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"The "Impossible" But Inevitable Solution: Decentralization

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

What lies beyond the current failing, unsustainable versions of Capitalism and Socialism? Decentralization.

Correspondent John D. recently sent in a link to an interview with energy expert and author Jeremy Leggett. The title, "Make no mistake, this is an energy civil war" is a bit sensationalist, but the gist of his point is that centralized control of energy (and the capital that controls the energy and distribution networks) are colliding with new models of decentralized, locally autonomous control and ownership of energy generation and distribution.

Given the immense power of the banking/energy/political Elites that directly benefit from centralization of energy, capital and political power, I term this decentralization solution "impossible." Yet because it is driven by the diminishing returns of the centralized model and the emergence of the Web as an unstoppable force distributing decentralization and new models, the transition from ossified, failing centralized models to adaptive, faster-better-cheaper decentralized models is also inevitable.

This is the context of Leggett's view that there is an 'energy civil war' between the powers defending centralization and those promoting community ownership and control of energy:


You’ve just published a book called The Energy of Nations. Could you just tell people in a nutshell what they might expect to find in there?

I worry that the energy industry is in the process of repeating systemically the mistakes of the financial sector, and on multiple fronts.

It’s not all bleak because I think the neuroscientists also tell us that we have this great yearning as human beings for community and all the rest of it, and individualistic or selfish, perhaps what people on the right of the political spectrum constantly try and persuade us that we are. That all points towards the possibility of a road to renaissance and that’s why I titled the book The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance. I talk about the importance of things like the Transition movement as the building blocks for this road to renaissance.

What can we learn from Germany, do you think in terms of practicality and in terms of ambition?

I think that it’s altogether very encouraging indeed. We can learn that it’s possible to renewably power a modern economy like Germany 100% with renewables, and do it much quicker than people anticipate. We can also see that the ownership structures can change radically, so that people power comes into the mainstream. As you know, more than half the renewable assets in Germany are owned by people, by people and communities.

That’s not just the small energy co-ops that are being set up by the multiple hundreds, but whole cities are talking about taking their own power into their own hands, even Berlin, with a membership movement to take control of the way that energy is created in cities. Germany is vital in the whole narrative going forward.

You talk about a localisation mega-trend and peer-to-peer lending and community-led initiatives like Transition and others, need to sit alongside the bigger things as well in terms of investment etc. How do you see those two things sitting alongside each other?

I think inevitably what’s going to happen whether people like it or not, is that communities, towns, individual houses are going to get themselves off that grid and the march of technology is going to help them. People and communities are going to become increasingly self-sufficient. When you do that, where’s the role for the national electricity grid, at a certain point? Where’s the role for a giant company like National Grid?

I think it’s an exciting vision, because you get all sorts of spin-off benefits from a transition of that kind. I don’t have a blueprint template of how we get from A to B, the globalised national, international infrastructure world to the localised world. I think that’s a work in progress that we’re all going to have to be active players."

You say at one point in The Energy of Nations, “I’m now convinced that capitalism as we know it is torpedoing our prosperity, killing our economies, threatening our children with an unliveable world. It needs to be re-engineered root and branch.” Does capitalism still have a place? What would re-engineered capitalism look like, and what does that mean for economic growth?

It depends on your definition of capitalism. Economic growth as it’s currently measured? I think its days are over. That used to be that the mantras of the people classified as the lunatic fringe, but not any more. You can read this kind of thinking in the commentary in the Financial Times. In a world with a global economy on route to six degrees, how can such a system be viewed as sane any more, much less survivable?

The more of us who start using this language, this new type of capitalism – others won’t call it capitalism at all of course – a new type of capitalism. Certainly my point in the book is that modern capitalism, the form of capitalism that’s evolved in the last few decades is basically suicidally dysfunctional and we have to turn our backs on it and introduce an alternative set of systems. That’s what I think we have the opportunity to do in building the road to renaissance."


The interview also raised the same question I have discussed in the Musings and blog: What lies beyond the current failing, unsustainable versions of Capitalism and Socialism? I think the basic answer is coming into focus: since the current iterations of Capitalism and Socialism are both systems of increasing centralization (and thus of systemic fragility), the future belongs to the Web-enabled, localized but globally networked models of decentralized capital, currencies, ownership, production and distribution.

As I have noted before: Central planning perfects the power of threats to bypass the system's defenses.


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Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:18 | 4392256 Mitzibitzi
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Don't get me started. I've been saying this for years. And my father before me.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:26 | 4392278 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture


Finally an article about the reality of real solutions!! The only solution actually, but it will be the absolute LAST thing tried, and only when the system is smoldering in the rubble, no less!! But it will be the solution to fixing the current madness we live in!

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:47 | 4392317 discopimp
discopimp's picture

Love it!!!    Goodbye Mr. Rabbit!!!       

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:48 | 4392318 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Over many, many, dead bodies.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:09 | 4392354 Spanky
Spanky's picture

If I may: Whose dead bodies?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:31 | 4392406 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

"What does it matter now".

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 01:40 | 4392969 Spanky
Spanky's picture

If it's mine, a it matters a helluva lot. If it's yours, not so much.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 02:03 | 4392994 Stackers
Stackers's picture

We don't need to reengineer capitalism. We just need to actually follow capitalism and not the crony corporatist fascism they keep calling capitalism these days

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 09:49 | 4393234 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

The solution to the "problem" is simple, collapse and liquidation of the walking unfunded liabilities.   The equation does not care if you split the nation up or you have seats of government here or there.   The only thing the equation needs is exponential growth... fortunately or unfortunately humans have no way to supply exponential growth.

Use the equation + time = Eventually unable to grow exponentially, collapse and liquidation of the walking unfunded liabilities.

Same as it ever was, just like 1 + 1 = 2.... come back in 200 years and the equation will have the same solution.


Sun, 02/02/2014 - 10:39 | 4393277 crunchyfrog
crunchyfrog's picture

Garbage. Adam Smith identified the downside of capitalism 240 years ago. Pretending it's some modern state based thing is at best delusion and more likely a deliberate lie.


Sun, 02/02/2014 - 11:28 | 4393348 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

How would you summarize what Smith identified?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 12:20 | 4393427 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

An unwasted crisis?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 12:18 | 4393424 Eeyores Enigma
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Capitalism requires a highly net positive, organic REAL economy which can only be powered by cheap almost free natural resources primarily energy in order to extract its exponential requirement for growth and the extraction of profit therein.

As soon as the world started butting up against resource constraints which hits the net positive first, capitalism died but the "Masters of the Universe" refused to accept this reality believing that they could create an artificial economy from which to extract profit from. [loud buzzer sound] WRONG!!!!!

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 13:11 | 4393542 Seer
Seer's picture

The resource issue is clearly THE issue.  I have no idea whether "Capitalism" can address it or not, but, I suspect it couldn't because we're too ingrained with the notion of growth: there's also the very notion that "Capitalism" is about garnering MORE capital, which in essense IS about growth.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 13:08 | 4393534 Seer
Seer's picture

This is how the trap always gets reset.  Exclaim that something is so much better than that which is obviously failing, and that the mere exclaimation (no real discussion) can be taken as gospel.  Sorry.

NONE of this addresses the underlying FACTS that are provided with simple observation.

It's a finite planet.  "Capitalism," even IF the theoretical totality of it could exist in the real world, does NOT address the fundamental problems that we are now encountering (well, it's a path we've been on since day one- it's just that there's no longer any way to distract from them).

Capitalism cannot overcome the forces of entropy.

Capitalism cannot create matter.

I am NOT attacking "Capitalism" as a virtual, human construct for providing a mechanism for distributing goods and services (there is no better system).  I'm attacking the notion that it can somehow overcome issues of our finite world.

Until someone can demonstrate how "Capitalism" (or any other trade system) can manage in a world without growth (and note that "excess" [usually in the form of energy] is required in order to offset the forces of entopy) I will NOT accept this blind notion of "Capitalism" as a magic bullet.

Yeah, only a blind person could miss that what we currently have going is leading to one huge failure.  It's always an issue of the "solution."  And when one doesn't even know what the true problems are then it's often easy to proclaim something as being a "solution" (line it up agaoinst some false test environment in which the table is set for "success" [of course, we haven't been doing that now, have we?]).

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:57 | 4392461 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

All it takes is one Carrington Event (which is an inevitable, yet unpredictable event) and the whole web based, centralized mumbojumbo disintergrates utterly.  Each day that passes by, we become more and more relient and intertwined, allowing our life support systems to be controlled by electrically dependant computer systems.

The vast majority of our power grids, and our electronic equipment on a worldwide scale, are totally vunerable to the effects that a Carrington Event will cause....turning trillions of dollars worth of equipment into so much worthless junk.  We know the danger (Congress even had hearings and knows how gigantic a disaster it will be), and with each passing day that nothing happens, we dodge another bullet. 

But no one wants to spend the money to harden our systems before it´s too late; not in the US, or anywhere else in the world.  It is not being discussed at the UN.  Imagine what will happen to all those old soviet era nuclear power plants scattered around eastern europe and the ex-Soviet satellite states when their computer systems and/or power grids fail and they eventually run out of diesel fuel for their generators to power their cooling systems. Now imagine the same problem happening throughout western Europe, Asia and in North America....simultaneously.  How many Fukushimas can mankind withstand? 

