Great Depression

Fourth Turning: The People versus Big Brother

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

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Published on The Burning Platform on March 13, 2014

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“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.” 

– Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

“In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”Frank Church on Meet the Press regarding the NSA – 1975

Ever since Edward Snowden burst onto the worldwide stage in June 2013, I’ve been wondering how he fits into the fabric of this ongoing Fourth Turning. This period of Crisis that arrives like clockwork, 60 to 70 years after the end of the previous Fourth Turning (Civil War – 66 years after American Revolution, Great Depression/World War II – 64 years after Civil War, Global Financial Crisis – 62 years after World War II), arrived in September 2008 with the Federal Reserve created collapse of the global financial system. We are now five and a half years into this Fourth Turning, with its climax not likely until the late-2020’s. At this point in previous Fourth Turnings a regeneracy had unified sides in their cause and a grey champion or champions (Ben Franklin/Samuel Adams, Lincoln/Davis, FDR) had stepped forward to lead. Thus far, no one from the Prophet generation has been able to unify the nation and create a sense of common civic purpose. Societal trust continues to implode, as faith in political, financial, corporate, and religious institutions spirals downward. There is no sign of a unifying regeneracy on the horizon.

The core elements of this Fourth Turning continue to propel this Crisis: debt, civic decay, global disorder. Central bankers, politicians, and government bureaucrats have been able to fashion the illusion of recovery and return to normalcy, but their “solutions” are nothing more than smoke and mirrors exacerbating the next bloodier violent stage of this Fourth Turning. The emergencies will become increasingly dire, triggering unforeseen reactions and unintended consequences. The civic fabric of our society will be torn asunder.

In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe


The core crisis element of debt is far worse than it was at the outset of this Crisis in September 2008. The National Debt has risen from $9.7 trillion to $17.5 trillion, an 80% increase in five and half years. It took 215 years for the country to accumulate as much debt as it has accumulated since the start of this Crisis. We continue to add $2.8 billion a day to the National debt, and the president declares it is time for this austerity to end. The total unfunded liabilities of the Federal government for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, government pensions and now Obamacare exceeds $200 trillion and is mathematically impossible to honor. Corporate debt stands at an all-time high. Margin debt is at record levels, as faith in the Federal Reserve’s ability to levitate the stock market borders on delusional. Consumer debt has reached new heights, as the government doles out subprime auto loans to deadbeats and subprime student loans to future University of Phoenix Einsteins. Global debt has surged by 40% since 2008 to over $100 trillion, as central bankers have attempted to cure a disease caused by debt with more debt.

All of this debt accumulation is compliments of Bernanke/Yellen and the Federal Reserve, who have produced this new debt bubble with their zero interest rate policy and quantitative easing that has driven their balance sheet from $935 billion of mostly Treasury bonds in September 2008 to $4.2 trillion of toxic mortgage garbage acquired from their owners – the insolvent Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks. This entire house of cards is reliant upon permanently low interest rates, the faith of foreigners in our lies, and trust in Ivy League educated economists captured by Wall Street. This debt laden house of cards sits atop hundreds of trillions of derivatives of mass destruction used by the Wall Street casinos to generate “riskless” profits. When, not if, a trigger ignites this explosive concoction of debt, the collapse will be epic and the violent phase of this Fourth Turning will commence.

Civic Decay

The core crisis element of civic decay is evident everywhere you turn. Our failed public educational system is responsible for much of the civic decay, as a highly educated critical thinking populace is our only defense against a small cabal of bankers and billionaires acquiring unwarranted influence and control over our country. Our children have been taught how to feel and to believe government propaganda. The atrocious educational system is not a mistake. It has been designed and manipulated by your owners to produce the results they desire, as explained bluntly by George Carlin.

“There’s a reason that education sucks, and it’s the same reason it will never ever ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it. Be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now, the big, wealthy, business interests that control all things and make the big decisions. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest.”

The urban ghettos become more dangerous and uninhabitable by the day. The inner cities are crumbling under the weight of welfare spending and declining tax revenues. The very welfare policies begun fifty years ago to alleviate poverty have hopelessly enslaved the poor and ignorant in permanent squalor and destitution. The four decade old drug war has done nothing to reduce the use of drugs. It has benefited the corporate prison industry, as millions have been thrown into prison for minor drug offenses. Meanwhile, millions more have been legally addicted to drugs peddled by the corporate healthcare complex. The culture warriors and advocates of new rights for every special interest group continue their never ending battles which receive an inordinate amount of publicity from the corporate media. Class warfare is simmering and being inflamed by politicians pushing their particular agendas. Violence provoked by race and religion is growing by the day. The fault lines are visible and the imminent financial earthquake will push distress levels beyond the breaking point. Once the EBT cards stop working, all hell will break loose. Three days of panic will empty grocery store shelves and the National Guard will be called out to try and restore control.

Global Disorder

The core crisis element of global disorder is evident everywhere you turn. The false flag revolution in the Ukraine, initiated by the U.S. and EU in order to blunt Russia’s control of natural gas to Europe, has the potential to erupt into a full blown shooting war at any moment. The attempt by Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. to overthrow the Syrian dictator in order to run a natural gas pipeline across their land into Europe was blunted by Russia. Iraq is roiled in a civil war, after the U.S. invaded, occupied and destabilized the country. After 12 years of occupation, Afghanistan is more dysfunctional and dangerous than it was before the U.S. saved them from the evil Taliban. Unrest, violent protests, and brutal measures by rulers continue in Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, Venezuela, Bahrain, Brazil, and throughout Africa. American predator drones roam the skies of the world murdering suspected terrorists. The European Union is insolvent, with Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal propped up with newly created debt. Austerity for the people and prosperity for the bankers is creating tremendous distress and tension across the continent. A global volcanic eruption is in the offing.

It is clear to me the American Empire is in terminal decline. Hubris, delusion, corruption, foolish disregard for future generations and endless foreign follies have set in motion a chain of events that will lead to a cascading sequence of debt defaults, mass poverty, collapsing financial markets, and hyperinflation or deflation, depending on the actions of feckless bankers and politicians. There is no avoiding the tragic outcome brought on by decades of bad choices and a century of allowing private banking interests to control our currency. The “emergency” QE and ZIRP responses by the Federal Reserve to the Federal Reserve created 2008 financial collapse continue, even though the propaganda peddled by the Deep State tries to convince the public we have fully recovered. This grand fraud cannot go on forever. Ponzi schemes no longer work once you run out of dupes. With societal trust levels approaching all-time lows and foreign countries beginning to understand they are the dupes, another global financial crisis is a lock.

The Snowden Factor

With ten to fifteen years likely remaining in this Fourth Turning Crisis, people familiar with generational turnings can’t help but ponder what will happen next. Linear thinkers, who constitute the majority, mistakenly believe things will magically return to normal and we’ll continue our never ending forward human progress. Their ignorance of history and generational turnings that recur like the four seasons will bite them in the ass. We are being flung forward across the vast chaos of time and our existing social order will be transformed beyond recognition into something far better or far worse. The actual events over the coming decade are unknowable in advance, but the mood and reactions of the generational archetypes to these events are predictable. The actions of individuals will matter during this Fourth Turning. The majority are trapped in their propaganda induced, techno distracted stupor of willful ignorance. It will take a minority of liberty minded individuals, who honor the principles of the U.S. Constitution and are willing to sacrifice their lives, to prevail in the coming struggle.

Despite fog engulfing the path of future events, we know they will be propelled by debt, civic decay, and global disorder. Finding a unifying grey champion figure seems unlikely at this point. I believe the revelations by Edward Snowden have set the course for future events during this Fourth Turning. The choices of private citizens, like Snowden, Assange, and Manning, have made a difference. The choices we all make over the next ten years will make a difference. A battle for the soul of this country is underway. The Deep State is firmly ingrained, controlling the financial, political and educational systems, while using their vast wealth to perpetuate endless war, and domination of the media to manipulate the masses with propaganda and triviality. They are powerful and malevolent. They will not relinquish their supremacy and wealth willingly.

Snowden has revealed the evil intent of the ruling class and their willingness to trash the Constitution in their psychopathic pursuit of mammon. The mass surveillance of the entire population, locking down of an entire city in pursuit of two teenagers, military training exercises in major metropolitan areas, militarization of local police forces by DHS, crushing peaceful demonstrations with brute force, attempting to restrict and confiscate guns, molesting innocent airline passengers, executive orders utilized on a regular basis by the president, and treating all citizens like suspects has set the stage for the coming conflict. Strauss & Howe warned that history has shown armed conflict is always a major ingredient during a Fourth Turning.

“History offers even more sobering warnings: Armed confrontation usually occurs around the climax of Crisis. If there is confrontation, it is likely to lead to war. This could be any kind of war – class war, sectional war, war against global anarchists or terrorists, or superpower war. If there is war, it is likely to culminate in total war, fought until the losing side has been rendered nil – its will broken, territory taken, and leaders captured.” The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe -1997

It appears to me the Deep State is preparing for armed conflict with the people. Why else would they be utilizing Big Brother methods of surveillance, militarization of police forces  and Gestapo like tactics of intimidation to control the masses? This doesn’t happen in a democratic republic where private individuals are supposed to know everything done by public government servants, not vice versa. They know the cheap, easy to access energy resources are essentially depleted. They know the system they have built upon a foundation of cheap energy and cheap debt is unsustainable and will crash in the near future. They know their fiat currency scheme is failing.They know it is going to come crashing down.  

They know America and the world will plunge into an era of depression, violence, and war. They also know they want to retain their wealth, power and control. There is no possibility the existing establishment can be purged through the ballot box. It’s a one party Big Brother system that provides the illusion of choice to the Proles. Like it or not, the only way this country can cast off the shackles of the banking, corporate, fascist elites, and the government surveillance state is through an armed revolution. The alternative is to allow an authoritarian regime, on par with Hitler, Stalin and Mao, to rise from the ashes of our financial collapse. This is a distinct possibility, given the ignorance and helplessness of most Americans after decades of government education and propaganda.       

The average mentally asleep American cannot conceive of armed conflict within the borders of the U.S. War, violence and dead bodies are something they see on their 52 inch HDTVs while gobbling chicken wings and cheetos in their Barcalounger. We’ve allowed a banking cartel and their central bank puppets to warp and deform our financial system into a hideous façade, sold to the masses as free market capitalism. We’ve allowed corporate interests to capture our political system through bribery and corruption.

We’ve allowed the rise of a surveillance state that has stripped us of our privacy, freedom, liberty and individuality in a futile pursuit of safety and security. We’ve allowed a military industrial complex to exercise undue influence in Washington DC, leading to endless undeclared wars designed to enrich the arms makers. We’ve allowed the corporate media and the government education complex to use propaganda, misinformation and social engineering techniques to dumb down the masses and make them compliant consumers. These delusions will be shattered when our financial and economic system no longer functions. The end is approaching rapidly and very few see it coming.

Glory or Ruin?

The scenario I envision is a collapse of our debt saturated financial system, with a domino effect of corporate, personal, and governmental defaults, exacerbated by the trillions of currency, interest rate, and stock derivatives. Global stock markets will crash. Trillions in paper wealth will evaporate into thin air. The Greater Depression will gain a choke-hold around the world. Mass bankruptcies, unemployment and poverty will sweep across the land. The social safety net will tear under the weight of un-payable entitlements. Riots and unrest will breakout in urban areas. Armed citizens in rural areas will begin to assemble in small units. The police and National Guard will be unable to regain control. The military will be called on to suppress any and all resistance to the Federal government. This act of war will spur further resistance from liberty minded armed patriots. The new American Revolution will have begun. Leaders will arise in the name of freedom. Regional and local bands of fighters will use guerilla tactics to defeat a slow top heavy military dependent upon technology and vast quantities of oil. A dictatorial regime may assume power on a Federal level. A breakup of the nation into regional states is a distinct possibility.

With the American Empire crumbling from within, our international influence will wane. With China also in the midst of a Fourth Turning, their debt bubble will burst and social unrest will explode into civil war. Global disorder, wars, terrorism, and financial collapse will lead to a dramatic decrease in oil production, further sinking the world into depression. The tensions caused by worldwide recession will lead to the rise of authoritarian regimes and global warfare. With “advances” in technological warfare and the proliferation of nuclear warheads, this scenario has the potential to end life on earth as we know it. The modern world could be set back into the stone-age with the push of a button. There are no guarantees of a happy ending for humanity.

