The Coming Collapse; or, how I learned to love my inner Barbarian - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14983147
Sivad wrote:That's just a lame rationalization for turning a blind eye to injustice and suffering. You're just equivocating socio-economic equality with human equality.




Because your demographic has lost the juice to dominate politics. The playing field is leveling out and you resent that.


I am 71. I don’t resent anyone or anything. But I was really enjoying reading this thread and I have now helped distract from it. It was a rare example of thought sharing so I will not comment further on myself or my beliefs.
#14983154
What has also exacerbated the heat wave in australia mentioned in that article is farmers who’ve taken mass amounts of water than reasonably allowed and hoarded it to which the government body meant to enforce strict standards of water use has done nothing. Its sort of thong i could see folks killing another for but theyve taken to hiring some security for their hoarded water. A lot of farmers have actually expressed concern over climate change in Australia, but that means fuck all to the national party who has crazy leadership.
Australias getting rooted.
#14983192
Sivad wrote:What you're calling a decline is really a transition. Like when Rome went from republic to dictatorship. Institutions do breakdown during major transitional periods, there is major social, political, economic upheaval and realignment but it's not the end of days. We're transitioning from one world into the next and that's always scary and can even seem apocalyptic, but it's happened a thousand times before and it'll probably happen a thousand times again. Unless there's a major extinction level event the world is just going to keep getting bigger and crazier than ever the same as it always has.


Alright, when I think ''collapse'' or ''new dark age'', i'm not thinking End Times. That time will come, but by no means yet. But I also think it's more than a matter of semantics to contrast it with a mere ''transition''.

Have you looked back at the past 200 years, or even just still within living memory? The wars and genocides alone would qualify this as a new dark age my friend.
#14983201
annatar1914 wrote:Alright, when I think ''collapse'' or ''new dark age'', i'm not thinking End Times. That time will come, but by no means yet. But I also think it's more than a matter of semantics to contrast it with a mere ''transition''.


I wouldn't call it a mere transition, it's a major world shaking transition that's going to fundamentally alter life on Earth forever. Even if there was a major collapse the world would build itself back up very rapidly. It's hard to imagine anything short of an extinction level event derailing this crazy train, or even slowing it down for any significant stretch of time.

Have you looked back at the past 200 years, or even just still within living memory? The wars and genocides alone would qualify this as a new dark age my friend.


I mostly regard all of human history as one interminably long dark age. So I don't really disagree with you on that. I would point out that it's always the best of times and the worst of times. Life these days is much better for some than it ever has been and is much worse for others than ever before. There's also always a trade off with technological advancement, technology has improved everyone's life in some ways and made it worse in others. What I can say for certain is that there is both more danger and more hope than ever before in the history of the world. We definitely live in interesting times.
#14983275
@Sivad ;

I wouldn't call it a mere transition, it's a major world shaking transition that's going to fundamentally alter life on Earth forever. Even if there was a major collapse the world would build itself back up very rapidly. It's hard to imagine anything short of an extinction level event derailing this crazy train, or even slowing it down for any significant stretch of time.


It might be hard to imagine anything short of a mass die off derailing the ''crazy train'' as you put it, but over time i've been imagining exactly that. So far, it's certainly done a number on first my reactionary politics (because Socialism appeared to be what the Civilization and thus the State called for, in the face of such imagined events), and then my socialism at last also.

Goes back to my bedrock personalism I guess, and that actually holds the key to the ''collapse'' or ''transition'' or however you want to call it. ''Man is not a piano key'', to paraphrase Dostyoevsky, and he'd as soon smash the whole thing and let it go to the Devil than allow his freedom to be restrained, even if it's as much the freedom to do evil as the freedom to do good. Flip side of that is personal responsibility.

I'll tell you what had a major impact on me as far as transitions go, considerations on the political. (There was a time here on PoFo when @RightWingSage and @Potemkin and @ReiMurasame and numerous others here were debating the impact of ISIS on the World Order, myself included contributing.) and I recall the moment when I had to deal, on a less intellectualized distance, with ''Barbarism''.

There was a Jordanian pilot, shot down, captured and caged by ISIS. His execution was videotaped graphically, as he was sentenced to be burned alive.... I understood in a horrible flash why they had done what they did. In a cruel way, they had violently ripped all the cant and artificial nonsense from the basic cowardice and dishonor of what passes for modern warfare, as something devoid of all honor or shame, mere butchery which renders men involved as neither cowards nor heroes, but simply survivors.