We need to be focused on taking care of the real problems mankind if facing, and in my opinion, the above threat is truly the most dangerous because it can literally happen tomorrow.  Worrying about how capitalism or socialism 2.0 needs to be evolved is a luxury and is just wasting time .  If we don´t take care of the Carrington Event problem, there will eventually be no capitalist or socalist system left to fix.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:57 | 4392798 prains
prains's picture

how did you get three down votes?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 05:58 | 4393117 fockewulf190
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This video tells all about the threat, and consequences to soceity thereof, from an EMP attack, either from a coronal mass ejection from the sun, or from enemy forces.  Our vunerability is shockingly enormus, and considering the damages that would occur (let alone the tens of millions of deaths or more) AND the ridiculous low amount of money actually needed for the fix, it is beyond derelict to allow such a danger to stand. No matter if your far left or off the charts right, if an EMP event were to occur, you and your family can very well perish NEEDLESSLY.

This video is from last July, and still very little has been done, with the exception of the lone state of Maine which has seen the light, and passed laws to protect their citizens by upgrading their power grid.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 08:40 | 4393192 Urban Redneck
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1) The risks associated with EMP and CME are different. Man-made EMP is a short duration high intensity event with basically no forewarning whereas CME is a long duration low intensity event with some forewarning.

2) The amount of money needed to even "theoretically" defend against both possibilities is NOT "ridiculously low"

3) While the risk is very real, the sales job often comes across as prepper catnip, in the same way that "global warming" gets the tree huggers all excited.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 09:07 | 4393207 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

re 3) this results into a hijacked narrative set by the biggest interested group. as so often, friends of a truth can be the worst enemies of this truth

yet individualistic preppers are more geared versus single-household schemes. note that those German energy co-ops (and whole cities) are "small group" efforts set in a specific order

their basis, btw, is some strong effort by German ordo-liberals in the past legislation to have a functioning & open energy market. by those laws and the related enforcement, regulation and all that stuff, in Germany you have a right to sell to the grid as much energy you want at market prices

lots of people are taking this very seriously and are founding those energy co-ops, being so both consumers and producers

this site in English is of an advocational org for 700 energy cooperatives with 150'000 members

capitalistic systems don't have to put the public stock company front and center for everything. it's the financial centers that have an interest to pretend it has to be so

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 09:39 | 4393223 Urban Redneck
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The German model exposes the economic unsustainability of the current scale of the existing centralized model. But it also doesn't necessarily properly price the function of providing base load and distribution services. It will be interesting to see how it works out, because TPTB, whether in the Bundestag or the BMW C-suite, will demand their always available base load and move heaven and earth to make sure they don't bear the full cost of that service. But base load and distribution will not be allowed to die, it simply a question of who pays and how they pay.

The hijacking of the narrative is also troublesome because the preppers should know better. Protection of the grid in the event of an EMP is not for the benefit of the end user, it is entirely for the benefit of TPTB and the maintenance of their critical control infrastructure. In the case of a man-made EMP (regardless of thermonuclear/vicorator/flux compression generated) the end users', debt serfs', and common men's iCrap is hosed. The only protection from man made EMP for a home or business owner is installing proper (e.g. spark gaps) equipment on all copper/aluminum service lines (power/telephone/cable tv). Home and small business owners simply don't go to this effort and expense (except for a financially well-endowed extremist subset of the tinfoil hatter brigade).

But of course TPTB's politicians want mo' money for the "common benefit" and "general welfare" or more accurately their common benefit and general welfare.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 10:02 | 4393248 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

UR, wonderful, something we can disagree on!

so you are pitting the interests of the TPTB in keeping the grid functional against the interests of the individuals in...?

aren't you - to keep in theme - hijacking the narrative, here? think about how many people could be hurt. you make it sound to my ears as if cities and civilizations have no right to protect themselves from chaos. I find this a very narrow political view, did you put a special black & yellow anarchic hat when you wrote that? ;-)


in the case of energy in Germany, I don't understand your base load argument

my (weak) understanding is that it's easy to provide relatively cheap base load, and difficult to provide for peaks in consumption. of course, if you are making a big industrial competition argument, then of course there is always a continent with cheaper industrial energy costs, and it will never be Europe, barring the invention of fusion reactors or any other future technology

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 12:17 | 4393420 Urban Redneck
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I might be wearing my anarchist hat, but only the extent I look at the preppers and I feel like pulling a Hitlery Clinton, "What difference does it make now?" An analogy would be the then-contemporary public discourse regarding extraordinary solutions to the 2008 financial crisis undertaken by the Treasury and Federal Reserve- they were "a" solution to the predicament, but the consequences and context of their imposition were not properly disclosed. Furthermore, allowing institutions to fail is actually distinct from flooding the market with with USD liquidity, so I didn't view the ideal solution as all-or-nothing, and I actually don't view the economic collapse of the "nothing" route as any sort of solution. Perhaps Jefferson put it more eloquently on a several occasions: "Though (the people]) may acquiesce, they cannot approve what they do not understand." or "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization it expects what never was and never will be."

In regards to EMPs- I simply don't view that what is being discussed actually protects cities and civilizations, much less the individuals who comprise the citizenry, from chaos. With either a natural or man-made EMP- protecting the individual and protecting the collective are distinct, but interconnected issues. From a technology perspective all the wires act as antennas of electromagnetic radiation, and the infamous "last mile" of copper/aluminum that plugs into everyone's home and business also acts as an antenna to overload and fry the connected circuity at every home and business and this is completely unaddressed either in TPTB's designed solution or their marketing plan for their solution. So in the aftermath of an EMP event you would have millions of people with no power, and when the power is eventually turned back on they still have no lights, refrigeration, computers, electric heating/cooling, or charging capacity for electric cars. So there are certain benefits to the collective is certain critical functions are restored in a timely fashion, however, the collective is also seriously harmed by the damage done to individuals. Lastly the practical distinctions and risk remediation methodologies between a warhead event and a Carrington event is troubling. Hardening the grid against a warhead is costly, and will also protect the grid (and only the grid) against Carrington-like events, but in the event of an induced EMP- the residential, commercial, and most industrial endpoints will be destroyed. Whereas if one is taking the economical approach and just trying to protect against another Carrington event, of critical importance is how quickly the grid can be completely shut down until the event has passed (potentially days or weeks), but there is time to shut down & disconnect which does provide an opportunity residential, commercial, and most industrial endpoints to weather the storm intact if they have their own proper plans that are implemented in a timely fashion.

In regards to base load- Europe is better positioned than the US- much less forced air central heating/cooling, higher population density and smaller transmission distances, and more efficient electrical devices, but Europe's climate is particularly unsuited to using wind or solar 365 days a year or 24 hours a day, which leaves hydro and geothermal among renewables (of which there isn't enough of those to go around), and coal, gas, nuclear among the non-renewables. Since Europe has a relatively high amount of installed wind and solar capacity there are huge swings in supply depending on the daily weather, time of day, and time of year, and the magnitude of those swings in supply is much greater than the magnitude in swings in demand, which makes the economic arguments particularly subject to manipulation. Developing a fair pricing model is incredibly complex because the value of the supply changes so much in real time. What's the value electricity on a long cold winter night with no wind in Germany or Finland versus a long hot sunny afternoon on the windswept Spanish coast? Regardless of the availability of supply- trains, traffic & street lights, hospitals, oil refineries and factories all require electricity everyday and the storage capacity doesn't yet exist in scale to produce it when available and use it when needed.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 14:43 | 4393718 Next to Arch Stanton
Next to Arch Stanton's picture

UR - please tell me this subject matter is related to your profession.  I'm getting demoralized seeing how much people know on this website.  I think of myself as well-read (especially compared with most people who don't read ZH, et al) but feel like I need to quit my day job and study full-time.  

Threat of EMPs, energy production (oil, shale, nat gas), fiat currencies, fractional reserve banking and the need for continual credit growth, shadow banking, and on and on.  Too many important subjects, too many people on ZH making me feel clueless on a daily basis.  Must be why I read this thing morning, noon and night.  Thanks.  Sort of.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:25 | 4393831 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

In the course of doing program management for industrial and military facility construction and overseeing business continuity and IT (among a lot of other things) in the financial sector I amassed a huge (and largely speed-read) library on the issue, but I really had only a high-level understanding until I started doing the engineering for a build out of my farm (where I didn't have a team of engineers and accountants to all the math for me, and the risk mitigation dollars we coming out of my own pocket- which put things in a different perspective).

There's actually a handful of electrical engineers on ZH who have spent time in the US energy industry focusing on this issue, but I'm guessing they have other issues they'd rather spend their weekend focusing on.

EDIT: and they might be of the opinion that the "gizmos" are a worthwhile expenditure, which I don't necessarily disagree with. What I have a problem with is the notion that what these people are offering is any sort of solution. When the FSA cannot swipe their EBTs or stuff themselves full of GMO McFood- only TPTB in their fortified .gov facilities will think a zombie apocalypse was an acceptable return on their "investment" of OPM.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 13:59 | 4393638 Seer
Seer's picture

"you make it sound to my ears as if cities and civilizations have no right to protect themselves from chaos."

Cities are, by definition, UNSUSTAINABLE.  The very FACT that they HAVE to import goods and materials into them (from the outlying areas, which slowly get depleted as the demands of the cities increase) is proof.

Just because people point out the FACTS that does not mean that they are AGAINST something.  And, just because someone "likes" something that doesn't mean that it's "good."

Have you ever been to a place where an AVERAGE person lives?  There's 7+ BILLION people on this planet.  2/3 of them live on $3/day or less.  My wife is from the Philippines- I've seen/smelled/tasted/felt what AVERAGE is like.  Shit, there's like 750 million people in India living on $0.50/day, a population size that is over NINE TIMES THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF GERMANY!

BTW - Energy is just ONE part of the resource equation.

Food, shelter and water.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 13:29 | 4393582 Seer
Seer's picture

You know what you're talking about!

Should things get EMP'd I'd think that it would pretty much be the end of our eletricity-centric society.

