Not the Monthly Post

Tomorrowland Has Fallen!

Has anyone else noticed just how odd it is that so many people on the progressive end of our cultural landscape are frantically trying to convince everyone that the Omicron variant, the latest mutation of the Covid-19 cold virus, really is the end of the world? I freely grant that a lot of people are ill just now—that’s what usually happens in the temperate zone’s winter, you know, when the latest respiratory viruses make their rounds.  I grant just as freely that hospitals are scrambling to keep up—many of them have laid off up to half their staff as a result of vaccine mandates, after all, and they’re being besieged by mobs of people who have been convinced by the media that ordinary cold symptoms mean they’re about to die.

The result is a collective frenzy being eagerly fed by a great many people. Of course it’s not surprising that the corporate media would push scare stories at full volume. Whoring out the news to sell advertising space is their stock in trade, and “if it bleeds, it leads” has taken precedence over responsible journalism since before there was responsible journalism.  Still, this isn’t limited to the media.  A great many people seem remarkably eager to insist that the pandemic can’t be winding down. In that eagerness I sense the approach of convulsive change.

Granted, a case can be made that there are practical if unmentionable reasons for this habit of sedulously cultivated panic. To begin with, as Freddie deBoer has pointed out in a trenchant post, being terrified of the Covid virus has become a venue for status competition among members of the privileged classes.  It’s an old story, at least as old as that fine fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.”  Just as the princess in the story showed her royal status by being so hypersensitive that she could feel a single dry pea under seven mattresses, our current princesses—and princes, to be sure—display their status by insisting that they can contract a virus through seven face masks.

Another reason to cling to the pandemic is a phenomenon I’ve discussed in previous posts. One of the unintended side effects of shutting down the economy in 2020 is that a great many people found themselves with ample time and solitude to reflect on their lives, and realized that their jobs are so miserably paid, and made so intolerable by the humiliating petty tyranny that passes for management in today’s America, that it simply wasn’t worth going back to work.  A significant share of the US working classes responded to this reality by finding other ways to support themselves, with impacts that are still ricocheting through the global economy.

The privileged classes have also seen a wave of resignations as a result of that gift of reflection, but that had another dimension as well.  One of the ways America’s caste system played into the pandemic was that most people in the privileged classes got to work from home, instead of being laid off or made to go into work straight through the crisis the way the working classes did.  That showed a good many people in the managerial class that they can do their jobs perfectly well without the poisonous office politics and mean-spirited authoritarianism of their workplaces. Now that the pandemic is winding down, they’re scrambling around for excuses to stay out of the office a little longer.  The latest Covid variant is just another source of grist for that mill.

These are potent forces, but I don’t think they explain the intensity of the terror, or the way that it’s detached itself from mere biological realities over the last two years. Watch the way that the people who are shrieking about the Omicron variant fixate on case numbers and go out of their way to avoid talking about how few people have been killed or made seriously ill by it. Watch the way that these same people pounce, with something that looks unsettlingly like delight, on any suggestion that some other microbe is about to spring out of hiding and kill us all.

For that matter, the overreaction to the Covid-19 phenomenon is really rather odd, when you think about it. If you subtract all the people who died with rather than of Covid-19 from the statistics, it’s pretty clear that what we’ve dealt with is an ordinary respiratory epidemic like the 1958 and 1967 influenza outbreaks.  Those had comparable fatality rates, and were dealt with by throwing the available resources into protecting the old and vulnerable—not by shutting down whole economies, shredding civil rights, and shoving inadequately tested experimental drugs on entire populations.  What we’ve seen over the last two years doesn’t look like a constructive response to a pandemic.  It looks like the desperate gyrations of control freaks who are trying to avoid dealing with their fears by piling exorbitant demands on everyone around them.

Thus I’d like to suggest that something of the sort may be involved in the love affair between the managerial aristocracy and the Covid-19 virus. I think that it’s a displacement activity.

If you know much about ethology—the study of animal behavior—you already know all about displacement activities.  For those who don’t have that background, I’ll summarize. Most social species have ways to deal with aggression short of killing each other.  Watch two starlings who are upset at each other. They may suddenly start preening their feathers, or draw themselves up as though about to fight, or even peck suddenly and violently at some object besides each other. Human beings do the same thing:  watch an angry man scratch his head in frustration, ball up his fists on his hips, or slam a fist down on a table, rather than punch the daylights out of the person who’s angered him. Those are displacement activities.

Anger isn’t the only emotion that generates displacement activities in animals, or for that matter in humans. One of the more interesting details of human collective psychology is the way that fear can drive even more elaborate displacement routines, especially when there’s nothing that can be done about the actual reason for the fear. Consider the witch hunts that followed in the wake of the Black Death.  For three and a half centuries after bubonic plague first swept through Europe, new outbreaks of the disease were a constant threat, and the medical knowledge of the time offered no effective means of prevention or cure.

The result?  Panic over evil witches became the displacement activity du jour, and around fifty thousand people were burnt or hanged as a result. (No, it wasn’t nine million, nor were they all women; the Neopagan movement, back in its heyday, competed heavily in the Oppression Olympics, with the usual collateral damage to mere historical fact.) People couldn’t do anything about the plague, but they could burn witches, and so they did. As soon as the bacterial ecology of Europe changed and Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus, died out there, the witch hunts promptly ground to a halt.

That was an extreme example, but then the Black Death was an extreme situation.  Y. pestis wiped out a third of the population of Europe in four short years during its first outbreak, then came back a decade or so later and took another ten percent. Outbreaks followed every decade or two thereafter until the pandemic finally burned itself out in the late seventeenth century. Staying sane in a situation like that takes a herculean effort, and not many people managed it. Our current situation is much less drastic, and it has a curious feature: the displacement activities we’re seeing this time around are almost entirely restricted to the comfortable classes. Visit your nearest high-end grocery store, for example, and everybody’s masked up; visit a dollar store in the down-at-heels part of town, and nobody worries about masks at all.

That last point is the clue that makes sense of the whole puzzling phenomenon. Here in the United States, the professional and managerial classes have dominated industrial society for around ninety years now, since they replaced the capitalist classes at the top of the pyramid of power in the wake of the Great Depression.  That’s a good long run for a ruling caste. The capitalist class they replaced seized power across the northern half of the country in the 1830s and then took over the national role of a previous elite, the plantation aristocracy, in the Civil War of 1861-1865.  The plantation aristocracy had a longer time on top, but agrarian feudalism is a more durable system than either industrial capitalism or managerial corporatism.

The reason these latter two systems are short-lived, in turn, is that they’re predicated on change, while agrarian feudalism is predicated on stability.  The industrial and managerial revolutions were both driven by the rise of a brash, energetic, impatient social class that wanted power and didn’t care what it had to break to get it. Such classes take over when society has piled up a big backlog of unsolved problems, and retain power by solving some of those problems.  If they could stop there, they’d be fine, but of course they can’t.  Committed to change, and to specific kinds of change at that, they zoom straight past the point of diminishing returns and then the point of negative returns, until the policies that solved the old problems become the main source of new problems. The elite classes can’t solve those because the policies in question have become central to their collective identity, and so in due time, down they go.

If you want a useful perspective on the twilight years of a ruling class that’s locked itself into this trap, early twentieth century literature is a fine place to start. In the waning years of industrial capitalism, the accelerating failures of the system were impossible to ignore but nobody in the comfortable classes could let themselves think of a way out of them. That’s where you get the novels of Edith Wharton and Henry James, brilliant portrayals of the lives of the privileged as they circle the drain.  It took the Great Depression and a disastrous loss of prestige on the part of the capitalist class to fling open the door to novels such as Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, where the protagonist finishes the tale by doing the unthinkable, letting himself drop out of the comfortable classes, and doing something useful with his life.

For me, at least, it’s hard to read any of the literature of those years without getting a potent sense of déjà vu.  The same autumnal sense of an era past its pull date, the same spectacle of people and institutions going through motions that stopped functioning a long time ago, the same plaintive voices wondering why the world just doesn’t seem to make sense any more—it’s all present and accounted for, the familiar backdrop for the last few decades of public life in the United States and a good many other industrialized nations. The sole remaining questions are what combination of crises will topple the hapless ruling class from its position, and how soon that inevitable moment will arrive.

Yet admitting that the managerial class has turned out to be incompetent at running societies is unthinkable, to members of that class. It’s not just a matter of status panic, either. The entire collective identity of our managerial aristocracy is founded on the idea that they’re the experts, the smart kids, the people who really know what’s what.  They justify their grip on the levels of collective power by insisting that they and they alone can lead the world to a sparkly new future.  That’s the theme of the slogans under which they seized power, and it remains the core of their ideology and their identity: “We can make the world better!”

Central to that slogan and the hubris that unfolded from it was the twentieth century’s supreme delusion, the belief that history is a straight line leading in a single direction that can be known in advance. The mythology of progress I’ve critiqued at length in a variety of venues is only one form that this delusion took; you can find it equally often in spirituality, spanning the notional space from Rudolf Steiner at the century’s beginning to Ken Wilber at its end.  Martin Luther King’s much-quoted claim that “the arc of history bends toward justice,” for that matter, was fine rhetoric but bad scholarship, since history isn’t an arc and doesn’t bend toward any destination.  Rather, it’s a landscape across which various groups of people wander in assorted directions, and generally end up not far from where they began.

That, in turn, defined the destiny of the managerial aristocracy.  They strode boldly off toward Utopia, only to find that it wasn’t where they thought it was. The results of that quest are being counted out today in the coinage of total failure.  From the economy to Afghanistan, from education to (ahem) public health, if you compare the statements of qualified experts to the facts on the ground, the experts generally end up looking like idiots.  It doesn’t help that members of the managerial class are inevitably sheltered from the consequences of their mistakes, no matter how disastrously wrong those are or how many people get hurt as a result.  That’s why nowadays, when experts make a claim, a very large number of people take the opposite view on principle. Worse still, those who do this and ignore the experts very often turn out to be right.

For the last six years now,  accordingly, the failures of the managerial class have become a massive political issue across much of the industrial world. Britain’s Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election both marked important turning points in that process, as significant numbers of ordinary people decided that the experts didn’t know what they were talking about and refused to vote as they were told. The various tantrums thrown by pundits, politicians, and self-anointed influencers since that time haven’t accomplished much, aside from convincing even more people to ignore the increasingly shrill demands of a failing elite.

That’s sending waves of stark shuddering terror through the managerial aristocracy. If the deplorable masses stop bending the knee and tugging their forelocks whenever one of their self-proclaimed betters mouths a platitude, after all, how long will the authority of the managers last? That terror, in turn, gives rise to the displacement activities discussed above.  Since it’s impossible for them to admit to themselves that they’ve failed, much less that everyone else is aware that they’ve failed, they find other things on which they can focus their feelings of panic. The Covid virus is one of those. It wasn’t the first and it doubtless won’t be the last, but it’s serving its purpose now, which is to allow members of the managerial class and its hangers-on in the media and the academy to distract themselves from the end of their era of power.

The shockwaves of social transformation that are unfolding as the managerial age winds up will give us plenty to discuss in the years ahead. One thing I’d like to discuss here is the impact those changes will have on the future. For the last century, the only future most people seemed able to imagine was the future the managerial class liked to portray—a world of titanic technologies, gargantuan bureaucracies, stark and sterile environments, and an endless parade of experts bringing on changes over which ordinary people had no say at all.  “Science Explores, Technology Executes, Mankind Conforms”—the motto of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair—was for all practical purposes the battle cry of the managerial aristocracy.

That was one side of the narrative, of course. The other side was the horrible apocalyptic doom that was sure to swallow us all if we didn’t let the experts do whatever they wanted.  That was a constant dirge in the mouths of the managerial class, endlessly varied in detail, never changing in its basic theme.  As the era proceeded and life for people outside the comfortable classes became steadily more miserable, in turn, that horrible apocalyptic doom started losing its capacity to frighten. The same thoughts that inspired a quarter of the US workforce to quit their jobs last year led a smaller but still considerable number of people to decide that if the only thing they had to look forward to was the wretchedly antihuman future marketed by the managerial class, some kind of horrible apocalyptic doom started having a certain noticeable appeal.

You can measure just how bleak the Tomorrowlands brandished by the managerial class have become by watching how enthusiastically the corporate media and its tame pundits rewrite the past to make it look as bad as possible. Plenty of rhetoric has been deployed around the much-ballyhooed 1619 Project, for example, but most of it’s missed the central theme of that orgy of frantic cherrypicking and historical malpractice.  The 1619 Project can best be described as a grand effort to make the American past look bad, so the present looks a little less wretched by comparison. The mere fact that so much effort had to be expended in that attempt shows just how utterly the managerial class has failed. May I state the obvious?  This is not the behavior of a ruling class in control of its own destiny.

The point I want to stress here is that the grim Brutalist future to which people were expected to conform was never more than a mirage, and attempts to revive it in new forms—I’m thinking here especially of the Stalinist absurdity of Klaus Schwab’s “Great Reset”—carry all the conviction of the proverbial three-dollar bill. It’s not just that the resources needed to prop up that sort of system no longer exist, though of course that’s true, or that a good many of the core technologies that would be needed to make it function either don’t work or aren’t cost-effective enough to bother with, though this is also true.

Even more important is the fact that the social consensus needed to make it happen doesn’t exist. Nor can that consensus be manufactured, because too many people nowadays assume as a matter of course—and for very good reason—that the experts are wrong, and the consensus they’re trying to push on the rest of us is yet another round of cerebral flatulence that won’t work. As a matter of practical experience, goverments do in fact exist by the consent of the governed, and so do ruling classes; that consent is cracking around us as I write these words.

That opens up a landscape of possibilities very few people have begun to explore yet. The futures open to us, it turns out, aren’t limited to a regimented bureaucratic Tomorrowland on the one hand, and a smoldering postapocalyptic wasteland on the other. What if it turns out that the landscape of 2200, say, looks more like this?

Not the future you were looking for.

The painting’s titled Arrival and it’s by Charles Lee; you can find more of his work here.  Nothing in that image would be impossible in a world coping with sharp limits on energy and nonrenewable resources. A future society powered by biofuels and renewable energy sources won’t have the kind of gaudily extravagant technologies we’re used to, but it could very likely support cities with some form of public transit, not to mention streets, schools, comfortable buildings, and an aesthetic closer to Art Nouveau than to the crazed pursuit of ugliness for its own sake that dominates today’s built environments.

History shows us that a society need not have jetliners, server farms, skyscrapers, or spacecraft to provide its citizens with food, shelter, clothing, sanitation, education, and intellectual and cultural activities. (We’ve  already seen that a society can be fully stocked with the jetliners et al. and still be miserably incompetent at providing these latter good things.)  As the managerial aristocracy completes its fall from power and its dreary plastic daydream of Tomorrowland falls with it, we enter a space of possibility in which a much wider range of choices come within reach. With this in mind, I’ll be revisiting some earlier themes of my blogging in the months ahead, and sketching out some of the possibilities I see before us.

Tomorrowland has fallen. Off beyond its smoking ruins, there are better things waiting. Will you join me in the journey there?

472 Comments

  1. Funny, in Europe people on all ends are suspecting that Omicron could be the end of the pandemic

  2. Hello JMG.
    II’m a bit sick now but I always like to read you. I’ve been with the omicron from 3 days ago, disguised as a mild and mediocre cold/flu…And I don’t see the end of the world of course. You’re right. COVID 19 is not that it was (or it never wasn’t?)

  3. It will be interesting to read how you think that future might get manifested, particularly without management.

    In terms of covid and flu, I have no insight into the US but here in the UK the distinction between “dying with” and “dying of” is made on death certificates and the numbers reported separately. The UK saw 20k deaths from flu in 1957 and 30k in 1968 (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31201-0/fulltext) and while I completely agree that the Black Death was quite a few magnitudes bigger than covid, the deaths “of” covid are significantly higher than flu. This is backed up by the experience of frontline working too.

  4. Forgot to mention (Njura has beaten me to it) that Omicron is having the opposite effect in the UK. Many people are treating it as a mild variant and returning to more normal behaviour.

  5. Hi, John. Exceptional writing here and I loved every word.

    In Ireland, the ‘health’ service ‘executive’ has been shouting out the numbers of those: 1) diagnosed with covid; 2) those in hospital with covid; and 3) those in ICU with covid on a daily basis with literally no demographic context. In addition, we hear constantly of those who die without a mention of the fact (and it is a fact) that many, many more people die of cardiovascular disease, cancers and other diseases each year.

    Oh, to say nothing of the other fact that the Irish government for some decades has been deleting hospital beds, wards and even hospitals themselves.

    Now, perhaps you could remind me, why anyone believes what governments tell us about anything?

    And health professionals, those bought and paid for by the pharmeuctical industry?

    Join you? Hell, yes.

    Were you the one who wrote (I have a good few books by you on my shelf but am too lazy to search for it) that we need to live with LESS: less energy, stuff and stimulation? I repeat that to anyone I can whenever I can. It is my mantra for the future.

    My work day ended this early evening (Irish midlands) by spending 30 minutes mucking out the donkey shed; collecting dung from around the field (we compost all of it); and giving them the treat of a couple of carrots and some hay for the night.

    Again, exceptional writing…

    brian

  6. @JMG

    Thank you for this essay. Here in India, our foolish leaders have been listening to the ‘experts’ on Omicron, with the result that we have night curfews in quite a few places. Of course, I don’t think it’s just about the ‘experts are right’ assumption, rather, I think our corrupt leadership is in the pockets of the globalists (or the Davos elites, whichever way one could wish to put it), which is inspiring them to do all this.

    I love the image you posted! It looks like the kind of place I’d like to live in. Also, I didn’t know much about Art Nouveau, but after reading this essay, I looked up some images, and I really liked them. I can just imagine what a Hindu version of Art Nouveau would look like, cast in classical Hindu architectural styles (there are many, take your pick!).

    Regarding Covid, I have a data point that some on this forum might find interesting – we have an indigenous Covid vaccine called Covaxin here, which is based on a very old and well-tested technology, the same as the polio vaccine. Vaccine mandates are being pushed here as well, so I decided to choose a lesser evil and take Covaxin (both shots). The interesting thing is that an American company called Ocugen (from Maryland, I believe) is apparently interested in making it for the US market. So, if anyone here can get an extension regarding the vaccine mandates, they can ask to be exempted from taking the jab till Ocugen’s product comes out.

  7. Njura, here in the U.S. I have the impression the PMC doesn’t want the pandemic to end. Many of them would have to go back to their offices. There would be no more I’m-more-frightened-than-you-are status points. TV news would have a lot of time, for which they’d have to find new topics.

  8. This is only tangentially related to the topic of this post, but one thing that really points out the failure of PMC is the fact that they had to quintuple the M1 money-supply since March 2020 in order to keep the economy from slipping into a very severe deflationary compression. If anyone is wondering why we are currently experience 12.5% or more inflation, that is the main reason why.

  9. There’s also the spectacle of people saying that omicron is more dangerous because it’s mild, a position recently adopted by the government of Ontario. The entire thing has lost all connection to reality…

  10. I don’t claim that this is literally true, but I’ve had the distinct impression the last few weeks that the gods have decided it’s time to move past Covid and bring on the next round of crises, which I suspect is (unfortunately) the real meat of the plot. Thus, Omicron. My suspicion is that the political pandemic is about to become endemic–that certainly seems to be where Biden and his handlers are attempting to drive this, and even some public health officials who have previously resisted that move are tentatively going there. See as well the CDC’s recent guidance shifts.

    The problem for the politicians who have stoked this panic is that a core percentage of their base doesn’t want to go along yet. I suspect they’ll ham-handedly push past them, but Biden’s inability to actually take control of his administration and the Democratic machinery hurts this. Still, it’s now an election year; there are more important matters at hand.

    At the higher levels though, I think it’s time for the next wave of crises. It’s clearly bearing down on us: likely major economic problems spurred by inflation, shortages, supply chain malfunction, and energy costs and scarcity. The rumors going around now that Sysco, of all people, is regularly short of major food proteins/categories is . . . not good. If Sysco can’t deliver you the food you want, then no business or institution is safely going to keep stocked. And this is before the troubles we see this growing season due to the spike in fertilizer costs. Meanwhile, the uprisings across the ocean–Kazakhstan is looking pretty wild right now–are only growing worse and spreading. My guess is they’re coming for us soon.

    Personally, I think I’m tentatively rounding back round into a better place. But I fear for what is going to take place throughout the world this year. We all probably need to hang on.

    As for that piece of art, it’s lovely. I would like to live in that world. Interestingly, I am increasingly drawn toward writing stories based in a somewhat fantasy but realistic world that more resembles the one I would like to live in. A place that might be somewhat like that picture: livable, human-scaled, relatively sustainable, pleasant to look at. Simple in its ways, but still full of culture. A place not super-charged by abundant energy and resources, but that lives within its means but does it in a relatively enjoyable and elegant way. My biggest problem is imagining all the details of it–mostly, for now, I just revert to proven technologies of the past, cherry picking what seems pleasant and discarding the unpleasant aspects as possible. I would like to better imagine what the new technologies and social arrangements of the future would be like.

    Anyway, should be an interesting year. This is an excellent essay, by the way. Thank you for it.

  11. How does one learn to think like you, Mr. Greer? I’m a well-read and thoughtful person but don’t feel anywhere near what you’ve achieved. This is real critical thinking, to the point of creative discourse. Which is a rare skill. Do you have advice?

  12. In BC, masking in indoor public places is mandatory. And almost everyone does, because you risk a fine if you don’t, not to mention being told to leave stores etc.

    There’s plenty of people here scared of covid who aren’t what I’d call the comfortable classes. Many of them are either older, or they have health issues, or both. Or they believe everything the media tells them.

    I’m not sure how well the US situation maps onto other countries.

  13. John Michael Greer,
    Another clearly written thought-provoking piece. Thank you.
    I would like to respectfully disagree with the notion that the professional managerial class took over during the Depression. To a large degree, they certainly tried, but they never achieved the kind of domination over the capitalists that the capitalists achieved over the Southern planters. In particular, the shift to war Keynesianism restored much of the practical power of the capitalists and McCarthyism purged the professional managerial class and made it subordinate to the capitalists.
    This is important for two reasons. First, if the capitalist class is still the actual dominant power, then revolts against the professional managerial class might well be channeled into unintended support for the capitalist class. The Koch Brothers come to mind as one example. The relationship of censorship-loving liberals with the tech oligarchs in Silicon Valley is another.
    Second, parts of the professional managerial class, particularly those closer to the bottom, or not even really in the PMC but only aspiring to membership, have all manner of grudges against the corporate power but without recognizing that their own class (the one whose culture they are often trying to force on everyone else) is completely in bed with that very corporate power. This creates a kind of force field that pulls much of the left toward hypocrisy and impotence.
    Taking this all a step farther, I would propose that since approximately the 1960s, the US has not had a functional ruling class. Before that we did, for better or worse, but since then we have a collection of different fragments or shards, each looking out only for the interest of its shard and there is no overarching purpose holding the entire ruling class together.
    This is also a source of much ineffectual windmill tilting. Our leaders have no idea where to lead us but they do want to stay on top, so their top servants (the PMC) create pseudo-projects in order to seem to do something. So we get recycling taught as a secular religion for generations now but little done about simply changing packaging. We get vaccines and more vaccines, but not enough high-quality masks for those who do need them and of course no general education about practical steps that everyone can take on their own (zinc, vitamin D, the Ivan who must not be mentioned).
    I have been listening to the audiobook of Collapse by Zubok, a quite detailed history of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The person who recommended it (thank you, Mark Ames) wondered why the communists let Gorbachev run the nation into the ground. Why no Russian equivalent of the Dallas Book Depository?
    Part of it is probably that an elite only partially recovered from the worst of Stalinism had trained its cadres to obedience and promoted only those least likely to think and act independently. (Sound familiar?) But another part was that the Soviet ruling class had no purpose, it had no morale.
    Say what you will about the Soviets, but in the 1930s, its leaders knew exactly what they had to do: Industrialize and catch up with the rest of the world before the next invasion. In the 1940s and into the 1950s, they needed to fight off the largest military invasion in human history, then recover from the massive damage. By the 1980s, they simply had no idea what to do other than cling to power. I propose that our ruling class, both those who own the largest corporations and their professional and managerial class servants have no idea either.

  14. First off, thanks much for digging out the motto of the Chicago World’s Fair – Technocracy straight, no chaser.

    And as a complement to the literature cited, I might also suggest a read of (or listen to) William Shirer’s Collapse of the Third Republic, chronicling France from the defeat in 1871 at the hands of Prussia to defeat at the hands of the Wehrmacht in 1940. It is amazing to see the rhymes and parallels to our own time that jump out from the text. It is just as interesting to evaluate Shirer’s tone and assumptions, writing from the heyday of the managerial elites and his assumptions about good governance, the role of a poisoned media, and how it all fell apart.

  15. One thought I have is this: will the next ruling caste be one that promotes Change (yet again) or will it be one offering a return to Stability? I’d think that after these last two rounds, there’d be an opening for the latter possibility to be successfully pitched to the people.

    Then, of course, there’s the question of: if so, what might that look like?

  16. Apparently, news of Omicron finally hit the email box of my Big Box store manager. The horrible dreary plastic table dividers have gone back up in the break rooms and there is talk of sanitizing the grocery carts again. Never mind the fact that Covid does not transmit well on surfaces. Now, we’re back to Covid Kabuki theater…it’s funny to me when it’s not just plain stupid and sad. Other times, it’s infuriating. I spoke to a co-worker the other day about the non-lethality of O. She just stared at me and said nothing.
    I’m predicting there will be and already is cognitive dissonance floating through the mental crawl spaces of the Covid wokesters. I anticipate that as the Narrative crumbles, so will what is left of their sanity. I don’t wish this on anyone. But, if we thought these poor devils were nutty before, just wait…
    In other thoughts, I stand in my store looking at everything we sell. I think about all the resources squandered and countless hours of slave labor that brought all these things to us. It’s makes me physically ill. I’m there because this place is supposed to be a Good Employer. What does that even mean? And I think that there must be a better way for me to earn a living and what am I willing and daring enough to try?
    Two months ago I recognized as the Employee of the Month because of my great attitude and willingness to work hard. If they only knew my true attitude…
    When people come into the store without masks, I tell them that I love seeing their beautiful faces and the faces of their children. They tell me, “ God bless you. And Jesus loves you.” And I say, “Indeed! And you as well.” These are our code words for, “ we are the resistance, we are brothers, you and I. This is how we fight: by showing ourselves.”

    I think I just answered my own question.

    JMG- I remember Futureland in Disneyland. Even in 1976 it was pretty lame. LOL!

    My love to you all,
    Elizabeth

  17. I’m already on that journey JMG, as, I’m sure, are many of your other readers. I would love to join you and look forward to the ideas you will present. I live in the woods surrounded by (among many other things) a host of fungi with edible, medicinal, and toxin remediating properties. I expect that working with them will continue to occupy much of whatever time I have left in this life. Hopefully it will be some small contribution to the journey.

  18. Hi JMG, if more people took you seriously, the powers that be would be screaming, “Jeremiah!” ( as the Babylonian social dysfunctions advance). I started out with the ADR. I will enjoy your revisitation. Happy New Year!

    Mac

  19. On the physical end, I can’t help but suspect you are simply incorrect about the lethality of the virus, having known a number of people have succumbed to it or have long-term problems stemming from it (and some of them jabbed and all!) I’m no statistician, but based on the overflowing morgue at our local hospital (which only happened one other time in recent memories, March 2020 or thereabouts), there’s something more than your average cold going around. It’s not the end of the world, though it may indeed be the end for some unfortunate individuals. I also suspect this last iteration of the virus is its last gasps (knock wood), and I notice many people who had been mentally unhinged by virus fears are now shrugging and going on with their lives.

    That said, I think there’s much merit in your points about the spiritual crises precipitated by the virus and the constant state of psychological siege some folks endure, and the provenance of who benefits from said crises. Cui bono? There is certainly “displacement” and a degree of bitterness and spite directed at those who fail to comply with the consensus; some of this may be warranted, but it often devolves into a degree of spite that speaks of deeper spiritual issues at work, such as the myth of Progress being challenged. Hopefully this era will show more folks that surviving (and thriving) after its attendant religion collapses is both possible and desirable.

    Axé

  20. Speaking of tomorrowland gone wrong, here’s an amusing but undruidly word laced youtube video takedown on an idea called the hyperport:

  21. “our current princesses—and princes, to be sure—display their status by insisting that they can contract a virus through seven face masks.”

    If that’s the case, that would mean that mask clearly don’t work but we all knew that. This is all about Control and Compliance. This whole Covid 1984 pandemic episode reminds me of the Movie “Compliance” and how some people accept whatever they are told with authority even if that person is just a voice behind a phone.

    French President Macron let the cat out of the bag when he recently made a statement that he plans to turn the screws on the unvaccinated. His quote: “We plan to p*** them off”. Control and Compliance, once they achieve that, they move onto the next manufactured crisis. It’s all too predictable.

    When the US invoked the Patriot Act and established the TSA, that was the day I refused to ever fly again. Boy was I right because 20 yrs later they came up with another crisis Covid 1984. When we did not put up a fight regarding the TSA, TPTB realized we did not stop them. We could have stopped them quite easily without an ounce of violence. All we had to do was to boycott Air Travel. The airlines would have cried to the Gov’t and the government would have backed down from the TSA implementation.

    The good news is that this time around, people are connecting the dots and are saying, I know what you are trying to do.

  22. The movie “Don’t Look Up” is a fascinating look at the zeitgeist.

    On the one hand, it’s a paen to the Scientific Experts. A morality tale of “If only everyone had listened to the Plucky Scientists(tm)!”

    But then, it also takes swipes at the scientific elite. After all, our Plucky Scientists(tm) aren’t elite enough, they’re from mere Michigan State University. “Can we get some Ivy Leaguers in here?”

    The politicians are feckless and greedy. Of course, they’re painted as heartland MAGA types. We never see any wise, liberal statesmen in opposition, though. So much for The West Wing.

    Ultimately, it’s a morality tale of Nemesis punishing the Hubris of the technocratic elite.

    Talk about mixed messages!

  23. I have been to the original actual Tommrowland recently, in the big Mouse overpriced park. It was – sad. A 1970s indoor roller coaster and an overpriced pizza joint. The rest of the place was not bad and in some places the technology was inspired. But not that corner

  24. Here is the latest ” but our democracy” article in The Atlantic. This one has me puzzled as it seems to be about parts of the managerial class turning on each other. They are calling out Ivy League grads ( the sacred spring of the managerial class) as Villains and turncoats for siding with the bad people. What do you make of it.

    https://apple.news/AUBHwsZYUQOivMPCk7m5y0Q

  25. Want to share a link to one of Kurt Vonnegut’s last articles from December 2005. It seems to fit the post this week. And rereading it reminds me that nothing has changed since 2005, except that things have gotten worse……

    https://inthesetimes.com/article/your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine

    I do miss him still. Had the opportunity to talk with him 1 on 1 while throwing a frisbee for my dog for about 2 hours when I was in college (around 1991). He was on campus for a few lectures/discussions and I happened to have my border collie out on the big field near where he was staying and he just walked up! I was hoping that he would actually get on the ground and wrestle my dog (which he spoke about in his books often), but he “only” hugged and petted him vigorously, which my dog loved! Funny thing, even though I had read every book of his we didn’t talk about them at all. As we were at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and he is from Indianapolis we spent about 2 hours talking about midwest history, including Johnny Appleseed! (How bout them apples JMG?) But particularly the history of the settler/colonialism and the spread of the railroads and how that had happened and influenced everything across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, etc.

    Eric in Maryland

  26. Thank you Mr. Greer,

    I have two data points and one question.

    Data point one – last year during July I was at the largest gather in the U.S. for a particular type of miniature wargame I play. This room consisted of males in their 20s to 50’s who have the spare time and capital to travel hundreds of miles in order to play games with plastic miniatures. So yeah, its professional managerial class. They were bragging about how 89 percent of the room was vaccinated (remember this was before the U.S. mandates).

    Data point two – the factory I work at reacted to Biden’s mandate by having a discussion on their internet message board. Out of roughly 300 comments a grand total of 2 were in favor of the mandates. I think that’s a pretty big white collar/blue collar divide.

    Now for my question. This whole experience has given a lot of people who previously had no experience with segregation a first hand look at it. I imagine a lot of white, Christian Evangelicals who previously had no problem saying a gay couple could be blocked services from buying a wedding cake or those who thought 1950’s style segregation was fading into the history books will be willing to look at these issues with new eyes. So my question is, do you think America will take a heavy turn towards libertarians social values and a very, “you do you, and leave others alone” kind of approach? I feel like that would be a positive social development in response to heavy handed government policies. It certainly beats lining up the bureaucrats and executing them October Revolution style. Who knows, it might even reunite the country under our traditional values and hold us together for another 4 generations until the next crisis.

  27. Will you join me in the journey there?

    I’m in!

    p.s.: Joe Rogan seems to be single-handedly taking down the entire corrupt media establishment and their tech enablers. Go Joe! [Honorable mentions to Taibbi & Greenwald for fighting the good fight.]

  28. Hi JMG,

    While I agree with most of what you say here, my experience of progressives’ reaction to Omicron is exactly they opposite. Almost everyone I know, progressive, conservative, and everything else, is hopeful that Omicron will be the end of the pandemic. Almost no one here (at least below media level) is saying it’s the end of the world. Just a data point for you.

    Cheers!

  29. The Priest-Managerial class are in the insane part of the cycle, when the people in control turn themselves into the ultimate victims. And tomorrow is the high holy day of Insurrection in the USA.Also probably the day we hit a million cases in a day.What is happening now in Kazakhstan is interesting, the whole government just walked away because the security forces wouldn’t be the threat of violence against the people anymore. France is going to get really interesting as the yellow jacket protest started over an increase in fuel prices and that was the spark (well advertised as the spark) of the Kazakhstan uprising. Marcon just outed himself completely as the little tyrant he always was.

  30. I’ve rarely had substantial disagreements with what you’ve written in the 15 or so years that I’ve followed you, but I believe you have at least overstated your case in some regards, if not created a few straw men. I’ll stick to one particular aspect.

    When COVID 19 first appeared, it was clearly spreading rapidly and killing people. “Experts” had little to go on and erred on the side of overreaction which could only be articulated in hindsight. As the situation evolved and more was learned, experts and managers adjusted, though unfortunately those adjustments often lacked any reasonable amount of foresight and were hampered by poor communication, lack of coordination, and misinformation injected from every angle. Though I would submit that the factors you describe were not trivial, a larger part of the response to the whole debacle could perhaps be summed up in one word: “flailing”. And that continues to this day.

    Except for the mainstream media, I have trouble imagining what real motive the managerial classes and experts could dredge up for perpetuating overreaction and panic in this situation. They are losing money and credibility over the reaction to Covid. And sorry, I’m just not seeing “so many people on the progressive end of our cultural landscape…frantically trying to convince everyone that the Omicron variant, the latest mutation of the Covid-19 cold virus, really is the end of the world.” Yes, hospitals are being swarmed by folks with mild symptoms, but they are not the ones actually being admitted and filling up the beds and burning out the remaining staff.

    I am surrounded by friends, relatives, and acquaintances that are sick as I write. Two died in the last week. I believe there are still good reasons to take precautions, and will wear my N95 mask for now. That’s pretty dang easy.

  31. But JMG – the managerial aristocracy did “make the world better” – for themselves. The rest of us, the working people, got to be the server class for the PMC’s, and have gotten materially poorer as a result. No wonder that the working class doesn’t want to put any effort into the failed project any longer.

  32. After reading the Vonnegut article I went down the internet rabbit hole and found this information (on wiki so obviously take with a grain of salt) about George Bernard Shaw:

    “In 1903 Shaw joined in a controversy about vaccination against smallpox. He called vaccination “a peculiarly filthy piece of witchcraft”;[307] in his view immunisation campaigns were a cheap and inadequate substitute for a decent programme of housing for the poor, which would, he declared, be the means of eradicating smallpox and other infectious diseases.[30] ”

    Interesting how that rhymes with current affairs. And, of course, a decent programme of housing for the poor would still be effective, although better food might be even better since about 1 out of 3 deaths from (or with) Covid are obese people. (Obviously MSM and PMC aren’t talking about better diets as a way to avoid Covid…..)

  33. JMG,
    just a nitpick – you mentioned that the plague disappeared in Europe by the end of 17th century. You are of course referring to Western Europe. In Eastern Europe the plague continued up until the 20th century.

    I mention this because it is fashionable to ignore Eastern Europe (most historians do) but I know you care.

    Thank you

  34. I think the managerial aristocracy’s endgame is visible in its attitude to immigration – as much as possible, please – in that they are trying to punish the proles by ethnically replacing them. I can see no other reason for their bizarre enthusiasm for foreigners, this enthusiasm exponentially rising the more culturally incompatible the foreigners are to the native working classes. This is being taken to a really quite savage extreme, as can be seen here:

    https://im1776.com/2021/12/10/white-girls-sacrifice/

    So, even if the managerial class does fail, their gambit is that they won’t have to look humble in front of their social inferiors, as these inferiors will have largely ceased to exist.

  35. Stuart Jefferey.
    Reference your comment about Covid deaths in the UK.

    The real figure for covid mortality is more accurately found not from PCR tests, which are very dubious, but by looking at overall excess mortality figures pre covid and after.
    This is running at 70k per year.
    (ourworldindata.org)

    As a comparison here are the 5 year figures for other mortalities
    Dementia and Alzheimer’s. 125k
    Heart attacks. 100k
    Strokes. 68k
    Bronchial respiratory 112k
    Colorectal disease. 25k
    Influenza and pneumonia. 51k
    Prostrate cancer. 19k
    (ons.gov.uk)

    So context is important.
    In this context it would not be inaccurate to describe Covid as bad flu.

  36. I like your Great Reset much more than Schwab’s. We knew, of course, that a Great Reset of our exploitative, imperialistic, ecocidal way of life was a pressing necessity long before the pandemic, didn’t we? If we’re lucky, Covid will cause the necessity of a Great Reset to sink into many more minds, not turn them off to the whole idea. Then and only then can we begin to move in your direction.

  37. JMG said:
    “the professional and managerial classes have dominated industrial society for around ninety years now”

    What do you think about the differences between W. Europe and US in (mis)handling Covid? It looks to me that the PMC in Europe still enjoy a large support from the masses. Maybe that’s because they started later, or because they enjoyed higher standards of living since US provided for their defence.

    “History shows us that a society need not have jetliners, server farms, skyscrapers, or spacecraft to provide its citizens with food, shelter, clothing, sanitation, education, and intellectual and cultural activities.”

    Conversely, we know that a society does not need much high-tech to implement Stalinism. I see that a possibility in some parts of the world, like W. Europe. What do you think?

    I have to thank you for this great uplifting post. Yes, you promised it in the last week’s comments and you delivered!
    While I have my doubts and I tend to look on the dark side, I appreciate that one reason we live is to try to bring a world like you propose into being – instead of giving up to the psychopaths or become misanthropes.
    Thank you and I am looking forward to next weeks posts!

  38. JMG, you mention that a quarter of the US workforce quit their jobs last year.
    Do you have a link? I really want to believe it – that would be amazing news and would signal a sea change in US in the next couple of years.

    Thank you!

