuminati Bizness Interests have done a pretty good job dominating China in the post-War years, accessing their Cheap Labor  and sieving profit out of that land mass for their Illuminati Masters.

Now the Nipponese are in their own World of Shit as Fuk-u-shima inexorably poisons their water supply, agricultural produce and fisherie, and so they covet some disputed Islands that they say they “own”, while the Chinese say they “own” them.  Mixed into that Ballgame, NATO is working on setting up more Oz Military fortresses and the Chinese are Talking a Bond War on the Nips, while their Hackers mess around with a few dozen websites to show they are SERIOUS.

Over in MENA, Syria remains a sewer, the Israelis keep Trash Talking the Iranians and Putin occasionally flexes Ruskie Muscle.  So the Flashpoints for International War between major Global Nation States are all in place here in many places, A False flag or even a REAL Flag might at some point get any of these rolling onward here.  But is INTERNATIONAL WAR, aka Global WWIII the most likely outcome here?  It may happen, but IMHO is subsidiary to the CIVIL WARS which are going to Sprout like Mushrooms as time goes by here.

Ambrose Evans Pritchard of the UK Telegraph  had this to say about the recent shenanigans going on over in Spain:

Tens of thousands marched in Madrid at the weekend to protest against drastic cuts, including a 7pc cut in public wages. A man set fire to himself in Portugal, where clashes turned violent.

The protests followed a traumatic week in Catalonia, where 1.5m took to the streets amid a wave of secessionist demands. Catalan leader Artur Mas has been swept by events into open confrontation with Madrid. Mr de Guindos pleaded for time, insisting that the reforms would lay the foundations for recovery. “These sacrifices are absolutely unavoidable.”

His claims were badly undercut by Nobel economist Joe Stiglitz, who told a Spanish forum that German austerity medicine is “utterly misguided” and will push Spain deeper into a downward spiral. It would be “suicidal” for Spain to accept a rescue if it involved more fiscal tightening, he said.

You know what the word secession means of course.  Same thing it meant here in the FSoA in the 1860s.  Southerners will often refer to the Civil War as the War of Secession or the War of Northern Aggression.

In another of the remakes of 1930s Cinema, Spain is on the brink of Civil War.

Like the Civil War here, the Spanish Civil War was really about the transition from the Agricultural Economy to the Industrial one.

From Wiki:

At the end of the 19th century, the owners of large estates, called latifundia, held most of the power in a land-based oligarchy. The landowners’ power was unsuccessfully challenged by the industrial and merchant sectors.[9] In 1868 popular uprisings led to the overthrow of Queen Isabella II of the House of Bourbon. In 1873 Isabella’s replacement, King Amadeo I of the House of Savoy, abdicated due to increasing political pressure, and the short-lived First Spanish Republic was proclaimed.[10][11] After the restoration of the Bourbons in December 1874,[12] Carlists and anarchists emerged in opposition to the monarchy.[13][14] Alejandro Lerroux helped bring republicanism to the fore in Catalonia, where poverty was particularly acute.[15] Growing resentment of conscription and of the military culminated in the Tragic Week in Barcelona in 1909.[16] After the First World War, the working class, the industrial class, and the military united in hopes of removing the corrupt central government, but were unsuccessful.[17] Fears of communism grew.[18] A military coup brought Miguel Primo de Rivera to power in 1923, and he ran Spain as a military dictatorship.[19] Support for his regime gradually faded, and he resigned in January 1930.[20] There was little support for the monarchy in the major cities, and King Alfonso XIII abdicated;[21] the Second Spanish Republic was formed, whose power would remain until the culmination of the Spanish Civil War.[22]

In Spain between WWI and WWII, it was finally the Industrialists time to take control over this country, which they had not been successful with in the 19th Centruy as they had with Britain, Germany and the FSoA.  A Military Coup d’Etat was organized up with Generallisimo Francisco Franco as the Strongman, backed by the other Fascist States of Europe at the time, the Italians led by Il Duce Benito Mussolini and the Krauts led by Der Fuehrer Adolf Hitler.  The Ruskies were funding the Loyalists, which ironically represented the traditional Landowners of the Feudal system but had a large Grassroots component which represented the Peasant class of Spain at the time.

The Spanish Civil War was particularly violent (though all such conflicts really are pretty nasty), and is best known to Amerikans through the writings of Ernest Hemingway in his Novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls“, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and made also into a film starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman.  At the end of the story, Hemingway’s Protagonist Robert Jordan is wounded  and makes his Last Stand to take out as many Fascists as he can while his Guerilla Fighter friends and True Love Maria make their escape.

The theme of Self-Sacrifice in Civil War and the conflicts to come in this Go Round are ones often explored around the Tables inside the Diner, as each person attempts to work out for themselves how they will react when confronted with such situations.

For those of us currently living inside the FSofA, these choices still seem Far Off, far enough off that most folks do not even want to consider them.  More often the discussions are about how you might try to AVOID becoming Cannon Fodder in such a war and how to achieve basic survival with enough Food and Fresh Water and Shelter once the current systems holding our society together begin to break down.

It is however unlikely that most of us will be able to avoid the consequences of the breakdown of Industrial Society, already well in progress across much of the world as we speak.  The ongoing Wars both Civil and International all throughout MENA now are the direct consequence of diminishing Available Energy from Fossil Fuels, and the diminishing ability to bring the “benefits” of Industrial Civilization to more societies, or even to maintain them in the societies that took them on in the aftermath of WWI and WWII.

This diminishing capacity to maintain the Industrial Society is already most apparent in the Western societies in Greece and now Spain as well.  Greece is a relatively small economy though, and in order to keep the banking system from suffering a Cascade Failure numerous Kludges have been undertaken to prevent an outright Officially recognized Default from occurring there.  The Greeks themselves are not doing any better with the perpetual Bailouts of their banking system, but their political organization is in complete dissarray and Greece is well on its way to becoming a Failed State on the model of Somalia or Zimbabwe.  Critical difference there in terms of general perceptions is that this is in EUROPE, not in AFRICA.