NOTE: I've got a truck that would easily survive any EMP (though the facts are that EMP won't be any big killer to vehicles unless they're grid-tied [w/o air gap protection]).  It's a diesel and it's a manual transmission, so, theoretically, that is, I should be able to start it with no electrical input (it has no electronic engine stuff).  Anyone want to help push start a 21.5:1 compression rig?

I have simple infrastrucural systems that I have to maintain (some simple and others relatively complex) and they ALL require energy to maintain: and, well, nothing like having an emergency pop up with one of them while being in the middle of some maintenance activity with something else.  This is no different with larger, community-based systems.

There's the issue of future capital in which to continue to maintain and or upgrade/replace all systems.  Look around at the over-in-debt kids of today and ask yourself whether they'll have enough money to do these things.

Electricity is about being able to do MORE work... and in a world whose future indicates less energy being available?  Logic problem?  Cognitive dissonance?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 09:57 | 4393240 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

Check out the video in my post above starting at minute #44 until #51.  The costs are laid out as well as the solution.  Deals with both the solar threat and enemy EMP attacks.  The costs are ridiculously low to protect the main critical weakness to the grid which is the transformers.  The way to pay for it is brilliant in it´s simplicity.  The federal government and Congress have been criminally negligent in not finally taking action on this.  They are playing with all our lives over chump change.   They have known about this danger for decades!

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:15 | 4393524 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

I am not familiar with the particular "gizmo" (his word, not mine) that he is peddling, but he is only talking about transformer isolation which is only a small subset of EMP risk remediation. Furthermore, even if he is just focusing on remediating the risk to HV electrical transformers of a CME (as opposed to ICBM-initiated EMP), he is talking about "truckload sized" pieces of fabricated metal equipment and quoting a price of 200,000 per unit. By my guestimation this would be an FBO price, not an installed price (or even including transportation). Finally, his logic needs some further explanation, he says the cost would be largely covered by savings from not having to buy electricity elsewhere (I would assume he is talking about throttling electricity generation); however, I don't see how this actually saves money to offset the gizmo cost (electrical demand exists and fluctuates irrespective of any CME, and that demand is met met by producing and distributing electrical supply in excess of the combined demand and the transmission loss). Regardless, he wants someone else to spend x billion dollars of Brand Y's product- which in the end doesn't offer the protection that he and they are promising/implying (shades of Michael Chertoff and TSA cancer boxes, but coming from Frank Gaffney what would one expect?).

Also amusing from a purely Socratic standpoint was his admission that the energy industry is already successfully dealing with small scale CME radiation EVERY DAY, just by (relatively) effective throttling of supply/transmission.

Or the bizarre logic of the bit about the North Koreans hiding ICBMs along the Chinese border, as if the US would be less likely to launch a full scale nuclear retaliation/holocaust if they thought the Chinese (instead of Dennis Rodman's BFF) were lobbing nuclear warheads against the US mainland. These are not the drones who should be selling an investment in EMP remediation products.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:30 | 4392740 runningman18
runningman18's picture

The decentralization philosophy has been around for a very long time, but you're right, it will be the last solution tried because it is the hardest solution to achieve.  The best solutions always are, and usually a bunch of bloodshed is included in the price. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:49 | 4392896 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

There are two main reasons why it is the hardest solution:

1) Those in power want to remain so.

2) Prissy motherfuckers want to be coddled and taken care of and want to feel "safe."


Those two reasons feed upon each other. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 03:47 | 4393070 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

The Revolution will not be centralized.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 07:23 | 4393147 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

How I Found Freedom in a Unfree World...

Individualism. Decentralized.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 14:19 | 4393675 Seer
Seer's picture

3) Because people don't know anything else (other than the status quo).

Death and the unknown tend to repel people...

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 14:18 | 4393672 Seer
Seer's picture

I'm sure that, such as with most things, decentralization can take up it's own philosophy.

I see it all as being something that WILL happen regardless of what we attempt to do.  We're no match for entropy: Mother Nature bats last.

If anywhere it's predicated on growth then it's based on a bad premise (and will lead to guaranteed failure).

I've noted this before, and I'll do so again, "decentralization" also has its risks.  The notion of controlled "Decoupling" from the larger grid steers higher concentrations of stored energy "closer to home."  Fine if one is thinking in terms of one's "competent" self, BUT... look around at folks close to you, do you see them as likely being competent enough to manage energy in the same way?  I'm out in a rural area and have neighbors far enough away from me such that any potential meldown of them wouldn't, assuming the event releases some highly toxic cloud, likely affect me (other than emotionally).  Urban and suburban residents are a bit more at peril... and, I'm sure, the insurance companies will be sure to account for this (the more paid into such entities the LESS is available for "productive" purposes- yes, we start realizing REAL risk, a good thing, though it comes with a more realized price-tag).

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 03:07 | 4393044 buttmint
buttmint's picture

Whoa! Thought I'd stumble upon James Kunstler's website. He's been a Decentralized guy his entire life and body of work...just saying.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:24 | 4392270 Boxed Merlot
Boxed Merlot's picture

What lies beyond the current failing, unsustainable versions of Capitalism and Socialism?...



How about this?  Huge fines levied against owners of vacant residential properties.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:39 | 4392307 seek
seek's picture

Many counties in my state tax non-owner occupied property at a far higher rate (about 2X) than owner occupied, and it's just as much BS here as it is in Spain.

The government taking advantage of people that have the ability to pay is nothing new.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 01:22 | 4392938 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

How about a tax everytime some fascist dickhead says, there should a tax or there should be a law?


How about that?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:48 | 4392321 discopimp
discopimp's picture

Wow, that sword cuts both ways...

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:24 | 4392272 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Capitalism as we know it is called Fascism. There is nothing inherently wrong with Capitalism; Fascism on the other hand......

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:30 | 4392286 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I wouldn't call it fascisme, todays culture is more about the handouts and bonusses. Nobody cares about the real power.
Real power means they actually do something with it. These days it's all pure inaction.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:50 | 4392325 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

There are plenty who care about real power, namely the Fascist overlords. There is not one remaining guaranteed right left to the citizenry in America. Corporate Lobbyists write our laws. Our Representatives no longer read those laws before voting to pass them. We are forced to buy certain things and not allowed to purchase others..... On and on and on.......Capitalism is hardly at fault, only the ignorant or agenda driven would argue that point.....

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:11 | 4392502 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

Been this way since 1776, that's why we say

"The frog was boiled long ago"

The USA, was always FASCIST, ... Constitutional REpublic FEDERALISM,

DEMOCRACY was never  the USA, tocqueville said such in 1860's

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:58 | 4392801 prains
prains's picture we go, chinabot 911 is gonna get his shaved pig on and go "flaming cubicle crazy" with posts ALL FUCKING night.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:51 | 4392902 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Son of a bitch.  That means that I have a lot of posts to skip. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:33 | 4393980 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

As correct as you might be in refering to French authors, you would be missing the greater point in that there were American thinkers that said it well before him. Lysander Spooner is one of the ones that came before the French asshole named Tocqueville.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 01:24 | 4392941 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The fascist overlords are just another variation of the alpha-male - one that occurred when people settled down and produced things, rather than foraging for things.

It's telling that the Freedom Culture really doesn't have alpha-males. There is no use for them when the legalized use of force disappears.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:07 | 4392496 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

FACISM is just when Corporations control the GUBMINT

So given that goldman-sachs controls the world, yes the world is now fascist

Rich country's can afford to be POLICE-STATES and give their cops unlimited toys, this is why I choose to live in a poor region of the world.

The USA being able to pull INFINITE FIAT out of its ass, can make their cops the worst fuckheads on earth,... another reason NOT to be in the USA.

Make no mistake, that ALL is FASCISM in the USA, that all is controlled by BIG-BUSINESS, that all politicians are OWNED by BIG-BIZ interests.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 01:25 | 4392942 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

When people say "crony capitalism" what they don't have the vocabulary to explain is the word "fascism"



Sun, 02/02/2014 - 14:33 | 4393703 Seer
Seer's picture

Note that as I reply here you are at break-even- 11 up-votes and 11 down-votes.  This tends to suggest that people are a bit confused as to what you're saying here... or, rather...

The notion that the cops in the US are the worst is pure hyperbole.  I've been to poor countries.  Corruption is much more rampant when there is less money received through the "legal" channels ("taxation"), folks have to resort to outright shakedowns.

Nothing that is happening in the US is somehow unique to fundamental human behavior.  What is obvious is an exaggeration of human behavior magnified by/through the ability to extract large "excesses" of resources.  That which cannot continue forever won't...

I do NOT accuse 'big business" as being inherently evil or such.  They're a product of the underlying society, a society that has excesses and needs to manage those excesses.  This may seem in direct contradiction to my "BIG = FAIL" mantra, but it is not owing to the fact that "BIG" Is always a product of growth and tends to require continue growth, which, as we know, ultimately is destined to run up against the limits of a finite planet.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 17:18 | 4394078 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Nah his post was easy to read, yours on the other hand. o.0...

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 17:18 | 4394083 Seer
Seer's picture

Yeah, I need to spread skittles and mentions of cute bunnys and things :-) (I suck at parties too)

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 00:01 | 4394857 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Hey when in fantasyland, live as the fantasylanders do. You know drink corn syrup, fluoridated water, and eat genetically mutated animals that could possibly make you sick...

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:02 | 4392472 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

It is perfectly 'natural' and true that "Everyone to looks after their own interest" -- at the individual and aggregate level -- and is as Nature intended.

It is also true that "those with means" are in a better position to look after their interests.  And that's fine too (Darwinism). 

What's NOT fine (and evolution/progress) slows or stops, is when "those with means" use their power and influence to change the basic laws that regulate all.  In Nature this is not possible, as even the largest eventually fall prey (to mishaps, illness and death).  Nature has 'Checks & Balances" and self-regulating limits. 