The outcome of this Fourth Turning is dependent upon the actions of a minority of critical thinking Americans who decide to act. No one can avoid the trials and tribulations that lie ahead. We will be faced with immense challenges. Courage and sacrifice will be required in large doses. Elders will need to lead and millennials will need to carry a heavy load, doing most of the dying. The very survival of our society hangs in the balance. Edward Snowden has provided an example of the sacrifice required during this Fourth Turning. How we respond and the choices we make over the next decade will determine whether this Fourth Turning will result in glory or ruin for our nation.


“Eventually, all of America’s lesser problems will combine into one giant problem. The very survival of the society will feel at stake, as leaders lead and people follow. The emergent society may be something better, a nation that sustains its Framers’ visions with a robust new pride. Or it may be something unspeakably worse. The Fourth Turning will be a time of glory or ruin.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

Click these links to read the first two parts of this three part series:

Do No Evil Google – Censor & Snitch for the State

Google, China, the NSA and the Fourth Turning


Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on January 19, 2014

Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner

The Big Newz last week on the Economic Front was the Jobs Report from the Bureau of Lies & Statistics, which now has the FSoA UE Rate down to a remarkable 6.7%!  We are doing FANTASTIC!  This is down from Double Digit UE Rates around 11% following the Financial Crack-Up of 2008.  Happy Daze are HERE AGAIN!

From Zero Hedge

Curious why despite the huge miss in payrolls the unemployment rate tumbled from 7.0% to 6.7%? The reason is because in December the civilian labor force did what it usually does in the New Normal: it dropped from 155.3 million to 154.9 million, which means the labor participation rate just dropped to a fresh 35 year low, hitting levels not seen since 1978, at 62.8% down from 63.0%.

And the piece de resistance: Americans not in the labor force exploded higher by 535,000 to a new all time high 91.8 million.

The jobless, laborless recovery continues to steam on.

ZH of course highlights the OBVIOUS canard being pitched out here, which goes to the Denominator in the Equation, who the BLS counts as UE and Looking for Work.  The UE measured rate by the BLS obviously went down tremendously as soon as Da Federal Goobermint dropped millions off from Extended UE bennies that were running 99 Weeks.  Once you have used up your Bennies, you no longer are counted as looking for a job, whether you found one or not by the time the bennies ran out.

At the same time, the “Labor Participation Rate”, the percentage of the population who actually has a Job continues to drop here off the map.  Are we expected to believe all these folks no longer need or want a job?

Part of the reason for this is Demographics.  Overall the population is aging, and more of the Boomers Retire each year, and at least for now can collect SS and whatever Pension is due them, at least if they were not working for the City of Detroit for the last 30 years.  However, we still do have Immigration going on, and we still do have homegrown young folks graduating from High School and College.  The percentage of either class of people able to find “Jobs” in our current economy continues to drop here, and their hopes for the Future drop with them.

Of course this is NOTHING compared to what is ongoing in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy these days, where Youth

Unemployment is reaching into the +50% category.  In a society where having a JOB to earn MONEY is essential if you expect to stay out of Prison or not live in a cardboard box on the street, I can’t think of any better recipe for Social Unrest than these kind of UE numbers.

If you are older here and go UE, even if you are not QUITE yet eligible for SS, decent chance you have some savings to live off, or maybe a paid off McMansion you can sell and live off the proceeds in a trailer park while you wait for SS to kick in.  Or you can try and get SSDI a bit earlier than 62 for regular SS retirement FRNs.

So there is still some Safety Net here for Job losses, which goes a long way toward explaining why we do not yet see the kind of social unrest already ongoing in Greece and Spain.  How long this can continue to play here remains an open question of course.

jobless_unemploymentSo, the bottom line here on all of this ongoing collapse nonsense revolves around the JOBS, which have been since the Industrial Revolution the means by which MOST people get some MONEY to then be able to buy food, pay Rent to the Rentier Class and buy energy with which to run the carz they need to get to work and participate in said Industrial Economy.  Jobs disappear, the ability to participate disappears with it.

What ARE the jobs of the Industrial Economy though?  Well, for a while during the early Growth Phase here in the FSoA, those jobs were Industrial Factory type work, as we provided hardware to run both WWI and WWII.  We had copious sources of local Cheap Energy to run the Factories back then, and besides that after destroying much of the Infrastructure in Europe in both wars, it needed to be rebuilt, providing a lot of work for Factory workers here in the FSoA, where nothing got Bombed.

During the Post WWII period also, the FSoA Industrialists began the largest Public Works project in the History of Mankind, the Eisenhower Interstate.  The reason was not to develop Commerce, although that came out of it as a means to Finance the project, it came from the realization by the Military arm of the Military-Industrial Complex that in order to move their Tanks and Hardware around this vast continent, they needed ROADS upon which to roll that hardware.

As a Young Lieutenant in the Army back in 1919, Dwight D Eisenhower had to move a Convoy across the old “Lincoln Highway”, which was really a Hodgepodge of paved and dirt roads, and the equipment they had got bogged down all the time.  Fuel stops were vitually nonexistent, so they had to have their own Fuel trucks travelling with them to stock up at the few fuel depots that existed at the time in the more majore motros connected toa Rail line.  It took WEEKS to make it across the country.

From the Illinois Dept. of Transportation website:

In late June 2006, a caravan of vehicles organized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will travel across the United States from San Francisco, California to Washington, D. C. to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Interstate Highway System.

The AASHTO Anniversary Caravan of 2006 will follow Interstate 80 much of the way. It will be retracing, in reverse, the approximate route of a famous previous expedition, the Transcontinental Army Motor Convoy, which followed the Lincoln Highway across the country from Washington to San Francisco in 1919. PHOTO (ABOVE): Soldiers pushing a disabled truck during the 1919 Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy, Eisenhower Library Audiovisual Department, photo 86-19-190

The remainder of this section will describe the 1919 Army Convoy; report on its three-day trip across Illinois and relate what the 1919 Army Convoy meant for the future of American Roads.


World War I (1914-1918) was the first large scale military conflict that employed vehicles powered by the relatively new internal combustion engine. Airplanes, trucks, motorcars, and tanks were used on both sides. However, they lacked the reliability, flexibility, and capacity for moving large masses of troops or equipment over long distances on inferior European roads. The vast majority of WWI military transportation on land was done by horses and railroad trains; nevertheless, by the end of the war, most military leaders saw the potential for increased use of motorized troops and equipment in military campaigns of the future.

The end of the war also inspired the leaders of the Good Roads Movement to resume their public relations (PR) campaign to convince the public to demand better roads from state and local governments. The PR campaign had been put on hold during the 1917-1918 period while America was engaged in WWI. Early in 1919, Lincoln Highway Association leader Harry Ostermann had persuaded the War Department to conduct a transcontinental motor convoy trip from the East Coast to San Francisco on the marked route of the Lincoln Highway.

The purpose of the convoy was two fold: 1) it was to be a training exercise and 2) a test of the feasibility of the long distance movement of military men and supplies by auto and truck.

From the Good Roads Movement’s viewpoint, the convoy was meant to produce positive PR by demonstrating that long distance motor travel was possible. It was also meant to heighten awareness of existing poor roads that comprised much of the Lincoln Highway and other roads in the Unites States. Return to Top


Amid much hoopla, speeches and fanfare, a 76-vehicle combined “public-private” convoy, including 56 military vehicles, 209 officers and enlisted men, and dozens of private citizens took off from the White House on July 7, 1919. (LH/MAIN STREET, p. 83).

Later that evening, the convoy was joined by two, last minute volunteer Army officers. They were Lieutenant Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower and Major Sereno Brett, who were to serve as observers for the Army Tank Corps. PHOTO: Major Sereno Brett, Harvey Firestone, Jr., and Lt. Colonel Dwight Eisenhower at 1919 Army Convoy stopover at the Firestone Homestead, Columbania, Ohio, July 13, 1919. Eisenhower Library Audiovisual Department, photo 70-520-3.

The convoy was to operate as if the country was at war and that an Asiatic enemy had destroyed railroad lines, bridges, and tunnels. They were also to act as if they would be traveling through enemy territory and thus, had to be self-contained and self-sustaining over the 3,250-mile route. Maintaining the illusion of being at war or being truly self-sustaining proved to be very difficult, as was the trip itself.

Among some of the military personnel, there was even doubt whether or not the convoy could actually make it across the continent. The vehicles were untested over long distances. Many sections of the Lincoln Highway were unimproved dirt roads. Finally, few military personnel; especially enlisted men, had much experience with motor vehicle driving or maintenance. Eisenhower later wrote that the trek was a genuine adventure. “We were not sure it could be accomplished at all. Nothing of the sort had ever been attempted.”

At first, in the East from Washington through Indiana, the roads were generally good but mechanical problems with the various vehicles and logistical problems slowed the convoy’s progress. Military discipline among the men also was “conspicuous by its absence,” according to one observer. About the familiarity of the men with operating trucks, Eisenhower wrote:

All drivers had claimed lengthy experience in driving trucks; some of them, it turned out, had never handled anything more advanced than a Model T. Most colored the air with expression in starting and stopping that indicated a longer association with teams of horses than with internal combustion engines. (EISENHOWER REPORT)

As the convoy (also referred to as the “train” by some) headed into Illinois and the West, road conditions along the Lincoln Highway presented serious challenges that often delayed and sometimes halted the convoy. The Highway ran on dirt roads through most of Illinois, but the weather was dry, so it was possible to cross the state in a few days. Of the roads between Illinois and California, Eisenhower, in his post-trip report wrote:

The dirt roads of Iowa are well graded and are good in dry weather; but would be impossible in wet weather. In Nebraska, the first real sand was encountered, and two days were lost in western part of this state due to bad, sandy roads. Wyoming roads west of Cheyenne are poor dirt ones, with weak culverts and bridges. In one day, 14 of these were counted, broken through by the train. The desert roads in the southwest portion of this state are very poor. In western Utah, on the Salt Lake Desert, the road becomes almost impossible to heavy vehicles. From Orr’s Ranch, Utah, to Carson City, Nevada, road is one succession of dust, ruts, pits and holes. This stretch was not improved in any way, and consisted only of a track across the desert. At many points on the road water is twenty miles distant, and parts of the road are ninety miles from the nearest railroad. (EISENHOWER REPORT)

In fact, one of the biggest problems was the poor state of the bridges along the Lincoln Highway. PHOTO: Army Truck testing the holding power of one of many small bridges crossed during the Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy, 1919. Eisenhower Library Audiovisual Department, photo 81-17-25.

Advance notice of the convoy spread and its arrival in towns along the Lincoln Highway were occasions for celebrations and plenty of speeches imploring listeners to demand more public funding for “Good Roads.” The convoy passed through 350 communities, and it was estimated that more than 3,000,000 people witnessed it along the route. Millions more followed the trek in newspapers and early motion picture “newsreels.” PHOTO: 1919 Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy on Review, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1919. Eisenhower Library Audiovisual Department, photo 81-17-55.

The convoy did make it. Battered, but unbowed, the caravan arrived at the gates of Lincoln Park in San Francisco. However, it had taken until September 6, 1919 for it to reach its destination, a grueling sixty-two (62) days!

In November 1919, Lieutenant Colonel Eisenhower wrote a seven-page report relaying the observations he made during the Army Convoy to the Chief of the Army’s Motor Transport Corps (M.T.C.). He summarized the results as follows:

The truck train was well received at all points along the route. It seemed that there was a great deal of sentiment for the improving of highways, and, from the standpoint of promoting this sentiment, the trip was an undoubted success. As stated before in this paper, it is believed that the M. T. C. should pay more attention to disciplinary drills for officers and men, and that all should be intelligent, snappy soldiers before giving them the responsibility of operating trucks. Extended trips by trucks through the middle western part of the United States are impracticable until roads are improved, and then only a light truck should be used on long hauls. Through the eastern part of the United States, the truck can be efficiently used in the Military Service, especially in problems involving a haul of approximately 100 miles, which could be negotiated by light trucks in one day. (EISENHOWER REPORT.)

Return to Top


The 1919 Army Transcontinental Army Convoy crossed into Illinois on the afternoon of Saturday, July 19, 1919. It stopped the next day for a Sunday rest period in Chicago Heights. The trip was resumed on Monday July 21, 1919, and the convoy camped over that night in DeKalb. On Tuesday July 22, 1919, the convoy left DeKalb and crossed over the Mississippi River Bridge at Fulton, Illinois and entered into Iowa that evening.

During the two full days it spent on the road in Illinois, the convoy covered about 172 miles in a little over 21 hours on the road. It was fairly lucky with the weather and thus the roads, but as the following account from the convoy’s daily log reveals, it had its share of problems with the vehicles, drivers, and equipment in its journey across the Land of Lincoln.

