"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

May 5, 2010

Another Reading Recommendation

An excellent analysis:


I doubt I could muster up support for a defensive military seizure of the Commons (because I don't believe there exists a populace anywhere in the Western world which can extricate its military apparatus from corporate obligations).


"It is my contention that when a critical mass (or systemic threshold) of discontent, poverty and social disintegration is reached, recently hollowed-out states will rapidly convert to a loose system of regionalized and centralized corporate military zones with protected enclaves of trading and functionality (so-called “green zones”) for those of us who can afford it. Those unfortunate enough to get excluded in these new zones of fuctionality will simply be abandoned and marginalized existing in anarchic and despotic conditions (so-called “red zones”).

Moreover, from the point of view of the protected they will simply be cutting dead weigh, so to speak, on the way to the full rescuing and transformation of social life - with its movement towards neo-feudal corporatist socioeconomic organization. In less words, those who have the guns and technology, and therefore the resources, will make that "transition" smoothly while those who don’t will be forced to the periphery.

Now I understand this projection might seem wildly apocalyptic and far removed from current conditions. But let point out why it is not.

For starters, for those lucky and connected green-zoners such rapid and intensive transformations will undoubtedly seem to them as a drastic but necessary step to safe-guard “civilization” from disaster and prevent the overall degeneration of human social life. But for the red-zoners it will be much worst than an apocalypse because it will be perpetual. An apocalypse implies a moment in time, but for red-zoners that time will be constant and relentless. What's worse, at least for the first few generations, is that not only will they become prey to whatever anarchic distribution of power that will follow rapid disintegration, they will also have to watch from the margins how “civilization” continued without them.

Also, for those of you who want to dismiss such possibilities as mere fantasy (as opposed to fantasy per se), please consider that this type of organizational assemblage is not that much different than what currently exists. It has been argued that we post-industrial consumer-citizens exist in our ‘first-world’, while others have their ‘second’ and ‘third’ worlds. And the only strong difference between the zoned societies I describe above and today’s international orders (plural) is mobility.

Right now the international social order is characterized by the activities that support the hyper-mobility and intensive communicative flexibility of a relatively sizable comfort class. Whereas a world that is post-peak-oil, post-cheap-energy, post-mobile, limited in production and non-state organized, will be more situated, guarded and sharply delineated (stratified) while becoming oriented towards the utilization of remaining resources. In other words, the major difference between these the current social orders and those I argue we will transition into is the intensity (and rigidity) with which they are organized, while their structural interests remain the same: controlled subsistence, energy and security.

The fact remains that the economic foundation upon which our lifestyles depend is dying. And as all those ‘goods’ stop being circulated within capitalist international systems (as a result of collapsing bio-physical systems), and the superfluous “jobs” their production makes possible disappear, it will be less possible to placate and pacify the Western hoards. With their jobs, creature comforts, trinkets, vacations and T.V programs vanishing, the appearance of mutual interdependence will weaken and cease to captivate the imaginations of citizen-consumers everywhere. The resulting weakening of imagined and functional mutual dependence will then undermine most types of remaining social non-zero sum ("public interest") activities and "compel" (or provide opportunity for) all those powerful elites and self-appointed guardians to begin setting up their respective zones of influence, economics and security. "

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