In the US, UK and now EU -- thanks to Central Banking -- the rich & powerful have gradually, deliberately and systematically removed the 'Checks & Balances' the countries used to have, before these CBs became all-powerful.

Through their concerted actions and propaganda over the lasts 40+ years (since 1971), these CB Elite/Oligarchs have corrupted all flavors of Capitalism, and in effect and by design "turned back the clock" to a much earlier era of centuries past -- where the Robber Barons ruled supreme.

This will not change any time soon, unless enough people do something about it -- because Freedom or Democracy is not for the Ignorant, Disorganized, Lazy or Cowardly.  Realize that these modern day Robber Barons are the opposite:  Informed, Organized, Diligent and 'Courageous'.

It is through forums and market places like ZH that the small percentage of the Freedom-loving population gets to inform each other and create a grass-roots movement to counter the Robber-Baron, Elite Oligarchs of the CBs & Friends. 

Keep the faith, spread the word, and keep going.

-Kirk out

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:04 | 4392483 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

I remember when I was young and I worked hard, and always had money.

A bunch of lazy fat chicks at the morning coffee shop, used to call me a "Social Darwinian", ... I used to chuckle, I mean they were so fucking lazy they could harly fucking move.

I learn a long time ago that 'social darwinian' is CODE that the FSA army uses to say "HE HAS A JOB".

Yes, charles smith hates 'social darwinians'.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:50 | 4392785 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Most FSA members couldn't even spell "social Darwinian", never mind knowing what it means.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 09:46 | 4393227 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Kirk - Well stated. The term Robber Barrons seemed to be first introduced in Germany four or five centuries ago. The river Rine was used for much of the regions commerce. Such built tolls every few miles along with near impregnatable fortresses. The more tolls/castles added, the slower commerce became on the river until it ceased. The people found other means of shipping goods instead and I will bet at first it was nearly as pricey as the river but decreased as cost came down.

The bigger evolution is temporarily supressed the larger the pressure builds into a tidal wave and larger the transition becomes. George Soros actually put this theory into a financial theory called reflexivity and used it to become fabulously wealth by betting against the pound and other currencies. Of course, Soros is demonized here and Fox when he was basically the only billionaire with balls stating in 2008 publically the big banks needed to be broken up.

Evolution is cyclical and so are periods of centralization and decentralization. Its equilibrium and disequilibrium. I like to look to nature and birds to see this in action on short timeframes. Look at Cardinals and Blue Jays. The Cardinals just do their thing happily in nature, multiple. As they do they attract Blue Jays (predators) that love to munch on their eggs. The Cardinal population drops a bit (stop producing) and then there are less Blue Jays.

As an individual it is wise to recognize where we are in the cycle of centralization and decentralization and position accordingly. Centralization has peaked. There is little to invest in and produce. Some politicians/states are now recognizing this and slowly beginning to encourage innovation but they will also need to probably resort to trust busting and protectionism to get our country back on track. Governments do this because they begin starving of tax revenue and voters but certainly not the goodness of their heart.

If such doesnt happen the people will evolve past them or of course leaders could suppress so much world war breaks out but it is less likely now in the MAD age (but the risk does exist so prep accordingly)

I think we may see a regional war where a few nukes are used, collapsing worldwide markets overnight and hitting the wealthiest the hardest causing rapid reconsideration of viewpoints and politics. A shame in evolution that we seem to learn more from pain than from pleasure.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 14:48 | 4393727 Seer
Seer's picture

I don't believe that it's been any other way.  Rather, what we're seeing is that we're now more able to SEE what has been going on.

The systems that we've put in place a more complex now and require greater control.  Independent of judgement of the systems themselves, this is just a fact.

"Capitalism" was never "pure."  Being that humans are of nature and nature is highly tuned for deception for survival, it should be of no surprise that human-made things don't stay "pure."*  This isn't to blast "Capitalism," it's about realizing the true forces that we live by/under, and that without understanding them any exectations of "purity" can only set us up for big disappointment.

* I'm thinking that religions tend to stress this, this lack of "purity" as something to keep in mind.

Do you know why they say that there's always an opportunity to be had even when things turn "bad?"  It's because the real opportunities lie within the point of change, at the line between two things competing for dominance (the waxing and waning).  I see this "Good Capitalism vs. Bad Capitalism" as merely another one of these pushes for "change" in order to create that line of opportunity; and, we can be assured that any "change" to be had will be milked most efficiently by those who have amassed power and wealth (from the perpetual churning of "change").

"Freedom" is, as are most intangible things, a word of/for the mind.

I seek more to change myself than in changing the "world."

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:49 | 4394009 Spanky
Spanky's picture



...[I]t's about realizing the true forces that we live by/under, and that without understanding them any exectations of "purity" can only set us up for big disappointment. -- Seer

Not only religions, but ideologies (-isms) stress "purity" as a means of social control.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:01 | 4392665 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Yeah because the model of 'capitalism' since the Industrial Revolution has replied on new markets to exploit/open up and most importantly technological improvements that allowed us to increasigly extract stored units of energy at lower and lower costs & radically increased productivity to freed up additional economic resources and labor.

We have exhausted the cheap and easy sources of oil, commodity extraction quality has been in decline, and agricultural yields have barely budged/even declined a bit in almost every crop variety with little/no high quality land left to plant staple crops on. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 14:52 | 4393733 Seer
Seer's picture

The fundamental problem of resource depletion isn't something that only capitalism doesn't acknowledge well.  I think that we need to just drop all such attempts to pin it as such (just as I don't believe that it should be acceptable to state that "Capitalism" can be stated to overcome such).

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:26 | 4392280 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I think that’s a work in progress that we’re all going to have to be active players."

If it requires more than "liking" a facebook page, I wouldn't count on it.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:09 | 4392356 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Dwindiling mobility, and not the socioeconomic kind, but the physically traveling from point A to point B kind, is going to force decentralization.  It will steamroll anybody who does not get on board too. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 14:59 | 4393748 Seer
Seer's picture

A problem with this kind of comment is that it perpetuates an "us vs. them" conversation rather than one predicated on the notion of "DOING."

As I age I'll become increasingly more at the mercy of the younger folks.  My "defense" is to have somewhere for them to grow their food.  Eventually the fundamentals (Food, Shelter and Water) will overtake their current "realities," and when that happens I'll have people who "understand" (and, hopefully, will respect my efforts to provide something meaningful for their future).

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:32 | 4392297 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Bitcoin is a gift from God.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:43 | 4392311 snr-moment
snr-moment's picture

like a days worth of bread.  Good luck with that.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:08 | 4392349 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

I'm buying BTC now at $800

I got my BTC when it was really cheap.


All you BTC officionados please vote above.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:18 | 4392530 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

That serial junker is smart and got BTC for free.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 05:40 | 4393109 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

The serial junker got BTC for free

The serial junker bought BTC at $1200


Please vote above

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 05:54 | 4393112 frenzic
frenzic's picture

fuck it

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:10 | 4392362 Spanky
Spanky's picture

Just my opinion, but bitcoin is a gift from no such agency.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:16 | 4392516 SuperRay
SuperRay's picture

until the grid goes down. Then it's nothing but something you used to know...

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 08:07 | 4393179 madtechnician
madtechnician's picture

The price of a bitcoin will be the last thing you will have to worry about if the grid goes down,

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:33 | 4392581 Hulk
Hulk's picture

You can't eat Bitcoin !!!

/god that was fun...

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:09 | 4392690 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

Wha...? The Pope just got a new BTC Generator?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:33 | 4392298 deflator
deflator's picture

A bottom up economic model? They are gonna call you a Communist/ yer gonna shoot yer eye out kid!

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:39 | 4392305 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Only one authority. And it sure as shit isn't the one we seem to be subject to now.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 15:03 | 4393752 Seer
Seer's picture

We can only be "subject" to that which we allow ourselves to be.  We've got to realize that this is all it takes- quit believing in that which ought no be believed in: and if one finds that one needs to believe in some supranatural power then that is their right (which ought to end within the confines of their own skull [just as my beliefs ought not be imposed on others]).

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:43 | 4392310 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Yes! Decentralization! besides the obvious issues of corruption that centralized government fosters, what all people need is a sense of ownership. As a people, when communities were small, most people saw the communities they lived in as "theirs". They Knew the mayor, they knew the school board members (most were their neighbors). the people who maintained our streets and water systems were part of the community and when we voted to raise taxes we were willing spending OUR money on OUR community. Today no one knows anyone. People who serve in our governments are virtual strangers to 99% of the people. They vote for higher taxes because it is assumed that the bulk of those taxes will be paid by someone else. Our school taxes are defined by the courts as being state or local money and not to be spent in the areas collected because that would be racist. God knows that y9ou move to an affluent neighborhood because of the quality of the schools only to discover that the bulk of your taxes goes to the "less fortunate" districts, many times with multiples of dollars per student spent over the "more fortunate" districts (you know its all fortune right, no one actually worked for a better life, its all just luck). For a society to be prosperous there must be a sense of ownership and I believe that is the one thing most lacking. Americans have never been shy about spending money, all that is needed is for them to think they are actually buying something with it and not just giving it away to corrupt government employees and their friends.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 05:46 | 4393111 beaglebog
beaglebog's picture

The term "ownership" implies private property. (Yes, "private is redundant)"


But, in a democracy ... or any other collective ... such property cannot and does not exist.  Sure, we tell ourselves that it's "my car" and "my house" and "my business".


Everything you have can be voted away from you at the whim of your neighbours. Even your life is subject to their approval.  All that's required is the right set of conditions ... see '30s Germany for details.