  39. The original Covid virus was for real. I know this because my daughter the LPN works in a facility which had a nasty infestation a year ago. Things that could and should have been done, such as temporary suspension of patent and copywrite protection on needed equipment, were not done because…property rights (everyone please genuflect), and someone, as for instance campaign donors, might lose money. If this virus was virulent in the USA, that is because our general health is so poor. Which fact brings up questions about our industrialized farming and food processing system that are not allowed to be mentioned. For the record, I regard what happens at the processing plant as in general more inimical to health and vitality than most of what happens on farms, although I am appalled by what I read about the newest generation of ag chemicals. Republicans and rightists in general will not hear any criticism of industrialized farming, even though many of them do maintain organic gardens themselves, and Democrats and Progressive will not hear of any criticism of food processing because…but migrants neeed those jobs, and never mind who gets poisoned by the products.

    It has not escaped my attention that many of the same rowdy overgrown and over sexed adolescents who have for decades been literally screaming at me and other women like me for not conforming to their Madison Avenue induced notions of feminine propriety, which included slavish following of fashion, cosmetics, weird hair styling and slow motion foot binding (high heeled shoes), are now complaining to anyone who will listen about how masks are an assault on their personal rights. I think they are a simple courtesy which costs me little. I see no reason to make the lives of retail workers harder than it already is. So, I have a question for one Elizabeth Skewis @ 17: What is your attitude towards women shoppers who sport flat shoes, no cosmetic enhancement of any kind, and modest but unfashionable clothing (I don’t do skintight jeans or leggings)? Is not refusal to participate in the fashion game also an expression of personal rights? Furthermore, allow me to point out that if there is any industry in which anything even approaching Christian morality and family values are routinely mocked, flouted and denigrated, it is the fashion business. Watch one or two episodes of Project Runway and you will see for yourself.

  40. “History shows us that a society need not have jetliners, server farms, skyscrapers, or spacecraft to provide its citizens with food, shelter, clothing, sanitation, education, and intellectual and cultural activities. (We’ve already seen that a society can be fully stocked with the jetliners et al. and still be miserably incompetent at providing these latter good things.) As the managerial aristocracy completes its fall from power and its dreary plastic daydream of Tomorrowland falls with it, we enter a space of possibility in which a much wider range of choices come within reach.”

    Excellent post. The world you describe sounds like the world of Hesse’s Glass Bead Game. Hesse imagines it taking place in the 25th century, after a Century of Wars and a concomitant “Age of Feuilleton” (trivial pseudo culture). His interests are cultural, so he concentrates on a province devoted to education, Castalia, and not really a sci/fi writer, so the rest of the world is sketchy at best. The scholars seem to live in an 18th century world, especially the music, but I was always shocked when a radio is mentioned, and when someone is driven somewhere in a car. In other words, it’s not anti-technological as such. The illustration above and your commentary suggest what Hesse may have had in mind: a kind of soft technology to provide for human needs rather than the Brutalist world of Progress and Modernism.

  41. @Njura and Stewart

    That tracks with my observations as well. The most predominant reaction in my corner of the PMC was a kind of exhausted sigh as we break out the last of the ‘good’ masks. I also haven’t heard much from the other side of the comfortable class vaccine moralizers: the ones who pretend that masks are a kind of tyranny and that the vaccine is some sort of government poison. I’ve noted an almost universal attitude of ‘sure the virus is dangerous, but the government’s response is pure political theatre’. Most of them also believe that this probably the last big flair up.

  42. Hilarious deconstruction of the film Tomorrowland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1-74z9dFYs. The only part I really disagree with is on the casting of the lead role, which I thought was perfect. I basically agree with everything else she says, but still loved the film beyond reason. If it had come out when I was younger it would have taken over my life, like Harry Potter did with a lot of people. Because of the promise that there’s a place for people like us. And interestingly, at one point there really was: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt_UeYWu4HM.

    I could also be cynical about both cases being part of the STEM supremacy: “Oh you’re interested in anthropology? Tough luck kid, we need people who can build nuclear weapons and won’t ask any awkward questions.”

  43. Njura, I’m delighted to hear this. Could someone please let Emmanuel Macron know?

    Chuaquin, sorry to hear you’re under the weather. I had a brief attack of the sniffles after being exposed to the OMG-icron variant, but that’s all.

    Stuart, I’ll be discussing the unmanageable nature of the future in an upcoming post. As for Covid, does your government give hospitals a cash payment per death written up as Covid, over and above what they get for other causes of death? Ours does.

    Brian, I’m sorry to hear that your politicians seem to have gone off the deep end the same way as ours. It’s precisely because so many people have good reason to assume that the experts are lying whenever they open their mouths that we’re in the transition now underway. Delighted to hear about your donkeys — “fewer jetliners, more donkeys” would be a good slogan to add to L.E.S.S.

    Viduraawakened, I think an Indian version of Art Nouveau would be stunningly beautiful — I’m somewhat familiar with Indian architecture, mostly through having studied temple architecture for an ongoing research project, and you’re right, any of the classic Hindu architectural styles could blend creatively with that.

    Mister Nobody, oof. I knew they’d gunned the money supply, I hadn’t yet looked up by how much.

    Anonymous, sounds like the Ontario provincial government needs to be taken away en masse for a nice vacation in an assortment of padded cells.

    JC, I agree that the next round of crises is barrelling down on us right now — transitional times are always a rough road to walk — and shortages of food, fuel, and industrial products won’t help! (The local market here in East Providence, for example, is completely out of chicken, and word has it that an egg shortage is coming up.) As for your idea for stories, please write those! That’s one of the ways the future comes into being — people dream it and express those dreams in ever more detailed form, and the world starts to shift accordingly. There’s a straight line from Jules Verne to Neil Armstrong’s bootprints on the Moon; it would be very helpful for more constructive achievements to get moving that way.

    Nicole, thank you, but I think it takes Aspergers syndrome — like other Aspies, I don’t pick up on social cues or nonverbal communication, which means I don’t get drawn into the collective groupthink the way people with normal nervous systems so often do. The two pieces of advice I can offer are, first, throw away your television — there’s a reason they call what’s on it “programming” — and second, read books by dead people, so you expose your mind to thoughts that aren’t part of today’s groupthink.

    Pygmycory, thanks for the data points! I’m sure a lot of people are simply terrified by the pornography of fear being splashed around so heavily by the media.

    Jessica, I would argue that the capitalist class retained about as much of its power after 1933 as, say, the plantation-owner class did after 1865: enough that it could defend some of its prerogatives and be used as a whipping boy by the new regime, not enough to matter on a grand scale. Before 1933, for example, the CEOs of corporations were the cringing servants of the boards of directors; now the boards of directors are the cringing servants of the CEOs. That’s a marker of the real shift in power.

    The managerial class likes to pretend that it’s not the ruling class, so it can blame others for its cascading failures, and again, the capitalist class makes a good set of whipping boys — and successful members of the managerial class routinely equip themselves with fortunes in stocks et al., gussying themselves up in the furbishments of the old ruling class the way wealthy merchants in 18th century England used to buy mansions and estates so they could pretend to be aristocrats. That said, your final point is of course correct, and applies to most ruling classes: once they get into power, all they want is to cling to power. It’s just that they’re not honest enough with themselves to see this, and keep on parading around the fantasy of marching boldly toward Utopia…

    Flagg707, thanks for this. It’s been too long since I’ve read Shirer, and you’re right — that book deserves a close reread just now.

    David BTL, my guess is that the first political movement that embraces the slogan “Can We Just Get Back To Normal, Please?” will sweep everything before it. Of course we can’t get back to normal — “normal” was a highly abnormal condition, made possible only by a cascade of political, economic, demographic, and geological factors that will not be repeated in millennia, or possibly not in the lifespan of our species — but a sustained attempt to ditch the fixation on change for its own sake and bring back some stability would be both popular and successful.

    Raymond, a lot of people feel that way. No ruling class can survive the spread of such sentiments.

    Elizabeth, I think you did indeed. I also remember Tomorrowland from the 1970s, and yes, it was pretty lame. I thought Frontierland was a lot more fun.

    Steven, that sounds like an exceptionally useful way to spend some years on this planet.

    Gary, stay tuned. I’ve got some further reflections along these lines in the works.

    Mac, oh, no doubt they’d scream themselves blue in the face if they noticed me at all. Being out here on the fringes has its advantages — especially as the center falls apart.

    Fra’ Lupo, no question, death rates are way up just now. The numbers I’ve seen indicate that it’s not Covid deaths that are driving that increase, but deaths from strokes, heart attacks, and other circulatory system problems — and those started rising sharply around the middle of 2021. I’ll let you do the math.

    Pygmycory, as a rule, anything technological that has the prefix “hyper-” attached to it is by definition stupid. Thanks for this!

    Rod, good. I’d encourage you to consider the possibility that the people who are doing this don’t have a coherent plan — that they’re children of privilege, cosseted in their social bubbles, who’ve never had to confront the possibility that other people don’t worship them, and who are suddenly aghast to discover that most people think they’re greedy idiots. That’s why they’re demanding absurd signals of obedience from everyone else — their self-image is cracking beneath them, and they don’t know what to do.

    Zach, duly noted! I don’t plan on seeing it, but of course some of my readers might.

    Ken, good heavens. It was something like a fifth of the whole theme park when I last went there in the mid-1970s. Admittedly, even then it was pretty dull — I spent more time at the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse than I did in all of Tomorrowland.

    Clay, it’s the circular firing squad phase — a normal part of the way that failing elites come unglued. Over the next couple of years, expect to see a significant minority of the managerial class side with the rising charismatic populism, the way a minority of capitalists sided with the rising managerial corporatism in the 1930s.

    Eric, what a wonderful experience! Thank you for sharing the story.

    Steven, yep. That corresponds very precisely with what I’ve observed. As for social libertarianism, it’s possible but not certain. Strong advocacy for that viewpoint — which of course I share — would be very useful just now.

    TJ, I’ve been watching the impact Rogan’s having, and I’m very impressed. His interview with Dr. Robert Malone may have been the snowball that started the avalanche.

    Chronojourner, I’m delighted to hear this.

    Patrick, I’ve been watching both of those. It does look as though it’s going to be a wild ride.

    Mariner, that is to say, you believe the standard media narrative on Covid. I think you’re missing literally everything of importance about the current situation, but hey, you have just as much right to your opinion as I have to mine, and just as much right to wear a mask as I should have to breathe clean fresh air.

    Danaone, nicely summarized.

    Eric, fascinating. Shaw would doubtless have been horrified to learn that one of the main American Rosicrucian orders at that same time shared his opinion about immunization!

    NomadicBeer, that’s a valid point, and it’s not one I was aware of. Can you point me to some good sources about plague in eastern Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries? Many thanks!

    Phil K, it’s a little subtler than that. The elites are bringing in immigrants to serve as a counterweight against the indigenous working classes, in exactly the same way that (say) the British Empire encouraged Hindus to move to South Africa. It’s a standard gimmick, and it works for a while. What ends up happening in the long run is that the immigrants make common cause with the working classes against the elites — see the beginning of Gandhi’s career in South Africa, or the way that Hispanic people in the US are turning against the Democrats…

    Newtonfinn, I’ll be talking about the Great Reset again shortly. The last thing we need is another Great Reset; what we need are a lot of small resets, which individuals, families, neighborhoods, and community groups do for themselves, rather than letting a bunch of clueless experts dictate some harebrained scheme to them. Stay tuned!

    NomadicBeer, I’ve spent very little time in western Europe and none at all in eastern Europe, so I’ll defer to those who know conditions on the ground. As for the quarter of the workforce that quit, I didn’t keep a link — I’ll see what I can find.

    Mary, of course it was real; so were the Asian flu virus of 1958 and the Hong Kong flu virus of 1967. Both of those strained hospitals, sickened a lot of people, and cut a swath through the old and unhealthy sectors of the population. That’s normal for a respiratory pandemic. Societies around the world dealt with it relatively effectively, by concentrating available resources to protect the vulnerable, while allowing everyone else to go on with life. We could have done the same thing…but we didn’t.

    James, excellent! As you know, I’m a serious fan of Hesse, and the world of Das Glasperlenspiel is far and away my favorite among his creations. Yes, it’s one way of envisioning a more interesting future.

    Tidlösa, one of the secrets of working from the fringes is that your ideas percolate inwards, and people are so busy dismissing you as a frosted flake that they forget to come up with good arguments against your ideas…

    Yorkshire, thanks for this.

  44. Given that the Spanish flu officially lasted from February 1918 to April 1920 which is about two years suggests we should be starting to wind down now. I’m grateful that I retired in October of 2019 as I’m sure there would have been a fair amount of harassment to vax if I had still been there. Wearing one mask has been effective enough for me and I haven’t even gotten the corona shot though I got the influenza shot as I usually do.

    The World’s Fair of 1939 had a slogan of “Dawn of a New Day” and also touted the ‘world of tomorrow’. All this of course on the eve of World War 2. Westinghouse cranked out a short movie showing a fictional family visiting the World Fair and their reactions. A good deal of it is unintentionally hilarious, particularly the snarky young son. The family has a well-appointed house, presumably in Middle America, though there was a hired maid assisting Grandma in meal preparation, suggesting the comfortable class. For those who don’t mind looking at videos, the movie can be found on YouTube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i92toxOu03c

    As with the previous world fair, it showed a glowing view of the world to come while ignoring the storm clouds of war looming on the horizon. The dream of Progress has gotten a lot of mileage over the past century and into this one since it’s been so useful as a distraction from how things actually are. The bloom is definitely off the rose now.

    Will we ever arrive at the point where I could get a ride on that nice green trolley in the picture? I hope so. Dreaming of beauty and achieving it sounds like a more worthwhile goal than Brutalist Progress.

  45. Data point: here in The Village @ Gainesville, we have 3 “associates” who have COVID, and 7 more who “have had positive contact.” How is Management coping with this, besides ordering all staff to be tested Friday? In the dining hall, members of Management were hauling trays like their employees to see that we were fed this noon in the face of being short-handed. OTH, the Director of Culinary & Dining, Jesus Niera, is very much up from the ranks.

    One of my tablemates, the kvetch queen of Lake House, said “Why do they keep trying to recruit more residents when they can’t take care of the ones already here?” Good question. No answer.

  46. @Yossi

    You are broadly correct with a figure of 70k excess deaths in 2020 and 2021 compared to the previous five year average but then you compare one year of covid with numbers that I don’t recognise, perhaps you could give the full link?

    The ONS report around 30k per annum from both influenza and pneumonia together see: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/causesofdeath/datasets/leadingcausesofdeathuk

    Using you figure of 70k per annum from covid would mean more than double the usual number from both flu and pneumonia. That suggests that covid has been much worse than flu.

    However, I would also suspect that flu mortality would be much higher if the majority of older people were not vaccinated each year and I hope that mortality from covid will fall to flu levels this winter. On that basis they may be similar although that is conjecture on my part.

  47. History shows us that a society need not have jetliners, server farms, skyscrapers, or spacecraft to provide its citizens with food, shelter, clothing, sanitation, education, and intellectual and cultural activities. ……….funny……that’s the future Klaus Schwab and the Global Warmists are promising.

  48. You know nothing prevented people from working from home 20 years ago. Except that your average cubicle drone knew that if management ever figured out your job could be done remotely, it could be done remotely in some 3rd world sewer for pennies a day. So nobody was too keen on staying home for too long, even if it was more pleasant.

    I guess the workplace has gotten that miserable? That people would risk management figuring it out anyway? Wow. If things have gotten that miserable, it’s not sustainable.

    And I would say that level of misery tends to breed disease all on its own – if this disease hadn’t come along, another one would have appeared to give these people the relief they wanted from their misery. I’ve read channeled sources that said that was the primary reason for the Black Death – to relieve the peasants of their miserable existence and to break the back of the aristocracy.

  49. Thank you for exploring this fascinating topic, which explores the problems of a minority of humanity, and mostly the English speaking part.
    My home is in Japan, where the covid infection rate was always about 100 fold less than in America, and we dont have those ridiculous (and illegal) vaccine mandates. I am in China presently, and note that the covid infection rate here is at least 1000 fold (100000 percent) less than in America, while little attention is paid to ridiculous and ineffective vaccine mandates. People take vaccines for the cold virus because it helps prepare their bodies, but does not prevent infection or spread. Isolation and contact tracing are used instead.

    Regarding the class struggle……….. the present travail in America (and related minority of peoples on the planet) has its counterpart in China wherein the major theme of the constitution is the problem of class struggle and the people take courses on this topic. The American ruling class (and ruling classes in mainland Asia) are using the cold infection as an excuse for increasing control, but would be using something else (such as selfish generation of CO2 which will end all life on earth within a generation) if that weaponized cold wasnt out there. Now that the covid cold is dying out, I expect that the Chinese will continue to expand their “health passport” as a means of control and that the American fascists will rely both on carbon taxation and their ridiculous “passport” of injections to increase their control.
    In unraveling the causes and effects of of what is happening, it may be helpful to separate or untangle the phenomenon of transfer of hegemony from the US to China, which is the real story for why certain changes are happening. Most of the wealth in the world now comes from a country that is 4.5 times the size of the US, doesnt care about the so called “values” that America abandoned years ago, and is starting to assert its own views, including a different view of what they call “class struggle.” In our quest to make America a better place via the glorious activity of internet chit chatting, we should do a little chit chat keyboarding on what the main powers are doing and what the majority of the people in the world (who are improving their living standards) think about the changes.

  50. It’s interesting for me watching the USA fedgov in the process of collapse. We could use the IRS as a glaring example, as I am currently in no less than 6 disputes with their bunch. All of these disputes are caused by their software being written for things staying “normal” and glitching out when our own govt decrees more time or special dispensations for those affected by hurricanes, pandemics or particular industries.

    Formerly, one could take these disputes to the IRS in several venues and actually speak to an agent to resolve them. The ‘pandemic’ shut those down, and thus we are left with attempting to contact a human via telephone (of which there are zero numbers listed on any IRS webpage that functions, btw). So all correspondence with them must be via email (and they do not acknowledge return receipts) or conventional mail. The check I wrote them for my 2020 tax payment in November has yet to be cashed, and yet they have hit me with seizure notices due to my not claiming Covid relief payments on my 2020 return. I could not, as I didn’t receive said payments until mid-2021….LOLOL

    The SBA loan I took out is non-forgivable, and yet I received a notice of forgiveness from the SBA for 20% of my loan. I was issued a new balance forward, and was quite pleased. After a few months went by, I was sent another notice informing me that my loan was NOT forgiven in any way, shape or form and this was an inadvertent error…

    I expect this to grow and expand within various branches of the executive as they try ever harder to force dysfunctional policies and systems to fit their own narratives. I used these two examples as they are personal experiences, not some type of ‘whatif’ scenario. The hypercomplexity of the tax code is well known, but now the standard interpretations are being shifted by the current crop of bureaucrats. The result is more people are simply not filing at all – because the line to prosecute them and attach their assets is growing quite lengthy, and clogging the process at various levels. I have one uddy who sold his house and he and the bride moved into a quite nice RV, fully paid for. There is simply no way for the government to know where they exist – makes process serving rather problematic.

    I don’t think the fedgov is going to make it in the long term – too clunky, too kludged together and entirely too slanted for the managerial class. Their ‘social safety net’ is not going to hold, and when they allow that to break down or simply shut it down, they will lose even the hardcore lovers of BigGov. We could talk about the economy, but that is as fictitious as the ‘pandemic’ that wasn’t. I have too many friends who are already migrating into the ‘gray zone’ of economics – taking odd jobs and making things to sell online or roadside in rural areas. One friend makes a living selling garage sale junk (items unsold which they haul off from garage sales for free or minimal expense and then resell). Local governments are trying to license these operations – but they are too swamped by them and have too few foot soldiers to make it work.

    I’m eager to see what unfolds in the wake of these things…

  51. Mary Bennett,
    the shopper you describe sounds a lot like me, except for the lack of mask.

  52. Now I see what people were talking about with the number of comments not updating. There’s currently 46 comments but on the main page it only says 3, even if you reload the page or search for it again.

  53. I visited the original Tomorrowland at Anaheim a couple of times as a boy in the 1950s. Tomorrowland was the lamest and most boring part of the entire Disneyland. (Every child of my generation “knew” for a fact that we would never see Tomorrowland–the Bomb would take care of all our futures pretty soon.) Frontierland and Tom Sawyer’s Island, with the pass-through cave and the secret one-way door inside the cave, were my favorite parts.

  54. Culture is downstream from imagination, right, write? I hope to see and create myself more art like the picture you posted -and stories, music, even, & radio- literally conjuring these kind of visions into visible manifestation. So mote it be.

    Looking forward to future posts on this & related themes, such as “the unmanageable nature of the future”. It does appear to be unmanageable. Maybe a good time to keep bringing a bit of Discordianism, ye olde Chaos magic, and the like back ~ just so we can get comfortable being uncomfortable and things being in a state of ambiguous flux.

  55. Make normal the new normal!

    Make normal great again!

    The only thing we have to fear is the fear of normal itself!

    A normal we can believe in!

    😉

  56. Yes, I’ll happily join you on your journey there, JMG. It was a great relief reading this article. There is so much craziness one can read on the internet right now, so much pressure in our society, so much tension….just seeing that picture of the train/trolley and the village felt sane and relaxing (although I’m sure that the lives of the people in that village would not have been relaxing most of the time, but perhaps they didn’t question it’s sanity). I’m looking forward to those next posts!

  57. I read through some comments and I found it interesting the amount of true believers rising up to defend their sacred cow: “but Covid is baaaaad!”

    They apparently don’t believe their own governments data about Covid fatality rate. Also, I like the comment about poor foxed people dying of Covid (oh, the irony!).
    I don’t to side track the conversation, but I am surprised JMG did not block these comments – after all, if I wanted Covid scaremongering, I have all the MSM to choose from. Can we keep this place real?

    Thank you

  58. It was quite synchronistic on my end to read your post in the morning and then seeing the news mourn the death of two Botox-full twin brothers that used to be science commentators.

  59. Great piece, JMG! Recently our movie group watched ‘Tomorrowland’ …wherein my brother and I, who differ on many things, agreed that the Utopia depicted early in the film looked like hell to us…In confirmation, when I conduct my informal poll of fellow diners in a restaurant as to a decade they would like to live in, a majority pick the 1950s, with a good number picking the ’60s or ’70s…No one has picked the present, even before the plandemic…

  60. In Sweden, the official line is that although omicron is less dangerous than classical COVID, the avalanche of new cases will overwhelm the hospitals anyway, and therefore further restrictions are necessary.

    Meanwhile, the Swedish government is dragging its feet when it comes to imposing new restrictions. They *may* implement some next week, such as giving shops (except supermarkets and some others) the *right* (but not duty) to demand vaccine passports, etc etc.

    So Sweden is still a relatively livable place, compared to many others.

    What I find interesting is that the media at least attempts a semblance of objectivity, since doom porn articles peacefully co-exist with pieces pointing out that of course omicron is less severe. Swedish tabloids look really weird right now!

    The problem is that the rest of Europe seems to be even crazier than before, for instance the Macron situation in France, and the bizarre events in the Netherlands. Macron supposedly said that he wants to “piss off” (sorry for undruidly words) the unvaccinated despite the fact that over 90% of the French population is vaxxed?! (Unless he has been misquoted somehow. Of course, the figure could be wrong – it sounds too high.)

  61. Happy Mariner,
    I think you are misremembering or rewriting history.

    Most educated observers questioned all the scaremongering from China. Later the statistics form Italy and other European countries showed an average age of death of ~80 years.

    Whatever caused the overreaction of the western governments, it was not a pandemic.

    JMG, is it me or there is a shift in your commenters? I wonder why the sudden return to scaremongering by some people?

  62. One of the fascinating things about all this is how the PMC class and their politicians have so clearly embodied the “bad guys” stereotype. You simply couldn’t write a better mashup of every sci-fi dystopia than the Great Reset and you couldn’t create a better arch-villain than Schwab. Meanwhile, we’ve had the police dressed as stormtroopers bashing unarmed citizens, most recently in the Netherlands but also in France, Australia etc. Again, if you wanted to mimic Star Wars where the bad guys all dress the same, you couldn’t organise it better. Mask wearing is also strongly correlated with shadow characters in pop culture and the masks mandates in most countries were implemented in the northern hemisphere summer of 2020 when there was clearly no health emergency.

    Given that all this is so obviously and transparently a manifestation of The Shadow, I wonder if every ruling class, and every society, directly manifests its own cultural version of The Shadow in times where the old paradigm is collapsing. Did, for example, the capitalists in the last days of their reign manifest whatever was the culturally dominant version of The Shadow equivalent to us manifesting sci-fi dystopia?

  63. Mr. Greer, all

    I happened to pull up the CTH this morning, with the latest posting being a Stew Peters interview with Dr. Robert Malone. Oh boy! Not nearly as long as the Rogan interview, but highly revealing none-the-less. Another must watch that hits it outta the park!

  64. Jeanne, old world’s fairs are a great way to see what the future was supposed to look like. The Century 21 Expo in Seattle in 1962 was a great example — I was there, technically speaking, though I hadn’t quite been born yet and wombs don’t come with windows — but by all accounts it was a grand display of the future that never arrived. As for the pleasant green trolley, I hope so!

    Patricia M, thank you for the data point!

    Phxfreddyii, now go back and read the paragraph where I discussed this.

    Owen, a case could be made!

    Marvin, as I’ve noted repeatedly, I live in the US and have only visited other countries briefly, so my commentaries are focused on the place I know. If you’d like to blog about something more relevant to your own experience, by all means have at it.

    Oilman2, if you’ve ever read a good account of the French government before 1789 or the Russian government before 1917 — and I suspect you have — you know exactly how this movie ends. As of course do I…

    Longrow, good gods. If even The Atlantic is admitting it…

    Yorkshire, interesting. So noted!

    Robert, in the 1970s Frontierland still rocked — and Tomorrowland was still lame.

    Justin, go ye forth and do that thing!

    Tidlösa, that first phrase of yours may just be the most revolutionary utterance of our time.

    Lydia, glad to hear it — and life may not be relaxing all the time in that town, but I bet it’s less stressful than in a comparable town today…

    NomadicBeer, I put those comments through because (a) they were polite, and (b) it helps me make the point that this essay is trying to make!

    Augusto, er, any chance they just got their booster shots?

    Pyrrhus, the present sucks. The wonderful future toward which all those experts led us during the past ninety years of thrilling progress…sucks. That’s the epitaph on the tomb of the managerial class, which is being built as we speak.

    Tidlösa, thank heavens for small bursts of sanity. I hope Sweden survives this.

    NomadicBeer, thanks for this. I’ll see what else I can find. Since plague is endemic all over the western United States — it’s common in ground rodents — there’s a point to such knowledge.

    Simon, that’s an excellent point, and deserves some brooding over…

    Polecat, glad to hear it. The sound you hear is what remains of the popular support for the idiotic policies toward Covid cracking straight through the middle.

  65. The green vehicle in the Charles Lee painting appears to be levitating. That might not be impossible (given that there’s a marked lane for it, so there could be superconducting magnets or whatnot buried under the cobblestones) but I’d call it unlikely in a world coping with sharp limits on energy and resources. I certainly wouldn’t object to living in that neighborhood, though, even if the bus rode on practical wheels instead.

    The journey there, though… I have to say I find it difficult to conceptualize the journey, at present, as a journey-to rather than a journey-from. Kind of like imagining a plan to find an oasis in a desert, while one is currently floating somewhere in an ocean.

  66. John–

    Re future political movements and a “return” to stability

    I’d agree that something along those lines would make for a powerful slogan. Interesting that the theme of return, even if impossible, has more in common with MAGA than the kind of slogans the Dems have cooked up lately. Perhaps the populist wing of the Dems will catch on to the idea. I’m still holding out hope for someone to manage to cross the divide and assemble a populist coalition that draws from groups both traditionally Republican and traditionally Democrat. Such a thing would mark the beginning of the political realignment that’s been waiting in the wings for while now.

    Slightly OT, but touching on change and displaced anger, I’ve been watching disdain (hatred?) for the institution of the Senate really begin to spin up of late. “It’s undemocratic! It needs to be abolished! It’s evil!” Of course, there’s that pesky clause in Article V that guarantees that no state can be deprived of equal representation in that body without its consent, which rather puts a halt to the varied plans to reapportion Senate votes that float about the leftward discussion boards.

    It’s going to be an interesting decade, that’s for sure!

  67. A bit of synchronicity with that image. I’ve been thinking about how our glorious future of battery powered autonomous vehicles leads to everyone riding the bus.

    First the hard limits of available resources for batteries paired with the ability for autonomous vehicles to cheaply and tirelessly provide taxi service will make subscription based car services attractive to the people who usuaully buy new cars. The lack of quality used cars will also force more people to adopt this system. This shift will reduce the units sold per year and select for models best suited for taxi service.

    Less demand for personal vehicles leads first to fewer models then over time to less manufacturers. With less companies producing vehicles the industry will not have the resiliency it has today and as the world provides its usual set of calamities production will stutter further reducing selection and manufacturers.

    This process will likely repeat until the purpose of these vehicles is plainly acknowledged as moving people from place to place. By then we will likely end up with high occupancy ethanol powered manual transmission vehicles driven by specialists that cater primarily to the privileged classes who can afford to pay for what their feet could do.

    Our bright future leads to riding the bus!

  68. These are the post I live for here:)

    Ken Wilber, wasted to much reading time on him, and Andrew Cohen, both showing us ‘What is Enlightenment’, isn’t.

    “…a good many of the core technologies that would be needed to make it function either don’t work or aren’t cost-effective enough to bother with…” – Has me thinking of all the 5 G cell phone towers on every building, pole, and tree in sight. Multiple cameras at every intersection and mounted on poles on highways in our area every few hundred feet it seems. Lets see how long that can be maintained. Probably all made in China to boot!

    May the cracks become chasms that swallow the Flunky managerial class.

  69. @pygmycory BC is just a very strange place in general, though! I feel quite bad for Henry right now.

    She tries to do the right thing – has all along, really:

    “She said it is not about public health putting in more orders or preventing people from doing things, but she urged everyone to make personal choices based on the risk to themselves and others. She said now is the time to keep visits with others to a minimum, work from home if possible and stay home when feeling sick.

    “Public health orders are there as a last resort,” Henry said. “It’s to minimize societal disruption.”

    She added they have always tried to find a balance between life needing to go on and keeping people safe, especially as the virus is likely going to be around for a “long time” she said.

    “We don’t have to order things to close in order for people to do the right thing.””

    ‘In the tug-of-war, Omicron has the advantage

    She gets handed to the wolves for it:

    ““What is the job of public health?” Filiatrault asked. “Because my take all along was to preserve the safety and health of the population of British Columbia.”

    Filiatrault then added: “I was flabbergasted. What is your job then? And are we going to let industry decide what they can and cannot do during a pandemic?””

    B.C.’s top doctor: “I want to get out of the (public health) order business”

    She had no idea she was standing on the block with that noose around her neck all this time, and she was damned if she did or damned if she didn’t. In her case, she is a really good scientist (literally wrote the book on good public health policy: Soap, Water and Common Sense). She just didn’t realise that the very second you step in front of a crowd and are expected to Tell Them What To Do it’s politics, and she was way out of her league because the public is a harsh mistress, and it lies about what it wants!

  70. @ JMG – You’ve really accomplished something with this essay. I both hard agree with half of it, and hard disagree with the other half. Let’s start with agreement, shall we?
    The managerial class is most certainly on a precipice, and the fall will not be fun, though it doesn’t HAVE to be terrible… I’ve watched co-workers here at city hall contort themselves in pretzels trying to continue working from home. Some claim virus fears, but others just like the flexibility. And some, I’m sure, just don’t like being in the office. My job requires that I be in office most of the time, so I occupy a weird space; I’m an hourly employee who has to be here at least most of the time, but can work from home, but definitely get treated like the rest of the wage class. It is a never ending source of wry amusement.
    I also really like the Charles Lee artwork. Thanks for posting a link to his site!
    I’m also in process of joining the great resignation, and will probably leave my current job in March, hopefully en route to a much more rewarding future.

    As for the source of disagreement; I find it odd that, since you don’t consider the covid pandemic that serious, you seem to have gone all the way to dismissing in entirely as no worse than the flu. I certainly get that it isn’t nearly as bad as the Black Plague, or even a really vicious cholera outbreak in the 19th century, for that matter. BUT, something killed 600,000 more Americans that ‘normal’ in 2020. I haven’t seen the numbers for 2021 yet, but my guess is a similar number of more Americans died of ‘something’ than one would normally expect. I guess that’s a long way of reiterating what Jeffry Stuart said.
    On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being polio and ten being the Black Death, I’d put corona somewhere around a 3, with the ensuing fluster cluck making the whole situation somewhere between a 4 and 5. Serious, but not world ending.
    I guess that’s all a long way of asking; where’s the reasonable ‘middle’? An we agree the virus is serious, but not the end of the world, but also not just a media-induced mirage?

  71. I am in NYC where so many storefronts and restaurant spaces are empty and for rent. The streets are filthy and people are terrified of random violence. The last few years of managerial incompetence and Covid BS have emptied this city of workers, residents and tourists. It is very depressing. A huge number of NYC’s rich people have moved to Florida or abroad. My in-laws have moved back permanently to their home country, after having been huge fans of America and NYC for decades. They had an apartment in NYC for a very long time.

    Some of the rich may still own an apartment in NYC for “investment” purposes but they have personally moved because the taxes in NY are sky high and they don’t get their money’s worth. I don’t believe NYC is “coming back” as some say, on grounds that NYC has in the past come back to life again. Something is different now and that is the ability to work remotely and the random violence from homeless crazy people. It’s just anarchy here and the city seems to have accepted the state of anarchy.

    Whatever happened to New York, in the words of die-hard New Yorkers, the greatest city in the greatest country ever in the history of the world? It was always an illusion. The reality now is so stark and awful that no one is saying this anymore. That’s why I’m mystified by the continued construction of high rise apartment buildings for the super rich (apartments selling for $50M to $100M).

  72. It would be interesting to explore if their are changes in conceptual artwork from younger artists (working for video game companies in this case) towards a more expanded imagination of the future. “Arrival” is inspired by Studio Ghibli animations but it’s refreshing to see different visions as you described it. I am also fan of Syd Mead and Roger Dean but in the case of Mead, that is the vision of the typical ultra-modern, utopian, gleaming skyline.

  73. For accuracy we should note that witchcraft persecution was largely a early modern (16th/17th century) phenomena rather than mediaeval. The black death of the 14th century did not result in witchcraft persecution (witchcraft was then largely treated as superstition by the church) Although recurrent outbreaks of plague continued in the following centuries and occurred around the peak of persecution, there does not seem to have been much correlation at a local level between plague and persecution.

  74. The Oligarchs have seen the oil depletion (energy descent) disaster coming for decades, yet they have not taken any action to prepare the world.

    Their “solution” appears to be a “pandemic” to create the fear needed to control the masses, and a deadly “vaccine” to cull the world’s population, starting with the 1st world nations that are using the greatest proportion of global oil production.

    I feel that as this “pandemic” loses its fear factor, they will crash the global economy, then perhaps start a war.

    Thank you JMG for your amazing work!

  75. A belated thought on the reason there is so much more hysteria over COVID than over the earlier plagues mentioned: our age is a lot more risk-averse than the 1950s or 1960s. This goes as far back as when today’s 50-somethings were young. When my younger daughter, as a young mother, said “But, Mom, it’s a much more dangerous world today! This would have been back around the mid-to-late 80s.

    From all I’ve heard and read about the way the Boomers raised – or didn’t raise – their children, I’ve come to see their point. Marion Zimmer Bradley’s treatment of her daughter was extreme, and I think Bradley herself was half-mad, but other half-remembered scraps of such things is seeping through my memory.

    It’s nothing new, BTW. I’m remembering, also, how Louisa May Alcott ended up supporting her entire family by writing Gothic thrillers – and yet in her YA novels, all the good men were based on her feckless father idealized. For the market? Or imagining a better version of him for personal reasons. Or both? Doesn’t matter.

    Also, JMG – you mentioned the mass insanity of the witch-hunting years following the Great Plague’s various waves. There was also a wave of sexually transmitted diseases, apparently from the New World. But the insanity ended in thirty years of chaotic, mercenary-heavy warfare based largely on sacking cities and raiding villages for loot (to put it mildly.) And like the Holocaust much later, it triggered a revulsion against the previous practices. The old laws against Witchcraft gave way to “anybody extorting money by pretending to be a witch is guilty of fraud and to be tried as such.” Which of course, ended up centuries later targeting later believers in the later occult revivals.

    Visions of an endlessly spinning wheel, gathering up and dumping karma….

  76. Princess Cutekitten, I think that you are spot on about many of the PMC not wanting to return to the office. I would add that I don’t think a growing number of corporations want people returning to the office. Ever.

    There are the obvious considerations of profit in allowing workers to make their own office space at home, of course, but I think under all that is the fact that an employer can fire people without the rest of the herd hearing a shot. I won’t be surprised if this happens with greater boldness as corporations outsource work to other lands or need to give shareholders some positive profit news

    I have warned my own friends to be careful what they wish for, and though they agree with my thinking, their hands are tied. They have little opportunity but to hope for the best and early retirement.

    Black Tuna and Hand. (Retired WAAAY early)

  77. I loved this post! It was really excellent and totally made my day. This is why I go to this site, to see some reality and to read the intelligent comments. And I love to see Klaus Schwab put in his place by you, Mr. Greer! Also, I was at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, we were living on the farm in Redmond then and I was about 8 or 9 years old. I thought it was a blast, but I also thought it had nothing to do with any reality that I knew of. I had so many animals to feed on the farm and Daddy made us all hoe the very large garden every day, after that, if we weren’t in school, we could run all over the woods and basically do what we wanted. I loved the way I was allowed to grow up and even at that young age knew we were never going to have the future of the Seattle World’s Fair. Which suited me just fine!

  78. Hi John Michael,

    Yes indeed. Mate the gig was up for me when Barista’s and other take away food providers were included under the emergency service workers. That was hard to explain. But regardless, the body count has never been there to justify this bizarre set of directives, circumstances and consequences.

    And being in the less fashionable end of my profession, I kept working the entire time. I tell you truly, regularly travelling through police and military checkpoints (which were so few in number that they were ineffective, but oh so visible) has left me with the impression that the powers that be couldn’t organise their way out of a paper bag, despite the resources they command.

    With that experience in mind. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’d watch closely this year as attempts to put a halt to inflation produce crazy consequences. It is very possible that the very people with their hands on the policy levers financially wipe out plenty of their own social class. That’s possible.

    Also the sheer bumbling which is evident with the phosphate story is incomprehensible to me, but maybe that’s just me. A darker and more cynical side suggests that this could be a play to wipe out smaller players in the agricultural industries, but the risks inherent in that play is bonkers. Anyway, watch food prices it’s going to be a wild old ride. And so few people have dirt under their fingernails these days – that nobody seems to be the least concerned. Hmm.

    Cheers

    Chris

  79. Could JMG or someone please explain so that I can understand just what is meant by ‘social libertarianism’? This is a serious question, not pushback. My admittedly limited experience and observation have so far convinced me that self-styled libertarians want and believe in independence for themselves but not for others. Flag on their lawn, with which I have no problem, but no veges in yours. Please explain what I am missing. A question for which I would like to see a serious answer is: Why is no, or limited, participation in mass consumption not a matter of personal rights? Right now, it looks to me like some folks are all for “freedom” and “independence” right up to the point where some friend or ally of theirs might lose money.

