Pixie Dust Economy

Tue, 07/01/2008 – 10:16

James Howard Kunstler | June 30, 2008
This isn’t so funny anymore. Intimations of a July banking collapse rumbled though the Internet this weekend while mainstream news orgs like The New York Times and CNN pulled their puds over swift boats and Amy Winehouse’s performance technique. Something is happening, and you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones…? to quote the master.

What’s happening is that American society is sliding into a greater depression than the one Grandma lived through. On the technical side, there has been unending controversy as to whether we’re gripped by inflation or deflation. It’s certainly deceptive. Food and gasoline prices are rising faster than the rivers of Iowa. But the prices of assets, like houses, stocks, jet-skis, GMC Yukons and pre-owned Hummel figurines are cratering as America turns into Yard Sale Nation.

We’re a very different country than we were in 1932. In that earlier crisis of capital, few people had any money but our society still possessed fantastic resources. We had plenty of everything that our land could provide: a treasure trove of mineral ores and the equipment to refine it all, a wealth of oil and gas still in the ground, and all the rigs needed to get at it, manpower galore (and of a highly disciplined, regimented kind), with fine-tuned factories waiting for orders. We had a railroad system that was the envy of the world and millions of family farms (even despite the dust bowl) owned by people who retained age-old skills not yet degraded by agribusiness. We had fully-functional cities with operating waterfronts and ten thousand small towns with local economies, local newspapers, and local culture.

We had a crisis of capital in the 1930s for reasons that are still debated today. My own guess is a combination of a bad debt workout that sucked “money” into a black hole (since money is loaned into existence, but vanishes if the loans are not systematically paid back) plus a gross saturation of markets, meaning that every American who had wanted to buy a car or an electric toaster had done so and there was no one left to sell to. (The first round of globalism — 1870 – 1914 — had shut down after the fiasco of World War One.)

Our debt problems today are of a magnitude so extreme that astronomers would be hard pressed to calculate them. By any rational measure our society is comprehensively bankrupt. From the federal treasury down to the suburban cul-de-sacs so much loaned money is either not being paid back, or is at risk of never being paid back, that the suckage of presumed wealth has passed through an event horizon out of the known universe into some other realm of space-time, never to be seen again in this realm. This would seem to be the very essence of monetary deflation — money defaulted out-of-existence.

This condition is partly disguised by both the loss of credibility of US currency and real-world scarcities of oil and food, but the upshot will be something at least twice as bad as the Great Depression of the 1930s: people with no money in a land with no resources (with manpower that has no discipline), hardly any family farms left, cities that are basket-cases of bottomless need, comatose small towns stripped of their assets and social capital, an aviation industry on the verge of death, and a railroad system that is the laughingstock of the world. Not to mention the mind-boggling liabilities of suburbia and the motoring infrastructure that services it.

The banks have been doing their death dance for an entire year now, pretending that their problems are those of mere “liquidity” (i.e. cash-on-hand) rather than insolvency (no cash either on hand or in the vault and nothing else to sell to raise cash except worthless “creative” securities that nobody would ever buy). But the destruction of money (resulting from loans not paid back) is now so intense that the game of pretend has reached its terminal point. The question for the moment is exactly who and what will be crushed as these institutions roll over and die.

Complicating matters is a global oil predicament that is really not hard to understand, but which the organs of news and opinion have obdurately failed to explicate for an anxious public. Call it Peak Oil. There are only a few elements of it you need to know. 1.) that demand has now permanently outstripped supply; 2.) that new discoveries are too meager to offset consumption; 3.) That under under the circumstances, the systems we rely on for daily life are crumbling. I’ve called this situation The Long Emergency.

Our chances of mitigating this, and of continuing our current way-of-life is about zero. I’ve tried to promote the idea that rather than waste remaining resources in the futile attempt to sustain the unsustainable (i.e. come up with “solutions” to keep suburbia running), that we should begin immediately making other arrangements for daily life — mainly by downscaling and re-scaling everything from farming to commerce to the way we inhabit the landscape — but my suggestions have proven unpopular even among the “environmental” elites, who are too busy being entranced by new-and-groovy ways to keep all the cars running.

So where we are at now is the equivalent of standing in the slop by the ocean shore under a gathering hundred-foot-high wave that is about to come crashing down on our heads. Since I sure don’t know everything, I can’t say how this will all play out in the months ahead, especially with the presidential election coming at the exact moment that voters will be turning on their furnaces for the cold and dark winter beyond. I would venture to say that so far our society as a whole has done a piss-poor job of comprehending the situation. But there is still the possibility, with four months of politicking left, that the nature of our predicament can be articulated in a way that few can fail to understand, the way Mr, Lincoln articulated the terms of the Civil War on the eve of its fateful outbreak.
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James Kunstler has worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975, he dropped out to write books on a full-time basis.