I knew right then, deep down, that there is no way that Modernity will ever win against such people, ever.

And this is what I wrote back then, right here on PoFo;

"Assad's Regime will fall, ISIS will eventually take Damascus and get Islamic street cred for seizing the capital of a former Caliphate. They're pretty serious, their enemies are not, and the Islamic State operates under an eschatological paradigm that renders their strategic and tactical logic inpenetrable to modern political and military minds.

In other words, what many of us here on PoFo were saying far earlier and much more emphatically."

The enemies of the Islamists are not serious. We use them in our political games, we fight each other more than we fight them, and when the least amount of pressure is released, they start coming back. Everything tells me that nobody in the modern world, not Trump or his foes in the Western World, not the Israelis, not even Assad or Putin, gets the real dynamic here.

This is the End of the Modern Age. This is the End of the Nation State as we have known it for about 300 years now. ISIS is the future of the Middle East. When they first rose up a few years ago, they destroyed Iraq and Syria for good, permanently shattered the borders drawn by Sykes-Picot. What they unleashed has rocked the foundations of what we moderns considered normal. Slavery had come back, executions by beheading, all the surface ephemera of a much deeper crisis.


And I stand by everything which I said there... Which I was reminded of indirectly by Victoribus Spolia (a note for @Victoribus Spolia) in the context of my conversations with him, but unknown to him.

Now even slavery and executions by beheading do not seem so improbable to come back, even more as of today than even months ago.

The collapse or transition, you see, is the rebirth of Culture on the ruins of Civilization, ''Barbarism'' being the rule of the Personal, the Real. Look at all the more recent leaders of countries today, their coarse talk, their honest if vulgar feelings expressed, and every meeting conducted on a personalized and privatized level like Kim and Trump, Durterte, Putin and Xi and Bolsonaro.... This is the future, if not more so.



I mostly regard all of human history as one interminably long dark age. So I don't really disagree with you on that. I would point out that it's always the best of times and the worst of times. Life these days is much better for some than it ever has been and is much worse for others than ever before. There's also always a trade off with technological advancement, technology has improved everyone's life in some ways and made it worse in others. What I can say for certain is that there is both more danger and more hope than ever before in the history of the world. We definitely live in interesting times.


It certainly is interesting, to be sure. Don't get me wrong, i'm not pessimistic in my vision. There will be more lawlessness, but also more truth.
#14983339
One Degree wrote:These claims of science/technology coming to our rescue remind me of people believing their religion would save them from the invaders. It is simply sticking your head in the sand. Wishful thinking. When different people, or too many people, want the same resources then technology will be destroyed in the struggle. If it was capable of being the solution, then it would have already done so.


Believe me, I never thought technology itself would be the answer. It's at best half of it. Overcoming crises, and making the best use of technology, for example to expand into space, will require stronger government, based on a new ideology.
#14983347
starman2003 wrote:Believe me, I never thought technology itself would be the answer. It's at best half of it. Overcoming crises, and making the best use of technology, for example to expand into space, will require stronger government, based on a new ideology.


There I agree with you. Technology like government needs decentralized if it is to benefit the masses. Power sources for communities instead of conglomerates covering several states. Community control of web censorship instead of corporations with an agenda. Use technology to build self sufficient communities instead of one system/solution for all controlled by global corporations. We need redundancy for survival.
Yes, major expenditures on space travel even if we doubt it is practical.
#14983365
One Degree wrote:There I agree with you. Technology like government needs decentralized if it is to benefit the masses.


:lol: I don't want to benefit the selfish, ignorant masses, at least not in the sense of catering to them. But a strong, authoritarian state can still benefit them by stopping overconsumption and overpopulation.

Use technology to build self sufficient communities instead of one system/solution for all controlled by global corporations.


I want the State to be supreme not corporations. Decisions should be made by those mainly concerned with a greater whole like the State or environment, not personal aggrandizement.

Yes, major expenditures on space travel even if we doubt it is practical.


Longterm it is practical, yet it's only possible if there's a powerful State preferably of global extent, not a greatly subdivided world where every community is virtually its own state.
#14983372
starman2003 wrote::lol: I don't want to benefit the selfish, ignorant masses, at least not in the sense of catering to them. But a strong, authoritarian state can still benefit them by stopping overconsumption and overpopulation.



I want the State to be supreme not corporations. Decisions should be made by those mainly concerned with a greater whole like the State or environment, not personal aggrandizement.