(Read the official Army account of the convoy’s journey thru Illinois).

So basically from the 1950s right up until around 2008 when the Sub-Prime Mortgage Bubble popped, as the Industrial Jobs began to leave the country in the 1970s to go to Cheaper Labor Markets in places like Mexico, India and China, fairly decently paid work in the Construction Industry took their place.  Many jobs even for highly paid well educated folks like Civil Engineers, Architects, Electrical Engineers, Plumbers et al, as every new Mall and every new Suburban Subdivision needed to be Wired Up and Plumbed to keep the Sanitation Decent.  As the communities sprouted like mushrooms across the once Pristine Wilderness of the FSoA, Civil Service Goobermint workers in every field from Police Work to Sanitation workers to Teachers were necessary.  Where did the MONEY come from to PAY all these people for these new JOBS in these new communities?

As with ALL money since the beginning of the Industrial Era (and really long before that, btu expanding exponentially through this period), the MONEY came from the Issuance of New Credit done by the folks who have controlled this since the beginning of the Colonial Era at the LATEST, the TBTF Banks and the small number of people who control them, often referred to here on the pages of the Diner as the “Illuminati”.  In 1692 the Bank of England was Chartered, and despite a real lack of Precious Metals in England at that time, these folks issued CREDIT on what basically was all the resources of the New World they were set to exploit.  They did not HAVE the “money” to issue out, they CREATED the money to issue out.  Long as everyone under their Political Control HAD to use this money (“Legal Tender”) they could LOAN it to others, who then owed them Interest.  Anyone on the Inside of this Scheme never really could go Broke, as they could always issue themselves newer and bigger Loans to further buy out the Resources, and the Flow Begins of this money through the economy.  EVERYTGHING comes to depend on this flow of money, and constant INCREASE in the money supply otherwise the interest being charged cannot be paid up on.  whenever a Contraction or even just a slowdown occurs, Depressions ensue, Deleveraging occurs and most of the population gets hung out to dry.  this was the narrative pretty much from 1700 right through to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Throughout the period of the post-Revolutionary War here in the FSoA, Credit was issued by Industrialists in Europe to first off exploit the Coal Resources here and ship them back to Europe to power their Factories, and then to further build out Industrial Infrastructure here.  The Railroads were the essential component of this, because without them there was no moving the Coal from the mines of West Virginia to the Ports on the East Coast.  So the Jobs of those days came in the form of Coal Mining and Railroad construction, and as the railroads expanded across the continent, new communities based on this new type of Industrial living popped up like Buboes across the landscape.

Still, it was basically an Agrarian Paradigm, with most people in the country engaged in local Agriculture, right up until the Great Depression.  Reason for this is that it really was not until the  1920’s or so that the first ICE Tractors became available, and Ag was still very Human Labor intensive through the 1800s.  Even going into the Great Depression in the 1930s, most estimates I have read put 90% of the population here living and working locally in the Ag paradigm.

For those who did not Own Land, up until the Civil War you had explicit Slavery for the imported African Labor force, so I don’t think you can really call what they did as a “Job”.  During the Reconstruction period, you had Sharecroppers, and not sure this form of exploiting labor can be called a Job either.

Where what we think of now as Jobs being paid with Money emerged here was first in the Coal Mines and along the Railroad Tracks, work which was uniformly low paid and very dangerous also.  Workers who performed these jobs were recruited from places like China and Ireland, where conditions for their populations were so bad at the time that just the CHANCE to come over here and work in one of these jobs was a step up, though for many it proved a disappointment for sure as they died in dangerous working conditions, and often had wages so low surviving on what you could buy from the Company Store was pretty difficult

The upshot of this period as the Factories began to pop up as well was a workforce that became increasingly Organized, with Labor making it’s first Battles here against the Capitalist class in control of Credit Creation, money, and by this time virtually all the worthwhile Property across the country.

In fact this battle started in Europe where the whole Industrial paradigm began, and Jobs (or lack of them) and ridiculously low pay and bad working conditions developed alternative ideas to the Capital Exploitation model.  Specifically, Karl Marx and Friederich Engels developed the Communist model, which the Bolsheviks in Russia tried to implement, becoming increasingly bastardized over time.  In fact that model was probably corrupt right from the get go, as Trotsky and Lenin likely got most of their funding for that Revolution from Industrialists in Germany and England.

Over here, as the Great Depression took hold, similar Movements towards Communism and Socialism began to gain traction, the Wobblies were a growing force, and everything possible was done to keep that movement from gaining traction.  Labor Union was pitted against Labor Union, Union Bosses were paid off, the Pinkertons were brought in to disrupt Organization and physically threaten anyone organizing, and overall the Capitalist class was successful in destroying the Labor Movement in the FSoA as we moved into and past the Great Depression.

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international industrial union that was formed in 1905. The origin of the nickname “Wobblies” is uncertain.[3]

The IWW promotes the concept of “One Big Union“, contends that all workers should be united as a social class and that capitalism and wage labor should be abolished.[4] They are known for the Wobbly Shop model of workplace democracy, in which workers elect their managers[5] and other forms of grassroots democracy (self-management) are implemented. IWW membership does not require that one work in a represented workplace,[6] nor does it exclude membership in another labor union.[7]

In the 1910s and early ’20s, the IWW achieved many of their short-term goals, particularly in the American west, and cut across traditional guild and union lines to organize workers in a variety of trades and industries. At their peak in 1923, IWW membership has been estimated at about 40,000.[8] However, the extremely high rate of IWW membership turnover during this era (estimated at 133% per decade) makes it difficult to state membership totals with any certainty, as workers tended to join the IWW in large numbers for relatively short periods (e.g., during labor strikes and periods of generalized economic distress).[9]

Nonetheless, membership declined dramatically in the 1920s due to several factors. There were conflicts with other labor groups, particularly the American Federation of Labor (AFL) which regarded the IWW as too radical while the IWW regarded the AFL as too staid and conservative.[8] Membership also declined in the wake of government crackdowns on radical, anarchist and socialist groups during the First Red Scare after WWI. The most decisive factor in the decline in IWW membership and influence, however, was a 1924 schism due to internal conflict, from which the IWW never fully recovered.[8][10]

Compromises were made however, and the New Deal of Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt incorporated numerous salves to buy off the Working Class, primary among them the creation of the Social Security system.  Unions also still retained decent power in the post WWII period as the Automotive Industry ramped up in the FSoA, and for a short while the Working Class Heros of Industrialization did OK here, from say 1950 to maybe 1970 or so, though you did have to usually have “Connections” to get inside any of the powerful Trade Unions of the Era.

Over time of course the Unions and their ability to negotiate a better wage for their workers has been systematically diminished, and on a Media level the whole IDEA of Unions and Collective bargaining has been subject to non-stop Bernays style propagandizing against, to the point through the 90s-00s that even the Blue Collar workers such collectives work best for were convinced they were bad.  Go to any Kneejerk Conservatard Website like the one Mike “Mish” Shedlock runs on Global Economic Analysis, and you will find non-stop BLAME being placed on Unions as the Cause of all our problems.  See folks, if we just got rid of those nasty Teacher’s Unions and Auto Unions and all those “Big” Pensions they negotiated over the years, we would have PROSPERITY again!  LOL.

Prosperity for WHO?  Certainly not Prosperity for the Pensioners who have their pensions ripped out from under them, that is for sure.  Certainly not Prosperity for the next Generation of Workers either, who in order to keep our products “competitive” on the Global Market need to drop their Wages down to whatever it is the Chinese of Mexicans or Egyptians are getting these  days, like $2/day there.  the folks who PROSPER from reneging on Pensions are the Rentier Class, aka the Illuminati.  See, they are the “Secured Bondholders”.  gotta pay them off before you pay the pension of anyone who worked for the City of Detroit for the last 30 years.  As the economic system which Industrialists used to build out their system falls apart here, they hang out to dry everyone who ever worked in the system in ANY capacity, from an Industrial Factory Worker to a Coal Miner to the Police Force of Detroit, who for near 100 years protected the “Property” these folks claimed to own, thoroughly polluted and then abandoned.

Same Bizness occurring over in China now, just at a vastly Accelerated Pace as first the Hot Money drops in there to “Create Jobs” in Industry, profit is sucked out on the back of cheap labor, the resource landscape of the country is destroyed and then when no more Profit can be pulled from this mess, they “Unwind the Carry Trade”, Newzpeak for the Rentier Class packing their bags and Private Jets with whatever they can and GTFO of Dodge, leaving the rest of the Chinese Population to die in the stinking sewer they made of that land mass.

Today, as we speak, this whole paradigm is coming to a close, for numerous reasons.

First off, there really is no NEW place to go to either exploit Resources or Exploit Labor to gain “Profit” for the individual or corporation that has not already been thoroughly sucked dry.  Though there is still some fossil fuel energy left in the ground to extract, the energy cost for pulling it up comes ever closer each day to the cost the consumer of this energy can afford to pay.  Without continuing expansion of Credit, there is no ‘money” flow to the end consumer, and while the Central Banks provide endless Quantitative Easing FREE CREDIT a ZIRP to their member TBTF Banks, said Banks do not pass this money on in the form of new loans to anybody further than one tier below their line.  Do you think a lot of Individuals line up to buy a Facepalm IPO?  Who are the “Investors” in Facepalm, and where do they get the money to invest in that piece of shit Social Media White Elephant?  Faceplam has NEVER turned a Profit since the day Mark Suckerbug and the Winkletwins dreamed it up.  Regardless, “investors” subscribed to the IPO to the tune of like $100B, least that is around where the Market Cap is here I think.  Where did they GET $100B to “invest” in Facepalm?  They BORROWED it from the Federal Reserve, rehypothecating worthless MBS as collateral to invest here.  This is the circle jerk of money creation, and folks on the inside get fabulously wealthy off of it, but everybody else gets screwed to beat the band here.  Constant investment in ultimately non-productive and worthless enterprise that simply burns energy faster all the time, until there is nothing left to burn, which we are not at yet but getting closer to all the time.  Ongoing here really since the very first Railroad Tracks were laid here in the FSoA in the early 1800s.

So, in the final analysis, this is where all the “JOBS” came from.  Money created as Debt to exploit the resources of the New World, accessing a fabulous wealth of stored energy, first from Coal, then following that from Oil.  Every last “Job” that has been created through the era all comes from the downhill flow of this energy as it is burned, and with less and less available to burn all the time, there are fewere and fewer Jobs to be had that depend on the burning of this energy.  Politicos calls for a “Return to Growth” are a chimera, there is no growth, really there has not been for 30 years here or so.  The “growth” you see is Numerical Smoke & Mirrors, pretty arbitrary numbers overall that get bigger all the time, while the population at large gets poorer all the time.  The FSoA population has been getting steadily poorer under this paradigm, but not until now has it really been evident, masked well by Financialism and control over the Global Reserve Currency of the Dollar.

Besides the fact there is no new place to GO to exploit resource and labor, the result of 200 years of this shit is that we are now Neck Deep in our own sewage, with far too many people on the planet who have opportunity for truly productive things to do with their lives and who are pretty much 100% Dependent on the system continuing onward for their own survival.  Willfully trying to exit the system while it continues to function is close to impossible in most places, really you have to go way out into the bush to even try something like this, and few people are prepared to do that these days.

Those of us who are engaged in building the SUN Project see all of these things quite clearly.  There are no easy answers, no simple ways to exit, and a “Crash on Demand” by a large percentage of the population walking away from Industrialization simultaneously is unlikely to occur as a willfull thing, though it may happen organically quite rapidly if the current systems fail rapidly in cascade fashion.

For those of us involved in SUN, we seek to redefine the ideas of Jobs, Work & Money.  Jobs as we have known them through the Industrial Era are already going the way of the Dinosaur, and as Bruce Springstein write in “My Hometown”, they ain’t ever coming back.

We don’t NEED no Stinkin’ JOBs, and we don’t NEED the Debt Money pitched out here by the Illuminati for the last 200 years of Industrialization either.  Like the “Assets” this money created, it is all going quite Worthless now.  What we NEED is to work together, to build our communities, to work for the common good of our Species and the Planet we live on.  We are rapidly running short on time here to make such changes in anything but the most Painful Way conceivable, and Heliopaths seek to avoid such a nasty endgame, if not for everyone, at least for those who see what is coming and wish to do the best they can to avoid it with us.