While the problem inside Greece can be masked somewhat, it is not so easy to mask the SAME problems occurring on a larger scale in Spain.  The much larger scale of the problem along with long standing animosity between the Castillians and Catalonians have now created a clear division in Spain, not dissimilar in many respects to the division in the Muslim world between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.  Like that situation where all are Muslims, in Spain they are all Roman Catholics.  The division here is more along traditional Tribal Lines rather than all that much disagreement on Religious principles.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard contributed a bit more to this yesterday in another article about the possibilities for Secession by the Catalonians:

 

Catalonian independence graffiti

It is the latest move in a fast-escalating clash between Catalan nationalists and Spanish nationalists, the latter backed by King Juan Carlos and the Spanish military.

Jose-Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the foreign minister, threw down the gauntlet, calling Catalan secession “illegal and lethal”. He warned that Spain would use its veto to stop the region of Catalonia becoming an EU member “indefinitely”.

The constitutional crisis has eclipsed the parallel drama of a Spanish bail-out request from the European Stability Mechanism. It is no longer clear whether premier Mariano Rajoy can deliver on any austerity deal with Brussels.

Catalan leader Artur Mas held high-stakes talks with Mr Rajoy in Madrid on Thursday, armed with a mandate from the Catalan parliament and with charged emotions left from an unprecedented protest by 1.5m people in Barcelona 10 days ago.

He demanded an independent treasury for the rich Catalan region, with control over its own tax base akin to the model already enjoyed by Basques. The 9m Catalans have an economy the size of Austria’s.

“It did not go well,” he said. The Rajoy government said Spain’s constitution allows no margin for compromise. Mr Mas refused to meet the press in the prime minister’s offices, retreating to the Catalan delegation, where he spoke before the Catalan and EU flags. “Constitutions may or may not be modified, but they do not subjugate the will of the people,” he said.

Catalonia’s parliament will meet next week to “think deeply” about its next fateful step. “Catalonia will follow its path. We have no enemies but we will build our own project as a country,” said Mr Mas.

The newspaper Confidencial reported that his Convergència i Unió (CiU) party and coalition partners have asked the European Commission whether Spain can prevent Catalans exercising democratic self-determination, and whether a sovereign Catalonia could remain part of the EU’s single market and the euro.

The speed of events has caught almost everybody by surprise, including Mr Mas himself. His CiU has, until now, pursued a policy of calculated ambiguity over secession. Mr Mas has pivoted quickly, embracing what he calls the “popular outcry” as his own.

The antagonisms date back to the Franco era and, above all, to 1714 when Philip V abolished all Catalan institutions, and imposed Castilian laws and absolutism by right of conquest.

Diplomats say Mr Rajoy’s Partido Popular has provoked the latest eruption of fury by exploiting the economic crisis to break the power of the regions. This came to a head over the summer when Catalonia was forced to request a €5bn rescue from Madrid, though it is a net contributor to the Spanish state.

Spain’s economic slump has frayed nerves across the country, much as it did before the Civil War in the 1930s. Unemployment has risen to 25.1pc and may go higher as the delayed effects of austerity bite deeper.

Citigroup expects the economy to contract by 3.2pc next year and 0.8pc in 2014, pushing public debt to 100pc of GDP.

Chief economist Willem Buiter said the mix of austerity and reform will not restore Spain to “fiscal sustainability”, even if EU loans keep Spain going for another couple of years. He expects “debt restructuring” in the end. The warm glow of the European Central Bank’s bond plan helped Spain sell 10-year debt at 5.66pc on Thursday, the lowest since February.

Mr Rajoy appears to determined to play for time, hoping that he can muddle through without a rescue.

Traders say such gamesmanship is unlikely to succeed for long. Mr Rajoy also hopes to siphon off part of the €100bn in EU rescue package for Spanish banks, but this is certain to infuriate Germany’s Bundestag.

Spanish politics are now intruding, in any case. An EU bail-out memorandum would have to include fiscal restraint for the regions, further inflaming Catalonia.

The risks of a misjudgement are growing. The king caused irritation in Catalonia this week by warning against the seduction of “chimeras” – his first such crisis intervention since 1981.

A serving army officer, Colonel Francisco Alaman, has fuelled the flames by comparing the crisis with 1936 – when Gen Francisco Franco seized power – and by vowing to crush Catalan nationalists, described as “vultures”.

“Independence for Catalunya? Over my dead body. Spain is not Yugoslavia or Belgium. Even if the lion is sleeping, don’t provoke the lion, because he will show the ferocity proven over centuries,” he said.

Retired Lt-Gen Pedro Pitarch, a former army chief, said the words reflect “deeply-rooted thinking in large parts of the armed forces”. He also accused Madrid of bungling the Catalan drama disastrously.

“Are we looking at a failed state?” he asked. Investors holding Spanish debt are listening carefully.

Catalonians unhappy with the general distribution of Wealth and Taxation throughout Spain now wish to form their OWN seperate Country recognized by the European Union in general.  Though why anyone would care or want to be recognized by that bunch of scumbags I have no clue whatsoever.

What this represents is much the same as the breakup of the Soviet Union after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which is One-to-the-Many dissolution; as opposed to Many-to-the-One Consolidation which has been underway since the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution 10 Millenia ago or so.  This Many-to-One consolidation accelerated tremendously of course in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, as the War machine of the Military-Industrial Complex moved around the world basically beginning with the War of Northern Aggression and the forcible openning of Japan by Matthew Perry’s Gunboats.  WWI and WWII were the final steps in Consolidation of Power by the Industrialist Illuminati, and Bretton-Woods brought the entire World under the domination of the BIS, utilizing the Dollar as World Reserve Currency.

The Dissolution of the Soviet Union along with the progressive dissolution of many smaller Nation States into their separate components is the Beginning of the End for Globalization.  The opposite side to the Secessionists in Catlaonia are of course the Krauts and their Client states in Northern Europe who all wish to perpetuate the European Union under THEIR control, forcing all the PIIGS nations to accept a loss of Soveregnty and Fiscal Watchdogs from the IMF dictating to them how they spend their money, which of course is not their money at all but money created out of thin air by the Bankster Cabal of the Illuminati.

To me, the obvious loss of control here throughout the system with evermore Nation-States devolving into this type of internal bickering spells the Death Knell for Globalism, and with that the withering of the Power of the Illuminati.  Not that they will go Quietly into this Good Night of course, but without the Cheap Oil to power the War Machine and maintain the vast connections of the Electric Grids and the World Wide Web, this kind of Global Power simply cannot continue to function.