His latest nonfiction book, The Long Emergency describes the changes that American society faces in the 21st century. Discerning an imminent future of protracted socioeconomic crisis, Kunstler foresees the progressive dilapidation of subdivisions and strip malls, the depopulation of the American Southwest, and, amid a world at war over oil, military invasions of the West Coast; when the convulsion subsides, Americans will live in smaller places and eat locally grown food.

His latest book is a work of fiction titled, World Made by Hand, which is set in the world after the Long Emergency.
Visit Jim at his website www.kunstler.com

Sexual Behavior Discussion Regarding MySpace and Facebook

From: Robert Warden

To: Pete

Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2009 8:03 PM

Subject: Re: Seth on the Christ Personality

P.S. I have tried both MySpace and Facebook, and in my humble opinion, both of them really suck. Facebook is not offensive, but you have to already know people in order to contact them on Facebook, so what is the point? (Actually, I put my wife’s profile on it, and she didn’t know anyone there, so it seems a waste.) I find MySpace offensive, and really makes me worry about the future of the Internet and our youth. (I saw an episode of the People’s Court yesterday, where predictably, the former couple or whatever they were had met on MySpace.) You can meet people there, but in order to get much attention, one needs to be a potty-mouthed jerk, basically, or a celebrity. At least it seems that way to me. I am still on MySpace, though. I keep thinking that things will get better there. Meanwhile, MySpace assaults me with all sorts of sexually oriented material while my beautiful wife sits about 5 feet away as she is now. MySpace basically seems like a human “meat market” and training ground for juvenile delinquents. In fact, one of my nephews got into a dispute with someone on MySpace, assaulted him with a stick, got arrested and put in jail for awhile. That was about a year ago. Fortunately, he is out of jail now. When I first put my profile on MySpace, I thought I would try to contact him and offer him some guidance. Apparently, he was not supposed to be on MySpace anymore, so a couple days later, his profile was no longer there. I guess that is for the better. I had some posts on my blog about the problems I see with the way the Internet is being used by many people and the lack of oversight of the Internet, which I also put on MySpace, making me even less popular there than before. But darn it, I have this honesty thing, and this bizarre belief that self-examination and honest critique is needed sometimes to correct our shortcomings. Otherwise, we would be going along assuming everything is fine, just like the Bush Administration, until things go boom boom and it all collapses.

I am looking forward to seeing your Real World site, and relating more to people such as yourself who I think know what I am talking about. Your friend, Robert

Sunday, January 18, 2009 10:59 AM

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Hi Robert,

I get concerned too when I see a video advertisement of a young girl performing a sexual come-on for everyone to see and react to. She opens herself up to every sort of sexual advance, which can result in serious consequences to her. I suspect communicating without having to look into another persons eyes, as the Internet affords, emboldens us to open up with others in ways we haven’t felt comfortable with before. Any force as powerful and consequential as our sex drive needs to be confronted and openly discussed, not pushed underground to build up energy and pop out as it may. Sexual play is fun but, like everything else we do or are capable of doing, we need to manage its expression, not let it manage us, except under conditions of our own choosing. Otherwise our lives and relationships can suffer serious disruption.

Most of us are afraid to discuss sex openly because of the arousal factor and where it might take us. It’s such a powerful energy, we want to discuss it about as much as we want to hold a hot potato in our hand. In spite of how much it scares us, we need to discuss sex openly with our children and one another. It’s a part of who we are and nothing to be ashamed of. Our silence on the matter only adds to the belief that sex is something to be ashamed of. There are many practical reasons to manage the expression of our sexual energy and, somehow, we need to engage our kids in this discussion, without guilt or fear.

I remember as a young boy dreaming/wishing for adults in the world who were totally uninhibited and natural about sex. These imaginary teachers not only talked to me about sex but demonstrated it for me. They also shared the role sex plays in our lives. They told me it’s primary function is for reproduction and the continued existence of man. But beyond that, it is meant as a way to bond with one another, to celebrate and remind ourselves of our oneness through the giving and sharing of mutual pleasure. 

Our sexuality will be one of the discussion topics on Real Talk World once it’s finished. It’s time to embrace ALL that we are, including the idea that we are basically good, not bad. Only by embracing the things we’re afraid of can we move through them and gain control over them. It’s the only way to inject common sense and wisdom into what we think and how we act. 

In the absence of openness, honesty and wisdom, what’s left for us to do but experiment and learn on our own?

Live in Love, Truth, and Joy!

Pete

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Three Core Beliefs That Will Change The World For The Better – Seth

1. You create your own reality according to the nature of your beliefs.

2. All existence is blessed.

3. Evil does not exist in reality.

What do you think about these statements? Do you agree with them or disagree with them? How is Seth looking at reality? Where is he coming from and what is he saying about the nature and purpose of being? Let’s discuss it!

