COVID-19 Deep Dive Part VII: Smart Cities and Neo-Malthusianism
Welcome to the new tyranny, same as the old tyranny
The stated politics of the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and the rest of the internationalist technocrats are a blend of Saint-Simonianism and Fabianism. While espousing allegedly progressive views and bemoaning the barbarism of ages past, the WEF are actually trying to recreate the social arrangements of the Middle Ages, with CEOs as feudal lords and employees as a serf class with no upward mobility whatsoever. The rising populist wave against this is simply because large swaths of the population are increasingly getting the impression that Whig history is, in some sense, a falsehood, and that progressivism is perfectly capable of coming full-circle and dragging us kicking and screaming back to the time of peasants and nobles.
Globalism is an excuse for the worst people on this planet to plunder our formerly free societies and line their own pockets. They whine about populists simply because we refuse to let go of the last scraps of our dignity, our property, and our basic human rights that these thieves are callously ripping away from us. The sycophantic professional-managerial clerisy who serve as the Elites’ footsoldiers are spending tons of energy complaining about how free speech is a threat to democracy because the populists are not far off from the truth at all. In fact, the reality is actually much worse than the ghastliest predictions that people have tried to come up with to account for what we’re seeing.
These so-called Elites are more delusional than dope fiends even when they're completely sober. They're more out-of-touch with society than a man stranded on a desert island. They have absolutely no clue, no comprehension of the struggles that ordinary people face. They are actively contemptuous of those who oppose their grand plans, because they think we're too uneducated and ignorant to even begin to understand what they're doing. Meanwhile, our wages stagnate, our currency is being inflated to the point of uselessness, opportunities for gainful employment are slipping through our fingers, and our once-decent societies are being strip-mined by an indifferent overclass of aristocratic thieves who seek to rob us of our private property while telling us it’s for our own good.
Ivory-tower Elites appear actively hostile towards the idea of us being comfortable and financially secure. They've taken to casting things as their opposites. What they call equality and “stakeholder capitalism" is actually just aristocracy by another name. What they call "democracy" is the uninterrupted control of society by a neoliberal, materialist uniparty that thinks human interactions can all be measured and quantified and directed in the most minute, most asinine of details.
What the Elites aim to bring into being is a system of full-spectrum control and naked tyranny never before seen on this planet, where people’s every move is tracked and quantified by remote, and then nudged along lines that the tyrants find more acceptable, using a blend of scientific management, behavioral economics, big data, and AI algorithms. They claim this will result in a more resilient society, more capable of absorbing unexpected shocks and surprises. It will not. It won’t, because they’re not taking the wisdom of crowds into account, and because they want to employ the same top-down, planned economy methods that failed in prior socialist dictatorships. While crowing about preserving liberal democracy, the Elites plan on creating a system that is, at its core, illiberal and undemocratic, taking human decision-making out of the equation entirely. An automatic, self-managing cornucopia of wealth and prosperity for the few, and a system of brutal, totalitarian control for the many.
This new totalitarianism does not use boldly-illustrated propaganda posters or rousing anthems to get people to go along with its dictatorship. It uses soothing narrators and cutesy cartoons and ukuleles and footage of happy people doing yoga. It is deliberately infantilizing and insipid, teaching people to embrace a condition of learned helplessness. Take, for instance, the backlash against Alegria art.
The political predicament the Alegria style faces has less to do with the aesthetic itself than it does with the harmful corporations for which it has become the happy, kinetic face. The style appears to serve as the illustrative arm of an intentional deployment of cheerful minimalism to mask the insidiousness of multinational tech corporations with friendliness and approachability. Lindsay Ballant, art director of The Baffler, connects the style’s ascension with trends in global politics at the time.
“If you look at it globally, there were a bunch of austerity measures happening in 2014 in particular, and a lot of these repercussions of neoliberalism sort of hit globally then,” says Ballant. “It just seemed like there was a real concerted effort to mask that sort of stuff.”
People can see the disgusting corporate whitewashing that has been going on over the past decade and, in some sense, tell immediately that they are being treated with condescension. Companies like Facebook, Airbnb, and Uber think they can clean up their image and paper over scandals by using iconography adorned with cartoons that look like they belong in children’s coloring books. It’s patronizing and insulting. While they make off with our private data and spy on our lives, and while they normalize the gig economy and do away with our pensions and benefits, they adopt bright and cheery colors that seem to say we’re your friends and custodians. Your children are safe with us.
You know what else is bright and colorful and cheery and snares the unsuspecting? A Venus flytrap.
