Off the keyboard of RE
Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner
Discussions in the Panarchy & One-t0-the-Many thread inside the Diner brought up an old topic, Categories of Doom which paint various different pictures for the Future of Homo Sapiens on Earth, if the species has one at all that lasts past Mid-Century or so. Just about every Doomer out there has carved out for themselves the Projected Future they either think will occur or would like to occur. In essence, this is Science Fiction, because none of us really KNOW how it is going to play itself out, you just extrapolate on trends and ideas you have to try to imagine the Future.
Going back to my writings on The Burning Platform blogging with Jim Quinn, in my Frosbite Falls Daily Rant I developed a basic breakdown between the two most prevalent Doomer Types writing in the Collapse Blogosphere, Full Doomers and Doom Liters. To get an idea of the differing attitudes these two groups have on the crucial questions of collapse, I created a comparative table.
|Dollar & Monetary System||We can fix the monetary system and rehabilitate the Dollar if we STOP PRINTING, feed Helicopter Ben to the Lions, Slash Spending, allow TBTF Banks to FAIL, Incarcerate the Criminal Banksters and use Precious Metals to underpin the currency.||The monetary system cannot be rehabilitated by any means, there will be a complete collapse of ALL Fiat money and financial instruments and commerce will for quite some time be mainly Barter. PMs will only retain value in areas where there is a surplus of basic commodities.|
|Inflation, Hyper-Inflation, Deflation, Stagflation, DICK UP YOUR ASSFLATION||WTF CARES ANYMORE? WE ARE TOAST NO MATTER HOW IT COLLAPSES.AGREEMENT||WTF CARES ANYMORE? WE ARE TOAST NO MATTER HOW IT COLLAPSES.AGREEMENT|
|Energy||To resolve our Energy problems, we must IMMEDIATELY begin building more Nukes, Drill Baby Drill for more Local Oil and build more Hydro Plants and Wind Farms, and eventually pick up the slack from lost energy from Imported Oil sources.||Lost Energy from depleted Oil is Irreplaceable and it is far too late to stop an extensive Power Down throughout society which will halt most of our Transportation methods and bring down the Electrical Grid. Our only choice is to prepare for a Low Energy footprint in the future.|
|Goobermint||We can fix Da Goobermint if we Vote Out all the scumbag CONgress Critters and replace them with Honest Politicians who cannot be Bought who all demonstrate the Wisdom of the Founding Fathers and abide by the Constitution. Said new Goobermint will be made much smaller with fewer Regulations and less Taxation, allowing Commerce to revive as the Free Market takes over.||Da Goobermint is inherently unfixable and corrupt and cannot be rehabilitated via the Ballot Box. Only a Revolution can remove the current power structure, and the results of a Revolution will likely bring a new Goobermint as bad or WORSE than the current one. The failure of the monetary sytem and energy systems will eventually render all large scale Goobermints unable to function, with the power vacuum filled by local Warlords and Dictators in most places.|
|Jobs||We must stop the offshoring of Productive Jobs and rebuild our Manufacturing Base in order to build an export based Mercantilist economy with a Trade Surplus.||The Industrial Model is FINISHED, even if we could rebuild Factories here in the FSofA, we wouldn’t have the Oil to run them anyhow, and there won’t be anyone here or abroad who could afford the products we build with them anyhow, because of the upward spiraling cost of energy measured in EROEI.|
|Immigration||We must Seal the Borders and deport all Illegal Aliens and get FSofA Citizens to work at all the scut jobs at below Minimum Wage they currently fill to reduce Unemployment and reduce the liabilities of Aliens who are soaking up free Medical Care in the Emergency Rooms of our Hospitals.||We can TRY to seal the borders and deport the Illegal Aliens, but they will just be replaced by more home grown Citizens who are falling off the economic cliff and will be just as big a drain on the Medical System. Besides that, at least on the Border with Mejico, it will likely create an ever growing Shooting War with a Tsunami of Wetbacks seeking to escape an even worse situation in Mejico.|
|Imperialism & Foreign Wars||We must STOP trying to be the World’s Policeman, bring all our Boys & Girls HOME and reduce the outrageous COST of maintaining the Big Ass Military.||As soon as we STOP running all our Imperialist adventures, we will basically be CUT OFF from the Foreign Oil still making its way across the Sea Lanes to our Refineries. We also will crash just about the only type of “productive” thing we build here anymore, which are the Weapons of War and we will bring back a whole new crew of people to put on the Unemployment line.|
|Free Shit Army & 30 Blocks of Squalor||We must end all transfer payments, all Welfare, Social Security and Medicaire which are all unfunded Liabilities we cannot afford. Former Welfare recipients will be FORCED to go back to work and become Productive Citizens rather than Useless Eaters. Old Folks will rely on their Savings and their Extended Families to take care of them in their dotage.||The minute we knock down all these social support mechanisms is the minute we turn into Egypt or Libya or all the rest of the 3rd World countries where the people with Nothing Left to Lose go BERSERK. We don’t HAVE jobs these people could do, even if they were qualified to do any job, which they are not for the most part. Most Old Folks have no savings, and the Extended Family died back in the 1950s for the most part. The Medical Industry as a whole would COLLAPSE without Goobermint input, putting the Doctors, Nurses and Medical Records folks on the UE lines also.|