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

What do you think? Are we human beings only? Is our human experience all there is, or are we spiritual beings having a human experience? How does your belief affect the way you treat yourself? How does it affect the way you treat others? Share your thoughts! How we define ourselves and the world around us forms our intent, which in turn, forms our reality.

whatcanwedo

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World Community Grid Proposal

(The World Community Grid is an organization formed to explore alternative energy ideas. Harvard and UC Berkeley are two universities involved in the project. Using IBM software, they want people to volunteer use of their computers in crunching data for the project.)

You’re currently using computer systems and technical skill to explore alternative energy possibilities but, how are you using your intuitive skills and abilities? For years I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a workshop that used intuitive skills to achieve breakthroughs in technology and human understanding. As you know many scientific breakthroughs are achieved indirectly, through dreams and distracted moments on the hopper or in the shower.

I’ve used intuitive skills to gain new understanding about who we are, what reality is and what the purpose of life is. I call the format I use, Ask Value Questions and Listen for Intuitive Answers. You can view this process at:  https://diaryofamystic.com/2007/09/25/ask-value-questions/. Russell Targ developed a similar style of asking questions that accomplished the same thing for Remote Viewing.

I propose assembling a team of technical experts, going through a discussion process to remove intellectual bias, formulating questions to focus our attention on the results we want and then, letting our imaginations do the rest. For example, clearly picture Oprah Winfrey in your mind. With your full attention, ask her, What does the world looks like through your eyes? With practice, your imagination will actually put you in a creative simulation of her body and her life. You will know what it feels like to be her. You will imaginatively experience her reality and be able to think like her.

See: https://diaryofamystic.com/2007/09/28/inside-ivy-2/. In this experience, I made direct contact with the consciousness of a house plant. I entered its field of awareness and experienced reality from its viewpoint. As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin writes, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” When you take this idea seriously, life takes on a whole new meaning!

Built in to who we are are capabilities that far exceed any machine we’ve ever built. If any of the folks in your project want to pursue this avenue of exploration, let me know. I’ll be happy to participate.

Roger “Pete” Peterson 

http://diaryofamystic.com

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Post on Education, Obama’s Change.Gov.Com

If we want to improve education, effectively deal with environmental issues, create meaningful jobs, improve health care and bring peace to the world, we can stop asking ourselves, what’s going to work best for ME exclusively and start asking ourselves what’s going to work best for ALL of us?

  • What’s going to work best for ALL of us in personal terms?
  • What’s going to work best for ALL of us in terms of business?
  • What’s going to work best for ALL of us in terms of education?
  • What’s going to work best for ALL of us in terms of the environment? And what’s going to work best for ALL of us in terms of peace?

Too often selfishness is disguised as altruism in a ME first environment.

When we ask ourselves life-enhancing questions like these we become consciously engaged in creating our own reality. From the time we start school, we’re told to “Sit down, shut up and do as you’re told because I’m the teacher and I know what’s best for you!” This message is conveyed to us in both words and actions. In Catholic school, we’re told, in both words and actions, “You’re basically bad because Adam and Eve ate an apple from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil against God’s express wish.” In catechism, we were also told “You can’t trust the flesh (your body) because it will always betray you.”

Wow, can you think of anything more damaging or mind-deadening than being given messages like these when you’re young? It’s especially damaging when these “commands” are delivered with great conviction from trusted “authorities”. If we believe we’re bad and can’t trust ourselves, how are we going to be inspired to learn and how can we become anything but self-conscious, inhibited and closed? As a former public transit driver, I can tell you that many students in public education are suspicious and distrustful of people in authority, even bus drivers. On the other hand, Montessori students and home schooled kids were the most open, curious and friendly. To them, I was just another person, another source of information for a curious and open mind.

Every idea is a suggestion and if we tell ourselves we’re bad, we’ll act bad. If we think we can’t trust ourselves, we’ll dis-trust ourselves and support institutions that oppress us. The way out of this morass is to question our basic assumptions and start asking ourselves good questions. This way, we become imaginatively engaged in learning and “growing” ourselves. It might even help to redefine success. Currently, success is defined by how much money, power and privilege we posses. What if we defined success by how close we are to being who we love to be, doing what we love to do? When all we ask is, what’s going to work best for me, we psychologically disconnect from others and life becomes competitive, a matter of survival of the fittest. A belief in separation and competition attracts associated ideas like kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, predatory concepts we see dramatized in life, work and art every day.

