21 September 2019

A human future will lack

capitalism, great wealth, and most of the traditional grifts.

Capitalism -- the idea that you get to keep the loot, whatever you did to get it -- and great wealth -- the idea that it's OK for some individuals to have many orders of magnitude greater choice and consequence than others -- are pretty obvious; those things are why we're in this mess.  Those things preclude getting out of this mess because fixing the mess involves a whole lot of being responsible and enacting a great deal of husbandry.  (If you're going to insist on a masculine virtue, that's not a bad addition to the fours. (Foresight, fortitude, forbearance, forthrightness.))

The grifts, though; those are about getting people to substitute their feels to reality.

Marginal cultures -- people who live in places where you can't get material security consistently, no matter how skilled and prudent you are -- don't tolerate grifts.  They can't; if they tolerated grifts, they'd all be dead.  Grifting is a symptom of keeping the loot.

Everybody in power, everybody who got that power by doing questionable things, everybody who has created a straightforward belief those Those People need to suffer so they can go on believing they're good; none of them are really much able to do anything useful.  They can't.  It's a consequence of having got into that position in the first place.

If you're thinking the extant power structures can deal with this somehow, you're thinking that the used car salesman of archetypal reference will decide, for the good of others and the material detriment of themselves, to take a vow of honesty, and keep it.

They can't.  Any effective response to the climate has to recognise that.


Harold Henderson said...

"Give me a place to stand, and I will move the earth": not happening indeed. Maybe one of Roy Scranton's proposals?: recognize this civilization as irretrievably walking dead, and do or save any small local things that might help any survivors to make a less indecent one.

Graydon said...

+Harold Henderson -- the hard kicker there is that the amount of current agricultural area that'll plausibly keep working is effectively zero. Most of it goes under temperature excursion or drought or both.

It really does takes an industrial culture response. The trick is organizing one.

Moz in Oz said...

Have you seen any of Ingrid's posts on limitarianism - the idea that we should set upper limits on income and wealth? Most recently


Graydon said...

+Moz in Oz: Hadn't seen those in particular. Pleased to see the idea being advanced; sad to see it being advanced on moral grounds. (Very few examples of operant moral grounds out there.)