Homo Sapiens' Race Towards Destruction - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The 'no government' movement.
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#14288053
Under the rule of despotic leaders, the most apparently intelligent species on the planet is racing with unbridled vigor towards consuming all available resources and maximizing the waste of society by consumer-oriented markets. The production of arms and the waste of energy stands unparalleled by all of history's empires. The massacre of humans and the growth rate of the world population, coupled with the retroactive trends in education and literacy, have led towards possibly the most immoral and ignorant portrait of human society in recorded history. The world stands on the potential precipice of nuclear arms crisis, ultimately resulting in disaster; or the very scientifically certain precipice of environmental catastrophe; meanwhile the plebeian class is largely ignorant of the water beginning to boil in the kitchen pot; and the species (now the proverbial frog in the pot) is getting cooked in the steam of our own industrial waste.

Those with the means to live are glued to media and gaming; those without the means to live are downtrodden in the street without social sustenance or the tangible possibility of long-term survival; not to mention no shred or semblance of a democratic political voice. The malnutrition rates soar, the literacy rates plummet. Where is our race headed?

Grandiose pictures of the future aggrandized in novels of the science-fiction genre of literature lead us to the dream of a humanity spanning the visible cosmos...but how can we get off the sphere that birthed us if we can't even tend to it's most basic of needs? It is not a mere romanticism to call this Earth our 'mother'. It is a truism. We, the most visibly intelligent of her children, appear to be attempting to prove that we haven't the survival skills of her most basic of organisms.

By whom shall we be saved? Are we to wait in the hope for extraterrestrial intervention to save our world from the howling primate's inability to moderate the more pathological specimens of their congregation from leading the entirety of life on the planet to an unsustainable, and largely desolate future? Are we to sit in silence while our pathologically insane despots issue decrees that deny basic human rights, dignity, or the foundations of any semblance of morality? Are we to rise up in civil protest and press the demands and grievances of the world population against the masters of mankind that sit in lofty thrones above the world? Certainly, we are not to resort to the most heinous means of pressing a rational grievance; that of violence.

How can meaningful and lasting change be wrought in the wildly extravagant beast of the modern market, which ultimately rules the world to the great exclusion of state-governments?
#14288057
I posted a somewhat relevant response here. I did it as a funny first introduction, but I see the subject as a serious one.


The basic stance that, we as a species needs to take, is to move past the industrial era and push forth into the technological age. There really is no going back, just forward and by deciding to do so, we can take responsibility for our actions, rather than hoping that everything will turn out alright.

The resources of the Planet are in a downward spiral and we are slowly, but assuredly closing the launch corridors needed to travel into orbit. Man needs to force the next social evolution and do so with planed architecture. Going into space will allow a new boom in industry, education, science, etc.

There are few areas that would not benefit from such a concentrated endeavor. The flip-side is, there is a limited time to reach the stars in a permanent manner. As, once we put to much crap in orbit, use to many natural resources, or see to great of a decline in our societies ability to afford space exploration, then we all are in the same doomed position.

That being, we will stagnate and consume ourselves into extinction.
#14288782
On the contrary. Humanity has never had it better.

At no point in history have more people enjoyed a higher standard of living, food security, longer and richer lives, access to communication and information, diverse experiences and life choices.

At no point in history (perhaps since the stone age) have humans lived in cleaner environment, with cheaper access to energy and other natural resources.

At no point in history was humanity as well-educated as it is today, nor were the moral standards guiding it as high. Violence at all levels (inter-personal, by small groups all the way to wars, as well as violence against women, children, minorities and animals) is at a historic low.
#14288995
I'm, with Eran, here. We're certainly better off than we were a few centuries ago, when disease and natural disasters ravaged humanity.
#14289005
OK. Yet one can see logical conclusions. We know we have more people alive today than have ever died. Our renewable resources are being depleted and will soon move past the point of being renewable. Commodities will rise to higher points of demand, starvation and mass poverty will follow.

The above is just a singular aspect of a multifaceted problem. The future may ALWAYS uncertain, but what is certain is that doing nothing will not solve those problems. At this point we need a stop gap, to have room to alleviate those problems and to eventually solve them.

The extraterrestrial resources available are vast, in the extreme, they are also more easily processed and cheaper than current practice. Lack of resources will cause the problems listed above, due to food shortages, other shortages and food shortages will lead to uprisings and wars.

Do you really not see this?
#14289011
The world, and the humans on it, will eventually achieve an equilibrium. Of course, there will be problems until that happens, but no one ever said it'd be easy, or simple.