How we define ourselves and the world around us forms our intent, which in turn, forms our reality. Until we start asking questions and stop assuming we know the answers, we will continue to recycle tired old ideas like, “build new schools” or “pay teachers more money” and children will learn, not that we shouldn’t do these things. But, why not take advantage of natural passion in education? If we truly want to support our children and help them create a more pleasing reality than ours, let’s make learning fun by teaching them how to ask questions and listen/look for answers. When we  ask ourselves, who do I love to be and what do I love to do, we throw open our minds to every possibility and that, in and of itself, is exciting. And when we begin to figure out who it is we love to be and what we love to do, we have natural passion and spontaneity on our side, inspiring us to new heights of creativity and achievement . The desire to learn is built in to who we are. All we have to do as children, adults, parents and teachers is follow our bliss, be who we love to be and do what we love to do!

Pete – http://diaryofamystic.com

evolution.gif

Evolution

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (French Monk and Philosopher)

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Letter to Traci Fenton, CEO of WorldBlu.Inc.

10/30/08

Hi Traci,

I’ve added a link to your website from my blog. I find your world view exciting and compatible with my own.

Instead of asking ourselves, what’s going to work best for me, the Law of the Jungle – based on a belief in separation, scarcity and competition; we need to ask ourselves, what’s going to work best for ALL of us, in personal terms, and in terms of business, education, the environment and peace? This question is based  on the Law of the Body or a belief in oneness, cooperation and sharing. By highlighting businesses that operate democratically, WorldBlu is showing us the light and the way.

How we define ourselves and the world around us forms our intent, which in turn, forms our reality. There are many models (ideals) in the world, and beyond,  to pattern our behavior after. In an enlightened world, there is no right or wrong, good or bad, there just IS. There’s what works for us and what works against us. Once we move away from the Law of the Jungle as the primary model for business behavior and life in general, our definition of success will change. Instead of measuring success by the amount of money, power and privilege we possess (an objectified, material-based definition), success will be measured by how close we are to being who we love to be, doing what we love to do (a subjective or personal, emotion-based definition).

success

This definition takes advantage of natural passion. When we strive to be who we love to be and do what we love to do, we empower ourselves. We become self-directing, self-motivating, creative, loving AND cooperative. We acknowledge both our oneness AND individuality. What can be more exciting, or worth doing, than changing ourselves and the world for the better?

You’re welcome to submit an article that describes the mission of WorldBlu. It will be published under Business. When my main website, http://www.realtalkworld.com is finished, people will be able to upload their own material in a “MySpace” like environment. The theme for Real Talk World is: Changing Ourselves and the World for the Better with Real talk!

Happy Trails,

Pete

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Open Letter of Concern to T. Boone Pickens

(Knowing that T. Boone Pickens is the Texas oil billionaire who funded the Swift Boaters against John Kerry in 2004, I find myself questioning his motives in settling on wind, sun and natural gas as the only alternative energy sources to oil. Wind and solar power are renewable energy sources but natural gas is not. I’m not an expert in any of these areas but it does concern me that Mr. Pickens’ plan depends on private and government land leases and tax subsidies for the development of his energy plan. He will need land use rights and new transmission lines to install wind power generators from the Dakotas to the Texas Panhandle and solar power sites from Texas to California, all of which will be owned by whom? T. Boone Pickens?

There are a number of alternative energy forms being developed. To get some idea, take a look at a list of the top 100 technologies now in development: http://peswiki.com/energy/Congress:Top_100_Technologies_–_RD. – Pete)

Dear Mr. Pickens,

What’s going to work best for ALL of us? You say your plan will reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and most Americans agree that will be a good thing. You say yourself, “Building wind facilities in the corridor that stretches from the Texas panhandle to North Dakota could produce 20% of the electricity for the United States at a cost of $1 trillion. It would take another $200 billion to build the capacity to transmit that energy to cities and towns.” Who would pay for it?

In your plan at, http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/, you don’t mention anything about the cost of building solar energy plants from the Texas Panhandle to California and the transmission lines to distribute that energy to businesses and homes in America.  If we’re all going to participate in the creation and deployment of this new energy infrastructure, who’s going to own it, price it and control it, you? How does that serve America’s best interest? You have a good idea but we must all be included in the discussion to determine what’s going to work best for ALL of us. Until we include ‘ALL’ of us in our calculations, we’ll continue to go in different directions, canceling each other’s energy (no pun intended) out, with rare exception.

Keep an open mind:

Also, there are many new and promising technologies in the process of development. Too often, the money, power and privilege junkies among us, slam the door on anything that doesn’t profit them directly. I pray you are beyond this short-sighted mindset and encourage the people around you to keep an open mind as we seek to save ourselves from ourselves. After all, what better legacy can we leave behind than a positive and loving memory of the lessons we learned and the person we became in life.

Pete

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” – Pogo

What would the world be like if, instead of competing for money, power and privilege, we cared more about becoming better people and changing the world for the better?

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Visit The LifeSong Store where the world comes to shop for inspirational and life-changing ideas on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, hoodies and more. Change the world for the better with POTS! (Philosophy On T-Shirts)