  80. Hi Ben,

    Those are the numbers being chucked around. But dude, sure 600,000 may have died, but how could you not see that something like 324,400,000 are still around? People die all the time, and every single one of us will die at some point. It is probably not a bad idea to do something with the time that you have left. Every day that goes by, you have one less day to spend on this planet.

    Cheers

    Chris

  81. @Tidlosa #64 You are right about the insanity in most of Europe. In the Netherlands the managerial class is really committed to spreading fear-porn and only considers the worst prognoses while denying to reveal the assumptions in their models. There is a sharp divide between the believers who enthusiastically line up for their boosters and the non-believers who ignore the whole situation as much as possible.
    In France Macron really uttered these threats and looks like a vicious gnome who cannot understand or accept that not everybody obeys his demands. The managerial class is really tone deaf. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the right-wing culturally conservative candidates wins the French presidential election in France next April. That would be a shock comparable with Brexit.

  82. One of the things I find striking is the collapse of Hispanic support for the Democrats. One factor is that the vast majority of Latinos are patriotic working class Americans who have been turned off by the Democratic Party’s embrace of extremist causes like defunding the police. The spike in crime rates in blue states like California has disproportional hurt people of color and is causing many Latinos and Asian-Americans to reassess their support for the Dems.

    https://www.sharonherald.com/opinion-hispanic-voters-abandon-democrats-in-droves/article_f260fc12-69be-11ec-a012-b315b37c5427.html

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/democrats-face-a-brutal-reckoning-with-hispanic-voters/ar-AASogSS

    Another factor is that doesn’t get nearly enough attention is that there has been a long history of bad blood between Hispanics and African Americans, particularly in Sun Belt urban areas in places like California, Texas and Florida. As someone who lived in two of the three when I was growing up, I remember how much hatred and strife there was between those two groups, especially in inner city neighborhoods. In one of the junior high schools I attended, we had a Black gang and a Mexican gang and there was at least one racially motivated brawl between Black and Hispanic gang members every week. There have been quite a few race riots pitting Blacks versus Latinos in cities like Miami and Washington D.C. as well.

    By embracing groups like BLM, the Democrats turned off a lot of Hispanic and Asian Americans, many of whom dislike and distrust African Americans even if they won’t admit it in public. The Democrats made a huge mistake by lumping all racial minorities into “people of color” while assuming they are a monolithic block who all support the same causes and think the same way. In reality, there are a lot of different ethnic groups in America, often with very different interests and points of view.

  83. JMG replied:

    “Mariner, that is to say, you believe the standard media narrative on Covid. I think you’re missing literally everything of importance about the current situation, but hey, you have just as much right to your opinion as I have to mine, and just as much right to wear a mask as I should have to breathe clean fresh air.”

    Apparently you didn’t read my respectful post very carefully, and instead responded with a tautology about opinions. Over the past few years you’ve become increasingly touchy about readers who fail to offer effusive praise. That is a disappointment.

  84. JMG – if my country’s industrialists’ association is now publicly opposing the mandatory vaccines for everybody, planned by our government, then I’m sure Macron will get the memo from their French equivalents sooner or later.

  85. Interesting. Indeed it feels that Brexit/Trump/COVID will prove a external visible marking of the internal crisis in the functioning of the white collar experts in our society. The analogy with the early 20th century is fascinating. WW1 formed the first massive exhibition of the ghastly inhumanity of industrial capitalism but it took the great depression and WW2 before a new technocratic version emerged.

    Your excellent rhetoric glides over some important points though. Any society with substantial division of labor starts to rely on managers. A society with a substantial scientific technology base has really only existed once in recorded history (starting in Europe in roughly 1800) and it has evolved a prominent role for highly trained experts. It seem to me inevitable that future societies will have central roles for highly trained and skilled experts. I agree with you that the current arrangement has irrational distribution of privilege favoring managers. It is too simple though to divide managers and workers. The current system gives far too much privilege to lawyers, stock traders, and doctors while giving far too little to farmers, manufacturing workers and nurses. But any system that follows will have to develop systems to recognize talent, train experts, and evaluate the quality of their ideas.

    I would argue one of the main failures of the current system comes from managers arranging the system to minimize risk to themselves and their families. A system of experts really only works when people gain privilege by success and can equally lose privilege by failure. But the managers of our medical, legal, finance, academic, and political systems have arranged systems where they are assured to maintain privilege whether they give benefit or harm to society. That arrangement has to collapse eventually. But the current version of populist revolt has no experts, no real ideas, and therefore no way to replace the broken system. Therefore, I expect it is going to take a much more severe blow than Trump/Brexit or COVID to break the managers’ cozy system. I expect any system that rises to replace it will have to expose and reverse two malignant trends: (1) ever increasing abstraction in finance, technology, and academics; and (2) the merging of marketing, entertainment, sports, news, journalism and politics into a massive facade generating enterprise.

  86. I’m too young to have experienced the Asian flu – I was born the year after it hit Sweden in 1957 – but I remember the Hong Kong flu well. My father caught it and and was very sick and barely contactable for three weeks, which I found unsettling since he was in his mid 40s and otherwise a very healthy individual. But neither my mother nor myself contracted the disease, although we stayed in the same house all the time. Strange.

    But comparing Covid to the Asian and Hong Kong flus is exactly right. The Spanish flu killed some 50 – 100 million people worldwide when the world population was 2 billion, and primarely young people. Covid is not remotely in the same ballpark.

  87. @JMG re Augusto’s comment

    If he’s talking about the French TV stars Igor and Grichka, the MSM is trumpeting that they refused vaccination and died of COVID within days of each other (“see! see! We toldja so! We toldja so! If you don’t get vaxed, you die! Toldja so! Neener neener!”)

    However, one look at a photo taken of them in 2019 makes me think they actually got botoxed to death. At first I thought they were deformed. I can’t fathom why anybody would do that to themselves. Yipes!

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/igor-grichka-bogdanoff-twins-covid-19-deaths-unvaccinated/

  88. BTW. Now that is a future that I would like to see! Seems like out of a Ghibli movie… You can count on me, my harmonica, my paintbrushes and a whole lot of enthusiasm, even though it is just yet slowly but surely finding an organized expression while I transition from bitter wanna be scholar to a mage. I hope there is a place in the future for such weirdos! Please do keep coming some of the bright sides!

    On related news. I have been exploring a calling. I did a trip to some of the native tribes in Latin America, given that I seem to be having a magnetic pull towards the land that I grew up in and the spiritual traditions in there that are unfortunately dwindling. I still have no idea how that would happen given that the magical traditions that I study don’t seem to be able to reach the earth contacts from what I hear. Nonetheless, the land keeps calling…

    At the precolumbian gold museum, as I entered I asked “what would you like me to know?” As I strolled the halls of magnificent craftmanship in gold and in clay until finally, after a hint, I entered a room with 5 glass encasings. One with a sorcer/shaman, with various ornate decorations and every other with animals corresponding to the elements. And guess what… One of them looks exactly like a salamander!

    Here is a pic: https://ibb.co/S74DpDN

    By any chance, is there any speculation of the Celtic people coming to America (the continent) way before Columbus? Some of the craftmanship, specially the shields, seem very “celtic” to me, though I am aware I could be biased.

    And I also found out, from a tribe in the Sierra Nevada of Colombia, about a tradition that use “la palabra” as a way of spiritual unfoldment which is very similar to discursive meditation but in a group setting. They speak of a tree, with the roots in the heavens and the leaves being here on earth, while material bodies are only but a dream and if one want to change, it is there, at the roots, where one should act. The “mambes” which are their wise people, chew coca leaves with ash (mambe) and tobacco while they let their minds ruminate in a group arounds their myths of creations. A friend of mine who visited them told me, when he asked about the key to establishing a successful community, that the first thing you have to do, is build “la casa del pensamiento” (the house of thinking), not a dwelling, or infrastructure, and let everything else unfold from that while you ask the land and the spirits for guidance. I found that beautiful.

  89. @ JMG RE: french movie ending…

    It would likely take something egregious to actually get people to go kinetic, at least most of those I know are mouthy and cannot follow through on much other than whinging night and day. Social Security ceasing would hit us oldies, but what would trigger my kids, now in their mid-30’s?

    I’m on the lookout for something seminal, but can’t yet see it slouching our way. You got an idea or two my friend?

  90. Its another Wednesday and we have a new main post up for you to check out on the Green Wizards website.

    With supply chain issues and inflation making the news, its time to start thinking smart about the things you buy and the things you store. “Logistics Win Wars” talks about how important good records are to preparing for the emergencies, disasters and even the minor day to day disruptions which are going to get more frequent. for most of us, the days of just “throw money at it until it goes away” are gone. Time to think smart and think long.

    .
    Over on the Green Wizards forums, if you are a gardener and haven’t checked last week’s post “What Records Would You Want For Your Garden?”. Some of the people who comment have just amazing records. I’m talking historic tomes of lore kind of things, lol. Pop in and check the photos. Add your own opinions and observations too.

    .
    Last month, Green Wizard kma said, “I like reading gardening almanacs or “in this day in your garden” books and posts. They proposed an idea here of starting a Green Wizards almanac and “every once in a while, we have an open post and report on what we are doing in the garden/homestead. I thought it would be a nice way to keep up to date with people and if someday, someone wants to compile these posts into chronological order, that would make a nice project. Also, to be selfish, it keeps my morale up to see what other people are doing and occasionally report my own successes (or troubles!).”

    The first post is up “2022 Green Wizard Almanac – Open Post January”, come by and share what you’ve been doing.

    .
    Remember too, if you are organizing a local meet-up, Green Wizards has a place you can post the information to. Rcook is setting up a “GW Meetings in Brisbane, Australia”. If you are in the warm balmy Summer and want to share a pint with good company, let them know.

    .
    As always, all the posts on Green Wizards is open to the public to read. You will need a free account to comment though. Contact me via email (green wizard dtrammel at gmail dot com) or via Facebook Messenger to get one set up.

  91. Thanks for the Charles Lee picture. It definitely has some heavy Hayao Miyazaki influence, which combined nature and Faustian technology in ways that I dared not dream possible. Recently I’ve been reading The Real Anthony Fauci by RFKjr and strangely enough it’s allowed me to accept things more. Before I was squarely in axe grinding territory but reading about the pinnacle of corporate evil in combination with your work helped me realize that the Tower is already falling and does not need my help. The real question is what will come after and who’s vision of the future will prevail? I’ve been struggling to get the 10,000 foot Druid view of the cycles of history, so it’s obvious what you are proposing here. I accept the challenge. Let’s head for the Studio Ghibli future where we embrace mystery, beauty, and appropriate technology.

  92. We members of the Green Wizards’ Benevolent and Protective Society are strictly enjoined to keep bag, boots, and staff by our door in case we need to take a walk without notice.
    We will happily join you on this journey beyond the ruins of the past’s future.
    Rhydlyd

  93. Mr. Greer, as usual your weekly post is timely and thought provoking. On my twitter feed earlier this week, I started seeing people post pictures of their results of their at home COVID tests. I thought this seemed strange, but just rolled my eyes and moved on. Your explanation of their virtue signaling and class privilege brought clarity to this odd phenomenon. Their religious like obsession with the virus and its siblings is so mind blowing to me. The mass formation psychosis Dr. Chris Martenson speaks of has got a firm grip on this crowd. How crazy is it that some people are so devoid of substance and meaning that they need to run from one craze to the next in hopes of finding purpose? Hatred of Trump went directly into hating and fearing COVID, and the “unvaxxed”. I don’t know about you, but my partner and I are much too busy working on the tiny house, taking care of the chickens, fetching water from the well, and learning new skills to give a rip about belonging to this brain-dead aristocracy. All I can say is . . . yikes what a lost society we are in!

    Since Schwab and Company are unable to differentiate between playing SIMS, and the real world It brings me so much joy to see you blasting his neo-communistic ideas. Just like your sage advice on doing the opposite of what economists say, it’s prudent to do the opposite of what the clueless classes predict. Contrary to what this sheltered fool predicts as the “fourth great industrial revolution”, I will hypothesize that we are actually looking at the fourth great extinction event of everything BIG. By BIG I mean big government, big ag, big institutions, big corporations, big egos, big everything that the status quo depends on, and profited from. We little mammals will be able to make our own futures in a world of degrowth, and as the industrial civilization bubble deflates.

    I found your question at the end, and the paragraphs preceding it, encouraging. Yes, we will join you in this quest! After reading your republished Wealth of Nature, my partner and I have been working on a website to explore those very ideas you mention. As 30-year-old Millennials, the ideas of retrofitting local life in step with available resources is invigorating. We have the opportunity to make our own path, and do our best to heal ourselves and the very nature we are a part of.

    Thanks for such a great post.

  94. Archdruid,

    The only point of dispute I have with this weeks essay is that record number of people leaving the medical profession are probably leaving because they’re over worked and under paid. All of the so called “front line” workers who were asked to work insane hours for s*it pay, while the PMC sheltered in their homes, are sick of being exploited. Even as early as 2020 there were twitter users pointing out that it wouldn’t be very long before the medias message switched from “heros” to “get back to work you poor scum,” lo-and-behold that’s exactly what happened.

    What I find fascinating about the anti-work movement is that they hold the PMC to account for the mixed messaging about Covid. On the one hand they keep telling us its dangerous, on the other hand they keep insisting we all go back to work, while providing no support. I think both the progressive and conservative ends of the PMC spectrum, and all their bootlickers (to borrow a phrase from the anti-work movement), have basically destroyed themselves. The progressive end has been really well articulated in your previous essays, and the conservative end can best be articulated as an unwillingness to kill Regan’s ideology. Mainstream conservatism is just as horrifying in its unwillingness to support even the most basic of worker protections.

    I think we’ve crossed the breaking point, the number of workers saying “no, I’m done” will only continue to climb in the years ahead.

    Regards,

    Varun

  95. Fascinating that if you disagree with the experts on Covid, you get booted off. I can’t imagine that the framers had that in mind when they wrote the first amendment. Maybe they did, but as an American it just seems so wrong to me. Your article helps me understand why it’s such an imperative. As usual, you provide sensible reasons that make my world make more sense. Thank you.

  96. JMG – Speaking of France and Russia, before their recent spells of unpleasantness, I’m about half-way through Crane Brinton’s “The Anatomy of Revolution” (1965 edition), and it’s resonating page after page. One of the things I like about it, though, is the long perspective of periods in history when “everyone knew” that the system was broken, but it still took a generation for the old regime to fall. Still, he says, people expect their children to experience the revolution; when it comes, if it comes, it catches them by surprise.

    The book actually compares four revolutions: England, America, France, and Russia, sorting out what they had in common, and how they differ.

    It considers the binary: revolution due to circumstances vs. revolution by plan, and sensibly comes down somewhere in the middle. Planners can’t get traction without circumstances, and circumstances can’t flip without planners.

  97. Walt, I suspect that in our version of that future, the trolley will be on rails, but hey — why not throw in a little magnetic levitation while we’re at it? As for the journey there, that’s a worthwhile point for discussion and I’ll consider some posts on it.

    David BTL, I’d also like to see a more centrist movement, but we’ll see what happens. As for the spoiled brats on the left squalling because the mean senators won’t give them everything they want, well, mark me down as unimpressed…

    Misty, alternatively, someone could have the common sense to recognize that electric trolleys — a mature and highly functional technology — can take a lot of pressure off other modes of transportation, and allow those people who need individual cars and trucks to have them!

    DenG, my guess is that the whole 5G business will turn out to be the last hurrah of that particular strand of technological metastasis, and will be scrapped in fairly short order. But we’ll see.

    Ben, that’s why I specifically compared it to the flu pandemics of 1958 and 1967. I’d encourage you to look those up. Both of them killed a significant number of people — the 1958 Asian flu killed two million, at a time when the world’s population was a quarter of what it is today — and sickened many, many more. I find it very odd that this, which I’d consider the reasonable middle, has been erased from public conversation and rendered difficult for many people even to think of!

    Evie, I’d like to suggest that something’s going on here that nobody is willing to talk about. With sea levels rising, New York City will become uninhabitable in the not too distant future — imagine for a moment what’s going to happen when the utility tunnels and the subway system flood with salt water — and a good many people are aware of that, though they’re not talking about it. My guess is that New York will not come back because too many people know the water is rising and nothing can be done about that. If you aren’t yet looking at relocation, now might be a good time to start.

    CLR, I’m a huge fan of Roger Dean, precisely because he rejects the glitzy managerial-future vision and offers something far more human and viable. You have no idea how badly I wanted to live in this house…

    Chen, the persecutions reached their peak in the 16th century but they began in the last quarter of the 14th century, with the torrent of conspiracy theories that Carlo Ginzburg documents in Ecstasies and elsewhere; it was at the Council of Basel in 1431-1437, in the wake of the Valais witch hunts, that the Catholic church reversed its longstanding policy that witchcraft was a delusion, which until then was enshrined in canon law in the canon Episcopi. The correlation between plague and persecution wasn’t primarily at the local level, but in the levels of collective stress in Europe as a whole — you could as well point out that fear of the plague did not necessarily correlate exactly with the plague as such.

    Oregon Bob, seems to me that you’ve bought into the managerial class’s own notion of its power and efficiency. I’d encourage you to consider the possibilities that the people running things right now aren’t malevolent masterminds but bumbling, feckless conformists who’ve been sheltered from the consequences of their own repeated failures for so long that they literally have no idea what effects their actions are having on the world.

    Patricia, that’s a valid point. I wonder to what extent that risk aversion is the product of the managerial class’s own repeated insistence that they had things under control!

    Heather, thanks for this! I grew up in the south Seattle suburbs, but fortunately we had some woods not too far off, too.

    Chris, no argument there. Assume that the people in power are clueless, feckless, and disconnected from reality, and you’ll rarely go wrong!

    Mary, there are various schisms in the libertarian movement, as in all others. Social libertarianism is the belief that the various social hot button issues ought to be left to individuals to decide for themselves. There are other kinds of libertarians with other views.

    Sardaukar, yes, I’ve been watching that set of trends very closely. It would not surprise me at all if the GOP sometime very soon ran a conservative Hispanic candidate for president; if so, the Dems will never know what hit them.

    Mariner, ever since I started blogging, people have been rehashing media talking points on my blogs, and then getting offended when I point out that they’re rehashing media talking points. If you’ve been reading my blogs as long as you say, I’m not sure how you missed that; but hey, if you want to feel disappointed, don’t let me stop you.

    Njura, I’m delighted to hear this. May I ask which country?

    Ganv, the great difference between the current (and failing) system and previous iterations is that managers used to be several notches down the pyramid; they were hired and fired by the people who had power, rather than being the people who had power. The managerial takeover of the early 20th century reversed that temporarily but, er, it didn’t work too well, and the wheels are coming off the system. As for the supposed need of new experts and new ideas to replace the current set, I’ll be discussing that fallacy in detail as we proceed.

    Thomas, thanks for this. I also dodged the Hong Kong flu but a lot of kids in my class were out sick for weeks.

    Jeanne, interesting. The thing is, people do die of the flu!

    Augusto, yes, in fact, there’s a substantial body of lore suggesting that the Celts made it to the New World a very long time ago. You might see if you can find a copy of Farley Mowat’s book The Farfarers, which discusses some of this; Welsh legends about “the summer country” — a place west across the sea where it’s always warm — sound very much like the Caribbean filtered through legend; and of course here in New England we have a flurry of old stone ruins that look astonishingly like ancient British and Irish dolmens and burial mounds…

    Oilman2, I’m going to encourage you, when time permits, to pick up a history of the early stages of the French Revolution. Things didn’t go kinetic at first — that’s just it. The commoners called to form the third house of the French Parlement up and declared themselves the National Assembly and took power, and the existing government was left fumbling and gaping in empty air. The violence came later. The collapse of a system can happen with remarkable ease if the system’s rotten enough. As for ideas — well, I’ll consider a post.

    David T, thanks for this.

    Aloysius, I could definitely handle a Studio Ghibli future! (It’s the one firm I can think of that I’d want to see producing movie versions of my tentacle novels.)

    Rhydlyd, glad to hear it.

    Gregsimay, I say we give it a try.

    Christopher, I’m delighted to hear of your planned website! That strikes me as a very constructive starting point — get the ideas out so that people can find their own paths. As for people brandishing around their Covid tests, oof. How sad.

    Varun, that’s also an important factor, but a significant number of frontline health care staff were also fired for refusing to get the Covid vaccines. I used to work in health care — I was a nurse’s aide in nursing homes in Seattle, back before I got published — and one thing I learned from that is that the nurses, orderlies, and aides are the ones who know what medicines and procedures actually do, since they have to clean up the messes — and, tolerably often, the bodies. If a significant number of them are refusing to take a drug even at the cost of their jobs, there is something very, very wrong about the drug.

    Bradley, I’ve had similar thoughts. The thing is, we haven’t actually had free speech in this country when it comes to health care since the 1950s, when Dr. Wilhelm Reich died in prison for disagreeing with the AMA. So the present mess is less unprecedented than it might seem…

    Lathechuck, that’s an excellent book! I’m glad to hear you’re learning from it.

    Monkmill, thank you. I’ll explain that usage in more detail sometime soon.

  98. Tomorrowland has fallen….
    A well placed meme ,of all things….
    A search engine response about (i95 disaster)
    brought me here .it couldn’t be more a propos…

    Where do you come up with ideas about the titles of your blogpost…
    Its not the first time that the titles of ADR or Ecosophia
    has the ring of prophetic dreams or synchronicity
    Do you dream the title of your post?

  99. @JMG re “Jeanne, interesting. The thing is, people do die of the flu!”

    True enough, but you don’t see the MSM come close to dancing a jig over it like you do when somebody unvaxed passes away as a result of having Covid. The CBS article briefly reported the brothers’ careers but bracketed the story with their cause of death as if that were somehow more important than their distinctly eccentric lives.

  100. Something to be cognizant of….

    Until 2020, I did a lot of consulting for companies in Kazakhstan. The riots there precipitated the usual ham handed government response – with a side helping of instant consequence:

    https://turcopolier.com/widespread-protests-in-kazakhstan-ttg/

    This is the single biggest reason to steer clear of blockchain ‘money’. It can happen here, even without government forcing the issue = private businesses are free to stop their services at any time. Consequences? Sure, but it all depends on the endgame…

  101. JMG, thank you for your response. All I can say, is that while I am as dismayed by the insanity on the left as anyone, if self identified libertarians want me to vote for their candidates and support their causes, they need to lay off on the demands for cultural conformity. And, I was just funning is no excuse for not leaving alone people who are doing you no harm.

  102. @JMG and commentariate

    There is a crisis of staffing currently building in Ontario’s schools and hospitals.
    One by one the workhorses in my clinic are leaving all the way up to frontline PHDs. Nurses, social workers, psychiatrists are quitting and indicating they are overworked underpaid and are not listened to by the bureaucracy. More interested in rolling out new software for charting systems on our computers then paying attention to the never ending mental health epidemic.

    This epidemic resulting from schools being shut down and children being forced to ‘learn’ through computer screens. Let’s not mention that parents seem to have lost all capacity to actually parent or help their children process emotions… I’d like to blame media saturation and blind faith in the system. Unfortunately it isn’t driving parents to homeschool in the greater Toronto area it’s driving them to the mental health emergency units and an increase in youth suicide.

    In Ontario a school is a level one mental health care provider but nobody wants to point that out. When they shut down they take away layers of mental health support; structure and daily activity schedules, social milieu, and the social workers nurses and counselors that work for the schools ect.
    Our managerial classes are untouchable. Our doctors have not been allowed to speak out without fear of career suicide.

    We are all replaceable apparently though all the hard-working frontline workers are leaving their positions. Nobody even seems to know where the decision making comes from, the layers of management are unreal.

    My coworkers and I found a panel of people that consult with the higher-ups at the regional school board and we didn’t even know they existed and they are publicly funded. They are a stratospheric layer of management that just exists out there somewhere to consult with the superintendents and the trustees I guess?

    If Canada’s passivity was ever going to change, if our entrenched managerial class was ever going to fail, if Tomorrowland was ever at stake it would be now I think as we shut down for the fourth time. Yes the hospitals are failing but I believe it’s because the people working there are either being forced to stay home because of the sniffles, burning out, or up and leaving completely. The CBC is fielding articles wherein hospital CEOs making upwards of half a million a year are asking their staff to come back from vacation to fill empty positions and keep their units running.

    The people I know and work with who were initially staunch supporters of governmental decision making are now frustrated, sharing memes, and showing their discontent by resigning from their often well paid positions.

    My apologies for the rant but it is surreal to see it all falling apart while absolutely no one from the managerial classes are held accountable in any meaningful way.

  103. Headline from CBC article: Trudeau says Canadians are ‘angry’ and ‘frustrated’ with the unvaccinated.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-unvaccinated-canadians-covid-hospitals-1.6305159

    This is in the aftermath of Macron’s comment. My gut level reaction was ‘are they not Canadians too, then?’ Along with ‘you don’t speak for me’.

    If you read the article what he said isn’t as extreme as the headline, but seriously

    I think what Canadians actually are is sick of the pandemic and just wanting the whole mess to be over.

  104. Denis, no, I don’t have the gifts necessary for dreamwork. I come up with blog post titles the same way I come up with characters and plots for my fiction: free association, long periods of solitary brooding, and a stack of weird books I’m reading.

    Jeanne, oh, granted. It’s very mediagenic to die of Covid these days.

    Oilman2, I’ve been following the Kazakhstan events — somebody’s very clearly rehashing the Ukraine playbook! — but hadn’t heard of the Bitcoin business, so thanks for the heads up.

    Mary, no argument there. My point is simply that “libertarian” is a very vague term, and it covers a lot of ground — like every label, of course.

    Ian, many thanks for the heads up. Ouch — that sounds like a world-class flustered cluck.

    Pygmycory, I hope you and other Canadians start raising your voices in ways that your government cannot ignore. Still, it’s your nation, and your call.

  105. The thing that makes me wary of libertarianism is that a lot of libertarians seem to be in favor of shredding the social safety net, and universal healthcare. As someone who depends on disability supports to survive, and has tried and repeatedly failed to support myself through work, this is a deal breaker for me.

    I generally agree with live and let live, and the mess the pandemic response has made of civil liberties has made me value them the more highly, but I need to eat and have a roof over my head too.

  106. In regards to the picture posted, it is the vision of the future that I have been advocating for a long while. Simple yet actually designed to be human friendly. As I said on your Dreamwidth, 19th century Japan is essentially the ideal only with Radio and reliable public transport.

    One sign that I always find funny about the narrative of “things in the past where worse” is how you can tell if an item or a building is very old. That is, it still exists and it had immaculate design. Look at some public buildings from the 19th century – they are gorgeous and are in similar condition to the day they where built. The other day I found some antique Japanese plates from 1870. They look like they were made yesterday. How much modern crockery will manage to last even half as long as that. The knives and forks I use are from 1910. When it comes to cookware, stuff like cast iron is probably one of the few things that will last generations not just the latest fashion trend.

    A simple yet human-suitable (sorry that sounds like marketing talk) future should be one where quality over quantity is the main factor.

    @ #8 Mister Nobody. The scary thing about the money printing is just how much of it is being stuffed into the stock market. Apple alone just topped $3 trillion. At least when it is in the stock market, it isn’t directly impacting the real world commodity buying economy. If the market tumbles, people start pulling out that money and putting it into the real world – then 12.5% inflation would be a dream compared with what would come. The second great depression could be only a few years away. But like an economist, I have no idea what I am talking about.

    @12 Pygmycory. I too mask up and follow the line when I absolutely have to, it is just to stop the screeching from the self anointed professionally insulted. That said, I will follow the rules when it benefits me. Currently, I am at home isolating. Not for fear of the virus, far from it, I am more than happy to take a few paid days off from work.

    @44 Tidlosa. I am not a fan of Tucker Carlson, but that was completely on point! Whoever wrote that (Tucker and/or staff) was someone who has their finger on the real pulse of the world.

    @63 Pyrrhus. I always like Woody Allan’s answer. How good would it be to in early 20th century France… but with Penicillin.

  107. I don’t think the messaging from hospital management (that Varun reported, #104) is at all mixed, merely veiled. Behind the veil, it seems to me to say, “Get back to work, you wage scum, so we can keep on sheltering in our luxury homes while you die instead of us. After all, each one of you easy to replace, and therefore your lives are worthless. Don’t you know that our lives are the only lives that matter?”

    One of our neighbors was a wage-worker in the best of our local hospitals. As her co-workers quit, she had to do the work of three people. When she asked for a raise of $1/hr to compensate, she was rudely told, “No way!” The last straw was when the federal COVID relief money came in. Hospital management called the wage staff into a meeting to inform them that none of this federal windfall was coming their way; it was all going to be used to give bonuses for the hospital management. She quit on the spot.

  108. @JMG New York and Ocean level rise.

    New York is a fascinating case in that it is a terrible location in regards to ocean level. It is being hit three fold.

    1. Ocean level is rising from melting glaciers.
    2. New York is right where the ocean currents of the Atlantic hit ground, pushing up the sea level more. This is being accelerated by ocean temperature rise.
    3. The land is sinking as the crust is still rebounding from the Ice cap that sat on it many millennia ago.

    They are all compounding. Folks talk about New York in 2100, I wonder if it even has 50 years left on the clock. And yet the best solutions that are being proposed are to put a small wall of a few feet in select locations. Proposed, not funded and laughably inept. They will stave it off for a few years at best… and then a hurricane comes along…

  109. JMG and Longrow, about that Atlantic article, maybe I missed it, but I think there was no mention about the ruin of the middle class via the offshoring tens of thousands of factories and many millions of middle class jobs (directly and indirectly), to which I had a front row seat. Those jobs may have been ‘working class’ in form and function, but they had healthy wages, which was of course the whole point of sending them to Mexico and China. What the article did say was that a lot of what was previously full time and good-paying non-managerial work, became part-time and contractual ie precarious. And I saw that too.

    I also saw first-hand the wrack and ruin from the obliteration of middle management. So, yes, more than one thing destroyed the middle class, and yes, consulting firms pushed the agenda.

    As you say JMG if even Atlantic is admitting it, but note what they’re admitting to and what is unmentionable.

    I bet that if pressed, they’d insist that yes, offshoring had some marginal effects but more important was the effect of automation and technical advancement. Which is what I’ve read in other august publications and which just ain’t so, in fact, it isn’t a mis-conception, it’s an out-and-out lie.

  110. Social upheaval, what are your take on riots and toppling of existing power structures for 2022? Things like covid-tiredness, inflation and shortages starting to hit home, vaxxx mandates, this must be a powdercake ready to blow….?

  111. This may be at least tangentially relevant:

    I got an email from the Colorado chapter of the Sierra Club tonight. The national organization is considering suspending the executive committee and placing the chapter under a Steering Committee, so they can do a massive restructuring of the whole kit and caboodle. There are mentions of inclusiveness and cultural sensitivity in the email.

    You don’t have to read between the lines too much to see that the Woke Revolution has come for the Sierra Club. The organization wasn’t worth much before. I doubt there will be anything vaguely functional after this.

  112. After reading todays post I went to ship some fabricated metal parts I had just completed. They were for an internet based broker service where you grab parts off a computerized list complete with prices but you don’t find out who they are for until you complete them and select the shipping label button and purchasers name shows up on the label. It turns out that these parts had been purchased ( and designed) by an actual company whose only business is making the technology for high-rise vertical farms tended by robots. According to the website the robotic arm zooms around on a gantry like a giant vending machine, and in addition to tending and harvesting the plants it can inspect them with “high tech sensors ” and determine the health and nutrient needs of each individual plant. Wow, talk about a techno-utopian fantasy future. At least I was able to harvest a few dollars from whatever knuckleheads invested their money in it so it is not a total dead end.

  113. JMG, when you say “Tomorrowland has fallen” the PMCs hear “The Age of Men is over. The Time of The Orc has come.” They think they’re the good ones after all. And I’d say their panic didn’t start with Covid, but with the election of Donald Trump, possibly even before that.

  114. JMG and Oilman2,

    I’m reminded of the John Kenneth Galbraith quote “All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.”

    It makes one wonder just how much further things would have to decline before most people would welcome an entirely new deal.

    Or, as you said it:

    The sole remaining questions are what combination of crises will topple the hapless ruling class from its position, and how soon that inevitable moment will arrive.

    While I really liked this post, and I have been thinking very similar thoughts lately, and I would dearly love to give our senile elites a good kick to the backside to help out the door, I’m also worried about what happens after the kicking in of doors and out of backsides.

    How to put this, unless what replaces the current mess is significantly more reasonable and significantly less polarizing then I imagine that things will remain kinetic a good deal longer than anybody would like.

  115. OK, JMG, I’ll take a crack at predicting that future–

    Near where I live, there is a farm where the owners grow the grains that ultimately become several varieties of beer–which they sell at various Farmers’ Markets. Likely, they have found a way to the future!

    But oddly, they periodically teach classes (to anyone who will listen) about the struggle of the Proletariat against The Industrialists. IMHO, it seems likely that when the cheap power that made Big Industry possible is gone, these entrepreneurial farmer-brewer-craftspeople will be all that’s left of Industrialists, and their marxist ideology will be irrelevant.

    IMHO, we will see the return of craftspeople like these. The good news–Their beer is excellent! The bad news–It’s more expensive and less plentiful.

  116. @pygmycory–the hyperpod video struck me as really funny and sad in equal measures. Perhaps the only semi-practical reason for proposing this thing is to devise a more secure way for the extremely wealthy to get their stuff. Maybe they’re worried about freight being stolen en route?

  117. In Australia I’m witnessing a largely opposite effect – the powers that be are setting the rules and crafting the discourse to downplay omicron as insignificant. Lockdowns are old news. The most recent example is redefining a “close contact” to someone you’ve spent a minimum of 4 hours with. This, despite the fact that you can catch it in as little as 10 seconds, paired with most retail and hospitality casual shifts being less then 4 hours. Thus the business owners safe at home can require staff to show up to work and get others sick, even if they spent entire shifts working alongside a known-positive colleague.

    The right-wing-voting yuppies I know are lapping this up and cruising around town to eat and drink (“supporting local business!” say the snapchats). On the occasions I’ve been out, I’ve been served by masked and resentful-looking wait staff who rue bringing covid home to their families.

    Still, your observation remains true here that it is the more progressive types who are fixated on the possible harms of omicron – breakthrough infections, long covid, the elderly and so on. It is a frankly unusual situation for Australia that the working class is feeling more solidarity with left-wing politics than right-wing.

    The real question is whether this strain of COVID is worth going out of one’s way to avoid. You distrust your government and figure maybe it’s okay. I distrust my government and figure maybe it’s worse than they’re letting on. Only time will tell!

  118. Jeanne, those are the guys. (very, very creepy looking. I think that is what Scientism looks these days)I think they definitely got botoxed to death and are using it to blame it on the virus, despite the fact that they were unhealthy and 70+ years old. I read it as a frantic attempt that only is ridiculing themselves. Nobody in the comment sections are buying it… It reminds me of a scene of Dr. Who where a human got all except skin removed and had to be stretched like a bedsheet and when her servitors forgot to moisturize her, she ripped apart.

    Quinshi, thank you! I bet doing ritual magic on that oughta rock. I found a similar one at the same museum I went where the pieces were clearly at energy centers…

  119. Dear JMG, “Stuart, … As for Covid, does your government give hospitals a cash payment per death written up as Covid, over and above what they get for other causes of death? Ours does.”

    Definitely not in the UK. If they tried that here the whistleblowing would be deafening.

  120. It cannot be helped, we are discussing the unmentionable disease in the main blog again.

    Could we at least not call it “a bad flu” anymore? It does not help to form a common understanding. People tend to hear that pronounced as “a bad cold”: then people who agree go on saying it is a walk in the park, people who disagree go on and freak out because they are convinced it’s worse than a walk in the park, and nobody listens to anybody else.

    Even if it is not factually and quantitatively correct, I’d say it is more conceptually correct to regard it as “about as bad as the measles”. If you get that, you know you are in for a hard, painful experience, and there are ghastly complications in a minority of cases, but most people make a full recovery without setting foot in a hospital. That was certainly my case at age 7; and no, my parents never mentioned of having feared for my life at any point during the ordeal.

  121. @JMG:
    This is off-topic, you don’t need to post it; it’s provided for reference only. It’s something that happened in 1960.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10359907/Natural-History-Museum-zoologist-sacked-believing-Loch-Ness-monster.html

    Natural History Museum zoologist was sacked for believing in the Loch Ness monster, newly released documents reveal
    * Dr Denys Tucker lost job at Natural History Museum for belief in Loch Ness monster
    * Career ended abruptly at age 39 when he was fired for alleged insubordination
    * Dismissal down to belief in creature rather than concerns about professional behaviour

  122. Re: 5G

    It looks as though some people in France aren’t waiting to find out if the 5G network has a feasible future or not:

    “Relay antennae are being torched, fibre-optic cables cut, pylons unbolted. During the night, people burn construction machinery, attack masts with disc cutters or destroy electrical equipment with sledge hammers.”

    https://winteroak.org.uk/2021/12/28/the-acorn-70/

    (Some readers here might find the Winter Oak website of more general interest too.)

    Re: Celts in America

    There’s also the tradition of Prince Madog ab Owain Gwynedd, who sailed away from Wales in 1170 to escape dynastic strife at home and ended up somewhere in the Americas, though there’s some uncertainty about where he landed – anywhere from Newport, Rhode Island to the mouth of the Amazon via the Yucatan, it seems. I wouldn’t put much weight on the historicity of this, but I do like the idea of 17th Century European explorers encountering Welsh-speaking tribes in North America.

  123. Hello JMG and fellow commenters,

    First of all, I’d like to wish all of you all the best for 2020.

    I can confirm that Macron’s statement was received with due contempt by the majority of the French including, of course, Macron’s competitors for presidential office in next April.

    It’s funny of course that this guy said no long ago that, I’m quoting “I’ve learnt to love the french people”. End of quote. This alone has infuriated most of us. Anyway, we got to become used to it.

    Anyway, somme low-noise signals tell me that things are unravelling the way you describe in your essay. A petition against the vaccin passport has collected more than 1,5 million of signatures and was held to the National Assembly. No chance it passes given the current majority but anything that gives Macron and his hanchmen a good slap from reality is always good to have. Again and I definitely agree with you, that’s a sign they’ve lost their collective mind.

    On a totally different note and I hope nobody wouldn’t mind me veering slightly off-topic, I caught up with the design of that board game (loosely) based on Retrotopia. I now have a solid game engine (phased based with players interacting with each others) and a good idea of the game features (mix of cooperation/competition, resource management, strategic development and military/diplomatic confrontation). I’m curreently working out the game details and I’d need any input from JMG or imaginative readers of the novel about the different states after the Partition, what are their core values and principles for me to better design playable factions.

    I have the states namely present and described in the novel:
    Lakeland Republic (pragmatic, got really pounded by the Second Civil War)
    Atlantic Republic (politically functional oligarchy, decided to keep a high-tech infrastructure)
    Republic of Texas (besides being kinda militaristic and brash oil dependant jerks I didn’t scrap much from the novel, as per the map, it got New Mexico and a share of Colorado)
    Confederate States of America (oil dependant economy with typical Southern stance, allied with Brazil)
    Rep. of New England and the Maritimes (not so much is said about them)
    Missouri Republic (agrarian landlocked state)
    Deseret (mormon theocracy?)
    California (failed state, would be a playable faction anyway)
    I’d planned to add a state north of CA including Oregon and Washington aptly named Progressive Republic of Cascadia.