As it decays, certainly you see the International Wars being fought here for Oil in MENA, but really the more important and critical wars are the Civil ones already underway, and those still to come.  Anyone who believes that the FSoA will hold together as a Unit once the spin down works its way inward from the Peripheral Economies into the Central Ringfenced ones is positively nuts.  CBs can print Money in perpetuity, but they CANNOT Print Oil or Print Food.  You CANNOT MAKE SOMETHING FROM NOTHING!

It is just a matter of time before the Spanish problems migrate to Italy also, from there to France and then finally work their way inward past the Ruhr Valley into Krautland.  In fact it may not even take that long, since it remains unclear that the Krauts can split themselves off from the collapsing economies of the PIIGS either.  Europe is bound to fracture, and then after that the FSofA and China and Russia and Japan will all fracture also.  Countless and endless Civil Wars everywhere is the outcome of that, not really International Wars fought by integrated Nation States.

In such a time, with so much strife coming to your neighborhood in due time, for anyone to believe they will be able to manage a Peaceful Doomstead is mostly a pretty unreasonable hope.  Similarly unreasonable are hopes that having a large stash of Possessible Gold and Junk Silver Coins will help you all that much either.

Like the Spaniards in Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, you have to come to grips with the fact inside your own country, nay inside your own COMMUNITY there will be Competing Interests at work, those with a stake in the Game of Globalism who wish it to continue onward, and the vast majority of the disenfranchised with little stake in this other than their dependence on the Systems it uses for control.  In every community in one way or the other you will be forced to line up on one side or the other as the society fractures along the lines of Haves and Have Nots.

When it does, it behooves all to remember the words of John Donne

 from
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions
MEDITATION XVII.
N
UNC LENTO SONITU DICUNT, MORIERIS.
Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.

PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill as that he knows not it tolls for him.  And perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.  The church is catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does, belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that head which is my head too, and ingraffed into that body, whereof I am a member.  And when she buries a man, that action concerns me; all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God’s hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again, for that library where every book shall lie open to one another; as therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come; so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness.

There was a contention as far as a suit (in which, piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were mingled) which of the religious orders should ring to prayers first in the morning; and it was determined, that they should ring first that rose earliest.  If we understand aright the dignity of this bell, that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours, by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his, whose indeed it is.  The bell doth toll for him, that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute, that that occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God.  Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises?  But who takes off his eye from a comet, when that breaks out? who bends not his ear to any bell, which upon any occasion rings?  But who can remove it from that bell, which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?

No man is an island,  entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were;  any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbors.  Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did; for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.  No man hath afflicion enough, that is not matured and ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction.  If a man carry treasure in bullion or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current moneys, his treasure will not defray him as he travels.  Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell that tells me of his affliction, digs out, and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another’s danger, I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.

Remember the Words of John Donne when the Big Show Comes to a Theatre Near You, for it most surely is coming now to about ALL Homo Sapiens who Walk the Earth at the End of the Age of Oil.  Go With God my Friends, and…

SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

RE

Doomstead Shelter-in-Place vs. Bugout and Rewilding: The Debate Continues

     vs    

 

Below follows a debate currently ongoing in the Rentier Debt and the Collapse of Debt-Based Finance on Gail Tverberg’s Our Finite World blog.  Gail’s original article is also reposted here on the Diner directly before this one.

The debate pits the concepts of Shelter in Place on a Doomstead vs. Planned Bugouts/Rewilding in remote areas.  This is always a source of lively discussion inside the Diner here as well.  You can visit one of our many threads on this subject at the Doomsteading Buffet inside the Diner.   Whichever paradigm you consider best or are currently pursuing, you will find information of interest at this buffet.

RE
  • reverseengineerre says:

     

     

    Homo Sapiens is a part of nature and follows the same general set of rules as well.  the main recent difference is that as top of the food chain predators, we became SOOO successful that all checks and balances on total population were rendered moot.

    As Gail has noted, once Homo Sapiens learned to control Fire, there was a large expansion in numbers, but it levelled out.  Simple control of fire was not enough to overcome the rest of the checks on total population.  Only once Agriculture came on the scene did the relentless Exponential growth begin in earnest.

    The problem of course has been vastly exacerbated accessing the thermodynamic energy of fossil fuels, which vastly increased food supply and also enabled moder medicines that combat diseases.  So we are in vast overshoot now in the absence of the energy inputs, which means a substantial Die Off of Human Population is imminent.

    The main questions now revolve around timelines, which few Pundits are willing to commit to.  Dmitri Orlov for instance will define 5 Stages of Collapse, but he won’t predict how long it will take to get to Stage 5.  Gail will present many charts and graphs, but she won;t make a prediction how long the whole game takes to collapse either.  We all KNOW by now its going to collapse (with the exception of a few Cornucopians who think Cold Fusion or Zero Point Energy is just around the corner), but in the absence of knowledge how long it will take just defining the parameters for the Collapse does not provide the individual with a great tool to handle it.

    The problem is this:  If it is going to take 50 years or more for the Collapse to completely manifest itself, you may be better off continuing BAU in your life if you are one of the ones lucky enough to still be eployed or have Investments you live off of still paying off.  On the other hand, if a Sudden Stop is imminent with complete collapse of the Banking System, hanging on to BAU is not a good plan.  In this case, you need to GTFO of Dodge NOW, before the Lights go Out in your Big Shity and before JIT delivery of Food stops.

    You can try to Straddle the Two Worlds, as I do.  Live in a low population zone but continue to work inside the system as it functions now.  It still remains unpredictable though how a rapid collapse would affect even low population zones like where I live.  In any event, you must in some way if you expect to SURVIVE what is to come here to make some decent PLANS for it.  This is what we engage in Daily on the Doomstead Diner.

    For those of you interested, today I posted up a Grand Unified Theory of Collapse on the Diner Blog.

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/06/09/grand-unified-theory-of-collapse-gutoc/

    We also have an interesting thread in progress inside the Diner Forum on the Social, Philosophical and Religious implications of Collapse.