Perhaps you think this is all useless, it is too late already and the End is Written in Stone.  If so, I wish you well and I will see you in the Great Beyond when we all get there.  I personally am not concerned with whether the End is Written in Stone or not, because that does not materially affect the way I approach this End Game.  Maybe I will go down, maybe my friends will go down too.  However, if that is how it plays out, we will GO DOWN SWINGING.




Tall Tales of Paul Bunyan

Off the keyboard of RE

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table  inside the Diner

Living inside the FSofA, or in fact inside any of the other major Industrialized Nations, you get a really skewed view of the World as it is, and what might be possible moving forward into the Future.  In my last Feature article Doomer Science Fiction Late Night Double Feature Picture Show, I discussed a few of the common Futurist categories you run into as you surf around the Doom-o-Sphere.

Although Pundits with more Doomy Outlooks are becoming ever more common all the time, in general MOST people who don’t follow the progress of Industrial Civilization Collapse don’t know it is collapsing at all.  Most people who live in 1st World countries fully expect Industrialized lifestyles to continue onward, and all we really are suffering through here is an Economic Glitch which could be resolved with Better Politicians and Better Economic Policies.  Different viewpoints exist on what those Better Politicians would do and which Economic Policies are actually BETTER, but few people  who do not follow the Doom-o-Sphere consider the problems we have to be systemic and insoluble.

Similarly and perhaps to an even greater extent, 3rd Worlders don’t grasp yet that the life of Happy Motoring that existed for the 1st Worlders is not going to come to their locale anymore, and they still aspire to and covet the “Progress” achieved in the Industrialized nations.

This cognitive dissonance really hit home to me reading an article on India Newzhound Joe posted up on Joe’s Newz Channel inside the Diner.  As most of you are aware I think, India recently had the largest Mass Blackouts of an Electrical Grid anywhere on the Planet since Industrialization began, with well over 300M people affected by the Blackouts.  The Indian Grid is slip shod to begin with here, and even what they currently have is none too reliable, but still it is coveted out in the hinterlands as something people NEED to improve their lives and have better Opportunities in the world.

Fact is, at least 1/3rd of all Indian households still have ZERO electricity, and another 1/3rd that have some probably get it “illegally” by Pirating it off feeder power lines in varous Slums and Shanty towns surrounding the Big Shities of India.  If you walk on foot just a few miles outside of Dharmsala up into the Mountains, you leave the Tarmac and the Power Grid behind, and “travel back in time” to the Pre-Industrial world where many Indians still live:

Early last summer I went trekking in the Hima­layas high above Dharamsala. I had just finished a book and wanted to get away from the heat of the plains and clear my head in the clean air and crystal silence of the mountains.
Within a day, I had walked beyond the last metalled road. Along with the tarmac, I left both the telephones and the electricity grid far behind me. Soon I was heading into an apparently premodern world: up in the hill villages, the harvest was being cut by hand with sickles and bound in sheaves, stacked one by one into stooks. Oxen ploughed the narrow terraces with wooden ploughs. In the villages, stone houses with wooden fretwork balconies like those in Mughal miniatures tumbled down steep mountainsides, slate roofs alternating with roof terraces where the women were drying apricots and stacking kindling for the winter. You could almost taste the woody resin-scent of the deodars and the warm peach-brandy aroma of the drying fruit. One of the goatherds who wandered past our camp the second evening said he was on his way to consult the local oracle, a shaman who channelled a Pahari deity and was celebrated for the accuracy of his prophecies. It was trekking as time travel: I seemed to have walked up into a Jack-and-the-Beanstalk world about as far as I could imagine from the noise and pollution of New Delhi.

It was therefore something of a surprise the following morning to be woken by the sound of passing schoolchildren. Looking out of the tent, I saw a party of 20 immaculately dressed children with beautifully laundered uniforms – white trousers and white shirts for the boys and white salvars for the girls – heading down the hill on their way to the new private school that had, they said, just opened up in the valley below. Not one of their parents had had any education and the older generation in the village was entirely illiterate, but this school would teach them until fifth grade. After their 13th birthdays, they said, they hoped to continue their schooling up to the age of 18 in the senior schools of Dharamsala.

Here these people are, living a pre-Industrial lifestyle many Doomers would consider Idyllic with Local Food Production, Oxen ploughs farming the land and all, but these people who live that way now ASPIRE to the “better life” for their children and dress them up in well Laundered School Uniforms to get the Education they never got so they can, in theory of course, become a Succesful Participant in the Industrial Paradigm  as an Engineer or Scientist, whatever.

These people are likely COMPLETELY unaware that most well educated Indian Doctors seek to GTFO of India where they make about what a Mickey D’s Burger Flipper makes in the Land of Good & Plenty here, many Ph.D. scientists have LESS chance of getting a Job in their field of expertiese as Ruskie Ph.D.s do, which is lower still than Chinees Ph.D.s and lower still than FSofA Ph.D.s.

The really sad thing about this article though is that the Writer, Wiliam Dalrymple does not grasp the problem either.  From his POV, the Indian State has Failed to Provide the BASIC SERVICES these poor folks NEED .

None of the basic services that the villagers needed – roads, sanitation, education, health, electricity or telephones – had been provided by the state, yet the villagers had found a way around most of their problems. Despite the government inaction, they were determined to educate their kids and inch forward. They were not going to allow themselves to be left behind.

Note all the assumptions made in this paragraph.  First that these Villagers NEED these Basic Services, and beyond that they are even “Basic” at all!  Paved Roads are “Basic”?  Only Carz need Paved Roads, and these folks can’t afford Carz anyhow.   Even more pathetic though is the idea that getting any of this allows them to “Inch Forward”.  The only way they Inch forward into this is by taking on DEBT, and eventually they would find themselves in exactly the same place the Greeks are in right now, unable to pay the debt with a lot of Industrial Infrastructure they can no longer support.  Once the Ubermeisters cut off your access to Debt Money to keep on building out the system, it collapses on itself.  They only issue the debt for so long as they can use it to suck you dry of everything you actually DO own, the resources of your particular patch of land.  Once you hand over the Deed to the Property to them, you perpetually pay Rent to live on your OWN land!

Like just about everyone, your typical pre-Industrial agrarian pushing a plow or wading through Rice Paddies aspires to a “better” life than that.  If you haven’t been immersed inside the corrupt and nasty world Industrialization has created, from the OUTSIDE LOOKING IN, it seems just GREAT!

Russell 1913 Tractor

Picture yourself a dirt poor farmer out there on the Great Plains in say 1913 or so when the Federal Reserve Bank Act was pushed through CONgress on Christmas Eve, yourself pushing a plow behind your Oxen when the first Russell Tractor shows up on display in town. To be followed directly thereafter by a Demonstration of its abilities by the Russell Salesman.  He Challenges you to a Plowing Race on your fields, and CRUSHES your best team of Oxen in no time.  Or picture yourself a Lumberjack with an Axe and a Big Blue Ox named Babe, up against the Chainsaw of Black & Decker or WTF was making them back in Paul Bunyan’s time.  Big and strong as Paul was, big as his Blue Ox Babe was, they just could not COMPETE with the scrawny Bankster with the CHAINSAW and the RAILROAD.  You GOTTA HAVE that equipment!  You will be LEFT BEHIND if you don’t get it!  SIGN OFF your Farm as Collateral on the Dotted Line now for your LOAN to buy this marvelous technology!

This fact of life as Industrialization revved itself up into High Gear  in the early 20th Century is the main reason I have argued so vehemently against Steve from Virginia of Economic Undertow’s  “Fashion” hypothesis for why the culture and civilization went down the Industrialization Highway.  These weren’t Fashion Choices being made, they were competitive survival choices which became necessary to continue operating successfully as a Farmer or Lumberack or Textile maker or anything else that was mechanized and powered by the thermodynamic energy of fossil fuels.

The Tall Tale of Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox Babe clearly was written as a parable to SELL the Industrial Paradigm to the youngest minds in this Disney Animation of the story, and even though all the Lumberjacks are out there Rooting for Paul to Win the Contest with the Chainsaw and Railroad, in the end Paul & Babe go the way of the Dinosaur and head up to the Last Great Frontier of Alaska.  In the end also, the Railroad and the Chainsaw came to Alaska too.  I know this to be true, since I LIVE in Alaska.

On the Great Plains of the Midwest as WWI came to a close, all those Factories built to construct the first Tanks and Armored Vehicles were turned to building Tractors, and the Credit flowed out fast and furious to Farmers to buy these magnificent machines.  If you didn’t buy one, you couldn’t compete with all the food produced by your neighbor, and as prices dropped on the food being produced you no longer could make a living without one.  So you signed the Note with the Bankster selling the Tractor putting your Farm up as Collateral.

Sadly of course, as time went by through the Roaring Twenties and every Farmer got a Tractor, the price you could get for your produce continued to drop, until you no longer could afford to pay the loan on your Tractor.  In comes the Repo Man from the Bank to Foreclose on your Farm, and now you are a dispossessed Okie on the road to to the Grapes of Wrath in California.

The folks who loaned you the money to buy the Tractor never had the money at all, it was conjured into existence the minute you signed for the loan.  As a poor Okie with just your Farm as collateral, you could not get endless loans to rollover your debt, but the Banksters could and so they consolidated all these Farms into the the large scale Industrial Farms we have today, complete with Goobermint Subsidies to run them and push everyone else outta biz.

This scenario repeated itself over and over again in every Industry known to man, beginning first with the Mining industry itself which quickly turned Mining into one of the worst and lowest paid jobs a person could do; then to Weaving and Clothing manufacture which the Luddites tried to fight; then to Farming  and so forth and so on down the line.

As long as the Cheap Oil came a-bubblin out of the ground and the SAME people who controlled the creation of Credit/Money also “owned” or really STOLE the rights to this Oil, they were completely in control and in the Catbird Seat as far as choosing the Direction of the Civilization is concerned.  Regardless of “Democracy”, J6P never had any choice in this, really no Candidate EVER from any party even the Communists for the most part came out AGAINST PROGRESS and AGAINST GROWTH, at least not here in the Land of Good & Plenty anyhow.  Eventually you got your Mao’s and Pol Pot Ag Commie Anti-Industrialists over in Asia, but such a movement never gained any traction inside the FSofA.  All groups such as the Amish and your Back to the Land Hippies of the Whole Earth Catalogue era were thoroughly marginalized here, and the stories you got also of Mass Genocide by people like Mao and Pol Pot served to reinforce the idea that moving against the tide of Industrialization was a BAD IDEA and would lead to the Death of Millions.

The historical narrative of Pol Pot as Genocidal Dictator Extraordinaire is a very powerful meme held here in the FSofA as Truth, but recently Israel Shamir revisted the Short “Reign of Terror” of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, and returned a quite different perspective on this period in Cambodia under his rule:

Now, in the monsoon season, Cambodia is verdant, cool and relaxed. The rice paddies on the low hill slopes are flooded, forests that hide old temples are almost impassable, rough seas deter swimmers. It’s a pleasant time to re-visit this modest country: Cambodia is not crowded, and Cambodians are not greedy, but rather peaceful and relaxed. They fish for shrimp, calamari and sea brim. They grow rice, unspoiled by herbicides, manually planted, cultivated and gathered. They produce enough for themselves and for export, too — definitely no paradise, but the country soldiers on.

Socialism is being dismantled fast: Chinese-owned factories keep churning tee-shirts for the European and American market employing tens of thousands of young Cambodian girls earning $80 per month. They are being sacked at the first sign of unionising. Nouveau-riches live in palaces; there are plenty of Lexus cars, and an occasional Rolls-Royce. Huge black and red, hard and precious tree trunks are constantly ferried to the harbour for timber export, destroying forests but enriching traders. There are many new French restaurateurs in the capital; NGO reps earn in one minute the equivalent of a worker’s monthly salary.

Not much remains from the turbulent period when the Cambodians tried to radically change the order of things in the course of their unique traditionalist conservative peasant revolution under communist banner. That was the glorious time of Jean Luc Godard and his La Chinoise, of the Cultural Revolution in China sending party bonzes for re-education to remote farms, of Khmer Rouge marching on the corrupt capital. Socialist movement reached a bifurcation point: whether to advance to more socialism Mao-style, or retreat to less socialism the Moscow way. The Khmer Rouge experiment lasted only three years, from 1975 to 1978.

Surprisingly, Cambodians have no bad memories of that period. This is quite an amazing discovery for an infrequent visitor. I did not come to reconstruct “the truth”, whatever it is, but rather to find out what is the collective memory of the Cambodians, how do they perceive the events of the late 20th century, what narrative has been filtered down by time gone by. The omnipotent narrative-making machinery of the West has embedded in our conscience the image of bloody Khmer Rouge commies cannibalising their own people over the Killing Fields and ruled over by a nightmarish Pol Pot, anybody’s notion of ruthless despot.