EPCOT Center, Brasília, and Telosa
One of the earliest examples of what would now be called a “smart city” was Disney’s EPCOT, or the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. EPCOT was actually meant as an example of a utopian planned community, before the concept was scaled down into a much less ambitious theme park.
EPCOT, as it was originally conceived, would have been built around a monorail for public transit purposes, would have had universal employment like a company town, and everything in it would have been owned by Disney.
Around the same time, in Brazil, several ambitious urban planners and architects came up with a scheme to move Brazil’s capital to a planned city, which would be named Brasília. Unlike EPCOT, this city actually was built, and is still Brazil’s capital to this day. It was a success in some ways, and a monumental failure in others.
“Costa never thought about pedestrians,” Francisconi says. “The design of the streets was just terrible. They’re not for leisure or walking or meeting.” Due to high rates of violence in Brazil, shoppers feel safer going to malls as opposed to storefronts on inhospitable streets, he adds.
What’s challenging in the city’s design is that it’s both loved and cherished—but it doesn’t thrive. In the 1987, Brasilia’s Pilot Plan area became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as preservationists were concerned that the city would be redeveloped.
“We’re so afraid of movement, that we froze the city,” Francisconi says. “That’s the easiest way to maintain a city...But on the other hand it’s hard to define the basic concepts of Costa, stay faithful to them, and keep a city growing. It’s a paradox.”
Today, this concept is seeing a revival, as Marc Lore, a former Walmart executive, seeks to build his very own Brasília; a planned community way out in the desert called Telosa.
Such planned communities are a product of high modernism, an early Cold War era philosophical movement founded on the mistaken belief that, among other things, short-term scientific planning can produce better cities than natural, long-term urban development based on people’s preferences and sense of cultural belonging.
James C. Scott, in his book Seeing Like a State, sharply criticized this line of thinking, explaining the myriad ways in which such utopian projects have failed.
Was the lesson learned? Were high-modernist, utopian city planning projects abandoned? No, they were not. Instead, the purveyors of this nonsense chose to lie in wait for many years, until the technology to empower their monomaniacal dreams began to materialize. Instead of trying to build their own cities, they now aim to take existing cities and apply high-modernist principles of scientific management and top-down planning to them.
In 2001, shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Admiral John Poindexter proposed the Total Information Awareness program.
Who runs the program?
TIA is run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a branch of the Department of Defense that works on military research. It is headed by John Poindexter, the former Reagan-era National Security Adviser known for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal, who famously said that it was his duty to withhold information from Congress.
Is this program unique?
No. There is another effort underway that could bring about a similar result: an airline profiling system called CAPS II. CAPS II would collect massive amounts of information about the tens of millions of American who fly each year and use that information to create profiles. Its use in the airline context gives it a lot more surface appeal, and it has been presented in a far less threatening manner, but it is based on the same faulty premise that terrorism can be prevented by collecting hoards of information about everyone and then subjecting them to a virtual dragnet.
DARPA pursued research into mass surveillance of the public for a couple years before the TIA program drew harsh criticism and was shut down in late 2003.
Shortly afterward, Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook.
Not so: The William Safire column, "You Are a Suspect,” was published in the Times in 2002—two years before Facebook was created. And Safire isn’t talking about social networks or digital advertising—he’s discussing Total Information Awareness, a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) program that proposed mining vast amounts of Americans’ data to identify potential national security threats. The virtual grand database was to belong to the Department of Defense, which would use it to identify behavior patterns that would help to predict emerging terrorist threats.
Today, we’re voluntarily participating in the dystopian scenario Safire envisioned 16 years ago, with each bit of data handed to companies like Facebook and Google. But in this system, private companies are our information repositories—leaving us to reckon with the consequences of a world that endows corporations with the kind of data once deemed too outrageous for the government.
Facebook's psychological experiments and Edward Snowden's NSA leaks epitomize a world of increasing information awareness in the social media ecosystem. With over a billion monthly active users, Facebook as a nation is overtaking China as the largest country in the world. President Barack Obama, in his 2011 State of the Union Address, called America "the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers" and "of Google and Facebook." U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel opines that America has become a "Facebook nation" that demands increased transparency and interactivity from the federal government. Ubiquitous social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and YouTube are creating the technologies, infrastructures, and big data necessary for Total Information Awareness - a controversial surveillance program proposed by DARPA after the 9/11 attacks. NSA's secret PRISM program has reinvigorated WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's accusation that "Facebook is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented." Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg once said, "We exist at the intersection of technology and social issues." This book offers discourse and practical advice on the privacy issue in the age of big data, business intelligence in social media, e-government and e-activism, as well as personal total information awareness. This expanded edition also includes insights from Wikipedian Emily Temple-Wood and Facebook ROI experts Dennis Yu and Alex Houg. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014. All rights are reserved.