Longterm it is practical, yet it's only possible if there's a powerful State preferably of global extent, not a greatly subdivided world where every community is virtually its own state.


Autonomous countries are cooperating in space exploration now. Centralized authoritarianism is not necessary to pursue common goals.
Since when have we had a state that cared about the whole? Their lip service to it doesn’t match the reality. It is the ‘ignorant masses’ who actually care about the whole, not the elite. Don’t confuse idealism with reality.
#14983382
One Degree wrote:Autonomous countries are cooperating in space exploration now. Centralized authoritarianism is not necessary to pursue common goals.


It would be a lot more efficient with one central authority directing it--to say nothing of the ability of authoritarianism to devote adequate resources in the first place. Here in the US, where priorities are established by joe blow, far more is blown on tobacco alone than on space.


Since when have we had a state that cared about the whole? Their lip service to it doesn’t match the reality. It is the ‘ignorant masses’ who actually care about the whole, not the elite. Don’t confuse idealism with reality.


:lol: If the masses really cared about the whole, environmental problems would've been solved long ago, and there wouldn't be a soaring national debt....The masses want benefits as high as possible and taxes as low as possible. If that bankrupts the country as a whole, fine....The greatest authoritarian states of the past century were far from ideal, to be sure. But their emphasis on military preparedness, and in the case of the USSR space, instead of individual luxuries, clearly indicated the State or whole was their principal concern.
#14983397
starman2003 wrote:It would be a lot more efficient with one central authority directing it--to say nothing of the ability of authoritarianism to devote adequate resources in the first place. Here in the US, where priorities are established by joe blow, far more is blown on tobacco alone than on space.




:lol: If the masses really cared about the whole, environmental problems would've been solved long ago, and there wouldn't be a soaring national debt....The masses want benefits as high as possible and taxes as low as possible. If that bankrupts the country as a whole, fine....The greatest authoritarian states of the past century were far from ideal, to be sure. But their emphasis on military preparedness, and in the case of the USSR space, instead of individual luxuries, clearly indicated the State or whole was their principal concern.


Ah, efficiency. The holy grail that justifies authoritarianism. What exactly is your hurry? Why is efficiency ‘good’? I prefer sustained commitment and enjoying the trip. I see no need to sacrifice for ‘efficiency’. I see no need to be in a hurry if I am concerned for the ‘whole’ instead of myself. Let’s plan and proceed with moderation.
#14983618
This earlier quote of mine;
Related issues i'll be bringing up next week, that will bring on the next phase of the present Dark Age;

1. A prediction; ISIS, or a group very much like it and with some of the same membership, will absolutely rule the greater part of the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, and Central Asia, and will threaten to engulf Europe as well, seizing what is now the Balkans, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, and Britain. Pretty much everything on the Western and Southern sides of the Elbe and Danube rivers. And all this, within the next 50 to 100 years, and hundreds of millions of people dead and displaced.

2. America will not exist in it's present form in 30 years or less.

3. neither will China or India.


Entirely flows logically from the premises of Barbarism vs. Civilization and a worldwide systemic collapse/transition
#14983712
One Degree wrote:Ah, efficiency. The holy grail that justifies authoritarianism. What exactly is your hurry?


With regard to the environment, problems are urgent. We shouldn't wait for "the tipping point"...

Why is efficiency ‘good’?


It's not wasteful and gets the most out of available resources.

I see no need to sacrifice for ‘efficiency’.


Sacrifice is to benefit a greater whole.

I see no need to be in a hurry if I am concerned for the ‘whole’ instead of myself. Let’s plan and proceed with moderation.


Unfortunately certain environmental etc problems can't wait very long. Careful planning is fine but the sooner solutions are implemented the better.
#14983713
I think we agree on a lot so don’t take my comments as argumentative but just as additional commenting.

With regard to the environment, problems are urgent. We shouldn't wait for "the tipping point"...


The tipping point has already been reached with too many people. Unless we are ready to start eliminating them, there isn’t much we can do that will be acceptable. The simplest, to give us time, is to stop immigration to advanced countries, but this is opposed by the very people who say they are concerned about the environment.

It's not wasteful and gets the most out of available resources.

This is only necessary if you have too many people.

Sacrifice is to benefit a greater whole.


Sure, but there is little need for the major sacrifice that is usually asked. As applied to climate change, the masses are asked to make sacrifices that will accomplish nothing, while the major causes are ignored. Flying to meetings about climate change beautifully demonstrates the hypocrisy involved.

