The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Category: Civilization Collapse Page 1 of 2

If You Believe Either Biden Or Trump Will Halt Decline You’re A Fool

There are those, even some smart people whom I otherwise respect, who think that Trump is a way to halt and reverse American decline.

This is delusional.


As for Biden, his claims to success are based on statistics that only a toddler or an economist would believe reflect reality, leaving aside the fact that he’s overseeing the loss of the US dollar as the primary trade currency, which will hurt the US worse than an Israeli shoving a red hot metal rod up a Palestinian civilian’s ass.

I’m on team tariff. I think they’re often a good thing. But tariffs alone cannot fix the US economy. America has too many economic pathologies. Without crushing the rich, dropping housing prices, making Private Equity illegal, forbidding share buybacks, ending stock options for executives, massive anti-trust enforcement and huge number of other policies, the US cannot take advantage of being hidden behind tariffs, especially when China is now producing more scientific and engineering advances than America.

People want hope. They need it. And they will find it, or what passes for it. We saw that with Obama, the ultimate neoliberal wannabe, who immunized bankers from their crimes and helped them steal millions of houses with fraudulent documents, then expanded fracking and bragged about, not just giving up the last chance to slow or stop climate change, but actually lighting gas on fire to speed it up.

Then Obama bragged about how much he had increased oil and gas production. Bragged.

No one is coming to save you if you are American, or, indeed Western. LePen will me a garbage fire. Starmer is one of the most mendacious neoliberal politicians of the past 50 years, an impressive feat.

If you want to do politics, you have to stop pretending that you can fix the major parties, and go third party. Yes, it’s a long shot, but it’s your only shot.

More realistically, national politics isn’t going to save your ass. You’re going to have to do it yourself, ideally with the help of other citizens. Perhaps thru a church, perhaps through a neighbourhood association, perhaps through a maker group: whatever, find a way to get like minded non-idiots together and support each other and start making the necessary changes so that you, your family and your friends have a better chance of getting thru the bad times.

It’s up to you. Climate change will not be stopped. My bet is that it is now into self-reinforcing growth. If it isn’t yet, it will be. The West’s hegemony is collapsing. As I have written repeatedly, Europe is going back to what it was for most of its history: a peripheral shithole on the edge of the Asian continent. The US is losing its empire and when it no longer had dollar privilege or a military that other countries are in terror of, Americans will find out the cost of sending their industrial base to China because if you can’t make it, other countries are going to demand a pound of flesh to send it to you.

Hell is coming and both Biden and Trump lead there, just by slightly different routes.

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The Truth About Joe Biden, America, And Europe’s Future

Joe Biden is responsible for a genocide in Israel, because Israel couldn’t do it without American support. (And this isn’t his only mass murder. He engineered a famine in Afghanistan.)

Obama said that he and Joe were responsible for making the US the biggest oil and gas producer in the world. Biden has, in office as President, made that brag too, meaning he owns it.

He is also responsible for all the deaths in Ukraine since March of last year, when the US, thru the UK PM Boris Johnson, scuttled a peace deal. As a result, Ukraine will almost certainly wind up losing much more land and hundreds of thousands more dead. Most likely it will wind up a landlocked nation. The IMF and the EU will then loot it to the ground with neoliberal policies.

Never let the US use you as their proxy in a war. They always fuck you over.

Biden also has overseen the institutionalization of a permanent pandemic without instituting proper mitigations. The official numbers are a vast under-count, since they only count reported deaths and most jurisdictions no longer report Covid deaths. This before we get to Long Covid. Joe now owns that, and that will be tens of millions disabled Americans and early deaths and hundreds of millions. I’ll do a post on some numbers on how many children are getting it soon. It always amuses me how Americans and Europeans go on and on about how much they love their children, when every piece of evidence indicates the exact opposite. (Regular readers will recall how I wrote, again and again, not to send children back to school till proper ventilation and filtering was put in place. Billions for weapons, none for protecting your kids.)

As for the US economic numbers, they are fake, because inflation is vastly understated and anyone who pretends otherwise is an economist, an idiot, or on the payroll—and often all three, since being an economist or believing in economic models is the equivalent of being hit repeatedly in the head by Muhammad Ali in his prime.