Fuck voting. Fuck Collectivism.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 15:34 | 4393843 Seer
Seer's picture

"Fuck voting. Fuck Collectivism."

Um, well... there's 7+ BILLION of us, and, the realities are, we pretty much have to have some sort of "guidelines" with which to operate by.

My POINT here is not about being in favor of "collectivism" (and, as someone who doesn't "vote" I can state that I'm clearly NOT in favor of that either), rather, it's about using labels and charged words that provide excuses for sidestepping realities.

I have come to understand that NO ONE can "own" something, that the best that can be said is that we are responsible for or are managers/custodians of something.  This thinking has NOTHING whatsoever to do with "collectivism."  The closest we can be said to come is in bequeathing, which can create dynasties, something that's not necessarily any big improvement over that which "collectives" might leave behind: I can find good examples and bad examples for either positions.

"see '30s Germany for details."

See early "America" as seen through the eyes of the early occupants of the land for an example of what the wonders of "property rights" can mean...

All said, my actions are in closer alignment to what you are saying than my words are.  I am merely tempering things based on the wisdom that I've accumulated over may years and over many experiences.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 20:57 | 4392338 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Only variety absorbs variety. Ross Ashby

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:04 | 4392346 KickIce
KickIce's picture

I'll just send a memo to the Rothchilds...


Capitalism is fine it's the crony capitalism with an equally corrupt judicial system that is the problem.  We can start the process of decentralization once the bankers and politicians have paid for their transgressions and are 6 feet under ground.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 06:08 | 4393118 falak pema
falak pema's picture

you're not addressing the real issue : who is going to put THEM 6 foot under?

Its they who put the 99.9% 6 foot under and they are doing one hell'va job at it in SYria as elsewhere.

If you think belling the cat is so easy you must be a Congressman, who is just a walking, talking speak easy, promising free beer to the people bitching about prohibition. 

Don Corleone would have loved ya! 


Sun, 02/02/2014 - 13:27 | 4393572 KickIce
KickIce's picture

They'll mosty self destruct.  Massive printing combined with huge egos and limited resources will lead to more wars.  I think China and the rest of the far east is going somewhat off the Rothschild reservation with their gold purchases.  The ponzi only works as long as the politicians benefit and many are feeling the heat.  One thing I'm sure of is that the body count is going to be huge.

The rest of the world is starting to figure out that the elite considers them nothing but useless eaters.  As for America, maybe after the Super Bowl...

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 17:30 | 4394110 Seer
Seer's picture

"The ponzi only works as long as the politicians benefit and many are feeling the heat. "

Which Ponzi are you referring to?

I tend to stick to fundamentals, which brings up what I believe to be THE Ponzi of all Ponzis- perpetual growth on a finite planet.  And while there may be conspiratorial actions centered around this I don't see where anyone is wanting to recognize THIS Ponzi.  If all is riding upon THIS Ponzi, as I see it, all else is just wall decorations: change the curtains and it's still the same house.

"The rest of the world is starting to figure out that the elite considers them nothing but useless eaters."

I don't mean to feel heartless, but, really, what ARE people?  What are we all doing?  Are we not eaters?  What purpose are we really achieving?  Not to put us humans down, but, perhaps we've over-inflated our sense of ourselves?

The "elite," be they humans or other animals (even plants and microbes) look to exert themselves, it's this biological thing.  Rather than battling back against "them" I look to push back on whatever looks to push on me; meanwhile I'll NOT look to push others.

The more you acknowledge them as "elite" then the longer they can paint their story of why they should be afforded what others are not.  No gods, no masters...

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 19:06 | 4394318 KickIce
KickIce's picture

The fiat ponzi.  Guess its more of an illusion than ponzi if you want to get technical.


All eaters?  Yes.  But who makes the decision that one life is above another?

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 15:41 | 4393864 Seer
Seer's picture

Good systems don't fail, only bad systems do.  This would then tend to suggest that if "Capitalism" was the good system that everyone suggests that it is then why did it fail?  Again, the "theoretical" model is being beaten to a pulp, something that I think most here can agree.  If it cannot survive over a bad, "Crony," version of itself then how in the heck can we believe that it is all that powerful/wonderful?

There is no such thing as a non-corrupt judicial system (other than nature and nature's laws [human "law" is not really law).

Expectations are just not realistic here.  Ain't going to have EVERYONE on the same page in order for there to be some perfect unity/parctice of "Capitalism."  No more so that this planet is going to one day be completely on the same page with a single religion.

Human nature.  The very notion of pushing perpetual growth on a finite planet.  I don't care how "pure" of a thing you place on top of these things it will NOT, CAN NOT, survive its purity.

Politicians are merely humans who have been given additional powers by other humans.  Get rid of a set of politicians without eliminating the practice and then expect that things will turn out any differently?  The only "pure" that I see in this is "pure insanity."

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:06 | 4392351 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

the problem to me isn't a "centralized energy structure" but a centralized financial structure all based around oil.

this is what the Government "bailed out" ironically enough...not the grid, not energy per se...but oil and all the oil financial clowns.

So far those prices has held firm...but i don't think anyone really saw the massive production boom coming.

Not only that but I think VERY few saw the collapse in interest rates...with rates lower than they were in the Great Depression believe it or not.

These "exceptionally low rates" have had a profound impact in the oldest and most centralized of power systems...hydroelectric power.

This is wonderful "juice" because it provides the "base load" (the power "line" is always on) to simply bolt on alternative energy solutions.

In other words the crazy utility people always scream "grid reliability" when solar and wind systems come on line...but in fact this is a total "misdirection." There is in fact a massive glut of "always on power"...and the problem is a "snowball effect" where customers simply start decamping the grid...while at the same time the grid infrastructure remains in place (meaning you can sell back into it actually.) For all the "doubters" here's the actual debate:
this "war" is being played out all over the place now...not just Arizona.

Interestingly the big explosion in energy "debating" hasn't been bad for PG&E...California's biggest electricity provider. All of this "alternative energy" requires more not less power...especially if folks out West start switching to all electric "everythings" (not just cars.)

Oil is the problem because its THE liquidity provider for all that credit that has to be extended.

Natural gas represents a real threat to the Credit Monopolists (and their Big Media psycho's) because it is both domestic, diffuse and far more "needed." Plus you get oil when you drill for the nattie.

In other words there is a point where you get the oil "for free."
So far Wall Street has been able to manipulate the price of Brent and sustain it higher going on almost a decade now...even though that is total crap oil.

Once the rest of the world realizes they have a bounty of energy within their own borders I think its "game over" but we'll see. The dollar has already soared...if dollar a barrel imports start showing up "that might be a problem."

I would be very wary of any exotic credit products...JUNK for lack of a better term.
the etf is flat so far for the year..which does bode well for equities going forward actually.
still...the growth from the energy rich parts of the USA still have yet to be translated into generalized growth in the economy at large.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:34 | 4392415 KickIce
KickIce's picture

Not just oil but anything real from commodities to real estate that can be paid for with monopoly money.  They want to own the entire earth and place us at renter status.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:03 | 4392473 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

That's right, but not just 'renters', but renters on their knees begging for scraps.

Probably the biggest thing the ELITE HATE about the proles is they have to share the roads,

One of the BIGGEST reason that FUCK-NITS like SMITH exist is to help the ELITE sell the idea that car's are bad, and that the POOR should be kept off the road, ... then the RICH would have nothing to bitch about.

Normally the ELITE don't bank, eat, or shit, or sleep where the poor are,... but the fucking roads are SHARED, and they HATE THIS THING MUCH.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:46 | 4392892 falconflight
falconflight's picture


Sun, 02/02/2014 - 15:47 | 4393882 Seer
Seer's picture

"They want to own the entire earth and place us at renter status."

It's more to do with control.  "Ownership" is ethereal at best, as most of TPTB merely look to control through "agents."

It serves them no good for maintaining control to infuriate the masses and make things unstable.  All that is unfolding has more about trying to continue to manage the System as it runs short of resources: always requires more concentrated efforts/control [until the eventual demise happens]).  It's what they know.  It's how they were raised and educated.  While instances of sinister intent show from time to time I believe that most tends to be based in benevolence (otherwise we'd have all been caged a long time ago).

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:39 | 4392429 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

Progressive FUCK-NIT like Kunstler and Smith ( author here ), only have ONE agenda,

To get you OUT of your car and into a public bus.

I always want to remind all of you that they both drive F-100's, and do as they do, and not as they say.


PROGRESSIVE NAZI BULLSHIT, ... give up your freedom to drive your AUTO, and then they control where you go.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:00 | 4393912 Seer
Seer's picture

"give up your freedom to drive your AUTO, and then they control where you go."

Yeah, that's logical.  NOT!

The LIMIT has to do with the fundamentals as Kunstler and others REPEATEDLY point out- we're on a fucking finite planet and are running out of excess resources on which to continue living non-sustainable livestyles.

If you think that the point lies in forcing people to use buses then I have to wonder why auto sales in communist China is booming.

"I always want to remind all of you that they both drive F-100's, and do as they do, and not as they say."


The right tool for the job is never the wrong tool for the job.

I've always lambasted Humers and Hummer owners/drivers.  Does that make me someone who loves buses?  Or, the fact that I've got an F250, does that make me a hypocrite?  Only though analyzing the use of the "tool" can the real questions be answered.

If those Hummers only carry their drivers then That is a POOR use of the tool.  But, in comparison, a loaded Hummer is a better use of that tool than a single occupant Prius (or other "high fuel mileage" vehicle).

I use my truck to haul stuff, farm stuff.  Even if I could fit the same kinds of stuff into my econo-car (which is MANY years old) I'd have to make several trips, all likely LESS efficient than using the right tool, my truck.

