Coasting Toward Zero

14 comments

Posted on 2nd June 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Guest Post by Jim Kunstler

In just about any realm of activity this nation does not know how to act. We don’t know what to do about our mounting crises of economy. We don’t know what to do about our relations with other nations in a strained global economy. We don’t know what to do about our own culture and its traditions, the useful and the outworn. We surely don’t know what to do about relations between men and women. And we’re baffled to the point of paralysis about our relations with the planetary ecosystem.

To allay these vexations, we just coast along on the momentum generated by the engines in place — the turbo-industrial flow of products to customers without the means to buy things; the gigantic infrastructures of transport subject to remorseless decay; the dishonest operations of central banks undermining all the world’s pricing and cost structures; the political ideologies based on fallacies such as growth without limits; the cultural transgressions of thought-policing and institutional ass-covering.

This is a society in deep danger that doesn’t want to know it. The nostrum of an expanding GDP is just statistical legerdemain performed to satisfy stupid news editors, gull loose money into reckless positions, and bamboozle the voters. If we knew how to act we would bend every effort to prepare for the end of mass motoring, but instead we indulge in fairy tales about the “shale oil miracle” because it offers the comforting false promise that we can drive to WalMart forever (in self-driving cars!). Has it occurred to anyone that we no longer have the capital to repair the vast network of roads, streets, highways, and bridges that all these cars are supposed to run on? Or that the capital will not be there for the installment loans Americans are accustomed to buy their cars with?

The global economy is withering quickly because it was just a manifestation of late-stage cheap oil. Now we’re in early-stage of expensive oil and a lot of things that seemed to work wonderfully well before, don’t work so well now. The conveyer belt of cheap manufactured goods from China to the WalMarts and Target stores doesn’t work so well when the American customers lose their incomes, and have to spend their government stipends on gasoline because they were born into a world where driving everywhere for everything is mandatory, and because central bank meddling adds to the horrendous inflation of food prices.

Now there’s great fanfare over a “manufacturing renaissance” in the United States, based on the idea that the work will be done by robots. What kind of foolish Popular Mechanics porn fantasy is this? If human beings have only a minor administrative role in this set-up, what do two hundred million American adults do for a livelihood? And who exactly are the intended customers of these products? You can be sure that the people of China, Brazil, and Korea will have enough factories of their own, making every product imaginable. Are they going to buy our stuff now? Are they going to completely roboticize their own factories and impoverish millions of their own factory workers?

The lack of thought behind this dynamic is staggering, especially because it doesn’t account for the obvious political consequence — which is to say the potential for uprising, revolution, civic disorder, cruelty, mayhem, and death, along with the kind of experiments in psychopathic governance that the 20th century was a laboratory for. Desperate populations turn to maniacs. You can be sure that scarcity beats a fast path to mass homicide.

What preoccupies the USA now, in June of 2014? According to the current cover story Time Magazine, the triumph of “transgender.” Isn’t it wonderful to celebrate sexual confusion as the latest and greatest achievement of this culture? No wonder the Russians think we’re out of our minds and want to dissociate from the West. I’ve got news for the editors of Time Magazine: the raptures of sexual confusion are not going to carry American civilization forward into the heart of this new century.

In fact, just the opposite. We don’t need confusion of any kind. We need clarity and an appreciation of boundaries in every conceivable sphere of action and thought. We don’t need more crybabies, or excuses, or wishful thinking, or the majestic ass-covering that colors the main stream of our national life.

14 Comments
  1. Welshman says:

    Good stuff JK and spot on,

    I pull the Time Magazine out of the P.O. Box and thought WTF do I have to look a black transgender babe, when the whole world is crumbling down around us. Is an article about the Monterey Shale that is only 4% recoverable maybe in order. MSM coverage is really a cover-up for mess we are in.

    2nd June 2014 at 12:35 pm

  2. Joseph E Fasciani says:

    All too, too true!

    See Dr Richard Weaver’s 1948 classic from the U of Chicago Press –NEVER out of print since!– Ideas Have Consequences, learn how we got this way, and what we must do to get out of our self-made destructive mode.

    2nd June 2014 at 12:37 pm

  3. BUCKHED says:

    Jim K said ” We don’t know what to do about our relations with other nations in a strained global economy. We don’t know what to do about our own culture and its traditions, the useful and the outworn. We surely don’t know what to do about relations between men and women.
    Hey Jim K here’s your answers :

    1) “We don’t know what to do about our relations with other nations in a strained global economy “. And we’re baffled to the point of paralysis about our relations with the planetary ecosystem.”

    Sure we do, first we get rid of the Fed and its exporting of inflation around the world ( we put in place a currency backed by a basket of gold and other commodities). Then we cancel NAFTA, the WTO and any other trade agreement that has destroyed our manufacturing base. Last but not least we trade with everyone and have an alliance with none .

    2) “We don’t know what to do about our own culture and its traditions, the useful and the outworn ”

    Pretty simple, we’re AMEICAN’S…..if you want Mexico,Peru,Germany incorporated into OUR culture then I suggest you go back to wherever the fuck you came from. We speak ENGLISH and our CULTURE doesn’t need yours ! Nothing about our culture is outworn Jim.

    3) ” We surely don’t know what to do about relations between men and women.”

    Again Jim pretty simple….give men back their cock and balls back and remind women that a mangina is useless ! Men are the leaders of the household, women are the nurturers in the household .Feminism need to be destroyed too. Maybe if the Fed goes away we won’t have inflation so great that it takes two incomes to make it these days.