A much quoted American professor, RJ Rummel, wrote that “out of a 1970 population of probably near 7,100,000 …almost 3,300,000 men, women, and children were murdered …most of these… were murdered by the communist Khmer Rouge”. Every second person was killed, according to his estimate.

However, Cambodia’s population was not halved but more than doubled since 1970, despite alleged multiple genocides. Apparently, the genocidaires were inept, or their achievements have been greatly exaggerated.

The Pol Pot the Cambodians remember was not a tyrant, but a great patriot and nationalist, a lover of native culture and native way of life. He was brought up in royal palace circles; his aunt was a concubine of the previous king. He studied in Paris, but instead of making money and a career, he returned home, and spent a few years dwelling with forest tribes to learn from the peasants. He felt compassion for the ordinary village people who were ripped off on a daily basis by the city folk, the comprador parasites. He built an army to defend the countryside from these power-wielding robbers. Pol Pot, a monkish man of simple needs, did not seek wealth, fame or power for himself. He had one great ambition: to terminate the failing colonial capitalism in Cambodia, return to village tradition, and from there, to build a new country from scratch.

His vision was very different from the Soviet one. The Soviets built their industry by bleeding the peasantry; Pol Pot wanted to rebuild the village first, and only afterwards build industry to meet the villagers’ needs. He held city dwellers in contempt; they did nothing useful, in his view. Many of them were connected with loan sharks, a distinct feature of post-colonial Cambodia; others assisted the foreign companies in robbing people off their wealth. Being a strong nationalist, Pol Pot was suspicious of the Vietnamese and Chinese minorities. But what he hated most was acquisitiveness, greed, the desire to own things. St Francis and Leo Tolstoy would have understood him.

The Cambodians I spoke to pooh-poohed the dreadful stories of Communist Holocaust as a western invention. They reminded me of what went on: their brief history of troubles began in 1970, when the Americans chased away their legitimate ruler, Prince Sihanouk, and replaced him with their proxy military dictator Lon Nol. Lon Nol’s middle name was Corruption, and his followers stole everything they could, transferred their ill-gotten gains abroad then moved to the US. On top of this came US bombing raids. The peasants ran to the forest guerrillas of Khmer Rouge, which was led by a few Sorbonne graduates, and eventually succeeded in kicking out Lon Nol and his American supporters.

In 1975, Pol Pot took over the country, devastated by a US bombing campaign of Dresden ferocity, and saved it, they say. Indeed, the US planes (do you remember Ride of the Valkyries in the Apocalypse is Now?) dropped more bombs on this poor country than they had on the Nazi Germany, and spread their mines all over the rest of it. If the Cambodians are pressed to name their great destroyer (and they are not keen about burrowing back into the past), it is Professor Henry Kissinger they name, not Comrade Pol Pot.

Pol Pot and his friends inherited a devastated country. The villages had been depopulated; millions of refugees gathered in the capital to escape American bombs and American mines. Destitute and hungry, they had to be fed. But because of the bombing campaign, nobody planted rice in 1974. Pol Pot commanded everybody away from the city and to the rice paddies, to plant rice. This was a harsh, but a necessary step, and in a year Cambodia had plenty of rice, enough to feed all and even to sell some surplus to buy necessary commodities.

New Cambodia (or Kampuchea, as it was called) under Pol Pot and his comrades was a nightmare for the privileged, for the wealthy and for their retainers; but poor people had enough food and were taught to read and write. As for the mass killings, these are just horror stories, averred my Cambodian interlocutors. Surely the victorious peasants shot marauders and spies, but many more died of American-planted mines and during the subsequent Vietnamese takeover, they said.

In order to listen to the other side, I travelled to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, the memorial where the alleged victims were killed and buried. This is a place some 30 km away from Phnom Penh, a neat green park with a small museum, much visited by tourists, the Cambodian Yad va-Shem. A plaque says that the Khmer Rouge guards would bring some 20 to thirty detainees twice or thrice a month, and kill many of them. For three years, it would amount less than two thousand dead, but another plaque said indeed that they dug up about eight thousand bodies. However, another plaque said there was over a million killed. Noam Chomsky assessed that the death toll in Cambodia may have been inflated “by a factor of a thousand.”

There are no photos of the killings; instead, the humble museum holds a couple of naïve paintings showing a big, strong man killing a small, weak one, in a rather traditional style. Other plaques read: “Here the murderous tools were kept, but nothing remains now” and similar inscriptions. To me, this recalled other CIA-sponsored stories of Red atrocities, be it Stalin’s Terror or the Ukrainian Holodomor. The people now in charge of the US, Europe and Russia want to present every alternative to their rule as inept or bloody or both. They especially hate incorruptible leaders, be it Robespierre or Lenin, Stalin or Mao – and Pol Pot. They prefer leaders keen on graft, and eventually install them. The Americans have an additional good reason: Pol Pot killings serve to hide their own atrocities, the millions of Indochinese they napalmed and strafed.

Cambodians do say that many more people were killed by the invading Vietnamese in 1978; while the Vietnamese prefer to shift the guilt to the Khmer Rouge. But the present government does not encourage this or any other digging into the past, and for good reason: practically all important officials above a certain age were members of the Khmer Rouge, and often leading members. Beside, almost all of them collaborated with the Vietnamese. The present PM, Hun Sen, was a Khmer Rouge commander, and later supported the Vietnamese occupation. When the Vietnamese went home, he remained in power.

Prince Sihanouk, who was exiled by the Americans, also supported the Khmer Rouge. He returned home to his neat royal palace and to its adjacent silver temple with Emerald Buddha after departure of the Vietnamese. Unbelievably, he is still alive, though he transferred the crown to his son, a monk who had to leave monastery and assume the throne. So the royal family is not keen on digging up the past, either. Nobody wants to discuss it openly; the official story of Khmer Rouge alleged atrocities is entrenched in Western conscience, though attempts to try the perpetrators bore scant results.

Looking back, it appears that the Khmer Rouge of Pol Pot failed in their foreign policy rather than in their internal one. It is fine that they canceled money, dynamited banks and sent bankers to plant rice. It is fine that they dried up the great blood-sucking leech, the big-city compradors and money-lenders. Their failure was that they did not calculate their position vis-à-vis Vietnam, and tried to push beyond their own weight. Vietnam was very powerful – it had just defeated the US – and would brook no nonsense from their junior brothers in Phnom Penh. The Vietnamese planned to create an Indochinese Federation including Laos and Cambodia under their own leadership. They invaded and overthrew the stubborn Khmer Rouge who were too keen on their independence. They also supported the black legend of genocide to justify their own bloody intervention.

We talk too much about evils committed under futurist regimes, and too little about the evils of the greedy rulers. It is not often we remember Bengal famine, Hiroshima holocaust, Vietnam tragedy, or even Sabra and Shatila. Introduction of capitalism in Russia killed more people than introduction of socialism, but who knows that?

Now we may cautiously reassess the brave attempts to reach for socialism in various countries. They were done under harsh, adverse conditions, under threat of intervention, facing hostile propaganda. But let us remember: if socialism failed, so did capitalism. If communism was accompanied by loss of life, so was and is capitalism. But with capitalism, we have no future worth living, while socialism still offers hope to us and our children.

It is at this point about impossible to separate the Truth from Fiction and Propaganda with respect to Mao and Pol Pot.  No doubt many died under their Diktats, but how many it really was and exactly how all this death was meted out is pretty hard to determine now.  You also of course get no real Numbers on exactly how many Deaths Industrialization has been responsible for either.  However, when you look at what is going on in MENA right NOW, and make a few fairly secure projections about the future, you can be pretty sure that Industrialization is going to lead to the Deaths of ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more people than Mao and Pol Pot put together.  I mean really, Fuk-U-Shima BY ITSELF is likely to kill more people than both of those guys, given its location right next to Tokyo.  The responsible Genocidal Maniacs are nice Family Men Apparatchiks of the Industrial Corporate State, Faceless and Nameless Salarymen for the most part, but in their Greed and Stupidity they condemn more people to DEATH than Mao or Pol Pot ever did.

To return to where I began in this article with the pre-Industrial Indian peasants looking to “better” the lives of their children by sending them to schools and getting hold of Cell Phones since nobody is wiring them for land line phones in their Huts and Hovels, in one of the GREAT IRONIES of this Civilization Collapse you have this group of people running one way; while over here inside Industrialization Central you have a whole OTHER group of people running in precisely the REVERSE direction.  Labelled in my Doomer Science Fiction article under the Amish Fusion Utopians and Transition Townies groups, these are Industrial Lifestyle people now seeking to emulate the kind of Lifestyle impoverished Indians in the Foothills of the Himalayas currently live, but seek to EXIT.

There is a certain tendency if you are aware of what is occurring here to want to run over to India and WAKE UP these farmers and tell them they don’t NEED electricity and Tractors to replace their Oxen, they should be glad they actually still HAVE the Oxen, which will continue to work just fine the next time the Grid collapses in India, which probably won’t be in the very far distant future.  Sadly, you are even LESS likely to be able to convince them of this fact of life than you can convince MOST J6Ps here in the FSofA that Happy Motoring is going the way of the Dinosaur.

The end result of this insanity is neither group is going to be happy with the outcome of Civilization Collapse, and both groups are likely to be set against each other at various levels of Warfare, both Civil and International.  What most folks who I label as Brave New Worlders don’t seem to grasp or just do not accept as valid  is that once the per caita energy falls below Critical Mass and its organizing Monetary System collapses, the kind of One World Order Techno-Fascist State we have now also will collapse, making the Projected Future of Chip Implanted Techno Slaves a highly unlikely outcome overall.  Inside the 1st World countries though UNTIL this collapse works its way past the Ringfencing, most certainly you will see ever more loss of Freedom and Gestapo Tactics undetaken to retain control.  How long this period lasts is anybody’s guess, but it is hard for me to imagine it can last more than another 20 years or so based on the current depletion rates of high EROEI Oil, even assuming high levels of Demand Destruction.  This also igonores the fairly substantial likelihood of full on Global Resource Wars, which may incorporate Thermonuclear Weapons.

Overall as I have projected in many posts and articles since I began Blogging the Collapse in 2007, in aggregate at about all Fractal Levels of our Civilization, what we are immersed in here is a One-to-the-Many breakup which inevitably will result in many smaller Political Units forming up, and how they form up and work to one extent or another is still very much an Open Question just about everywhere.  You can be pretty certain SOME kind of structure will step in to replace failing Global Systems in your neighborhood, you just cannot be too sure what it will be or how well it will work.  However, the very fact these Units will be smaller and more Local means that as an Individual within a Community, once this fracturing really gets Rolling in your neighborhood, you may have more ability to be an Agent for Change then you do now under the Global Oligarchy.

More likely than a descent into complete Mad Max in all places or Chip-Implanted Brave New World Techno-Slavery is fracturing into smaller Political Units run under varying forms of neo-Feudalism and Warlordism, along with some Tribal and Communal organizations.  Rather than a single large scale Ruthless Dictator like an Uncle Joe Stalin or a Pol Pot are many smaller ones.  Such personalities are selected for in such a time, because either Actively or Passively, many very difficult choices which end with many deaths end up having to be made.  On the positive side though, because the political units are smaller there is a better chance that the Individual can have some effect first on who ends up promoted to such a position of Power, and second on how that Power might be wielded.

In this respect, it is important NOT to “Give Up“, and begin to make the Contacts and at least think about alternative Structures that you might play a significant part in creating inside your comunity.  Diner Admin William Hunter Duncan provides a good EXAMPLE to others in his Off the Grid in Minneapolis Blog with the Gardens he grows food for himself.  Rather than trying to HIDE that he is doing this to protect himself from Starving Zombies seeking food, he is Cutting the Path and Leading the Way  f or others. Hopefully, MORE people will show up at WHDs door and ask him to TEACH them how to do what he does, rather than STEAL from him what he has.  As the Chinese Proverb says:

Beyond the Food Production, developing Mutual Protection Schemes for your Community are important.  Most people aren’t yet aware of the level of Full Doom we are heading into, but on the other hand I think most people DO know their local communities are becoming less “safe” all the time and require protection schemes the Local Gestapo are not providing, and in fact often working directly against.  At this point I think it is becoming more likely you can bring together neighbors for Neighborhood Watch Groups to increase your security.

