Sun Oct 16th, 2022 at 03:47:36 AM EST
Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects by Dmitry Orlov
Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2008
(page 5) Wars take resources; when resources are already scarce, fighting wars over resources becomes a lethal exercise in futility. Those with more resources would be expected to win. I am not arguing that wars over resources will not occur. I am suggesting that they will be futile, and that victory in these conflicts will be barely distinguishable from defeat.
Frontpaged with minor edit - Frank Schnittger
(8-9) But I am suggesting that where Russia bounced back because it was not fully spent, the United States will be more fully spent and less capable of bouncing back.
(11) There is a lesson to be learned here: when faced with a collapsing economy, one should stop thinking of wealth in terms of money. Access to actual physical resources and assets, as well as intangibles such as connections and relationships, quickly becomes much more valuable than mere cash.
Editorial Comment: Mutual aid, the way people pulled together in the first few months of the COVID pandemic. That was a platform which could have been built upon much more solidly than it has, if it has.
(31) It is in the nature of all information to want to spread freely, and networked computers make it ridiculously easy for it to do so.
(37) There is a little secret that everyone knows: the United States military does not know how to win. It just knows how to blow things up. Blowing things up may be fun, but it cannot be the only element in a winning strategy. The other key element is winning the peace once major combat operations are over, and here the mighty US military tends to fall squarely on its face and lay prone until political support for the war is withdrawn and the troops are brought back home.
Editorial Comment: "We don't do nation-building."
(53) Camus also indicated a specific failure of both systems [Communism and Capitalism]: their inability to provide creative, meaningful work. We see this failure in the very high rates of depression. We attempt to define depression as a psychological ailment, but it is a symptom of a cultural failure: the inability to make life meaningful or enjoyable.
Editorial Comment: All my notes on Gandhian or nonviolent economics are available through http://hubeventsnotes.blogspot.com/2014/04/sarvodaya-swaraj-and-swadeshi.html
The concept of swadeshi, local production, a daily practice of producing something, Gandhi also called the soul of satyagraha, truth force, political and social nonviolence.
(58) ... the US desperately needs an enemy to justify having a military that cannot win. This enemy must be safe to rail against, but obviously too powerful to attack directly, leaving a proud and purposeful paralysis as the only possible choice of action.
(82) The last act in the American consumerist tragedy will end with the now naked consumer standing on top of a giant mound of plastic trash. At the end of an economy where everything is disposable stands the disposable consumer. But once the consumer is disposed of, who will be left to take him out with the trash....
Speaking of agricultural disasters as a class, it is worth noting at the outset that agriculture is seriously dull work, best done by decidedly simple people who do not mind bending down to touch the ground all day until they look like hunchbacks.
Editorial Comment: This is ridiculous and offensively stupid on a variety of levels unless, of course, it's joke.
(85) Shortly before the Soviet Union's collapse, it became known informally that the ten percent of farmland allocated to kitchen gardens (in meager tenth of a hectare plots) accounted for some 90 percent of domestic food production.
Editorial Comment: He means fruits and vegetables not meats and grains. USAmerican Victory Gardens of WWII harvested an estimated 9,000,000-10,000,000 short tons (8,200,000-9,100,000 t) of fruits and vegetables in 1944, an amount equal to all commercial production of fresh vegetables or 50% of all the produce consumed that year (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_garden#United_States_2). 1944 was only the second growing season of the program. Imagine what we might have now if we'd continued with a Victory Garden and local agriculture program since then. Imagine what we could do if we started now, and did it consistently, year after year. See City Agriculture at http://cityag.blogspot.com for years of links to urban and advanced agriculture.
(91) In the United States, medicine is for profit. People seem to think nothing of this fact. There are really very few fields of endeavor to which Americans would deny the profit motive. It could be said that making a profit off the suffering of sick people is simply unethical: it comes down to exploiting the helpless - a predatory practice that a civilized society cannot tolerate.
(114) Although people often bemoan political apathy as if it were a grave social ill, it seems to me that this is just as it should be. Why should essentially powerless people want to engage in a humiliating farce designed to demonstrate the legitimacy of those who wield the power? In Soviet-era Russia, intelligent people did their best to ignore the Communists: paying attention to them, whether through criticism or praise, would only serve to give them comfort and encouragement, making them feel as if they mattered. Why should Americans want to act any differently with regard to the Republicans and the Democrats? For love of donkeys and elephants?
Editorial Comment: Voting is the least of democracy, which is do it yourself anyway, but in the present circumstances (today and the foreseeable future) a necessary and sometimes useful tool.
(133) This, then, is the correct stance vis a vis the money economy: you should appear to have no money or significant possessions. But you should have access to resources, such as food, clothing, medicine, places to stay and work and even money. What you do with your money is up to you. For example, you can simply misplace it, the way squirrels do with nuts and acorns. Or you can convert it into communal property of one sort or another. You should avoid getting paid, but you should accept gifts and, of course, give gifts in return. You should never work for money, but always donate your time and effort charitably. You should have a minimum of personal possessions, but plenty to share with others. Developing such a stance is hard, but, once you do, life actually gets better. Moreover, by adopting such a stance, you become collapse-proof.