Joe accelerated the trade war with China started by Trump. As a result, China will become the world leader in microchips, which they were not pursuing before the sanctions. Within 2 to 3 years they will cause a microchip glut on everything the but high end chips They will, within 10 years, be the world leaders in auto production and within 15 years, the world leaders in civic aviation.

Sanctions against Russia have failed and Russia’s economy is growing fast. It is now larger than Germany’s and far healthier in the ways that will matter as things get worse.

Joe’s policies in Ukraine and Europe are leading to German de-industrializing. Europe is doomed, in so many ways. When AMOC goes, and models are showing that could happen as soon as next year (though I don’t expect it quite that soon), well, European agriculture will collapse, and there will be famine and a huge wave of refugees out of Europe. The irony will be deep. I wonder if Russia and Africa will accept many European refugees.

(The industrial movement makes no real difference to climate change, it’s just moving production from place to place but it is going to hurt almost every country which is an ally of America.)

And humans wonder why they live in Hell.

It’s because we deserve it, at least as a species.

Many readers and hundreds of millions to billions of people are going to lose everything due to the effects of climate change and ecological collapse. When that happens remember that many voted for it again and again and made excuse after excuse for the people accelerating it, the worst of whom definitely includes Democrats as well as Republicans

As for the US, the sooner it collapses, the better it will be for humanity as a whole. The empire was the global hegemon during the time when everyone knew about climate change, and it not only didn’t stop it, it put the pedal to the metal.


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Clear Talk About History’s Sweep

I’m fifty-six. I’ll be fifty-seven in less than a month. My hair is white, and my body’s not what it used to be, though in some ways it never was.

My parents were conservatives but I remember back in 1979, they thought Reagan was a bad idea. They were right, but he won, and I was 12 years old, just finished elementary school and about to go to boarding school, as my father had a job in Bangladesh, then the poorest country in the world.

Seventy-nine/eighty is when the world changed. It had been changing before: working class male wages in the US peaked in 68: there was the OPEC crisis, going off gold, stagflation, etc… But it was Thatcher and Reagan who locked in neo-liberalism, which was essentially a looting operation. Sell everything off, burn it all down, turn it into cash and damn the consequences.

And here I am fifty-six watching the end of their crass, stupid and selfish movement. They created the world’s richest rich; transfered the world’s manufacturing base from American allies to China, completely gutted the environment such that we’re now past important tipping points, and they did it with the support of a lot of ordinary folks who wanted to be wealthy without having to work for it thru housing price gains and a stock market that never went down.

Those people: the Reagan Democrats, well, a lot of them won in that they died before the bill came due but the bill is being paid and will be paid by their children, grand-children and great-grand-children.

It was all unnecessary, there were better ways to fix our problems. I’ve written a ton of those articles, so have others, I won’t go into it.

We humans, in the hegemonic power and its satrapies, chose to burn it all down and throw it all away rather than make the necessary changes to create an economy which wouldn’t destroy the planet and which would be good for everyone.

Because of this we’re in classic population over-shoot. Look it up if you don’t know what it is, but basically, animals that overshoot, and we’ve proved ourselves dumb animals, have violent population crashes, and that’s what’s coming.

I write about some topics again and again. I apologize to those who are tired of it. I do so for a couple reasons, the first is that as a mentor once told me “about the time you’re sick of writing it, people are just beginning to get it.”

the second is that I really want you to know. I care about my readers and I want you to get how bad things are going to be: that we’ve passed the peaks and are on the downslide, so that, perhaps, you can do something about it: not to stop it, it isn’t going to be stopped and anyone telling you it will is lying to you, but to prepare and perhaps suffer less.

The sweep of history is fast and slow. It’s slow when you look at a single human life: I’m not going to see the next upswing, I’m too old and not very healthy. It was my curse to be born at the time when an empire decided to destroy itself and the largest environmental disaster in human history was about to happen. I’m lucky, I supposed, compared to those younger than me, most of whom will not see the next upswing either, but won’t have seen some of the good times, even if I didn’t participate in them much.

But the sweep of history is also fast. From Thatcher in 79 to now is forty-five years. That’s not very long. When I read my first economic textbook back in the early 80s, it noted that the US had a trade deficit, but it didn’t matter because American still produced almost everything it needed.

In less than fifty years the greatest industrial power the world had ever seen pissed it away, deliberately. It’s probably not a bad thing, the US was a bad hegemon, though much worse after Reagan than before. The Chinese will start out better and their run will be interrupted by environmental and civilization collapse. The end of American empire is probably bad for me personally, as a Canadian, but I figure it’s a net benefit to the world.