Finally, if you ARE aware of the level to which this spin down can go, it is still possible to prepare yourself for a Final Bugout.  This may not up your survival chances by much or for a very long time, but again, who wants to be the FIRST to go here?  If you Value Life, you hang on best as you can, long as you can.  If you know what is coming down the pipe here, if you are physically and psychologically PREPARED, you have a far better chance of making it through the Zero Point than those who remain to this day quite CLUELESS about it.

For this reason, I maintain the Doomstead Diner Blog & Forum, and will continue to write on these issues until the Internet Goes Dark.  Together, the Diners are stronger than they are Individually and although many of the ideas we discuss have been beaten to death on the 1st generation of Doom Blogs like Peak Oil and LATOC, the message still has not been delivered to many.  You can’t Save Everybody, but you CAN…wait for it…

Save As Many As You Can


Timing Matters

Originally Posted  on TBP on 3rd March 2011 by Reverse Engineer  in Economy |Social Issues

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One of the important factors to consider on a Population level here in the FSofA during the Great Depression was what occurred BEFORE it and how the land got settled in the post Civil War years through the Great War and then the Roaring 20s.

First off, the “Sooners” of Oklahoma got their land for free after the Natives had been pushed off the land. These were generally immigrants from Europe, poor Swedes and Germans who homesteaded that land and began to farm it. Under the technology of the day, that land wasn’t really suitable for farming, it was Grazing land. They did not have the massive pumps to bring up the water from the Ogalala Aquifer in place yet. It really only took a couple of generations to deplete the land and set it up for the Dust Bowl. So all these 2nd generation poor immigrants on the poorest land would have been the first ones displaced and formed one itinerant army of Poor People once the Dust Bowl and the Depression set in.

The other army of poor folks were the Refugees from Europe who came over directly after the Great War. My Paternal Grandparents were in that Wave. Grandpa was Russian, Grandma was a Romanian Gypsie. This group of people formed the labor force building the Great Cities of the FSofA during the Roaring 20s. My Grandfather the Acrobat found good paying work on the High Steel in NYC. A smart guy and heavy drinker, he used his money to set up a Speakeasy in Brooklyn during the Prohibition years. My Grandma ran the Still producing fine Vodka and Sour Mash Whisky in the basement of the Brooklyn Brownstone they lived in, which he eventually bought also, for all CASH. I vaguely remember him telling me he bought it for $500. Said Brownstone was worth $100K even when I was in college. Probably worth $1M in the Boom years. He also bought land in Westchester county, then all farms, again for all CASH. When RE building collapsed in the Great Depression and he no longer had work walking the High Steel, his Speakeasy carried the family through, and frankly he did pretty well. He was a funny guy and the local Brooklyn Politicians all frequented his bar. There were guys Running Numbers out of the Bar, he took a Piece of the Action. Grandad was a smart Bizman, though not a very legally correct one. My father’s older brother ran a large Junkyard during the Depression years, he also did OK. My dad was able to go to College at Pace University majoring in Accounting just as WWII ended because they all made it through. Pretty well off actually. This of course is why I am here today writing from the Last Great Frontier. LOL.

My mom’s side did not do so well. They were Polish Jews who evacuated Europe just as the Nazis were coming to power. Her father, my maternal grandfather I never knew died shortly after coming to the FSofA of Tuberculosis. My maternal Grandmother kept the family going running a Rag Shop on the Lower East Side of NY, on Delancey Street. They did go through periods of great Hunger, but made it through on the food at the Soup Kitchens and did not starve to DEATH, although my mom was one Skinny 17 year old when my dad met her at a Dance in one of the Settlement Houses. Her brother wasn’t just skinny, he ended up with neurological problems which likely came from malnutrition.

Sadly of course, many others in the immigrant labor force during the years from 1917-1929 weren’t quite so smart and fortunate in how they used their decent wages for those 12 years as my Grandad, they didn’t have a Speakeasy to fall back on when the construction jobs disappeared and the Longshoremen jobs disappeared as Trade came to a grinding halt. The later immigrants from my mom’s side pretty much missed the boom entirely and were impoverished from the time they arrived here.

Together, once the Depression hit in full force in the 1930s, this was the other massive population of poor people besides the rural poor of places like Oklahoma. Basically all at the same time, once the jobs disappeared and poor land was no longer producing, ALL of these folks took to the road in one way or another looking for a Better Place and an Opportunity. For a Decade of time, until we entered WWII in 1941, no such opportunities existed for them anywhere. You see that in the Signs from the period, “Jobless Men KEEP GOING! We Cannot support our OWN!”

Whatever Die Off did occur here in the years of the Great Depression came from this group of itinerants, and this is why they for the most part are not remembered. They were mostly newby immigrants who had no other family ties here, nobody to remember them, how they lived and how they died. People who had family ties here, who were parts of small communities that survived and looked after there own mostly DID make it through, although of course not without much hardship. The ones who did actually die of starvation or starvation related disease, however many of them there were, were the most recent immigrants in the poorest of the poor situations.

As we look into the future here, History is likely to Rhyme in this regard. The folks here in the most precarious situation are the most recent Immigrants, particularly the Illegal immigrants. They are the ones who are going to first be cut off from the SNAP cards and told to “Move ON, because we cannot take care of our own”. How many of them are there? Estimates are around 20M I think, and for the most part this bunch of people are GONERS. Just like the friends and relatives they left behind in their home countries to escape the desperate poverty there.

Quite a bit of LUCK involved in when you were born, when you emigrated and where you emigrated to, both prior to the Great Depression and now as well. My Paternal Grandfather emigrated at the RIGHT time, and hitched a ride on the Prosperity that was the Roaring 20s. Vietnamese who emigrated here in the 1970s similarly are likely to make it through, having established themselves and having family networks to fall back on. My mother’s family is more like the recent immigrants from places like Pakistan and Guatemala. They will not fare so well.

The biggest difference I see between then and now is the difference in potential for rebuilding once the initial Holocaust takes its toll worldwide. Similarly, I do expect a World War and Conscription to commence, but in this case it is very hard to see how the factories hiring “Rosie the Riveter” will be able to both bring jobs to the women not conscripted and the folks too old to fight but still young enough to work on a production line or as a Manager. This because at the time of WWII, the OIL was available locally to run those factories, not so today. Today, that Oil must be IMPORTED from the War Zone ITSELF. I cannot see how enough Oil can be moved from that War Zone to the FSofA to BOTH ramp up the war production machinery AND continue to run the civilian systems we have here that have come to depend on it over the intervening years.

Austerity in the form of Gas and Food rationing in the WWII years was pretty tough, but this time round it has to be much tougher than that to keep fuel moving to the War Machine. I don’t think the integrity of the society can hold together under that much austerity, and moreover I don’t see it possible that enough Oil can be moved from the war zone to even keep the war machinery itself going very long. This adds up to systemic collapse of the Oil conduit entirely.

Once that happens, pretty much all the International War for Oil will stop and at this point all the Wars will be loal ones for local resources amongst the people currently living on particular patches of land around the globe. No rebuild of industrialized society, just further destruction until enough are dead so there are enough local resources for the survivors. It would be at this point you could attempt a rebuild on 1850s era technology, utilizing mostly Coal and scavenging parts from the Age of Oil. Call that a 50 year timeline, then another 100 years perhaps rebuilding with that technology until it also gives up the ghost.1750s after that fo another couple of centuries, back to the Stone Age after that.

There is ZERO on the horizon I can see that will stop this inexorable progression. Nuclear Plants will not do it, neither will renewable Hydro or Solar. However, as long as some people survive, the great experiment that is Human Sentience will continue onward, and then perhaps after all of this we can build a Better Tomorrow. Only time will tell.


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Calculus of Starvation

Posted originally on TBP  on 2nd March 2011 by Reverse Engineer  in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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The Debate in the last Daily Rant on John Steinbeck’s “Starvation Under the Orange Trees just about completely bogged down on the question of how many people actually died of starvation here in the FSofA during the Great Depression. There was a lot more worthwhile stuff in that essay to discuss, but this is what got focused on. So be it. Thing is, it is pretty much an impossible question to answer unless you have Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC Machine. Why? Because there are like ZERO statistics published by Da Goobermint on Starvation Deaths in the FSofA. Presumably because of course NOBODY ever starved to death in the FSofA. To try to figure it out, you have to look at Total Births, Total Deaths, Total Immigration and Total Emmigration and Total Population Increase or Decrease to see if you can do an accurate calculus. Even then, it would need something like a Certified Public Accountant or Astrophysicist or the equivalent to make a complete analysis of such a data set. Then of course you also have to trust all Da Goobermint Statistics on this data set. Not having the whole data set in front of us right now, let us leave the absolute question aside for a moment. Hopefully a CPA on this board will find these tables and do the calculus at some point to resolve this question at a future date. I have Full FAITH in the HONESTY of CPAs and Astrophysicists on TBP, as opposed to say CPAs who worked for Ernst & Young or Arthur Anderson. LOL.

Until such time as we get a Certified Public Accounting from a Trustworthy CPA on this Data Set, what we do know for sure is that there were plenty of Anorexic looking folks Dorothea Lange took photos of. I plastered a number of them across the Comments Section of the last Daily Rant. We also know there were Food Riots and Hunger Marches all over the country starting in around 1931-32. I plastered News stories from the era up in the thread also. We know these riots were so bad that in some cases numerous people were shot during them. We know there were some 20,000 Bonus Army Veterans and their families who were stampeded and burned out of their tents by Douglas MacArthur and his Cavalry. All this mayhem going on, but nobody is starving?

We also know observing what is going on right now around the world in impoverished countries that the people do not start Rioting and overthrowing their Goobermints UNTIL they are starving. So why were people here rioting if they weren’t starving? Makes no sense.

We also know that opportunistic infections and diseases like Tuberculosis and Pneumonia and Rickets were rampant during the Great Depression. Somehow these diseases became more virulent even though nobody was Starving? Not likely, the reason there were more epidemics of these things is likely because the population as a whole was weakened by malnourishment. So on the Death Certificate it doesn’t get recorded as Starvation, but as Pneumonia. In reality, they starved.

Man, if it looks like a Dead Fish; if it smells like a Dead Fish, it IS a Dead Fish. People definitely did starve during the Great Depression, but no records were ever published on how many it actually was. At a certain point the MSM just ignored it. It would not have played very well against FDRs Fireside Chats preaching Hope and “the only thing we have to Fear is Fear itself”. Sound familiar? Goobermint Hopium.

We do know for a “fact” how many people starved or otherwise had very shortened lifespans over in Europe somehow though, variously quoted as around 13M to 16M when all the Jews, Gypsies and Ruskies who bought the farm are tallied up. How is it we have statistics on that but not statistics on ANY starvation related Death here? Answer to that is that he who wins the War writes the History Books.

I must have spent at least 2 hours yesterday Googling to find ANY kind of stories/statistics/pictures that could give a better picture of what went on to force people into Food Riots here during the Great Depression, and very little specific is easy to find. All you get are general statements like “people were facing starvation” in most articles. You get Zillions of pictures of emaciated looking people, but almost NO Biafra style walking Skeletons. In fact I only turned up one of those, but no information on where it was taken or what the circumstances were. So you can either buy the idea that Starvation simply did not occur here, or alternatively that Da Goobermint and the MSM simply kept a lid on any information about this. Knowing what we know about how our Goobermint behaves now with respect to “bad newz” and putting a positive spin on even less emotionally charged stuff like our collapsing economy, would they really have allowed this kind of newz to be spread around? When they are busy trying to save their asses?

These are all the questions you have to ask yourself when considering what really occurred during the Great Depression. What you WANT to Believe is the main driver here, and most people WANT to believe that Plucky Amerikans muddled through a bit hungry, but nobody really starved here. All the circumstantial evidence says that in fact some portion of the population did in fact Starve, because they would not have been rioting in such numbers if they were not starving, nor would they have looked quite so Anorexic in Dorothea Langes’ Photographs.

Also clear though is that Da Federal Goobermint responded to this problem with increased Food Relief programs, the beginning of the Food Stamp program etc. Since the FSofA was in fact capable of producing plenty of food at the time, one would figure that the starvation problem was probably brought under control by these programs, which kept the country from going totally Commie, just Socialist with FDRs social safety net. It is doubtful therefore that the high end estimate Boris Badanoff pitches out of 7.5M Dead People from starvation in the FSofA is accurate, but nor is it accurate to say that Zero people died from Starvation. The truth lies somewhere in between, but we will never know where in between for sure, and bogging down in this question is a waste of time until we can fire up Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC Machine, or at least get a hold of more Goobermint statistics then just aggregate population and analyze them in detail.

