Summing It All Up...

Tyler Durden's picture

Excerpted from "Ignorance by Consensus" posted by at FEASTA,

But, very briefly and acknowledging some contention, the conditions for concern might be summarized as follows.


We are trying to comprehend our world within the world-views and economic orthodoxies developed over an extra-ordinary, two-hundred year period of compound economic growth. This growth was coincident with increasing wealth, complexity and globalized integration. Part of our dominant consensus is that this trend will continue. Much of what is important to us, how we live, our expectations, what we value and hold dear, was shaped by this process. And we, the global 10%, have done well out of it.


The fringe view is that this growth is over – we are at the limits to growth, now. At issue is the stability of the globalized economy. We are moving into a deepening global deflationary depression, interspersed with dangerous and possibly irreversible shocks to the systems that support our basic welfare. We will lose much of what we take for granted and things we have come to call our own. We are entering an era of real danger and unpredictability.


This is because we are at an historic point of convergence. Firstly, we have reached the limit in the credit backing of our financial, monetary and banking system. We are at the same time hitting profoundly destabilizing ecological limits preeminent at this time is that we are almost certainly at the peak of global oil and food production. Put another way, we are at the limits of the system of trust and solvency that underpins the trade upon which we depend. We are at the limits of the least substitutable energy source that, by the laws of physics, is necessary for economic maintenance and growth. We are at the limits of our most fundamental human sustenance. They are the three most critical structural pillars of the globalized economy. Like a three-legged stool, the whole system can become destabilized by the buckling of just one.


In addition, and almost completely unacknowledged is that the changing nature of the globalized economy – increasing integration, complexity, speed and inter-dependence – has made us very much more vulnerable to this convergence. Further, such complexity makes it very difficult, or even dangerous to try and ‘fix’ its parts.


If we were to acknowledge such a fringe view we would be urgently preparing for profound change – for when real change is forced upon us we may have much less room for manoeuvre. We would be embracing austerity because of its inevitability, and in doing so, transform it. From top to bottom, we would be working on our food security, the resilience of critical services such as sanitation, monetary systems, governance, and re-working work. We would have begun the personal and collective psychological processes that might allow us avoid some of our species most destructive passions that can emerge in a time of crisis, and instead use it as a source of creative and positive change.


Of course, no detailed explanation for such a fringe view has been provided here. For most though, none is needed. They already know this view is nonsense. Why worry, it’s a fringe view… why with shale gas, technology, markets, stopping austerity, green growth, changing the monetary system, getting rid of the ‘wrong’ people….so many options! Anyway haven’t people been saying such stuff since the time of Malthus, and they’re still wrong! Aren’t the experts in control?! But an economist said…! Quite….quite.

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Silver Garbage Man's picture

Get rid of all paper assets, buy gold and silver,move to the country,arm yourself,store as much food and water and gas as you can,and pray. At least you will be less fucked than most.

Seer's picture

It's starting to look like we'll achieve a "paperless society" after all!

Fishhawk's picture

As long as the moneyed elite try to write their own version of directed history, which conflicts with natural law and real physical limits, we will remain on a collision course with reality.  This means that the largest players now controlling the key resources are refusing to make the changes that would avoid the looming catastrophe.  Politics interferes with the needed adjustments, preventing us as a collective society from moving towards sustainable solutions.  Individuals and small group enterprises can see this conflict between sustainable strategies and unsustainable resources, but they are ineffective in bringing about real policy change, as the toadies for the moneyed elite are paid not to see it, and the elite are unwilling to accept that the game is approaching it requisite ending. Foresight includes accepting possible future scenarios different from the status quo, and unfortunately being rich is not conclusive evidence of intelligence; more often it merely demonstrates a complete lack of morals and concern for others.  


Errol's picture

Fishhawk, you wrote

"Politics interferes with the needed adjustments, preventing us as a collective society from moving towards sustainable solutions."

It seems to me that you have it backwards.  Here's an example: at one point the US population accidentally elected a president who had worked in TWO occupations that require conformance with reality - engineering and farming.  He patiently explained to Americans roughly what this article outlines, and suggested rational first steps to making a transition while the resources to do so still existed.

The voters' response?  They threw him out of office at the first opportunity, and put in his place the man who championed the strategy of borrowing however much money is necessary to maintain the appearance of prosperity.  Every politician since has taken the lesson of Jimmy and Ronnie to heart: If you want to lose an election, tell the electorate the truth!

Seer's picture

"The secret plan is that we're going to keep doing exactly what we've been doing, for as long as we can."

