…and the age-old contest between cooperation and competition – or why this pothead is a libertarian socialist instead of just a socialist-hating libertarian or a libertarian-hating socialist.
“Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice. Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality.” – Bakunin
So … has everyone out there heard that society is about to be totally transformed in the next month or two by a total collapse of our economic system precipitated by peak oil?
I didn’t either … until very recently. Then I saw the film “Collapse” (available free online) (1).
The long and the short of it is that Mike Ruppert and some filmmakers have given our oil-based economy a very short time to go. There’s a limited amount of oil left in the world and while it won’t run out for a few years it’s about to become very expensive in the near future. Very expensive. Imagine paying triple what you’re paying now. That’s going to start to really cut into the grocery money of a majority of people in Canada and the US. The evidence for this scenario seems to be piling up. (2)
In this tight economy, already high fuel prices that triple in price could kill many businesses that use diesel and gas – which is most of them. This would mean that our petroleum-based food creation and food distribution systems are also at risk of collapse. Our banks are currently at risk of insolvency and runs – a collapse of the fuel and food systems would result in a collapse of the economic system. The environment is nearly saturated with toxins and C02 and plastic and oil spills and – in combat zones – depleted uranium.
There is talk of the ocean’s “pump” circulation system collapsing too – it’s been acting quite irregularly for the last ten years or so. (3) Food prices are climbing – “nearly 29 per cent” in international markets in the last 11 months. (4)
The middle class is about to become poor and the poor are about to become destitute. The type of desperation and suffering that poverty brings – the kind that could cause someone to set themselves on fire in protest in Tunisia … is coming to the Western Nations.
How likely? Mike Ruppert says it’s a certainty in the next few months. He was right about the CIA dealing drugs and he was right about Cheney being the “Maestro” of 9/11 (see his book “Crossing the Rubicon” for all the evidence of that) so I think there’s a good chance of him being right about this too.
He’s wrong about one thing: bio ethanol. He judges it on how well corn ethanol performs while ignoring the fact that hemp ethanol performs much better (5) – and he follows Dr. Permintal who has since been discredited (6) – but apart from his understanding of ethanol as a mitigating force, he understands “collapse” pretty well.
Ruppert warns us to stay in our own areas and maximize our friendships we have taken time to cultivate – only by intense cooperation will we at all hope to survive this transition period between the global corporate rule of the last 100 years and whatever it is we decide to replace it with.
Ruppert says that the most valuable things post collapse will be seeds. I think he’s right. They’re portable and contain the keys to our future survival. And the most valuable seeds of all will be marijuana seeds and hemp seeds – they’re the number one medicinal and industrial resource on planet earth. Everyone who has a little place to grow should start a garden right away, and farmers who have lots of room to grow should think about planting a crop of nutritional hemp … it’s the best food in the world in terms of digestible protein and essential fatty acids – which are essential for human nutrition.
Do I think that collapse will happen in the next few months? Ruppert thinks so. He could be right. He could be wrong but he could be right. And if there’s even a remote possibility that he’s right we should start to prepare for collapse before the day it hits us. If we prepare before then it might not be too late. If we prepare when it hits it might be too late.
If you have to choose between spending money on food and spending money on ammo, I suggest food. Here’s why: The contest between cooperation and competition is about to be decided … and winner takes all. The human race is about to evolve to angels through intense cooperation or descend into hell through intense competition. Everyone knows it’s about to happen. Nobody knows what exactly the human race is turning into but – given the options - there’s never been a better time to evolve angelically and signs of change are everywhere.
There are examples of what other nations do to survive collapse already in existence – take Argentina for example. In the recent film “The Take”, Argentina’s economic collapse has been met with radical reforms in the economic system – basically the workers have found that they are far more efficient without any bosses. Meetings among equal workers have replaced the wasteful system of separate “managers” and “owners” – who turned out to simply be a drag on productivity. Here’s a trailer for the film: (7)
This mirrors the experience of the Mondragon federation of workers collectives in Spain (8) and of the anarchist pot-dealing squat “Christiania” in Copenhagen, Denmark (9) – both of which seem to operate much more efficiently without any forms of hierarchy. This also mirrors the experience of the short-lived but educational anarchist revolution in Spain in the 1930’s, where;
“Despite the critics clamoring for "maximum efficiency" rather than revolutionary methods, anarchist collectives often produced more than before the collectivization. In Aragon, for instance, the productivity increased by 20%.” (10)
I must say I feel very good about Dana Larsen running for leader of the BC NDP – he’s the smartest and most ethical person I’ve ever met, and the NDP could do a lot worse for leaders … they could put yet another boring quiet person in. Dana is not only exciting with regards to the direction and speed of change he desires, but he’s also a voice for both freedom and compassion in all areas of life – political and economic and spiritual. That’s the kind of voice we need during collapse – locally and globally.
Imagine the message it would send to these new upcoming democracies in the Middle East and to revolting unions in the mid-west USA if we have a new democratic resurgence in British Columbia. Imagine the effect on the rest of the world if BC were to suddenly have free transit everywhere, legalized prostitution, higher taxes on the lucky rich people who live here (and who, given the mild climate and quality cannabis, are unlikely to move), a $10 minimum wage, children who eat nutritious meals, hemp ethanol manufacturing and legal cannabis (or a de-funded narc squad and a reoriented police force). I can imagine a scenario of pot cafes on every street corner (each one with a different theme). A vote for Dana Larsen is a vote for survival AND prosperity. Check out his platform (11)
There’s a strategy I remember from the Y2K scare: “look after ten people” – it goes like this. Some people are help-ers and some are help-ees – not everyone is talented enough to provide for others and some - perhaps one in every ten of us - are super-talented at it. The “look after ten people” ethic is this – in times of emergency do your best to contribute to the welfare of ten people – this shouldn’t break you and it will be like being the organized person on a sinking ship - making sure as many people get life-rafts as possible.
It’s sort of in our culture already – often one person brings the weed and nine others help out how they can – someone else has a lighter that works in the wind … someone else brought some chocolate. We potheads are used to sharing – we stand in a circle, “pass the dutchie to the left-hand side” … and even invite strangers to toke with us.
Potheads are already free – they know that freedom means the right to be yourself as long as you’re not hurting others – but they’re socialist too … they hardly ever bogart the joint. Potheads are mostly libertarian and mostly socialist.
I feel sad for my libertarian friends and my socialist friends who think that freedom (liberty) and love (socialism) are incompatible. You can have both and you can have them both in your personal, political and economic relationships. We are human and our imaginations are slightly more powerful than our limitations.
If you don’t equate socialism as “love within the economic realm”, I have another definition: socialism is “freedom from exploitation”. I like that one too, as it seems more reasonable and compelling than the freedom that libertarians maintain is more important: the “freedom to exploit”. We all must decide which is the real freedom and which is simply privilege … and we must decide soon.
The high-performing people know who they are. They will come through because it’s the only way for us to evolve and grow out of the capitalist-ruler nightmare we’ve been living ever since the communist nightmare died in the east back in 1989. Like Jello Biafra said – one evil empire down and one to go. Or since Tunisia and Egypt, perhaps it’s more like 2 evil empires down and 180 to go.