I did turn up a video of Boris explaining how he arrived at his numbers, which was by just using published data from our own Goobermint. It sounds like it is something anybody can do if they can get a hold of all these tables, so I am going to try to do that. According to Boris, when you do the math, you come up with around 7.5M missing people. According to Boris, 5M children and 2.5M adults. Like the rest of you, I find that hard to believe, but the only way to know for sure is to look at the same tables Boris was looking at. I also would suggest anyone else here interested in this question tries to get a hold of all these tables and then publish them here, or at least links to them if you can locate them. Then all of us can run the numbers and discuss them intelligently, rather than flinging napalm at each other.

Although from a historical perspective figuring out precisely how many people died here from Starvation or Starvation related opportunistic disease is important if it can be done, the more IMPORTANT questions are the moral and philosophical ones we face as we work our way deeper into a similar collapse here, along with their practical implications. What we should learn from this is that WITHOUT the SNAP card system (or something similar) all the folks here who currently depend on this for Food would in fact Riot. They are doing it in Egypt and Tunisia, why would they not do it here? That is some 1/7th of the Population, around 43M people last time I checked dependent on SNAP cards. Even if half of them are children or old folks who would not pose much of a threat in a riot, that still leaves around 20M pretty dangerous starving people out there to do mayhem. Also a number which has been steadily increasing in size.

Given the experience of the original Great Depression when the Food Stamp program was initiated to resolve this problem, one can expect TPTB in Da Federal Goobermint know this, so about the last thing that will happen here is that the SNAP card system is removed. Social Security may go, Medicaire may go, but the SNAP Card program will stay in place right up until the Day the Music Stops. It will in fact likely expand quite a bit here in the near future. As long as Da Goobermint keeps it running AND keeps the JIT food distribution system running to the Big Shities, will not see Egypt or Libya style Mayhem in the streets.

TPTB can probably keep it running for quite some time, because first off they print the money (or conjure up the digibits to drop on the SNAP Cards), and second off because most of the Production is centrally controlled by Conagra and Monsanto and Krafft. As long a the Military Machine can keep Oil flowing into this apparatus along with the Distribution system through the big chains like Walmart, Safeway etc, the food will continue to be produced and distributed at least in the FSofA with what is produced here on Home Soil..

The problem of course is in the Oil producing nations which neither produce enough of their own food NOR do they have Helicopter Ben’s ability to keep shoveling digibits onto SNAP Cards. The Saudis have enough Oil revenue for a while to sprinkle out $36B to their workforce with 15% raises, but it is not at all clear that all their UE people will be getting much more money or Food Relief. So eventually here the segment of their population not getting extra money to buy increasingly expensive food will Riot. Losing Libyan Oil is a problem, but losing Saudi Oil is a much BIGGER problem.

So, to avoid this problem, it is absolutely NECESSARY at this point that NATO goes in with Miltary force to try to bring Libya under control. If they cannot bring Libya under control, Saudi Arabia is sure to follow. I do not think that NATO CAN get Libya back under control in any reasonable timeframe, but that doesn’t mean they will not try to do it.

So, the FSofA is currently building up ts Military Assets in the waters surrounding Tripoli, and it is only a matter of time here when the Marines return to those shores to try to secure the Oil Fields. How will NATO forces be Greeted by the various factions all now slugging it out over there in Libya? Will they be viewed as Liberators? Not likely considering how the Iraquis view our presence there.

Its going to be interesting to see precisely HOW Obama-sama delivers the message that we are going to ramp up an Invasion of Libya. How will CONgress react to this after the Clusterfucks of Iraq and Afghanistan? Will it be Rubber Stamped because it “HAS” to be done to “save” the Libyans and “restore Democracy”? Or will there finally be a backlash and Ron Paul wins the day with a “NO, this did not work in Iraq, and its not gonna work in Libya either!” I will go with the Rubber Stamp on this one.

Late breaking Newz I read before heading back to the Cabin had it that some 400 Marines were going in to make a Beachhead in Libya. Not literally of course, obviously only 400 Grunts won’t do jack squat in that situation overall. The most logical objective here would be to try and capture/kill el-Kabong. The problem is, this doesn’t fix the anarchy, it makes it worse. There is nobody there to step in and take control once the “Evil Leader” has been vanquished. What NATO has to do is gain control over all the Oil production facilites before they get permanently sabotaged, and it will take a LOT more than 400 Marines to do that job.

Besides this direct problem is the diffuse one. Every last country in that region is in turmoil, including Iran. Though we all are supposed to HATE the Iranian Goobermint, if that one falls you have another failed state that currently ships out a lot of Oil. For how long can the entire world demand for Oil continue to be supplied with country after country in the OPEC sphere suffering massive political upheaval? My general response to that would have to be not too long at all.

This is nasty from the Food Distribution POV as well across the area. Besides Prices the people cannot afford, it is almost impossible to distribute out food through a War Zone. As this anarchy and breakdown of systems increases in size and scope, less and less food will get into the area, causing still MORE riots. At least until the people are too weak to keep rioting anyhow. The Middle East is on the BRINK of an almost unimaginable Holocaust now. We will likely never see the pictures of it or get reliable statistics on it, but the numbers are likely to dwarf the Holocaust in Europe by an order of magnitude here. It is an unstoppable Juggernaut at this point. The monetary system is failing the resources are depleted and GROUND ZERO is the M.E., where Civilization of the Ag variety began so long ago. Ironic is it not?

I cannot say precisely how many will Starve in Egypt or Libya or Tunisia or Iraq or Iran or Saudi Arabia as this spin down proceeds, but I can say that the numbers will be far larger than will ever be reported by the MSM. How will this end up impacting YOUR neighborhood? This also I cannot predict for sure, but I CAN say for sure where the impact will be the WORST. It will be in the Big Shities so dependent on the thermodynamic energy of Oil for their systems to operate. The Big Shities are TOAST. GTFO NOW! You STILL have time, but it is RUNNING OUT. Do not wait too long here if you want to LIVE.

See You on the Other Side.


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Starvation Under the Orange Trees

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RE’s Daily Rant-2/28/2011

Edited from a post originally  published on TBP on 28th February 2011 by Reverse Engineer  in Economy |Social Issues

As we progress further into the economic spin down of the ongoing Depression, it remains worthwhile to look back at the Great Depression of the 1930s for clues revealing what our future may hold.  Of all the fears we have, none is more terrifying than that Starvation may be coming down the pipe for a large portion of the population.  How bad was the Starvation problem here in the FSofA during the Great Depression?  Whatever the true numbers were, it is not recorded in any of our history books, and generally most people believe that although “times were tough” here in the FSofA, few people actually Starved to Death.  Is that true though?  Anecdotally through the photography of Dorothea Lange and the News Articles of John Steinbeck (prior to his publication of the fictionalized “Grapes of Wrath” novel), it does seem like Starvation was a more common problem than most people believe about what occurred here in those years.  This post is an attempt to get some handle on the problem as it really existed in the years 1930 to 1938 or so.Let us begin with an article from Steinbeck’,  “Starvation Under the Orange Trees” article, published April 15th, 1938, which now ironically is Income Tax Filing day.  Coincidence?  Perhaps, perhaps not.

Starvation Under the Orange Trees

By John Steinbeck

“Starvation Under the Orange Trees” was originally published in the Monterey Trader, April 15, 1938. In that year the Simon J. Lubin Society published it in pamphlet form as the eight chapter of Their Blood is Strong.

The Spring is rich and green in California this year. In the fields the wild grass is ten inches high, and in the orchards and vineyards the grass is deep and nearly ready to be plowed under to enrich the soil. Already the flowers are starting to bloom. Very shortly one of the oil companies will be broadcasting the locations of the wild-flower masses. It is a beautiful spring.

There has been no war in California, no plague, no bombing of open towns and roads, no shelling of cities. It is a beautiful year. And thousands of families are starving in California. In the county seats the coroners are filling in “malnutrition” in the spaces left for “causes of death.” For some reason, a coroner shrinks from writing “starvation” when a thin child is dead in a tent.

For it’s in the tents you see along the roads and in the shacks built from dump heap material that the hunger is, and it isn’t malnutrition. It is starvation. Malnutrition means you go without certain food essentials and take a long time to die, but starvation means no food at all. The green grass spreading right into the tent doorways and the orange trees are loaded. In the cotton fields, a few wisps of the old crop cling to the black stems. But the people who picked the cotton, and cut the peaches and apricots, who crawled all day in the rows of lettuce and beans are hungry. The men who harvested the crops of California, the women and girls who stood all day and half the night in the canneries, are starving.

It was so two years ago in Nipomo, it is so now, it will continue to be so until the rich produce of California can be grown and harvested on some other basis than that of stupidity and greed.

What is to be done about it? The Federal Government is trying to feed and give direct relief, but it is difficult to do quickly for there are forms to fill out, questions to ask, for fear someone who isn’t actually starving may get something. The state relief organizations are trying to send those who haven’t been in the state for a year back to the states they came from. The Associated Farmers, which presumes to speak for the farms of California and which is made up of such earth stained toilers as chain banks, public utilities, railroad companies and those huge corporations called land companies, this financial organization in the face of the crisis is conducting Americanism meetings and bawling about reds and foreign agitators. It has been invariably true in the past that when such a close knit financial group as the Associated Farmers becomes excited about our ancient liberties and foreign agitators, some one is about to lose something.

A wage cut has invariably followed such a campaign of pure Americanism. And of course any resentment of such a wage cut is set down as the work of foreign agitators. Anyway that is the Associated Farmers contribution to the hunger of the men and women who harvest their crops.

The small farmers, who do not belong to the Associated Farmers and cannot make the use of the slop chest, are helpless to do anything about it. The little store keepers at cross roads and in small towns have carried the accounts of the working people until they are near to bankruptcy.

And there are one thousand families in Tulare County, and two thousand families in Kings, fifteen hundred families in Kern, and so on. The families average three persons, by the way. With the exception of a little pea picking, there isn’t going to be any work for nearly three months.

There is sickness in the tents, pneumonia and measles, tuberculosis. Measles in a tent, with no way to protect the eyes, means a child with weakened eyes for life. And there are varied diseases attributable to hunger, rickets and the beginning of pellagra.

The nurses in the county, and there aren’t one-tenth enough of them, are working their heads off, doing a magnificent job and they can only begin to do the work. The corps includes nurses assigned by the federal and state public health services, school nurses and county health nurses, and a few nurses furnished by the Council of Women for Home Missions, a national church organization. I’ve seen them, red-eyed, weary from far too many hours, and seeming to make no impression in the illness about them.

It may be of interest to reiterate the reasons why these people are in the state and the reason they must go hungry. They are here because we need them. Before the white American migrants were here, it was the custom in California to import great numbers of Mexicans, Filipinos, Japanese, to keep them segregated, to herd them about like animals, and, if there were any complaints, to deport or to imprison the leaders. This system of labor was a dream of heaven to such employers as those who now fear foreign agitators so much.

But then the dust and the tractors began displacing the sharecroppers of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Arkansas. Families who had lived for many years on the little “cropper lands” were dispossessed because the land was in the hands of the banks and finance companies, and because these owners found that one man with a tractor could do the work of ten sharecropper families.

Faced with the question of starving or moving, these dispossessed families came west. To a certain extent they were actuated by advertisements and hand bills distributed by labor contractors from California. It is to the advantage of the corporate farmer to have too much labor, for then wages can be cut. Then people who are hungry will fight each other for a job rather than the employer for a living wage.

It is possible to make money for food and gasoline for at least nine months of the year if you are quick on the get away, if your wife and children work in the fields. But then the dead three months strikes, and what can you do then? The migrant cannot save anything. It takes everything he can make to feed his family and buy gasoline to go to the next job. If you don’t believe this, go out in the cotton fields next year. Work all day and see if you have made thirty-five cents. A good picker makes more, of course, but you can’t.

The method of concentrating labor for one of the great crops is this. Handbills are distributed, advertisements are printed. You’ve seen them. Cotton pickers wanted in Bakersfield or Fresno or Imperial Valley. Then all the available migrants rush to the scene. They arrive with no money and little food. The reserve has been spent getting there.

If wages happen to drop a little, they must take them any way. The moment the crop is picked, the locals begin to try to get rid of the people who have harvested their crops. They want to run them out, move them on.

The county hospitals are closed to them. They are not eligible to relief. You must be eligible to eat. That particular locality is through with them until another crop comes in.