These days, people are tracked constantly by our personal devices. Your smartphone, connected to Google, Apple, and Facebook’s cloud servers, tracks you by GPS constantly and knows more about your own habits and your weekly routine than you do. It knows the stores you frequent, it knows where your friends live, it knows how many miles you drive per day.
Today, this information is sold to advertisers, who use it to make targeted ads. Tomorrow, it will be used by the State to determine what sort of person you are, and your patterns of consumption, and whether or not your habits are a detriment to the environment.
If I were to run an ad on Reddit, Facebook, or Google’s AdSense platform, right now, I could target people by age, ethnicity, geographic location, income bracket, and more, because of all the personal information people idiotically give away to social media companies every second of every day.
For that matter, DARPA and the Shadow Government never really gave up on their ambitions to track people by their biometric data, even brain data, which we covered in Part IV.
In a riveting 25-minute presentation, Harari painted a very gloomy — but possible — view of the future, based on his thesis that we are now in our third grand revolution: the control of data, following the control of land (Agrarian Revolution) and the control of machinery (Industrial Revolution). The point of no return, Harari contends, will happen when technology will be able to extract high-precision biometric data from people and report back to a centralized decision-making control system, owned by governments or by corporations — or both. By biometric, he means your pulse, pressure, sweat composition, dilation of your pupils, etc.: kind of a lie-detector on steroids.
For example, Harari said, if the North Korean government forces its citizens to wear a bracelet that transmits biometric data to government data centers, the government will be able to monitor how people feel about their leader and about pretty much everything else in their lives. They may know more about you than you do, given that we are often unaware of what's really going on with us.
A large number of people constantly use social media and blogging services to publish large reams of material for free, online, on their Facebook timeline, on their Twitter account, and in Medium or Substack blogs. Most people do not yet realize that a great deal of information about one’s political views can be gleaned from one’s writings, automatically, using machine learning and natural language processing.
Artificial intelligence can combat political bias. Yes, we all know that AI has had its own problems with bias in the past (and present). However, one news website is harnessing AI in the fight against overt political partisanship. And in an age when the world is becoming more politically polarised, its efforts couldn't be more timely.
This website is the Bipartisan Press. Founded in 2018, it has developed an AI model for determining the political bias of its own articles and any text you might find on the web. Based on a regression model for machine learning, it's capable of natural language processing (NLP) and of text classification. And because it has been trained on a large database of articles (pre-categorised according to bias), it can classify texts according to their direction ("left" or "right") and degree ("minimal" to "extreme") of bias.
Essentially, the Bipartisan Press' AI model can learn to reproduce classification systems devised by political scientists and journalists. And according to the website's own research, it can classify the bias of articles to a 96% accuracy, with an average deviation of only 7%.
Today, this information is used to find bias in journalism. Tomorrow, it will be used by secret police conducting ideological purges.
The overall goal of such programs is, of course, monitoring the citizenry for signs of dissent, but also, subtly directing and monetizing people’s behavior on a constant basis. Crypto and Smart Contracts are something of a trojan horse. Today, they promise commerce free from government interference. Tomorrow, they will do the exact opposite, as the meddlesome nanny state that people sought freedom from will commandeer these technical advancements for their own purposes, outlawing all cryptocurrencies except for central-bank-issued ones tied to a government-issued biometric ID, which, in turn, is tied to mandatory implants in everyone’s bodies.
The aim, overall, is to prevent people from having any real custody over their money or property, which can then be stripped from them at the first sign of rebellion. Moreover, under the technocrats’ system, people will not even have custody over their own biometric data. The control freaks aim to monitor everything, using CCTV cameras to examine people’s facial expressions for signs of emotional perturbances, which will be interpreted as possible evidence of criminal intent.
Mass surveillance is a necessary component of any Smart City, not just to spy on people and determine ill intent, but also, to preempt their every move for the sake of “efficiency”. Take, for instance, Amazon Go.
There are no lines, no checkstands, nothing of the sort. Instead, cameras linked to automated machine vision systems track your every move, determining which products you retrieved from the shelves and exactly how much to charge you.