That said, I do NOT think that humanity is heading towards destruction. There might be some serious renovations and house cleaning, of course.
#14289042
The world, and the humans on it, will eventually achieve an equilibrium.
The point is, said equilibrium will not just spontaneously occur and if those serious renovations do not happen the we are heading towards destruction.

However, I respect you and your right to a POV. So I see little reason to harp on the subject.

This has of course, prompted me post an entire thread regarding the course of the destruction that I and others, perceive to be a completely foreseeable future, should steps not be taken to avoid it.
#14289046
Humanity has never had it better.


This assertion is largely defied by the statistical data of humans living in what came to be politically dubbed the 'third world' in the past century. I will quote a small excerpt from 'Deaths and Wars in the 20th Century' by Milton Leitenberg writing for Cornell University's Peace Studies Program:

"In 1994, the historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote that 187 million people were “killed or allowed to die by human decision” in what he called the “short century”–a period of about 75 years from 1914 to 1991." Mr. Leitenberg goes on to write that 44 million human casualties were left out of this figure due to the time frame, collectively bringing the world total up to 231 million people killed by human decision in the 20th century, alone.

This presupposes that when you speak of 'humanity' and its ever-improving conditions that we are also referring to the people of the war-ravaged nations of the Earth as part of humanity. If we accept this supposition, the past century of imperialism and the spread of the United States empire has heralded a severe drop in the living standards of almost all the countries where we have given aid, or where we have had any national security interest. The historical record giving evidence to this is exemplary in its support of this statement. The United States is, of course, not the only malefactor to be seen in the record; but by far it has held the highest death toll in the modern era. Other culprits include Britain, France, the former Soviet Union, China, Japan, Germany, and the list goes on.

At no point in history have more people enjoyed a higher standard of living


It can be argued that pre-colonial America (North and South) enjoyed a much higher standard of living than the present day post-imperial cases. The poverty line in Latin America is astoundingly high compared to first world industrialized nations; I can cite examples of this if you wish. [Edit: It is to be noted, also, that the poverty line increased, not decreased, as the 20th century progressed] Africa shares a magnified version of this very condition, much of Asia resides in the same boat; so when you say that more people enjoy a higher standard of living, are you defining the majority of the world's population as 'people'?

At no point in history have more people enjoyed a higher standard of living, food security, longer and richer lives, access to communication and information, diverse experiences and life choices.


As for food security, let me cite a paragraph from 'worldhunger.org' in opposition to the assertion of the above statement:

"The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people, or one in eight people in the world, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing counties. There are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries."

The estimate that 1/8 of all humans on the face of the planet are suffering from undernourishment is rather staggeringly against the idea that our food security is the best it has ever been in the history of our species. It is, indeed, true; what we refer to as developed countries have a rather decent rate of food security: however, the nations we disparagingly call the threshold nations, or developing nations...are not so fortunate.

longer and richer lives


The first part is a provable statistic; which, as far as I know, is only true in the first world developed nations; there are many cases to support that the life expectancy of nations in the global south has diminished sharply in the past century. The second part, 'richer lives' is, I believe, subjective in nature. I find gardening enriching to my life, I could have easily done that in many eras of human history.

access to communication and information


I would like to begin, in refuting this statement, to say that I don't entirely disagree with you. If you live in the United States, or France, or any advanced nation, your access to communication and information is likely much greater than it ever has been at any point in the entirety of human history. However, if you live in Cuba, your access to communication may be a bit more limited than those living in the developed Western world. This is a debatable statement, considering a great portion of the world's population live in conditions quite dissimilar to those that we fine gentlemen here discussing them enjoy. Many of them don't have access to modern forms of technological communication.

The same goes for information; many people in the world hear only what their propagandists tell them. In the United States, my own country, I can easily make the case that the mass populace is, in fact, deprived of essential information. There is a documented, open, systematic propaganda system that seeks to shift the focus of affairs from relevant issues to more intangible fancies. I think this is quite secondary to the debate at hand, so I will not go into great detail; if you wish, you can ask and I will elaborate on my opinion.

diverse experiences and life choices.


Again, if you live in Maryland, this may be true. If you're one of the hundreds of millions that face starvation, this is less true.

At no point in history was humanity as well-educated as it is today, nor were the moral standards guiding it as high. Violence at all levels (inter-personal, by small groups all the way to wars, as well as violence against women, children, minorities and animals) is at a historic low.