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=468.0

    New inputs are always welcome in trying to figure out how to negotiate what is coming down the pipe here.

    RE (Note to Gail:  Very comprehensive piece overall, I will repost it on the Diner Blog)

     

     

    •  

       

      It is very hard to find a place far enough outside of Dodge to go to. Most people have to make a living now, as well. So for many people, the answer is clear–they cannot do things too different than what they have been trained for, and are doing already. Even people who have their choice (for example, retired people) often want to be near family members, and this limits what they can do as well.

      So I think adapting (a little) in place is probably all most people can do. It is not clear this approach will really “work” if changes come quickly, but as a practical matter, for most people, it is all they can do.

      One thing everyone can do is be more appreciative of the things we have now–heated and air conditioned homes, vehicles, ability to travel, grocery stories, and many other modern conveniences.

       

       

      •  

         

        Gail, I think this is a common delusion that isn’t very helpful.

        I can buy the “near to loved ones” argument, and I can understand the “need to support my family” argument, but I know LOTS of people who have a family and still manage to live very lightly, very directly, very healthily, and very happily, making their living directly on the earth.

        Indeed, it is those who think they don’t have a choice who are most unhappy.

        It is really quite possible to quit your job, sell most of what you have, and take up with an organic farm somewhere. For the most part, they’ll be happy to feed and house you in exchange for your work — work that is really a free education in future living. This is the “underground railroad” out of the mess we’re in.

        It may not be possible for 300 million Americans to do so, but it is certainly possible for those who wish to do so, precisely because so many people are either ignorant or in denial.

        So, let’s say one is neither ignorant nor in denial, but they just can’t bring themselves to “jump off the cliff” of civilization. Grow food. Or at least get started learning how to do so. You can trellis beans on an apartment balcony. You can plant corn in the front yard of a suburban house. You can go work an allotment on the weekend.

        Each day, with each choice, ask yourself, “Is this taking me closer to a sustainable future?” You won’t be able to say “yes” every time, but if you at least ask the question, you’re on the right path.

        “One thing everyone can do is be more appreciative of the things we have now…”

        While I understand the sentiment — and even indulge in it from time to time — I prefer to be disdainful of what we have now, while seeking a more direct form of happiness.

        My appreciation of civilization is at a lower, more basic level. I appreciate dimensional lumber for free at the landfill. I appreciate being able to order seed from across my bioregion — even while refusing to buy it from across the continent. I appreciate books, and grudgingly, the Internet. I appreciate living off the fat of civilization, even while knowing that as more are forced to do the same, it will get more difficult to do so.

        I preach an unpopular gospel that does not jibe with appreciating the finer points of civilization:

        learn to appreciate the simplest gifts of life, and you’ll lose your taste for the complicated ones.

         

         

        • Justin Nigh says:

           

           

          Amen.  I’ve never understood the statement “I’m bored” because, how could anyone be bored when there’s so much on display in nature at all times?

           

           

      • reverseengineerre says:

         

         

        “It is very hard to find a place far enough outside of Dodge to go to. Most people have to make a living now, as well. So for many people, the answer is clear–they cannot do things too different than what they have been trained for, and are doing already. Even people who have their choice (for example, retired people) often want to be near family members, and this limits what they can do as well.”-Gail

        When you have Significant Others in the mix as most do, removing yourself from civilization (at least to the extent that is possible at all right now) can be very problematic.  chances are all your SOs do not agree with you collapse is imminent, and they may be right..  Evenif they do agree it is coming down the pipe, they don’t want to give up the Air Conditioning and the SUV just YET.

        If you currently are one of the Lucky Ones who still HAS a job, QUITTING it seems to most people COMPLETELY psychotic.  How many Actuaries do you suspect would give up their 6 figure job with an Insurance Company to go dig up Beets on an Organic Farm, even if they KNEW collapse was just around the corner from their own actuarial analysis?  Not many of course, so they will stay with it just one day or one hour too long, and the hese out  thWindow will shut on them..

        Anyhow, for those who do try to straddle the Two worlds as I do, there is a 3rd Option, the Planned Bugout.  In a PB, you pre-identify places you can get to with better long term survival potential than the probably quite densely populated place you currently live. You prepare yourself with the right skills and you prepare by making connections in the way places.  They exist all over the lower 48, I hiked almost all of them in my youth.  In Appalachia, in the Smokey Mountains, there are places to run and hide when TSHTF.  In the Rocky Mountains there are also, and in the Bayous of Lousiana as well.

        Are any of these perfect retreats?  No they are not, and they will have their own sets of problems also when TSHTF, but they are way better than the Big Shities will be.  Becaue in fact most of the population looiving in those places will never leave them, not on this side of the Great Divide anyhow.  They will wait one day too long to get out, and then like with Katrina, they all will not be able to exit fast enough before the Cat 5 hits.

        Anyhow, IMHO anyone who does not prep for a Bugout if/when it becomes necessary is a fool, or simply one who doesn’t even want to try to survive the aftermath of this Civilization Collapse.

        No more A/C?  No more Jet Skis?  No more Hawaiian vacations?  No more Facebook? No more Lindsay Lohan?  Who wants to live in that world, right?

        RE http://www.doomsteaddiner.net

         

         

        •  

           

          You are very right about the significant other issue. If you are single, you can do as you choose. But if you have a significant other, it makes a difference. It is pretty much necessary to find a solution that “works” for both of you.

          There are also very real differences in options available to people living in different countries. In the USA, we have quite a bit of farmland, and a tradition of “picking up and moving to another place”. But in much of the rest of the world, this is not the situation. A person in, say, Japan, will probably not find any organic gardening communities nearby, even if they want one.

           

           

        •  

           

          Reverse Engineer, I respect your approach, but disagree with it. But I’m glad you’re doing something, which is more than 99% of the sheeple are doing! And who knows; you may be right.

          I think your “bug out” approach works well in the face of a crash. But what happens if there is no discernible crash? What happens if, day by day, week by week, year by year, things continue to get worse and worse, but not bad enough to trigger the “bug out” reflex?

          The “bug out” approach works well if the water is boiling when you’re dumped into it. But in the “boiling frogs” scenario, there’s going to be a lot of skeletons next to bug-out bags, surrounded by piles of freeze-dried food wrappers, taken by surprise by the surprise ending that never came.