- Daniel Quinn, in, "What a Way To Go"

There is no "other way."  That is, this current way is the ONLY way that they can stay lifted from the masses, until, that is, it all collapses (why volunteer to jump down amongst the dregs before you're forced?).  Humans being humans I cannot help but believe that their strategies are much different than ours here (the only difference is that they have MORE power and MORE money): folks here (and I am not excluded) are stashing materials and "wealth," expecting things to blow up; not at all different than those at the "next level up."

A Lunatic's picture

Less is MOAR..............


Flip that stool upside down and have a seat!

Oh wait... they already fucked us...

Oh well, enjoy it anyway.


Yen Cross's picture

 That was " make my day" good! :D   No s/ needed.

Bicycles and Beer's picture

brewing beer is a lot like printing money..

except you cant eat beer... err.



riphowardkatz's picture

booooring. peak oil, peak food, peak peaks

give me a break. have you ever flown over the US? have you ever driven anywhere? open your eyes there is plenty of ways tons more food can be grown and tons of ways people will can consume less (eg stop subsidizing MDA the SUPER MARKET TO THE WORLD) 

nat gas, uranium, thorium and human ingenuity and on and on . The only thing that can stop progress is people's fated philosophy of altruism enacted through government decree.

Zap Powerz's picture

I find it interesting that youre an optimist and in the same optimistic post you identify the reason why your optimism is wrong.

"The only thing that can stop progress is people's fated philosophy of altruism enacted through government decree."

So, basically, progress will be stopped because there is no way to prevent altruism enacted through government decree.

The Sun will come up tomorrow, but you and I might be dead and will not see it.  Get it? 

riphowardkatz's picture

People can change their philosophy at any time. Altruism is a choice. If they change their philosophy then they will choose different representatives and so on. You get the government you deserve.

Seer's picture

Oh, great!  Let's make sure we have the best "representatives" so that we can all sit together and hold hands as we die of starvation!

Don't you get it that govt doesn't produce anything?

Don't you get it that the necessities in life are: Food, Shelter and Water?  It doesn't read: Food, Shelter, Water  and [Great] Representatives!

Yeah, sure, "representatives" are great for helping us get needed resources, by either yanking it out of some other taxing district, or by engaging us in wars to kill others for it.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

The hardest thing about joining the Ron Paul movement was realizing how dumb we have all been all along. Then further, how dumb so many people still remain even after you told them 5 years ago what was going to happen and now it is, they still read Krugman, the nerve.

adr's picture

We? Some people have understood the concept of the free market and liberty for a very long time. I've been a Libertarian since 8th grade. But people said I was born 30 years old.

I said the internet was an investment bubble in 1997, housing bullshit in 2004, bullshit oil bubble, and all the rest. The bubbles were easy to spot and back then I didn't have any money to profit off them.

I still won't invest because I don't believe in unearned wealth. I'd tax capital gains above $100k at 95% because there is no need for a public stock market in a functioning free market economy. The stock market has and will always be nothing but a Ponzi scheme.

We never needed futures trading to have a functioning exchange of commodities. Futures only sped up the demise of the private farmer and local operators.

The greatest enemy of a free people is the stock market and the governments bought off by it.

Seer's picture

I appreciate libertarianism, but...

"The greatest enemy of a free people is the stock market and the governments bought off by it."

Can someone point out where there's ever been totally "free people?"

When resources get increasingly scarce you get what we're seeing now.

Those in "charge," rightly or wrongly, see themselves in charge.  POWER has a proclivity for paranoia (some is likely warranted).  Power structures protect power structures.  The US was founded as a power structure, headed by people in power.

The US has NEVER been about "free people."  The Declaration of Independence was about telling the British that they were getting cut out of the profit pie.  The US Constitution was a motivational document enticing people to go and conquer the area now known as the United States of America.  Commoners were NEVER "We the people" (just look at how much disdain people here have of the general populace- true democracy would be horrible, but let's not kid ourselves that a representative democracy actually represents the common person).

max2205's picture

If nobody responded to this, would I care?

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Two women approached US President Calvin Coolidge at a party. Coolidge was famous for not saying much.

One woman said to Coolidge, "Mr President, I bet my friend here some money, that I could get you to say more than two words."

Coolidge replied, "You lose."

Zap Powerz's picture

In a finite world with limited resources, why has there been so much precious capital and resources spent on people that are unable to survive on their own?

Doesnt it seem counter productive to anyone else to keep feeding and treating people that are non viable on their own?

I seriously wonder if the human species is not a defective speices with self destruction written into our genetic make up.

Yen Cross's picture

 Hmmm,? We wiped out every "opponent" excluding " Mother Nature" for the last 50 thousand years...