    The Free City of Chicago will certainly be included as a game feature for resource exchange.

    That makes 9 factions for 2-7 players

    If any of you is willing to give me insight, you’d be heartily welcome, feel free to email me.

  124. In Britain, where government is concerned, the aristocracy and the managerial class are often one and the same, which makes for a toxic mix: a self-serving, insular, disinterested elite. If they are ‘experts’ at anything it’s manipulating the existing infrastructures of power for personal or ideological ends.

    The real ‘experts’ are the domain specialists (technocrats) who, particularly in the case of covid, have drawn public ire through their exaggerated forecasts, done so partly, I suspect, in order to compensate for the ruling class’s inertia.

    Ideology is surely one of the root causes of poor government. One motivated by pure pragmatism would be preferable IMO. Unfortunately, none are immune to the truism that power corrupts, probably not even Plato’s philosopher-kings (although it’d be interesting to see noocracy in action.)

    The British government’s attitude to the consequences of its covid response is a classic example of displacement activity, a sleight-of-hand to misdirect the populace from Brexit fallout, which was itself predicated on a pack of lies: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2021/10/boris-johnson/620269/. Consequently, a recent poll suggests general disenchantment with the Brexit programme: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/dec/25/one-year-on-most-voters-say-brexit-has-gone-badly

    What is the future of a post-managerial society? There is no doubt that ‘society’ is fracturing, largely as a result of rampant individualism within the dominant capitalist state of affairs. So what does society look like post-capitalism (rhetorical question – I know you’ve covered this at length elsewhere JMG.) The fundamental question is whether humans are inclined to cooperation or competition. We know that capitalism is a breeding ground for the latter, but what are the conditions that engender the former (e.g. an enlightened spiritual worldview)?

  125. I have been reading you for about twenty years and It is rare I disagree with anything you write. However, personal experience means I cannot agree with your implication that Covid-19 is more or less mild, or fairly normal for the time of year. I know it is one of the varied narratives kicking around at the moment, as we attempt to make sense of the ridiculous media frenzy, but an extended stay in a Covid ward, watching your fellow patients die with enormous suffering is sufficient to dispel the notion that this virus is nothing out of the ordinary.

  126. Anyone who likes Charles Lee’s ‘Arrival’ should also consider Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, a beautiful, wordless graphic novel about the immigrant experience in a truly foreign city. Also on a second reading it seems to be as much about city wayfinding. 🙂 (If you haven’t heard that term before, it’s stuff like this – https://www.appliedinformation.group/projects)

  127. @JMG,

    I live in a city with tram lines everywhere, winding through the blocks. If there’s a section not covered by tram, they put in a small bus and measure how much it’s used (we don’t have to beep cards or anything, we can just step on). If that little bus is frequently overwhelmed, they’ll graduate up to a jointed bendy bus that can navigate roundabouts and corners. If even that bus is overwhelmed, the city government looks into putting a tram line that can carry hundreds of people every few minutes.

    We have a handful of subway lines that a lot of people use, which means the trams are rarely miserably packed. I’m glad to have the luxury of time that I can take the scenic route on multiple trams and enjoy the city.

    This system is wheelchair and baby carriage accessible, by the way. It’s commonly understood that personal cars are for the rich to flex their toys. The only time I’ve needed a taxi was when I was getting home from surgery and I couldn’t safely get on the subway, though an entrance was right by the hospital.

    There are horse carriages throughout, but right now that’s for tourists. I dream of an inner city mostly without cars, where it’s just the trams and buses, horses and bicycles, maybe a taxi or two.

    But that’s with everyone here living in apartments, though granted since they have 4 meter ceilings they feel quite spacious. My husband and I have lived in a 35-sq-m place before, and now live in a 70-sq-m place.

    I don’t see how the US could possibly have something like this while being so spread out. Maybe as the economy contracts, the built environment too will contract into something more workable.

  128. The picture shows several wheels on the green trolley that don’t seem to touch the ground – a magnetic train?

    More generally, since Retrotopia, I find you are stressing reasons for hopefulness in the decline. The image with the trolley seems to me to fit (possibly) into a near-future Retrotopia, or else into a very far-future new civilization, but I have difficulties picturing it at the bottom end of a long decline. The trolley would be very hard to fit into the Star’s Reach North America, for example.

    I do know that not all dark ages were the same. Egypt and China never lost writing during their breakdowns. It is even possible that steel was invented in China during their period of disunity in the 6th century CE! However, in the past you have stressed that our civilization is built on such an unsustainable base that it wouldn’t be so lucky.

    What I mean to say is that I understand the importance of hope for personal and small-scale projects during a decline, but I wonder if there aren’t limits to hope and imagination during such a period.

  129. JMG, Fra’ Lupo, if I may: the question you are discussing has been quite exhaustively investigated and plotted here for many countries, including the USA, and for as many age groups as you want to look at. I don’t mean to derail this post, but since this comment might be excluded on the semi-open post, I thought I would ask here in what respects you disagree from these numbers.

  130. Excellent and insightful piece of writing and I agree with your assessment of the problem but not necessarily the outcome. There are issues that I would like to see you address that are basically incongruent with your optimism. First is the potential for global famine which is great. With the ending of Pax Americana, we are seeing the beginning of a logistical and protective services collapse that will in all likelihood leave countries that can’t grow enough food, assaulting those who can. Second is DARPA, facial recognition, widespread voluntary survalence and the fact that there has never been a dying power that didn’t exert every tool available to them to remain in power. Third, the downfall of the patently absurd notion that anybody (let alone everybody) is “equal” by any metric. The recent enlightenment blueprint for an airplane that simply won’t fly. And finally the abject failure and incompatability of “democracy” and “multiculturalism” to coexist outside of the media and urban settings; pressure cookers that will likely fail (explode?) with any social or economic collapse. In fairness, you did write 2200 which is a long time away.

  131. My daughter just withdrew from a fairly prestigious private college. Her program and professors were/are fabulous people and she still wants to work in the field and will be creating it from scratch now.

    The admin of the college is so swept up in covid playacting they are unreachable. They act as if they are superheroes in a constant battle with villains and there is no end in sight. They must stay vigilant! Only they know how dangerous it is and if you don’t agree with them you must be a villain. It’s all a play with roles assigned. The script is doled out in email messages and developed over endless zoom meetings.

    Everyone playing along is expecting a reward in the end for their performances. They are so used to be being rewarded for their good behavior and obedience to the powers that be. They can not see that not only has much of the audience quietly left for the exits, but those that remain and boo at them or sit silently are mocking them at the same time. There will be no applause for their performances. In fact those running the show will probably just collapse the theater on all these play actors.

  132. Greetings all!
    JMG wrote: That’s sending waves of stark shuddering terror through the managerial aristocracy.

    I watch french and english news channel nearly everyday and Interestingly enough I can’t say they appear terrorised.On the contrary, it seems they are just as cocky, sure of themselves and arrogant as before. Are things a bit different in the US?

  133. I will join you in the journey indeed! You hit hard when you said the future society will most likely have an aesthetic closer to Art Nouveau, because it’s something I felt as well. I’m also trying to explore the possible symmetries between Arabic/Islamic arts and this style, very exciting stuff.

    The narrative of the corporate media is definitely coming apart as the number of people in my country refusing a “third jab” is growing. It’s a bit creepy to observe how the robotic managerial classes look and act almost the same everywhere, and it’s so annoying how entitled, snobbish and aloof they are. It’s a sight I wish to see less in the coming decades.

    What do you suggest in general for dealing with youngsters and old people who are not aware of what’s going on? It’s something I keep worrying about.

    Thanks as always John.

  134. I wanted also to back up with Chris at Fernglade Farm said about the powers that be not being able to manage their way out of paper bag. I worked in corporate america twenty years ago. Doing was rare, talking was the name of the game. Planning, assessing, evaluating, generating ideas. All good. Issuing orders. Also good. Having people do the actual work always elusive.

    I watched as no one seemed able to close any border and quarentine travelers in and out of any area. Realized if this was the big one I’d be dead 8 times over due to government incompetence at what should be an easy task.

    I spent a couple months worried about vax passports and digital ID a la WEF. Then I mapped out what would needed to implement. The time and resource commitment is not something that has been done before. Could it be done half cheeked? Absolutely. The coordination and people capable enough to do the dream requires consistent, actual work and that is elusive. They are likely still trying to decide the exact hex code color set that speaks both power and openness. There have already been ten focus groups, six designers, and 300 hours meetings on the colors to be used. Just joking. Maybe.

    Not mention that any such system requires maintaining said system once it is released. Creation is hard, maintenance even more so. No one likes to be the constant cleaning crew. No glory there.

    The orders to obey will keep coming and I expect them to get louder. This group of people really believe that what they speak becomes reality. To some extent they are right but that pesky physical work keeps getting in the way.

    They will have to decide to use force to get their precious compliance. Maybe they’ve already decided. Force however is real physical work and real physical work takes huge amounts of energy and time. The last huge similar effort was defeated by illiterate people in sandals. Not reading the emails or paying attention to the media and just sticking to one’s personal convictions has power. Real power. Not fake word talking power.

  135. JMG – My current thesis is that the balance between classical ethos, pathos and logos must be restored. This requires a rebooting of the mental and spiritual operating system passed down to us by our ancestors, starting with Plato, mythologized by Christianity and synthesized by Augustine as the Holy Trinity. I believe Augustine’s error was a patriarchal one — the Holy Trinity is not father/son/holy spirit, but rather mother/father/child. This basic error put a shelf life on Christendom. Instead of apotheosizing the Family and tradition, the Protestants have given us something else, something completely unsustainable.

  136. @ Mary Bennett #87

    Re social libertarianism

    I can give it a go, as I consider myself to be a civil libertarian–though very much not an economic one. (Economically, I’d say I’m a nationalist, as I support national self-reliance and self-sufficiency.) By and large, civil libertarianism to me is a rejection of the paternal theory of government, the notion that government is to act in the role of an uber-parent. Essentially, if what you are doing doesn’t infringe on the civil or property rights of another, then what you’re doing is no one’s business, especially the government’s. And while making support programs available is of social value, intrusive intervention is not–it is not the place of the government to save people from themselves.

    The three years that I was on city council, I fought to legalize front yard vegetable gardening (flower gardening, was already allowed). I failed, for the kinds of reasons you might expect. (I did, however, manage to get our urban chicken ordinance expanded to include ducks.)

    To give a snapshot of how my civil libertarianism translates into some present-day issues:

    –Full support of marriage equality. Marriage contracts between consenting adults are no one’s business. (Note that I support plural marriage on the same grounds.)
    –Qualified support for abortion rights. Elective abortion should be permitted to a point, but there exists a threshold at which the fetus attains personhood and possesses certain rights. (The proposed abortion law in New Hampshire I read about recently, which requires medical necessity after 24 weeks, is something I’d support.)
    –Legalization of marijuana and similar substances, which should be regulated like alcohol (e.g. no driving, operating equipment while under the influence).
    –Seatbelt and helmet laws should be discarded.
    –Freedom of speech, association, press, and assembly, even if I don’t care for what is being said or the values of the groups involved. The price of my freedom is the extension of that same freedom to others.

    Finally, I’m a believer in limited government, with greater limits the further one goes from the people. That is to say, the federal government should be the most restricted with the least expansive scope of authority. The primary role of government is to defend civil liberties and property rights, and to adjudicate between citizens when those rights come into conflict.

    Anyway, that’s my take in a nutshell.

  137. @David BTL: “I’m still holding out hope for someone to manage to cross the divide and assemble a populist coalition that draws from groups both traditionally Republican and traditionally Democrat. Such a thing would mark the beginning of the political realignment that’s been waiting in the wings for while now.”

    I feel the same way. I hope some blending of things and triangulation will happen in the Esc-Center.

    Speaking of Third Ways… I just discovered this term at work this morning: Third Stream Music (Third stream: …a type of music which, through improvisation or written composition or both, synthesizes the essential characteristics and techniques of contemporary Western art music and other musical traditions…The term was originally applied to a style in which attempts were made to fuse basic elements of jazz and Western art music–the two mainstreams joining to form a ‘third stream’…Since the late 1950s the application of the term has broadened, notably through the work of pianist Ran Blake, to encompass fusions of classical music with elements drawn not only from African-American sources but also from other vernacular traditions, including Turkish, Greek Hindustani, Russian and Cuban music among others”

    It was a subject heading on this new album, “Absence”, from trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard with The Turtle Island Quartet (love that).

    And since the three leads to the four…

    It’s kind of similar to the late trumpeter Jon Hassell’s notion of “Fourth World Music” which he defines as “a unified primitive/futuristic sound combining features of world ethnic styles with advanced electronic techniques.”

    @CLR & JMG: All I have to say is YES! (Except we’ll have to think of a new name for the style known as “progressive” rock 😉 Maybe it was one of those first flourishing’s or glimpses of things yet to be.

  138. @Sardaukar re: “In one of the junior high schools I attended, we had a Black gang and a Mexican gang and there was at least one racially motivated brawl between Black and Hispanic gang members every week.”

    Now hearing Leonard Bernstein’s score, just update the color of the Jets. Yes, I can very well believe it. Not such a problem in the Southwest, where it would probably still be Hispanic vs Anglos – or even “we’ve been here 400 years” old-time Hispanic families vs “mojados” just up from the Mexican border.

  139. @ JMG – So I looked up the 1957 Asian Flu pandemic, and it looks like more sources put the mortality rate around 0.3%, and the about a 3% rate of complications. Depending on which wave of this pandemic we’re talking about, the mortality/complication rate has been 4 to 10 times higher. Not the Black Plague, for sure, but much worse than the ‘average’ flu season.

    On a related note: our city government circulated a new infectious disease policy in August, which basically said that if you have any Covid-like symptom, you must report it to city medical. Any failure to do so, regardless of a negative test result, or other documented illness, results in a disciplinary hearing where firing is an option. If this wasn’t bad enough, city medical is reporting information given to them when contacting the reporting line, directly to HR. Which has to violate some medical confidentiality law…

    On a further related note: what sorts of displacement activities do we know about in ancient Rome? I was initially thinking the persecution of Christians, but by the time the empire was good and falling apart, Constantine had already recognized the church and converted.

  140. @ Ian re #113

    It’s not much different here in the USA. Living in northern New Hampshire, I found getting services to help with in-house care for my disabled brother took nearly a year and a half. While I finally got assistance which has eased the stress of looking after him, getting him into a nursing home, where he really needs to be for 24/7 care is all but impossible. With staffing shortages and the current panic over the latest virus surge, the prospects of getting him placed are very dim right now. The system seems to be seriously tottering, on the verge of a melt-down. I’m hoping the surge will ease and the hysteria recede enough so I have a prospect of seeing some light
    at the end of the tunnel, but things don’t look too good at this point.

  141. My worry is that the replacement of the current elite will take decades. In my view, the last transition started around 1930 but societal stability was not achieved until 1960. During these 30 years, a lot of unpleasant things happened. Several wars, civil wars, totalitarian regimes, insurrections, massacres, etc.

    The crisis provides opportunities to invent the future. Still, we have to be careful because this opportunity is dangerous, too. We can do a lot of harm. The approach of doing things personally on a small scale is appealing to me (one of the insight coming from JMG).

  142. @Ben (#78)

    I suspect what killed the extra 600,000 or so Americans was simply old age. The ‘baby boom’ generation – those born in the post-war years 1946-1960 are now all in the 60-75 yrs. age group and beginning to experience end-of-life conditions. Since this group represents both a disproportionately large segment of the population and an even disproportionatelier larger segment of the retirement-investment end of the economy, their die-off will affect the economy in a way that will exert an enormous unwanted influence on the comfort level of the PMC. I’m beginning to believe that when the propagandists talk about ‘flattening the curve’ they really mean the predictive curve for age-related mortality. The mRNA-vaccine mandates thus become a politically-perfect solution to this problem: if they work, then life-expectancy for the elderly is extended and the curve flattens forward to a more gradual die-off into the future; if they backfire, then life-expectancy across the board is reduced and the curve flattens backward to a more gradual die-off beginning immediately – and either way, the curve is flattened. Of course it doesn’t even enter the politicians’ minds that this is the same cargo-cult thinking that gave us all that wonderful stagflation in the 1970’s…..

  143. The super popular tv show “Yellowstone” is surprisingly anti progressive. Kevin Costner is a blood and soil rancher under assault by different parties who want his land to bring economic progress to his community. The episodes I watched had Costner attempting to ally with native Americans to protect his land from the local government seizing his land to build an airport to bring in tourists.

  144. John–

    Re progressive temper tantrums, limits of power, and the Senate

    No disagreement on that. However, my concern remains that if institutional legitimacy erodes in a bipartisan manner, which it seems to be doing, it may prove difficult to retain the constitutional framework in the face of the immense pressures yet to come as the US empire come apart. If the forces desiring to alter the status quo can be channeled constructively (e.g. a constitutional convention to consider amendments designed to reign in federal powers), there’s hope for a more peaceable transition. If those forces run rampant, however, I’m concerned about this nation’s future. I’m seeing lots of “smash it and make it into something that gives us power” and not much “how can we reform this so that we are all in each others’ faces less often?”

  145. I knew they’d gunned the money supply, I hadn’t yet looked up by how much.

    What’s weird is that if you look at a close-up view for 2020 and 2021, you’ll see that the M1 money-supply was quadrupled over the course of March, April, May, and June of 2020. That it took a bit less than a year for that to show up as major inflation is a testament to how molasses-like the velocity of money has been since the Great Financial Crash of late 2008.

  146. @JMG: I am looking forward to hearing your vision of the future without a prominent role for experts. I suspect that many who see the irrational obsession with abstractions and “scientific” management follow by failing to see their role in the competition for power as the shiny visions of progress collapse. You are right that in earlier eras (Maybe Rome or Qing dynasty China you are thinking of?) the expert class was more firmly controlled by the military and aristocratic class. But it is different this time. The discoveries that our world is made of protons and electrons interacting via a small number of forces and the discoveries of cells, microbes, DNA, and the mechanisms of neuroscience have forever changed the relationship between power and expertise. Military power in the age of nerve gas, nuclear weapons, bioweapons, and precision munitions is a different thing than it was before. Most of these and some newer developments will not become obsolete in an era without cheap energy. Of course the current version of “high tech” military will become obsolete. But its replacements will still rely on technical expertise. Just more grounded-in-reality expertise.

    Destruction and collapse can happen in many ways, and during collapse expertise may be of limited use. But any society that develops stability will have to have an advantage over its primary competitors in engineering, medicine, and manufacturing and these will be built on expertise, giving the experts substantial power. Likely the next iterations will be very different in the mindset, products, and foibles of the engineering and medical experts. I very much like your focus on the system of relationships, ideas, and mythologies that allow certain groups to develop and maintain power, and I am very interested to understand new possibilities for the elite with power to manage and control the masses and the experts that their power depends on.

  147. Hi
    JMG I was going to write that I think that a lack of a commute and being to able to work from the cottage/poolside is two other pluses of the local managerial classes. Commutes are expensive and ppl are driving crazyer and crazyer.

    But reading Ian (#113) I have to say: I’m not sure if you’re actively trying to online school in Ontario yourself, Ian, but helping my child processing emotions isn’t even an option I’m supposed to be able to give her during “synchronous” learning.

    For the other student’s privacy my wife or I get to wait outside in the hall trying to make a living, which we both thankfully can do online (for now). She has 3h45 mins of ‘synchronous’ learning spread out between 8:30-3PM in 10 different sessions of varying length. The camera is supposed to be on but she is shy so we let her turn it off. As far as the schoolboard is concerned during those 3h45 mins her parents are IT support.

    It’s not a question of being a parent right now … it’s a question of being co-inmates in a mental hospital with your kid and trying to limit the damage this situation is having on them.

    I’m sorry if you feel personally attacked but I found your comment very much blaming parents for being stuck in a very bad situations over which they have no control. I doubt yours had to put up with this kind of shizzle … I guess we’re both displacing …

  148. @ pyrrhus – interesting poll. I remember a few years back, engaging in an online discussion with someone whose riposte to something I said was: “well, would you prefer to live in 1976?” Which made me laugh. Actually I was 16 in 1976, and for me, that was a very, very good year! 😉

  149. “All deaths are being counted as COVID deaths, even motorcycle deaths.” Heard at the beginning of the pandemic. If you know anything about HIPAA, Cause of Death is Protected Health Information (PHI) and it’s protected for 50 years.

    If you can’t get all staff at a medical center to agree to take a COVID vax, how do you get all staff. all 3 shifts, to falsify Cause of Death? and without a whistleblower coming forward.

  150. Ian Duncombe said, “In Ontario a school is a level one mental health care provider but nobody wants to point that out. When they shut down they take away layers of mental health support; structure and daily activity schedules, social milieu, and the social workers nurses and counselors that work for the schools ect.”

    Yup. My mom is a Big Sister, and they access their Little Sisters through their schools, and she was kept away for 6 months last year and pretty frantic, because the girl’s homelife is not good. They shut access again this year, and the Big Sisters/Big Brothers program itself appears to have been suspended.

    Also, for a growing minority of children, school is also the only place they get a meal.

    In my district, we used to have a free breakfrast program run by the PAC for all the children (if it’s open to all, it’s not shameful, right) but they canceled that due to covid because non-staff were not allowed in the school any longer. The food bank sets up outside on Tuesdays to give away all the food that is about to go bad and it’s no longer legal to give out at the food bank itself. It’s brilliant: you’re not taking the food because you can’t afford it, you’re doing the food bank a favour, you’re preventing food waste! So no one is having to obviously single themselves out as poor.

    However, I live in BC, where the vocal parent groups – or rather, those that get interviewed – are still calling for school closures (anecdotally, this is not a widespread opinion). In Ontario, they’re interviewing the parent groups calling for a boycott of online learning. While she makes some very hilarious to me statements about parenting binaries, the important thing is:

    “None of the parents who spoke to CBC Toronto are planning to abandon education altogether. Some will follow their own lessons and schedules, while others say they will spend more time outdoors and focus on physical activity. “

  151. @ Steve (#160) – errr…. If you mean that old people died at disproportionate rates over the last two years, ok. That said, every year for the past couple decades, about 1% of the US population dies every year. Over the last decade, that’s mean about 3 million deaths annual (from all causes). That number was ticking up due to increases in opioid deaths, then jumped by 600k in 2020. I don’t think numbers are our for 2021 yet, but my guess is the number will be similar.
    This means that, over the last two years, almost a million Americans have died, who wouldn’t normally be expected to die. Using the 2020 numbers, that an increase of about 20%, which is a pretty big jump for one year. I’m not attributing every single one of those deaths directly to the virus “of unknown origin” BUT, if the virus didn’t kill them, what did? Is this a new ‘normal’?

  152. Your expression “managerial aristocracy” is so apt and direct: I hope it gains widespread use -so much better than the “elites”or “experts.” The presumption of entitlement and superiority it indicates goes back a ways and is self-justified in part by a meritocratic and exceptionalist ethic.
    A personal example in the medical field goes back to 1980 when my father had cancer. There was an effective treatment developed in Canada by a first-rate team of biomedical researchers and approved there. When speaking to oncologists in the US about it, the response was dismissive because basically it was not an American finding. (From my reading and personal contact, studies in the US were pitifully defective compared to those in Canada.) I have encountered this hubristic attitude repeatedly since.
    I relate your excellent essay and this managerial/professional mentality to what this nasty disease has revealed about the top-down disfunction of our biomedical/academic institutions. I think this is more important than monetary conflicts of interest involving the pharmaceutical industry. Mentalities of those at the top count big-time and are responsible for their ignoring the much more practical and competent input from those below (!) them. ( I think of Richard Feynman’s investigation of the Challenger disaster of 1986 where the (political/economic/careerist?) concerns of the deciders at the top necessitated a separation and disregard of the input of highly competent engineers and mechanics in the organization. Is this phenomenon happening everywhere in the society now?)
    There is a new book by Michael Lewis, “The Premonition” which engagingly shows this situation at a personal level. In it Charity Dean’s analogy of “plastic flowers” is beautifully explained.

  153. @Oregon Bob

    You’ve hit it on the head, that’s the exact sequence of events. I don’t think the losing side with accept the results of the 2024 election, and I fear it will get rather ugly.

    RE: COVID….

    I have struggled in my mind to understand the vaccination mania. I think in different arenas it is a combo of fear, greed, and yes, the intent to cull. I don’t want to believe the last one, but the level of propaganda is too high. Also another supporting data point on this: The vaccines that teach your body to make the spike protein (Pfizer/Moderna/J&J) have saturated the West, and several new old style protein subunit vaccines are being hailed as a way to provide protection to poorer countries… almost as if the West is being targeted with the aforementioned vaccines intentionally. Novavax, which is the closest of these subunit vaccines to FDA approval, was told by the FDA to work with a Fuji manufacturing facility in Texas that had to take a long time to resolve issues in their plant, forcing Novavax to delay it’s FDA application by months… but of course it is already approved in other countries, and even recognized by the WHO. Things that make you go “HMMM”.
    I love how they tell you to “ask your doctor” but everyone knows d**n well that medical professionals can’t say anything negative or even discouraging about the vaccine or else they risk losing their job or license. They HAVE to recommend you get it. I can’t wait for a medical professional to try to convince me to get the vaccine. I am looking forward to having this talk!
    We in the West are being told “you will take the RNA jab or else”. Funny thing is, in May 2021, I seriously considered getting the vaccine. But I was in a clinical trial at the time and I decided to wait for results before making the decision. Well at this point with all the mandates and pressure, I’m not doing it. If you are going to put the screws to me, you know what you can do with yourself. It’s a trait I picked up from my wife!
    If this vaccine is, down the line, found to be harming a lot of people, killing a lot of people, that’s going to result in a lot more denial of science – science and medicine will be discredited for a generation. Science plus politics always equals politics.

    People I know who experienced reactions:
    My wife’s grandfather (J&J) – Afib
    My mom’s best friend (Moderna) – Afib
    My friend (Moderna) – Vertigo
    My friend’s daughter (Pfizer) – Lymph node enlargement (tumor size, and painful)
    Another family member (Pfizer) – Tremors

    And everyone is supposed to get boosters of this “stuff” every 6-9 months, now? D**N!!!
    And I’m a bad person because I don’t want it? Hmph.

    Of course it’s all coincidence, riiiiiiight??? VAERS reports are unsubstantiated, and will remain so, because TPTB have no incentive to investigate. Plausible deniability that they can use to accuse those of us paying attention that we are science deniers and anti-vaxxers. Remember, when Science says “there is no evidence” or something “is not backed by evidence” it does not always mean there is evidence against- many if not most times it means there is no evidence period, and scientists haven’t really looked. So your position that scientists are saying “there is no evidence for” is not really discredited. But of course you aren’t allowed to defend yourself with plausibility, because you aren’t a scientist.

    Never mind the vaccine is not really a vaccine it is a prophylactic treatment. And the great thing is, our “betters” at the CDC and Dr. Fauci, have admitted as much. This completely cuts the rug from under most pro-mandate arguments. Can variants arise in a vaccinated person? Yes. Can a vaccinated person get the disease? Yes. Can a vaccinated person spread the disease? Yes. But the argument is “they are less likely”. So? “Less likely” doesn’t end a pandemic, and the “vaccine” is being pushed mostly as a way to end the pandemic. You are supposed to get the vaccine because you “care about your community” or some other guilt-tripping b******t.

    Meanwhile almost TWO YEARS into the pandemic the FDA is JUST NOW getting around to approving treatments outside of monoclonal antibodies. Even with the monoclonal antibodies, nobody tells you about them. The standard procedure is, the doctor tells you that you are positive for COVID, go home and isolate. No treatment. WTH kind of medicine is that? And it gets worse. The mAb treatment has to be given within the first 5 days. If you are smart, you will find a free local county testing site so you can get your results quickly, then find a clinic who is offering mAb (again, for free) and set it up yourself. Otherwise you wait to talk to your doctor who refers you for your test and by the time you get the test and results and get referred to a mAb clinic you are past the window for mAb.
    Oh and it gets worse. If you actually have COVID and need care? Your primary doctor won’t let you in the door. Urgent care won’t see you either. Your only recourse is the ER where they stick you a quarantine room and take x-rays through the window in the door even if your complaint is mild. I know all this from experience with my family.

  154. It’s hilarious this article is called “Tomorrowland”

    Europe’s Tomorrowland is its biggest public rave festival in Belgium, as I mentioned somewhere before.
    It boasts giant stages made up of electronic robots, faces that move and lots of fire shows in front.
    Also acrobats and artisans, lots of technological light shows and intox of every kind

    It tributes to the belief in progress, though intercepted sometimes by kinds of manifestos, where the guy on stage plays a sample that proclaims things like:
    “Our lives are dreary and empty, therefore we immerse ourselves in drugs and electronic mass distraction.”
    Not kidding, that was said pretty literally some years ago, I don’t remember exactly where to find this part on youtube though.

    My personal current reception of the nets with its most ubiquitous anonymous meeting places like 9gag is that more and more people also start
    assume the other way, in proclaiming deprogress. Best example: A picture of that new space telescope is posted in comparison with the enlightenment
    age telescope. “Only 400 years in between! Imagine what the next 400 years will be!” – One comment below it with quite a few thumbs up is a picture of
    a ruined city with shells of former skyscraper structures. Good artwork too. “…exhausting resources” somebody contributes as an answer to someone
    asking below why that is an imagination of a possible future?

    Other parts of the net like telepolis(tech online magazine with a political section) still kind of hang in with progress, though crawing and ranting about
    how everything isn’t going well and what is defunct with our energy systems.

    Probably arguing about solutions that don’t exist furthers partly hilarious disagreements on the imaginary solutions.

    The book “After progress” and the analysis of the religion of progress since the Archdruid report are also spot on because I hear the exact wording and
    central premises of belief from actual people, also recently.

    “Progress is strong in this one!”

    I am also fascinated to see that Austria is literally last place of gas storage fillment percentage in the EU as can be seen here:
    https://agsi.gie.eu/
    You can also look at the charts of storage indicators for all the various EU countries.

    Got to say, amazing. Through december Austrias gas storage was at the level where it was on average by end of April and beginning of May, the usual time of lowest storage in the yearly cycle, during the last decade.
    Haven’t looked for the other countries, but that timeline for Austria is quite interesting.

    Though it doesn’t solely go down, seems there are some injections sometimes.

    Germany’s “green” foreign minister blocks the Nordstream pipeline, probably a transatlantic affair in all. I wouldn’t be surprised if the US strategically
    doesn’t care to let Europe go bust slowly, and with increasing inner turbulence and crumbling in the US as well as a steep diminishing decline curve for the use
    of ever more complex technology, it might opt for a controlled demolition of Europe, not before grabbing whats valuable in patents, but mostly in
    Experts.

    Another thing I feel is kind of denied in the catechisms of progress is the value of experience over theoretical text book knowledge.
    A veteran stats mathematician in the pharmaceutical industry told me how they threw out the old in one company thinking that freshmen or women
    from Uni would perform the same for less, but that didn’t turn out well. logic isn’t applicable to reality without premise;
    And premise seems to be the internalized, in many parts un-linguable and wordless knowledge and skill, which is denied.

    Because it involves “feeling” and “intuition”….Manfred Spitzer, a clinical psychiatrist who heavily criticizes digital devices for children and in school and its effects,
    argues that good mathematicians for an example start out by loving to play with actual pieces of something, combining, recombining…

    My cautios assessment of the corona effects and what it is what what I would entrust is: the disease seems to be serious enough to disturb a modern industrial urbanized system.
    It compromises the health of the old much more than the young, for sure, and popular health is pretty compromised to begin with there as well.
    Unlike the flu, it leaves permanend tissue damage in the lungs, but also irritates the kidneys and prevents hormones from flowing freely, with many other options.
    Very complex patterns of effect it seems.

    The official data on corona and the vaccines…difficult topic. I have heard many interesting arguments in either direction. Many people though lack analytical and mathematical
    training to interpret the simples findings in offical publication, whether they be founded on good premise or not.

    This planet’s industrial populaces are old and specialized; No doubt vulnerable, and so is the system with them. No wonder nobody cares about corona in Congo, why
    the hell would they. They are mostly healthy or dead anyways.
    One farmer’s death from various sources where corona plays a sub-subordinate role in all is easily replaced with another living and healthy.

    I am amazed at the great rift the vaccination topic in particular is rolling and thundering in my society, and have found that even if you personally don’t care either
    way, you will easily be taken by its tide.

    The picture of a healthy future above in the article is marvellous. It looks like a studio Ghibli snapshot. Great reverence of Nature in these anime movies.
    The creators of Zelda and Pokemon, by the way, were inspired by a healthy youth with forests and thriving ecosystems, and from their curiosity and exploration.

    Creating a surrogate for everyone when it vaned; The human sense of wonder must go somewhere, and it goes into imaginary worlds shared nowadays, to a bigger
    than healthy part.

    I myself wll contiue riding this stuttering big machine as it stumbles on, mostly because it pays for my spiritual exercises and grants me to the care of my loved ones,
    for this time being.

    I wish a good year to the esteement commentariat of this blog, live in good senses and prosper!

  155. Having a brain injury and thinking like a squirrel have always me a pain in the rear to those who “know.” I remember after asking questions, I was told I read too many books. I wanted to understand what was being said, except I couldn’t get all of the hidden assumptions being made. I wanted them stated out in the open. Ha!

    Right now, I am seeking antidotes to the Jan. 6 “insurrection” stuff, so I came here to read. Actually, putting that reporting on the anniversary of the riot (it was a riot) in context with this made me realize that no one is grounded in reality anymore.

    I was reading Byron York’s Daily Memo at the Washington Examiner for today (Jan. 6.)
    He writes:

    THE JAN. 6 VOTES. It’s not unusual to hear Democrats and their allies in the press say the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters came perilously close to overthrowing the U.S. government. On that day, American democracy was “hanging by a thread,” according to CNN’s Don Lemon, who was echoing sentiments heard elsewhere around the media.

    Here’s the truth. The Capitol riot was an appalling and shameful event for which hundreds of participants — over 700 so far — are facing criminal charges. But it did not come close to bringing down American democracy. One big reason is that so many Republican members of Congress refused to go along with then-President Donald Trump’s effort to challenge Electoral College results.
    …..
    Some Republicans felt they stood on a precedent already established by Democrats. After all, some House Democrats objected to the certification of Electoral College results in the last three presidential elections won by Republicans. In 2001, after George W. Bush had won the Florida recount, some House Democrats tried to halt the electoral vote counting. Democrats did it again in 2005, after Bush won reelection. And in 2017, after Trump’s election, a number of Democrats objected to certification. (In fact, one of the members of today’s Jan. 6 committee, Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, was one of those who objected to certification in 2017.)
    ….
    The big picture: Challenges to Electoral College results, provided they have some support in both House and Senate, have to be voted on. That is what happened on Jan. 6, 2021. The votes in House and Senate were strongly against the Trump challenges. Those votes included all Democrats and large numbers of Republicans. Democracy was not hanging by a thread. It was, instead, working.
    ———–
    I think the points he makes are the same ones that are being made here. The people in power are hanging on by their fingernails, and are engaging in fantasies to convince everyone else, how things are. Meanwhile, they are doing all they can to put a stake in the heart of Donald Trump.

    Problem is that they are locking the barn door after the horse has escaped. Riots are the language of unheard people. Those people at the Capitol have not been listened to but instead dismissed out of hand as evil spawns and minions of the Great Satan Trump.

    They just don’t see the earthquake that is rumbling under their feet.

  156. My brother in law spent 108 days in hospital, including more than six weeks in a coma, from April to July 2020. JMG, I have been reading you for years, and I’m distraught to see you following James Kunstler to the land of woo.
    Yes, Omicron is a lot milder, or seems to be. But it’s also hellishly contagious, so when the caseload goes up by a factor of ten, even if it’s five times less severe, you end up with a surge. And that’s why ICU numbers are spiking. Our health care system in Ontario Canada was sabotaged before covid and nurses have been rewarded for two years of balls-to-the-wall…with a paycut. And yes, there have been medical workers fired for choosing not to believe in medicine. That’s only right, proper and fitting.
    Do we just open up everything and let the virus take the people who have chosen not to care about anyone but themselves at this point? Is that what people want? Our approach in Canada has resulted in one sixth the death rate, per capita, of the United States. I can hardly see how this can be spun into some kind of evil conspiracy.

  157. @pyrhhus: I would probably pick the seventies minus the bad hair, tacky fashions, and lack of proper nether-area grooming. Or maybe the eighties minus the war on cannabis. I kind of liked having automatic teller machines that didn’t soak you for withdrawing cash from them if the unit wasn’t furnished by the bank where you have your checking account!

  158. Just an update from one corner of the US’s progressive bubbles: While everyone is still masking up in stores, and preschools are asking for negative tests before returning from winter break, the consensus seems to be with omicron to let-‘er-rip. Schools are shortening isolation times for covid cases and saying they won’t quarantine classrooms anymore, teachers and medical staff are being told to come to work even with exposure or symptoms, and the public health department is loosening up guidance and abandoning contact tracing amid a skyrocketing case count. Only the university has gone back to virtual classes, and that is only for a short time. Among my progressive friends, no one is eager to catch it, but everyone seems to be assuming that we’re all likely to get it sometime soon and wouldn’t it be nice if this was the end of it all.

    So while the media and twitterverse may sound panicked, the reality on the ground in this part of blueville is less dramatic.

  159. Austria. It’s getting more and more clear that vaccine mandates won’t be coming as announced. Even on state television, every expert interview contains a cautious question in the style of: “What would happen if we just let this wave pass through without any further measures?” Although no expert has answered “Yes, let’s do that” up to now, it’s being brought into public perception.

  160. @team10tim: Thanks for setting me straight about the m1, which is now a lot closer to the m2 measurement due to the change in definition. That did seem like a horrendous excess of money-printing, and as my subsequent comment indicates, I concluded that the only reason it didn’t utterly destroy the US$ was on account of the very slow velocity of money since 2009.

  161. @Augusto I actually just read about the indigenous tribes of the Sierra Nevada in Colombia and it is fascinating. Be sure to read The Wayfinders by Wade Davis if you haven’t already where they are discussed.

  162. Micheal Gray, if the land is rebounding after the last glaciation (orthostatic rebound), then how is New York sinking? I know some of the east coast is sinking, but it doesn’t make sense that the reason the land is sinking is that it is rising.

  163. @Stacy,
    agreed that the video was sad and funny. I think the hyperport is people getting so carried away by futuristic ‘ooh shiny!’ that they forget to ask if an idea would work, or if it is any better than what they already have.

  164. Really weird the large number of people saying that Covid is a horrible disease…

    Here are the survival rates by age:
    https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/image-5.jpeg

    You can find the same information in official govt documents, just not so easy to parse.

    In short, if you are less than 60 years old, your chance of dying of Covid is <.5%. A split by number of comorbidities will be even more extreme since most people dying "of" Covid(?) have about 3 comorbidities.

    JMG, you are right – all the scaremongering just proves your point.