Humanity’s probably going to survive, but the next hundred and fifty years or so are going to be UGLY. Still, if we make it, and I’m betting we will, there will be another side.

I’m not going to stop writing about our problems, but I do want to write my little bit about what a better civilization, during the long emergency and after, might look like, so I’ll try to write more about that.

Thanks to all my readers who have hung on for the ride. I know it hasn’t been the most pleasant: there just hasn’t been much good news to share and that’s not going to change. But that doesn’t mean it’s all gloom, there are some silver linings (like the US going under), and there is some reason to hope for the future and believe that what we do now may influence that future for the better.

Let’s see if we can do that.

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And This God Has Granted To Me, That

I shall live to see the destruction of my enemies.

The great joy of watching the American government be humiliated, over and over again, as their empire collapses.

To watch as those they oppressed cease to fear them, as their enemies circle the old brute, nipping at their heels, tearing at them, as they dies innumerable wounds.

This, God has granted to me.

And so too has God granted to me to watch the end of Neoliberalism. “Greed is good” they screamed, as they strip mined the economy, becoming the richest rich in the world’s history, even as they destroyed the basis of their power.

Soon they will be the rich of undeveloping countries; the rich of India in 1950. Scream at China as they will, nothing will change that they sold the golden geese to china for cash on the barrelhead and two generations of epehemeral wealth.

The Europeans, so smug and so sure of themselves after centuries at the top, as they fall back to being the meaningless backwater of Eurasia that is Europe’s normal state. “But we live in a Garden!” they will wail, as the garden fills with wheels and wrecked cars.

Satraps of their own colony, slaves to America, colonialists who killed hundreds of millions then screamed that their enemies were evil, not them, no, they were the good people, the civilized people.

This, God has granted me to see.

And then, all the capitalists, in all the countries, China, America, Japan, Russia, Europe, India: everywhere. “We can grow infinitely! We’ll always substitute! Technology will save us! We should engineer products to for planned obsolesence! Wealth! Power! Infinity! We are geniuses! This is the best time every and we are the smartest smart people to ever smart!”

And it’s all coming down. Seems that infinite growth on a planet which isn’t infinite doesn’t work out. Seems that places to safely store pollution like CO2 and plastics aren’t infinite on a little green and blue planet. Seems like humans aren’t independent of insects and plants and other animals and plankton: that we’re just one life form and if we kill too many of the others that may not work out for us.

God did not grant to me the power or the voice or the gifts necessary to prevent any of this evil.

But God has granted to me to see the end days of my enemies, and if they are my end days as well, still will I enjoy them.

May Bush, and Bill Clinton and Blair and Pelosi and Obama and Biden all live very long lives, with clear minds, that they might see all they created destroyed.

This God has granted to me, to see the destruction of my enemies and the fall of all they built.

I worked to prevent this, with all my might, and failed, as did all of us who fought against these evils. May what is born after be born of good, and learn from the fall of evil.

But still, I will enjoy what God has granted me.

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Reasons For Hope In The Age of Collapse

We all know that civilization is in collapse due to climate change, environmental degradation and over-use of resources. The classic graph is this one.

Not pretty, and this blog tends to write about such topics a lot.

But it’s not all bad. Let’s run thru that.

Collapse will be unevenly distributed,  and that means some places and positions in society will be a lot better for a long time. The trick is figuring out where those will be. Obviously not lowlands, or places which are likely to run out of water, or places where heat will move over the wet-bulb point. I’d suggest water and stability and food are the main things to look for: so, for example, in North America around the great lakes, up by Great Bear Lake (not a nice place to live right now, though) and so on.

Some people always do well. Even in the Roman collapse, there were people living good lives. Of course, those were mostly the “masters of violence” but if you have key skills people need, including technological skills or if you’re liked by many people, that will help.

Note that in the Dark Ages the other group who did relatively well were the priests and monks. Expect a religious revival and an upsurge in real “intentional” communities: monasteries, nunneries and the like. If you’re a priest, you’ll benefit, if you’re a senior monk or nun you’ll do fine.

So, a relatively senior person in charge of violence or community, or someone with useful skills, or someone who liked by a lot of people.

