The property of rich folks has always been more important than the lives of the poor, a fact that will continue to create misery for the “other” 99% of us until the entire industrial economy fails. Personally, I can hardly wait.
I was among the final baby boomers born in the United States. Along with my entire generation, I owe the world an apology. My generation abandoned a worthy dream, and it will cost all of us, but nobody more than civilized members of industrial society.
Your medical doctor informs you: “You need to stop all industrial activities immediately, or you’ll be dead in twenty years. And so will your five-year-old child. You might die anyway — after all, nobody gets out alive — but your death is guaranteed if you do not stop relying on fossil fuels for travel, heating and cooling, drinking water out the tap, and buying food from the grocery store.”
Naturally, you go straight from the clinic to the nearest store. You need liquor, and time to ponder whether the trade-off is worth it.
Evolution demands short-term thinking focused on individual survival. Most attempts to overcome our evolutionarily hardwired absorption with self are selected against. The Overman is dead, killed by a high-fat diet and unwillingness to exercise. Reflexively, we follow him into the grave.
War is peace. Life is death. Left is right. And this Orwellian world grows more Orwellian with each passing day.
We have ripped minerals from the Earth, often bringing down mountains in the process; we have harvested nearly all the old-growth timber on the continent, replacing thousand-year-old trees with neatly ordered plantations of small trees; we have hunted species to the point of extinction; we have driven livestock across every almost acre of the continent, baring hillsides and facilitating massive erosion; we have plowed large landscapes, transforming fertile soil into sterile, lifeless dirt; we have burned ecosystems and, perhaps more importantly, we have extinguished naturally occurring fires; we have paved thousands of acres to facilitate our movement and, in the process, have disrupted the movements of thousands of species; we have spewed pollution and dumped garbage, thereby dirtying our air, fouling our water, and contributing greatly to the warming of the planet. We have, to the maximum possible extent allowed by our intellect and never-ending desire, consumed the planet.
As American Empire is completing its fall, the American government might find itself at war with its own people. As long as we have American Idol and high fructose corn syrup, I doubt the people are willing to rebel. But if they are, perhaps this time the people will win.