AuthorTopic: Suicidal Growth  (Read 12273 times)

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Suicidal Growth
« on: December 14, 2013, 02:02:46 AM »

Off the keyboard of Ray Jason


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Published on The Sea Gypsy Philosopher on December 10, 2013


meteor_shower


Discuss this article at the Seasteading Table inside the Diner


Sailing down the decades, my sweet little boat and I have witnessed some amazing meteor showers while alone at sea. During those nights I always listen to Debussy’s lyrical masterpiece “Reverie,” while lying on my back and marveling at the falling stars. And what makes it even more sublime is being the only human presence in that sector of the planet. It reminds me of how utterly tiny Homo Sapiens is in the grand scheme of things. Unfortunately, back on land the dominant perspective is just the opposite. Humanity considers itself the Grand Actor in the center of the cosmic stage, and Nature is merely the backdrop.


But my almost visceral understanding of just how miniscule our species is, inspires me to view our human project in a radically different manner. Spend as much time alone at sea as I have, and you too might find yourself transformed from being an Accepter to a Questioner. In this essay I will discuss a topic that is almost universally embraced and yet never challenged. That subject is Growth. How can somebody argue against Growth you might wonder? Well, hopefully I can do so calmly and convincingly.


*******


Even a sixth grader understands that infinite growth on a finite planet is impossible. This is not an “economic issue” to be debated. It is an ecological fact that must be addressed. Our planet has limited resources and our survival hinges upon our ability to allocate and preserve them. The two great enemies of sustainability on Earth are Runaway Population Growth and Conspicuous Consumption Growth. Together they are a recipe for biological botulism.


http://isiria.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/overpopulation.jpgPopulation overshoot has been fervently debated ever since Thomas Malthus first introduced it back in 1798. In the 1960s, Paul and Anne Ehrlich reignited the discussion with their cautionary book, THE POPULATION BOMB. The timeline of their predictions did not come true, because they had not foreseen the Green Revolution that massively expanded industrial agriculture. But now food output HAS peaked while population expansion continues to accelerate. So a significant population decrease is essential.


But there is a huge force in the world which will not allow this to happen. That obstacle is Big Religion. The major monotheistic churches want their membership to grow as enormously and rapidly as possible. But they never admit to such selfish motives. Instead, they claim that they are merely following god’s edict that birth control shall be forbidden and that the flock shall go forth and multiply.


If you doubt the truth of this indictment, consider this. If the Catholic Church injunction against birth control is not just designed to increase their enrollment, then they will not object to this suggestion: Let every other child that is born to a Catholic parent be raised as a Muslim. Observe how the church fathers respond to that recommendation, and you will quickly understand that their birth tyranny edicts are not about god’s will, but are instead about increasing their membership and their power.


Another more subtle impact of Big Religion’s dictatorial population stance is how it affects education. There is a direct link between a higher level of education and a lower birth rate. The least educated segments of society tend to be the most religious. And so women who are forbidden by the church to use birth control devices soon become birth increase devices. Since they are burdened with almost constant childbirth, they have little time for education or for the widening of their personal horizons and opportunities. They become slaves to reproduction and to Big Religion.


Besides the bishops and mullahs and rabbis, there are other factors contributing to out of control population growth, and I will deal with them thoroughly in a future essay. But one thing that I can’t emphasize enough is the fact that this issue does not even get discussed in any meaningful way. If you think that bringing up politics and religion is a sure way to derail a conversation in polite company, just interject the issue of population control and notice how almost everyone considers it a taboo subject. And yet overpopulation is a major element – if not THE major factor – in the history of every single civilization that has collapsed.


*******


The second type of growth that is so hazardous to our planet and all of its creatures is our lust for stuff. Although the USA is largely innocent when it comes to causing population problems, it is unmistakably guilty when it comes to promoting rampant consumerism. The American Way of Life is worshipped and imitated around the globe. Through its movies and television and product saturation, the American Empire spreads its own religion with missionary zeal – The Church of the Mall. The message of that gospel is that happiness is achieved by owning things. The corollary to this is that more stuff equals more fulfillment. Embracing such a vapid worldview has dire consequences for the Individual, the Society and the Planet.