Work will be hard, but meaningful. Right now we have, in David Graeber’s phasing, a lot of “bullshit jobs.” Those will mostly go away. Your work may suck, but you’ll know that it’s actually needed.

A restoration of the extended family. Leaving aside refugees, but even there only partially, the family household will be a thing again, as it is one of the most effective ways to deal with bad times, and as people won’t be leaving to find work that doesn’t exist. This is a good/bad thing, the extended family, generally patriarchal, has a lot of downsides, but people in religious communities and extended families are happier and healthier in general and have a buffer against bad times. This is pretty robust in the literature.

More local autonomy. International trade and expeditions half way around the world to beat up other people up will decrease significantly, we won’t have the resources for them. Because of this local agriculture and production will come back, and with that will come an end to a universal “Americanized/European/Han” culture. Areas will be able to make their own choices, for good or bad, and will not be overwhelmed by power and economy of scale from far away.

The consumer lifestyle will end but appropriate tech will take its place. We do know a lot more than when the Romans went into the Dark Ages, and there are lot of solutions for our problems. Green houses with shutters, non-panel solar power. Water resevoirs attached to homes, and far more. You’ll live local, you’ll be more independent as a household (if you belong to one), and you’ll spend a lot less time working for other people and much more working for yourself and your family. Again, this is a mixed bag, but there are upsides.

The Possibility of the New. What happens will break all existing ruling ideologies: capitalism, representative democracy, the CCP (China will break up at some point, my guess centers around the 70s) and so on. If your ideology was in charge, it’s going to take a huge hit. Of course much of what will happen is a reversion to household patriarchy and religion, but there is the real possibility of new forms of organization, ideology and politics.

This is why it is important, now, to win the storytelling wars. Why this world collapsed and what a good world should look like. When everything goes to Hell people will use the ideas on the ground. If they’re good ones, great. If not, Hell. In a lesser way look at the Great Depression: Germany gets Hitler, the US lucks out and gets FDR. But the times coming will be much worse than the Great Depression and the possibility of change likewise greater.

The end of something old is always the chance to create something new and that new thing may be better. In fact, I’m sure it will be, in some places, just as in many places it will be something much worse.

Hope isn’t optimism. It’s a realistic way of saying “there are possibilities and we can reach for the better ones.”

Let it be so.

(We’ll talk more specifics in future articles. There’s a category “The Green Age After the Collapse.” It will see more use.

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Climate Change and Environmental Collapse (State of the World 2023 #2)

(This is second in the series promised during the 2022 fundraiser. For #1 (imperial collapse) read here.)

I’m going to keep this one brief.

This year has seen the constant shattering of temperature records. Temperatures in the high thirties, in winter, have been common.

The majority of the Mediterranean is going to be uninhabitable without air conditioning for months every year. This includes North Africa and the European areas. The same will be true of most areas of the tropics. Time scale is ten to fifteen years.

Because climate change includes weather instability, it will become impossible to get property insurance in increasing areas, starting with the coasts and areas prone to wildfires.

Wildfires will continue until the ecology of areas has changed to one suitable to their new temperature and rainfall pattern.

In the short to mid term, there will be a lot of river floods, then rivers based on snow pack or coming from glaciers will reduce in size or dry up. Most of the world’s aquifers are drained, and many are poisoned. This means vast areas will become unsuitable for agriculture, which will lead to genuine food shortages. We haven’t had those in a long time, our current shortages are because we can’t be bothered to distribute food, of which we have great excess. But by 2030 we’ll see some real famines, and by 2040 almost everyone’s going to be eating less, even if they aren’t going hungry.

The oceans will become increasingly lifeless, and most fisheries will collapse. Even sea farming will be difficult, as oxygen content drops and acidification increases. If you’re middle aged, you’ll see the start of the Sea of Jellyfish. The real danger is if CO2 fixing and O2 emitting plankton collapse, in which case we’ll see some real problems.

On land, the great rainforests will mostly die. This includes the Amazon and Congo. They will be replaced by wastelands, and will be almost impossible to regrow under the new circumstances. This will, again, lead to vast increases in CO2. The effect on Brazil will be catastrophic.

The first ocean inundations will come sooner than almost anyone thinks and low lying countries and areas which have not built sea walls and pumps will go underwater. Bangladesh is a good weather vane here, but the northern Chinese breadbasket is at risk in the second wave.

