Everything Is Too Interdependent

I do expect a collapse.  I'm not sure if it will be 5-10 years, this year, or 20 years from now but our society and economy has become so fragmented and compartmentalized.  Everything is so specialized.  It is all dependent on oil as well at the base of our economy.  Everything that is plastic, gets shipped anywhere, fertilizers, not to mention the gas for our cars, airplanes, and public transportation.  We are all dependent on these things for our life.  We are all dependent on profit.  This is one reason I am against privatization of public works (water, sanitation, etc).  If these companies become unprofitable they cease to function and provide us with necessities like water and sewage treatment.  A bad storm came through Austin last year and knocked out power at my place for 48 hours.  You start to feel like you live in a 3rd world country when you don't have power for that long.  You don't know what time it is, can't use the computer, the fridge dies and with it your food supply.  It's really scary to think what would happen if just a few critical things happened in our economy.  We could be crippled quite quickly.  There are certainly some keystones which removed would collapse the whole structure.  And I hope it does b/c capitalism sucks and it makes life living hell for the masses while making the few wealthy.
ReformedAutomaton ReformedAutomaton
41-45, M
10 Responses Jun 5, 2007

This whole forum is leading to one point that should have been addressed by us (US) all for some time now. We need to get back to our independent way of life. We have come to depend on someone else to provide for us. Now, the government is trying to get us more dependant on them. This has happened before in history. If you want to help and be ready, then become self sufficient in as many ways as you can. This is only practical, if you truly believe the "fall or failure" is eminent.

The environmental degradation in undeveloped/underdeveloped countries is staggering. I have yet to see any literature published that comes even close to what I have seen with my own eyes. The horrible truth is that you can’t tell a subsistence farmer: <br />
(a) He can’t have twelve children, they are his pension fund.<br />
(b) He can’t get medicine to let all his children survive childhood diseases. We all want our children to live.<br />
(c) He can’t clear virgin forest by burning it down. He needs the land to grow crops.<br />
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Must he starve today for our long term goals? We are people he has never met. We have never met him and obviously don’t care. We live in spectacular luxury by his standards. Even I live in luxury compared to a subsistence farmer and I live in a developing country! I can’t remember when last I had a flea bite; I think I had a tick bite when I was a little boy and live in a house with a swimming pool that contains more water than he will see in a year!<br />
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Forestry and animal conservation was actually much better under the colonial powers. The difference is that there were less people and more reliable law enforcement.<br />
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I think it is a scandal that your economy is so reliant on Middle Eastern oil. Especially since your people developed those fields. The Saudi’s did nothing with those fields until someone else made them profitable. Then they just appropriated them.<br />
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The credit crunch is a bit of a big one. Up until now the Dollar was the favourite reserve currency, which made it easier for you guys to borrow cheaply.

Hey thanks man...I appreciate a good discussion as well. Especially, as you said, with someone who's lived such a different life than I. It struck me what you said about the longing for a pastoral bliss which never existed. I think that has a lot of truth to it. <br />
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I've had discussions with many Americans who say something similar but I've never heard it phrased so well. I don't wish for a pastoral bliss so much as a desire for communities of people to utilize their own resources for the betterment of the people. Not the extraction of wealth and distribution of resources only for the purposes or profit. <br />
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And there is so much environmental destruction and degradation occuring as well, especially in under-developed countries where there are no enforceable government regulations. We have ghettos in the United States in Chicago and LA that rival any scene you will see in the worst parts of the world elsewhere (outside of Iraq LOL). <br />
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I also have the basic problem with capitalism that it is unstable and liable to collapse. Once so many utilities and human neccessities like water, water treatment, electricity, gas, etc become privatized, there is a real danger to society at large. We have become so dependent on electricity especially in the US for our lives. <br />
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And our dependence on oil as well is monstrous and is the core foundation of the American economy. There is nothing to replace it even remotely and if you study the Peak Oil phenomenon you can see the danger for the US which may not be too far away. There are also enormous credit problems in the US. Enormous sums of money out there with no backing. <br />
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My point is that I think capitalism is dangerous and the US would be a horrible disaster if the economy collapsed. Sorry, I could go on longer but I'm beat. More on this later :)

There is actually no Third World any more. The end of the Cold War made this classification system meaningless.<br />
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Capitalism only recognises developed, developing and undeveloped economies.<br />
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It puzzles us that people from rich societies, seem to long for a pastoral bliss which never existed. I come from a farm. I remember back-breaking labour, toilets that don’t flush and grinding poverty. I remember waiting, hoping and praying for rain. I remember disease, I remember boredom.<br />
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The much-maligned horrible work in the cities is far more pleasant than what you would experience under rural poverty. That is why we move to the cities.<br />
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I now live in a city; I have access to culture, entertainment, and interesting food. I have access to jobs that won’t kill me by the time I reach twenty five years. I sit in front of a computer, answering calls. I don’t pray for rain anymore, sunshine means lazy picnics in the park or a day at the community pool. <br />
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I have the opportunity to marry someone who is not my cousin. My friends and I speak about twelve languages between us. We listen to each others music and have parties where we celebrate our distinctive cultures. We club in money and someone from that culture cooks a meal. Best of all, we learn to laugh at each others jokes. <br />
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Thank you for continuing this discussion. It is really so stimulating to develop my own ideas in conjunction with someone who passionately feels for a subject. It is also most refreshing to speak to someone with a different perspective because he lives in another country.<br />
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We do it in my country all the time and I am glad to see this culture of discussion lives in your country too!

Surely I can fault capitalism, nationalism, and colonialization...which have been perpetuated by the west and the US in particular. There was no such thing as a third world country until industrialization...not that people didn' starve or live in regions with less resources. But having a nation like so many in Africa or Southeast Asia that had a puppet western government in place and then attempted to create a nation from the shambles left by the western overseers. Capitalism creates flight, people leave their homes and go to work in factories. Previous generations would have contributed to the local economy. Now there is no basis for any economy. There are many reasons why you can attribute third-wordism to capitalism...I would suggest you look into it.

I live in a third world country. I meet plenty of refugees from other countries worse of than ours. Don't fool yourself, third world countries are in the spot that they are in because of bad government. Period.<br />
The amount of help we get in food, medical supplies and other aid is mind boggling. The amount of theft that goes on is even more so.<br />
Example: An American charity sends crates of children's clothing to a school. The teachers don't distribute it, but steal it for themselves either to sell or keep. This is not a hypothetical example, I saw this with my own eyes. <br />
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Surely you can't fault America for what happened in this scenario?

Well if you believe that a "free market" really is such than we are doing great. But what we have is a "market for the rich", a market of multi-national companies that largely control what we eat, watch on TV, listen to on the radio, where we work, what wars we fight, pretty much everything. It is a system that perpetuates poverty and keeps third-world nations in their place. I'm not a fan of capitalism and the rise of China will be one of the main reasons for the ultimate collapse of capitalism.

I hope to high heaven the American economy doesn't go belly up. Good grief, what would we do witout your leadership?<br />
The world is much freer than it would have been had the Soviet Union been in power.<br />
Because of American economic leadership, countries like China are opening up economically to the world.<br />

Yeah, I don't think every person on the earth will perish in the revolution but I would expect our way of life to change dramatically and many people to be killed along the way.

i live in MO ... we had an ice storm in january that made national headlines. i was personally without power for 9 days. many people were without for much longer. it was declared a national disaster, btw. anyhow, during those electronic, communication free days i thought about the very thing you are discussing here quite often. it's sad for the vast majority to support the few elitists. and there's virtually no way to compete should you decide to become a business owner. it's sad and it will surely crumble...