  165. Hi John and friends,

    Interesting discussion. From a Russian perspective based on class, it is a very different story. When in the 19th century the industrial-capitalist class took over in Western countries (leading to the birth of the middle class) Russia was a Tsardom split between the feudal serfs and Tsars. The average Confederate farmer had a better quality of life compared to a Russian serf for example.

    Yet this split between elite and serfs never truly ended. With the Communist Revolution, it merely established a red Tsarist system with the workers underneath. That said, it wasn’t as bad since average folks could become members of the party and work themselves into more better positions (as is the case with Khruschev, Brezhnev, etc).

    But it wasn’t without faults as you ended up with idiots with power. There were plenty of cases of ordinary factory workers making it into positions of department head of something or mayor of a city and not having a clue on how to do the job, leading to massive efficiency problems. Chernobyl itself supposedly had such idiots in charge that led to poorly planned recovery efforts that led to the deaths of many and the eventual downfall of the USSR.

    It reminds me a lot of the modern day West and its insane PC/Equality culture. Putting in idiots with no real skills just to tick a box. I saw this quite evidently in my own native Britain where the quality of public services started to decline with each passing year. When it becomes really pronounced that the system isn’t working and too many mistakes are being made, that is when people stop believing in it.

    Now fast forward to modern Russia – it is part of the same old Tsarist system. No real middle class, the elite and the plebs. Plenty of corruption. But it seems everyone knows how to do their jobs properly this time around…

    The problem here though is the anti-Putin voices come from a class of people that want to be truly middle class and dominate the system. That class is the IT class. 99% of IT workers in Russia do not like the current system and want changes.

    Fair enough but what do they offer? The Monofuture! I remember seeing the leaflets of a new political party (no idea if it is Kremlin backed or not) called “New People”. Their leaflets? “End corruption, invest money into education and technology and a monofuture awaits!”. No talks about peak oil or resource decline. Just that once Putin goes, it will be magical rainbows filled with honey pots of technology that turns us all into a prosperous middle class!

    Everytime I see and hear these people, I just want to get “The Long Descent” translated into Russian and stick it in their hands, see what they have to say!

    Its interesting though because when you debate these people – they have nothing useful to say! Just that, “well this economist said if we open the markets more…” or “we just have to invest more money into technology!” or “we have lots of resources in Siberia that will make us rich! Putin is not mining deep enough!”. Challenge them even further and they go quiet, run out of things to say and leave quietly and politely (without of course believing a word that has been said)

    Yeah, we desperately need the Long Descent over here so people can actually develop a more realistic and honest economical system rather then “keep digging lads and the magical prosperity of the glorious monofuture awaits!”

    At this rate Johm, I feel you are going to end up the equivalent of the Karl Marx of the 21st century!

  166. Pygmycory, I find the libertarian mainstream uninteresting because so much of it wants to take power away from governments and hand it over to corporations. Yes, the issue with social safety nets is also important!

    Michael, I’d add a few things to the list, but basically, yes. We’ve been through an era in which “quick and shoddy” was the watchword, and now it’s time to get real again. As for New York, I turn 60 this year and I won’t be surprised at all if, in my remaining lifetime, I get to see it abandoned except for squatters and crews cutting down skyscrapers for the scrap iron.

    Roger, well, of course — they can’t just ‘fess up all at once to the fact that the policies enthusiastically pushed by the economic experts, who insisted that they would lead to prosperity for all, drove tens of millions into poverty and misery and wrecked the US economy.

    Martin, we’re in the kind of liminal situation where predictions is all but impossible. The smallest spark in the wrong place could set off massive social explosions — or we could blunder through without anything of the kind.

    Augusto, there’s a lot to be learned about this continent’s prehistory that nobody wants to talk about. Did you know that about a quarter of Native American genetic lines share a set of features that are only found otherwise in Europe — and those features got into the Native genetic pool long before Columbus? It’s worth looking into…

    Cliff, I wonder if the Colorado chapter has been bucking the official, corporate-controlled party line from the national organization. The Sierra Club has been a zombie organization for decades now, admittedly.

    Stellarwind72, this may be anecdotal, but none of the people I know who have left the big cities are going to the suburbs. They’re either going to smaller cities in red states, or they’re moving to the countryside.

    Clay, might as well cash in on the idiots while you can!

    Ecosophian, I ain’t arguing.

    Team10tim, that’s always the challenge with a revolution, of course. That’s one of the reasons I hope we can keep things from actually going kinetic, and maintain the Constitution and the rule of law through the inevitable transition.

    Emmanuel, I think you’re probably right about the future — though I hope it has less of the dreary Marxist rhetoric.

    Treefrog, interesting. Certainly distrust of the government is a wise move under any conditions. I’m a little startled, though — what we’ve heard here in the US is that the Australian state governments have by and large engaged in extreme Covid panic, imposing sweeping shutdowns and the like. Is that not the case where you are?

    Stuart, I’m glad to hear that. Here in the US, it’s standard practice for the pharmaceutical industry to pay kickbacks to doctors for prescribing profitable drugs, so I doubt anyone thinks twice about the bounty on Covid deaths.

    CR, and yet for most people it’s not anything like as bad as the measles. My wife and I both had Covid in April of last year, and I’ve had colds that were worse. I know plenty of other people who’ve had similar experiences. Yes, there are some people who get bad cases, but most of those are precisely those who have a hard time with the flu — the elderly and those with other health conditions.

    Anonymous, thanks for this. I’ll save this for the next person who insists that scientists are always eager to explore the unknown…

    Owain, fascinating — thanks for this. As for Prince Madoc, that’s another good point; as I recall, there have been doubts cast on the story in recent years, but we do have a remarkably medieval-looking ruin in Newport, RI, the origins of which remain uncertain…

    Sébastien, many thanks for the news from France! As for the board game, I’m glad to hear it. I never really worked out the rest of the background, so by all means feel free to make stuff up. 😉

    Mark, those are important questions. I don’t think a noocracy is possible, for the same reason I don’t think you’re ever going to see a society of any size where cooperation predominates over competition. As Plato put it in his Cave metaphor, the majority will always keep staring at the shadows on the wall, and those few who’ve been outside to see the sun, since their eyes are adapted to daylight, are less capable at the shadow-games that matter to the cave dwellers, and so can reliably be outmaneuvered and marginalized — as of course Plato himself was! The replacement of capitalism with managerial corporatism didn’t alter that, and the next transition won’t change that, either — but I’ll get to this in upcoming posts.

    Yvone, plenty of people died during the 1958 and 1967 flu pandemics, too. One of the reasons we’re in the current mess is that so many people seem to be unable to think of anything between “no problem at all” and “OMG, we’re all going to die!”

    CS2, one of the things people who don’t live in the US often don’t know is that a lot of our population is very concentrated. Did you know, for example, that half the US population lives within a hundred miles of the Atlantic Ocean? Trams would be extremely effective transport for a good two-thirds or so of Americans, which would make it much more functional over the long term for those in rural areas to have the individual transport arrangements they need.

    Aldarion, dark ages are complex things. When conditions across much of Europe were bottoming out in the post-Roman dark ages, there were thriving cities along the Mediterranean shores that maintained a much higher level of literacy and social complexity, and you could go to school and learn Greek in Ireland. I’m not saying that conditions everywhere will resemble the image I posted. I’m suggesting that in some places, that’ll be an option — and, as I’ve discussed elsewhere, there are a lot of things that can be done now that can raise the floor under the coming dark age. We’ll talk more about that in upcoming posts.

    Derrick, that is to say, we have a lot of rough territory to get through between now and 2200. I’m not disputing that. Obviously ideologies will change as circumstances change, famines and other causes of mass death will happen, and various technological gimmicks will continue to be floated as long as the energy and resource base permits — though I’ve noticed very few people seem to consider the possibility that the technologies you’ve mentioned may turn out to be much less effective than their sales flacks claim! There will be wars in the decades ahead, some of them with very high body counts. The population of the world is already peaking and will begin to decline shortly, and most people seem to have no idea just how far it will drop (hint: the usual figures for a civilization in decline bottom out at 5-10% of peak population). Nations, cultures, religions, and technologies that seem solidly fixed in place today will go out of existence, some of them with a bang, some with a whimper. That’s history as usual — and it doesn’t prevent there from being cities in 2200 where most of the population has relatively decent access to necessities and certain conveniences as well.

    Denis, good for your daughter. The academic industry will only come to its senses when too many people walk out the door.

    Karim, maybe so. I don’t watch any TV at all, so I can only judge by what I read.

    Aziz, classical Arabic art is gorgeous in the extreme, and I could definitely see a fusion between the Art Nouveau sensibility and, say, the way that the Arabic alphabet is used as a source of artistic motifs. I’m sorry to say I don’t have any suggestions for communicating to the very young and very old. Anyone else?

    Phil K, thanks for this.

    Fattigman, well, keep in mind the classical system had its own fatal flaws, which is why Christianity took over in the first place. I’d like to see a revived Platonism play a role in the emergence of new ways of encountering the world, but that depends on the Platonists getting a move on…

    Ben, I never said that Covid in general was equal to the average flu season. I compared it to a couple of flu pandemics that had pretty fair death tolls. The Omicron variant, in terms of its actual toll in deaths and serious illness, seems to be closer to ordinary flu, but we’ll have to see how it stacks up by the time the season’s over. In terms of Roman displacement activities, once the Christians were no longer being persecuted, they turned around and started persecuting others — their own heretics, of course, and also the remaining Pagan population. So there were plenty of pogroms. Look up what happened to Hypatia sometime…

    Sleiszadam, I ain’t arguing.

    Dashui, interesting. Thanks for this.

    David BTL, I know. The collapse of constitutional government and its replacement by something less balanced is one of the possibilities that has to be kept in mind.

    Mike, that’s one way to look at it, certainly.

    Mister N, weird indeed.

    Ganv, nah, you’re missing the point. A society can have plenty of experts without handing them the keys and letting them drive things. As we’ve now seen, the experts are incompetent at managing public affairs, so the successful societies of the future will keep them in an advisory capacity, hiring and firing them as needed, balance their advice against more realistic and less abstract considerations, and tell them to shut up when they have one of their regular attacks of clueless arrogance.

    Stuart, I assume you’re addressing Ian here rather than me; otherwise, color me baffled.

    Jenxyz, you simply hand down a regulation that every death of anyone who has Covid is to be marked down as a Covid death. The nurses and other staff members, as they scramble to deal with their absurdly high workloads, follow the directive along with dozens of other nonsensical rules from the bosses. That’s everyday life in an American workplace!

    Jack, I hope it catches on, too. The clueless arrogance of the managerial class, and its serene indifference to the human cost of policies it’s embraced on abstract grounds (heavily laced with an eye to the personal advantage of its members), rank it as a typical failed aristocracy — you know, the kind that ends up in a tumbril on the way to the guillotine in due time.

    Curt, I didn’t know about the rave festival! Thanks for this and all the other data points.

    Neptunesdolphins, the whole January 6 business is bleakly funny to me. Here are all these people who were loudly praising rioting as a normal, healthy form of political expression when their side was burning down buildings and trashing neighborhoods. Then the other side took them at their word, and a year later they’re still whining about it…

    Kenneth, “following Jim Kunstler into the land of woo”??? Clearly, no, you haven’t been reading me for years, or you wouldn’t have said something so silly. What part of “Druid” don’t you understand?

    Another Steve, fascinating. I’m glad to hear it.

    Njura, fascinating. I hadn’t heard that yet; it strikes me as very good news.

    NomadicBeer, I know. That’s why I’m putting the scaremongers and concern trolls through, instead of simply rolling my eyes and deleting them.

    Ksim, dear gods, I hope not. Karl Marx was responsible for a fantastic amount of needless human suffering because, as a typically clueless intellectual, he made the mistake of confusing his abstract brain farts with a viable model for an economy.

  167. Dear Mr. Greer,

    Thank you for yet another cogent and insightful post!

    However, regarding the potential future and expansion of the power of our apparent managerial “elite”, and of freedom in general, I do have to take issue with your assumption that in an era of declining prosperity, totalitarianism is doomed to decline if not fail as well. A number of past and current examples of totalitarian regimes would seem to refute that assumption.

    Today, for example, North Korea is by almost any measure one of, if not the most, materially impoverished nation in the world, having also lived through at least one period of starvation that lead to a significant fraction of its population dying as a result. Yet throughout the past 75 years, the ruthlessly totalitarian regime has maintained its grip on power, with no signs that its power is slipping.

    Similarly, China in 1949 was a nation not only as poor as North Korea today (if not more so), but quite possibly in the poorest state it had been in its 3000+ year history. That did not stop Mao from instituting a brutal and all-encompassing political regime, even during a period of (self-induced) starvation that led to the deaths of tens of millions of their own people.

    Likewise, Cambodia in 1975 was on the very low end of prosperity by contemporary and current world standards, yet it also suffered from a even worse totalitarian regime than did China that bordered if not crossed the line into sheer insanity, resulting in the death of maybe 25% of the country’s population in just a handful of years.

    So, given just these few examples, I am curious what leads you to presume that rigidly statist and/or totalitarian regimes would fare badly in a world of declining resources? My own assumption runs to the opposite conclusion, in fact: that in such a world, the desperation of leaders to hold onto their power, and the desperation of populations to have their leaders “fix” their insolvable problems and shortages, will likely lead to much MORE totalitarianism, rather than less.

  168. Ben

    It isn’t a new normal at all: it’s the old normal with a pack of lies being told about it. Those ‘excess deaths’ weren’t from a novel coronavirus or any other kind of apocalyptic plague but from ordinary people who lived ordinary lives dying in ordinary ways: heart disease, lung disease, cancer, stumbling on the stairs, etc., etc. – there were just more deaths this past couple of years because there have been more old people this past couple of years. The situation is entirely temporary because its cause is the sheer numbers of ‘baby boomer’ kids who are now at the age when these ordinary things ordinarily cause death.

    Follow their history:
    1950’s: massive wave of births; ‘Mom & apple pie’ characterizes western society
    1960’s: baby-boomers in grade school; schools overcrowded & chronically understaffed
    1970’s: baby-boomers finish school & go get a job; rampant unemployment begins
    1980’s: baby-boomers buy their first house; housing costs and mortgage rates reach record highs
    2008: baby-boomers start cashing in their retirement savings; stock market sees worst slump since 1929
    2021: baby-boomers start reaching end of life expectancy; HOLY SMOKE! WHY IS EVERYONE DYING??

    See the pattern?

  169. Hello JMG,

    I have thought and identified three candidates that may rise to replace the managerial elite: 1*growing mid-size financial companies such as those involved in shadow-banking, private lending and fintech 2* private military companies 3* emerging countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Eastern European countries, Asian countries such as China, Malaysia, India.

    They may rise to power thanks to their growing economic activity and their influence on governments and legislators.

    Do you have comments on this list?

  170. I just want to say that I have been reading your blog since 1972, and I am appalled at your repeated claim that no one has ever died of COVID. (For the record, I personally know over a dozen people who died from it in the same bus crash, including myself.)

    I expect next you’ll be telling me that homeopathy isn’t bunk.

    To think I used to respect you.

  171. Hi Treefrog and John Michael,

    Dude, it’s like you are writing about another country. What I’ve observed is that Australia is a Federation of states, and they’re all freaking out differently. But what has become rather obvious is that the left leaning states (i.e. Victoria where I am and which had the longest waste of time lock downs of anywhere on the planet) appear to be having the biggest freak out of the lot. And I’m guessing that you are comfortably in Queensland?

    As for lock downs being old news. Wasn’t the Northern Territory just chucked into a snap lock down in the past few days?

    And you’d have to live under a rock to have missed that Victoria had more restrictions slapped on at midnight last night? Those restrictions on the number of tables in hospitality venues puts severe financial strain on those businesses and puts staff out of work. I can assure you that those people are looking at the more politically right leaning responses and thinking to themselves: I’ll support that.

    As to hospitality workers, you need to get out more and possibly work some shifts at such a business yourself before commenting. They do it super hard and those shifts are generally eight hours. And it is a rare business nowadays at such level that can afford to not have the owner working in it alongside the staff.

    It is rare nowadays that comments hit a raw nerve, but yours was so far from the gritty reality of having to accommodate the crazies and their foolish responses.

    Cheers

    Chris

  172. One of the things that still deeply perplexes me is the utterly masochistic nature of these displacement activities. It’s true that the managerial class is making external demands of the rest of us, but they are also inflicting this absurd suffering upon THEMSELVES, and I cannot for the life of me wrap my mind around this behavior. It seems very like an upper class parent’s spoiled emo teenager cutting their arm with razor blades in order to — I don’t know what. Is it to somehow “atone” for their unearned privilege? To feel something other than the soul-sucking ennui of modern life? What else could compel someone to enthusiastically wear a muzzle (even when completely alone) and ejaculate an unknown synthetic substance into their veins with a flesh-piercing needle every time an authority figure tells them to?

    I could be wrong, but I don’t believe this is simply a matter of conformity and peer pressure. Of course, for some people it is, and they only do the bare minimum to comply, but for the virtue-signalers who go above and beyond to inflict self-harm upon themselves (wearing three masks alone, et cetera), there is something more at work. I can understand Oppression Olympics when they are merely a mental exercise, but not where there is a tangible aspect of physical pain and discomfort. I wonder: are there any other animals whose displacement activities include such wild acts of self-harm? Because aside from maybe dogs biting their own tails, this seems unique to our species.

  173. Thought-provoking text today – and very interesting discussions, on so many different levels. Thanks to everybody!

    I wonder why this text in particular was ruffling so many feathers, though? It‘s not like you stated some new opinion or some such thing here. Controversial, yes, but very much in line with your earlier writings, at least as far as I remember. So why is this one getting such heated replies?

    (This is a genuine question, btw, I‘m not trolling. I‘d love to hear from the people who weren‘t happy with JMG‘s statements about corona, why this text in particular rubbed them the wrong way, where the previous ones didn‘t.)

    And about the upcoming texts: I, too, would like to read and discuss more about „where do we want to go – and how do we get from here to there?“, both in your texts, JMG, and also from everybody else in the comments.

  174. Your starting point for the managerial take over from the capitalist is 1933, could the exact moment have been when FDR confiscated gold in the banking crises? From that point on those that are closest to the source of new dollars would wield a greater share of power over those who held on to a once-precious currency.

    If the capitalist era ended because the boom-bust cycle lead to a deflationary debacle then I’m guessing the managerial-era ends with hyperinflation as government spending and financial bailouts eventually squeezes the productive economy out of existence.

    Would you agree with me that Wall Street is now really the Potemkin Village of the Fed?

  175. Love the image. It’s nice to see that by 2200 my once-lovely city of San Francisco will once again be fit for human habitation, perhaps even by poets and musicians and not just overpaid technocrats. This could be a 23rd-century ad for Rice-a-Roni.

    I’ll give some thought to making images of how the future might look – a possible and desirable future, I mean.

  176. JMG, good Lord, I didn’t know that. I really can’t believe how much of what passes as education in school is actually indoctrination. Did you sneak a red pill into your magical training textbooks? Because ever since, I can see the fnords. The real challenge for me is to remain silent as to not disturb the mob, I need to learn how to channel that into productive output instead of acting like the madman from the Nietzsche quote you shared. I guess being a trained engineer realizing there was no God there, it is understandable for while…

    I am really interested in the true history and potentials of our continent in harmony with what has come from Europe. I wonder if the wise people and wizards from Europe saw this whole cascading mess, or the repeated cascading messes that have struck Europe for the past centuries coming and decided to take for a New World and settle there… and then they were followed. It seems to be that the whole continent focused their spirituality in Nature in one way or another and whenever I ask, I get desperate responses for help. I am debating whether to get a master’s degree next year in the computational applications in anthropology and archeology. I’ve heard, per your recommendation of a book that talks about a chapel being discovered through psychic means, if I can develop and put to use mine to unearthen and restore some of that while the tools are available and put myself to service that way or something like that. I stand by the Szukalksi sculpture I shared a while ago, of the blueprints of the American engineer being blessed by a Mayan or similar priest. He was a madman and I hope he was peaking into the future, you see, being Mexican working in the U.S compels me to see that symbol come true.

    In a related note, the Fire Nation, from the children’s cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender” was well portrayed. They tell a different story from reality that justifies their atrocious behavior towards the other nations as they tear the planet apart with their machines and stumping armies… That is a good metaphor for Industrial Societies.

    Here is an image from the sequel of the cartoon demonstrating what happened to Republic City once the “spirit portals” were left open to flow into the material world once again… https://avatar.fandom.com/wiki/Republic_City?file=Overgrown_City_Hall.png

    and another:
    https://avatar.fandom.com/wiki/Republic_City?file=Republic_City_portal.png

    Kwo, Thank you so much for this! I’ll take that synchronicity as a confirmation that I am on the right path. The Farfarers and The Wayfinders have been duly scheduled to be finished and studied by mid February. Life is finally getting interesting once again!

  177. @Kenneth:

    Do we just open up everything and let the virus take the people who have chosen not to care about anyone but themselves at this point? Is that what people want?

    To be clear, it would be at most 3% of the people who have chosen not to care about anyone but themselves. And lots of those would likely be on the verge of death anyway. So sure, sounds good to me – but then I’ve already had it.

  178. Ganv, JMG and all,

    The separation of state and science, given that it has become a religion, should happen as a protection to the Science! And to prohibit it’s abuse to tear down society in the same way the debased end Christianity did.

  179. Is this the Tomorrowland blog post, or the COVID Wars blog post? I think we’ve strayed off topic here a bit, folks.

  180. @JMG I think that Marx’s Criticism of capitalism were quite accurate, though his proposed solution didn’t lead to a better system.

  181. Alan, now show me where I said that totalitarianism is doomed to decline. (Hint: I didn’t.) It really does help, if you want to argue with me, to pay attention to what I’ve actually said instead of debating with some kind of straw man you’ve cobbled together.

    Tony, the first two are run by members of the managerial aristocracy and the countries in the third by and large are run by managerial classes of their own, so I don’t see these as alternatives — or, really, as viable contenders. (Though several of the emerging countries will become regional hegemons and potential world powers over the next century.) Here in the US, certainly, charismatic populists who are willing to address the concerns of the people even when those are, ahem, inconvenient for the managerial class seem to me to be far more likely to seize power in the decade or so ahead.

    Slithy, too funny. For an encore, perhaps you should insist that I claim that Covid will bring the dead to life, that Ivanka Trump will shortly grow a beard and stand revealed as the second coming of Jesus, and that Joe Biden is actually an oversized Pez dispenser who spits out vaccines whenever someone pushes his head back. (Hmm. On second thought, maybe Biden is an oversized Pez dispenser who spits out vaccines whenever someone pushes his head back…)

    Teresa, it can be avoided, but only if the people making the decisions pay attention to history and are more interested in what can be shown to work than what fits the latest fads among the privileged.

    Stellarwind, of course. Recall that most of my science fiction assumes as a matter of course that most coastal cities will be underwater within a century.

    Sam, I think you’ve put your finger on the cause right there. Remember that masochism in the full-blown sexual sense is always popular among ruling elites — think of the way that being flogged was “the English vice” during England’s age of empire. People who have power, and abuse it, quite regularly end up craving symbolic forms of punishment; doubtless the fad for Fifty Shades of Grey whetted the appetite of the managerial aristocracy for something of the sort, and now here we are. If you can come up with some way to convince people that being flogged in public will show their fear of Covid, I bet you’d start one heck of a fad.

    Milkyway, blind faith in The Science™ (meaning whatever the latest sales pitches from Pfizer happen to claim) has become the latest test of loyalty to the system, so I’m not at all surprised that this got the reaction it did.

    Nate, I was thinking more simply of the beginning of FDR’s first term, but you could finesse it to that date, yes. As for your definition of Wall Street, I would indeed agree with that.

    Kevin, is that supposed to be San Francisco? I didn’t recognize it.

    Augusto, that’s a rich and complex subject and one that needs a great deal of careful study and meditation. If you do go into archeology, look for funding sources for your work that aren’t subject to the control of senior academics, because there are very sharp limits on what people are allowed to research, especially in the prehistory of the Americas!

    As for the separation of science and state, that strikes me as one of the best ideas I’ve heard all week.

    Patricia M, well, I did reference Covid in the post, and you know as well as I do what a hot button issue that is!

    Stellarwind, maybe so, but I’d much rather propose solutions than simply rattle on endlessly about what’s wrong.

  182. I wonder how you see the next year unfolding?

    Personally, I think the next step in the panicked frenzy will be the raising of interest rates far faster than the stock markets seem to think at the moment. Inflation is now showing up in wages below the managerial levels, one of the reasons being the lack of workers that you alluded to in the article. This is an absolute red line that will not be allowed to be crossed without a vicious response from the elites, no matter what cratering the stock markets or real estate will do – there is a growing awareness that the next election cycle is in any case a lost cause for the current governments.

    The connected investors will get bailed out as and when needed, the unconnected will just be collateral damage.

    Perhaps I am falling into a (temporary) apocalypse scenario in my thinking?

  183. The Newport Tower is a fascinating enigma. (JMG gives a photo at #185.)

    Most unreflective folk think it began as a windmill, since its probable first mention in any colonial-era document calls it a “stone built wind-mill” (1677). And indeed there still exists a windmill of somewhat similar design in England.

    Yet it also has features that seem either purposeless or even dangerous for any purely utiitarian flour-mill. Among them are apertures in the walls which align neatly with some astronomical/astrological events. Jim Egan has an interesting alternate theory that connects its construction to John Dee and his fellow ceremonial magician, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, and with the latter’s attempt to establish an English colony in what is now Rhode Island in 1583. Though he hasn’t been able to put his conclusions beyond all reasonable doubt, he makes a pretty strong case for them. See his small museum’s website:

    http://www.newporttowermuseum.com

    [name fixed by request — Ed.]

  184. JMG my art is handling this in it’s own fashion. Recently, Quetzalcoatl, descending to Earth as the Plumed Serpent, was set into Kether on the collage side. On the stone assemblage side, the carved head of a jaguar warrior (obtained through Etsy and sent through the post at San Cristóbal de las Casas of Chiapas) is in profile looking to the right. Through Chokhma (on the assemblage side) the celestial dragon flows to Binah. On the collage side, facing Binah, is an Olmec carving of a jaguar warrior seemingly driving a serpent, plus a Quetzalcoatl carving from Teotihuacan and a carving of a priest of Quetzalcoatl framed in an open serpents mouth, the way a snake looks when it first extends through its shedding skin. (I have recently obtained a new resource with high-quality photos) – however, in Yesod and Malkouth the influences have already flowed, and I have inserted images of the cobra including photos that four women made each year for forty years. This was developing the theme of the shedding of the old skin/world, which is my approximation to the article you’ve written here. This has been a big project that has taken about one week and includes many additional aspects and images to make it work, but the idea of the new living world shedding the old, like a snake shedding its skin is the objective – and with a couple images posted to Facebook, from my pov, this is a beginning stage of operational work. cobo

  185. Yes, that’s definitely SFO; you can see Alcatraz in the background, and the trolley is taking the place of a cable car, just as in the old ads I referenced.

    The current business district may well be underwater by then, but much of the city is hilly and could conceivably continue to be inhabitable (or *resume* being inhabitable). Hard to know where to relocate the port facilities, but that will be a problem worldwide.

    What I wonder about is what the buildings could look like, and the rest of the built environment – using what materials, what design esthetic, and how will it all be heated a powered? Not to mention the kind of society which is implied by such an environment. That’s the sort of information that could serve as the basis for some convincing images.

  186. @Sam (#193) To quote Vancouver Island comedian Kenny Shaw:

    “You always hurt the ones you love – who put the sand in the vaseline?”

  187. Just some observations from the middle of the continent (KC Metro area).

    – During the spring and summer months, mask wearing was about 50/50 (yeah, really); lately I’ve seen an uptick in the number of masks being worn. More young people wearing than old, except for the really old.

    – Merchandise in stores. Lots of empty shelving in various places, especially grocery stores. Yesterday, in Target, the milk and OJ section was a third full, the rest just empty shelves. Really? Not enough milk to be found in Kansas and the surrounding states?

    – Some stores have signs, in the county where I am, recommending masks, but no store I frequent INSISTS on masks. I don’t wear one and I haven’t seen any “stink eyes” thrown my way because of it. Then again, I don’t usually look at people.

    – Need to show ‘proof of vaccination” to enter certain venues (e.g. entertainment). My wife and I don’t frequent those places. Restaurants are “open”,no mask or “PAPERS, PLEASE!” required, at least the ones that we infrequently frequent.

    – My wife and I are unfoxxed, but 99% of our friends are foxxed. We don’t discuss the topic (much) when we get together (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, for example). I wonder what they say about my wife and I when we aren’t around?

    – Family (back in eastern Canada) is all foxxed. I try to steer away from any conversations or change the subject. All they talk about are THE CASES!! THE CASES!! You would think the Black Death had reappeared.

    – Have a cousin that I talk with on FaceBull. He’s of the same mind as I am on the whole Plandemic…or so I thought. After a year and a half or sharing memes, videos, and texts AGAINST the foxx, he and his son get foxxed in mid December. He said that since his son had to get foxxed for work (works in US, so needed to cross border), that he would get one as well, to show solidarity. That shook me, in a bad way. Just goes to show you can never really know someone. My response to him was “God Bless”.

    – Good friend of my wife had her husband die while playing “beer league” hockey. He was 56. Don’t know if he was jabbed/boosted or not. No one else in our circle has died. A few have said they did contract CONVID, with various consequences.

    – Back in March 2020, my work sent us home (those that could work from home) for ‘2 weeks’…remember that phrase? Since then, I made the move to work from home permanently and I’ve been in the office only 4 times… and 3 of those were for password resets! (meaning, I screwed up my password and had to drive to work to get it reset, which takes 2 minutes once I’ve connected to the network). At least 1 third of my department has switched to permanent WFH, with another third doing both from home and at the office (you can specify the days you want, luckily). I do miss the personal interaction, but I’m saving 2 hours a day by NOT driving to work. I really dislike the video meetings (ZOOM, TEAMS), but as I’m using an old monitor without a camera instead of my laptop (with camera), I don’t have to “dress up” anymore!

  188. @ Sebastien (#138) – That game sounds like fun. Is it board or card? I the goal to take control of North America, end with the most points, keep your faction together? I’d enjoy offering feedback or collaboration if you’d like. How can I get in contact with you?

    @ Steve (#187) – I enjoy bashing baby boomers too, but I’m not sure they’re the drivers of all these events you listed. For instance, high mortgage rates in the 80s were driven more by Paul Volker raising the Fed’s lending rate. And the financial crisis of 2008 was a product of Wall Street gambling, not so much baby boomers drawing their savings out of the stock market. As for the current situation, to use an analog situation, why didn’t the greatest generation dying in the 90s and 00s cause wild spikes in the background death rate around, say, 1999 or 2005?

    @ JMG – If Covid is exposing the over-management (for lack of a better term) of the economy for the benefit of the PMC only, will the current stagflation we are experiencing, might, just might, be enough to convince the fence sitters, and maybe even portions inside the PMC, that Tomorrowland is well and truly fracked? I really feel like we are living through the twilight days of the Soviet Union, and while I know making predictions is hard, especially about the future, I’m wondering, will our system experience a moment, when the President makes a national address, the way Gorbachev did, to say; “well, America, we tried hard, but this USA thing just isn’t work out…” ?

  189. Dear Mr. Greer,

    In reply to your response (#202) to my first post in this thread (#186), I honestly was not aware that I was setting up a strawman argument against you, if in fact I did so. I was simply responding to what I have read and interpreted as your general response, in many different posts over the past several years, to the potential for creeping techo-totalitarianism, by pointing out that such dystopian societies already exist, and really do not require all that much “tech”, or resources, to remain functioning.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but have you not essentially stated (I am necessarily paraphrasing here), on numerous occasions, that fears of a coming total-surveillance Orwellian state are overblown, due to the declining resources available to any such states? Did you not in fact suggest as much in the quote taken from your current weekly post:

    “The point I want to stress here is that the grim Brutalist future to which people were expected to conform was never more than a mirage, and attempts to revive it in new forms—I’m thinking here especially of the Stalinist absurdity of Klaus Schwab’s “Great Reset”—carry all the conviction of the proverbial three-dollar bill.”

    It seems to me that to many people living in both contemporary North Korea and China, for example, Schwab’s “Great Reset” vision is not only viable, but defines their current existence.

    If I have misunderstood your arguments on this matter, I welcome any correction on your part, and apologize it I have put words into your mouth that are not your own. However, it is discouraging to be accused of something of which I honestly do not and did not believe myself to be guilty, and to summarily dismissed as a result.

  190. Chris at Fernglade – Fortunately I changed jobs out of hospitality before the pandemic arrived. It’s nice to be away from the gritty reality while all this is going on. My comments are informed by when I did – shifts typically 3-5 hours and I saw very little of the franchise owner. Since Omicron I’ve heard much more about businesses needing to close because their staff are sick than I have about too many restrictions. And yes I am in a state that was until recently fairly comfortable. Customer numbers have plummeted and local businesses are not happy.

    Also to JMG – Yes Australia had some pretty severe lockdowns in the past. The US media on the topic was for the most part treated as an amusement. Broadly we’re compliant and unconcerned with individual rights. It’s by no means universal – Chris obviously isn’t one of those people – but the balance of numbers is extremely different from the US. Calling anywhere in Australia a “police state” for example will earn you a raised eyebrow in most company and the state leaders who went hardest on restrictions were rewarded with good support in the polls.

    They continue to fiddle around the edges with regulations mostly because the hospital system is on the verge of collapse but the most populous eastern states have been much more hands-off since omicron arrived. All of the caterwauling about slippery slopes and the population being locked up forever or whatever hasn’t aged well, and probably crowded out the more thoughtful discussions about civil liberties and how to balance that with public health. Overall the pendulum has swung the other way – we’re going to try it both ways and afterwards we can decide which one we liked better.

  191. JMG, That bad? Is there a touchy narrative supporting the prehistory of the Americas that senior scientists don´t want to admit?

    The quote by Planck seems appropriate: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” Uh, oh, I hope the senior scientists are not boosted.

  192. Mike, there are frankly too many variables up in the air for me to offer a prediction. We are closing in on a nexus from which a very broad range of possibilities unfold; frantic raising of interest rates is certainly one possibility, but there’s a little downside to that– namely, that the US government is paying its bills via Enron financing and any significant rise in the interest rate risks a national-debt crisis that could end the dollar as a reserve currency and leave the government unable to pay its bills. The least likely outcome at this point is relative stability — but which way will things spin out of control? So far, at least as I see it, it’s impossible to say.

    Robert, thanks for this! I had the chance to visit the Newport Tower in 2019 and to my eye it looks medieval. Could it be Elizabethan? Possibly. Could it be a windmill? Absolutely not — it has hearths built into the walls, and open flames are a lethal risk in grain mills (which is what windmills were used for at that time) — grain dust plus air will literally blow up if exposed to flame. Here’s a grain silo explosion from 2013 as an example:

    So it may have been repurposed as a windmill in colonial times, but it had some other purpose originally. Egan’s theory is certainly a possibility worth exploring.

    Cobo, excellent. Thanks for this.

    Kevin, so noted. It occurred to me that the buildings and cobblestones in the painting could be made from chopped up sections of old freeway…

    MBerin KS, many thanks for the data points.

    Ben, I don’t know. I really don’t.

    Alan, yes, you’ve misunderstood. Techno-totalitarianism is far from the only kind of authoritarian regime, and it’s far from the most efficient — or the most likely. As resource and energy shortages build, the technogimmickry is unlikely to last, but authoritarian regimes have existed in Stone Age conditions. That doesn’t mean an authoritarian future is the only option, but as I’ve discussed repeatedly here and in my previous blog, it’s going to take a lot of luck and some hard work to avoid outright fascism on the downslope of the industrial age. (You might consider reading this, this, and this to get a clearer idea of what I’m saying.)

  193. I’m wondering JMG, if some of the topic hijackers, infiltrators, and concern trolls that are being paid, have been trying for years to take over the comments section on your blogs. It makes me think that it might be the same people throughout the years, who have been using various names and aliases, but trying different strategies in a more coordinated, systematic attempt to disrupt your blog. Maybe some of these new kids really have been, “reading you for twenty years,” on a three-letter organization payroll.

  194. @ Sébastien Louchart #148

    I’m very interested in that game.

    If I recall right Western Colorado would end up in Deseret. It would probably be a pretty feisty place, with a lot of inner strife as the Mormon core tries to deal with dissonant movements in the mountains.

  195. @JMG (#213):

    As for the grave danger of an explosion in a flour mill …

    About fifty years ago, when our children were quite young, we drove down to see the Kenyon Grist Mill in West Kingston, RI. It has been in operation in the original building ever since 1696, and it still uses the huge original granite millstones that had been quarried locally. (It’s still there today, ia working grist mill in the same ancient building with the same ancient millstones.)

    There were not many tourists there that day, so we had a chance to chat at length with the miller, Paul Drumm Jr. Drumm had just bought the mill from its previous owner in 1971, who only a few years earlier had grown too old to keep up the business; and the elderly Narragansett Indian, who had been the working miller there, was still alive and able to teach Paul how to operate the mill’s ancient machinery.

    Among the many interesting bits of fascinating information we learned that day was the great importance of the miller’s “keeping his nose to the grindstone” constantly.

    That old saying has nothing to do with grinding one’s nose down to a nubbin by overwork. Rather, the miller needed constantly to be sniffing the air at the stones, so as to judge how how hot they were getting from the friction of grinding. As the millstones became more and more heated, their smell changed. If ever they were allowed to get too hot, they would ignite the flour being milled; it would explode and blow the millstones, the wooden mill building and all the grain and flour in it, and the miller himself to kingdom come. An experienced miller would know from ther smell of his stones when they were getting too hot, and would shut down the mill for a while to let them cool down. (This mill was powered by a water-wheel, so it could be shut down almost instantly by simply dropping the wooden gate that closed the mill-race.)

    From time to time, Drumm also said, the grinding surfaces of the millstones needed to be recut, as the old cuts wore down from use. There was special machinery, which he showed us, to lift the upper stone away from the lower, and then turn it upside down, so that each grinding surface could be refreshed using a steel chisel and heavy hammer. So the stones are now slightly less thick and heavy than they were back in 1696. But they still get the job done. An excellent example of keeping an old technology alive in the face of the coming collapse!

    I don’t know whether Drumm himself foresaw a coming collapse. It was very clear, however, that he just loved old forgotten technologies for their own sake. That’s a fairly common thing here in New England, especially out in the countryside. There are lots of small things like the Kenyon Grist Mill tucked away in the old odd corners of New England.

  196. Darkest Yorkshire #137, yes, love that atmosphere. Thanks for sharing.

    JMG, it’s time to work on Roger Dean inspired housing projects!

  197. The Arrival piece looks pretty appealing to me honestly. If I let my imagination run a bit, Arrival looks like a place where people move with cohesive purpose. I can imagine myself walking around that city/town playing some kind of more meaningful role than I find myself with in present times. It like people wouldn’t be afraid to talk to each other and more easily form friendly and romantic relationships. I imagine myself going about my day and experiencing novelty throughout.

    It seems to me that modern society has installed some kind of social discohesion into our lives. People only go where they think they should go, or are allowed to go. They constrain themselves to relationships bound by pixelated technology. Even if you go to a bar, people mostly stick to the group they came with. Chain restaurants encourage this – everyone’s hustling in and out, no one wants to sit and hang out there. It doesn’t seem like chance or synchronistic encounters exist anymore, social encounters are largely determined by technology.