    4) ” And we’re baffled to the point of paralysis about our relations with the planetary ecosystem.”

    Bullshit…..destroy the strangle hold of big oil on the government and promote alternative energy sources. Next get rid of the Energy dept immediately and use those billions for real energy pioneers not thieves like Solyndra.

    2nd June 2014 at 12:59 pm

  4. Nonanonymous says:

    BUCKHED, all good points, also just as likely to happen as aliens landing. Since aliens aren’t real, your suggestions amount to little more than a knee jerk reactionary response.

    It isn’t the lack of machismo in our society which will prove to be it’s undoing, it’s the lack of God. To the extent your comments line up with what God says in his word, I agree with you, however, the underlying principles must be guided by a thorough knowledge of the truth of God’s word.

    2nd June 2014 at 2:01 pm

  5. Stucky says:

    That’s right, Buckhed. What Nonanonymous said!!!

    Now repeat after me three times;

    —- Oh, Lawd Jeebus, save mah fucking lowly soul.
    —- Oh, Lawd Jeebus, save mah fucking lowly soul.
    —- Oh, Lawd Jeebus, save mah fucking lowly soul.

    OK. Now you’re good to go. Nonanonymous can no longer refute you. Carry on.

    2nd June 2014 at 2:34 pm

  6. Maddie's Mom says:

    We do need clarity. Desperately.

    But I have a feeling we’ll be getting none of that.

    The wish is for all of us to embrace Bizarro World as the norm.

    No thanks.

    2nd June 2014 at 3:16 pm

  7. Eddie says:

    Let’s see.

    Almost every plastic bottle ever made is suspect for leaching estrogen-like compounds.

    We have an educational system set up that rewards boys who act like girls.

    We have a culture that emphasizes looks over substance, and a media that makes everyone think they can star in their own TV show.

    Little wonder to me that we have some gender issues.

    2nd June 2014 at 3:38 pm

  8. AWD says:

    “You can be sure that scarcity beats a fast path to mass homicide.”

    I guess Kunstler missed the memo that Americans are using much less gas (70% less?) than they used to. It seems to me things are accelerating toward the wall of reality, while the depravity is accelerating also (see Time cover).

    Scarcity does in fact beat a fast path to mass homicide. That’s exactly what is going to happen. The socialists will steal every penny not nailed down (of other people’s money), massive tax increase, wealth confiscation, whatever is necessary to keep the FSA and entitlements going, as these are the life-blood of liberal progressive socialist power. When they run out of other people’s money, they get run out of office, and the socialism play-book is nearing the end: totalitarianism, where they take your money and if you don’t like it they kill you.

    But before then, the economy will collapse in debt and devalued dollars, which means nobody gets paid, which means no more semi-trucks to Wal Mart, which means mega-scarcity for the FSA and SNAP recipients, holding their magic plastic cards with nothing to buy. Then comes the mass homicides as the FSA goes berserk, loots, murders, home invasions, cleaning out stores and pharmacies. Unless you’re armed, good luck, although luck won’t keep you alive, and neither will Obama and the government.

    2nd June 2014 at 4:33 pm

  9. llpoh says:

    JK said “And who exactly are the intended customers of these products? You can be sure that the people of China, Brazil, and Korea will have enough factories of their own, making every product imaginable. Are they going to buy our stuff now? Are they going to completely roboticize their own factories and impoverish millions of their own factory workers?”

    That is seriously stupid. OF COURSE THEY ARE GOING TO ROBOTIZE! They are already doing it.

    The first reason is that robots produce VASTLY superior product. Hand made crap is, well, crap, generally speaking. Automation allows for much higher quality of product.

    And a wages rise, their products will become too expensive if they do not automate.

    In some things he is astute, but that comment was too stupid for words.

    2nd June 2014 at 10:29 pm

  10. Coyote says:

    AWD says:

    “But before then, the economy will collapse in debt and devalued dollars, which means nobody gets paid, which means no more semi-trucks to Wal Mart, which means mega-scarcity for the FSA and SNAP recipients, holding their magic plastic cards with nothing to buy. Then comes the mass homicides as the FSA goes berserk, loots, murders, home invasions, cleaning out stores and pharmacies.”

    Paul advised, “That ye all speak the same thing…”

    If you are a follower of the 4th Turning, then you would anticipate a Lenin, Stalin or Hitler to unify the hearts and minds of their countrymen to a common purpose. Anarchy cannot survive the ambitions of such men of action. Then the wholesale murder will not be pell-mell or helter-skelter but methodical and with a purpose.

    3rd June 2014 at 1:02 am

  11. Stucky says:

    ” Hand made crap is, well, crap, generally speaking.” ———– llpoh

    Chest of Drawers, automated, IKEA, 2014
    ikea-hemnes-range-chests-drawers-white-finish_2_Hemnes_6_drawer_chest_white.jpg

    Chest of Drawers, hand made, John Townsend, 1765
    h2_27.57.1.jpg

    3rd June 2014 at 5:27 am

  12. Anonymous says:

    God help the nation of stupid…

    Farewell, Jay!

    3rd June 2014 at 7:11 am

  13. Stucky says:

    Lamborghini Veneno, handmade
    lamborghini-veneno-004-e1363913402210.jpg

    3rd June 2014 at 9:44 am

  14. BUCKHED says:

    Hey Stuck…..think the IKEA crap will ever make it on the Antiques Roadshow ?

    3rd June 2014 at 10:16 am

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