Mass surveillance combined with a social credit score system will be used to determine how social - or antisocial - every citizen is, at each point in time, and what services may be rendered to them.
The potential scope of the soft social credit system under construction is enormous. The same companies that can track your activities and give you corporate rewards for compliant behavior could utilize their powers to block transactions, add surcharges or restrict your use of products. At what point does free speech — be it against biological males playing in girls’ sports, questioning vaccine side effects, or advocating for gun rights — make someone a target in this new system? When does your debit card get canceled over old tweets, your home loan denied for homeschooling your kids, or your eBay account invalidated because a friend flagged you for posting a Gadsden flag?
Federal fingerprints aren’t directly on recent actions — yet. The creation of a “Digital Dollar” would put an exclamation point on a new social credit score. Working in conjunction with major tech companies, citizens not convicted of a crime could lose their ability to transact any business. In time, decentralized forms of money, such as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, may be the main means for dissidents to operate — as long as the federal government doesn’t move to squash them. If the Fed and members of Congress are skeptical of crypto now, its use by political undesirables could lead to a furtive effort to severely restrict or ban these currencies.
Until and unless there is an organized pushback, our future could track with those of increasingly illiberal societies. Just last week, the British government announced its own version of a health social credit system. China’s system was announced only seven years ago. Considering the growth of algorithms and dependence on tech giants, the ability to track, censor and eventually punish ordinary citizens will be mindboggling by 2030. America’s descent into a 21st century Gilded Age directed by tech titans isn’t an inevitability. However, do you know anyone who would take a 5 percent Amazon coupon in exchange for a “call to action”? Or someone who would replace their Facebook profile picture to avoid being locked out?
The building blocks of unfathomable tyranny are being stacked one atop the other right before our very eyes, and since most people are too distracted with more immediate concerns of practical importance to them and their friends and families, they aren’t paying much attention to how world leaders are capitalizing upon a manufactured global crisis to bring about their twisted vision of what the future should look like.
Songdo, South Korea
Technically a part of Incheon, the Songdo International Business District is a modern Smart City prototype.
Instead of having garbage bins and garbage trucks, Songdo has a subterranean waste collection system, using surface chutes to sort the trash before it is piped to compactors and hauled away.
When residents of the International Business District (IBD) in Songdo, South Korea go to work, pick up their kids from school, or shop for groceries, driving is optional.
That's because the $40 billion district — currently a work-in-progress about the size of downtown Boston — was designed to eliminate the need for cars.
A project that began in 2002, the area prioritizes mass transit, like buses, subways, and bikes, instead of road traffic, according to Stan Gale, chairman of Gale International, the developer behind the IBD.
South Korea aims to make an industry out of exporting all the underlying technologies required for smart city development:
Smart City As A Service (SCaaS) might become a whole new industry. A product to be ‘exported’ around the world, and not only by South Koreans. As by 2050, 70 percent of the worlds population will live in cities, there is a tremendous need for cities like this. And yes, existing cities are ambitious to become smart, but they have the legacy of old and sometimes ancient infrastructures. Building a well-proven concept from scratch might be a very good solution, especially in countries with free space still available.
It’s clear that there is a significant push for the adoption of these technologies, but it isn’t coming from citizens. It is coming from monomaniacal urban planners implementing high-modernist ideals.
Attributes of a Future Smart City
After some brainstorming and examination of current trends, it is fairly easy to see the direction that all of this is heading in. A hypothetical Smart City of the 2040s onward may possess the following general attributes:
It must be a planned community, laid out for high efficiency and short transit times. Practically everything one would need would be within walking distance of one’s apartment.
Electric driverless vehicles, streetcars, monorails, and subways would replace traditional automobiles and buses. No one would own a car, and there would be no parking spaces or parking garages anywhere. They would instead be replaced with bike lanes and public parks.
For many workers, telecommuting via the metaverse would replace physical commutes. One’s home would also be one’s workplace. Therefore, office space would be replaced with residential space, and practically everything along one’s commute - convenience stores, clothing shops, laundromats, coffeehouses, restaurants, et cetera - would be eliminated.
Physical services and many commercial areas would largely be replaced with on-demand and delivery services, including robo-delivery by drones or other unmanned vehicles.
All buildings would be constructed to high insulation and lighting efficiency standards (i.e. Passivhaus). All waste materials would be gathered and recycled.
Everything would be tightly regulated, with people’s utilization of services, consumption of goods, criminal activity, and other behaviors monitored by constant, all-encompassing surveillance.
