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SC43

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June 04, 2007 06:31PM
http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/clusterfuck_nation/

..............What everybody seems to sense semi-consciously is that the status quo is dragging the US into an abyss. But so far, no one among the declared candidates has been able or willing to express a coherent view of what it is in the status quo, exactly, that is doing the dragging. One undeclared figure, Al Gore, has presented the climate change part of the story and pretty much stopped there -- perhaps sensing that if he ventured to offer views on anything else, he'd start sounding like an actual candidate. But my guess is that the really important issues will never be articulated in the course of this campaign because they are too painful for the public to hear. And so all the premature debating and posturing will amount to a smokescreen of words meant to conceal the fact that we are a nation without confidence that any leadership can guide us into a plausible future.

In the background of all this sits the pathetic figure of President George W. Bush. He's pathetic because he has been in a position -- not facing reelection -- to tell the American people the truth, but he's shown no capacity for apprehending it. If he represents anything, it's the idea that the truth is optional, that if reality is disappointing, just create your own reality.

Here are the some of truths that we seem unable to face:
Very soon we won't have the fossil fuel energy supplies to run the USA as it is currently set up, and no combination of wished-for alternative energy schemes based on so-called "renewables" will allow us to keep running it, either. Meaning, that we'd better start making other arrangements immediately for how we occupy the landscape, how we grow our food, how we move people and things from place to place, and how we reconstruct an economy consistent with these new arrangements.

The longer we put off making these new arrangements, the harder we're going to slam into a wall of reality, and when it occurs a lot of things will shake loose in this country. It will become self-evident that the things we've invested all our wealth in will not retain value -- especially suburban real estate and all the activities related to car dependency, from the interstate highway system to national chain retail. It will also become obvious that we can't base our economy on building more of this stuff.

Our current military adventures in the Middle East, are predicated largely on keeping the old arrangements going. We're in Iraq because we built Dallas, Atlanta, Orlando, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Long Island the way we did, and the only way we can hope to keep these organisms going even a little while longer is to keep open our oil supply line to the Persian Gulf. The truth is, these organisms will not survive the oil-scarcer future in the form they're in. The American people need to come to grips with this. No amount of chest-thumping around the globe will change it. In any case, sooner or later we'll exhaust our military and bankrupt ourselves trying to project our influence into these places overseas -- meaning, sooner or later we will withdraw back into our own hemisphere. I wonder if Wolf Blitzer of CNN will ask any of the candidates, what happens then?

A basic rule of reality is that you can't get something for nothing. Sooner or later the financial sector will have to come to grips with this rule, meaning that that debt is not wealth and the revolving reallocation of debt in the form of credit does not amount to wealth creation. The US will arrive at a magic moment when the full force of this reality reasserts itself, and it is likely to make itself manifest in the collapse of the entity most closely associated the idea of wealth: the dollar. Assets vested in the dollar's legitimacy will follow its fate. The implication is that an awful lot of the presumed wealth held by Americans could vanish into thin air. Do any of the candidates for president recognize how this works, or have any idea how much disorder this phase change will send thundering through our sociopolitical infrastructure?...........
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SC43

Wizard 775June 04, 2007 06:31PM

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Wizard 507June 04, 2007 10:31PM

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Wizard 496June 04, 2007 10:44PM

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Wizard 576June 08, 2007 05:48PM

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Wizard 475June 08, 2007 05:50PM

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Wizard 527June 08, 2007 06:29PM

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Wizard 451June 08, 2007 08:54PM

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Wizard 569June 11, 2007 11:07PM

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mojavegreen 480June 12, 2007 04:31PM

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Rick 509June 12, 2007 04:55PM

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mojavegreen 493June 12, 2007 05:04PM

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Wizard 580June 14, 2007 11:25PM

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Wizard 462June 16, 2007 11:09PM

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Wizard 521June 17, 2007 11:04AM

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Wizard 505June 17, 2007 11:20AM

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Wizard 502June 17, 2007 12:56PM

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mojavegreen 914June 19, 2007 09:46AM



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