Surly recently wrote a post inside the Diner in the Usury thread begun by El Gallinazo reviewing the exploits of Pol Pot, Cambodian Cleaner extraordinaire, as a Counterpoint to the Orkin Man meme I use to drive home the nature of beast we have here before us. I suggested he turn the post into a Feature Article for the Blog, which he did. I am compelled however to rexamine the questions Surly does in his analysis, because he does not paint a complete picture here.
Humanity is an Unforgiven bunch overall. We all know where this is leading…no has already led to. War. Actually, Wars since there will be many of them. Precisely how many will end up dead as a result of these Wars I have no idea, other than it will be a big number with lots of Zeros after it. Beyond that, it is not a huge leap to make that our JIT food production and transportation will be compromised by increasing disorder in the society, leading to famine of unprecedented proportions.
Confronted with all of this, I look back at the history of Homo Sapiens and how societies react in these type of situations. This is not the first time this has occurred, though it may be the biggest and the last time. Is there a Way Out of the mess? Yes there is, but it is full of unpleasantness no matter how you cut it. The best you can do is try to find a path that Saves as Many as You Can.
Below follows some of my thoughts on how you go about this, and what the Morality and Ethics are when societies are confronted by trials like this.
I go through this bizness of the Nasty Dictators all the time with Ashvin over on TAE, and certainly it is not an easy position to take on the Orkin Man Idea when you have such nefarious types as Pol Pot in the Terminix bizness.
I am NOT defending Pol Pot here, because he took on this massively counterproductive attempt at social cleansing with tons of wrong ideas and with tons of corruption involved as well. it also was bound for failure because it was undertaken while the Conduits were still functional.
Taking out the Crystal Ball here and looking into the FUTURE though, let’s consider some of the ideas involved in this mess.
Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” included forced evacuations of Chinese cities and the purging of “class enemies, ” a move that would apparently gain favor among participants in this thread. Pol Pot now stood up his own “Super Duper New and Improved Great Leap Forward” in Cambodia, which in itself was new and improved, hence renamed the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea.
On the “Forced Evacuation of Big Shities” question. It wasn’t true for sure in Cambodia, but look at the Mass Death that may occur in the Big Shities if they are NOT evacuated before JIT delivery fails. You could have a 99% Death Rate in those places. If Pol Pot II was running the show and forcibly evacuating people NOW, maybe you only get a 50% Death rate. So here PPII goes down in History as the Mass Murderer of say 3B People. Except if PPII had NOT done this, 6B would have gone to the Great Beyond instead.
It’s obviously a tough call to make for a Political Leader when to pull the plug on the Big Shities and tell everyone they have to EVACUATE NOW. It will inevitably result in a Massive Death Toll. But if you think it will be WORSE if you don’t do it, if you are willing to take the heat as the worst Mass Murderer in all of Recorded History, maybe you do it.
Millions of Cambodians accustomed to city life were now forced into slave labor in Pol Pot’s “killing fields” where they soon began dying from overwork, malnutrition and disease, on a diet of one tin of rice (180 grams) per person every two days, the better to become compost and improve the yields.
OK, here we have mostly agreed that Industrial life is going the way of the Dinosaur and people HAVE to go back to the Land as Farmers at least, if not H-Gs. What is going to happen to Obese J6P when you put him out on the land pushing a plow? Instant Heart Attack! Most people currently used to EZ Living courtesy of the thermodynamic energy of Oil simply are not IN SHAPE to work out in the Fields. Is it PPII’s FAULT these folks are too fat and weak to pull their own weight out there?
And you can’t have a party without the purges… a veritable binge of purges. Up against the wall went the remnants of the “old society” – the educated, the wealthy, Buddhist monks, police, doctors, lawyers, teachers, glasses-wearers all, no doubt. Ex-soldiers were killed along with their wives and children. Eventually the taste for human blood leads to a paranoia of sorts, and why not? Anyone suspected of disloyalty to Pol Pot, including eventually many Khmer Rouge leaders, was shot or bludgeoned with an ax. “What is rotten must be removed,” a Khmer Rouge slogan proclaimed.