|China will succeed long term because they are net creditors, have most of the Industrial infrastructure and have more Science and Math geniuses studying at Elite Universities.||China is TOAST because of outrageous Population Overshoot, a depleted Water Supply, insufficient arable land and insufficient local supplies of remaining Fossil Fuel energy.|
|Boomers should be EXTERMINATED||Pigmen should be EXTERMINATED|
While this table provides a good basic understanding of the differing perspectives you see in the Doom-o-Sphere, it doesn’t break down a couple of other important categories you see all the time on the net now, the Cornucopians who have confidence our Civilization will be salvaged and perpetuated at least, if not go on to Star Trekking the Universe through Technological Innovation and new Renewable Sources of Energy. Nor does it cover the Uber-Doomers, who believe we are on the road to an Extinction Level Event rivaling the Permian Extinction which occurred 282 Million Years Ago.
Even those additional Categories though do not express the great range of ideas for the Projected Future of Homo Sapiens if this turns out NOT to be an ELE. There are many more of these Sub-Categories, and in this post I am going to identify a few of them, along with their attributes and some of their main proponents here on the web in a few cases.
I will start with the main category of Cornucopians, those who have the most positive outlook on the Future for Homo Sapiens. They fall into 2 main Sub-Categories, Techno-Utopians and Amish-Fusion Utopians.
Techno-Utopians or Jetsons
The TU Sub-Group includes those who believe forms of Conventional Nuclear Energy such as Thorium Fission Reactors can be applied to resolve the energy problem, along with those who believe various forms of Renewable Energy might be applied to do the same thing. There are other more speculative TUs who consider the possibilities of Fusion Power or Zero-Point Energy as arriving in time to salvage Industrial Civilization. This group is also nicknamed Jetsons.
The AFU Sub-Group genrally covers the Greenies in the Transition Towns movement. You can see this represented well on the pages of Transition Voice, edited by Erik & Lindsay Curren. The AFU Model incorporates many “Green” forms of Renewable Energy collection such as Wind and Hydro together with small towns that overall use a localized form of Agriculture more or less on the 18th Century model. Industries such as Clothing Production as well as Food Production are all Local, but we also still maintain the high technology of the Internet and Computers and Communications.
Doom Lite is the next Major Category, probably the largest one overall in terms of numbers amongst Doomers, though they may still be outnumbered by Cornucopians. There is quite a bit of crossover between Doom Lite and Cornucopians, they tend to differ most in terms of their views on the Politics, Economics and Overshoot/Die-Off questions. Under the Doom Lite category you find the Brave New Worlders, Rail & Sailers and Transition Townies.
Brave New Worlders
BNWs have one of the most depressing views of the Future, the Fascist Boot Stomping on the Face of Humanity FOREVER view. They include a vast variety of Conspiracy Theorists who believe Illuminati/Zionist/Aliens or some variant will enslave most of the Human Population, chip everybody with Tracking Implants and run the world in perpetuity as a Satanic Playground. You could place this subgroup under Full Doom also, but since it supposes that the Ubermeisters will retain a high level of technology and standard of living for themselves while the remaining population lives in squalor, it is not really Full Doom. You don’t find many Bloggers that are BNWs, but MANY commenters. Quasi-Diner PO1 shows up periodically on the Diner to express BNW viewpoints, El Gallinazo here also. On Peak Oil I ran into a BNW Plubius and Flash expressed this viewpoint often on TBP. My fellow Admins on the Diner Surly and Peter also express BNW viewpoints periodically.
Rail & Sailers
R&S folks have a more Upbeat view than the BNWs do of Doom Lite. They crossover quite a bit with the Cornucopian Amish-Fusion crowd, the main difference is that R&S Lite Doomers do realize that these technologies cannot support the current 7 Billion ambulant Homo Sapiens and that a significant Die Off event will need to take place before this can work again. In this paradigm, a smaller population close to the numbers that existed around the early 19th Century will reinvent the world of Sail and Rail transportation, with the best off of them living somewhat like the Founding Fathers who wrote the FSofA Constitution lived. I would put Jimmy Kunstler, Dmitri Orlov and Steve from Virginia from Economic Undertow into this category
TTs crossover with R&S, just the focus is different for TTs. These Doom Liters look for a future of many small Independent and Self-Sufficient communities, where all Food Prodcution and Manufacturing is Local, done by Craftsmen rather than in large factories. Assuming all production can be made Local, they don’t really need the Rail or the Sail to make the paradigm work. Again, Lindsay and Erik Curren on Transition Voice are prime examples of TTs, so you can view them either as Cornucopians or Doom Liters. They aren’t real clear where they stand on the Die-Off question, basically they prefer not to cnosider it on their blogthemselves for the most part. Though they do Publish Guy McPherson so they aren’t unaware of Die Off scenarios.
