More reflection on being human!
The voice of reason from James Howard Kunstler.
Yesterday, I published a Post that I called What it is to be human. It was inspired and based on the compelling film ‘I AM‘ by Tom Shadyac. As so often seems to happen, shortly after completing yesterday’s Post, an item from Chris Martensen’s Blog caught my eye.
Let me give you an idea of that item from Chris.
Author and social critic James Howard Kunstler has been one of the earliest, most direct, and most articulate voices to warn of the consequences — economic and otherwise — of modern society’s profligate wasting of the resources that underlie its growth.
In his new book, Too Much Magic, Jim attacks the wishful thinking dominant today that with a little more growth, a little more energy, a little more technology — a little more magic – we’ll somehow sail past our current tribulations without having to change our behavior.
Such self-delusion is particularly dangerous because it is preventing us from taking intelligent, constructive action at the national level when the clock is fast ticking out of our favor. In fact, Jim claims that we are past the state where solutions are possible. Instead, we need a response plan to help us best brace for the impact of the coming consequences. And we need it fast.
Mr. Kunstler is the author of the very successful book The Long Emergency and his latest book, as mentioned above, Too Much Magic expands on his alarming argument that our oil-addicted, technology-dependent society is on the brink of collapse, ergo that the long emergency has already begun. His website is here.
Anyway, back to the Chris Martenson’s piece. Chris goes on to quote Mr. Kunstler, as follows:
[We now live in] this weird, peculiar period in American history when the delusional thinking has risen to astronomical levels — predictably, really — in response to the stress levels that our society feels. And it is expressing itself as sort of “waiting for Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy” to deliver a set of rescue remedies to us so that we can continue running Wal-Mart, Walt Disney World, Suburbia, the U.S. Army, and the Interstate Highway System by other means. That is the great wish out there. It is kind of understandable, because that is the stuff that we have, and people tend to defend the stuff that they have in any given society and the systems and platforms that they run on. But it is probably a form of collective behavior that is not really going to benefit us very much and really amounts to simply wasting our time, and wasting our dwindling resources, and even our spiritual resources when we could be doing things that are a lot more intelligent.
Here is something I have detected as I travel around the country: There is a clamor for “solutions.” Everywhere I go, people say “Don’t be a doomer; give us solutions.” And I discovered that the subtext to all that is they really want solutions for allowing them to keep on living exactly the way they are living now. To keep on running Wal-Mart, and keep on running Suburbia, and keep on running the highway system, and the whole kit of parts. And what that really means is that they are looking for ways to add on additional complexity to a society that is already suffering from too much complexity.
(Read the full article here.)
There is a podcast of the interview with James Kunstler here and also on YouTube, as below.
My own reflection on this item, as with so many other articles, essays and items available to read online, is that the power of the Web is informing and educating millions of people around the world in a way that Governments and the media have failed to so do.
That promises change and, maybe, sooner than we might expect.