    To put what I’m trying to say succinctly, modern technology worsens the sense of separateness from the Lemurian deviation discussed last week and I welcome the future depicted in Arrival because I believe it may provide a partial remedy to this separateness.

  198. @Merle Langlois #214

    Oh, for Goodness sake!!!!!

    Come on man, I do remember you! You must remember me! I do participate regularly in these weekly discussions since about 2010 (albeit, using this name since 2017). I was a very well paid software engineer for a long time, and downgraded my career to high school teacher because I couldn’t stand anymore the dissociation between the values I learned here and the daily nonsense of my job. I also wish I could support myself as an Alt-health practitioner, but that has proven harder than I expected 5 years ago.

    And now, -because I refuse to assimilate into the hive mind that most of ecosophians choose to form around this particular hobby horse, – I must be in the payroll of some dumb, deep state, trigram demonolatric cabal???

    For the many years of cred I accumulated. for the many ideas, dreams and goodwill shared here, and for the friendship of Bill, and Shane, and Onething, I refuse to be labelled as “two feet bad”.

    Everything JMG has warned us about the world at large can and do happen in this microcosmos as well, because this is part of the world and we are part of the human race. Reading JMG’s weekly essays does not shield you or me from group think and echo chambers; there are the practices of daily banishing and meditation, but I suspect only a small minority of the readership bother with those. And even those will not be enough if the egregore of the community has evolved in a certain way.

    Nobody asked me, but I will tell you what I think of the “topic hijackers, infiltrators, and concern trolls” you seem to fear so much. *Not* *every* *body* here agrees with you. We are a minority, we have expressed our concerns and our concerns have fallen in deaf ears; so, because we value the community, we keep our peace and let things fall as they may. But then, the group is very large, and the ritual of mutual reassurance you people mix from time to time with the actual discussion of the current topic fools some new well meaning dumbo into thinking that there is debate that is taking place here, so they offer their naive opinion and not realize it is not welcome. That’s where the infiltrators come from.

  199. Dear Mr. Greer,

    Thank you for your thoughtful response, and I will indeed carefully read (or re-read) each of the links that you provided. It could very well be that despite reading your blogs for at least five years now, I may have misunderstood or misconstrued, or incorrectly simplified, your position(s) or opinion(s) regarding potential authoritarianism and totalitarianism in the near and middle future, during our civilization’s upcoming and ongoing decline.

    And, at least I have the pleasure here of being referred to a series of textual links, rather than videos, which I disdain almost as much as you apparently do, although probably for different reasons (I can absorb written information FAR faster, and better, than I can when I am forced to listen to it instead, which I generally find to be an agonizingly slow process).

  200. “Man, what a genius! What a visionary! Not even reality or basic mathematics can stop him.” quote from another video sporking an Elon Musk folly (rocket flights between places on the earth) on grounds of having vastly worse safety, CO2 production(and therefore energy use and price), and not actually shaving that much time off even very long flights. Also mentions concorde.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQUiIdre-MI

    Some undruidly words are present, but I find the video hilarious and the common sense much needed. I wish more people would see past the ‘ooh shiny!’ to actually ask ‘would it work?’ and ‘would it do anything useful better than what we already have.’

  201. Archdruid,

    To follow up on Robert’s comment (post #119), that’s pretty much what I’m hearing from the medical sector as well. I think the whole vaccince vs. anti-vax argument missed on very crutial development among the workers in the US.

    Among the American workers a fairly significant portion believe that Covid poses a threat, whether that portion is the majority or the minority isn’t the relevant factor. The relevant issue here is that these people had trust in the leadership when they raised the alarm, and responded by rallying around the flag. Why? Because they had faith in the system and the people running the system, faith that when the going got tough we were all in this thing together.

    What happened after that? Well the management class essentially lauded them as heroes, then refused to provide them with ANY protection. No financial support, no waving of medical fees, no protection against eviction, nothing, not one single item of support. Not only was no support forthcoming, but the PMC also openly stole the wealth designed to restart the economy. A recent study found that over 80% of PPE loans have simply been eaten by corporate welfare queens.

    Then there’s been the subtle shift in the propaganda system that is still claiming that the virus is a threat, banning social gatherings, locking down the economy, and then the CDC releases new guidelines that REDUCES quarantine to five days. Basically telling workers “yes, we still consider this a threat, but get back to work you low-life scum.” This sentiment is not lost on the workers who rallied around the flag, even among the pro-vax crowd that I hang out with, this is now a subject of discussion at parties.

    It is my belief that the PMC is shedding support not because of the vaccine mandates, but because they have nothing to support their own foot soldiers. Literally the people who believe in the system and would have supported it during the coming storms, are told that their lives aren’t worth anything.

    I fully accept that this pandemic isn’t as lethal as the media claims, but plenty of people have just realized “hey, what happens when a real disaster happens?”

    This is a disaster for our would-be overlords, because sooner or later we will hit a critical mass of workers who are going to displace their anger by stringing up the leaders who abandoned them during the crisis.

    Regards,

    Varun

  202. Thanks JMG. It’s nice to hear someone articulate the hopefulness of change. Ugliness will continue, but it needn’t thrive!

  203. I know there’s an occasional update on shortages going on, so here’s my latest observations:

    For some g*dforsaken reason we’re having shortages of colored fizzy water sugar (ever seen how much sugar they put in those drinks?). I show up in the convenience stores/gas stations and see sizable gaps in the pop portions of their coolers. The selection has also shrunken down to the basics – Cola, Diet Cola (without the “Zero” version aimed at guys) and maybe a flavored version, always only the HFCS version (I’ve also noted that the “Real Sugar” versions have also disappeared.)

    Thing is, I don’t think they’re running short of corn or water. I think we’re talking the beginnings of the coming fuel shortages, as a lot of the ethene used to make plastics came from the fracking “revolution” in the mid-2010s.

    And guess what stopped with the drop off in fuel usage in mid 2020? You guessed it – Fracking.

    So yeah, we’re at, if not past peak oil. I’m beginning to think that we’ll run into a number of other shortages before we start running out of Gasoline as the powers that be work to hold onto the one symbol of Progress™ that is still believed (at least more than anything involving computers).

  204. In re : Karl Marx

    There was a one-liner that was making the rounds in the latter days of the old Soviet Union: “Everything Marx said about capitalism was true, and everything he said about communism was false.”

    Antoinetta III

  205. Ben,
    where I am opiod overdose deaths shot up in 2020 and 2021, due to less drugs getting into Canada and a more toxic drug supply. I suspect the situation in the USA is likely similar. In BC, the total number of opiod overdose deaths was larger than that attributed to covid 19 in 2020, so we aren’t talking a minor issue, and some of those excess deaths you’re counting are almost certainly additional opiod-related deaths.

  206. Merle, that seems unlikely to me. Three-letter agencies have a lot better uses for their time than hassling people on the outermost fringes of the internet. I’m pretty sure I do get rent-a-trolls from time to time, when some post of mine contradicts some point of view that a well-funded corporate or political interest is pushing online, but it’s usually a drive-by trolling.

    Robert, many thanks for this! I’d encountered the same detail about grindstones elsewhere, but apparently a lot of people don’t know it.

    CLR, that strikes me as a very good idea — not least because Dean himself has built some examples:

    Youngelephant, it would be interesting to look into the correlation between architecture and urban planning, on the one hand, and various measures of free social interaction on the other.

    Alan, I share your reasons for being fond of written data! One of the many reasons I dislike videos is that the information in them comes at a glacially slow pace, compared to what I can pick up by reading. If you have access to it, you might also find my book Dark Age America useful, for what it’s worth.

    Pygmycory, Musk must have a lot of childhood insecurities or something. I can’t imagine putting up with that kind of fawning nonsense without getting sick to my stomach.

    Varun, that’s an interesting take and, I think, a plausible one. If it’s true, we are much closer to the sound of rolling tumbrils than I’d anticipated.

    Forgot, you’re most welcome. Seems to me that it’s worth giving some attention to the positive as well d the negative sides of the transition we’re in.

    Godozo, thanks for this. The instabilities in the supply chains are to my mind among the most significant warning signs right now, and the signs of problems in the petrochemical supply are way up there among the key reasons why.

    Antoinetta, it’s a good line. I’m far from sure, though, that everything Marx wrote about capitalism was true — though he did hit a few targets fair and square.

    Paul Robertson (offlist), go back under your bridge.

    Jeanne (offlist), thank you for cutting and pasting that screed from your favorite pseudoskeptic debunking website, but if I wanted a rehash of the standard wipe, why, I could have found it all by myself.

  207. To the person talking about people dying from COVID-19:

    I know of a few who’ve died or suffered from Long COVID. Thing is, it’s been over a year since the deaths and the start of the long COVID suffering, and those who suffered from Long COVID have gotten over it. And while I’m presently “under quarantine,” Omicron reminds me of the flues I suffered in the 1990s and 2000s, maybe a little more serious than they were but not much more.

    So enough with fixating on the past, time to move on.

  208. Kind Sir,

    thank you for another good one.
    And thank you for letting some of the covidians post here. Interesting to get their point of view. Some of them seem to be in a really unpleasant place.

    @JMG & Treefrog
    As for the situation in Australia.
    I don’t know where treefrog lives. Hard to believe that he is talking about the same country.
    Here we had a brief flash of sanity from the federal (conservative) government, but the progressive state governments are still as crazy as they come. And the general populace is supporting it.
    I am not vaxxed. Here in Queensland, this means, that I cannot go to a restaurant, cafe, bar and a number of other venues including any government buildings. Actually i am not confident I would be able to get medical treatment other than a covid jab. And of course I cannot cross any state borders, let alone international ones. In the Northern Territory unvaxxed have been locked up since I think friday. Masks are mandated again, people are queueing for hours in the heat of a Brisbane summer to get a PCR test (what they need that for beats me). Public transport is virtually empty even at rush hour. People are still in full panic mode and contrary to what Treefrog seems to think, we have less freedoms here than we ever had a year ago.
    To get a view of the australian psyche at the moment look at the unfolding Djokovic debacle. Doesnt matter if you care about tennis or not, it is very revealing.
    https://spectator.com.au/2022/01/hating-on-novak-has-become-a-national-sport/
    or check the abc for the more unhinged version.
    At the moment I am ashamed to be an Australian.

  209. I’m 62. It occurs to me that either my generation, or the one immediately after, is the last to remember relative sanity among our rulers. Oldsters and almost-oldsters, do you agree, or am I overly pessimistic?

  210. @JMG Re: archaeologists and truth. I take your point about pre-Clovis civilization in North America. But I think you’re way off base on the Norse origin of the Newport Tower.

    I grew up very near the tower, and I’ve followed the “controversy” for decades. I’ve been inside the tower, with a ladder, as part of a graduate research project (with a permit from the town).

    There is exactly zero evidence to support any history of the tower before the last decades of the 1600s. There’s a compelling narrative hatched by a Dane in the 1800s involving Vikings and Vinland, but zero evidence to support it.

    Newport folks would love for the Norse story to be true. But there’s just nothing to even form the basis for speculation. Even the tower windmill design (including the fireplace) has antecedents in England, not Norway.

    So the boring story is that the tower was built by governor Benedict Arnold (predecessor of the traitor, and also interestingly of Stephen Douglas), in an unusual but not unique fashion.

    It’s still a great story, and I enjoyed the research project where we plotted all the notches and windows in the interior (some are nearly impossible to see from the outside, or without a ladder). You would be correct to ascribe astronomical significance to the placement of the windows, but you should not expect any less from a good Englishman!

    @Robert: Kenyon’s Grist Mill brings back memories. Johnny cakes and clam cakes, yum.

  211. @Merle, that is an entertaining, but honestly rather ungrounded theory.

    I’ve been a reader of JMG’s blogs and books for … maybe 15 years? Since well before the move to the Rust Belt. I’m a very infrequent commenter.

    I have noticed a shift in the commentariat. Our host has been pretty consistent throughout (Burkeian conservatism), but (my perception of) the vocal commentary has gone from contrarian leftish to contrarian rightish.

    I can’t say what caused the shift, assuming it’s not my imagination, but the timing seemed correlated to the move from ADR to Ecosophia. I’ve been nursing a theory (perhaps equally ungrounded) that JMG was not reliably getting the results he was looking for in ADR comments and decided to realign the tone for the new blogs.

    So I would say that some of the recent less-rightish contrarianism Merle is complaining about is just a reversion to the mean, and surely not a TLA Op!

  212. CR Patino, you’re not one of the suspect new kids I was talking about. I think I even remember your old name 😉 . It’s understandable that people would have different opinions. Although it’s also understandable that a blog with a point would tend to offer some homogeneity of views as well. Trying to drag out a fight with nature and thus make things worse in the long run runs contra to the whole point of this blog in my opinion, but it’s a free world.

    I was thinking more of these mystery posters. Don’t they remind you of similar new kids who tried to derail the comments onto social justice issues? It’s different when known long-time posters disagree.

    Now for me to be a suck-up and try to say something on topic: I’d love to make it to the real future, rather than the fake tomorrowland. In my own life, I’m utterly sick and tired of being pulled around by the Professional Managerial Class. I’d prefer a new ruling class that was at least smaller in number. Our elite is so bloated that us lower class people have to actually -see- them, and it is repulsive. I live surrounded by the PMC and see their vanity and stupidity constantly, and I live in a milieu where their worldview and their solutions are the only ones on offer, despite never working out. I’d like to find a way to go around their system more, in any way I can, so that I can be more myself. I was thinking about doing some private under the table work for myself if my job ultimately proves a bust (my job would have been a smashing success if not for masks, restrictions, government and corporate fear mongering, etc., but hey, who’s counting?). Luckily, I do have quite a few friends who already have some alternative visions.

  213. The funny part about Kenneth and other believers in Vaccines as Saviors is the idea that we could return to the old normal by opening up again. That’s the thing: the old 2019 economy is never coming back. There weren’t enough bodies to fill shopping malls and office parks back then and post 2021, it will only become exponentially worse. The reason I have closed my commercial space that I rented for 13 years is because I have seen the writing on the wall. I either go the guerrilla minimalist triage route or soon I won’t have a business at all. I have a friend who used to be a conductor for a local orchestra. She was fired because she wouldn’t mask. Another friend of mine, a mother of five, has nearly been arrested twice for not wearing a mask while outdoors. The salary class is in a psychotic fugue state. This is the new playing field. Unlike members of the salary class and their aspirants, I don’t deny it. We have no choice but to leave them behind. They wear masks in the park on 80 degree days. They think a vaccine that killed every animal in the trials will save them. They think censorship is good and hugs are bad. They are batcrap crazy.

    What’s happening in my area of northern Illinois is this: the restaurants owners who are still sane are taking the tiny bit of restaurant business that remains. Sane parents are pulling their kids out of school and supplementing home school with mask-free tutoring centers. They are seeking out teachers like me who would not dream of asking them to sacrifice their children’s health for inclusion in an activity. There are mask and vaccine free churches, even in Chicago where the mayor is trying to force the vaccine card.

    The masked still huddle fearfully and maybe they get a little thrill at being able to show their card or their QR code, but the places they frequent are suffering for lack of patronage, and even when they don’t the vibe is terrible…and the Red Death held sway over all. Museums are increasingly empty and a local wine club just lost about a million dollars worth of business because they’re insisting on a Yellow Star ahem I mean vax papers. Meanwhile, the scrappy “anti-vaxxers” are riding this out. We are making a new economy, slow but sure. As the old economy continues to crumble and take on water due to maskturbator policies (yes, I’m still using that word, so suck on it) the new Speakeasy economy will replace it. To paraphrase Dion Fortune, don’t fight the enemy. Ignore him, go around him, and use him as a thrust block.

  214. @JMG, Alan

    What can be certain is that the totalitarianism of declining resources and energy will be more small scale and limited. As scarcity sets in. The state capacity will decline and cracks will appear.

    Human foibles will more increasingly determine said totalitarianisms along with opportunities it will open up.

    Escape will become easier as control become necessarily less all-encompassing. A 1984 Big Brother totalitarian state will become less capable over time despite the power lust of their leadership class precisely as less resources and energy becomes available.

    Cults are totalitarianism in miniature and the Soviet Union is totalitarianism on a much larger scale.

  215. @JMG you’re welcome. You’ll a final say on the game fluff anyway 😉

    @Ben #209 & @Ray #215

    here’s how I envision things:
    there’s a board that represents the map of the Great American Divide (the name of the game so far) with all 9 territories that used to be the former USA. Let’s call this one the Map
    Common playing areas are also present on the board, but that’s detail.
    Each player has an individual board where are put doctrine cards (systemic infrastructures), status of war/alliance with other factions, victory points, overall population satisfaction and pollution level.
    the game proceeds as follow
    phase 1: production, each player collects the resources from his infrastructures on the map
    phase 2: trade, the players may start up to 3 rounds of trade negociations to exchange resource tokens between them. Those players who have access to global trade can use this ability to exchange more resources from the bank (the IMF), those players who can’t may exchange with the Free City of Chicago. The rate of exchange still needs to be adjusted but dealing with both entities is not a bargain.
    phase 3: build, each player can consume resources to build infrastructures on the map, train units which are placed on the map hidden or advance an IMF agenda (more on that below) or advance the player’s own agenda (like research). This may generate pollution and unrest.
    phase 4: mouvement, in turns, players move their units across the board
    phase 5: resolution (diplomacy + fighting) diplomatic actions are codified and tactical combat still needs to be worked out in details and playtested but it won’t involve any randomness. units are put on the Map hidden and revealed for combat resolution. resolution involves majority assessment and a kind of rock-paper-scissors scheme. No dice. Some special effects of the doctrine cards may be involved here, for instance, you can increase the unrest level of a faction with a “diplomatic” action a.k.a. regime change 😉
    phase 6: global events (like Kessler syndrome, most of them are benign though)
    phase 7: maintenance and assessment of special victory conditions, each player will pay in resources for the infrastructure/military/doctrines what have you. If the player doesn’t have enough resource, he can either ask the IMF for a loan and gets an agenda (a burden that prevents the players from researching his own doctrinal agenda) and the player can choose to collapse economically by discarding infrastructure, military and doctrines.
    After all costs are paid, the player assesses the unrest and pollution, if unrest is max, it’s political collapse, end of the game for that player, his territory becomes a failed state full of guerilleros and forsaken infrastructures.
    if pollution is maxed out at this phase, it’s environmental collapse, the territory becomes and toxic wasteland. Collapses have an impact for all players, they’d lose victory points so it’s an incentive not to let this happen.

    gaming materials: besides map and individual boards, there’d be wooden meeples for infrastructure, square cardboard tokens for units, round cardboard tokens for resources and wooden cubic markers for unrest/pollution and victory points. Doctrines (a.k.a. systemic achievements) will be cards as well as global events and IMF agendas.

    The game ends either when a special victory condition is met or when a certain number of nasty global event cards are revealed. If no player wins with a special victory condition (all players can win together by diplomatic cooperation), the winner is the one player with the most victory points. Thus, the duration of a game is variable, the less nasty global events we need to reveal, the harder the game is.

    For boardgames geeks around here, it’s a 4X with influences from such games as Innovation, Roll for the Galaxy, Deus, Scythe and Mare Nostrum.

    you can contact me by email: sebastionDOTlouchartATgmailDOTcom

    What’s left to do a.k.a. game backlog before I start physical prototyping:
    factions’ fluff, in-game definition and balancing
    map actual graphical design
    doctrines design and balancing
    infra & units design
    combat playtest
    diplomatic actions codification
    global events design

    I can handle most of them single-handed 😀 but I need input from actual north american dwellers for the game’s fluff.

    A final note on “doctrines”, each player may have exactly 5 doctrines active at a time: an agricultural doctrine, an industrial doctrine, a social doctrine, a civil doctrine and a military/diplomacy doctrine (five seems to be a kind of magic number in game design, lol). each player starts with built-in doctrines and can advance in doctrines by drawing cards from 3 stacks: “progress”, retrofutur, ecotechnic. Progress stack contains systemic techs that don’t pay for themselves nor bring prosperity (quite the contrary), Retrofutur stack contains doctrines drawn from the past, anything your typical Lakelander hardcore Retro would fancy 🙂 Ecotechnic stack contains cards from the ecotechnic future (gosh I need to read that one again).

    Et voilà !

    Sorry for this long and off-topic comment.

  216. “The sole remaining questions are what combination of crises will topple the hapless ruling class from its position, and how soon that inevitable moment will arrive.” One more question is who rises to take their place?

  217. Hi Treefrog,

    You live in a comfortable state as I rightly guessed, and are clearly of a comfortable class. And your state has only recently entered the fray because they kept their borders closed to outsiders. And then when revenue was required, the hoops to enter were set very high indeed.

    Mate, you and I will never see eye to eye. You did not address the points that I raised. And your purported experience was clearly very long ago. I have read many accounts of franchisee operators struggling to make ends meet, not to mention the wages rorts with vulnerable employees. Whilst the franchise owners are among some of the wealthiest people in the country. It’s not a good look and is representative of only a minor portion of the small businesses in this country.

    I vehemently dispute your claim that it is possible to survive on a 3 to 5 hour casual shift in this country.

    You’re old enough to recall the cartoon: The Flintstones. The wives kept house whilst the husbands were busy working regular hours at the quarry. This is no longer the case.

    You need to breathe some less purified air and get off your high horse.

    Cheers

    Chris

  218. @JMG,

    I am agog at your description of tram possibility on the eastern seaboard. Indeed, I’ve never been to the east coast, so I had no idea. And since I am not in America, I cannot shout this from your rooftops! Right now in the US, the car has won not only on the material plane, but also in the imagination.

  219. By my calculations, approximately 950,000 Americans turn 80 each year. We know that the majority of people dying of Covid are in their 80s.

    950,000 per year divided by 365 gives you about 2,600 entering the temporal death zone every day.

    The worst daily deaths were in January 2021 at 3,000, which is bad news and somebody better do something about it. But now the daily death rate is about 1,200, well below the 2,600 getting old, so granny isn’t dying prematurely and I think we can all go back to normal.

  220. For what it’s worth, here’s my interpretation of recent elite behavior. In the UK and the US, and most of Europe, it seems to me that those in power are now content to throw the working class to the wolves. After the initial burst of panic over Omicron, the story that it was mild, ‘cold like’, ‘the way out of the pandemic’ immediately began to be pushed by outlets like The Telegraph and its correlates. The Tory party rebelled against Johnson imposing minor restrictions, Joe Biden abdicated responsibility by saying there’s no federal solution, most European countries did not impose another round of lockdowns.

    Self-isolation has been the way the privileged shield themselves from epidemic disease since time immemorial (The Decamaron comes to mind). Combined with strong faith in the technofix represented by vaccines, they consider themselves quite safe, working from home and having whatever they desire brought to their doorstep.

    So now we shall see hospitals being swarmed and it being blamed on the unvaccinated and those critical of the previous policy. Eventum ex faticinium, if you will. This will then serve to distract from the vaccine’s troubles and policy failures. It is a stunningly cynical ploy, that makes me rather sad.

  221. Hi John,

    First of all I apologise to comparing you to Karl Marx. I did not mean you will literally become like Karl Marx but I do think your works could very well live on for future generations and be debated upon centuries from now – like Karl Marx.

    Now I’m not trying to hero worship you or anything but I must confess – out of every blogger, writer and sofa troop I’ve come across, only your works seem to have any depth of realism to it.

    Everyone else is at you put it, “apocalypse now!” or “Monofuture forever!”. To give you an example, I recall mentioning to you a while back of an astrologer over on the fourth turning forums (which is virtually dead go figure) spouting out his beliefs. Apparently he could tell us all every single world event that would happen on this specific date, time and year according to astrology. He ran around calling himself a “literal prophet” (go figure).

    Yet one thing I always noticed about him was that he had typical millenarian thinking, coached in with Strauss and Howe’s beliefs. That is every generation is a literal cycle, there will be eventually one final battle in the 22nd century, then everyone will unite under a world government, fight climate change, become one homogenous mixed race by the 24th century and the monofuture awaits – his version of Heaven.

    The idea that this millennarian thought process, this linearity of time belief is not that accurate was lost to him. He would keep retorting with, “well the astrology says so!”.

    My point being is I have met a lot of people like him – proclaiming the ultimate truth and nothing else. Your different in that regards and do offer a more credible series of events.

    You have the real possibility here John of creating a brand new philosophical perspective and even an achievable counter-culture for the long term that is both realistic and more hopeful in the coming years.

    Yet…and please do not consider this criticism but more of a point of friendly advice – you are sort of slowly falling into that same trap that captures all of the great writers and thinkers. Marx had it. Nietzche had. The talking heads have it.

    Your starting to focus entirely of the negatives of the Long Descent and bashing the status quo establishment too much. Lately I have noticed many of your posts are just being too critical and negative without offering positives.

    Don’t worry , its normal, it happens to everyone. But maybe this is designed primarily for a Western audience as living in Russia, I have noticed one key difference.

    People like positivity. They like hopeful outcomes. They will keep believing in false delusions such as the monofuture if they really think it will give them a great future.

    Why did all those Belarusians protest in 2020? Or the Ukrainians in 2014? Or even the Russians? Because they want hope and believe in the monofuture, that is why. As long as the delusion exists, people will stay in the status quo (the West) or fight to be part of it (the East)

    My advice, and this is just some friendly advice one again, is focus on the positives of the Long Descent. Small businesses growing. A better environment. People actually being healthier in some regards (less pollution). Bigger families. The positive stuff that people can envision and get behind as a more credible and realistic alternative.

    Write for them some hope in other words.

    Even though you have covered it in the books, it would be nice to see more posts like this on the blog. Not everyone has time to read books but a blog can give people ideas.

    Just a thought or two I thought I would share because at the end of the day, we cannot stop the government but we can always salvage the outcome.

  222. With Covid-19 it all comes down to this…

    “If you’ve ever wondered whether you would have complied during 1930s Germany, now you know.” — Banner of a Covid-19 protester

    Rather than smugly (falsely feeling “superior”) and misleadingly pointing the finger at the “bad Germans”… NOW the REAL truth ABOUT NEARLY EVERYONE ANYWHERE is likely confronting nearly everyone.

    While at it let’s continue with real truths…

    The saying goes “SEEK the truth and you shall find it” –and NOT that you find the truth by passively ACCEPTING what authorities tell you is the “truth” like herd animals unthinkingly obey their shepherds’ orders. Yet almost nobody ACTIVELY SEEKS the truth, they only PASSIVELY ACCEPT as “truth” what the (medical, religious, political) authorities tell them and so become UNthinking members of “herd stupidity.”

    Do YOU actually SEEK the truth or are you a mindless member of “herd stupidity”?

    I suggest you check out “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room –The Holocaustal Covid-19 Coronavirus Madness: A Sociological Perspective & Historical Assessment Of The Covid “Phenomenon”” at https://www.rolf-hefti.com/covid-19-coronavirus.html

    You can ONLY see the official lies IF you SEEK the truth…. it means you must LOOK “behind the curtain” — behind the official narratives.

    “The inhumane abominations, issued by the highly credentialed professional class of psychopaths-in-control and their lauded sycophantic minions, of “No Jews Allowed” and “No Colored People Allowed” of yesterday is the “No Unvaccinated People Allowed” of today.” (from cited article above)

    If your employer (even educational or federal employers) wants you to take a Covid vaccine give him/her one of these form letters of exemption found at https://www.lc.org/exempt

    “[…] when you do things to people against their will and force them it destroys their spirit, it destroys the integrity of their body. […]. Being an adult is meaningless if you cannot even protect the integrity of your own body.” — Jennifer Daniels, MD, MBA, Holistic Doctor

    One of the ways psychopaths show their hate for the public is by rubbing the public’s stupidity in their own faces. Eg with the letters of “omicron” an alleged Covid variant you can spell “moronic”… And indeed most of the public NEVER recognizes their stupidity as the believe, trust, and follow any explanation or demand of the psychopaths-in-power.

    And further speaking of stupid herd people not getting the glaringly obvious truth/ie not getting the constant onslaught of BIG lies of the official authorities……

    “2 weeks to flatten the curve has turned into…3 shots to feed your family!” — Unknown

  223. JMG,

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter.

    In the town in which I work (ultra-blue university town), the city buses have ads on the sides featuring a masked woman flexing her bicep after having just received her shot. The tagline on the ad is “Let’s Reclaim Tomorrow”.

    Does anybody want to tell them that their slogan tacitly admits the title of your post?

  224. @CR, Mariner, and others: right now, there’s no place I know on the Internet where you can say it’s snowing outside without the risk of being accused of parroting propaganda from The Weather Channel. As they say on the Rock Island Line, you gotta know the territory.

  225. John–

    Re constitutional legitimacy, political violence, and the Mandate of Heaven

    As you’ve pointed out a number of times, governments govern ultimately at the consent of the governed (even if that consent is granted under duress). The Mandate of Heaven is determined by that consent: it can be withdrawn from institution and granted to another. The American Revolution is a case in point.

    Today, we have Group A who proclaims that Group B stole the last election. Meanwhile, Group B is proclaiming that Group A is preparing to steal the next one. Biden decided to make it personal with Trump in his Jan 6th speech, prompting Trump to lash back. None of this reinforces the legitimacy of our elective process, but rather further erodes it.

    Part of me gets a feeling we’re setting the stage for some Gangs of New York style political violence in future elections. Another part of me remembers that such violence was hardly uncommon during the 19th century. Perhaps we’re reverting to historical norms, although that’s not necessarily a comforting thought.

  226. I love that painting. Believe it or not these past few years actually made me more optimistic in some ways. We found out, for example, that nothing much happened after cancelling all passenger flights. Given the extravagant lifestyle in america, I think there is a lot of room for decline without complete chaos. I could see it taking many generations before we get down to a point where we have to worry about starvation again. Looking forward to your predictions

  227. @Roger, WRT to the middle-class ruining effects of off-shoring: A good friend of mine from the skule daze is a non-college-degreed very competent administrative assistant, and ever since about 2003, pretty much the only employment she has known has been “crumbs from the table” contractor positions in which she found herself consistently undervalued and unappreciated. Now that she is in her fifties, she is only able to somewhat eek out a living as a virtual assistant on the Internet.

    It really seems to both she and I that the time we found ourselves on the job-market was exactly the turning point at which well-paying jobs with benefits no longer “grew on trees”, while out-of-touch-with-reality Boomers would tell us we just needed to chase down the street after those dreams even harder.

  228. “Science Explores, Technology Executes, Mankind Conforms”

    They left off, “Resistance is futile.”

  229. A good example of how the techno-utopian dreams of Tomorrowland can fizzle out is the new hyperloop in Vegas by the crown prince of techno-utopian propaganda himself, Elon Musk. The original ( and the one you will get in the future according to musk) was to be an underground tube that could whisk you between major cities in minutes using magnetic levitation and linear motors. The one that was just completed is a one 1.7 mile tube under the Vegas convention center. Instead of high speed maglev capsules you pay $5.00 and climb in an ordinary Tesla in auto-pilot mode, Ho Hum. But watching the video of this boondoggle highlights this schemes certain downfall. To make this token sales tool affordable the tunnel is only 13 feet in diameter and has no room to pass and no pedestrian access like a modern subway or rail tunnel. So all it will take is a breakdown or fire ( lithium battery fire no less) to turn this tunnel in to a 1.7 mile air-fryer for the unlucky trapped behind the burning car. I would guess that this will be the one and only example of this “idea” But if anyone wants to duplicate the experience of coal miners riding to the end of a seam in a mine jitney then by all means hurry to Vegas while it ( and Vegas) still exist.

  230. One thing I notice from comments about the dangers of covid is that they ignore the treatment protocols. In many hospitals going in for covid is a death sentence. They treat with ventilators and Remdesivir. Going to the doctor often gets nothing other than advice to go home and rest. Real alternate treatments such as ivermectin are ignored. Don’t blame covid for killing people when the medical industry does that quite well on its own.

  231. @ pygmycory (#226) – I hear what you’re saying, and opioid overdoses topped 100k in the USA in 2020 (as w/ Covid, I don’t think the 2021 numbers are out yet), so yes, some of that 600k increase in the death rate comes from overdoses. Sadly, the number of overdoses has been increasing since about 2012, so this is not a new trend. That said, it doesn’t come anywhere near the 600k increase. I don’t get why discourse around the virus of ‘unknown origin’ seems to have collapsed into a binary. Either its the end of the world, or its no more than the common flu. Why? Can’t it just be a public health problem, instead?

  232. Dear Robert Mathiesen (re: post #216),

    Thank you so much for your story about the ancient Rhode Island mill that is still in operation!

    I cannot put my finger on the reason or reasons why, but I found your post very interesting and somehow very positive and uplifting. But I have felt, and feel, the same way whenever I encounter a similar circumstance, of something very old and very practical that is still in use, and have ever since I was a young boy — for me, there is just something very ‘grounded’, very life-affirming, in such stories and situations. Thanks again!

  233. After watching the Jan. 6 festivities complete with dire predictions etc, I wonder if even the people in charge actually believe in Tomorrowland any more. I was reading a column by Paula Dvork, for the Washington Post, who of course lays all problems to those evil Trump people. She was pleading that we should all pray that the Dark Ages are gone and that we will continue with the Enlightenment. She likened herself to a serf (yes, this person has two sons in hockey and lives on Capitol Hill in D.C. believes that she is a serf).

    I realized that all these folks are thrashing about in the dark trying to find their way and they keep bumping into walls. There is no power and the lights don’t work. So the trolls who insist on Tomorrowland are whistling in the dark.

    Personally, ponder that we are now in Feudal Times, made me think that Dvork is not a serf but a priest who is looking for heresy, and all of that. Most of the media seems to be all like priests preaching the Gospel of Progress. As for me, I am the old woman by the woods with the squirrels. Not sure what that was in Feudal Times.

  234. @ JMG re comment

    Please accept my apologies. I do sometimes tend to take things at face value and did not intend to throw any kind of screed in your face. I do think the site showing the functions of a mill is valuable in itself. The rest I will dump in the circular file. Sorry. 🙁

  235. I wish to reply to Oilman, who comments about the realism of kinetic action during these times.

    I’ve been on the internet for a long time, and I’m well aware that people – especially certain types of groups of people – like to posture, and say things they won’t actually carry out, and so forth. People need to vent.

    I preface with that, in order to say, that I almost feel the opposite about what I observe: I’ve been amazed at the velocity with which many people have begun to have Dark Thoughts. Buying guns. Reading… things… on the internet. Thinking to themselves “You know what? I’m at the end of my rope, and if ONE MORE PERSON pisses me off, hey, you know what, I might just find them and [redacted].”

    People who would NEVER have entertained these thoughts before, are now having them, out of the blue as it seems.

    And, as far as I can see, it didn’t even take very much. Or rather, to be clear, it didn’t take very much *time*. It turns out that you can make someone psycho with remarkable speed if you apply the appropriate pressure. Does anyone know how quickly you can make a dog go mad by tormenting it? (I have no idea the answer to this but someone may know.)

    Let me try and explain this a different way: the human mind is subject to remarkable and abrupt shifts, in ways that can be surprising and dare I say frightening. I don’t mind sharing this personal story, details omitted:

    Once, several years ago, I was working an extremely stressful PMC job, and I found myself thinking, and doing, some things that I am now ashamed about, things I would never have normally done. I actually saw a doctor about it (despite being a doctor myself, I was in a state of mind where I did not even trust my own judgment!) who at the end of the interview essentially said, Well, I think you’re stressed out, no more.

    (I quit my job after that and have been much better, for the record.)

    Anyway the point is, the human mind can be “broken”, or warped, surprisingly easily, and how much more so if we aggregate human minds into a crowd! Unbelievable states of mind can be generated very quickly.

  236. I had a good chuckle at the Managerial Elites recently. I went to one of my favorite stores, Fleet Farm, to hunt down a new sweater. I had three requirements. The sweater needed to be:
    – Warm enough to keep my thermostat low
    – Roomy enough to shelter a cat or two
    – Durable enough to go through the wash every week

    Fleet Farm has a whole section of clothing appropriate for mucking out the cow barn, and I found the perfect sweater. It even had a cute Native-American inspired print (and I’ll gleefully practice cultural appropriation wherever I can). Anyway, sometime later I got one of those upscale, nice-professional-lady clothing catalogs in the mail. And there was MY SWEATER. Of course it was much more expensive and the glamorous model was wearing a smaller size, but it was the same color and everything. I laughed out loud and thought, * If they only knew. *

  237. @Augosto

    There is a fringe theory that the Celtic peoples came from somewhere near India. The latest genetic research shows Native American tribes probably originated somewhere around Mongolia. So there definitely could be a common cultural heritage a very long time ago.

    I stumbled across the Mongolian origin when I watched a video of a Mongolian metal band and saw a lot of similarities to Native American culture. Which prompted me to speculate that Mongolians wouldn’t go anywhere without their horses, so I stumbled across another fringe theory that the tribes of the great plains had horses before Europeans arrived… if that’s true (and it’s really hard to say for sure) why would some tribes have horses and others not? Unless there were multiple migrations from Asia across the land bridge, then it would make more sense to me.

    Anyways, most of this is speculation, but I think it’s worth thinking about. All humans have a common cultural heritage if you go far back enough. Maybe some ideas work better so they last longer than others.

    Sincerely

    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  238. @Olive, the Other (#231):

    I’m absolutely delighted to hear that you were inside the Newport Tower, and able to plot details of the structure!

    Tell me, if you will, whether you and your fellow researchers found anything that would rule out a date ca. 1583 (rather than ca. 1650-1675)? Or do you know of any other evidence–beyond an argument from silence–that would point an archaeologist or an architectural historian toward the later date rather than the slightly earlier one? The two possibiities are basically just a single long lifetime apart.

    As you can see, I’m sitting on the fence about Jim Egan’s theory, which I find well worth further examination, yet still somewhat problematic.

    The Tower never struck me as Medieval, either.

    And in all fairness to our host, I should mention that he never speculated about a Norse origin for the Tower, but rather a Celtic one, in the context of earlier Celtic voyages to distant lands. (It sees to be settled that a small number of Celtic hermits and perhaps a few isolated Celtic families had made it to Iceland before the Norse occupied it.)

  239. I have nothing much to add to the discussion, but the pushback against this blog post is quite unusual in its intensity, it seems to me. Maybe the total failure of the Covid measures takes its toll on some people.

  240. JMG– Regarding your comment to Fattigman “I’d like to see a revived Platonism play a role in the emergence of new ways of encountering the world, but that depends on the Platonists getting a move on…”

    I began reading Proclus in 2020. I found him hard to understand, but interesting. Then the pandemic happened and I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands. I took in some lectures from Pierre Grimes on the subject of Platonism, and then spent a month meditating through the Republic. Since then I’ve been devouring Platonic material at an ever accelerating rate. It feels like a possession sometimes, and it feels like an emergency– I must know this now now NOW.

    Of course the main focus of my blog right now is re-interpreting traditional Roman Catholicism through a Platonist/Occult lens, and that project also feels like something that is demanding to be done (and done immediately!) rather than something I’m doing. Funny enough, I regularly run into people who seem to be having a similar experience– A while back I read Proclus’s discussion of Parmenides at the beginning of his Six Books, and then read the Parmenides dialog, and then logged onto YouTube to find that one of the occult podcasts I like was hosting a big discussion about Parmenides with a couple of Proclus scholars. So I think the Platonists are getting a move on– Or that the spirit of Platonism is getting us to get a move on!

