Only willfully ignorant individuals are failing to perceive the ongoing systemic collapse of western civilization. Economic recession? Check, since 2000. Economic depression? Check, since 2008. Rampant “natural” disasters? Check, with increasing frequency. Climate chaos? Indeed, only a politician could miss it.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is what systemic collapse looks like. We’re awash in tell-tale interactions between climate change, “natural” disasters, and the industrial economy. Fire and flood are both on the rise. We used to be able to exert a modicum of control over both phenomena, back when climate chaos wasn’t exploding and the industrial economy wasn’t imploding.
On the other hand, we used to contain nuclear power within nuclear power plants, too. Well, except the occasional Hiroshima and Chernobyl.
And we used to busy ourselves with the quaint concept of one war at a time. Now we’re committed to Iraq and Afghanistan for the duration of the industrial age. Tack on a few more oil-rich, Muslim countries — say, Pakistan, Libya, and Yemen — and a reasonably intelligent person might conclude an increasingly desperate United States is beginning to lose its global hegemonic grip.
Phenomena that formerly captured our attention every few decades now appear weekly. The new normal is a mad scramble to steer clear of nature’s wrath while ratcheting up resource wars to stay one step ahead of complete socioeconomic collapse. Amidst the chaos, long-time political insiders warn of civil unrest.
Meanwhile, 300 million self-absorbed Americans watch the feel-good “news” to see which models of beer and automobile are being pimped by which of their favorite celebrities. It seems the personal game of “who’s screwing whom” is more important to the typical television-addicted American than the international, imperial game of “who’s screwing whom.” Oblivious to the carnage of industry and the lunacy of our lives, we keep praying the stock markets go up while bickering about who’s to blame for our economic misfortune.
There is another, better way to live. But we can’t be bothered. Please pass the guacamole, and don’t tell me how it got here. After all, extinction is for lesser species.
Until it’s not.