Here of course is the EXCESS which occurs in many an Inqusition/Reign of Terror type scenario. There is going to be a lot of BLOWBACK resultant from many people who have lost their comfortable life and who want to see PPII DEAD because of that. He gets blamed for the problems they have; he gets blamed for their loss of economic status in the society. So PPII gets PARANOID, for good reason. People really ARE out to get him. So he starts Killing Them before they Kill Him.
This of course is the Omellette issue Uncle Joe talked about. Its just about impossible to be a manager of massive Die Off without yourself becoming a Target. Yet if SOMEBODY doesn’t get int here and try to manage it, the Die Off is WORSE. Morton’s Fork situation of course.
Now, back in Uncle Joe, Mao and Pol Pot’s era, if they played along with the Iluminati they likely could have avoided all that dieing. Except these guys wanted to Exit the Game early, and to exit it they essentially were cutting off their Noses to spite their Faces. They lost the ability to Trade with the outside world and were attempting to Go It Alone, and this messed up all their in place systems which sorta worked as long as you paid your Vigorish to the Illuminati.
So all of them go down in History as the most vicious and Genocidal Dictators in all of Recorded History, at least in gross numbers if not in Percentages. I still maintain that the Romanoffs were WORSE than Stalin, but that is not really that important here at the moment.
Moving into the FUTURE here, the issue is you cannot even Save As Many as you Can by PLAYING BALL with the Illuminati. Why? Because said Illuminati are Fresh OUT of Cheap Oil to sell you with Loans they hand out to you. So unfortunately here in this Morton’s Fork situation, the social dynamic is likely to produce numerous PPIIs and Great Uncle Joes. Because unless somebody does SOMETHING to try to keep the society organized up, the Dieing will be WORSE than it would be if you have some Dictator FORCING people to evacuate the Big Shities. They aren’t going to do that on their own until it is too late and they all are starving and Cannibalizing each other.
Although the image of banksters and stockbrokers mucking out pigpens and pushing wheelbarrows through knee-deep mud remains a compelling one for me.
You know, I paint all sorts of pictures based on the Spanish Inquisition and the Reign of Terror, but the fact of the matter here is that if you simply took away all their wealth and power and dropped these folks into a Housing Project in Chicago and left them their Shoelaces, Silk Neckties and Gucci Belts, they would all Hang THEMSELVES in short order. So if you want to go about it this way to absolve yourself of a sense of Guilt for lopping off their Heads, I am fine with that one also.
Regardless of the means here, whether it is Sepuku or Capital Punishment, the situation is going to create the BLOWBACK from people who once had power, now removed. They will attempt Counter Revolutions and so forth. So you get forced into a battle here no matter what, and people DIE no matter what.
Practical sort of fellow that I am, I work my way through this dynamic to try to find the pathway with the least pain and the greatest survivability for the typical Slave in our society. The means I see working best is to take the battle to the Illuminati before they get the Death Camps rolling in earnest here. You do have to wait for the Failure of the Conduits though, because as long as the Iluminati have the Big Ass Military and Gestapo organized up and functioning, you stand no chance here. Once those Conduits fracture though, the playing field is LEVELLED.
The issues most folks have when confronted with these problems are of Morality and Ethics and how you interpret God in the whole schema. If there is a God, what is he really after here with Homo Sapiens? What does He expect us to do confronted by Mass Death no matter which way we turn here?
For people brought up under Judeo-Christian morality, all the solutions which historically ARE taken are all unnacceptable. War is unacceptable, Fighting Back is unacceptable (Turn the Other Cheek), even passing Judgement on the Guilty is unacceptable (Judge not lest ye yourself be Judged).
In fact few Christians besides Saints follow all the advice of Jesus even in good times.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
WTF does this? Up here in Alaska if you did this in the winter you would freeze to death in minutes. Maybe that worked in the Middle East where its warm all the time but not here. Christians also regularly go to War, regularly charge Usurious Interest and regularly commit Adultery also. So it seems the vast majrity of Christians kind of pick and choose which of Jesus’ Words of Wisdom to follow on any given day.
For most of human history though, this set of principles was never followed by anybody. Certainly not by tribes of Inuit who would practice Infanticide and Abondonment of the Elderly as tribal survival strategies. You can also make a very good case that people who lived with this moral structure lived a lot more in balance with the world surrounding them than Christians or Muslims have ever managed to do.