          This is not an event, folks — it’s a process.

          But none of us has a perfect crystal ball. If civilization’s demise is event-like, then the “bug out” people will do quite well afterward, surviving on dead people’s stuff. And, grasshopper-like, they get to “enjoy” civilization while it lasts, while the “ants” who undergo voluntary privation in preparation simply end up deprived. Am I somewhat close to your point-of-view here?

          Although the “transition in-situ” approach may carry some additional risk in a sudden crash, but it has vastly better potential in a “boiling frogs” scenario.

          Also I’m taking a karmic approach. Two of us have been living on a thousand a month for fifteen years. Before that, I was making mid-six-figures. I suppose I could have continued that way, while preparing for a “bug out.” But in those fifteen years, I have not involuntarily supported oil wars through my taxes, my carbon footprint has been minuscule, and I’ve bought a sum total of perhaps 20 gallons of gasoline. (Haven’t found a biodiesel chain saw yet…)

          And you know what? I don’t feel deprived at all! I milk goats every morning. I plant lots of trees and seeds. And I only see a TV once or twice a year, while visiting relatives. Life after the crash (that is yet to come) is good!

          One final thought: there is going to be a heck of a culture shock for the bug-out crowd, no matter how prepared they feel with one foot still in the Unreal World. Those who embrace the real world of physical limitations today will simply shrug and carry on.

          Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. I will miss the Internet, though… :-)

           

           

      • wildcatter says:

         

         

        I agree that trying to operate with one foot in each world is the best solution while trying to keep your job as long as possible. However the very real problem that is happening now regardless of say financial system collapse is that people are already losing their employment. This is what i call getting kicked off the train. Since central banks around the world are currently just managing contraction the day that you personally get swept up in it via job loss all of the sudden you are thrown into the new world of needing to provide for yourself in a very untraditional manner.

        From my experience there are very few jobs today for the unemployed and it crosses ALL industries now short of maybe federal government jobs. Once you get kicked off the train you are lucky to get an interview much less a job that pays anywhere near what you used to make even if you land one. Also many peoples extended families are finding themselves unable to help out much cause they are getting squeezed too. So really forget about financial system collapse, what people need to be preparing for is extremely long term unemployment. In almost every case this is all that will matter in our personal situations. I believe many of us will find ourselves without work before the dollar or the U.S. banking system collapses. If you do make it until that point that is great but for a large majority of us I see unemployment as the single greatest threat to our existence in the BAU world in the near to medium term.

         

         

        • donsailorman says:

           

           

          You are quite right: Unemployment is going to become the biggest personal trouble and social problem of the next twenty years. To keep unemployment rates down, real GDP growth of at least 3% (and perhaps more) is an absolute necessity. I think there will be little if any real GDP growth in the future, and as oil and other fossil fuels become more and more expensive, I expect real GDP growth to turn negative.

          Much of current U.S. unemployment is structural, i.e. due to people living in the wrong place or lacking the right skills to get a job. Currently there are about two million job openings in the U.S., and businesses would very much like to hire people to fill these jobs. But they cannot get the skilled workers that they need, even with very high salaries and good packages of benefits. IMO, the binding constraint on oil production is now the limited number of petroleum engineers and chemical engineers. Also, there are not enough highly skilled welders in the U.S. (or the world) to make the critical welds on oil and gas pipelines that are being built and that are being planned.

           

           

          • wildcatter says:

             

             

            Honestly i believe the structural argument is a MSM and wall street narrative that was manufactured to explain what they dont understand. That is there is not enough economic growth to accompdate hiring these so called jobs that cant be filled. After WWII there were many unskilled workers that found work simply cause there was so much demand for labor and economic growth to accomodate hiring at any cost.

            We saw the same thing in the 90′s where people that had no background in computers were trained as programmers or re-tooled as network admins etc. remember the old saying if you had a pulse you could get a job? This was the reality in corporate america back then. The truth today is companies are finding they dont actually need to hire people because again we are simply managing contractioin at all levels even in the private sector. So they post these jobs in anticipation of a “return to growth” someday but it doesnt come so they go unfilled. Add this to the fact that people currently with good jobs are no longer incentivized to take risk and leave their jobs even for slightly more money due to the extreme uncertainty.

             

             

          • donsailorman says:

             

             

            You raise some good points: Most of today’s unemployment is “cyclical” rather than structural in nature. Exceptionally strong aggregate demand can shrink the number of structurally unemployed. By the way, there were a great many unemployed vets in the U.S. in 1946, 1947, and 1948; they used to come as tramps to our household, where my mother always gave them ham and eggs and all the toast they could eat. For the economy as a whole, 1949 was the first really prosperous year after the end of World War II.

            There is an “iron law” in economics that says real GDP growth is prerequisite to lowering unemployment rates and that vigorous growth (say more than 4% per year) is needed to get unemployment down to frictional rates. (There are three main kinds of unemployment–frictional, from people changing jobs, cyclical due to lack of GDP growth, and structural, due to a mismatch between worker location or skills and jobs that are open.) Much structural unemployment is due to people being stuck in the wrong place. For example, the Iron Range of Minnesota has a high rate of structural unemployment because a lot of people live there in cheap houses and get by on welfare, minimum wage jobs, disability payments, etc. They cannot afford to move to, for example, the Twin Cities or to North Dakota, where the jobs are.

             

             

    • reverseengineerre says:

       

       

      “Reverse Engineer, I respect your approach, but disagree with it. But I’m glad you’re doing something, which is more than 99% of the sheeple are doing! And who knows; you may be right.

      “I think your “bug out” approach works well in the face of a crash. But what happens if there is no discernible crash? What happens if, day by day, week by week, year by year, things continue to get worse and worse, but not bad enough to trigger the “bug out” reflex?”-JS

      I disagree with your approach as well JS, which of course is what makes the whole process of noodling out just what to do here for a given individual or family group an interesting problem to work out.

      First off, as WC mentions,the moment you lose your job and your McMansion is in foreclosure and creditors are hounding you for a student loan that never will be wiped off the books is the moment the Crash has come for you.  You probably are eligible for your 99 weeks on the Dole, and if you really are serious about staying inside the system you might blow your foot off “accidentally” with a shotgun and collect SSDI.