The TT Model represents a Utopian Verision of the Feudal Town v 2.0 with an Upgrade to the 21st Century, with Blacksmiths and Cobblers and Weavers in a small town surrounded by Small Farms with the Farmers trading their Produce for the Manufactured Goods the Townie Craftsmen produce in a self-contained and independent economy.
I break down Full Doomers into 4 Main Sub-categories Eloi-Morlock Techno Slavers, Mad Maxers, Pharoahs and Flintstones. All FDs have in common that they see a VAST knockdown of the population of Homo Sapiens by at least 90% of current population if not more. All though also stop short of predicting an Extinction Level Event, which is the provincce of the Uber Doomer crowd. There aren’t any Major Bloggers who are FD, the closest probably is Gail from Our Finite World, but in her articles she publishes on MSM websites she always stops short of predicting FD, it is only inside the Commentary of her own Blog you can glean that Gail is FD. There are numerous smaller bloggers who are FD, Peter Michael Bauer from Urban Scout is one, I am another one. The Survivalists also provide FD perspectives, and some of them have pretty successful blogs like John Wesley Rawlings, and actually these days Brandon Smith of Alt-Market appears to fit this category also.
This subcategory represents BNWs on Steroids. These folks figure that the Illuminati/Zionist/Aliens are ENGINEERING purposefully a Massive Die-off by the prescription of the Georgia Guidestones, knocking down the population of Homo Sapiens to around 500M Human Souls they will enslave in perpetuity. The Category Title comes from H.G. Wells Time Machine, where you had creepy and disgusting Morlocks raping sweet innocent Weenas every time they exited from their Underground Bunkers. There aren’t many major Bloggers in this category, though with his Debt Slavery ideas in the past, Ashvin Pandurangi of The Automatic Earth (who also contributes here as a Diner) might have been categorized this way. More recently he fits into the Uber Doomer Sub-Category of Fundies though.
MMs are ubiquitous in the Doomer Blogosphere, they are all the Survivalists like John Wesley Rawlings who prognosticate a future filled with Zombies and Cannibals and Rambo-like Survivalists battling it out with them with Ar-15s, RPGs, IEDs, Poison Darts, Tiger Traps…you name it here. LOL. The Children of Men all battle it out in the Thunderdome for the Final Control over a post-Apocalyptic Civilization. It is none to clear in this scenario how anybody actually makes it out ALIVE, so you could call it a Lead Up to Uber Doom rather than Full Doom, but I dropped it in here under the FD category on the wild assumption a few Raging Maniacs and Warlords could manage to survive the Zero Point.
The Pharoah Sub-Group is kind of an extension of the Illuminati/Zionist/Alien paradigm Reverse Engineered back past Feudalism to Ancient Egyptian society. In this case, you have full tilt Agrarian Slaves working the land while a few Pharoahs live a pretty good life comparatively to their Slaves, but there is virtually no technology around that makes it all that much different other than the fact they are better fed and have to work less.
Primitivists or Flintones
The Flintstones Sub-Group of Full Doomers are those folks who see an inexorable spin down of the few remaining Homo Sapiens to Paleolithic living standards. Stone Age technology for the most part, some Horticulture/Permaculture but no mass Agriculture and remarkabley few Homo Sapiens wandering the Earth, perhaps 1 Million or so at most if a decent portion of the Earth is not Poisoned by Nukes and Climate Change doesn’t completely wipe out current Ecosystems. Again, no major Bloggers in this category, though there are some theoreticians like Richard Duncan who proposed the original Olduvai Hypothesis back in the 90s. Minor Bloggers I know of in this category are Peter Michael Bauer and myself.
The final Main Category of Uber Doomers I break down to Eco-Doomers, 4 Horsemen, and Fundies. They all kind of overlap, just the Focus of each group is different.