Unfortunately certain environmental etc problems can't wait very long. Careful planning is fine but the sooner solutions are implemented the better.

No one is interested in doing this. It is all lip service for votes. People are ignorant and hypocrites. They want climate change solutions that don’t hurt the economy. It’s silly to even discuss it under those conditions.
#14983987
One Degree wrote:

No one is interested in doing this. It is all lip service for votes. People are ignorant and hypocrites. They want climate change solutions that don’t hurt the economy. It’s silly to even discuss it under those conditions.


Regardless of what the actual crisis or set of crises are, modern representative democracy ''delays the decision'', as Carl Schmidtt put it. As part of my frankly Personalist and Barbaric philosophy of politics, I believe that people accept the modern state in order to cede control over having to make the hard decisions of a more universal and higher nature to other persons, usually fairly anonymous people at that. Hard decisions get lost in committee...

And so it is modern ''representative government'' that is not really government at all, but the real anarchism of our times. Unless certain officials routinely break the rules and regulations which bind them to this compact of cowardice, and take matters into their own hands behind the scenes, nothing gets done at all.

Since no real decisions are made collectively, best to just live in a private and personal manner individually geared towards surviving and thriving in this transitional phase. Look to your own people, look to your own area.
#14984020
One Degree wrote:I think we agree on a lot so don’t take my comments as argumentative but just as additional commenting.

The tipping point has already been reached with too many people. Unless we are ready to start eliminating them, there isn’t much we can do that will be acceptable. The simplest, to give us time, is to stop immigration to advanced countries, but this is opposed by the very people who say they are concerned about the environment.


The key solutions are population control and reduced consumption, both generally too unpopular to be possible in a democracy.

Sure, but there is little need for the major sacrifice that is usually asked. As applied to climate change, the masses are asked to make sacrifices that will accomplish nothing, while the major causes are ignored. Flying to meetings about climate change beautifully demonstrates the hypocrisy involved.


Whether you call sacrifices major or not, it hasn't proved possible to do enough in this regard to solve the problems (economic as well as environmental).


No one is interested in doing this. It is all lip service for votes. People are ignorant and hypocrites. They want climate change solutions that don’t hurt the economy. It’s silly to even discuss it under those conditions.


The better informed segment of society is interested but yes, despite the urgency, there are no real solutions. The real problem in fact is not excess CO2 or deficits. Rectifying both, and others, isn't really difficult in principle. The problem is democracy, under which rectification is simply impossible.
#14984731
@annatar1914

For some reason I did not receive notifications about this topic. I hope you didn't think I was ignoring you.

Your thesis is very interesting and I can understand why you would think that we will return to barbarism. However in nearly every historic epoch since the Dark Ages there has never been a vacuum of authority. There will always be states and rulers, and I think civilisation will always exist in some form. The present civilisation is quite strange and out of control, we're in the height of post-modernity. What replaces it will not be anarchy or barbarism but probably a return to an older type of conservatism, perhaps even an imagined simulacra of pre-modernity, something like political Traditionalism. The Croatian philosopher Branko Malić has explored the ways in which political Traditionalism is an impossibility and a type of inauthentic projection as a way of coping with the emptiness of modernity.

I don't think we've yet exhausted the possibilities. We can still create a beautiful state and ideology free from the errors of previous ones. Just because the communists and fascists failed does not exclude us from the possibility of creating a new idea or even taking what was good from old ones and making and trying again.

I agree that modernity has made us into passive and docile consumers but one day people will get tired of this, I think. People will want to look for meaning in their lives. As this existence becomes ever more vapid perhaps some will choose to look to religion and traditional ways again.

A big problem is that a lot of people don't like to read and especially not non-fiction. There is a decline in interest in history and the humanities.

If anything is going to improve the cultural and political life of this era it will be in people starting to take an interest in the humanities. People need to pick up books again and stop playing computer games.

I think we discussed this in another topic but sooner or later people will get bored of vapid existence. There's only so much hedonism before people get tired of it. Once hedonism reaches its maximal phase I would not be surprised if we start to see society calming down a little bit. We're now even starting to see the younger generations taking more conservative stances, I mean the ones born in the late 1990s and 2000s. They seem to drink less too.
#14984868
@Political Interest ,



For some reason I did not receive notifications about this topic. I hope you didn't think I was ignoring you.