      On the other hand, the day you lose that job can be your Day of Liberation as well.  That is the day you are given license to go Walkabout, as the Aussies put it.  The day you get to walk into the Mountains one last time and kiss Industrial Civilization goodbye for yourself, forever more.  No cell phone, your creditors are NOT going to track you down out there.  Long as you have not Gone Postal before leaving, they won;t be sending the Dogs after you.

      Insofar as the SO issue is concerned, this is obviously easier for the Solitary Man, but families can do it also.  Recently on recommendation from Ben in discussion at the Diner, I visited a website of a family living the Nomadic Life in a Teepee.  2 year old and 5 year old children in tow.  You should be hooked up with someone of similar mindset to pull this off of course, but isn’t that who you should be married to anyhow?  When you lose your job also, your family is just as off the cliff as you are.  What do you do as alternative here?  Drop your kids off at Child Protective Services for a life in the Foster Homes meat grinder because you can’t afford to care for them anymore?

      In looking at your own choice of a shelter in place Doomstead, the problems with this are myriad once the social collapse reaches a critical mass.  As in Argentina, Doomsteads are subject to regular Home Invasions.  It is unlikely that if many people are off the financial cliff that you will safely be able to Milk your Goats.

      Besides this is the problem of Property Taxation, which is the minimum form of Goobermint Confiscation you will face as things get worse.  You may currently have income enough to pay your taxes, but what happens when the taxes go Up and the Investments you have from your 6 Figure years disappear in an MF Global theft?  What happens when the bigger Goobermint structures break down and the local Sherriff and his cronies or a band of ex-national guard decides to make your neighborhood their fiefdom?  You only truly own what you can Protect and Defend yourself, and unless you have a small army, you cannot protect a Doomstead.

      Finally, the reality for more than 50% of the population is that they can’t afford to buy a Doomstead with Goats and Chickens and a permaculture garden.  They are in debt up to their eyeballs and can’t unload the McMansion except in a short sale which nets them nothing.  They probably have only a couple of months worth of Savings and little to nothing saved in an IRA.  The choice you made 15 years ago in truth is not available to them at all.  Perhaps they can go to work as a Serf on somebody else’s Doomstead, but who wants to be beholden to a petty Landlord in this version of neo-Feudalism?

      While such a choice is not generally available to most people with limited eans, the Planned Bugout is avaialble to nearly all who are healthy and willing to commit to learning how to live the primitive life.  In the Diner, we discuss the myriad ways in which you can prep up for this and not have to instantaneously depend on knapping Stone Tools and so forth, though that is worthwhile to learn.

      During WWII, the French Resistance to the Nazis began with one man who left for the woods the day the Nazis rolled their tanks into his little town.  He was just one man, and his neighbors considered him nuts.  In time, their were 20,000 members of the French Resistance living in those woods.  In the face of Fascism, you cannot protect your property and you are subjugated to the whim of the State.  If you do  not smell the stink of Fascism here already, you must have a bad sinus infection.  It has only just begun as well.

      You want some CHANCE at Freedom?  When the Big Show comes to a Theatre Near You, run away.  Run away far and run away FAST.  Run into the deep Bayou where no Tanks can roll.  Or like the Swiss and the Pashtuns of Afghanistan, run into the Mountains.  Preferably really BIG Mountains.  The Great Wall that God built to protect the Independent souls of the world.

      RE

Mr. Peabody Visits Japan

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table in the Diner

Frosbite Falls Daily Rant-5/3/2011

Posted originally on TBP  on 3rd May 2011 by Reverse Engineer  in Politics |Social Issues

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Japan’s epic crash in the aftermath of the Collapse Trifecta of Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuke Meltdown has led me to pondering lately on Japan’s role on the World Stage though the Industrial Revolution.  So rather than write on late breaking collapse topics tonight, I thought I might take another trip back in Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC machine to look a bit closer at Japanese History and give it the RE Spin.

Back in the Colonial Period, unlike most countries on Earth, the Japanese insulated themselves and cut themselves off from most World Trade during the Shogun era.  They were for the most part a self-sufficient country with a highly structured and fairly brutal Feudal Model in place.  The folks running that show did not wish to be “contaminated” by Western ideas, including Religion which was the primary means used to bring countries into the whole western system at the time.  Rightly so, these feudal leaders realized that this would diminish their power and control over their population.

So for a while there while the American and French Revolutions were being fought, the Japanese more or less were not involved in Global battles for control anywhere.  However, around 1858 or so it was determined by our policy makers here in the FSofA that Japan simply HAD to be opened up for Trade.  Now, do you think J6P here in the FSofA who was just about ready to get going on a Civil War really gave a shit about whether Japan was open for trade or not?  They didn’t make Mitsubishis and Toyotas back then, about the only thing Japan directly had for Trade was some Silver in their own mines.  Japan however wasn’t the REAL prize, China was, and it wasn’t J6P who was making these decisions.  The FSofA Navy was being built up on EXACTLY the same lines as the British Navy was, primarily geared toward projecting Force to enable Trade. In the years leading up to the Civil War, most of the people in the country were in a period of extreme hardship, you don’t GET something like a Civil War without that occurring.  Nevertheless, our Federal Goobermint had enough Money to build some State of the Art Steam Powered Frigates with the best Guns available at the time to send to Japan under the command of Commodore Matthew Perry.  Where do you suppose they GOT the money to do that?  It wasn’t from Taxation, the IRS didn’t even exist at the time.  No, that shit was financed by our good old friends, the Illuminati.  It’s a continuation of the very same paradigm run from the beginning of the British and Dutch East India companies, the foundation of what Eisenhower called the “Military-Industrial Complex”.  Just as Commodore Matthew Perry was part of this in the mid 1800s, so also was General Smedley Butler a part of it at the turn of the century.  It is the Raison d’Etre of the FSofA Military, always has been.