If this was only about CO2 and global warming the realist optimist types would be right that it’d suck mightily, but whatever. The danger is that we’ve also go ecological collapse going on. I can’t estimate the odds correctly, but collapse of food chains, and in particular collapses of microbes, insects, plankton and so on could lead to drastic issues. The old line is that if the bees go extinct, so do we, but there’s a lot more risk than that, and that’s the “apocalyptic” scenario.

In your personal life, you should be preparing. Find a way to get your own water, even if it’s condensation. Food is important but understand that growing it outside is going to be tricky because of climate instability. Food you can count on will have some form of environmental control.

Expect everything to come in faster than the consensus ICC estimates. They’ve almost all been wrong to the upside, so consider them the “best case scenario” and don’t plan for that.

Climate change and ecological collapse are going to play into geopolitics in a big way. Normally, as I wrote yesterday, the ascendance of China would be all over except the shooting, but China’s going to get hit hard. They’re not stupid, and they know this. They just penned an absolutely massive deal for food from Russia, for example. But they need to do a lot more, and they and everyone else are going to have to change lifestyles. An economy of millions of cars, with sprawling cities makes no damn sense if the future that is coming.

Refugee waves are going to be absolutely massive, with hundreds of millions of people on the move. Multiple countries will collapse into warlordism and anarchy. There will be real revolutions, with elite murdered en-masse, because when people start starving and going without water, they will freak.

There just isn’t going to be enough to go around, it’s that simple.

If you want to survive, beyond the obvious, make friends and join or create strong community groups. You want a lot of people to like you and want you to live. Find a way to be useful, if possible, too. Plumbers and handymen and makers will be taken care of.

This is still some ways off, but understand clearly, civilization collapse has started, we are past the peak and past the point where we can stop it with any actions which it is even slightly conceivable we are capable of taking politically.

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Notes On The Structure Of American Imperial Collapse (State of the World 2023, #1)

The American empire is now in essentially unstoppable decline. Certainly there are things that could be done to stop it, but they will not be done, much as the British had to avoid WWI and not take profits by sending industry to the US.

(This is the first article on the state of the world, as promised in last year’s fundraiser.)

Everyone knows about comparative advantage, but what doesn’t get talked about is absolute advantage. In absolute advantage you have something people need that they can only get from you.

This can be weapons. It can be jets. It can be advanced computers. It can be the capital equipment (like lithography machines used to create semiconductors) used to make other things. Sometimes it can be a resource, like oil.

The USSR was competitive with the America and its satrapies when it could still offer most of what other nations wanted. They could shop at the West store or the USSR store and get jets and weapons and dams and electrical networks and so on. By the 70s this had started to come apart, and in the 80s their failure at microcomputers was starting to really hurt, plus their domestic economy was in serious trouble.

So from somewhere in the late 70s to early 80s, and certainly after the collapse of the USSR, if you wanted jets, good weapons, computers, internet and so on, you had to go to the US and its allies: or rather, its satraps. There were American jets, or there were European (Airbus) jets, and so on.

Starting in the 80s, but really taking off in the 90s, China began to really industrialize in the standard way: start at the bottom of the chain and sell to the West. They moved up the chain very fast.

For example:

Huawei and ZTE are both Chinese.

The numbers above are worse than they look, because Huawei 5G is banned in much of the West. So really, Huawei is dominant in much of the developing world (the South.)

China now has a domestic jet industry. It isn’t quite up to snuff, but within ten years it will be. The latest Huawei phone, post sanctions, was made with domestic chips and outperforms Apple and Samsung on some important metrics.

So, let’s move to the important charts. The world in 1990, right after the collapse of the USSR.

The world in 2020:

China is more dominant than the US was in its prime. (Well maybe not in 1946.)

Now this sort of thing is a leading indicator. Countries who were dominant are able to control more of the world’s resources than they deserve for some time after they lose their dominance.

Be clear, the US has LOST its dominance already. It’s all over except for the shooting. It doesn’t look or feel like that because of generations of accumulation and because the dollar is used for most world trade.

But those are lagging indicators. Britain’s pound was the main instrument of trade for decades after the US had overtaken it industrially.

This time it’s going to happen faster, because the US has abused its central position in financial networks in ways other countries, like Russia and China won’t tolerate.

Now, understand clearly, Western prosperity is based on commanding more of the world’s resources because everyone had to get what they needed from the US and its satrap (well, and the whole imperialism and military thing, but that’s another article.)