I could care less if Kunstler and others don't do this or that.  I only care about information that I can use for ME.  It's the message, not the messenger (I ain't looking to take home the messenger).

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:13 | 4392364 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Maximising ENtropy is a good way to going back to tribal living. That would be regression of dark ages. 

Don't run against the course of civilization; it defies history. 

Learn from the past and mesh top down to bottom up logic; never forgeting the acid test of historical example. What works is what avoids the pitfalls of the past and still recovers, embellishes, the essence of what we have learned. 

And technology is just a means to an end, never an end itself. Those who believe the contrary go down that slippery slope of maximising entropy into anarchy and inevitable painful re centralization.The End is human well being as defined by the MAJority, not an elite minority. We have to define the trade offs constantly as technology redefines the slopes of change for each age. So the paradigm follows reality without betraying the END goals of humanity.  

Today we have become selfish to the point of betraying the purpose of civilization, by evoking "social darwinism" as the inevitable and NECESSARY< herd thinning process. Nope its man made delusion like playing musical chairs on the Titanic. There is no inevitablitly to justify making it the "be all" of collective living. Man stays man and never plays at doing God's work.  

Man has to network with others and have rule of law and regulation; no getting away from centralised governance even tho' maximising local networks for social and eco balance is a natural and good thing, provided it is not isolated from the Net to benefit from constant reset.

Our Promethean quest of free and abundant "fire" or energy stays a prime necessity which has to be eco compatbile. As we are destroying the planet. But that means we have to be matrixed societies with a local and a global dimension that is FUNCTIONAL and OPERATIONAL; aka process wise linked up and constantly optimised or marked to reality. 

Remember Geronimo's skull, the ultimate trophy symbol of America's defeated true and first libertarian. It became a punching ball for those who felt they ruled the world incarnating Manifest Destiny. They still be in that Mindset but have become the problem like the house of Atreus putrifying from the inside. 

It requires the reset to be forward looking, making government a utility function just finding a balance as neutral referees, who use the national and international consultative bodies  to address global problems via public debate, then to define and observe the rules of society via seperation of power principle, effectively and sincerely applied (haha big if) and thus allowing the individuals who play the games of pursuit of ... without them, as actors, falling into Selfie madness. The dividing line between central and individual power has to respect the Rubicons of avoiding going over the cliff either into anarchy or into despotism; but most of all of abandoning moral hazard to lose its collective prescience through unfettered hubris; like currently. 

Living in Iceland or the Hebrides islands is decentralised living. But its not the model for big nations and Bengladesh. Too late and too many. 

That is History. Don't reinvent hot water please.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:06 | 4393928 Seer
Seer's picture

"Don't run against the course of civilization; it defies history."

The course of "civilization" runs against nature, not of "civlization's" own recordings.

Yeah, kind of funny the notion of "maximizing entropy," like one can maximize blood loss... (to the poster of this [I lost track in this thread]: entropy is an equalization of force, it's NOT something that you can "harness"- best can be said is to REDUCE the amount of energy required in sustaining something which is not self-sustainable [can spontaneously appear in nature; OK, there's the 1,000 monkeys thing, but...]).

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:33 | 4392403 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

I design control systems for the energy grid.  I've also lived off the grid for extended periods of time sailing for months at a time in remote areas of the world.  To get off the grid requires a huge adjustment in consumption downwards.  Most people have no idea how to do this.  For example imagine that your refrigerator is now the size of a small beer cooler.  You have no A/C in the summer and have no electric heat in the winter.  You actually have to keep track of your energy usage very closely like a prudent saver.  Most Americans do not want to deal with this type of efficient living.  

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:24 | 4392728 Matt
Matt's picture

"For example imagine that your refrigerator is now the size of a small beer cooler." - use more insulation.

"You have no A/C in the summer and have no electric heat in the winter." - use more insulation.

"Most Americans do not want to deal with this type of efficient living." Pretty soon, most of them will not have a choice, unless Obama comes out with a national program to provide everyone with "affordable" electricity.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:16 | 4392844 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

Well if you know anything about NERC you'll know that it is becoming more unaffordable daily.  Engineers at Utilities these days have no time for engineering.  They spend all their time with NERC compliance.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:54 | 4392906 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

I had to look up NERC.  So, what you're saying is that more and more bureaucracy is taking up their time, and they cannot be told "We need some reliable shit, get it done," and left to get it done? 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 02:48 | 4393023 cdm
cdm's picture


NERC is a corporation that was once a council, a well functioning cooperative.


NERC incorporated in 2006 in order to be eligible to fill the role of Electric

Reliability Organization (ERO) created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.


the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted the newly

incorporated NERC status as ERO in 2006.


the federal government, via FERC, desperately wants a national grid,

and has no issue with using eminent domain to get it.


the FERC attempted to manipulate the US energy system toward

a national grid through "deregulation" and "standard market design"

which have failed.


now, the manipulation toward a national grid is being driven through

standardization via "reliability standards" backed up by enforcement



control the peoples energy; control the people.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 05:37 | 4393107 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

What I'm saying is that onerous regulations by NERC is making electricity a lot more expensive.  The more engineers that have to comply with government regulations, the more money I make since I don't work as a Utility employee.  I'm not saying NERC regulations are all bad, just that as usual, .gov has gone too far and become a bloated overstaffed industry.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 17:50 | 4394144 Seer
Seer's picture

"What I'm saying is that onerous regulations by NERC is making electricity a lot more expensive."

What is onerous to some may not be to others, so I see this as an unusable measure here.

Again, entropy is underfoot and eventually everything becomes more "expensive."  The "regulations," which I'm sure include some nice holes for money grabs, are often times an offset to some externalization that have been supressed elsewhere.

I am neutral.  I feel that focusing on the grease (or lack of) on the gears only subjects one's head to the gears: need to concentrate more on asking whether the gears are something that we really want and need.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:20 | 4393959 Seer
Seer's picture

"Most Americans do not want to deal with this type of efficient living."

I'd state it that "most Americans" don't understand that there are even constraints.  And this, more so than anything else, have been what Kunstler et al have been trying to address (the awareness): I tend to skip over their "solutions" not because there is no merit but because there really are no "solutions" (there are only adjustments- something that should always be the basis for engaging in any change).

Years ago I switched from gas (propane) heat to wood heat.  My propane use has dropped to near nil: I think that my tank levels have only dropped 5% (cooking and occational use of clothes dryer).  The energy requirements didn't evaporate, they just changed form.  It's never far from my mind seeing as I do wood chopping and all that: my property doesn't have a natural source of natural gas/propane, but it does have a natural source of [renewable] wood/trees.

I'll never forget my ex's father complaining about his utility bill.  He was bitching about how he had to pay more.  Well, looking at the bill it was clear that he was USING MORE energy!  The rates were essentially flat.  He was a cheap and STUPID bastard: I'm just a cheap bastard.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:58 | 4394031 Spanky
Spanky's picture

My Daddy always said: If you want to know how to do a job the simplest and easiest way, watch a lazy man. And if you want to know how to make that job pay, watch a cheap man.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 17:57 | 4394162 Seer
Seer's picture

Great addition!

It's also a good thing to think about it in terms of energy conversation.  Climate/environment make a big difference in how people go about doing things.  High-energy things tend to have shorter windows of longevity.

Took me a while to get it that one wants to look to work "smarter" rather than "harder" (though work shouldn't necessarily be easy).

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:35 | 4392408 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture


All I have to do is see "CHARLES SMITH", and I know what I'm going to get.

I guess it feels good, cuz this is the kind of talk at a bar that will get you laid, women love this progressive BS,

Men know that these guys who talk this way are man-twats, lady-men, girly-boys,

If there is even one example of an OBAMA style apologist for NAZI AMERICA its Charles Smith.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:25 | 4393967 Seer
Seer's picture

"All I have to do is see "CHARLES SMITH", and I know what I'm going to get."

Get the fuck out of this thread then!  I mean, if you know it's shit then why the fuck are you even here?  Are you trolling?  Are you a masochist, or are you a hypocrite?

Your post here added absolutely NOTHING.

"Member for
6 days 19 hours"
Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:32 | 4392409 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

I really hate  this guy, he and Maulden I read frequently and like Kunstler, they are apologists for the status-quo,

But Smith writes with this creepy gentle style, ... like that grandpa that dresses like santa, and puts children on his lap, with one hand on their shoulder and the other hand under their ass.


It’s not all bleak because I think the neuroscientists also tell us that we have this great yearning as human beings for community and all the rest of it, and individualistic or selfish, perhaps what people on the right of the political spectrum constantly try and persuade us that we are. That all points towards the possibility of a road to renaissance and that’s why I titled the book The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance. I talk about the importance of things like the Transition movement as the building blocks for this road to renaissance.

ITS BLEAK, endless war since the dawn of HUMANITY

Smith wants generate 2 blogs a week, but he really should blog once a month.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:44 | 4392439 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Can we limit you? For some reason I don't think you will respond positively to suggestion.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:55 | 4392457 shutdown
shutdown's picture


Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:59 | 4392466 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

I really only wanted to make ONE comment, but this fucking software on ZH does this a lot, ... double post a comment.

Then I went back to del, or zap the text and I thought 'what the fuck', I mean shit, ... ZH posts this Charles-Smith, dribble and I read the entire post, ... I thought I was reading the UN plan for energy 1962.

MEA-CUPLA sincerely, it was NEVER my plan to comment 2x, :(


Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:25 | 4393970 Seer
Seer's picture

"Member for

6 days 19 hours"
Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:38 | 4392422 shutdown
shutdown's picture

Here's your daily dose of basic college logic. Do The Math.

Only communism can manage a society in a declining economy. Everyone knows this.

And we're now in a permanently declining economy. Everyone knows this, too.