The real questions of human survival come down to the needs of the many weighed against the needs of the few, or the one.
I personally believe in the existence of an Eternal Soul, and I also believe in Reincarnation, although in my own peculiar sort of way. I’ll explain it in detail at some point, though you might try reading my On the Existence of God article. Actually, that one might be worth a Cross Post on TAE, it certainly got a lot of conversation going on TAE when I originally posted it there.
Anyhow, while encased in your corporeal existence, you are subject to Natural Laws. You personally have survival imperatives, and so does the community you are a part of. The choices you make when confronted with these imperatives can impact your Eternal Soul, but it comes down to Motivations rather than Acts in the end. I discussed this with you already in my example of the Liquor Store robbery Killing versus the Rapist Killing. In one case the Motivation for the Killing is Selfish and Evil, in the other case it Helpful and Good.
On the agregate level of society similar questions arise, Infanticide is one of them. If the purpose of the Infanticide is to provide for the Needs of the Many at the expense of the Needs of the One, the motivation involved is a Good one. I don’t think this impacts negatively on your Immortal Soul, because you are trapped by the imperatives involved while you are a corporeal being.
On a more practical level – what if the baby would have turned out to be an Einstein when it comes to H-G or leading the Tribe? It is possible that the decision to murder the baby in order to spare the more productive member is a grave mistake. Perhaps the short-term risk of Tribal extinction is even worth it. The Tribe will never have enough information at the time of the Act to know that, though. BUT if there’s a possibility they will all suffer in the afterlife or in subsequent lifetimes, then it may be a lot better to err on the side of moral caution.
Derrick Jensen makes a case for resistance using similar logic, that weve tried being nice and it hasnt worked, but with different timing. He advocates more immediate action to avoid the system grinding on another 300 years, or the elite realizing its over and rather than let go of their rule, nuke it all while they hide in bunkers. The effort of such pre-emptive strikes would be justifiable. In your scenario collapse is guaranteed with a short event horizon. I have doubts an OMMP is a “matter of utility,” as El G puts it. Energy of all kinds (psychologic, physical, social, material) will be at a premium in a fast collapse scenario. Efforts may be better directed elsewhere.
I’m not entirely sure of the “Event Horizon” on this. In terms of passing the point where collapse is inevitable, I am sure we have pased that EH. However, I am not sure that at least in some Ringfenced countries BAU might not be possible for another 50 years. So calling in the Orkin Man NOW when we might muddle through a while longer at least here has questionable value, at least for US. For the 3rd world countries who are bearing the most pain right now though, an Orkin Man arrival in the FSofA might take some of the burden off of them. It would of course send the FSofA into a Tizzy of Civil War requiring all the troops currently dispatched over the globe to return home to quell the violence.
In reality here, we have not one but TWO Orkin Men running for POTUS, Obama-sama and Catcher’s Mitt. They are both committed to Exteminating folks outside these borders who are inconveniently sitting on top of OUR OIL! It’s all about who the Orkin Man sets about exterminating.
I know you will claim that’s exactly why we need the OMMP, so we don’t repeat the cycle, but maybe the OMMP perpetuates the type of thinking that sets it up. The likely outcome is there will always be another pigman unless the very nature of dominator culture changes. A global collapse has good odds of achieving that without the need or utility of an OMMP.
I can’t promise an Orkin Man solution to the Illuminati problem will prevent the cycle from repeating itself. The main thing the Orkin Man has to do is prevent an ELE now. So someone who will decommission ALL the Nuke Plants in the country/wold DESPITE the fact that a shortage of Electricity will end up in millions dieing by itself is necessary. An Orkin who MANDATES that the Big Shities are evacuated BEFORE JIT fails is necessary, despite the fact millions more will die in the relocation effort. An Orkin Man who pledges to get rid of all Greedy Parasitical Scumbag Pigmen currently walking the Earth is necessary, despite the fact we may eventually breed up NEW GPSBs.
40 Years ago when 4 were Shot Dead in Ohio by the National Guard on the Campus of Kent State University, we might have still had a CHANCE to correct our behaviors without an Orkin Man Solution. Now it is TOO LATE. We missed the Bus. Now its a dichotomy between MASS DEATH or EXTINCTION. Which one do you choose? Only an Orkin Man can make that kind of choice. The key is to find the RIGHT kind of Orkin Man who Exterminates the RIGHT Vermin. The Orkin Men we have to choose from right NOW are 180 degrees opposite from that.