I will note, firstly, that we have redefined what 'war' is in the United States. We have an entire category of military action known as, 'military operations other than war' which, by the Oxford dictionary definition; qualify as war. The statistics guiding this assertion may be flawed, though I will have to do an amount of research before I make the accusation. However, I can safely assure you that at almost no point in the post-World War II period, has there been a pax universalis. At any given decade you can point to actions that the larger imperial powers of the planet have taken to eradicate untold amounts of innocents. There have been more genocides in this past century than at any point in human history before now; there have been greater casualties than in any period before now. I will say, however, that there is a large gap in intellectual literature concerning this due to the imperial nature of education. We are disciplined to not speak about the policies of ours that murder millions.

Education is an interesting point, education is largely a tool of indoctrination. It can be used, obviously, as a tool to enlighten humans and to aid them in their pursuit of diverse and fulfilling knowledge that raises their standard of morals. However, our education is anything but moral. How many of the children of my generation were taught that the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans was a sound and moral practice? How many of my generation were taught that we were carrying out humanitarian efforts in our countless interventions? How many of us were taught that national security precludes peace?

At no point in history (perhaps since the stone age) have humans lived in cleaner environment


I assume by 'environment' in the context of this sentence that you are referring to hygiene and the environment of living spaces, not the global environment. If you are referring to or including the natural environment, I would reverse your assertion. At no point in human history have humans lived in a more filthy, atrocious, or forlorn environment. As to personal hygiene and living conditions; that varies so widely from household to household and from nation to nation that the assertion seems rather dubious. The millions who can't afford food certainly aren't living in the best conditions humanity has ever seen, I would safely assume that hundreds of millions more whom have food don't necessarily have any sort of reasonably clean environment. Again, in this case I will cite examples if need be. It isn't hard at all to find data to support these statements of mine, as I find they are unfortunately, most true.

with cheaper access to energy and other natural resources.


This is a fair example of precisely what I was talking about in my original post. The access to our resources is cheap...what does that imply? That we are over-mining, that we are creating an abundance of energy resources. I don't know where you live, but where I live the vast majority of energy resources are fossil fuels. Your statement here is indicative of humanity facing destruction, not of higher human standards of living.

I will admit, I like energy as much as the next man. However, in my own country, the statistics of people who rely on personal transportation in the form of a motor vehicle is staggering. To say they have transportation and this increases their standard of living is true on its face; but it disregards that there are other, vastly more efficient systems that are marginalized or completely neglected in our society. The consumption of fossil fuels is, scientifically, a bad thing for the species. Not just our species, either, the entirety of terrestrial species. The access to energy resources in the form of fossil fuels, therefore, precludes a higher standard of morality. It is not moral to utilize these resources in the fashion that we currently are.

In conclusion, I think that your statements are patently false, and that your perception is naive in that it only takes into account the wealthier nations of the world. These nations are not wealthy by accident or by simple luck, as though fate bestowed upon them some great fortune. These nations are wealthy by imperial dominion over the majority of the Earth, whom they subject to miserable living conditions, working conditions, and generally treat as slaves. I would be glad to elucidate upon this position if you have any doubts of it, I assure you it is the standard for powerful states in history, and it has not changed simply due to the rhetoric being improved.

Our chances of destruction are imminent, not simply rising. I will, if asked, elucidate the number of recorded events where nuclear war between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. was only narrowly avoided. As for the environment, this is science. There is no debate in the scientific mainstream community that we are facing catastrophic environmental disaster in the future if we continue to consume energy resources (fossil fuels) at the rate we currently are. In support of the statement, it is estimated that consumption of fossil fuels will only rise dramatically in the future; there are very few measures being taken to limit the growth of the market, most are to expand it.

Godstud wrote:The world, and the humans on it, will eventually achieve an equilibrium. Of course, there will be problems until that happens, but no one ever said it'd be easy, or simple.

That said, I do NOT think that humanity is heading towards destruction. There might be some serious renovations and house cleaning, of course.


The future is always uncertain, yes; but not all things are uncertain in what is thus called the 'foreseeable future'. For example, if I start rolling a ball down a hill, I can foresee it will continue rolling of it's own kinetic momentum. There are some aspects of human society and global condition that are no less apparent than this example. It is apparent, by repeated observation and predictions proved true; that we are facing environmental catastrophe. It is apparent that the human population on the Earth is rising at an exponential rate. It is known that there is limited arable land and limited resources. Currently we have room to grow, say, for another three or four billion inhabitants. However, this supposition presupposes that we have a socialist world government wherein all arable land is cultivated and we distribute the produce of this cultivation equally among the members of the race.