Now I am going to do a little Speculation not in the History books.  China was too large and too well organized a country to try to control from half a world away, even with the invention of the Steam Engine and Frigates driven by steam.  Along the British Model of controlling world economy from a small island by virtue of a powerful Navy, what the Illuminati needed over in Asia was a small island to Industrialize and run their fleets out of.  Japan was PERFECT for this by virtue of its geographical position and its pretty large population for that time of well organized people under a consolidated Feudal system the Illuminati were very familiar with in Europe.  All the Anglo-Amerikan Illuminati had to do to was to get the damn Feudal Lords of Japan to buy into their system for Global domination.  Sadly, said Feudal Lords wouldn’t even TALK to them, and they kept whatever trade they needed limited to a couple of small ports.  Japan was Isolationist to the EXTREME from the period between 1600 and 1850.

So to break this Isolationism, in 1858 we sent Commodore Matthew Perry with  few steam powered Frigates with our very biggest Guns on them in a show of FORCE to convince the Nipponese Leaders that they better open up for Trade or we would shell them back to the Stone Age.  Sound familiar?  We had Big Guns, they still had Samurai fighting with Bow and Arrow and Swords (albeit with some very good Steel they were making themselves).

Now, faced with the two choices here of fighting against an enemy with FAR superior weaponry or getting into bed with him, those smart Nip Feudal Lords chose the latter of the two options.  As a result, in the 50 or so years between Perry’s visits and WWI, the little island of Japan Industrialized just about as quickly as England, Germany and the FSofA did.  You think Japan magically developed all the machines and factories to become an industrial powerhouse all by their lonesome?  Not.  They were LOANED these things with the idea that the payoff would come when they had enough power to access the Chinese market.  Once strapped up with all this POWER, the Japanese now go on their own adventures of Conquest, taking on China in the Post WWI period.  This is not exactly the plan the Anglo-Illuminati envisioned when they Industrialized Japan, although in WWI Japan was an “Ally” while they went on their campaign brutalizing the Chinese.  The Anglo-American branch of the Illuminati figured they would be running the show, but the Nips weren’t staying in their place as a Vassal State.

Post WWI though as the Credit system began to further fall apart, it is likely the Anglo-Illuminati started to call in their Markers on all the equipment they fronted to the Japanese enabling them to build their own Steam Ships and Guns and Ammo to Rape Chinese girls.  The Nips can’t pay up, but instead of just forking over control of the country to the Banksters who loaned them the money to build this infrastructure, they Nationalize it all under the Empire of Japan and say FUCK YOU to the Banksters.

So now the Banksters in England and Amerika are REALLY pissed, so they send out a fleet of ships to EMBARGO Japan, preventing any Oil from reaching the island.  Tojo and friends KNOW if they don’t keep the Oil flowing their way, they are TOAST.  Same as when they first opened up to the Western Traders, they can’t operate on an equal footing with them unless they have just as much Military Power, and that power has become increasingly dependent on Oil.  Steam Ships aren’t cutting the mustard anymore by the 1930’s, you need the faster better ships driven by screws and bunker fuel powered turbine engines.

So this time instead of folding to the Western Illuminat and getting in bed with them as the Bottom Partner, the Nips who now have Industrial capability which nearly matches England and the FSofA decide to TAKE THEM ON!  It helps here that the German branch of the Illuminati have ALSO taken them on, so the Nips and the Krauts form the AXIS alliance  to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!  Of course, the Ruskies aren’t pleased with that either, so a big fight ensues and sadly for the Nips, they LOSE.  We Glaze Over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japs accept their role once again as Serfs who will use their industrial apparatus to make Toys for the West.

With a decimated population willing to work for Peanuts, the Japs become competitive in the market place, but of course this whole commerce system starts expanding into other places as well, and gradually the Japs build up their own internal debt once again.  Come the late 1970-80s or so, the fucking Chinese are willing to work even CHEAPER than the Japs will!  Debt overhang weighs on the Japanese, their RE Bubble pops, and they go into a 20 year long malaise with a declining and aging population, an utterly BEATEN people, who as a Coup de Grace poison their own environment with endlessly leaking radioactive spent fuel from reactors they used to provide years of Happy Motoring in Toyotas to dimwitted Amerikan J6P.

So we see here in Japan just HOW it was they got coopted into this system overall, and how they really never had a CHOICE at all once presented with the Gunboats Matthew Perry arrived at their Islands with.  Similarly, there has been through the Age of Oil NO country that could stop the encroachment of the Illuminati controlled trade system, backed up as it has been by the most powerful military weapons ever created on the planet, including the Nuclear ones.  You either bought into this system, you Kowtowed to those in control of it or you were TOAST.

The thing to remember here as all this winds itself down is that the very POWER that was harnessed here to attempt all this World Domination is rapidly depleting. We simply cannot keep accessing more and more Oil to dominate more and more places by offering them the “benefits” of being a Client state of the Industrial Model.  For so long as the Oil came cheap and bubbling out from the ground with very little energy invested to get it, those who controlled that oil had unstoppable POWER to control the earth and its people.  It’s a HUGE force multiplier. It allows you to smelt the metal to run the machines to build the tanks and the jets and then to power their operation so they can deliver the bullets, shells and missiles all themselves deriving their energy from Oil.

This whole bizness reached its ZENITH with the Mechanized Military built in the post WWII years by the FSofA.  We have now built up a MASSIVE amount of Military Hardware all completely dependent on Oil to run.  Even if you could build enough Nuke Plants to power electrical needs in the coming years, there just is no way we are going to keep powering the mechanized military that we have built up here.  Its all bound for the Scrap Heap or Davey Jones Locker, and when it is gone, the world will be on a much more level playing field.

Sure, there will still be Warlords and large armies will form up for as long as the Ag Paradigm holds up at some level, but on Horseback with the Sword and the Atlatl and the Bow and Arrow, such armies really do not do all that much damage to anyone but each other.  During their Isolationist period of the Shogun Era, the Japs were fighting amongst themselves ALL THE TIME.  They had plenty of Tsunamis and Earthquakes.  However, overall they were abe to keep a self-sustaining system going as long as they could keep everyone else OFF their islands.

Now, I am no big Fan of the Feudal Model, its got many of the same problems the Corporate Fascist model has.  However, it is a much SMALLER model that cannot work on a Globalist level for control of the population.  In locations with relatively high current populations, it’s the likely model they will have to pass through again as we REVERSE ENGINEER our way back to a lower energy footprint society.  To achieve FREEDOM again, we have to throw off the Yokes of Bondage in stages here, and the First and Greatest stage to throw off is the Globalist domination empowered by the Monetary system of Industrial Capitalism and the Military power generated through the thermodynamic energy of Oil.  The next stage AFTER that is the rebellions against the Feudal Lords who will take power once the Globalist power has been CASTRATED.  Not just metaphorically castrated either. LOL.