  241. Naore (post #244) wrote:

    “With Covid-19 it all comes down to this…

    “If you’ve ever wondered whether you would have complied during 1930s Germany, now you know.” — Banner of a Covid-19 protester

    That is a succinct and brilliant statement, Naore!

    Indeed, it reminds me of the many comments that I have made in one locally-oriented blog/website over the past couple of years to those who blindly accept the official narratives surrounding the Wuhan Virus, as fluctuating, contradictory and anti-scientifically ridiculous as most of those narratives are. Very frequently, I have blasted these posters as being little more than kneejerk conformists and servile lackeys to the establishment power structure, two of the most severe condemnations of which I can imagine accusing others. Yet invariably, while they will usually (attempt to) respond to me in some fashion, they NEVER try to refute those condemnations of them as conformists and lackeys. Are their truly people in this world who actually take such accusations as praise, or at worst a mere neutral acknowledgement of their nature?

  242. Ben (#209)

    I quite agree that the boomers weren’t the sole cause of any of these things, as there was plenty of other stuff going on. For example, the rampant unemployment of the 1970’s was also aided by the end of the Viet Nam war, which sent thousands of newly-discharged servicemen out into a workforce that hand nothing productive for them to do; and also by the effect that OPEC’s stranglehold on petroleum availability had on the economy. But just because they weren’t the sole cause doesn’t mean we should utterly disregard the effect they did have, since it was an enormous demographic influence. (To make an analogy with the physical world, that would be like disregarding friction when designing a tire tread.)

    And Volker raising the Fed’s lending rate – why was that done? Boomers were out there buying up houses – the most expensive things most people ever buy in their lives – and they all needed to borrow money, usually rather a lot of money, to do so. The law of supply and demand affects moneylending just as much as it affects real estate sales or any other aspect of the economy, so of course the lending rates went up. The Feds just wanted their fair share of the pie.

    As for the greatest generation of the 90’s and 00’s, that was 20-25 years ago when the boomers were 20-25 years younger and ‘seniors’ at that time accounted for less than 5% of the general population. Now that the boomers are 20-25 years older than they were 20-25 years ago, they are now the seniors – which means seniors now account for around 15% or more of the population (rather than 5% or less), so now their influence on the background rate is no longer negligible. Ergo, the mortality rate is up due to natural causes and Covid is nothing more than a pre-planned excuse to have a crisis.

  243. Stuart Jeffery,
    I remember reading official NHS policy that mentioned the payments last year. Of course I cannot find anything now.

    What I did find was mentions of the excess of fake Covid deaths: https://www.rt.com/op-ed/490006-death-certificates-covid-19-do-not-trust/

    And by the end of 2020, less than 400 healthy under-60s died of Covid in UK: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9090847/Only-377-people-aged-60-no-underlying-health-conditions-died-Covid-UK.html

    I bet if you looked hard enough you can find the information – the question is: do you want to?

  244. Sam,
    Stressed parrots pluck feathers. To the point they end up naked.

    Dogs and cats can over-groom themselves.

    Humans can wash hands to the point of cracked and bleeding skin, or bite nails to the quick, or worry at their lip until it bleeds.

    Displacement activities that cause pain or harm in excess are not that unusual among animals.

  245. You are very welcome, Alan (#255):

    We moved from California (the SF Bay area) to New England in 1967 as newly-weds, and we found it utterly delightful here. Even as Californians, my wife and I had always looked to the past, and to our own ancestors, for inspiration on how to live. So ending up in New England was an accidental stroke of luck for us both. We found lots of grist for our mills here, so to speak, so we never so much as thought of leaving.

    There are a few sites elsewhere in New England that have been doing much the same sort of work as the Kenyon Grist Mill in keeping old ways alive, but on a much larger scale and with much better funding and research resources.

    We have been supporters for decades of Old Sturbridge Village, which preserves the New England way of village life from the 1820s, and has a staff of costumed interpreters who keep some of the old technologies alive: farming, house-hold cooking on an open hearth, ox-training, cooping (that is, barrel-making), tin-smithing, blacksmithing, cabinet making, printing with moveable type, herb gardening. There is a working saw-mill, a working grist-mill, and a working cider-mill. There are probably a few other things that I am momentarily forgetting, too.

    We are also supporters of Plimoth-Pawuxet (formerly Plimoth Plantation), which does much the same work of preserving old ways to do things, but for life in 1627.

    Any of JMG’s commentors who are in New England might well enjoy visiting either or both of these places. Both of them have superb research libraries for their periods of interest. Though they don’t publicize the fact, members can get access to them (IIRC) by special application in advance.

  246. DropBear, you’re most welcome.

    Olive the Other, thank you for proving my point about Atlantis! First of all, I’d encourage you to go back through what I wrote about the Newport Tower and see if you can find any reference there to the Norse theory about its origins. (Hint: you won’t; I didn’t mention it.) That habit of trying to force dissent into the straitjacket of some already-debunked theory is not very honest, but unfortunately it’s one that sees a lot of use from defenders of the intellectual status quo. Let’s go further, though. The Arnold theory of the origin of the Tower is exactly that — a theory. There’s some evidence that supports it, and some evidence that supports other points of view; none of the evidence on any side is conclusive. That’s why it’s crucial, in this as in so many other cases, to leave the question open instead of trying to impose a historical orthodoxy along Clovis-First lines, while shoving every alternative (including, say, Jim Egan’s theory that it was built in the 1580s by an early English colony) into the dumpster of an already-discredited theory.

    In anomaly research, what you’ve done here is called a wipe. A wipe is an argument based on the logical fallacy that because one hypothesis about a potentially anomalous phenomenon fits the conventional wisdom, and other hypotheses do not, the one that fits the conventional wisdom must be true. It’s a fine combination of the argument from authority and the fallacy of special pleading, and it sees a vast amount of use in the defense of what Thomas Kuhn called “normal science” against the anomalies that will eventually overturn it. (I’ve written more about the logical fallacies central to the debunking crusade here, on the off chance you’re interested.)

    That’s the basis of my earlier comment about Atlantis. Any archeologist today who decided to be the next Howard Carter and report the discovery of a drowned city from Ice Age times would face exactly the same kind of arguments you’ve deployed here from all their colleagues, and they would also face the same sort of career-destroying pressures from senior people in the field that kept the Clovis-First theory bolted in place for so long. The possibility of ice age civilizations is one of the third-rail topics of contemporary archeology; so are transatlantic contacts before or alongside the ones currently admitted. Are you old enough to recall when the Norse discovery of America was dismissed by reputable scholars as crackpot pseudoscience? I am, just barely — and the people who discovered the Norse settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland had to put up with savage pushback from the scholarly community before their case finally, grudgingly, got admitted on the basis of overwhelming evidence. Where that kind of evidence doesn’t exist, the debunkers’ fallacies continue to hold sway.

    As for your insistence that I changed the focus of this blog because I “wasn’t getting the results I wanted” — my, my, that was a cheap shot, wasn’t it?

    Kimberly, I think a lot of people are frantically trying to claw their way back to the fading dream of “normal.” That’s why I think “Make normal the new normal” is a great slogan — though it’s an impossibility, as what counted as normal in the late 20th century was (as you point out) a temporary phenomenon and will never happen again. It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of misery before most people come to terms with that.

    Info, as I noted to Alan, authoritarianism can be done very effectively without the technological gimmickry. Stalin’s Russia had relatively simple communications technology, for example, and the secret police of Tsarist Russia had a lot less. Thus I think you’re being rather naive here…

    Christopher, no argument there. My guess is that here in the US, at least, the next ruling class will be a mix of charismatic populist politicians and wildcat entrepreneurs — not unlike the industrial capitalist class that took over in the 1860s, though with a very different resource base and political situation awaiting them. They’ll solve some problems and cause others, and then doubtless their descendants will fossilize into cluelessness and be overthrown in their turn sometime around 2100 or 2110.

    CS2, agreed about the emotional dominance of the private car. That’s one of the burdens we have to deal with here.

    Jay Dee, well, we’ll see. Everyone I know who isn’t vaccinated who’s had the OMG-icron variant has reported that it’s not much different from an ordinary cold — and much of what’s overloading hospitals right now here in the US is people who have ordinary colds, and have been convinced by the media that this means they’re at death’s door.

    Ksim, fair enough! I admit I can have a kneejerk reaction to references to Karl Marx — the sheer amount of death and suffering caused by his ideas exceed, as far as I know, the toll inflicted by any other intellectual in human history. As for too much focusing on the downside, so noted; I’ve been trying, perhaps unwisely, to shake some sense into Americans who are convinced, by one of the pervasive flaws in our national character, that the future is Santa Claus and must inevitably give them a sack full of gifts.

    Naore, so noted; I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but you’ll communicate better — and look less like there’s saliva spattered on your computer screen — if you lay off the ALL CAPS a bit.

    Gallifrey, good heavens, that’s priceless. Thank you! I wonder if any of the people who approved that slogan have realized how close it is to Make America Great Again…

    David BTL, unfortunately that’s a very real possibility at this point. I’d rather see Gangs of New York style violence than, say, Gettysburg style violence, but still…

    Trustycanteen, that’s an excellent point, and worth keeping in mind!

    DenG, thanks for this! I see Jim and I are attuned to the same wavelength again.

    Jon, funny. I don’t think, though, that it ever occurred to them that there would be resistance.

    Clay, I read about that this morning! Yes, it’s a great example.

    David B, that’s an excellent point.

    Neptunesdolphins, that makes a great deal of sense. The old woman in the woods with the squirrels, of course, was called a wise-woman when people were feeling charitable and a witch when they weren’t.

    Jeanne, thank you for this.

    Materia, too funny! Back when I lived in Seattle, the common review of the various upscale clothing stores was “K-Mart quality at Nordstrom prices.” Interesting to see that that’s generalized!

    Booklover, I think it’s partly that and partly a new group of people who’ve encountered my ideas for the first time, and are having the usual case of intellectual indigestion. Page views for this post are way above normal.

    Steve, I’m delighted to hear this. For what it’s worth, I’ve been reviewing the closely related Pythagorean tradition of late — I’ve got a publisher now who wants a book on sacred music, to go along with my work with sacred geometry, and so I’m busy tuning up my monochord and reading Nicomachus and Robert Fludd…

  247. @ Bofur (#258) “Does anyone know how quickly you can make a dog go mad by tormenting it?”

    Absolutely! Also, experimentally, rats, elephants and humans can be made mad in exactly the same way.

    Martin Selignman and his laboratory did the experiments on Learned Helplessness creation in dogs in the ’60’s and ’70’s. There is a video summary and written at that link on the process. I have a lot of Seligman’s books; he used to be President of the APA. I found his What You Can Change and What You Can’t a rather eye-opening expose of the medical psychiatry industry (hint: they know their drugs don’t work, and have since the 70’s).

    Some dogs only took one run of the experiment and they lay down, others held out a couple days. A few never gave up, and so he eventually studied them for his research on Learned Optimism that he teaches to prevent PTSD in the military (or at least taught – at the time he published his book of the same name, he had created and delivered courses for a few thousand students) and children in schools in high violence/high poverty areas.

  248. You may be interested in Noah Smith’s latest substance post, which provides some interesting up-to-date stats on employment in the US (https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/the-biden-boom):
    “While some have interpreted rising quits as a sign of a “Great Resignation”, the truth is that this mostly just reflects job churn; people are quitting in order to get better jobs, because the opportunities are so good. […] And for workers at the bottom of the distribution, this red-hot labor market has been raising real wages, even as inflation erodes the pay of the people higher up.”
    Personally, it suggests to me that it may be a bit of a dead cat bounce, giving some short term fuel to the Tomorrowland believers so they can say all is not bad for those at the bottom, but whether it will last …
    (Noah also had an earlier post on China and how its development seems to be levelling off at about 60% of the US level, unlike Japan which made it very close to US levels before levelling off – makes sense from an energy perspective)

  249. @JMG it is interesting to me that commenters about covid may be proving your point about official covid narratives; not, to my eye, that there are specifically agents provacateur, but rather that the central disagreement seems to be what the one true version of the narrative is (pick one, either one). I am gratified to see thoughtful discussion slicing that apart to show that reality is usually more like a bit of column A and a bit of column B.

    And since Robert Mathiesen has as usual introduced me to a bit of history, and the real meaning behind a common phrase, will you allow me to as usual bring down the level of discussion and introduce blobby dancers on a screen (I was starting to sweat just contributing like a reasonable and thoughtful person instead of a garbage one ;-))?

    The talk of the end of the world, windmills, riots, ancient mariners… It all keeps me in an El(l)iot frame of mind, and thought maybe we could all remember going Dutch used to mean splitting the bill.

    (Sorry it’s always a video – I just really like that spoken word intro, and it isn’t the same on the audio-only version of the song on her Respect M.E. album).

  250. John Micheal Greer wrote (in post #270):

    “Are you old enough to recall when the Norse discovery of America was dismissed by reputable scholars as crackpot pseudoscience? I am, just barely — and the people who discovered the Norse settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland had to put up with savage pushback from the scholarly community before their case finally, grudgingly, got admitted on the basis of overwhelming evidence.”

    Mr. Greer, this anecdote is sadly very representative of many in the so-called “objective and open-minded” scientific fields. Even as an undergraduate in Chemistry, it did not take me very long to recognize the many orthodoxies and ‘third rails” in that field, and that scientists, at least those in contemporary times, are just as prone to denial of reality, groupthink and close-mindedness as anyone else.

    In fact (and forgive me if I have related this story before here), I wrote a rather long research paper for a 300-level Inorganic Chemistry class, on the discovery of noble gas compounds by Neil Bartlett in the early 1960s. Before Mr. Bartlett’s discovery, chemical compounds with any of the noble gas elements (helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon) were universally believed to be impossible, based on a reasonable but shallow understanding of their electron structure. However, based on close analogies with other chemical elements with similar ionization energies, Mr. Bartlett reasoned that it should be possible to make compounds with at least the heavier noble gases, particularly with xenon, and he went on to create/discover several such compounds, and in fact without much difficulty. But when he tried to present his findings at an academic conference (the annual American Chemical Society conference), many of the chemists in attendance immediately got up and walked out of the room in arrogant indignation, so sure were they that such compounds simply “could not exist” — without even being willing to face the evidence that they undeniably did!

    Needless to say, the professor for whose class I wrote that paper was not amused.

  251. Hi JMG,

    I don’t claim to know how things will pan out with this pandemic when all the dust has settled, I tend to think we are in the end phases now thanks to Omicron, which seems impossible to avoid and also quite mild, but generally I have been unsure what to make of things and how they would change since roughly it started. I have been surprised, as a result, how certain others seem to be about the right and wrong moves within it. My greatest concern, because of, and one I don’t see anywhere reflected in the absolute WE ARE RIGHT stance that “the good people” (made worse because they have labelled themselves allies of “Science”) are taking with regards to this virus, the vaccines and other medications, is that they are so certain about everything that they have made a very clear model of “the bad people” and come up with endless put downs and punishments for them. Basically everyone is watching this particular binary right now, and it seems to me like there is a perfect storm brewing with a lot of very unfortunate possibilities all that could possibly all turn out to be true.

    That the mRNA vaccines were rushed into use as a monopoly of sorts, requiring other vaccines (such as AstraZeneca’s, China’s etc), and worse still, other treatments be maligned, banned, with information on said be censored, and that this new technology a) doesn’t work very well, or worse, b) causes more deaths than the pandemic itself would have if left alone (which has a very bad potential for mapping onto the already difficult anti-Boomer generational sentiments if it’s taken to be they sacrificed the young so they didn’t have to), or worse still c) was designed to fail and need constant updates. That Ivermectin may(and possibly other well tested medications – imagine if the Orange Man’s beloved hydroxychloroquine is among them??) turn out to be a much safer and more effective route, which also had the benefit of being deployed/tested earlier in 2020 and saving many lives. That the lockdowns also maybe have caused more deaths than they avoided due to overdoses, suicides and economic ruin. The cherry on top being if it turns out that this virus was accidentally leaked from a lab doing gain of function research (either tests or approved research) and that this too was known and suppressed (worse still if some of the same players are involved in this too).

    I could see all the above being true and not pointing to a massive conspiracy of evil (with maybe some minor evil decisions here and there), but their actions generally point towards a failure to recognize that things just do go wrong some times, and not allowing for room for disagreement as a natural human response is a very bad vibe. They have painted themselves into a corner and I am not sure what the outcome will be if all of this these things are proved true (which so far as I can tell, they may), but it does have me worrying because I’m far from sure that if all (or even several) the above were proven true that people could take that information in without seeing the literal hand of the devil at work at every point.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  252. JMG, the person saying that was being very sarcastic. This comment came in a video where he was roasting Elon Musk’s idea for ignoring basic realities and constraints. Not sure if you’re being sarcastic or serious here. Sometimes I have trouble telling, too.

  253. Ben,
    I agree with you that covid is substantially worse than the seasonal flu, and that additional opiod-induced deaths only explain a modest portion of the increase in deaths during 2020/01. But you didn’t mention it, and seemed to assume that every excess death was due to covid, so I felt compelled to point it out.

    More recently, I suspect some of the excess deaths in 2021 may be caused by medical issues left untreated or undiagnosed until late in the game due to the pandemic.

    If you have a pandemic and a lot of sick people, other things fall by the wayside, whether it’s heart surgeries being pushed back, cancer treatments and diagnosis being delayed, homeless people freezing due to inadequate shelter capacity with social distancing, additional opiod overdose deaths, suicides from ignored mental health conditions worsened by isolation, surges in sexually-transmitted diseases due to lack of testing (surges have happened, probably not so many deaths because they’re mostly treatable), dialysis patients who couldn’t get dialysis often enough etc, etc. This happens in any major pandemic, because it’s what happens when a medical system has more than it can cope with.

    I would be unsurprised if only half the excess deaths (to throw out a random-ish number) were actually directly of people who had covid.

  254. @ Olive #231 & Robert #262

    The issue that lies at the bottom of all the controversy is the problematic results gotten from Carbon 14 dating which has to be done on the mortar (which contains organic material). Since the structure has probably been re-mortared several times over its early history, dates from the mid-1600’s to as early as the mid-1400s have been found. Getting better samples is going to involve taking large chunks from the tower to get enough mortar for dating.

    https://neara.org/pdf/carbondating.pdf

    Since the area surrounding the tower has been repeatedly excavated and reworked since colonial times, there is little or no material remaining which might be associated with the tower that could give a definitive answer about the builders. So, in the end, we are left with a tantalizing mystery. The only other possibility which no one has mentioned is that visiting Basque or Bristol fishermen might have had a hand in it. They were apparently visiting the east coast even before Columbus.

    https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/first-contacts-along-east-coast

    But not wanting to irritate our esteemed host any more than I already have, I’ll stop here.

  255. Hi John Michael,

    Is it my imagination or have the authoritas become sick (please excuse the pun!) of paying for the so called ‘free’ tests? If I have read the news correctly I believe that PCR testing is now being actively discouraged. This was provided as a free service and I’ve observed queues that stretch for over a kilometre (at a guess). What seems to be the new bestie favourite option is the Rapid Antigen Testing (or RAT. I’ve gone head to head with rats, and they’re clever little creatures who’ll probably out survive the human race). Except that with the RAT tests, the person pays for them. Then if they get a positive result, the same person has to self report to the authoritas and then suffer the social inconvenience of contacting all of their recent contacts (which until recently the authoritas were doing). Do I detect the sniff of the old bait and switch routine here?

    It reminds me of University education. In the 1970’s and 1980’s it was provided free of charge, paid for by the authoritas, but before that was the realm of the wealthy, lucky or well connected. Employers began demanding that employees have appropriate undergraduate degrees just for working in an area that was previously by apprenticeship (note the cost switch from employers to the authoritas). The desire to obtain such an education was raised in the population (I recall being told that it was the smart move and we’d be the smart country, except we dumped manufacturing and the left leaning authoritas had an awful lot to do with that story). By 1989, the tide had turned and students then had to pay for their own education (go on ask me how I know this!!!) The market was a lucrative feed trough. That’s what a large scale bait and switch routine looks like.

    Mate, if you ask me, this whole thing looks and smells like a giant bunch of dog poop. 🙂 Is this change happening in your country?

    Cheers

    Chris

  256. Well, evidently some of the blackrobed high court sith are trying .. through their blind elephant ignorance .. to Jimmy Jones us into one-swirled complance, or else ‘No soup-No job-Not even a cardboard box – for You, you lowly four-legged peons!!’ .. unless you succumb to the Jankyjab Mandate to Rule Us ALL!!!

    Gotta love those Supremes – Soo .. so far, it$ ‘Two legs good .. for OUR high-court Hutts.. to match their ignorant ‘job-for-life’ pinheads .. All much the better!!! No worries for them.

    Let the games .. begin.

  257. dropBear – Regarding Australia we at least agree that “the general populace is supporting it” (the progressive govt measures), which was one of my main points whether or not that’s the right thing to do. One of my takeaways from this comments thread is that we have significant regional differences. I know I’m not wrong about my area but I’m going to be more cautious about extrapolating that to the rest of the country. It is interesting that hard-done small business operators are falling on both sides of the more regulations vs less divide.

    You mention something important that I forgot (my own bias sorry): yes if you are unvaccinated then the situation for personal freedoms in Australia is extremely poor and it has gotten worse recently. Since the vaccines do such a rubbish job of preventing transmission it really is pointless and people like yourself are being used as a scapegoat for things going wrong. “If only the antivaxxers would do their bit, things would be back to normal!” – yeah, sure (/s).

  258. Also,

    It seems that DOD Sec. of Offence Austin tested positive for covid… thereby causing an even further ratcheting down of dept. mandates on our hapless servicepersons ..

    Did he, as well as the non-brassballs below him, ALSO test for clueless stupidity .. or just corruption??

    Inquiring minds and all that..

  259. Dear JMG,
    Did you see that Dick Cheney was in the Capital for the anniversary of 1/6? That’s a dark omen from Mordor if you ask me.
    Karl

  260. @JMG,

    First off, my complements on the choice of post title – I think it’s my favorite since I started following your blogs.

    Second, is Charles Lee by any chance the same artist who did the covers on your Hali books? Or is it just a similarity of style?

  261. Funny you should mention the 1933 Chicago World Fair. My father attended it: as a teenager, he cycled all the way from Toronto to attend. As I recall, it made a big impression on him. Of course, his was a generation in which PROGRESS was an undeniable fact of life. At the same time that he attended the 1933 World Fair, he was also learning to fly. In Gypsy Moths: contraptions made out of balsa wood and canvas and held together with piano wire. Their cruising speed was so slow that if flying into a strong wind, they would actually “levitate” (be stationary over the ground). My father actually saw this. Fast forward a mere 35 years and he was watching Neil Armstrong walk on the surface of the Moon. How can a man who lived through such times NOT believe in Tomorrowland?

    Meanwhile, his son watched the moonwalk when he was 6 years old and played with a friend’s Major Matt Mason lunar base action figures and ‘playhouse’ fully expecting to see humans walk on Mars by the mid-80s (at the latest). Of course, here he is 50 years after he saw the last moonwalk still waiting (in vain) to see another moonwalk. Meanwhile with each passing decade “revolutionary breakthroughs in transportation technology” just get sillier and sillier.

    I think back to the world my father lived in. A free press which tried its level best to hold corruption-prone government to account rather than being the Ministry of Truth. Medical institutions which healed people (more or less) and educational institutions which actually taught its students things that mattered — all populated with competent well-trained professionals and had just the bare minimum of administration and bureaucracy to help things running smoothly. Politicians who were real adults and actually had a spine (the last one we had in Canada was Jean Crétien who had the stones to tell “Dubya” to go to fly a kite when asked to join him in his illegal misadventure in Iraq) instead of hollow men and women who would make good candidates for Monty Python’s “Upper Class Twit of the Year”. A world where a person could voice an unpopular opinion before friends, family or even acquaintances, to be assured with the words, “hey, it’s a free country” rather than being piled on for not conforming to the socially programmed messages broadcast by the Ministry of Truth. How I crave such times… maybe I should break out into a rendition of “Those Were The Days” which started out every episode of All in the Family.

    What a difference a generation (or two) makes. I’m glad my dad did not live long enough to see the culmination of the folly of the new aristocracy which gained ascendance when he was a lad. My long-dead uncles who stormed the beaches of Normandy would weep to see the state of the nation which they risked their lives to save – the coup by the managerial class and the morass of idiocy that they have created. Of course, it was a situation that they unwittingly participated in creating. Fortunately, the situation cannot carry on like this much longer… the lampposts beckon.

    I certainly savour the prospect of revisiting the themes which you posted in your early years of blogging, JMG (I started when you were doing the “Green Wizards” posts). How much the wheel of time has turned and how far we have descended down the ragged downslope of civilization since then! Renewed or transformed vistas are in store, methinks!

  262. Mister Nobody, they’ve taken widespread post-war prosperity and optimism where guys like my dad, a penniless immigrant with a fifth grade education, could get a good-paying, long-term job with a company – the first of which lasted 10 years, the second of which lasted 30 years, support a family of four in a paid-for house with a paid-for car, just on his salary – and turned it into widespread desperation where not even college grads could hope to achieve what my dad did.

    And the creators of this miasma of fear and misery see themselves in the main as ‘progressive’ and as wise and far-seeing and noble and those of us who object to this new and unworkable order of things as small, petty, weak and un-fit.

    The irony is that these neo-liberals, or whatever moniker they go by nowadays, built so many demolition charges into the system they’ve devised, that there’s no way for it to carry on. So they got their lackeys at the Fed and other central banks to keep interest rates suppressed and money-printing at mind boggling levels to buy time to try to salvage something from this debacle.

    They’ve tried lawfare and my bet is they’ll keep doing it. They tried to over-turn an election and failed. Then (in my estimation) they fixed the last one and they’ll keep doing that. Now they’re doing the censorship and cancellation thing to silence dissidents. Next they’ll do the quasi-judicial and extra-judicial like rendition, torture, beatings, rub-outs.

    It won’t work because the global economic system they devised won’t work. Small consolation for your friend and many millions like her that had to suffer but if we’re going down the drain, the sociopaths that created this calamity are coming down with us. They think they won’t, they think they’ll be just fine and dandy in their gated compounds. I say they should look at things dispassionately and ask themselves what are the chances.

  263. Tomorrowland has fallen. Off beyond its smoking ruins, there are better things waiting. Will you join me in the journey there?

    You can count me in!

  264. JMG do you think the Christmas/Haloween stuff we are getting in now is an engineered phenomenon to distract us from something else? I just ask because the stuff we are getting in at works seems way more than a typical Xmas even if it’s after the fact…. And I can’t see how it could all have been compressed into the weeks of Xmas…..

  265. @JMG Did you hear about what is happening in Kazakhstan?
    As oil gets scarcer and the basic costs of living go up, I think we see a lot more civil unrest. In the 1970’s Jimmy Carter told Americans that we need to be more conscious about how we use energy and as a result he was voted out in the 1980 election.

    Few if any politicians are willing to have an honest conversation about energy and limits to growth, and most voters would rather hear comforting lies than the hard truth.

  266. Talk about serendipity! Here is a great article from the Brownstone Institute:

    The Undoing of Science on Its 400th Anniversary

    Any science that can’t be disputed isn’t science. It’s religion. Like the ancient symbol of the Ouroboros, a serpent swallowing its own tail, Science has gone full circle and cancelled itself.

  267. @Nicole. Regarding how to think like JMG. One of the things I really appreciate is how he has a POV that has very different metaphysics than the current orthodoxy. May I dare to presume that it gives him a safe place to stand and do what for some would be the very uncomfortable job of simply observing what going on all around us. McLuhan said something to the effect that a genius is simply someone who doesn’t mind the discomfort of observation. (The film Picnic in Space I think.)

  268. @JMG

    “Info, as I noted to Alan, authoritarianism can be done very effectively without the technological gimmickry. Stalin’s Russia had relatively simple communications technology, for example, and the secret police of Tsarist Russia had a lot less. Thus I think you’re being rather naive here…”

    Indeed. But how Total was the the control apparatus? How much micromanagement?

    I think in a more resource scarce environment. They will rely more on psychological warfare to keep people complaint rather than putting cameras and recording devices everywhere.

    And I would think there are far more blindspots for example in those examples and more areas where said control isn’t as tight.

    More space for black markets perhaps like probably existed in secret in those areas.

    Although Cities will definitely be ground zero for those kinds of things.

    Its less 1984 telescreens but more crucifying criminals for public display in those circumstances I think.

  269. JMG – Something like signs of trouble ahead. Recently, while waiting for a medical procedure to be performed on my wife, I strolled around the lobby of the elegant hospital-adjacent office/clinic building. It had been decorated for Christmas with poinsettias (which were wilted and dropping leaves for lack of water), and cut-out paper snowflakes (which had 4-way symmetry instead of 6-way, because I guess it’s now impossible to fold paper in thirds before cutting it?). There was a battery-powered clock on the wall, which was about six hours away from the current time (because when the prior battery wore out, somebody just replaced the battery, without attending to the time?). There was a disabled wheelchair; that is, a wheelchair with one of its small front tires having being run off the wheel, and thus jammed in place. In the restroom, the touch-free faucet over the sink could not be persuaded to do more than spit on my hands (fortunately, there was a second sink that worked properly).

    However, my favorite part was a pair of electronic displays adjacent to the meeting room doors. I suppose that they could be configured to show a schedule of events, if events were being scheduled, but for now, they were just showing the time, incorrectly, by more than an hour. As I asked the LCSW whose office was next to them, “Why do you put up with this? Has your technology exceeded your ability to operate it?”

    By the time I left, though, the battery-powered clock was correct, the poinsettias were visibly responding to water, and the tire was back on the wheel-chair. That’s the sort of mischief that a bored and anxious engineer can get into, when not properly supervised.

    When I told this tale to a co-worker of the younger generation, she said “Don’t you know? Filling time with games while you’re waiting is what smart phones are for?”

  270. Cris at Fernglade Farm,

    I refuse to abide by any sort of cheesy coercions – questionable ‘tests’, ratfracking .. er, reporting about contacts .. jumping through whatever hoops to recieive a cookie – like good compliant pup.. Our Great White Father promises to fling test kits throughout the Realm, to coax the sheepish into jabbing to infinity, whilst completey wreaking our continental shipping/trucking supply, now NON-supply, chains – with the helping slight o hands ‘What Me Worry’ Transpo Sec. Pete B. “Build Backflips Better”

    Bait n Switch yoy say?? No thanky. Bunch of CONjurers, the whole ghoulish globull lot! .. And that ain’t no harmless pea resting under the walnut shell.

  271. I just ordered David Graeber’s last book, The Dawn of Everything. It sounds like a book that covers some of the things you are speaking of in this post. Our understanding of the past and of other cultures has been deliberately diminished and the varieties of ways that people have organized ourselves is actually more expansive and variable than we realize.

  272. @Merle Langlois, #234

    The name was Duckling, Raymond Duckling. I hear you and, believe it or not, I hold the other side of the argument IRL (even if not particularly well paid, teachers are culturally speaking not wage workers, we are the lowest peg in the PMC). I am sorry that you have gone through a rough couple of years and hope you get ahead stronger and wiser for it.

    @Walt F, #246

    Leaving aside the fact that the “outside” is a very, very large place, and therefore without further information it is impossible for you to say if it is “snowing” or not in my backyard… No, I do not grant you that power over me either. As I said, I prefer to hold my peace because this audience is not receptive to what I have to say. But if people goes around putting labels and attributing malice and treachery to anyone not conforming to the fashionable narrative, I will jump; I have no intention of rolling into a corner and withering away silently, you see.

    So, when you say that “you gotta know the territory”, what did you mean exactly? Is it that I should expect my message to fall in deaf ears (which I do)? Or is it that I have no right to complain about being labeled an infiltrator working for the US federal government? Is it the first or the second? Fail to respond means the second. And if that last is the case, let everyone in the commonwealth know that you have just voted to institute a thought police in the Archdruid’s virtual living room.

    @Everyone else

    I will not be responding any future communication regarding the covid pandemic in this post. I have already abused our host’s patience more than enough for one week.

  273. Kerry, thanks for this. Certainly a lot of people are taking advantage of the shift from a buyers’ to a sellers’ market in labor; however, there are a lot of people apparently missing from the workforce, and anecdata suggests that a very large share of them are working under the table or in other off-the-record contexts. It’s great that it’s driving up real wages for the working classes — they’ve been getting shafted for the benefit of the overprivileged for a very long time now.

    Pixelated, oh, granted, it’s fascinating to watch. Next week’s going to be another Lévi post, of course, and so conversation will be sedate (and a lot of the newcomers will doubtless be scratching their heads and wondering what that’s all about), but the following week I propose to kick it up another notch.

    Alan, I don’t think I recall reading that story before! Thanks for this. It’s a great example of the pigheadedness that infects every human phenomenon, very much including science.

    Johnny, I wish I could disagree. It’s an ugly situation and could get much uglier…

    Pygmycory, okay, I missed that completely. Thanks for the correction.

    Jeanne (if I may), thank you — it’s exactly the fact that the ground is hopelessly disturbed, the carbon dating turned out ambiguous, and the colonial records got destroyed by the British during the Revolution that makes this, as you say, a tantalizing mystery. I’d like to see that recognized, rather than dismissed. There’s at least one more theory, btw — the Masonic Knights Templar here in Rhode Island go there for midwinter sunrise each year for a ceremony, because some of them have become convinced that the tower was built by the original Knights Templar, fleeing by sea from persecution in Europe…

    Chris, why, of course. I’m sure the long-term plan is to make people pay for the mandatory vaccines, too, and to crank the price higher and higher every single year.

    Polecat, well, we’ll see. That I’ve heard, there’s no ruling yet. As for a test for cluelessness, could you please invent one of those? I can see it getting plenty of use.

    Karl, it’s just possible that 20 years from now January 6 will be a national holiday and yesterday’s antics will be recalled as the last hurrah of a failing system. Stranger things have happened.

    Athelstan, thank you. No, the covers for The Weird of Hali were painted by another fine artist, Matt Forsyth — though I’d be delighted to have Charles Lee paint a book cover for me someday!

    Ron, my dad was born in 1938 and so missed out on the Chicago World’s Fair and the Gipsy Moths — a fine little plane, well worth putting back into production once resource shortages bite down again — but I also played with Major Matt Mason, Man In Space and had the same mistaken notions about the future. No question, we’ve slid a long way down — though there were ghastly problems then, too. But thank you for the reminder of the Gipsy Moth. I give you the future of aviation:

    River, and the cream of the jest is that it’s called the Millennium Tower!

    Sardaukar, glad to hear it. It’ll be good to have somebody from Salusa Secundus along. 😉

    Austinofoz, er, which Christmas and Halloween stuff?

    Stellarwind, of course. The US government is trying to gin up another color revolution to put more pressure on Russia; this time the target government got on the phone to some friends, and I understand quite a few Russian paratroopers right now are causing things to quiet down in Almaty. That said, no doubt we’ll see a lot more civil unrest in the near future, and not all of it will be manufactured by CIA contractors.

    Michael, thanks for this! More people tuning into the same wavelength…

    Info, based on what I’ve read, it was comparable. As countless evil overlords have discovered to their cost, technology is overrated.

    Lathechuck, many thanks for the data points. Does this remind you of descriptions of the Soviet Union not long before it imploded? That’s what it makes me think of.

    Someofparts, it’s on my look-at list.

    Stellarwind, maybe so, but quite a few of those “voting restrictions” amount to ways to prevent dead people and noncitizens from voting, you know.

  274. I’m honestly curious about something, and it’s something that fits better here, with this topic, than in the other blog

    With the supply chain either on the brink or already breaking down, I am wondering how long the pharma companies will still be able to produce and disseminate vaccines and boosters in sufficient quantities – even in the First World. There could be cases of people, possibly majorities, getting “red-carded” even though they want to get their next booster because they can’t get the next booster anywhere…

    Also worth considering: Many hospitals in the US are already experiencing a staffing shortage, and it could get worse no matter which way the Supreme Court rules. If the mandates are upheld, of course, anyone who refuses to get them under any circumstances would legally have to be terminated, but if they’re struck down, some of the more mainstream nurses may quit in revulsion that there’s “apparently nothing we can do about them”. Either way, that would exacerbate the hospital staffing shortage, and if the hospital’s understaffed, there will be treatment delays, including for fatal conditions (if treatment happens at all) for anything requiring hospitalization – not just COVID but everything else.

  275. @ Karl, #283

    The way I see it, Dick Cheney’s appearance at the Democrat dog and pony show at the Capitol Building the other dsy was yet another sign that senile elites are desperately circling the wagons. He was also there to show support for his daughter Liz, who is facing a lot of pushback from her colleagues and a very tough reelection campaign.

    It won’t work. You can smell the fear coming from both the neoliberal elites who run the Democratic Party and the neocon elites (like the Cheneys) who are rapidly losing what influence they still have over the GOP. Liz Cheney is likely to get primaried in this year’s election by Harriet Hageman, a populist conservative backed by the King in Orange. At least Adam Kinzinger, Nancy Pelosi’s other pet RINO, had the good sense to announce he is retiring from Congress instead of waiting to be booted out of office by his own fed-up constituents.

  276. @John Michael Greer

    “Info, based on what I’ve read, it was comparable. As countless evil overlords have discovered to their cost, technology is overrated.”

    Could you expand?

    Why do you think its would be just as hard to have for example black markets?

    Or that potential blindspots or cracks in the system would be similar in those circumstances to more technologically advanced societies?

    What about the existence of havens where said control doesn’t manage to be as total to the same extent or non-existent?

    How can they be compared?

    Certainly human fallibility should open up more opportunities?

  277. JMG wrote: I give you the future of aviation ( A Gipsy Moth)

    Wonderful! I also think that the future of aviation is a return to properller engines which are far less resource intensive and less complex to build and maintain than a jet engine.
    Of course, range will be curtailed….

    It would be interesting to make a list of technologies that could be useful and sustainable on the longterm in a resource constrained world.

  278. “Americans who are convinced, by one of the pervasive flaws in our national character, that the future is Santa Claus and must inevitably give them a sack full of gifts”
    …And now I am imagining Santa Claus sweeping down from the north with his horde of elven flying-reindeer-riders, to bring peace, tolerance, prosperity, and brotherhood to the world — in much the same way Genghis Khan did to Eurasia. Every military in the world falls, unable to even hit a foe that can warp time enough to individually visit, with time for a snack, billions of children in only a few hours, and all attempts at plotting resistance are foiled easily — for, after all, what could be more Naughty than resisting the will of the Great Claus, and thus, _he sees_. In the aftermath, the survivors enjoy a single world government that has ended war and inequality, and the matter-and-energy-magical/industrial might of the Polar Empire ensures great material abundance. And everyone is Nice to each other, or else. From his throne in the arctic, the immortal Great Claus surveys his domain, and finds it good cause for jollity — for it is manifest that the future is Santa Claus, and always hereafter shall be.

    (…My brain does interesting things sometimes. :D)

  279. @Robert Mathiesen

    Our work at the Newport Tower was more documentary than investigatory. And it was well before Egan got interested.

    The Egan/Dee hypothesis is, IMO, fantastic. And I mean that in both the literal and colloquial sense. It’s novel and fascinating and exciting, but it requires a construction of the historical record that is simply not in evidence.