Your statement, calling for equilibrium, is a call for the massacre of the majority of the world's population. House cleaning is...what? To find equilibrium in an imbalanced system of consumption one of two things must occur: Either we must limit the consumption of our resources by the parties that are consuming them; or we must reduce the parties that are consuming them to maintain some semblance of equilibrium. So either we severely slow or stop using fossil fuels, for instance; or we kill off the majority of the world and use the remaining resources for ourselves. This applies to food, after a certain population level is reached, as well. There are limits to what we can produce, and even now; when we over-produce food, much of the world is malnourished. So what equilibrium is there?

I'm not saying it's hopeless, mind you, and I don't mean to ridicule your point; I simply find it overly optimistic when it has no cause to be. Given the history of humanity, our current state of affairs, and our foreseeable future; this issue is fairly certain: We are headed towards a mass dying event the likes of which humanity has never experienced.
Last edited by Wulfcaen on 17 Aug 2013 07:59, edited 7 times in total.
#14289059
^ wrote:These nations are not wealthy by accident or by simple luck, as though fate bestowed upon them some great fortune. These nations are wealthy by imperial dominion over the majority of the Earth, whom they subject to miserable living conditions, working conditions, and generally treat as slaves.
This is a topic for another thread, it must be, or it will completely overshadow and take over.

However, in short, I disagree. (The below is also short, I am sure we could and will, go for pages on the subject) Let me know and we can make another thread, or have this one split.

Lets use the USA for an example.

Distribution of wealth is uneven, however the average person in America maintains in extremely high standard of living, compared to any country on Earth. Fate did bestow great fortune, it came in the shape of the countries size, rich soil, growing areas and natural resources of all kinds.

America does not subject other countries to miserable living conditions, working conditions, nor do they treat others as slaves. Other countries have their own set standard, that standard may be more than, equal to, or less than the standards enjoyed by the USA.

Trade is engaged in and it is mutually beneficial, America could pay more for goods and services provided by countries with a lower living/economic standard but there is little reason to do so. Why? Because the market bares the prices negotiated, by both sides. Said country could seek another buyer who is willing to pay a higher premium and America in turn, could seek another country willing to sell at a lower premium.

So any negotiations are, by their very nature, consensual and mutually beneficial, as there is always the option to not trade, or to seek trade with others.

Add to this that America:

Gives more global aid than all other countries combined, in order to help other nations increase their economic/living standards.
Provides education, training, infrastructure upgrades and manpower to help other nations increase their economic/living standards.
Engages in economic stimulus trades, that cost America the ability to compete/trade in an otherwise open market, in order to help other nations increase their economic/living standards.

Past this, there is no obligation to do any of the above, as each country takes on the responsibility of caring for their own needs, providing for their own consumption and improving their own standards.

No other country should be expected to help, no other country should be held accountable and no other country should have the right to blame another country for having a higher living/economic standard.

I am positive that there are instances that can be argued, that show that America took advantage, or forced capitulation. Regardless of that fact, those instances by no means permanently retarded said countries ability to care for themselves, modernize, educate, or build their infrastructure progressively.
#14289061
KFlint, I respect your opinion and you as a person. Your stated views are entirely standard, and is what we are taught in public school. I mean no offense, it is just what we grow up in. I will edit this post shortly after I have compiled a list of supporting citations that demonstrate what I mean to say. I once held these same views, but I have since learned what I believe to be truths that disregard this view almost entirely. That said, this is somewhat off topic, but not so much as to create a new thread in my opinion. As vastly the most powerful state on Earth, we are in the lead in contributing to almost all the factors I have mentioned.

For the sake of clarity and credibility I will try to stick to academic and government sources to make my case. This post will likely be updated several times, as I wish to respond accurately and to offer the widest array of data available that I may accumulate.

Below is a link to a short list of U.S. interventions since 1890:

http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

Quoting an excerpt from the summarization of the list.

"In 1898, it [the U.S.] seized the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico from Spain, and in 1917-18 became embroiled in World War I in Europe. In the first half of the 20th century it repeatedly sent Marines to "protectorates" such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. All these interventions directly served corporate interests, and many resulted in massive losses of civilians, rebels, and soldiers."

I will shortly compile a much larger and more definitive list of examples where the U.S. has used it's forces to directly intervene and crush local democratic movements or governments in order to secure assets deemed vital to U.S. national interest or to U.S. business interest. The list is not short, it will take me some time. Then I can start the work of the Reagan and post-Reagan era of military funding to mercenary states which accomplished for us the same goal.