For people, it means that values such as the affection of friends, the solidarity of community, the appreciation of beauty are all subordinate to the less meaningful and often endless craving for more stuff. I contend that the world is not better off with cars that talk to us or 671 types of “yogurt products” or phones so expensive that one has to take out a loan to purchase them.


http://www.photosensitive.com/imgs/native-children-happy.jpgMany of my sea gypsy years have been spent in Third World countries. I have carefully observed that there is a direct correlation between personal happiness and owning a lot of things. But it is an inverse relationship. Only 30 yards from where I am now typing, I will often marvel at Indio children playing joyously for hours with just a coconut and a stick. And yet just down the dock, first world kids will be miserable because their electronic game console is not the latest version.


http://www.tophostgames.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/kids-playing-violent-video-gamesdo-bad-grades---violent-video-games---violent-kids--greater-good-irfohlij.jpgAside from the damage that insatiable consumption inflicts on the individual, it also has extremely harmful consequences for the larger society. When a person fixates on buying more things and interfacing with more machines, they forget to exercise their power of critical thinking. They are so mesmerized and distracted by the latest iEverything, that they don’t even notice their slide into consumer slavery. A society with a colossal wealth discrepancy between the rich and the poor, with meaningless work that is numbing and degrading and with a tyrannical police/surveillance grid should be cause for code-red alarm. But instead, most people barely notice it because there is an enormous plasma TV in the way.


But our addiction to more and more stuff is not just harmful to individuals and to societies. It is utterly catastrophic to our one and only life-supporting planet. Our constant-growth consumerism pollutes the air, decimates the ocean fish stocks, poisons the rivers and blows away the topsoil.


*******


This combo platter of increasing population growth and unceasing consumer growth is a recipe for societal suicide. Too many people and too much stuff are ravaging all of the support systems that keep us alive. We need breathable air, clean drinkable water, fertile land, plus renewable and non-renewable resources. But we are decreasing all of these vital necessities and at the same time we are increasing all of the waste products that our excesses are generating. This cannot end well! But it CAN end horribly!


 


P.S. For excellent information on how to steadily decrease population without coercion, visit Bill Ryerson’s site www.populationmedia.org. He has nobly dedicated 40 years of his life to this unpopular cause.


 



Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2013, 06:41:11 AM »
Ray
No argument from me on any of this, I have said the same things. Its a timely injection though, see the other thread active today started by Alan. There is a view that population is naturally declining worldwide apart from a few pockets of resistance, all brought about by development, a "demographic shift" automatically correcting backward big families living in poverty by their moving to the city and making money.
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Offline Ashvin

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2013, 03:09:40 PM »
A good chunk of this is more Anti-Theist hogwash. Clearly Ray has proven he has a bone to pick with the Church and with the central spiritual tenets of theism. Yet his simplistic, zealous and largely ignorant arguments on these matters make Richard Dawkins & Co. look like geniuses.

Quote from: Ray
If you doubt the truth of this indictment, consider this. If the Catholic Church injunction against birth control is not just designed to increase their enrollment, then they will not object to this suggestion: Let every other child that is born to a Catholic parent be raised as a Muslim. Observe how the church fathers respond to that recommendation, and you will quickly understand that their birth tyranny edicts are not about god’s will, but are instead about increasing their membership and their power.

Is this supposed to make any logical sense? If the Church and Catholic parents do not want to raise their child as Muslims, then they are obviously conspiring to overpopulate the Earth and increase their own power?

Obviously all institutions, including religious ones, want to increase their influence. Some of them definitely do a bad job of balancing out that increased influence/power with spiritually responsible stewardship of their resources for the benefit of others. But that usually comes in the form of increased materialism and consumerism, which celebrates the individual "right" of people to do as they please when they please, and, not coincidentally, to modify or disregard the teachings of scripture as they please. 

Quote
Another more subtle impact of Big Religion’s dictatorial population stance is how it affects education. There is a direct link between a higher level of education and a lower birth rate. The least educated segments of society tend to be the most religious. And so women who are forbidden by the church to use birth control devices soon become birth increase devices. Since they are burdened with almost constant childbirth, they have little time for education or for the widening of their personal horizons and opportunities. They become slaves to reproduction and to Big Religion.

