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By QatzelOk
#14771574
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A lot of people were buying suburban property in the 70s. And over the last 40 years, normal, modern homeowners have saturated "their" soil with lawn insecticides and other chemicals, making their land toxic and only able to grow a few species of grass with massive doses of chemical fertilizers. Their land "belongs to them" so they can destroy it if they want to - and even if they don't want to, they are free to experiment with their property until they destroy it by accident. Which is what suburban property-owners have done.

2010 was a banner year for oil spill catastrophes. While BP was destroying the Gulf of Mexico on commercial television, Exxon-Mobile was quietly doing even more destruction in Nigeria, which isn't near the US coast. The rest of the earth being a flyover place for commercial media, the Nigerian catastrophe is unknown to most of the people who consume Nigerian oil.

Since oil companies own the oceans and Africa, most American consumers took this in stride, going about their daily lives, feeding chemicals to their patch of grass and trying to collect more status symbols than their neighbors - boats parked in front of massive lawns fronting oversized cartoon-version of plantation houses and Italian villas. Mass media owns our opinions, so we don't have much say in what happens to our environments or what kinds of lives we lead.

The earth is increasingly seen as belonging to large corporations and the tycoons who control them. And if the trend continues, we - the human race including tycoons - will go extinct. Which is a shame, but there's nothing we can or ought to do about it because the rich own the non-rich as well. The 1% won all their class wars.

We belong to them.

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By jakell
#14771607
You don't know much about soil.

The majority of insecticides and chemical fertilisers available to modern homeowners will not destroy the soil and don't do permanent damage, the only chemicals that might would be those containing toxic metals. Soils may be depleted by overuse of chemical fertilisers but, unless this leads to erosion, the organic matter can be built back up (along with the soil life) in a few years by a gardener who knows what he is doing.

Nature would be unimpressed by your melodrama.
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By One Degree
#14771652
The majority of insecticides and chemical fertilisers available to modern homeowners will not destroy the soil and don't do permanent damage


I realize you are discussing soil, but making them look harmless is not a good thing. They are destroying our water supply and that is permanent for some people who drink it and maybe for all of us eventually.
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By jakell
#14771660
One Degree wrote:I realize you are discussing soil, but making them look harmless is not a good thing. They are destroying our water supply and that is permanent for some people who drink it and maybe for all of us eventually.


Yes, they aren't harmless, I was countering Q's remark about soil 'destruction', particularly about homeowners doing it. The most harm they do is concreting it over, which usually involves some removal too.
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By MB.
#14771682
What astonishes me is that it is apparently still not widely understood that capitalism is essentially irrational, and as constituted in the US and other "free market" countries has been engineered to ensure wealth redistribution to the elite. Despite this, people seem, amazingly, satisfied to be given the "opportunity" of transfering their labour into useless luxury commodities to assuage their sense of egoism at not being rich enough. People actually spend their entire lives accumulating material goods for no rational reason, and don't seem surprised when they inevitably die, rendering their acquisitions of questionable utility.

The truth is that Americans, and other free market countries, are so decieved by their government's corporate agenda that they willfully go to the grave in defence of the elites right to own 100 million dollar mansions. Truly and incredible achievement for ideaology
By Decky
#14771685
Sensible people spend most of their disposable income on drink instead of hoarding useless stuff.
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By QatzelOk
#14771691
jakell wrote:Yes, they aren't harmless, I was countering Q's remark about soil 'destruction', particularly about homeowners doing it. The most harm they do is concreting it over, which usually involves some removal too.

Suburbia was a scourge to nature and to the productivity of land for every species, including our own. This is the important principle to take away.

MB. wrote:What astonishes me is that it is apparently still not widely understood that capitalism is essentially irrational, and as constituted in the US and other "free market" countries has been engineered to ensure wealth redistribution to the elite. Despite this, people seem, amazingly, satisfied to be given the "opportunity" of transfering their labour into useless luxury commodities to assuage their sense of egoism at not being rich enough. People actually spend their entire lives accumulating material goods for no rational reason, and don't seem surprised when they inevitably die, rendering their acquisitions of questionable utility.

The truth is that Americans, and other free market countries, are so decieved by their government's corporate agenda that they willfully go to the grave in defence of the elites right to own 100 million dollar mansions. Truly and incredible achievement for ideaology

Don't be amazed by this. This is because the elites control the opinions of the 99% via religion, false flags, and mass media. The opinions of normal people belong to the rich. This is as bad as letting the rich "rent" us our air or our bodies. The elite brainwash and legislate us into wanting and buying things that are useless, and often very harmful (like cars).