We will sacrifice much in terms of Modernity and “Standard of Living” as the Age of Oil comes to a close here, but we will get in return for that something much more valuable.  We will get back a measure of the FREEDOM we have lost here as a few people and then nations took control over the world by accessing and controlling the thermodynamic energy of fossil fuels first.  The world will be a far better place when Homo Industrialis goes the way of the Dinosaur.  There will be a great leveling in the power structure of the planet.  It will not come immediately of course, but in many stages, with many levels of rebellion necessary before real FREEDOM can be achieved again.

Of course for some people like the Japanese and after them the Chinese, they are ending up here at the close of the Age of Oil with a thoroughly polluted environment resulting from coming in a Day Late and a Yuan short into the great game of Industrialization.  These cultures are the ultimate LOSERS of the history of Industrialization.  Both will experience a Die Off in EXTREME numbers, and how that plays itself out remains to be seen, but you can be sure it will not be pretty when the time comes.  Neither will it be very pretty here either, but the numbers probably will not be so extreme.

Inventive creatures that we are, it was inevitable that this result would come to pass, there was no stopping it from the beginning of the Age of Agriculture.  As a Species, we took the Bite out of the Apple and left the Garden of Eden when we began the process of taming the earth and domesticating crops and animals to serve our own needs.  One great Invention after the next since has led us to this Final Point of Collapse of the entire structure.  A few people and families got extraordinarily wealthy taking Ownership of the resources of the Earth; a few more people born in the right place at the right time got to tag along and be beneficiaries of the wealth that was being sucked from the planet and its people.  MOST people on Earth never saw any of these benefits though, they just saw endless years of grinding poverty and watched as the environment around them was progressively degraded.  Now we will ALL see this as the Collapse comes ever closer to a Theatre Near You.

Not much you can do to fight this right now, the Illuminati Globalists are still in control of the Monetary system and the Military Industrial Complex.  Any real rebellion against this right now would just end in your Death.  For right now, your best bet is to run and hide, run away as far as you can as fast as you can and wait for the systems to collapse in earnest, which they will.  Only then will the playing field be level enough to make a fight of it and hope to win that fight.  That fight is for the next generation, not the ones writing on this website.  Our fight is simply one of figuring out how to SURVIVE the conflagrations to come and stay out of the way of it best we can.

The  struggle most people have is with the idea that we will not in perpetuity keep inventing new things and leading ever cooler lifestyles.  The Star Trek meme is a very powerful one, that we were destined as a species to someday “Go Where No Man Has Gone Before”.  The Infinite Energy necessary to go exploring Infinite Space does not exist here on the Planet Earth however, and IMHO it never will.  In fact the energy just to send a few people and a lot of heavy equipment up into low Earth orbit is rapidly disappearing from our grasp.  We’ll never be mining Jupiter for the vast quantities of hydrocarbons present in its atmosphere because of the Gravity issues.  This sort of stuff is simply an Apple it is too big for Homo Industrialis to take a bite out of, so we will never become Homo Trekkis.

This does not mean we cannot scale back our lofty ambitions to Conquer the Stars and just use our inventive capabilities to make Spaceship Earth a little nicer place for people to live, but in order to do that we must do it on a Pay as you Go basis with a far lower energy footprint than was required to briefly maintain the lifestyle of Homo Industrialis.  The BIGGEST problem we have of course is the Overshoot in population that accessing the limited supply of fossil fuels enabled.  The next Century will be one of extreme pain because there is simply no painless way to reduce a population as big as this one even spread out over 100 years, and it may not be spread out that evenly.  Think about it, to reduce a population of 6B to 1B spread over 100 years requires that each and every year FAR MORE than 7M have to die, or not be born.  50M people have to go to the Great Beyond every year for such a population reduction to occur. Its not likely to spread itself out that way though, we are more likely looking at a St Matthews Island Deer Population Crash here, where at some point inside a decade of time the population drops to near ZERO, relatively speaking.  We will almost certainly undershoot the actual carrying capacity of the planet by quite a bit when that Crash does come.  Will we be able through this time to retain ANY of the technological knowledge we acquired over the last 5000 years?  That is an impossible question to answer right now.

In any event, RIGHT NOW we have a tremendous problem of poorly distributed resources, where even inside the FSofA the vast majority of the Wealth of the country is held by the top 10% of the population, and then Worldwide even a relatively average J6P here consumes many multiples of energy as his counterparts in other countries do.  This is clearly not a sustainable situation even in the short term, so the monetary system which distributes out these resources is coming apart at the seams.  What will replace it to do a better job of resource distribution remains to be seen, but it isn’t going to be Capitalism, that is for sure.  Highest Probability here in the FSofA is more explicit Fascism coming down the pipe.  There is still quite a bit of worldwide wealth out there, and well run a Fascist Machine may keep the material aspects of our society functional a while longer. The next Decade will see major upheavals politically here, along with the foreign Wars for the Oil Resource.  When what is left of the high EROEI Oil is well and truly GONE for GOOD, then we will really see some Changes.  Wait for it, because until that day the Illuminati will be in control.  When that day comes, it is time for PAYBACK.  Get MAD, and then get EVEN.  Think Spanish Inquisition, think the Auto da Fe.  Send the Pigmen to HELL with EXTREME PREJUDICE.  Nothing short of that can expunge the Evil and serve Eternal Justice. No Perp Walks will do it, no tweaks to Banking regulations will either.  The French got it right, the only solution to Pigmen is to Guillotine them.  Robespierre’s problem was mainly that he could not reach beyond the borders of France to Exterminate the Vermin.  We have a lot more Vermin now, so we will need a Production Line Guillotine to do the job this time, and leave no stone unturned.  When the time comes, Pigman Heads will Roll like Bowling Balls in every corner of the Globe.  Wait for it, or rather prepare your Children for it, because it may not come in this generation.  Come it will though, to a Theatre Near You.

RE

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