This same surveillance system would be used to automatically dispatch emergency services, as required, by detecting ongoing crimes, medical emergencies, and fires, using all manner of networked sensors.
Networked sensors would also be used to determine electricity and natural gas usage, among other metrics of consumption and waste.
Eventually, as technology progresses, cities would become autarkic arcologies, each with their own fusion reactors, their own supply of distilled fresh water, their own indoor farming facilities, and their own bioplastic printers. Roads and bridges will disappear, replaced by giant hives of humanity, like the proposed Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid. Compliance will be assured by mandatory brain-computer interfaces that moderate mood, suppress aggression and criminal tendencies, restrain addictions, and enable people to cope with overcrowding. Cities would become, essentially, human warehouses.
This is the ultimate goal of technocracy and high modernism. This is the kind of urban space they seek to create. A giant theme park from which there is no escape. A cold, inhuman, perfect machine inhabited by lobotomized semi-humans, not unlike the world envisioned in Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We.
Why would the ruling class be so obsessed with efficiency? To understand this, one must dig into the topic of Malthusianism and its modern variety, Neo-Malthusianism.
In 1798, Thomas Malthus published An Essay on the Principle of Population, which made the argument, essentially, that there was a limited pool of resources on Earth for mankind to draw from, and that every additional member of the population diluted our resources. Eventually, he feared this would lead to civilizational collapse:
In 1798 Malthus published anonymously the first edition of An Essay on the Principle of Population as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society, with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and Other Writers. The work received wide notice. Briefly, crudely, yet strikingly, Malthus argued that infinite human hopes for social happiness must be vain, for population will always tend to outrun the growth of production. The increase of population will take place, if unchecked, in a geometric progression, while the means of subsistence will increase in only an arithmetic progression. Population will always expand to the limit of subsistence. Only “vice” (including “the commission of war”), “misery” (including famine or want of food and ill health), and “moral restraint” (i.e., abstinence) could check this excessive growth.
While his observations may have been accurate at the time, there was one thing he did not account for in his calculations; the massive growth in industrialization and rapid technological advancements that occurred after 1800, and the concomitant rise in food production.
However, the discredited ideas of Thomas Malthus persist in the present. Today, they’re called the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The figure of Maurice Strong amidst this entire thing is, I think, a very interesting introduction for a lot of people. It’s a figure who in many ways was the godfather of the modern Green New Deal – the thing that is behind or integrated with the Agenda 2030. What is it called? – the Farm to Fork program to try to bring in a Monsanto GMO program for Europe as part of a decarbonisation strategy. Which is also tied to a variety of other insane policies. When you actually look at a lot of what these governments of the transatlantic are being told they have to do in order to decarbonise according to these computer models that say we simply must do this by 2030 or 2050 in order to save nature, you’re like, “well, the effect will be massive death and the inability to sustain human life, let alone life in general.” So, either it’s incompetence or there is an intention behind it to get that effect. And I would say when you look at the evidence, the intention is indeed discoverable.
So again, Malthusian – the term Malthus or Malthusianism, which is what Maurice Strong helped revive in the early 70s, late 60s – came from the simplistic theories of a British East India Company economist who taught at the British Empire’s Haileybury College training generations of Imperial economists, Thomas Malthus. And he observed that population [ ], people grow geometrically on average, while food production only grows arithmetically. And thus, social engineers can forecast, using mathematical formulas, where you will have a population crisis. And then act pre-emptively – as Malthus even describes, in gut wrenching detail, in his 1799 essays on the Principle of Population to encourage the death of the useless of the poor, even babies who are deemed unfit. He says the parishes should stop supporting to make way for other – anyway it’s gory. And he has prescriptions on doing that and it is done.
The idea is always that the nature and resources are relatively limited. You cannot create new resources. It does not factor in the quality of the human mind to transform and upshift the environment by introducing a new discovery, like electricity. That doesn’t exist in his equations. That’s actually disruptive to his equations.
The opposing position against Malthusianism is Cornucopianism, or the belief that technological advancement in the context of a free market can forestall any conceivable resource crisis.
Modern political discourse is intrinsically Malthusian in character. Climate change alarmism, green energy, and decarbonization are always on the agenda.
The goal, generally, is to shame, guilt, and gaslight individual consumers for their habits. Never mind the freighters and factories with stacks spewing black smoke. Your nice, fun little family vacation is what’s killing the planet.