Since China now offers almost everything the West does, at better terms, they will come to command those resources. It’s that simple, though that doesn’t mean the road will be smooth. This will be an Age of War and Revolution, and civilization collapse, especially as this isn’t a normal changeover because of climate change and ecological collapse.

Within the West we are already seeing the US cannibalizing its satrapies. Germany had to have cheap oil and natural gas to run its industry and European patents are lagging, badly. Europe’s garden will go, and go relatively quickly. The Chinese will dominate the EV market, eat Airbus and Boeing alive and bypass European control of the machines which make semiconductors.

The main industry the West seems to still have a dominant lead in is biotech, but the Chinese will get there.

Japan and South Korea will do better because both are keeping up in scientific innovation, but my bet is that South Korea will peel off into the Chinese sphere at some point, economically they already have. I’m less sure about Japan, but they’d be wise to do so.

As for Europe, well, for twenty years I’ve been warning them they had to regain their independence and forge their own path. Most of Eastern Europe should never have been allowed into the EU or NATO. The EU should have built its own army and left NATO. And yeah, they should have done everything necessary to keep good ties with Russia, which would have been easy, because until fairly recently Russia wanted to be a European nation.

They did none of this, their rate of scientific advancement is abysmal outside of a few areas and they’re toast.

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Political v.s Physical Tipping Points

Back in the 2000’s I belonged to the Netroots movement. Our mantra was “more, better democrats.” We ran primaries, fundraised and put pressure on politicians, on top of all the normal blogging stuff, much of which we were the first mass practitioners of.

We failed. Obama was our loss moment, as he bypassed us and was able to get our readers without having to appease us.

But Obama was something more important. The financial crisis of 2007-9 was a moment which would have allowed for radical change. An FDR figure could have changed the nature of America in their response to it, breaking up banks and other monopolies and letting a vast swathe of the rich go bankrupt and charging them with crimes, thus breaking their power for generations to come.

Obama didn’t do that. He didn’t even seriously consider it, instead he supported the Federal Reserve and Treasury in saving them and enriching them.

I considered it then, and now, a political tipping point. The financial crisis was the last real political chance to change the direction of society, globally (since an American response would have cascaded throughout the world, as it did), enough to perhaps stave off climate change and ecological collapse, since politically dealing with those required breaking the power of the wealthy.

The most important political tipping point was actually the neoliberal empowerment moment: 79’s election of Thatcher and 80’s election of Reagan. Clinton and Blair ascending to the top of the Democrats and Labor were the second political points, since each of them institutionalized the changes made by their Republican/Conservative predecessors. Thatcher understood well, noting that her victory was sealed by Blair.

For both climate change and ecological collapse to be stopped, for the physical tipping points to be avoided, we had to make a radical change in how we ran our societies. Continuing on more or less as we had before meant disaster. To be sure, the changes necessary were truly radical (though less so the sooner they were begun), but nonetheless they required political victory and destruction of the power of vested interests.

So while others were saying “we still have time”, I was looking at the politics and the realities of power and saying the opposite, “it’s too late, we missed the window”, because there was no political possibility.

The physical tipping point for climate change was reached this year or last year, I’m reasonably sure. The ecological collapse tipping point may have been somewhat earlier. The civilization collapse point has also probably passed, and I put that around 2020.

All along the road off-turns were offered. People laugh at Dennis Kucinich, but he wanted to do the right things and ran in the Democratic primaries multiple times. The fact that he was considered laughable even though his policy prescriptions were correct is exactly the problem.

While Corbyn came too late to turn the tide, his election and success, if it had been the precursor of serious political realignment, as was Thatcher, could have saved hundreds of millions of lives and made the process much less painful. Indeed his defeat is one reason (though only one) that I consider 2020 the turning point for civilization collapse. It was definitely the turning point for UK collapse.

Modern propaganda is mighty indeed, and Corbyn lacked the necessary ruthlessness to defeat entrenched interests, if it was even possible. Unlike Obama, however, he at least wished to do the right things.

And that’s the main point: whoever runs society must want to do the right thing. Physically we had plenty of time, if you look at it from back in the 70s, which is when I first became concerned as a child.

Politically, though, we did not have lots of time. Changes in ruling sub-ideologies and opportunities to break the power of elites are not that common, and we failed to do so at each possible political tipping point.

And so, here we are.

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