It will be remembered that two years ago some so-called agitators were tarred and feathered. The population of migrants left the locality just as the hops were ripe. Then the howling of the locals was terrible to hear. They even tried to get the army and the CCC ordered to pick their crops.

About the fifteenth of January the dead time sets in. There is no work. First the gasoline gives out. And without gasoline a man cannot go to a job even if he could get one. Then the food goes. And then in the rains, with insufficient food, the children develop colds because the ground in the tents is wet.

I talked to a man last week who lost two children in ten days with pneumonia. His face was hard and fierce and he didn’t talk much.

I talked to a girl with a baby and offered her a cigaret. She took two puffs and vomited in the street. She was ashamed. She shouldn’t have tried to smoke, she said, for she hadn’t eaten for two days.

I heard a man whimpering that the baby was sucking but nothing came out of the breast. I heard a man explain very shyly that his little girl couldn’t go to school because she was too weak to walk to school and besides the school lunches of the other children made her unhappy.

I heard a man tell in a monotone how he couldn’t get a doctor while his oldest boy died of pneumonia but that a doctor came right away after it was dead. It is easy to get a doctor to look at a corpse, not so easy to get one for a live person. It is easy to get a body buried. A truck comes right out and takes it away. The state is much more interested in how you die than in how you live. The man who was telling about it had just found that out. He didn’t want to believe it.

Next year the hunger will come again and the year after that and so on until we come out of this coma and realize that our agriculture for all its great produce is a failure.

If you buy a farm horse and only feed him when you work him, the horse will die. No one complains of the necessity of feeding the horse when he is not working. But we complain about feeding the men and women who work our lands. Is it possible that this state is so stupid, so vicious and so greedy that it cannot feed and clothe the men and women who help to make it the richest area in the world? Must the hunger become anger and the anger fury before anything will be done? Monterey Trader, April 15, 1938

I am going to begin this essay with a little bit of personal history, so new readers to the DD will know a bit more about who writes many of the articles on this Blog, and where I am coming from in my perspective.  You may find me insufferable, egotistical and bombastic, and many more less than attractive qualities a person can have.  Hopefully, this will help explain why I write the way I do, and why I see the world as I do.  It might not make you like me any better, but at least you have an explanation to work with 🙂  The  paragraphs which follow result from constantly being attacked for my writings.

I first read Steinbeck’s “Starvation Under the Orange Trees” essay long ago, even before my college years at Columbia University, in my Journalism class at Stuyvesant High School, a highly selective Public Magnet School in NY Shity.    That class was under the tutelage of Frank McCourt (of “Angela’s Ashes” fame), but I knew the article was out there for anyone to Google up.  To make Stuyvesant, you had to out-perform the kids who went to the Bronx High School of Science or Brooklyn Technical School, the other two magnet schools for science and math prodigies. The other schools in this system at the time were the High School for the Performing Arts (the FAME school), and the HS for Art & Design. On a Science and Math level,  Stuyvesant was the Top of the Top of Public Schools ANYWHERE in the FSofA from the 1920s right up until today actually. To get in you had to best every Jewish and Chinese and Indian immigrant child on the entry test, which was the sole means of being selected for the school.  NOTHING else mattered but how you did on that test, the Rite of Passage into Stuyvesant.  Make the grade, you got the best education available on the Public Dime, better in fact than the education available at Prep Schools like Andover and Choate.   ALL Smart Kids there, not dimwitted Illuminati Spawn like George Bush who only got into good Prep Schools because of Daddy’s Dollars. (you’ll also find I have a low opinion of Prep School brats).

It was damn tough to get into Stuyvesant, money could not get you there, only your intelligence did, and that was one motherfucking HARD test, let me tell you. Had to be, to separate the relatively smart from the outrageously smart of course. The upshot of all this is I found out I was smart early on there, so you should listen to me.  LOL.   A virtually ENDLESS parade of psychologists told me so and tested the living SHIT out of me for 3 years of my childhood from age 9 to 12 to prove it.  So, regardless of how BRAGGING about it comes off in my writings, I do it anyhow. You simply have no IDEA how many hours I spent with the psychs testing my intellect over those years, I was a fucking lab rat for them. You wonder WHY I get pissed off when I get confronted with positively STUPID arguments?  You wonder why I am such a Jerk?  THIS is the reason for it. You spend 6 hours a day with shrinks testing you for 3 years and see how you turn out!  LOL This is No Brag, Just FACT, as Will Sonnet used to say.

It IS who I AM. Later in my life I designed Tests for The Princeton Review, I know how this is done and I do it to this day in my classroom. It’s not hard at all to evaluate relative intelligence within a given body of knowledge at expected grade levels in a society. Of course, what experience you have coming into such tests plays a very big part in how you do on them, regardless of your native intelligence. Almost impossible to design a test that is independent of prior cultural learning, which is why generally IQ tests are not very valid.  As mentioned in some other articles of mine, I took plenty of them also, so I know wherefrom I speak here on this subject.  It is subject for another rant however,  I will not belabor the point further here in this rant.

Frank McCourt was one of the greatest Teachers I ever had, and in “Angela’s Ashes” he evoked the true existence of the Irish Poor. I am soooo glad Frank wrote that novel before he died, he told all these stories to us many times in that classroom.  I have read a LOT of stuff in 54 years walking the earth since those days in the ancient and decaying Public School of Stuyvesant,situated between 15th and 16th Street east of Union Square in NY Shity I attended from 1972-1974 listening to Frank’s stories, and I forget very little of it. Do NOT underestimate my ability to dredge it all up from the jumbled attic of my mind as needs be here. If you know nothing of Stuyvesant HS, I suggest you Google it up.  More Westinghouse winners then even Phillips Exeter or Andover or Choate. My good friend Eric Lander (our last names came sequentially in alphabetical order so he was always right in front of me in many classes.  Outrageous GENIUS that dude was and is) in fact went on to win the Westinghouse, and then to head up the Whitehead Institute at MIT where much of the Human Genome project was elucidated.  Even more than Columbia, this is where I got the kind of education I can use now as I argue my perspective on the History of the World as we know it . Now what is in the Card Catalogue of my mind is available to access through Google.  All to the good there, it is a powerful weapon to have at your disposal in any debate.

With all that in mind, let us now delve into the history of the Great Depression just a bit more, to see what we can ferret out from what has been written, and what has not or has been surpressed in our education system.


Folks, even if you did not go past reading Steinbeck’s fictionalized account of the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath, you simply had to know from reading it that the plight of the migrant Okies was indeed quite severe through the period of the Great Depression.  Many Bloggers have used The Grapes of Wrath as a jumping off point, but at the same time deny the implications of that novel.  If you read “Starvation Under the Orange Trees” though,  dismissing the idea that many people here in the FSofA really DID starve to death during the Great Depression is very difficult.   Still, this is a hard thing for most people to accept given what we all were told in school and what sources we actually have available to read.

You can see also in “Starvation Under the Orange Trees” how this dovetails with my prior Rants on the subject of Unionization.  The great FEAR of the Landowners and Corporate Ag was that the Okies would Organize, as Steinbeck wrote. (read Surly’s recent post in the Diner on the ongoing rollback of  labor’s gains in the post depression years). There were endless waves of impoverished migrants coming into California from the Midwest, replaceable labor each year whether they starved or not in the Winter months.  Steinbeck writes that this scene repeated itself each year, and wonders at the end of the article when “must the hunger become anger and the anger fury”?  It did become FURY in the pockets where this occurred, but for the most part the news of it was suppressed by the corporate owned MSM of the day, and little besides John Steinbeck’s accounts survive the censorship to this day.  Steinbeck of course was vilified as a Communist Sympathizer in the post-WWII years, which actually turns out to be a good thing from the historical record POV because it is WHY his works survive to be Googled up.  Thank God also that Steinbeck’s letters to his friends also have for the most part survived.

How MANY actually died this way?  Really I have no concrete ability to say, but I am sure it was a significant number.  The Great Depression was an economic dislocation of the First Order, and considering the environmental catastrophe of the Dust Bowl at the same time, there is no reason to suspect we did all that much better over here than they did over in Europe during this time period.  Boris “Badanoff ” Borisov the Ruskie Historian Boris Badenovthinks the numbers were similar here as in the Ukrainian Holodomor, perhaps he is right and perhaps wrong, but its just not that important on a moral and ethical level what the absolute numbers really were.  We will never really know the answer to that question.  Really though, almost any number of people dieing this way is quite unacceptable if there really is plenty to go round, and there most certainly was even in the worst years of the Great Depression.  It just had real distribution problems because the monetary system had failed.


After WWII, the Migrant Workers of Okies were replaced by impoverished Mexicans crossing the border.  Again for the most part their plight was ignored, but they DID eventually succeed in Organizing under Cesar Chavez.  This for a while along with the burgeoning economic Bubble that was California from the 60s through to the 90s made the lives of these people somewhat more livable, although of course there was still significant exploitation of illegal immigrants through the time period by Corporate Ag.

As we proceed into the future of our current Economic Collapse, the same sort of shit is likely to recur here.  There will once again be waves of economic refugees descending on what few locations have any sort of work at all, and without Unions and Organization, such labor is easy to exploit, and it will be so exploited.  You can rail all you like over the corruption systemic in Unions, but the fact of the matter is it is the only way the individual laborer can protect himself from being exploited. In the time of Plenty this might not seem so necessary, but in a time of Deprivation, it is essential Protection.  Individuals MUST Tribe Up for protection, just like a herd of Wildebeasts must do so to protect from the Predatory Lions surrounding the Herd.  In this case, the Predatory Lions are the Capitalist or Feudalist Landowners who will use the legal machinery of the State to define their Ownership rights, and the power of the State Military and Police forces to enforce those rights.  Without Unions, the individual Sheeple are easy pick’ins.

Now, on the question of the Root of All Evil and my contention Biblical Evil did not exist prior to the advent of Agriculture, the point was made that most certainly there was plenty of Violence and Warfare prior to Agriculture.  I do not dispute that point at all.  This however conflates the concept of Evil with Violence and Warfare, and they are not precisely the same thing.  Both Violence and Warfare can have either Good or Evil motivations attached even in the context of Ag society, but of course that context was different in H-G society.

In Ag societies, all the distribution of the food produced by the society is accomplished through the monetary system.  Because of that, it is possible and even quite likely that in times of Plenty the Poor will Starve while the Rich Eat Cake.  Also quite possible is that impoverished poor people will be conscripted up to fight wars of aggression against other similarly constructed societies.  This is EVIL, because in fact none of it is necessary, it is an artifact of the monetary distribution of wealth in BOTH the competing societies.

In H-G societies which undertake Warfare, it is in fact generally NECESSARY to do so.  The absolute SURVIVAL of the Tribe is hanging in the balance.  Its not about how resources are distributed within the tribe, but how resources are accessed between tribes. As I see it, it is NOT Evil to undertake warfare and violence when your own survival is at stake and the resources are not there to support everyone.  This is just Darwinian survival in practice amongst Homo Sapiens.  It only becomes Evil when in fact there ARE enough resources for everyone, just some folks Hoard up resources at the expense of others.  Call this claiming portions of the Earth as Private Property.

I do not believe in the concept of Private Property with respect to the resources of the Earth.  These are all God’s Gift to ALL of mankind, and mankind as a herding animal can collectively establish grazing grounds, but the minute INDIVIDUALS in the society exert Property Rights over the grazing grounds is the minute you run into the problem of Evil. We can exist only as a COMMUNITY of people, not as Individuals. It is a fallacy to seek Freedom outside of the Community as an individual.  It generally cannot be accomplished, really only if you are a Jeremiah Johnson Mountain Man can this be accomplished, and even THEN your life gets impacted on by others of your ilk. True Freedom died the day the Polynesian Navigators came upon the Big Island of Hawaii, the LAST place on Earth that no other Homo Sapiens lived upon that had great resources upon which to build a society.  After that, it has all been a fight over these resources between all Homo Sapiens, with the Ag and Industrial cultures winning the day.

Now of course, this time is quite DONE.  We will shrink back, we will REVERSE ENGINEER first back to the time before the thermodynamic energy of Fossil fuels was accessed in the 1750s with the Steam Engine, and eventually to Stone Age technology. So be it, this does not mean the end of intellect, of the exploration of the universe in any sense but the physical.  Humanity can have a very RICH life of the intellect and philosophy, we do not need Computers to pursue this. It is all in the MIND, God’s real GIFT to Humanity, that of SENTIENCE.  You need nothing more than this besides basic food and shelter, Of course, to our current population of industrialized slaves across the Globe, that is a pretty tough sell. So be it.


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