On occasion, through no effort on my part, the stars align and a prescient book lands on my lap…
Leslie Fish – The Digwell Carol Lyrics
It is the time of Digwell, now Summer’s gone away.
People come from miles around to meet on Digwell day.
We all come here with mighty stones, with gravel, rocks, and sand,
Bring it here with oxcarts or with buckets in your hand.
Pile high, pile high, the devil’s underground.
Pile high, pile high, keep the devil down.
And bring you all your blighted crops and blighted beasts beside,
And coffins of this season’s dead that of the blight have died.
Bring them to the mountain’s top and fetch the boulders near,
‘Tis fitting that the blighted dead should all be buried here.
So fetch the boulders, sand, and stones, and pile them deeply here.
We bury now the sorrows, sins, and bad luck of the year,
And when the mountain’s higher by the mound we build today,
Then we shall feast and dance and sing this autumn night away.
For back in our forefathers’ time, the devils ruled this land.
They made cruel wars and laws to rule the folks on every hand.
They spoiled the land and water, and they poisoned half the sky.
They cared for nothing but their power, though man and nature die.
In time the danger grew so fierce it threatened them as well,
And so they dug deep in the Earth and hid them safe in Hell.
They hoped to wait in comfort ’till the poisons wore away,
For then they could come out again and rule another day.
They hid themselves below the ground and left the people here,
Amid the blight that they had made and even they must fear,
But still the people stayed alive, and well they promised then
That all the devils hid in Hell would never rule again.
And so our fathers hunted ’til they found the secret gate,
And there they piled the boulders high above where devils wait,
And thus we’ve ever after done these many years and more,
So now our manmade mountain stands above their exit door.
Pile high, pile high, the devil’s underground, oh,
Pile high, pile high, keep the devil down
“The once-distant planets of consumer Big Tech and American surveillance agencies are fast merging into a single corporate-bureaucratic life-world, whose potential for tracking, sorting, gas-lighting, manipulating, and censoring citizens may result in a softer version of China’s Big Brother…”
“With so many pots of gold waiting at the end of the Washington, DC, rainbow, it seems like a small matter for tech companies to turn over our personal data—which legally speaking, is actually their data—to the spy agencies that guarantee their profits. This is the threat that is now emerging in plain sight. It is something we should reckon with now, before it’s too late.”
“The 2008 election of Barack Obama, a well-credentialed technocrat who identified very strongly with the character of Spock from Star Trek, gave the old-time scientistic-progressive religion new currency on the left and ushered in a cozy relationship between the Democratic Party and billionaire techno-monopolists who had formerly fashioned themselves as government-skeptical libertarians.”
“A person who is demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him… The next stage is destabilization.”
Men’s razor company #Gillette tried to “virtue signal” with a smug, condescending, insulting ridicule of their own customers. As if men are so horrible they need to be reminded by a company that makes toiletries to do the right thing. I’m curious what would happen if Tampax ran an ad urging women not to be bitchy and irrational while on their periods.
What #SJW lunatic devised this ad strategy, you ask? Her name is Kim Gehrig, the third wave feminist director of this…
Here’s the ad:
The revolution will not be televised…
#collapse, #USSR, #Orlov
If one can slog through the author’s ideological disdain for consumerism, sneering distaste for individualism, outright contempt for cars and the “tremendously inefficient” “Potemkin” single family home, his promotion of compelling people to live in stacks of multi-family, multi-generational urban compartments (but not his family because he lives on a boat), his affinity for corralling, sclerotic, government mass-transit systems, and his steadfast commitment to the hysteria of peak oil, there is yet a lot of meat on the bone here.
His walk through the stages of currency failure is informative, and the step-by-step description of the dissolution of government institutions and the “bloody” consequences of the vacuum left behind is fascinating.
Although the author largely dismisses the role of central planning as the primal cause of the Soviet collapse– economic systems that subvert price signals tend to allocate investment capital wastefully– he astutely describes the similarities between the Soviet and the U.S. fed gov’s bloated, bureaucratic failure. Both were/are inextricably enmeshed in bankrupting foreign misadventures, refusing to disengage for fear of ruining their prestige. He describes the pending U.S. fed gov’s imperial failure as being amplified in the absence of the USSR because: “The United States needs a new Cold War to show itself and the world that it still matters” and “A superpower’s vitality is critically dependent on the sustaining power of [its] myth.”
I’m certain neoconservative readers will bristle at that.
Orlov describes how the collapsing corpo-fascist (he describes it as “capitalist”) U.S. economy would be replaced by isolated, atomistic, resourceful opportunists once it is destroyed by hyperinflation.
The comparisons continue: from rates of incarceration, indebtedness, the industrialization of agriculture, the importation of consumer goods, the pervasive, hierarchical incompetence and corruption, the brain drain as specialists flee the empires in search of better opportunities, so on and so forth… all of it compelling reading. In the author’s defense, he shows unapologetically that when one pulls back the veneer of propaganda, both empires were quite similar and on quite similar trajectories, even if the Soviets are portrayed as mere bumbling incompetents whereas Americans are apparently something more sinister– an understandable bias considering the author’s origin and progressive ideology.
Is energy collapse the primary cause of imperial failure? Orlov makes his case. I remain unconvinced as I don’t believe in catastrophic peak oil collapse. Peak oil theorist tend to under-weight technological advances and wholly ignore the substitution effect. But the book is still a very interesting read. I just wish it was less polemic.