I will make note, that our relief aid is real, and we do support the economies of many nations. However, our military aid VASTLY overshadows our humanitarian aid. We fund far more deaths than we save lives. I will shortly edit this post with citations of academic articles to support this assertion, as well.

[Update] It's late and reading through the CIA archives is making my head nod. My update may not be quite as soon as I had hoped. However, it will come.

Below is a link to a CBS news article detailing that Nixon directly ordered the CIA to foment a coup in Chile against the democratically elected leader, Salvador Allende. The regime that followed, that of Augusto Pinochet, who killed dozens of thousands in his reign. I would note the logic that if we intervene to overturn a leader and then support a new one that is favorable to us, this is equivalent to imperialism.

CBS - 'CIA Reveals Covert Acts in Chile'
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/09/11/world/main232452.shtml

It's going to be a long night and a long day of reading CIA and NSA archives. I'll get back to you.
Last edited by Wulfcaen on 17 Aug 2013 08:48, edited 3 times in total.
#14289062
Thank you.

Your stated views are entirely standard, and is what we are taught in public school. I mean no offense, it is just what we grow up in.
Formal education does not cover most of what we discuss on this board, (at least not for me and I had a classical education) nor did it have overly much to do with my response. What I said was gained from years of experience working in the government sector and from personal business dealings.

I always try to keep an open mind though and look forward to what you have to say.
#14289066
For the sake of clarity and credibility I will try to stick to academic and government sources to make my case.
Good! I like that.

We really should start a new thread, or the powers that be will do so anyway, as the discussion does not fall in line with the thread topic.


Thank you for the list, but I would ask that you be WAY more specific in your assertions and the exact stance you hold on each point. This will reduce confusion and make it easier to respond.

I am more than familiar with the actions of the USA, many of those actions reflect a sad/dark time and are negative. Others were needed, asked for, or warranted and others still, were prompted by multiple international interests.

I am not one to work with generalizations, nor do I work well with those that pigeon hole a subject. I like to look at these instances in the larger picture, that being the political settings, the players involved, the regional, global stakes and repercussions.

There is little arguing the fact that America is a militant nation, what, who, how and why is a hell of a lot more complicated than a list of associated conflicts.

I am not suggesting that you do not know this, I am just conveying the idea that said list means nothing, in and of itself.
#14289070
You're quite right, of course. That above list means nothing in and of itself, but it was a tired attempt to reply before a predicted flood of criticism might come about my critique of our beloved fatherland. That said, I love my country, I just really think that the governing body is...what's the word. Erm...powerful? Like all powerful regimes of history they have an agenda. I will not generalize, and I suppose I will start a new thread. I'm currently reading through CIA archive papers concerning Guatemala and Chile, regarding the overthrow of Arbenz and Allende, respectively. I will use these as a basis for my assertion of U.S. imperialism. To give you the level of detail and a proper supporting argument for my case, I will require time to acquire credible research to present. This, also, provides me an opportunity to learn more. This is the first time I've really explored the CIA archives for anything more than idle fun.

I will note that while our discussion concerning U.S. foreign policy is somewhat off the topic of whether or not humanity is racing towards a sharp cliff; the issues can tie in easily. Regardless of whether or not our policy is the cause of poverty in some countries; there is a massive consumption of fossil fuels in the industrialized nations. This is a more important point to this topic, and one I should've stuck to.

Also, our foreign policy towards other nations the bear nuclear arsenals is kind of poignant. Nuclear war will not be forgiving to the world, I imagine.
Last edited by Wulfcaen on 17 Aug 2013 09:23, edited 3 times in total.
#14289071
An update on the progress of my research: I've read through several Central Intelligence Agency documents stored in the archives pertaining directly to our backing, unwavering support, and indeed, our participation in the coup that took place in Guatemala in 1954 under the auspices of Castillo Armas. I will post links and citations of these in a new thread after I have made a presentable case. However, if you would like to expedite the process and see for yourself, I recommend reading other published materials on this issue; those of Noam Chomsky are the main ones that come to mind for me.

And as for the species race towards annihilation, I would like to post a link to a video of the same man, whom I consider to be rather ingenious in his ability to decipher the truth behind U.S. foreign policy.

"Is The Human Species Doomed?" A speech by Noam Chomsky
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYlV_ddDkHI
#14291897
Under the presupposition of compassion as a moral force; I think we should attempt to prevent the imminent extinction of our species. We could evolve into something else, and having sentience and technological capacity, could potentially spread to the extent that would make extinction of the species a near impossibility.
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