Sorry you did not get the notification, and do not fear that I thought I was being neglected in conversation, as this thread has probably been the hardest to express my thoughts about that i've yet written, and I suspect a fair amount of it is ''thinking out loud''. However, your contributions as always are valued greatly. You said;


Your thesis is very interesting and I can understand why you would think that we will return to barbarism. However in nearly every historic epoch since the Dark Ages there has never been a vacuum of authority. There will always be states and rulers, and I think civilisation will always exist in some form. The present civilisation is quite strange and out of control, we're in the height of post-modernity. What replaces it will not be anarchy or barbarism but probably a return to an older type of conservatism, perhaps even an imagined simulacra of pre-modernity, something like political Traditionalism. The Croatian philosopher Branko Malić has explored the ways in which political Traditionalism is an impossibility and a type of inauthentic projection as a way of coping with the emptiness of modernity.


I guess that I have in a somewhat idiosyncratic way managed to define ''barbarism'' as a near-synonym to Oswald Spengler's ''Culture'', as opposed to his ''Civilization'', or Orestes Brownson's definition of political ''barbarism'' as being private rights over and against a societal notion of the ''common good'', whatever that may mean. If civilization is collapsing, or will do so soon, it changes my political valuation of what I believe human beings are capable of immensely.

I too have to be wary when I am discussing ''Tradition'' with others who may not understand what I mean by those words, because in itself ''traditions'' of men are worthless in my mind, but as an Orthodox Christian I have a belief in the traditions of the faith of Christ and His Gospel, ever-young and eternal, which is another matter. Both human tradition and human ''progress'' I try to measure by that yardstick of the eternally true and valid.

I don't think we've yet exhausted the possibilities. We can still create a beautiful state and ideology free from the errors of previous ones. Just because the communists and fascists failed does not exclude us from the possibility of creating a new idea or even taking what was good from old ones and making and trying again.


I'm open to a discussion on that, believe me, i'd like nothing better than to maintain my personalism and drop my pessimism to a degree. I have said that I can be optimistic even in the midst of such an age, but i'm human, i'd rather see it as a transition to a better phase if I can be persuaded, than a possible 1000 years of darkness.

I agree that modernity has made us into passive and docile consumers but one day people will get tired of this, I think. People will want to look for meaning in their lives. As this existence becomes ever more vapid perhaps some will choose to look to religion and traditional ways again.


People may not have a choice but to look for meaning when their idols and illusions fail them.

A big problem is that a lot of people don't like to read and especially not non-fiction. There is a decline in interest in history and the humanities.


It requires an Elite that has not turned against it's own culture or lost it's inner core of vital existence and decided to enforce conformity and regimentation at the expense of further social development, as Arnold Toynbee once wrote.

If anything is going to improve the cultural and political life of this era it will be in people starting to take an interest in the humanities. People need to pick up books again and stop playing computer games.


I agree 100%, although in places like this we and others constitute a ''republic of letters'' of our own, do we not?

I think we discussed this in another topic but sooner or later people will get bored of vapid existence. There's only so much hedonism before people get tired of it. Once hedonism reaches its maximal phase I would not be surprised if we start to see society calming down a little bit. We're now even starting to see the younger generations taking more conservative stances, I mean the ones born in the late 1990s and 2000s. They seem to drink less too.


It may have already dawned on them that much of the crisis of modern times has fallen on their shoulders, and so fewer are walking around with illusions about living in a party that never ends, as their parents and even (or especially...) their grandparents might.

So let's carry this on, i'd like to hear your input on these matters-have I given in to a kind of pessimism and malaise, decided to let everything go to the Devil, or am I on to something? I can take constructive criticism either way, I assure you
#14984911
Political Interest wrote:I don't think we've yet exhausted the possibilities. We can still create a beautiful state and ideology free from the errors of previous ones. Just because the communists and fascists failed does not exclude us from the possibility of creating a new idea or even taking what was good from old ones and making and trying again.


Yes indeed. That's what I've long advocated. :) I think it'll take crises to wake people up from the current doldrums.
#14985073
starman2003 wrote:Yes indeed. That's what I've long advocated. :) I think it'll take crises to wake people up from the current doldrums.


@starman2003 , you're right, it does take crises to wake people up from the doldrums, their malaise and apathy, but...

The Elites, formally the rulers of a society or otherwise (a subject in itself that I plan on raising later in the thread), are the real ones who either create and/or overcome a crisis or challenge which maintains the societies' vitality and adaptability, not the generally inert masses. If the Elites do not or will not overcome a crisis, than the whole society is effected and begins to break down. This has actually happened with Western civilization in my opinion.

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