More illogical propaganda that we have discussed before - it makes no sense that these poor religious young women would casually violate the Church's teaching against pre-marital sex yet be super hesitant to violate its teachings against using "birth control", which is really a teaching against using medicines or procedures that terminate the already conceived LIFE of an unborn human being.

Once these young women are married, it is supremely arrogant and judgmental for us to decree that they have become "slaves to reproduction and big religion" just because they want to settle down, raise a family and experience all the godly virtues of faith, loyalty, sacrifice and love that such a life has to offer. Most people do not want to abandon family, community and society to go on sailing adventures around the world, at least at those times when they are not caught up in the latest indoctrinations of corporate consumerism.

"Widening your personal horizons" is this culture's key words for being selfish consumers. It it especially dangerous and deceitful because true freedom and opportunity is found through discipline and commitment, two of many bedrock values found in the spiritual tenets of theism.

And if you think "dangerous" is an overstatement, then just look at the 20th century policies which explored the depths of selfishness and came at the expense of millions of peoples' lives:

Quote
If you think that bringing up politics and religion is a sure way to derail a conversation in polite company, just interject the issue of population control and notice how almost everyone considers it a taboo subject.

Sure it's a taboo subject, because population control is a HORRIBLE idea that has had equally horrible consequences in the past and present. I have no problem bringing it into the public discourse, though, because that would be the best way to EXPOSE it before it takes root in our politics, like it has in India and China.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 03:18:56 PM by Ashvin »

Offline RE

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2013, 09:01:04 PM »
Sure it's a taboo subject, because population control is a HORRIBLE idea that has had equally horrible consequences in the past and present.

Population Control has Horrible Consequences?  What about the Horrible Consequences of NO Population Control?






What is your alternative to Population Control in terms of maintaining Homeostasis with what the Earth can provide on a Pay-as-you-Go basis?

RE
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 09:08:30 PM by RE »
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2013, 01:28:50 AM »
Ashvin,
I heard you passed The Bar Exam, congrats. :emthup:
If you are thinking of visiting oz any time before establishing your practice, (I predict you become a partner inside 5 yrs) my eldest daughter  almost 18 could show you around, both you and she are somewhat smarter and articulate than me, something in common perhaps.

fwiw I think in this case ray's axe to grind with religion is hardly worth taking issue. Obviously religions dont want people being inducted into other religions because they believe the other religion is wrong, just as much as maintaining their own member base.

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Offline Ashvin

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2013, 05:59:28 AM »
What is your alternative to Population Control in terms of maintaining Homeostasis with what the Earth can provide on a Pay-as-you-Go basis?

RE

Those pictures are not the consequences of "no population control". They are the symptoms of a flawed system which has very little in the way of parental education, responsibility and spiritual grounding. Furthermore, every child that contributes to "overpopulation" is nevertheless a human being who is deserving of all the rights and protections that status affords them.

Population control is a top-down process in which a few people decide who gets to live or die based on their contrived measures of what's good for maintaining "homeostasis" with the Earth, albeit in modern times it is dressed up in more subtle language.

My alternative, given the state of population affairs we have today (certainly not caused by "big religion"), is to continue advocating for parental education and spiritual guidance on how to be socially and financially responsible when making life-altering decisions. It is also to recognize that overpopulation is more a factor of how our selfish capitalist/consumerist societies are structured, rather than the traditional Malthusian explanation. My alternative does NOT, in any way, condone the systematic murder of innocent children (or any other human being) in the name of "population control", no matter what the intent behind those policies may be.

Offline Ashvin

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2013, 06:07:55 AM »
Ashvin,
I heard you passed The Bar Exam, congrats. :emthup:
If you are thinking of visiting oz any time before establishing your practice, (I predict you become a partner inside 5 yrs) my eldest daughter  almost 18 could show you around, both you and she are somewhat smarter and articulate than me, something in common perhaps.

Yep, sure did... thanks!

And I really appreciate the invitation to Oz, that sounds like a great travel/learning experience.

I'm currently working on a temp basis in a bankruptcy and consumer protection law firm here in Richmond (VA), learning the ropes, making contacts and what not. So I'll be quite busy with that for the foreseeable future...

Once I get licensed to practice in VA around April next year, hopefully I will be offered a more permanent associate position at the firm, or, if not, will consider starting my own practice with an attorney friend from school.