In a propaganda-saturate environment that has been designed to control human behavior, the inhabitants don't really have agency; their opinions have been programmed for them. They belong to the rich.
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By Donald
#14771695
MB. wrote:What astonishes me is that it is apparently still not widely understood that capitalism is essentially irrational, and as constituted in the US and other "free market" countries has been engineered to ensure wealth redistribution to the elite. Despite this, people seem, amazingly, satisfied to be given the "opportunity" of transfering their labour into useless luxury commodities to assuage their sense of egoism at not being rich enough. People actually spend their entire lives accumulating material goods for no rational reason, and don't seem surprised when they inevitably die, rendering their acquisitions of questionable utility.

The truth is that Americans, and other free market countries, are so decieved by their government's corporate agenda that they willfully go to the grave in defence of the elites right to own 100 million dollar mansions. Truly and incredible achievement for ideaology


I'm not sure if this is a critique of capitalism or of human beings (or both)? There are irrational aspects of accumulative cycles, but capitalism is still the most efficient way to distribute goods and services. The perpetuation of capitalist power is partly dependent on the recurrence of an irrational component rooted in the anthropocentric problem of desire (rather than some inorganic structure of society) and the irrational locomotion of the soul in concert with reason (see Aristotle's De Anima), which is also at the centre of capitalism as a revolutionary project. It is what makes it difficult to regulate the ownership of 100 million dollar homes when everyone and their mother wants one or something close to it.
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By noemon
#14771703
MB. wrote:What astonishes me is that it is apparently still not widely understood that capitalism is essentially irrational, and as constituted in the US and other "free market" countries has been engineered to ensure wealth redistribution to the elite. Despite this, people seem, amazingly, satisfied to be given the "opportunity" of transfering their labour into useless luxury commodities to assuage their sense of egoism at not being rich enough. People actually spend their entire lives accumulating material goods for no rational reason, and don't seem surprised when they inevitably die, rendering their acquisitions of questionable utility.

The truth is that Americans, and other free market countries, are so decieved by their government's corporate agenda that they willfully go to the grave in defence of the elites right to own 100 million dollar mansions. Truly and incredible achievement for ideaology


In defence of capitalism, I am more likely to agree with Donald. I believe that capitalism is a lot more efficient in creating jobs, wealth and goods. Goods, services and jobs that we may not need for our sustenance but I do not see that as a good enough argument. We have seen economies that relied on autarky such as for example Sparta & Soviet Russia who eventually underperformed, lacked competitiveness and were eventually overpowered. This national or supra-national competition makes it dangerous for one of the players to drop his hammer and focus on more "noble" things. If we reach the level of a united global government, and competition was made redundant only then we would be able to engage in different economic systems.
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By One Degree
#14771705
If we reach the level of a united global government, and competition was made redundant only then we would be able to engage in different economic systems.


It is possible for countries to compete in a capitalist market without having a domestic capitalist system. I see no reason why a country could not eliminate money domestically for instance, but still use it in international trade.
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By jakell
#14771864
QatzelOk wrote:Suburbia was a scourge to nature and to the productivity of land for every species, including our own. This is the important principle to take away.



This is a lazy assertion, nearly everything we do impinges on nature to a degree. The phrase 'Productivity of Land' (for who, by who?) is a pretty meaningless in a ecological sense, it sounds like something from an industrial farming manual.

If you recall, I was countering your assertion that homeowners are 'destroying' the soil with pesticides and chemicals and now it looks like you are ceding that this is hyperbolic by focusing on those who built suburbia in the first place.
Above I referenced the concreting over of soil, and this pretty much describes what suburbia has done. Concrete and buildings can be removed though, and the soil (even if there's not much left) can be rejuvenated, I'm not talking fantasy here, I've recently brought back (and made fertile) a piece of land that has been under concrete for 50 years. It if had been a lawn then it would have been even easier.
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By QatzelOk
#14771948
jakell wrote:This is a lazy assertion, nearly everything we do impinges on nature to a degree.

It's not a lazy assertion. Suburbia involves maximimizing resource-consumption including the reduction of the maximum acreage into nature-deprived lawns, roadways and parking lots. And it makes the masses even more dependent on commercial media (owned by them, the 1%) by isolating people. This is more anti-nature - anti-human-nature. And it exacerbates the "We belong to them" by making "we" very socially disconnected and (media-caused) naive.

I've recently brought back (and made fertile) a piece of land that has been under concrete for 50 years. It if had been a lawn then it would have been even easier.

Then maybe you can save all the regions of North America that have been mowed down for suburbia. Can you rebuild wetlands that have been cement floodwalls for the last 50 years? Bring back the species that have been destroyed by all those "lazy assertion" lawn chemicals? Bring back the balance of nature that was destroyed when all the underbrush was removed and replaced by grass, hostas and prairie grass?

Or is all this "Me and my associates have the solution to all that ails you!" just more rhetoric-fabricated justification for the ownership of the many by the few?

Donald wrote:...capitalism is still the most efficient way to distribute goods and services...