The Technetronic Era
In 1970, Zbigniew Brzeziński published a tome entitled Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era. In this book, he attempted to describe the coming age, which he termed the Technetronic Era. One can find parallels in Klaus Schwab’s “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, which posits a rise in telework and the gig economy, along with other precarious employment and living arrangements.
Some of the things described in this book are highly damning, especially when one considers how influential Brzeziński and the Trilateral Commission really were.
The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.
Today we are again witnessing the emergence of transnational elites … [whose] ties cut across national boundaries … It is likely that before long the social elites of most of the more advanced countries will be highly internationalist or globalist in spirit and outlook … The nation-state is gradually yielding its sovereignty… Further progress will require greater American sacrifices. More intensive efforts to shape a new world monetary structure will have to be undertaken, with some consequent risk to the present relatively favorable American position.
In addition, it may be possible–and tempting–to exploit for strategic-political purposes the fruits of research on the brain and on human behavior. Gordon J. F. MacDonald, a geophysicist specializing in problems of warfare, has written that timed artificially excited electronic strokes could lead to a pattern of oscillations that produce relatively high power levels over certain regions of the earth…. In this way, one could develop a system that would seriously impair the brain performance of very large populations in selected regions over an extended period…. No matter how deeply disturbing the thought of using the environment to manipulate behavior for national advantages to some, the technology permitting such use will very probably develop within the next few decades.
The technology described in this work now exists, in the form of mind control nanotransducers and neural network disruptor nanoparticles, as elucidated in the speeches of Dr. James Giordano.
Equally alarming is the fact that the book outlines the “necessity” of curtailing American industrial power. Here, any pretense of Neo-Malthusian thinking is missing from the equation. Instead, naked ambition and a desire for wealth and power are the motive.
In short, Neo-Malthusianism is a form of sophistry. The point is to guilt and manipulate people into relinquishing the very things that made the working class in Post-WWII America inordinately wealthy and powerful, from the perspective of the very rich.
Limits to Growth
In spite of the proliferation of environmentalist and Neo-Malthusian rhetoric, the people who run our financial markets would much rather that you curtail your luxuries than for the businesses they finance to curtail their profits. They don’t conceal this opinion at all. As a matter of fact, they publish essays on it.
In 1972, the Club of Rome published the infamous essay Limits to Growth, thus kicking off the Neo-Malthusian era. They commissioned MIT scientists to come up with a fatalist computer model that said we were all going to die.
It has been my observation that this collapse has actually been engineered on purpose, over many decades. In the Post-WWII era, America’s industrial preeminence was unassailable, even through the recession of the 1970s. Thanks to permissive trade policies in the 80s and 90s, and the passage of NAFTA, America’s productive industries have been shipped overseas. Steel mills and factories have been dismantled and liquidated one by one.
America’s entire educational system has been perverted to amass armies of lawyers, bean-counters, and journalists in place of welders, plumbers, machinists, and draftsmen. Our economy has been deindustrialized and is now centered on R&D and services. Carl Sagan’s infamous quote about a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time has come true. All the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries. Awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few. We have lost the ability to set our own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority. We are backsliding into superstition.
If World War III were to break out tomorrow, who would build the tanks? Who would build the ships, the warplanes? With supply lines cut off, where will the steel, aluminum, and titanium come from? Not to mention, all modern military equipment is dependent on imported electronics that we lack the chip fabs to produce. We have been deliberately set up to fail.
There are sufficient houses and apartments in America to house every American, but they have been deliberately priced out of reach by rampant rent-seeking and inflation. The teeming throngs of homeless and destitute are being plied with oxycodone, heroin, and fentanyl.
Meanwhile, an utter shambles of a war has been started in Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain and sunflower oil producers. Over a dozen food processing facilities in the US have burned down since the middle of last year, but the media have remained silent, instead attributing shortages to the pandemic.
When you step back for a moment and examine all this logically, the insane cruelty of it becomes clear. Limits to growth was not a prediction. It was a manifesto. There are few limits to the wealth that our rapidly advancing technology can reasonably procure from our environment. There are, however, people who wish to impose limits on the wealth that ordinary people are allowed to possess. The oligarchs don’t want us to succeed, to have a career, or to have families. They want us to die miserably in a gutter while they seize the things our forefathers built and live off the fat of the land.
This is why it’s so laughable to hear people talk of protecting democracy in this day and age. Democracy is utterly meaningless under these conditions of life. It doesn’t matter who you vote for if nothing fundamentally changes. No matter who you elect, the members of the criminal overclass still want you demoralized, destitute, and dead. That’s not even hyperbole. It’s just a fact.
This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/