So now, we are presented with a Morton’s Fork of unprecedented scope in all of recorded history. We have on the one hand the very REAL possibility of an Extinction Level Event, not just for Homo Sapiens but for about every other living creature on the face of the earth with the possible exception of the Tardigrades, who can withstand close to Absolute Zero temperatures and bombardment by Gamma Rays and STILL pop back to life in the right conditions. Sadly for Homo Sapiens, we are not as resilient as the Tardigrades.
On the other hand, the choice is MASS DEATH coming by one means or another here. War, Pesitlence, Famine and Death, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are ready to Ride Herd on Humanity once again now. Which is the BETTER alternative here, Extinction or Mass Death? To some folks, Extinction is a preferable alternative to compromising Judeo-Christian ethics they think are more important than life itself.
If systematic genocide is the last best idea we can come up with, then maybe it would be better to let ourselves go extinct.
First off, it depends how you define Genocide. In the case of the PPII evacuating the Big Shities and in the process killing 3B People, is this genocide if he had not done that and 6B would have died instead? Looked at the other way, PPII SAVED 3B lives!
Far as being better to self-extinguish, I can’t ever buy that one. Always a chance to improve if you are still walking the earth.
All of this just convinces me that it will always come down to a question of moral values in the end. Your cut-throat, last Hoorah Utilitarian morality just doesn’t do it for me…
And your moralism to the point of self-extinction doesn’t do it for me either. We’re even there.
If you believe in an immortal soul, universal reincarnation, multiple universes, or anything of that sort, I think this assertion of yours is plain stupid. Who cares about saving your physical body on Planet Earth if you are risking eternal damnation in a fiery abyss?
Ashvin, YOU are the one who thinks you risk Eternal Damnation for this, not me. If that were true, then generations of Inuit have all gone to Hell for Infanticide and abandoning the elderly to die. Beyond that, every Soldier who ever went to war and killed people ALSO got sent to Hell. I don’t BELIEVE that Ashvin. I believe people like Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon go to Hell, not people who make practical choices for their own survival and that of their tribe.
Not smart, just good – however you want to define that. How can the information that the Infant will be, let’s say, another Christ-like figure not be relevant in your extermination decision?? It MUST be relevant, or else your Utilitarian morality falls to pieces and you have no justifiable leg to stand on.
Yes, and this has been the conundrum of the human condition over the ages, but especially in recent years – we try to make calculated, optimal decisions in the short-term temporal sphere based on extremely imperfect information and then justify them after the fact as being in the best interests of humanity, as if we could have possibly known that. After all, the survival of that Tribe has gotten us where exactly?
The point I try to make Ashvin is that the Tribe I am after did NOT survive. Agriculture and Industrialization rendered this Tribe EXTINCT, or nearly so. We have to REVERSE ENGINEER this tribe back into existence. It’s not going to be easy, and no road for the Squeamish either. You start by getting rid of the most egregious offenders and then attempt to re-educate all the rest. Those who cannot or will not Repent and change their ways will go to the Great Beyond, one way or the other.
I do not see Mass Death as avoidable at this point, and I cannot accept the alternative of allowing what is going on now to end in an Extinction Level Event either. So the only real question for me here is who lives, who dies and how you cut the losses as best you can. The only people who can do that are Orkin Men. I don’t believe there will be ONE Orkin Man of vast power and control like a Mao or Uncle Joe here, I think the society is fracturing too fast for that too organize up now. Rather I think the fractured society will breed up various Orkin Men, all with varying styles and methodology, but in the end all will be responsible for the very same thing, which is MANAGING DEATH.
If YOU were charged with this unbearable responsibility, how would YOU react, what would YOU choose to do? For me, the right meme does not come off the pages of The Bible, it comes from the Pop Culture paradigm of the Old West, personified best by Clint Eastwood in so many films, fromthe Spaghetti Westerns to the Unforgiven. We ARE an Unforgiven bunch as Homo Sapiens, and there really are times when a Stranger needs to Ride into Town and take out the Bad Guys.
This is one of those times, for sure.