This is like saying that slavery "is the most efficient way" to produce cotton. Your post is yelling out: "Chain yourself to a dungeon wall and let efficiency do whatever it wants to you!"
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By jakell
#14771989
QatzelOk wrote:

Then maybe you can save all the regions of North America that have been mowed down for suburbia. Can you rebuild wetlands that have been cement floodwalls for the last 50 years? Bring back the species that have been destroyed by all those "lazy assertion" lawn chemicals? Bring back the balance of nature that was destroyed when all the underbrush was removed and replaced by grass, hostas and prairie grass?



Can you name a species that has been destroyed by 'lawn chemicals'? I can't think of one. Maybe you are thinking of individual organisms, not species, in which case you are letting hyperbole take over again.
No, I cannot reconstruct North America to some state it was at 50 years ago, or some vague 'balance of nature', but I do know how to encourage nature to reassert itself. Note, this doesn't mean I can in the face of the industrial machine, but I know now to do it on a smaller scale, and scalability is the key.
Remember, you talked about soils being 'destroyed' (never mind species), and it is this I am countering. You seem to have jumped from lawns to North America, try to focus.
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By One Degree
#14771995
Suburbia was designed for cars and it's expansion is something I despise, but damage to nature is questionable. You must consider not even the trees in the Eastern United States are native to the Americas. The entire ecosystem was transformed by European species. Today it is nothing like it was before Europeans arrived, and I am sure it will be transformed again but fortunately nature is resilient.
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By jakell
#14772025
One Degree wrote:Suburbia was designed for cars and it's expansion is something I despise, but damage to nature is questionable. You must consider not even the trees in the Eastern United States are native to the Americas. The entire ecosystem was transformed by European species. Today it is nothing like it was before Europeans arrived, and I am sure it will be transformed again but fortunately nature is resilient.


This is exactly the point I have been making, it's not irreversible. Nature has overcome natural disasters and climate change, it even built itself back up from bare sterile rock and mud after the ice ages. The only real new and unknown threat is widespread radioactivity after a nuclear war, the Chernobyl region seems to be doing ok though, not even any interesting mutant monsters.
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By Donald
#14772182
QatzelOk wrote:This is like saying that slavery "is the most efficient way" to produce cotton. Your post is yelling out: "Chain yourself to a dungeon wall and let efficiency do whatever it wants to you!"


That's only if the reader conflates gross efficiency and economic performance with the higher principles.
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By QatzelOk
#14772501
jakell wrote:Remember, you talked about soils being 'destroyed' (never mind species), and it is this I am countering. You seem to have jumped from lawns to North America, try to focus.

If I want to focus, I'll focus on the thread theme which is We belong to them.

You seem to want everyone to focus on soil, which doesn't surprise me. One of the tricks the elite has used to keep "its dummies" totally dependent on their rentier-class structure is to create an education system (and economy) that stresses specialization rather than a global understanding of principles.

Your obsession with trivial detail is a perfect example. You seem unable to grasp the big picture of this thread. And specialization (and insistence on focussing on details that you can excel at) is a huge part of the reason that we belong to them.

A house-dog would insist that that stranger who just walked by the bungalow "smelled weird," and this same owned-dog can't understand that noise pollution (like his constant barking at strangers) is a problem. His pathetic slave-like existence is only justified by his "useful" barking. Belonging to them reduces his existence to barking at strangers to prove his usefulness to the people who feed him.

And if you confront this house-dog on his non-stop barking, he will stop you and ask how much you really know about smells. Not as much as him, obviously. (End of conversation about noise pollution)

Belonging to other people means never understanding the world in which you live. And this creates monsters and monstrous societies full of people who ask "What kind of waterboarding is most humane?" rather than looking at the big picture of torture.

Donald wrote:That's only if the reader conflates gross efficiency and economic performance with the higher principles.

See above. Belonging to them means never understanding higher principles.
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By One Degree
#14772510
Your obsession with trivial detail is a perfect example. You seem unable to grasp the big picture of this thread. And specialization (and insistence on focussing on details that you can excel at) is a huge part of the reason that we belong to them.


I actually enjoy your and @jakell posts because both of you normally discuss the larger picture. We need to discuss the minutiae, but yes we should not lose sight of the larger picture.
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By Potemkin
#14772511
This is exactly the point I have been making, it's not irreversible. Nature has overcome natural disasters and climate change, it even built itself back up from bare sterile rock and mud after the ice ages.

The rock and mud wasn't actually sterile, but was in fact teeming with microbes, but I take your point. After all, if the Earth's ecosystem could recover from even the end-Permian extinction, then it can recover from almost anything. All it takes is time (about 20 million years of time in the case of the end-Permian). We probably wouldn't be around to see its recovery, but so what? Nature doesn't care about special little snowflakes like us.

The only real new and unknown threat is widespread radioactivity after a nuclear war

Again, just a matter of time; in this case, a few hundred millennia rather than a few tens of millions of years. Human civilisation, however, would probably collapse irreversibly.

the Chernobyl region seems to be doing ok though, not even any interesting mutant monsters.

Am I the only one who feels somewhat disappointed by this? :lol:

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