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Energy Crisis Pits Morality vs. Responsibility
    #2067830 - 11/03/03 01:28 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Read this link.

In the past, i have been one of the most outspoken critics of the Bush junta's malignancy. But now i can no longer be sure. If what the link says is true, then what at first appears to be callous imperialist agression and fascism on the part of the junta might in reality be genuine concern for the material well-being of its people -- the little people. Its behaviour is totally consistent with a condition of extreme scarcity as discussed in the link.

It is a sad fact that history is full of examples where conditions of scarcity (be it food, oil, etc) pit the demands of physical survival against morals, ethics, and laws; often these conditions do not afford survival for families in two or more competing societies. Lets look at this on a more personal level: consider a single mother struggling to feed 4 kids on a $10,000/yr income. With my attitude that i have now, i would let the Arabs have their way and name their price (ie. fair trade) in the name of peace. That woman and her kids would be fucked: they will freeze and/or starve to death as a result of lack of affordable hydrocarbon fuels. If you were in her shoes, then its a choice between the lives of your children vs. the lives of children in Iraq; and thats not much of a choice. You have a responsibility to your family that outweighs your moral obligation to the human rights of another family in another country. And for someone like me that claims to be a communist/socialist/leftist, it is doubly irresponsible and hippocrytical to allow the wealthy oil sheikhs in the mideast to screw over millions of poor families in my own country merely for the sake of avoiding conflict.

This begs the question as to why the junta cannot be more honest with the American ppl about this situation. The answer is simple: imagine how the Russians, the Chinese, and the EU would react if they said: "were taking it all for ourselves and we dare you to try and stop us". Hence the need for 9/11 and the lies and deceptions surrounding it; the junta has its hands tied in Iraq because they must conduct the war within that cover story. Again we have a situation that pits the moral obligation of the junta to tell the truth against the responsibility of avoiding a nuclear war.

One might also ask why we have to do it this way instead of seeking a nonviolent solution based on conservation and technology. The answers are that "alternative technologies" are largely (but not entirely) pipe dreams: it is impossible to develop a replacement for petroleum in the time we have left; and the American ppl baulked at President Carter when he tried to forcibly implement conservation 25 years ago. Again we have a conflict between morality and responsibility: it is not morally acceptable to demand that ppl -- who have in some cases busted their asses for 40 years to be able to afford a Hummer or a BMW, etc. -- to give them up in favour of more efficient vehicles and/or public transportation; OTOH, we have a responsibility to do so because military conquest -- while it may be necessary to secure energy requirements -- should be put off as long as possible as a last resort.

And it is for this reason that, in spite of the brutal reality of scarcity, i remain opposed to the junta's policies. If the American ppl knew this reality, then they might be more willing to shitcan the Hummer voluntarily. Of course this is in direct conflict with the junta's financial interests; as such the junta is very much to blame for rushing into conquest abroad and repression at home as a first resort, at the cost of approximately 3500 American lives (9/11 + Iraq) and hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars in public funds.

(BTW, if you follow the various models for oil depletion off the link, you will notice how all the different dates they give seem to centre around the Mayan End Date of 2012)


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...

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Re: Energy Crisis Pits Morality vs. Responsibility [Re: Annapurna1]
    #2067919 - 11/03/03 02:02 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I think that may be part of the justification, but I'm sure there are other more selfish reasons related to the corporatism which our country is operating under. Although I am opposed to big government, if the money is going to be spent to secure energy resources which will run out in a few decades, wouldn't it be wiser to spend it on research into alternative energy sources? In the Discover Magazine's May 2003 edition, there was an article about turning almost anything into oil (the link is now dead at Discover's web site). The test run was using organic waste from a turkey processing plant. I do not remember the exact figures, but I believe the article stated that the U.S. imports about 41 billion barrels of oil and there is enough waste generated in the U.S. to produce about 40 billion barrels of oil. In the original plant they estimated their production costs at about $15.00 per barrel and were confident that this could be brought down to $10.00 per barrel.

To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.

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Re: Energy Crisis Pits Morality vs. Responsibility [Re: Evolving]
    #2068046 - 11/03/03 03:19 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Thats basically what i said in my final paragraph: the junta's greed pushed us into the nitemare scenario when those conditions, while iminent, did not yet exist. What is even more sickening is that they had to 9/11 us in order to do it. And as i also mentioned, it is not only the big corporations who are guilty of destructive greed, but many of the little guys as well.

There is also a producerist work ethic that comes into play. Three major elements of this are: a) Individuals that have worked long and hard deserve to drive expensive and inefficient vehicles; b) individuals sitting on the boards of corporations such as Bechtel and Haliburton are there because they have deserve that position, again as a result of great personal sacrifice, and as such the perogatives of the position are beyond questioning; and c) the US war machine is the product of generations of hard labour which would be wasted if it is not used for its intended purpose of protecting American interests and lifestyles, whether offensively or defensively. I find such an "ethic" to be anything but that, since it leads directly to the cultural idealization of nefarious and criminally-minded individuals on the basis of "merit", individuals who dont have a problem with violence as a first resort.

The above can be stated more concisely as: "we as a society and as idividuals have invested a great deal of time and effort [going back over 100 years] into our oil-consumerist lifestyle and we will go to hell before we give it up". I agree its totally disgusting. That same attitude also sanctifies a perverse kind of "conservation" being implemented by the junta in the form of population control: taking aggressive action against persons deemed to be "slackers" and/or "parasites" and persons who would interfere with the junta's oil politics. (I fall into both categories)

So while it is still technically possible to avoid an energy apocalypse, there is a powerful mass-cultural undercurrent which is hurtling us inexorably into the abyss. Sometimes the best way to stop the train is to speed it up and run it off the tracks...


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...

Edited by Annapurna1 (11/03/03 03:40 PM)

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