Therefore, the whole world needs to embrace a Glorious Peoples Communist Revolution. It'll be for our own good. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:31 | 4393977 Seer
Seer's picture

Um... the realities are that the tighter resources are the more that adjustments are necessary, regardless of any poitical agenda or ideology.  So, yes, more "laws" are/will be the order of the day up to the point where the "laws" start to suffocate and then it's war.

The real "math" is about growth and finite planet... anything not focusing on these core issues/facts is but a distraction (but, distractions are what humans do real well- deception is key to survival).

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:42 | 4392436 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

I think inevitably what’s going to happen whether people like it or not, is that communities, towns, individual houses are going to get themselves off that grid and the march of technology is going to help them. People and communities are going to become increasingly self-sufficient. When you do that, where’s the role for the national electricity grid, at a certain point? Where’s the role for a giant company like National Grid? - Smith

* Only in AMERICA

City people are FORCED to the BUS,

Village people are all METH-HEADS, and just wander around like zombies on foot from house to house in search of cargo to hock, to buy rock

BULL FUCKING SHIT, the NSA/CIA Goldman-Sachs plan is make every ameriKKKan a god-damn fucking shit eating dependent.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:43 | 4392440 Iam Yue2
Iam Yue2's picture

There Is No Authority But Yourself

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:16 | 4392835 MissCellany
MissCellany's picture

I upvoted you because I thought you meant the generic "yourself," then realized that I hope you weren't speaking to satoshi911...

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:32 | 4393985 Seer
Seer's picture

Yeah, I think that satashi911 can't really be trusted with his(?) own "authority!" <said somewhat tongue-in-cheek, with no intentions of implying fascist/athoritarian influence over another>

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 21:58 | 4392463 Steve in Greensboro
Steve in Greensboro's picture

Capitalism is not an ideology. Capitalism is what people do when government leaves them alone.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:22 | 4392724 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

++ Steve,

The essence of Free Association.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:06 | 4392819 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

Anarchism is what people do when government them leave alone.

Capitalism is what BIG-BIZ does to people, when BIG-BIZ controls the GOVERNMENT. CAPITALISM is Economic's ran by Fascist's.


I really wish people could understand that PURE-ANARCHISM is pure 'freedom', absence of all control, corporate or government.


Capitalism is just code for 'mercanitilism', which is CODE for FIAT, which is code that ELITE push worthless paper-money on a DUMB populace, a 2,000 year old ponzi.


Somebody here read "NATIVE AMERICAN ANARCHISM", and please for god's fucking sake, learn about real fucking american HISTORY, long ago 'anarchists' were the REAL FREEDOM fighters, ...

CAPITALISM was always the rhetoric of the plantation owner.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:53 | 4392904 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture


Without government, big business would be compelled to serve the people.

With government, people are servants to big business.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 11:25 | 4393345 Woodhippie
Woodhippie's picture

Actually, government required business to provide a benefit to society to get a charter to become a business.

Full disclosure:  I am not for government.  Of any kind. 

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 17:59 | 4394171 Seer
Seer's picture

Ah, yes, "the people," the same "the people" who were from the more aristocratic clans.

I'm thinking that the bigness that we now see could ONLY exist with the special "help" of governments.

Seems that you cannot have one without the other.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 07:00 | 4393140 smacker
smacker's picture

hhmmm. That's rather muddled in my opinion.

The Gooch described what can happen to capitalism when it iterates and I agree with that. We see it all the time where large corps expand, get into bed with government and thru a range of laws, regulations (often supported by big corps to put their smaller competitors out of business), other marketing measures and tactics, they become dominant players in their market sector.

At this point they lose touch and interest in the very people who funded their growth & expansion in the first place: customers. Because by now, customers have little or no choice. Microsoft and now Google are two perfect examples of this. There are many more including the entire banking industry. Whether one calls this eventual outcome mercantilism or corporatism is hardly here or there because it amounts to the same thing: big corps in bed with big government dominating and controlling a market sector, against the best interests of the customer.

And with socialism you eventually get to the same destination: big money in bed with big government: ie corporatism.

At this point we have arrived at the corporatist state, but having begun the journey from two different places.

In both cases, big corps are notionally privately owned which leads many people to think that this is ugly capitalism. Well, it might be. But it might also be socialist utopia. And big government is in the shadows feeding it and exercising control over it (directionalising) and protecting it, usually for corrupt purposes.

It is really the Corporatist State: Fascism.

It is a far cry from what we remember as free market capitalism where good ideas succeed, bad ideas fail and firms compete with each other for the attention of customers.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 18:06 | 4394195 Seer
Seer's picture

"you eventually get to the same destination: big money in bed with big government: ie corporatism."

I'm kind of thinking that this is the squeeze shoot all pushing toward more and more control and that this is the natural (if you can call it that) outcome of shrinking resources in the face of highly established infrastructure.

BTW - Nice reasoning: it's refreshing to read a "presentation" containing one's own thoughts (rather than a diatribe).

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 08:54 | 4393196 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Ideologically pure Anarchism is just as unattainable and unsustainable as ideologically pure Capitalism or Communism.

The world needs solutions that can be implemented for a population of 7 billion divided among a couple hundred nation states.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:43 | 4394003 Seer
Seer's picture

"Capitalism" is a THEORY, a VIRTUAL human construct aimed at providing a FRAMEWORK under which humans are to acquire goods and services.

Before the first white person (European) stepped ashore on the lands known as the USofA there was no "government."  Were the natives then "doing" "Capitalism?"

This cake and eating it too thing sounds all warm and fuzzy, and I really do like cake and eating it!, it's just ,that, in the face of expanding population and declining resources it's NOT going to hold up.  I'm STILL wanting to hear from anyone how "Capitalism" can overcome the issues of its corruption AND how it can survive resource depletion (which pretty much tends toward wars [complete opposite of what "Capitalism" is suppose to be about]).

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:09 | 4392494 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

"since the current iterations of Capitalism and Socialism are both systems of increasing centralization (and thus of systemic fragility),

systemic fraud.

Iteration of "capitalism" = "crony".

Iteration of "socialism" = "fascism".

The "social" issues are the easiest wedge to distract the statists in all their primary colors.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:13 | 4392510 assistedliving
assistedliving's picture

whatever your criticism of Hugh-Smith is, it is a much needed conversation (without labeling)  3.5 billion  'unleashed' Chinese, Indians, South Americans & Africans will de-mineralize and pollute our good ole Earth to make Cuyahoga River a daily happenstance.

we can learn much from the Germans here



Sat, 02/01/2014 - 22:54 | 4392641 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

sure.. as long as coal sticks around in the equation


Sun, 02/02/2014 - 07:07 | 4393143 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Now if the varments could just get out the hole, we could go back to partyin again.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:03 | 4392672 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

All I Have To Do Is Dream - Everly Brothers (2:20)

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:10 | 4392689 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Charles Smith is right about what the huge utility companies in the US fear regarding increasingly competitve rates of locally-driven solar power on a kw/hr basis or other local power generation methods and what it means to utility companies especially if that power is available to be sold back onto to the grid.  German power companies have gotten obliberated and are facing some really stark choices in the future. 

Issue is how do you fund long-term transmission and generation of electricity, maintain the local grids, and deal with time when local power generation (especially solar) is offline or not nearly sufficient to meet demand since our large-sacle electrical storage capacities still suck and we have made little/no progress in that area.

Then again that point is entirely missed on here and usually it comes down to 'Capitalism Rulez!'

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 16:54 | 4394026 Seer
Seer's picture

There are other issues at play to consider, not just focusing on whether "huge utliity companies" are interefering (which, I'm sure IS the case, though I do not believe that is necessarily a universal condition).

As I noted elsewhere above, decentralization of power means that the WILL be a greater storage of energy "closer to home."  Look around and see how well folks are managing to keep simple stuff maintained.  Fine, an army of "off-grid" experts will arise, but that doesn't mean that those same folks around you who don't keep the simple stuff maintained are going to be able to hire it out for something that can turn from a localized hazaard into a larger one: neighbor's neglect turn his house into an inferno that spreads to your house.  Increased maintenance, increased insurance, well... it's not such the "win" that most might think it to be (I side with "decentralization" based on the fact that that's how entropy will play- if I try to charge it all with emotion then I'm distracting myself from making the best decision for my future).

Funny, eventually power will go back to what it's been for most of human history- CENTRALIZED, from the SUN! (solar panels and such only being viable to operate for a small part of our future, until it becomes too costly to extract the resources with which to build the stuff)

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 23:20 | 4392716 Rock the Casbah
Rock the Casbah's picture

Call BS - too many generalities to be useful.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 08:59 | 4393203 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

How about calling it BS for its 100% pure BULLSHIT content-

"We can learn that it’s possible to renewably power a modern economy like Germany 100% with renewables, and do it much quicker than people anticipate."

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 17:00 | 4394045 Seer
Seer's picture

Also keep in mind that there's no time component in that/this. "100%" for HOW LONG?  If their population continues to expand will they still be able to do that "100%?"  Or, what about with the continued economic collapse of the global economy? (where are they going to come up with the resources to keep that "100%" going?)

Though I use some of this stuff (PV for electric fencing) I do not expect it to be the mainstay that all the techo-heads and anti-this-and-thats want it to be.  Just the facts...  not enough planet to keep expanding on, "alternative energies" or no "alternative energies"

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 18:01 | 4394179 malek
malek's picture


Amazing how the author can ignore the fact that the "German renewable energy revolution" has faltered recently, with costs exploding and rose-colored projections becoming clearly unachievable, while a ceiling had to be put on PV subsidies due to residential electricity prices going into runaway mode.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 18:17 | 4394215 Seer
Seer's picture

"Amazing how the author can ignore the fact that the "German renewable energy revolution" has faltered recently"

I don't find it "amazing" at all.  Seems pretty typical, one can take the entire picture and discount the trending by stating that it's just a bump.  Well, in the entire timeframe that Germany's been doing all of this that's true, but what we're really trying to nail down here is whether something really is sustainable or not.  I don't invest much in solar tech (except a bit for electric fencing), so that should speak as to my assessment of it and the future.