  That is just a "ass wipe" in time, but Dinosaurs didn't go to the Moon, or take pictures from Mars.

Zap Powerz's picture

The last opponent to wipe out will be ourselves.

Yen Cross's picture

 I respect your opinion." i think "that we are paying the price of our 'fore-fathers/mothers'. (1890-1930)

Excuse the pro-noun spelling...

  if you would care to imbibe, I'm all ears...

Zap Powerz's picture

When it comes to imbibing, I prefer 18 year old McCallan....neat.

Yen Cross's picture

 You actually waste your time? You actually spent "$", on my comments?   What is your favorite charity?

  Been posting on Z/H for 2 years, and "NEVER" researched another poster...

Zap Powerz's picture

Engrish isnt exacry your fwerst rangrij is it?

My favorite charity is me.

Yen Cross's picture

 I'm " grammatically charged". rest assured the previous post will be 'corrected', young-ling/

Seer's picture

I'm pretty certain that viri will continue...

robertocarlos's picture

Everybody is capable of doing something to earn their keep. It's not their fault the govt throws free money at them. Give me $1.44 for nothing and I'll grow the economy by $1. It's a win win.

robertocarlos's picture

We haven't hit the limit at all. Drop rates to zero, as in 0, and keep printing. Then go negative rates. Then have the govt hand every citizen a min income, sorry credit, for the year. 

yogibear's picture

LOL, prices keep increasing as printing continues. Minimum income citizen becomes mad because they can't afford food price increases. So riots occur. Both public unions and minimum citizen requires more government money since they will riot. Higher taxes to prevent riots. More citizens and businesses become minimum citizen due to higher taxes. 

Rainman's picture

Even the head of the CIA's too stoopid to get away with poontang on the sneak...the end has just got to be near.

Inignort's picture

Yeah, doom and gloom. 

I wonder if Elmo fisted anyone today?

Zero Govt's picture

"The fringe view is that this growth is over – we are at the limits to growth, now. "

Forgive me but do the "peak progress" guys just happen to be unproductive whining parasite types? ...yunno, like acadmics, eco-loons and other worthless toerags that have never been productive in their lives

"..we are almost certainly at the peak of global oil and food production."

Peak obesity numbers have just past peak mal-nourished. If the 3rd World adopted modern agriculture they could stuff themselves silly too.


David Korowicz, if anyone has found a consensus in ignorance you most certainly have. What's your job, i'm guessing pushing paper around a desk all day, every day?

Dasa Slooofoot's picture

Turn that stool unpside down and Barney Frank will take a seat.  

Zero Govt's picture

Barney certainly needs something up his arse, i was thinking more pitchforked shaped than he'd like

orangegeek's picture

no peak oil, peak food.


peak government, peak debt.


oddjob's picture

Embracing austerity is the act of a pussy. Grow some balls and prosecute those responsible for the financial fraud first. The willingness to be pushed over like that is disgusting.


adr's picture

Never going to happen as long as the fraudsters hold the dicks of everyone capable of prosecuting them.

The only answer left is citizen justice.

The worst trader's picture

I can't make myself BTFD this time............

adr's picture

I've just about reached my limit on 15% increases in the price of retail gas in one day in NE Ohio.

Yesterday $3.05, today $3.59.

Gasoline has been fluctuating between $3.00 and $3.69 every day for the past two weeks. Where is the demand based model for that?

robertocarlos's picture

1. Buy gas at $3

2. ?

3. profit

Alpha Monkey's picture

There is an "It's always sunny in Philadelphia" episode about that.  Their #2, ws to fill barrels with gasoline and #3 was selling it on street corners.  Didn't work out well for them, but then they are pretty retarded.

akak's picture

Don't sweat it --- it's merely transitory.

Besides which, you are lying --- and I have the BLS statistics to show that gasoline only costs 20% more today than it did ten years ago.  Who are you going to believe, the government or your own lying eyes?

adr's picture

My new invention is Bernankegoggles

When you put them on, prices immedialty revert back to 2000 levels. The $20s in your wallet look like $10s. You think you are actually paying less, but in reality you are paying more.

It even works when you view your bank account on a computer. When it shows negative $2k, you see it as $10k in the positive allowing you to g out and spend more.


Hobbleknee's picture

If we were even close to peak food production, a tomato would cost $10 and we wouldn't be paying farmers not to produce.

I'm so tired of overpopulation alarmists that obviously haven't traveled beyond the suburbs to discover that most of the world is undeveloped.

Yen Cross's picture

 I would love to see your population model. I do some recreational farming, and slopes are better yields for many crops.

   Over population is Centuries away, unless you have Fukishima Fucktards, taking naturally occuring elements and "super charging them"!