This sub-category focuses on the Climatic Changes which most of them believe are resultant from the increasing Carbon Dioxide content of the atmosphere, which they also generally attribute to he burning of Fossil Fuels over the last 2 Centuries for the most part. Said EDs believe we have already passed an IRREVERSIBLE TIPPING POINT toward Global Warming that will render just about all life on earth above the level of the Tardigrades to be unsustainable. A COMPLETE COLLAPSE of the Ecosystem is IMMINENT, inside the next Century at the outside, perhaps less time left than that befor we are ALL DEAD. Chief Blogosphere proponent of this idea would be Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last..
This sub-category of focuses on the varying ways Homo Sapiens are Engineering their own Extinction through the Biblical methods of Famine, Plague, War & DEATH. If you think that we are all going to the Great Beyond resultant from Global Thermonuclear War, Pandemics of Bird Flu, Crop Failures due to Drought or Floods or just distribution problems of the Herding of mass numbers of the Impoverished into Death Camps for Recycling in the Human Waste Reprocessing Facility in San Antonio, you fit the sub-category of a 4 Horseman.
These Uber Doomers look to the Bible as the main source for prediction of the Final Solution for Evil on Earth, mainly Christian Deonominations but there are some others also who Fundamentally believe that God will take retribution on the Sins of Humanity, take a few True Believers into Everlasting Glory in the Kingdom of Heaven and send everybody else to Everlasting Torment Burning in the Fire and Brimstone of HELL. Various scenarios are painted of Angels and Demons descending from Heaven to go Mano-a-Mano here on Earth, and the end result is none to good for ANYBODY who wasn’t a True Believer before TSHTF. You can find this viewpoint on many Christian Fundy websites, and as mentioned previously, Ashvin Pandurangi of The Automatic Earth and Picturing Christ now subscribes to this general rubric as defined by the Biblical Prophets.
Handicapping the End Game
Once you have all these Categories and Sub-Categories defined, you can first decide which one best suits your personality and belief structure, then you can go looking for websites and books which bolster this POV. I can assure you, whichever one you pick you will be able to find some scientist or historian or anthropologist with research to back it up and make it sound credible. Even the Fundies hire up Scientists to “prove” the Biblical Apocalypse and Second Coming of Christ scenario is literal truth.
Once you have carved out your Niche in Doomer Space, you can go out to various Blogs and Forums like the Diner here and discuss TEOTWAWKI as a card-carrying Doomer with the rest of the Doomers haunting such places. The goal of course is to figure out which one of these Sci-Fi Scenarios will work out to be the REAL FUTURE? Which one is MOST LIKELY? Based on this, how do you PLAN, and how should you Hedge against alternatative scenarios in the event the outcome you predict as most likely doesn’t win the Apocalypse Horse Race?
Of course as new evidence comes in and circumstances evolve the Odds change, but right now RE the Alaska Doom Bookie handicaps the 4 Major Categories with the following odds:
Cornucopia 10:1 Doom Lite 5:1
Full Doom 2:1 Uber Doom 5:1
This is ideal odds-making which doesn’t leave any Vigorish for the House, so if I was really Bookmaking this I would jigger the odds a bit so I couldn’t lose. In my Odds, there is a 50% likelihood for the Full Doom outcome, 20% each for Doom Lite and Uber Doom, and 10% for Cornucopian.
Breaking down the Odds inside the Full Doom Category is a bit harder. You also have to deal with Timelines on this one, since I sure don’t think we will be going Flintstones Overnight here. The fastest track to Flintstones would incorporate a period of Mad Max, which COULD occur close to overnight with failure of JIT food delivery to the Big Shities. Slower tracks to Flinstones come with the other FD categories which could persist quite a while, and if any of the Doom Lite scenarios gain some traction then Flintstones is probably a long way off. However, over a timeline say a century or two long, I’d bet on Flintstones as most likely Final Outcome.
Since none of us will live THAT long though, you might consider it a better bet to Hedge for one of the other scenarios before heading out into the Bush to go the Full Primitive. Perhaps prepare yourself to be a good Apparatchik of the Fascist State, or learn techniques for managing large scale Feudal Farms with Animal and Human Labor. Old Horseman who Dines with us occassionally seems to hedge in this direction mostly.
On the Independence level however, if you can prepare yourself for Rewilding and you can get yourself to a sufficiently REMOTE area to do it, it provides the best level of overall personal security. I support this paradigm most in my writings, although I am fully aware that trying to make a go of it out in the wilderness anywhere it still exists is a very low survival percentage endeavor for most people. Low as it is though, it is likely quite a bit higher survival percentage than anyone caught inside the Big Shities the Day After JIT collapses. Wait a day too long to make your Bugout, it’s going to be Dog Eat Dog in those places. Or really more explicitly stated, Human Eats Human. A situation you definitely want to avoid if you possibly can.
Anyhow, Best of Luck to all the Diners with their choices and paradigms to negotiate the ZERO POINT, the End of Industrial Civilization and the Age of Oil, TEOTWAWKI.