"with costs exploding and rose-colored projections becoming clearly unachievable, while a ceiling had to be put on PV subsidies due to residential electricity prices going into runaway mode."

There's also the perpetual subsidies in place for all the "conventional" energy "producers" as well.  Not defending solar here, just pointing out that one has to show the entire bag in order to know what's really in it.  My position has always been that the alternative energy folks would be better off lobbying to remove subsidies to the existing "producers," as this would likely attract other support (and they wouldn't look like just another begger for a handout [who would be standing at the back of the line that has Dick Cheney's friends at the front]).

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 00:12 | 4392829 satoshi911
satoshi911's picture

This entire conversation is what you get when a dying empire, refuses to look in a mirror.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 04:44 | 4393091 groundedkiwi
groundedkiwi's picture

Dying empire? This empire has so much power of destruction, and a debt that is unsustainable, no country or citizen is immune. I forget the song but can remember a few words. ' there's a kind of hush, all over the world".
I can remember in the early 60s when we waited for our turn to read Dads newspaper.
Kids today have no concept of news. Reporters have no idea of reporting.
We will continue you get the odd movie that reinforces our given truths, that newspaper reporters are not biased, but DEEP in our hearts, there is the truth.

our children are stuffed and we do not know what to do about it.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 18:20 | 4394224 Seer
Seer's picture

"I can remember in the early 60s when we waited for our turn to read Dads newspaper.
Kids today have no concept of news. Reporters have no idea of reporting."

So, you don't believe that they weren't lying to you back THEN?

Did you miss that entire Vietnam thing?  Did you really believe that "Communism" was going to take over the world and that you should do your part to funnel money to the "defense" industry? (note that BAD systems FAIL; there is absolutely NO way communism was going to take over the world)

No, all that's changed is SPEED.  We're still the same deceptive humans we've always been (only there's FAR more of us now), it's just that it's now easier to go dig in the closets to see the deception happening.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 17:02 | 4394051 Seer
Seer's picture

Don't I feel special, I up-voted you!

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 15:24 | 4392957 evernewecon
evernewecon's picture

Explains how people have
falsely put words in Adam Smith's

Hardly was he the self-important absolutist
defined by hubris, it would
seem from that; rather, he may very
well have realized the invisible
hand lives within a larger world
dependent on cooperation, with that
replacing fight for survival (isn't
it weird when someone disturbed by
natural selection becomes a social
Darwinist nonetheless?) with what
I call economy as safe amusement park.

Indeed, risk taking is enhanced when,
say, lenders are at risk for their
decisions and borrowers, though they
may boo boo, can know in advance that
their culture will not let the penalty
hurt them so much so as to imply any
of us is at risk of pain.


no one playing a
sports game seeks losing.
But every player should be
able to walk away from the
game to play another day.

Indeed, again, a culture of no more
pain makes more sense than a culture
of be damned and trillions spent on
war, spying, criminalizing kids for
being kids, and cleaning up
environmental messes stemming from
the drilling of oil while arrogant
idiots plan geo-engineering.

Cut food stamps that are already
designed to benefit monopolistic
food chains supplying unwholeseome

How can we bear knowing there's
hunger when we know how painful
hunger is?

I personally like anti-fragility,
popularized by Nassim Taleb.
But I personally happen to only
personally make sense of it by
applying it within a "market
progressive" framework.

To me the absolutes are too
fantasy land, as perfectly
equal access to all relevant
market information and equal
ease of entry, are fantasies,
even though they also, if
supposed to be meaningful absolutes,
nonsensically offered as such in
markets also partly defined by
such things as "put up or
shut up'ability," what TBTF is
by definition always able to rip
off from someone else.

Then, if they did exist,
markets would always clear at
-0- margin, meaning noone had
any earnings.

Health care's most obviously
process informed by risk/age
(also smoking--but ignore that,
along with don't do it, it just
will always be dealt with specially
one way or another,) though
risk/incidences/cost causes
(epidemiology impacting) also
utterly defines what happens
beyond simple price motivations.
A junctional pre-melanoma has
a persistent disinterest in
prices. The insurers have
tax-supported-concentrated the
risk so as to make your getting
older become a financial gauntlet
that potentially is the drain for
you (the insurers have defined
profit boxes--that's what privatization
is) that also doubles as your
increasing eligility for subsidy.

(Single payer or multi-payer
but with risk equalization
wash over that.)

Most markets would benefit
from cooperation mixed into the
free market, and cooperation would
benefit from market progressivism,
in most areas. Really,
incentivizing blueberry production
makes more sense than incentivizing
ethanol production if it's still a CO2
producer and thus mainly benefits
the producers of GMO corn seeds.

So many people who simplistically
looked at the absolutes of
unfettered markets vs. statism
have somehow failed to make the
connection with monopoly, that
presently statism is corporatism.

Privatization Should Only
Exist At The Sufferance Of
Public Regulation.

Where The Public Exists At
The Sufferance Of The
Privatizer, That's Feudal.

If You're Not Creating A
"Natural" Monopoly, Then The
Only Time It's Right To Privatize

The Person Buying Coverage
Only When He Needs It
Is A Thief.
The Guy Saying He Only Wants
To Take Care Of Himself
In Health Care Is Naive.
He'll Pay For Unreimbursed
His Hubris Will Work Perfectly
Until He's A Patient.
It Will Then Disappear In 30 Sec.
Then, Who Knows If His
Coverage Is Adequate.
What The Hell Makes Him Think
His Hubris Should Be Forced
On Someone Else?
Someone Else's Family?

Lack Of Demand Side
Choice Is A Feudal Indicator,
With Little Employer Choice
Combined With Lack Of
Collective Bargaining
Less Distinguishable From

That's why demagogues
LIKE high unemployment.
They also WANT students
indebted so they'll sell out,
preferably after after learning
how to do such things as
destroy the Arctic.

They don't want students to
vote for an alternative.

They want the students to
cope with the inevitable blame
game (don't see me, the
monopolist) by being better
seller outers.

If/when those students join
the upper middle class and should
happent to know to independently
not chase bubbles created by
monopolists, should the latter
make a wrong call, those students
will then learn first hand
what the policies of "hand it over,"
"our loss sharing is on you" and
"we get free money you get no
interest" mean.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 03:07 | 4393025 Amagnonx
Amagnonx's picture

Decentralization is being driven by technology, and technology has been a relentless force of change in the world since man invented agriculture.  I agree with the OP - regardless of the forces that are bent on centralization, there is a counter force present and there is a solid chance it will result in greater self sufficiency - an increase in self sufficiency is an increase in freedom.


I am an anarchist, but I believe anarchy must conform to Natural Law - I do not think we can have free association without every man freely subjecting themselves to Natural Law, and to some system for its implementation.


Ideally I think humanity should divide itself into communities, or clans consisting of around 500 or so individuals (as large as possible, but small enough to know each other personally), preferrably connected by family - and close geography would be an advantage.  These clans could run themselves internally however they liked - so long as leaving the clan and joining another was always freely available (no duress, no fear of reprisal).


Disputes between clans would be resolved based on Natural Law, with any system that was mutually acceptable to the disputing parties.


Natural Law is however not fully articulated nor understood - so I will state it here;


Whosoever infringes the private property, or share of common property of a human being without their consent commits an unlawful act.


Private property is all property contingent upon the human being; body, mind, papers, labor and product of labor, emotional state, public persona etc.  Common property is everything not contingent upon human beings, air, water, sunshine, cycle of living things, real estate, moon, sun, electromagnetic spectrum etc.


All human beings are born having an equal share in common property, and they must give consent for use or infringement of their share - or they must be compensated - certain egregious abuses of common property may be subject to criminal penalty - for example pumping arsenic into ground water, or torturing mammilian animals to death.


The simplest solution for common property is to use three methods; democratic, scientific and economic.  Firstly democratically decide what the scientific process is going to be, how many reports, what institutions, whether the results are going to be subject to conservative (low risk), nuetral or progressive (increased risk) adjustment - then apply the scientific method to determine levels of use, then use the economic method and lease their use to the free market.  For use of things that are difficult to represent in a scientific manner, then a democratic agreement must be achieved - things like treatement of animals.


The income resulting from these leases can then be dsitrubted to everyone.  


So for example you would determine how much logging a natural forest could sustain, then sell leases to do logging - same for fishing, and the same for release of chemicals used in agriculture or industry, and also the same for renting real estate (the rent would only be on the unimproved value fo the land, all buildings and infrastructure are private proerty).  This money would be distributed to each clan based on the number of members- and the clan would decide on its use through democratic means - or it could just be divided on an individual basis.


If every single person in this system took on responsilbility for defense, and for the establishment and maintenance of law then society would not need govt whatsoever - you would need to store all the values of all the leases and land use, but that could be done on a distributed network.  This would require everyone to be a soldier, and to be a juror and policeman.  So a military coup, or police state would be essentially impossible - because there is no separate group of civilians to be oppressed.


I think this is the kind of society that technology is capable of, and hopefully we are moving towards it - wars, if they occurred at all, would be between clans and of a very limited nature - it seems to me that the risks would be too high and some agreement would be made or enforced by the greater community to keep the peace.

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 09:35 | 4393219 Manipuflation
Manipuflation's picture

Go reread what you just posted.  You are no anarchist but rather a statist and you stated it all through your post.

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