What is your eldest daughter interested in doing?

Quote
fwiw I think in this case ray's axe to grind with religion is hardly worth taking issue. Obviously religions dont want people being inducted into other religions because they believe the other religion is wrong, just as much as maintaining their own member base.

I just find it supremely obtuse for him to keep writing articles laying the blame for all these problems at the doorstep of theism, even though theism is the most powerful force for change in the face of materialism and consumerism, which are really to blame for such crises as overpopulation. You and I have pointed this out to him many times, but it's like talking to a brick wall... he never rebuts any of the arguments we make, and then just lies in wait for another opportunity to sing the same old tune in some other article, most of which have nothing to do with "seasteading".

Offline RE

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2013, 06:18:22 AM »
Ashvin, 
If you are thinking of visiting oz any time before establishing your practice, (I predict you become a partner inside 5 yrs) my eldest daughter  almost 18 could show you around, both you and she are somewhat smarter and articulate than me, something in common perhaps.

UB doing some Matchmaking.  :icon_mrgreen:



RE
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Offline RE

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2013, 06:28:44 AM »
My alternative, given the state of population affairs we have today (certainly not caused by "big religion"), is to continue advocating for parental education and spiritual guidance on how to be socially and financially responsible when making life-altering decisions. It is also to recognize that overpopulation is more a factor of how our selfish capitalist/consumerist societies are structured, rather than the traditional Malthusian explanation.

Exponential Population Growth began long before Capitalism.

Education is a great idea, but at this point by the time it could have any effect the Four Horsemen will be riding herd on the population.  Which leaves us with the Biblical form of Population Control, which is after you "Go Forth and Multiply", Famine, Pestilence, War & Death take down the Overshoot.  There's a Humane Solution for you.


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Offline RE

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2013, 06:36:58 AM »
I just find it supremely obtuse for him to keep writing articles laying the blame for all these problems at the doorstep of theism, even though theism is the most powerful force for change in the face of materialism and consumerism, which are really to blame for such crises as overpopulation. You and I have pointed this out to him many times, but it's like talking to a brick wall... he never rebuts any of the arguments we make, and then just lies in wait for another opportunity to sing the same old tune in some other article, most of which have nothing to do with "seasteading".

Theism has never done anything to limit population growth, Catholics for instance are famous for their HUGE families.



Far as Ray's No-Show goes in rebuttal, he's a Pontificator not a Debater.  He doesn't even have comments enabled on his Blog.

As to his article's relevance to Seasteading goes, they all are musings from a LONG TIME Solo Sailor, which definitely gives a person a different outlook on the world.

In any event, it keeps all his stuff in one place.

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Offline Surly1

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2013, 08:31:03 AM »
I just find it supremely obtuse for him to keep writing articles laying the blame for all these problems at the doorstep of theism, even though theism is the most powerful force for change in the face of materialism and consumerism, which are really to blame for such crises as overpopulation. You and I have pointed this out to him many times, but it's like talking to a brick wall... he never rebuts any of the arguments we make, and then just lies in wait for another opportunity to sing the same old tune in some other article, most of which have nothing to do with "seasteading".

Theism has never done anything to limit population growth, Catholics for instance are famous for their HUGE families.



Far as Ray's No-Show goes in rebuttal, he's a Pontificator not a Debater.  He doesn't even have comments enabled on his Blog.

As to his article's relevance to Seasteading goes, they all are musings from a LONG TIME Solo Sailor, which definitely gives a person a different outlook on the world.

In any event, it keeps all his stuff in one place.

RE

Two observations:

1) Selected instances prove little, but as far as the HRCC goes, large families were the norm: my Irish and Italians cousins had families of 5,6, and 7 children; Contrary's German Irish familty numbered 10 children. She grew up in a catholic neighborhood where such large families were the norm.

Then came birth control.

One of the best things about the HRCC is its insistence on the sanctity of life. We're seeing some interesting expressions derived from same from Pope Curveball.

2) Ashvin, the fact that Ray is NOT a debater notwithstanding, it's pretty clear he finds your beliefs as absurd as you do his.

« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 11:45:49 AM by Surly1 »
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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 08:32:38 AM »
The Chinese Beach picture above reminded me of the many Beaches I spent my childhood on, from Rockaway Beach in Queens, NY before Brasil, to Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches in Rio to Jones Beach, Robert Moses State Park, Fire Island, Montauk in NY and Bondi & Palm Beach in Sydney, OZ and Hawaii and Tahitian beaches also.  I was a beach bum through my early 20s, loved hanging out on them, meeting girls in Bikinis usual stuff in the teens/twenties.

I never really thought about how CROWDED the NY area beaches were, or even the Rio beaches which were slightly less so in those years.  Thinking back on it though to the preteen years, I remember a few occassions where I spent a couple of hours Body Surfing, and the current shifted my location imperceptibly to me with each trip on a wave, but after a dozen or so I was a mile down the beach and when I got out of the water to go look for our Towels and Blankets, I couldn't find them for ages. LOL.  We never even brought a colorful umbrella to pick out of the pack.

It is amazing there is so much Humanity out there that they can pack a Beach as large as Jones or Copacabana with virtually every square foot of sand covered with a Towel.  I remember if I arrived at Jones beach later than around 11AM, it was hard to even find a spot to DROP a towel down!  The traffic jams on the WAY to the beach were legendary also.  In this case, if you were not on the road by about 7AM, from 8 to 10 the road in to Jones was Bumper to Bumper, and there were times I spent a couple of hours in that traffic.  The best times were when it was in a Convertible with a roof you could take off the car, then you could Tan while sitting in Traffic. LOL.

I also recall a couple of Shark Scares, one at Bondi in Oz, another at Jones.  Man, you never saw so many people swim so fast and water churning like a washing machine on steroids!  LOL.

Sadly, the Sharks were not successful in keeping the population of Homo Sapiens in check.  LOL.

RE
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2013, 07:23:23 PM »
Ashvin,
I heard you passed The Bar Exam, congrats. :emthup:
If you are thinking of visiting oz any time before establishing your practice, (I predict you become a partner inside 5 yrs) my eldest daughter  almost 18 could show you around, both you and she are somewhat smarter and articulate than me, something in common perhaps.

Yep, sure did... thanks!

And I really appreciate the invitation to Oz, that sounds like a great travel/learning experience.

I'm currently working on a temp basis in a bankruptcy and consumer protection law firm here in Richmond (VA), learning the ropes, making contacts and what not. So I'll be quite busy with that for the foreseeable future...

Once I get licensed to practice in VA around April next year, hopefully I will be offered a more permanent associate position at the firm, or, if not, will consider starting my own practice with an attorney friend from school.

What is your eldest daughter interested in doing?

Quote
fwiw I think in this case ray's axe to grind with religion is hardly worth taking issue. Obviously religions dont want people being inducted into other religions because they believe the other religion is wrong, just as much as maintaining their own member base.

I just find it supremely obtuse for him to keep writing articles laying the blame for all these problems at the doorstep of theism, even though theism is the most powerful force for change in the face of materialism and consumerism, which are really to blame for such crises as overpopulation. You and I have pointed this out to him many times, but it's like talking to a brick wall... he never rebuts any of the arguments we make, and then just lies in wait for another opportunity to sing the same old tune in some other article, most of which have nothing to do with "seasteading".

Yeah, I just took the article as a whole not focussing too much on that.

 She says she wants to be a teacher, and has gone down the path of math 1 and 2, physics, chem and english. Certainly not weak in english based work (read books before bed at 6), just I thought that marking is subjective so sticking to things where theres definitely a right answer was better. So starts bsc/engineering in the new year, also does some classical indian dancing. Also has an extremely high standard of 'moralogical' beliefs, being very averse to BS or "making up random crap", does not accept or even understand white lies, hypocrisy, flattery or compromise, which you understand affects her socialising skillset.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 07:42:27 PM by Uncle Bob »
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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Suicidal Growth
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2013, 09:09:35 PM »
I also recall a couple of Shark Scares, one at Bondi in Oz, another at Jones.  Man, you never saw so many people swim so fast and water churning like a washing machine on steroids!  LOL.
I can't remember how close the shark came to me the last time I was down in the ocean at the Outer Banks, NC (or anywhere, for that matter), but I'm pretty sure I watched it brush against my friend's teenage son, who was about 10 feet away.  Granted it was only about 5 feet long, but still...
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

 

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