    I cannot disprove the Egan theory, nor the Norse theory, nor the Celtic theory, nor the UFO/alien theory. But I contend that none of them have meaningful supporting evidence.

    Carbon-14 dating and historical records are the best we have. Historical records are sparse in this case. And C-14 dating has well-known limitations. But the mortar evidence is reasonably coherent. It fits the narrative that does not require any tremendous leaps. And notably, the composition of the mortar matches the mix used in other better-documented construction in the very local area. You may ding me for lack of creative interpretation here, certainly, but I am inclined to accept the comparatively pedestrian version of history.

    Everything else is fantastic speculation. And yes, many accepted truths started out as fantastic speculation! But of course most fantastic speculation does not become accepted truth.

    New England is full of this sort of stuff. There’s a “witches table” in the woods in south county that is a real stone platform, fascinating and old and no casual project to build, but has no historical support for any such dramatic origin. We love this stuff, it makes our lives more interesting, and far be it from me to deny that urge. But the foundation is flimsy, and well, I guess I find enough that’s fascinating in the simpler stories.

  280. Oh, and sorry for the double post, but this came to mind after I’d already pressed the button:
    Thank you, by the way, for your long work spreading the word of the sort of future we can _realistically_ expect. I’ve been reading you for years, and as a result got the worst of my cognitive dissonance with that future and the sort I’d been trained to believe in out of the way when collapse was a more distant thing. By the time TDS was ramping up, and then when all this stuff with the pandemic started happening, the global economy and political systems and those of the USA in particular coming increasingly obviously unglued, etc., I’d already, in large part thanks to you, been prepared to have a reaction not of “WHAT MADNESS HAS OVERTAKEN THE WORLD?!?” but more “Yep, here we go…”. I’m not sure _where_ I’d be, mentally, without having encountered your work when I did, but I suspect I’d be significantly worse off than I am.

  281. @JMG

    Goodness, I apologize and did not mean to offend. No “cheap shot” was intended. My observations were honest, that there has been a shift in the commentariat toward a more socially conservative viewpoint, and that long ago I sensed a bit of discomfort on your part with some of the leftier directions the comment threads bent towards. I apparently incorrectly interpreted the shutdowns of ADR and WoG as an opportunity (if not the reason) to reset the conversation a bit.

    I greatly respect the work you put into these projects. I’ve read every word of your blogs and books, and the vast majority of the comments as well. You’ve been a regular part of my reading diet for 15 years. I intend no ill will. If my recent comments have not reflected that, I can only apologize for my poor communication.

    Obviously, our “relationship” is one-sided and you have not been reading the things I think about for those same 15 years! Absent that context, I may have effectively jumped into the middle of a conversation you were not having.

    And apologies also for my sloppy lumping of your Celtic reference into the more common Norse reference. You make good points about reactive thought categorization. We all make that mistake, even those who really try not to. I believe it’s an essential skill, sometimes misapplied.

    I am old enough that my school textbooks still discounted the Norse presence in North America, but young enough that my teachers pointed out the discrepancy.

    My previous-post thought was that there are so many well-funded media opportunities for counternarratives today that I don’t think the third rail of scholarship problems still apply like they did in the past. My experience with archaeologists is that there is a strong subculture of anti-traditionalism. These two influences would hopefully lead to new and novel research, which I look forward to!

  282. @JMG, cont’d

    (My paste into the comment box omitted the intended closing to my previous comment)

    Thank you for all that you do. I’ve enjoyed a lot, and learned a lot. Perhaps not enough of the latter! My comments were intended in good faith, but you don’t know me to assume that, and I can only imagine (and speculate based on your occasional comments) the effort required to keep the waters clean around here.

  283. If I am subject to mandatory/compulsory vaccination, I won’t be around to undertake this journey.

  284. Hi John Michael,

    Well, that’s where I believe things are going as well. The main problem with that strategy is that unless people have deep pockets – hint, they generally don’t – then the strategy will revert to what it should always have been: Those who are of high risk, should take the greater burden when it comes to risk mitigation and cough up the mad cash for their own protection. All other health situations work like that, but this one has been ginned up by the media, corporate interests and politicians. It’s a really sad response to the reality of decline.

    Early last year my wife and I went to the comedy festival (during a brief interlude in between outrageous lock downs) and the comedian from another state who quipped that: Visiting Melbourne was like travelling to a city of 5 million people all with PTSD (that’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for those not in the know).

    I apologise to you and admit that I was wrong. Maybe eight months or so ago, I suggested to you that this would be a great topic for discussion, and now respectfully acknowledge your ability to wait it out until the fog became clearer. Well the topic ain’t all that great.

    Mate, some of my good friends have now become outcasts because they refuse to take the dose. Some people whom I know have taken the dose, yet have had their businesses shut down for months on end. Some unlucky few have had their businesses shut down for almost two years. And all the while, I get what this is papering over, and am utterly shamed by the sheer cowardice, fear and greed on display by our leaders. Feckless.

    My comprehension of history is pretty good, and the powers that be abandoned the middle. Why would anyone have expected better? Although I did.

    Incidentally, I’d never heard of the Clovis-Fist (!) discussion. It’s idiotic. I’m old enough to recall that the date for Indigenous settlement of this continent has been pushed back many times. The date is now a bonkers amount of millennia in the past. It seems like a ridiculous argument to pretend that somehow North America was somehow special or different. Be human, will travel, seems to be closer to the truth.

    Cheers

    Chris

  285. Hi John Michael,

    Holy carp! Are you watching the oil prices rise again? I paid $1.75/litre (3.8 litres per gallon) at the bowser this afternoon. Hang onto your hat, here we go…

    Cheers

    Chris

  286. I suspect that much of the social order we see today was given its legitimacy after the world wars because it promised a way to gurantee that those types of wars would not happen again. That is one of the explicitly stated perposes of the EU. War has always been a terrible thing, but I think something changed with the mechanization of it. Especially aerial bombardment was a change in scale of the dustruction so great that I think it could be called a change in kind. In WWI+II I think we were collectively traumatized by seeing what large scale war with modern technologies can look like. I can’t help but wonder if that was one of the reasons we accepted beurocracies large as small countries and corporations spanning continents was the promise that large scale war between powerful industrial nations would simply not make sense in a world that interconnected. And to be fair, by and large it has worked. Even though I’m sure we can all think of some horrific exceptions, the type of large scale nation-to-nation agression featuring repeated carpet-bombing of major cities from both sides has been scarce to non-existent in the last 80 years.
    How much of that is *actually* to be credited to the neck-tie class I do not know, but as we go forward into new ways of organizing society I hope to Odin we can keep finding somewhat viable ways of not engaging in that type of warfare.

  287. There is a short documentary on Prime Video titled Shatner in Space (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt16280900/) which I recently watched. It is quite the spectacle, although not in the way I think the producers intended.

    Shatner himself does an excellent job of emoting about the trip, and seems to have been genuinely moved by the experience of what is commonly called the overview effect – seeing our small fragile planet and it’s thin atmosphere. But the story that they present around him, playing extensive interviews with and commentary by Bezos along with news excerpts saying how amazing it is that ‘Captain Kirk’ is going to space is unbelievably cringeworthy. They talk as if this small rocket which goes up and comes straight back down, for a total of three and a half minutes of weightlessness, is the next big step in spaceflight. In reality it is so obviously idle entertainment for the super rich, a glorified theme park ride. And other than Shatner the behaviour of those involved is so immature that the entire endeavour inadvertently comes across as farce.

    Rather than a new beginning, it truly feels like a last gasp of the space age. A spectacle of a declining civilisation that believes it is headed for the stars, jumping upwards like a toddler in oversized boots barely getting off the ground. Vaguely amusing? Yes, in a sad way, but impressive? No.

  288. @Aldarion – if I may. I, for one, would find that kind of data much more useful if I did not know for a fact that, at least the CDC, and possibly many other jurisdictions following their lead, habitually includes several categories of vaccinated people in their “unvaccinated” category. It is very difficult to find information that carefully distinguishes the “never vaccinated” from the “partially vaccinated” “recently vaccinated” and/or “unknown vaccination status”.

  289. @ JMG “I don’t think you’re ever going to see a society of any size where cooperation predominates over competition.”

    What if we re-framed this differently, in light of the more interesting question – could there be a society that prizes “participation” more than “control”?

    It seems to me that both competition and cooperation can play roles in a “participatory” style of organisation – it just means that whether you cross swords with others or join forces with others, you do it in an “I/you” style, knowing that the other is not a “thing”, or an “object” but a person – ie a “subject”.

    Meanwhile, if we prize “control”, there is a sense in which neither competition nor cooperation make sense, since the “object” of control (including, as it may be, a person who has been reduced to a cog in the social machine) will be presumed inert and pliable, lacking any will of its own.

  290. JMG – Another data point. Farmers in Maryland are being bought out to replace crops with solar panels, to meet Maryland’s renewable energy targets: “25% by 2020, 50% by 2030, and 100% by 2040 with zero carbon emissions”. (https://energy.maryland.gov/pages/info/renewable/solar.aspx)

    [When I read this, I immediately realized that 2020 was at least one year ago, and so I should be able to see when the goal was set, and whether or not it was actually met. Elsewhere on the site, I see that 20% by 2022 is a goal, possibly set in 2010. So, it’s obvious that somebody’s moved the goalpost without updating the description of the game. I think we can expect them to move again. But, back to my main concern…]

    This illustrates another linkage between energy and food. I’ve been reading that high prices for natural gas have forced fertilizer factories to shut down, leading to shortages of fertilizer, leading to concerns about agricultural production. Taking land out of food production to generate electricity will further reduce food supplies. The Eastern Shore is a beautifully flat region which produces a lot of chicken, and the efficiency of fertilizing the fields that grow chicken feed with chicken waste seems obvious. If the grain has to come from “elsewhere”, the waste will need to be taken “elsewhere” as well, which means burning more diesel on both trips.

  291. Reading this week’s blog as a younger person honestly gives me hope, yet I can’t help but take a massive black pill.

    I do wish for a future that does look like a scene out of a steampunk fantasy novel, but chances are that kind of world is just as out of reach as the tomorrowland ideal considering how narcissistic people are, not unless those of us in the know of spiritual health, know what is healthy and what is not, put aside our differences and bad blood and embrace the commonalities and good interactions we have.

    Not the first this type of thing happened when the heat was turned up on them, especially during the Soviet Union. On the bright side I’m noticing people are uniting; we’re now seeing opposing spiritual belief systems and political dispositions sitting in the same room room talking and agreeing with eachother on a scale never before seen, on the flip side we’re seeing a lot more division in certain beliefs being perpetuated by the PMC in order to prevent this dialogue and unification. Thanks to the power of the internet, and past occurrences, their efforts may fail.

  292. Re the political left, political right, and the comments here

    To some extent, I think the sense of drift in tone is one of perception. I’d argue that the old taxonomy of left and right is in flux and in the process of realignment, that there are many folks out there who cannot readily be categorized by the old system and that the traditionalists–who are stuck in that paradigm– tend to cast any who disagree with them as the “other.”

    Take myself, for example. As I noted above, I’d describe myself as a civil libertarian and an economic nationalist. I support marriage equality (left). I support reasonable restrictions on later term abortions (right-ish). I support limited government (right). I support workers’ rights (left-ish). I support tariffs (right-ish). I support a broad suite of public services (left) but managed and paid for at the state and local levels (right). So Democrats call me a Republican and Republicans call me a Democrat.

    I’m guessing that in another decade or so, we’ll have a new binary system replacing the current one, with the boundary line cutting right across the old categories. We’re seeing the beginnings of that transition now.

  293. @Scotlyn, JMG, sorry for my post no. 144. I was under the impression that these numbers were total death rates, but they aren’t. With regard to the categories of vaccination status, yes, I have heard of these machinations in the USA, though ourworldindata at least affirm that they have excluded once-vaccinated people from the statistics. I suppose showing data from a number of different countries might mitigate such concerns. But again, since the numbers are not total death rates, they are worthless for the discussion Fra’ Lupo and JMG started.

  294. Hi JMG,

    Thanks for this essay. I particularly liked the ethology reference to displacement behaviors. It makes so much sense, but I rarely see analogies of this kind in any other contemporary writing. It really is amazing how thoroughly ecology and everything related has been shoved down the memory hole.

    To your larger point, I had occasion to visit Seattle during the holidays. In the downtown, there are still many relics of the 1962 World’s Fair (“Living in the Space Age”), including the Space Needle and the Monorail. If you walk around on 4th Avenue, under the monorail, a monument to the space age, there are mini tent cities on every block. There are tent cities on every other avenue as well, and a large cast of deranged homeless people suffering from mental illness and drug abuse. The tent cities in front of the construction sites of glass luxury condominium towers are such a shocking contrast, it is just appalling.

  295. Robert #269:

    I heartily second your recommendation of Old Sturbridge Village. It is truly a wonderful place to visit and the costumed interpreters are more knowledgeable than those I’ve encountered in other, similar places.

    If you’re visiting New England and have a day to spare, far smaller but still extremely interesting is the Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock, Vermont. The main house, once the home of the farm overseer, is beautifully maintained precisely as it was in the 19th century, but the real treasure is the farm museum. There are thousands of pieces, examples of every type of animal- and human-powered farm implement, small and large, used in New England from the late 18th through the early 20th century. Both the house and the museum are filled with still-perfectly-usable, low technology that is precisely suited to the task at hand.

    In its heyday, Billings Farm had a reputation for the finest Jersey cows, and even though the farm has long been run by a non-profit, it still raises and breeds high quality Jerseys. You can take a peek into the nursery to see the baby calves too. If you’ve got the money and want to start a dairy, you can arrange to purchase your top-of-the-line cows from them.

    https://billingsfarm.org/

  296. Brendhelm, that’s a very good question that I don’t think anyone has started exploring yet. The kind of hypercomplex biotechnology that’s necessary to make these particular vaccines is extremely energy- and resource-intensive, to say nothing of the transport costs involved in something that has to be kept extremely cold until just before it’s used; it may not be sustainable for long.

    Info, did you think that the technologies in question lack fallibilities of their own — or fail to amplify the fallibilities of their users?

    Karim, that’s an excellent point. Doubtless jets will remain in use for military purposes as long as they can be maintained, but for most purposes, propeller-driven planes are simpler and much more sustainable. I’ll consider a post aimed at putting together such a list.

    Reese, funny. I imagine his legions, with candy-cane armbands, raising stiff arms and saying “Merry Christmas!” in place of “Sieg Heil!” (And you’re most welcome, of course.)

    Olive, my commentariat and I both started shifting rightward during Obama’s first term; if you go find an Archdruid Report mirror site, you can watch the process unfold in real time. (Watching the mainstream media fawn over Obama’s war crimes — the identical war crimes for which they excoriated Dubya — was a radicalizing experience for a very large number of people, and of course the Obamacare debacle didn’t help.) As for new and novel hypotheses, er, you’ve just shown what kind of welcome they can expect, and it’s not an encouraging one. Or are new and novel hypotheses only acceptable if they come from within the narrow circle of paid archeologists?

    Wqjcv, you can refuse. There are many tens of millions of other people who are doing that. I’ve commented before that the current situation is a test, and one of the things that it’s testing is how willing you are to stand firm in the face of pressure. Will you? Only you can decide that.

    Chris, I ain’t arguing. As for the Clovis-First dogma, well, yes. There are tangled cultural forces driving the frantic attempt by American anthropologists and archeologists to insist that our First Nations weren’t here very long, and they’ve produced one idiotic and counterfactual dogma after another. You’re right that Australia is a good test case. People reached your continent by boat 65,000 years ago, if I recall correctly, across quite a stretch of open ocean; ours is much closer to Asia than yours, and the currents all flow the right way. I think it’s quite possible humans reached here around the same time, if not earlier — but if you suggest that in scholarly circles here, you’ll get shouted down so fast it’ll make your head spin.

    As for the oil prices, why, yes. It’s encouraging to be proved right yet again.

    Falk, that’s a valid point, and of course the invention of nuclear weapons put the icing on that particular cape. We’ll have to see how things unfold from here; as long as nukes remain viable, I doubt we’ll see major wars, but things can get very heated without those.

    Daniel, thanks for this! I may just have to make fun of that in an upcoming post.

    Bogatyr, thanks for this.

    Phil, interesting. And yet when I walk down the street here in East Providence, every business is begging for people to apply for jobs, and wages are rising. There’s doubtless some fakery at work — show me an honest corporation! — but claiming that it’s all fake doesn’t pass my sniff test.

    Scotlyn, provided that we recognize that every society falls somewhere on the spectrum between the two extremes, rather than being one or the other in a binary sense, sure.

    Lathechuck, thanks for this. That’s definitely something to watch closely.

    Copper, the kind of future I’m talking about doesn’t require people to act like angels, or even to all act like decent people. The conviction that something of that sort has to happen is one of the major barriers in the way of constructive change.

    David BTL, that’s a good point. My views are similarly mixed, and similarly poorly represented by the current binary.

    Samurai_47, that was happening before my wife and I fled Seattle in 2004. I don’t expect ever to go back, even for a visit; remembering the pleasant small city Seattle used to be makes its current status as festering hellhole all the more painful.

    Tom (offlist) I do ask my readers to keep comments more or less on topic. If you want to post a less teal-deer version of your comment on the next open post (1/26), I’ll respond to it.

  297. @ JMG & all –

    Tverberg penned one last month that ties energy to current “hide the sausage” politics of the elites and PMC. I put the link here, as this has now propagated to some larger alt-news sites; I have seen it referenced in 3 articles. The gist of this is that EVERYTHING is being hyped to hide the energy situation…

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2021/12/03/is-it-possible-that-the-world-is-approaching-end-times/

    IIRC, this is the first time that Gail has referenced biblical scripture, so something is afoot in her mind.

    I would support the conclusion that oil prices need to be near $100/BBL and remain so for exploration to pick up appreciably. I work in several exploration zones globally – exploration has been nil for almost 5 years due to low prices (unintended consequence) and Covid madness, while depletion never stops. $100/BBL oil is also the number where global supply chains begin to unravel due to sunk energy costs, another leg down.

    It’s worth a read… and a good think, as this is the bridge that takes us to Tomorrowland in the first place.

  298. The article to which Bogatyr (#314) gave a link is very interesting, and had a few new bits of information that I hadn’t yet seen. I have thought for quite a number of years that the age of the nation-state is coming to an end, and that nation-states will be rendered obsolete by corporation-states (but probably not a single one, as the article suggests). But now I think most of the commenters on this blog will live to see it happen. Things seem to be moving more rapidly in that direction than I had known.

    I expect that in the US (and probably elsewhere) the bare forms of nation-state governments will last for quite a while, but will become increasingly irrelevant to the course the nation takes. Masks can have their uses when one wishes to operate surreptitiously.

    Also, in the US biennial elections are, after all, an extremely lucrative business for profesasional politicians. Why derail one’s own gravy train? Here’s how I see the gravy train working.

    (1) You divide the voters into two parties and use media barrages to work them up into a frenzy of fear and rage, of abject terror of “the other,” that is, their fellow citizens who support the “other” party, the party of the people whom they most fear.

    (2) You promise to save them from “the other,” and also to fix whatever problems have caught their attention. However, they will need to donate as much as they can manage, over and over without end, so you can defeat “the other.”

    (3) Meanwhile, you actually only put bandaids on the problems in question. Why actually fix any problem so long as it can be used to keep the donations coming in, indefinitely? And you are careful not do do anything that would actually reduce their fear of “the other.”

    (4) All this serves a useful function for the new corporation-states, in that it distracts the masses from noticing how much power they already have gotten, and how irrelevant to their aims the existing nation-states have become. With large numbers of mercenary soldiers available for hire, they move toward military parity with the olf-fashioned nation-states.

    (5) Insofar as the old nation-states still have functioning militaries, the new corporation-states slowly weaken tbhem by subverting their morale. This can be a simple side-benefit of the media barrages mentioned in (1) above. This is done by ramping up each individual soldier’s fear of “the other” inside the nation-state that he serves. This inevitably weakens the effectiveness of the old nation-state militaries. (This technique could, of course, also be used to weaken the effectiveness of mercenary forces, but the nation-states suppose that independent mercenary forces can be useful to them, giving cover and plausible deniability for certain applications of military force. So they don’t seem to studying ways to subvert the morale of mercenary forces.) Modern media are made-to-order for this purpose.

    (6) More generally, modern media are a device to kill off deep thinking and pump up the emotions of their viewers. There is already an applied science of how to make media more and more addictive with every passing year, and people who work in that field of research. And from what I have heard from a few workers in that field, most of the research is being funded by corporations, not by the increasingly obsolete nation-states.

    ———–

    As for people who read this blog, the safest way to go seems to me to be: stop consuming electronic mass media; don’t use, or even own, smart phones and similar devices; shun the “internet of things” like the plague; and as much as possible “fly under the radar” in all aspects of your daily life. Oh, and also JMG’s recommendation of LESS = Less Energy, Stuff, Stimulation!

  299. @ CR Patiño, your “measles” characterisation makes sense to me. Clinical disease, where it manifests, deserves to be understood and treated, and its sufferers helped. Clinical disease should not be dismissed, but, also, it helps no one, particularly no one who is actually sick or suffering to have their illness propagandised into a monster.

    Your own characterisation strikes a very nice balance between those extremes so, thank you!

  300. @ JMG…

    That freshly minted scrip has to go somewhere, eh?

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Flying-Taxis-Could-Finally-Make-Breakthrough-In-2022.html

    SMDH…

    @ Bofur #258…

    Vonnegut and the ‘madness of crowds’?? What seems to happen is that perceptible threats increase, and thus trigger a response. WRT guns, the media hyping ammo shortages and gun control attempts resulted in more purchases due to FOMO. Then the ‘defund the police’ madness struck, and people actually encountered threats, due to increasing crime – the consequence which was unintended being the purchasing of even more guns and ammo.

    To be fair, when oil prices go nuts, similar things will happen, along with side dishes of more unintended consequences…

    Perhaps the only thing that has kept me calm is that I can only shoot a single gun at a time, and I have owned guns and reloaders and powder because I am a cheap old bastard with a farm out in the boonies?? As JMG often recommends, tossing out your TV is a most excellent idea to avoid madness due to cognitive dissonance…LOL

    My opinion is that the internet has been a safety valve for decades, allowing percolating negativity and dark thoughts an outlet. However, the internet is such that you can find spin of many different flavors on every topic, and most people do not realize they are choosing their own poison. For me personally, I consciously went through the monetizing methods of many internet sites – making myself aware of what the “hype du jour” was, insulating myself from it. And one has to be aware of psyops like the whole “Q” thing, which spawned several years ago.

    So one has multitudes of choices but one has to incorporate discernment as a habit to peruse news at all levels and not get suckered in. You have to always remember that famous abbreviation “TANSTAAFL”, because nothing is free on the internet….LOL

  301. The discussion of historical anomalies reminds me of why I consider much of official history and nearly all of official archaeology extremely suspect.

    In some fields, “There is no evidence to support such a claim” is an okay reason for disbelieving the claim. Not a great reason, ever, as absence of evidence is not and never has been evidence of absence. In History, the further back you go, the worse that reasoning becomes. Especially once History gives way to Archaeology, “There is no evidence” is actually a very, very bad reason. And the reason for that, of course, is that, past a certain point– and the location of that point varies from region to region and period to period– the overwhelming majority of evidence does not and cannot exist. Simply put, most human artefacts are destroyed with time, and given enough time, everything is destroyed. To reason from the evidence, therefore, is to guarantee that you will be wrong.

    …And this is prior to the problem of normative science and deviance, which is a sociological phenomenon common to every field of knowledge whose practitioners are human beings. Physical sciences have a superabundance of evidence to act as a limiting factor on the tendency of human social groups toward in-group preferences and hive mind behavior, and it fails anyway. If you want to study objects in motion or the chemistry of water molecules, they’re everywhere and they’re the same as they’ve ever been, as far as we know. And yet the issues that Thomas Kuhn discussed occur in Physics and Chemistry, as they do in other fields. In fields where evidence is very limited, like History and Archaeology, it’s a wonder we have any useful information at all.

  302. @chris at fern glade 311

    It’s been hovering at around $2.00 per litre in the UK since the shortage late last year.

  303. JMG (and all) – Just an update on how Maryland actually did on reaching its “25% renewable by 2020” goal (from 2010). According to EIA, in 2020, Maryland got 41% of its electricity from nuclear, 38% from natural gas, and 9% from coal. That leaves 11% renewable, not quite what they were aiming for. Also, 40% of the renewable 11% is hydroelectric, mostly from a single dam on the Susquehanna River, so I don’t think we’ll see any growth in that area. The big growth area is expected to be offshore wind.

    Our nuclear plant is rated at 1756 MW, which is pretty close to the total wind capacity projected to be operating by 2030. However, the information published by the state does not indicate whether the wind turbine capacity is “peak” or “average”, which makes a tremendous difference, since the wind doesn’t blow all of the time. (The discrepancy between “rated peak output” and “annual average output” is obviously huge for solar systems, too, and often obscured by renewable energy enthusiasts, while the nuclear plant just keeps humming along week after week.)

  304. Owain #136 mentioned Prince Madog (or Madoc) and since others have mentioned pre-Columbian presence in north America, I thought I might add some information from personal contacts which may not otherwise be easy to find. An old friend of mine in south Wales set up a small Madoc Research Group in the 1990’s which used to have a website, which seems to have long since disappeared. I did however note some information from it many years ago. Basically, Madoc is supposed to have landed at Mobile Bay in 1170 and finding the newly-discovered land suitable for settlement, sailed back to Wales to recruit a group of colonizers to return. According to one account, three ships sailed into the Gulf of Mexico and some of the group made their way far up the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, settling in lands on the Great Plains occupied by the Mandan tribe. According to the tale, the settlers soon interbred with the Mandan and some Welsh words were incorporated into the Mandan language. This gave rise to stories of Welsh-speaking indians in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the late 1990’s – after I had lost contact with them – the Research Group engaged Prof Bernard Knight who had written a book on Madoc in 1977, to look at DNA evidence and assess whether there were traces of Celtic genes in surviving Mandan people. Knight was a senior Home Office pathologist for over 20 years and was involved in many nationally-famous cases, including the first use of DNA to identify a body. So he was not a person to fantasise or draw unsound conclusions. He wrote a lengthy report, which I have sadly not been able to trace in recent years as Knight’s own website is also now defunct. A great handicap was that the Mandan people were twice decimated by smallpox – in 1781 and in 1836 – with each outbreak killing about 90% of the population. The survivors, who after the 1836 outbreak numbered less than 200 had largely interbred with European settlers between then and the 1990’s and of course many of these had some Celtic gene content. Even those Mandans who claimed to be pure bred in terms of post-Colombian times, were possibly not. So picking up traces of Celtic genes from eight centuries previously was extremely difficult. I believe that Knight concluded there was varying amounts of evidence of Celtic genes in several samples from the Mandans but given the 19th and 20th century interbreeding it was impossible to draw a firm conclusion.
    As you might expect, my friend and his Group were subject to many attacks from pseudo-skeptics and one even repeatedly tried to sue him on some spurious grounds, such that he had to go to court to have the attacker declared by a judge to be a vexatious litigant.

  305. The whole idea that we need to give up our rights because of the threat of overwhelmed hospitals has just gotten more and more outlandish since the pandemic began. I know that the situation is rough in hospitals right now, I’ve heard that from enough people who work in them. It’s just that we’re almost two years into COVID and there’s been no real effort to increase the capacity, at least not since the emergency field hospitals built early on that mostly shut down without ever getting used at all. In fact, the reality has been the opposite, vaccine mandates and poor working conditions have led many to quit the profession entirely, this being while the upper echelon of the medical industry makes a killing. At the beginning of the lockdowns, I had a very bad feeling about where this all was headed but didn’t speak out against it because I could see some logic in the initial “flatten the curve” lockdown when we knew much less about how rapidly this would spread. Since then, it’s just gotten crazier. Sweden showed early on that it was possible to get through this without harsh lockdowns, but they still continued in so many places.

    The medical industry is corrupt, broken and incompetent, and they are trying to make the rest of us pay the price for that. We’re tow years in, and those infected are still told to do nothing unless their symptoms get extreme enough that they need to be hospitalized. I recognize the no early treatments are a panacea, but every traditional medical system that I know of places importance on treatment of illness before it gets severe, and I’m talking about treatments than can be done at home not in a hospital. There’s also no consideration of health from a holistic standpoint, even things as simple as paying attention to vitamin D levels which have long been knows to be important to the immune system. and have been shown to have a significant impact on COVID outcomes.

    At this point, it’s been clear for a while that COVID is making the rounds regardless of what we do, we may be able to delay it in certain cases but it isn’t going away. So, we’ll either deal with COVID and still have our rights, or lose our rights and still deal with COVID.

    I should say, I’m writing this having just had a mild case of COVID myself. Luckily I wasn’t feeling all that bad, my sense of smell was all wacky (couldn’t smell much of anything that was actually there but smelled other “phantom” smells) and I didn’t have much energy, but I was able to use the time to rest and take care of my body. I used herbal medicine but there are other options out there too. I really can’t imagine what it must be like for those who believe the narrative, who are afraid and who believe health comes from the medical system, to be told they can’t do anything except wait and come to the hospital if the symptoms get extreme. For me I was feeling off but not awful so it really wasn’t that bad a time, in fact I enjoyed some aspects of it. I had time to work with my body and do some contemplation. I still have some lingering fatigue and my sense of smell is only partially back, but hopefully I’ll be able to say soon that I’m no worse off than before, maybe even better off from the time of contemplation that I’ve had.

  306. @Olive #305

    The same issue surrounds the site in Salem New Hampshire known as ‘the American Stonehenge’. The history of this place is very obscure as well. It didn’t help that the land owner back in the mid-20th century saw a potential cash cow and did excavating around the site, removing valuable sediments which might have permitted some carbon-14 dating and told us more about its history. There’s even suspicions he moved some of the stones to make it look more ‘stonehengy’. A couple years ago some idiot apparently influenced by QAnon vandalized the site with power tools which I’m sure muddied the waters still further.

    My own suspicion is that this is one of those sites which was used by multiple people over thousands of
    years, first by natives then by colonists. I haven’t been there, but photos show a lovely forest filled with enigmatic looking stones. Who built what? We’ll probably never know for sure.

  307. JMG – One last note on renewable energy: My home solar system is rated for 5.25 kW peak power. Over the last seven years of operation (61,360 hours), it’s generated 38,080 kWh of energy. That works out to an average power output of 0.62 kW, or roughly 1/8 of the rated peak. (They’ve been dead for the last five days, due to snow cover… I guess I could do something about that.) According to Wikipedia, wind turbine capacity factors in the US have run close to 30%, but hope to improve to 45%.

    I am not arguing for or against renewable power. These are just facts, with which anyone can consider renewable energy proposals. Make sure you know whether the system’s power output is being specified in “optimum” or “average” conditions!

    (A further complication is that wind and solar generators may be able to generate more power than is actually needed by the grid at that particular moment. One can’t just throttle down a nuclear plant because the wind is blowing well that day.)

  308. Bitcoin snark via Jean Lamb: “As a bookkeeper I was startled when I first heard the concept. Some computer experts decided one day to invent money. The word hubris came to mind. I mentioned this on FB not long ago and an economist said he refers to cryptocurrency as Dunning-Kruegerrands.”

  309. Hi all,

    Great piece John. Where we are now reminds me a little of what Gustave Flaubert described to a friend in a letter.

    ‘The melancholy of the antique world seems to me more profound than that of the moderns, all of whom imply that beyond the dark void lies immortality. But for the ancients that “black hole” was infinity itself. Just when the gods had ceased to be and the Christ had not yet come, there was a unique moment in history, between Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, when man stood alone’

    As many of the pillars we built our faith on have tottered or fallen, we too might find ourselves standing alone between a dead age and the terror of the new. I wonder how we will view that dark void then

  310. Oilman2, I’d find that more convincing if Gail hadn’t been predicting imminent catastrophe any minute now for a decade and a half. Still, I’ll give her a read. As for those flying taxis, um, riiiiiight…

    Steve, those are valid points. I combine that with Thomas Kuhn’s comments on the structure of scientific revolutions and the embarrassing frequency with which scientific opinion is backed up by logical fallacies, and the result is that the official version of the past is simply a modern mythology, echoing the preferred motifs of our culture’s storytelling while pretending to be an objective view of the past.

    Lathechuck, that is to say, smoke and solar mirrors. I note that several European countries are trying to get nuclear power and natural gas redefined as “green” and “sustainable” right now so they can pretend that they’re doing something about the climate…

    Robert Morgan, hmm! Thanks for this. I’d only previous encountered the Mobile Bay location for Madoc’s voyage in, of all places, an American fantasy novel from the 1970s (Excalibur by Sanders Anne Laubenthal); can you point me to some other references? It’s relevant to one of my current research projects, for whatever that’s worth.

    Kashtan, I know. The one bright spot is that some people who’ve left the health care industry have been providing care under the table to ordinary people at a reasonable price; if that useful habit spreads, the industry may find that it’s lost its gravy train.

    Lathechuck, well, there’s that! One of the things I’ll be talking about as we proceed is that it’s so much easier to use energy efficiently than it is to make extravagant amounts of it…

    Patricia M, thanks for all three of these — especially for Dunning-Krugerrands. That’s a keeper.

    Dermotok, in Flaubert’s time people could publicly admit that decline was happening and it was all downhill from there. Now? Most of us are too close to the precipice, I think.

    Your Kittenship, it’s an acronyn, tl;dr, “too long; didn’t read.”

  311. JMG: Ah. I knew about TLDR, but not teal duck. Teal duck was tip dog (too puzzling, didn’t get it).

  312. Thank you JMG, both Robert Mathiesen and Robert Morgan, Owain and everyone for the discussions about Celtic travels into the Americas, I have been reading your comments with great interest and I am still taking notes. I should apologize also, for my crass comment. I am embarrassed. I clearly have some grudge to work out if I really want to walk my talk and eventually pursue an academic path, should that be my way.

    @Jessi Thompson (anotheramethyst) and all,

    Thank you as well! That is an interesting hypothesis, I have a few tabs open regarding the genetic ancestry of the Native Americans and will look into it further. Clearly, having read the rest of the comments, there is a lot in that area of research and as you say, one has to be very careful when uniting the speculative part of things with the facts, specially on topics like these because the established intelligentsia will fight with everything to not let their grant money slip away. Such research has to happen thoroughly and carefully, that can be a good thing too because it really forces you to make the puzzle complete, even though it is extremely hard and frustrating to be ridiculed and not receiving support for enough evidence to at least question it.

    @JMG and all, regarding the separation of state and science. Thank you. If Science (or Scientism rather) is the backbone of the religion of Progress, it makes sense doesn’t it? I looked into it and it seems the topic is more popular than what I would’ve thought:

    “In the Middle Ages, the church and state were enmeshed; which resulted in the church being twisted by government leaders and used to push its own political objectives. Many people in our modern world don’t understand this dynamic that put separation of church and state into the USA founding father’s minds — the church should not be enmeshed with the government and used as a tool of propaganda and persuasion but should operate as a separate entity.

    In our modern world we might be able to say the same thing about science and state, that is scientific leadership and governing leadership. “Separation of science and state” might sound like removing science from government decision making which would obviously be a bad thing. But we need separation in the sense that our federal scientific agencies … the NIH, CDC, FDA, EPA, etc. should operate on the basis of science and not politics — the governing leaders should not be able to influence the scientific messages to suit their political objectives and viewpoints.” (1)

    Coming from a covid data science website of all places. There is hope! I think the separation of Science and State will gain momentum in the coming years. Being a scientists at heart (as Levi says, at the heart of Occultism, there is Science!) I couldn’t agree more with the quote above.

    From (2), though some of their statements are clearly biased, I liked this one:
    “To ensure that scientific research focuses on the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom and on potential contribution to people’s health, environmental sustainability, and cooperation and mutual caring, we will promote independent scientific institutions with adequate public funding and insulation from corporate, university or government pressures. We will also promote the exploration of approaches to the physical, biological and social sciences that may be contrary to the contemporary dominant paradigms in each field, whatever they might be.”

    If the academic path doesn’t work, given the funding problem you mention and the deeply entrenched notions of what should be right and what shouldn’t come out. (Because of reputation issues? I don’t see any other conflicts of interest for the prehistory of America) Perhaps I could try something along the lines of what the guy from Fantastic Fungi did, he never got into academia and now is making breakthroughs in fungology funded by his own fungi enterprise which is generating millions.

    Sources: (1) https://www.covid-datascience.com/post/separation-of-science-and-state
    (2) https://spiritualprogressives.org/philosophy/a-path-to-a-world-of-love-and-justice/separation-of-church-state-and-science/

  313. For those of you who didn’t follow the story about European airlines flying empty planes, just to maintain their access to airports, I happily report that our Federal Aviation Administration suspended those rules (for US airports), in response to the pandemic. Now, that’s what I call a sensible emergency response. The EU regulators only cut the required traffic volume in half, instead of letting it fall to match demand. (I wonder who owns the airports, who collect the usage fees… follow the money.)

  314. JMG – Just to be clear, my solar panels, operating on annualized average of 1/8th of their rated capacity, have performed just as they were advertised to, and have provided all of our electric consumption and more (net metered, not using batteries) since installed. Some of the loss is due to the non-optimal orientation of my roof, but competent planners know how to figure that out. But when the web site says that Maryland has 1400 MW of installed solar capacity, with 1330 MW projected to be added over the next five years, these may need to be derated by about 85% to account for “night” and “winter” before they can be compared to a conventional power plant on a MWh to MWh basis.

    Here’s a troubling vision of the future:
    https://www.seia.org/sites/default/files/inline-images/major-solar-projects-hero.png

  315. In my post (#326) a few hours ago there is a mis-typed term that doesn’t self-correct. I had posted (under point 5):

    “This technique could, of course, also be used to weaken the effectiveness of mercenary forces, but the nation-states,/i> suppose that independent mercenary forces can be useful to them, giving cover and plausible deniability for certain applications of military force.”

    I had meant to type “corporation-states,” not “nation-states” (in italics). Oops!

  316. The discussion about Madoc and where the welch prince may have landed was stirring something in my brain and I finally found it: any of you that are interested in the topic ought to take a look at Madeline L’Engle’s book “A Swiftly Tilting Planet”. Its fiction, the 3rd book in the Wrinkle in Time set. I read it years and years ago and just finished a quick partial re-read. She weaves together Wales, New England, and Patagonia in an often hard to follow but I suspect well-researched story.
    O.E.P.

  317. Speaking of the separation between science and statecraft… Think about the “supply chain of information” in medicine and medical science. We shouldn’t expect Resident Biden to come to his own conclusions regarding clinical evidence; he’s supposed to have experts for that. But how far is Tony Fauci from wherever the actual work is getting done? I suppose he needs to rely on his own sub-experts, and the closer we get to the data, the less ability the actual scientists have to resist commercial and political pressure. Where are the “checks and balances” that we expect in politics, when politicians defer to scientist administrators, who cross check the data against their stock portfolios and consulting gigs before responding?

    Part 1 of this series described the financial frauds of 2021. This is part 2. Part 3 may be out in another week.
    https://www.peakprosperity.com/2021-year-in-review-the-rise-of-centralized-healthcare/

    Note: by “centralized healthcare”, Prof. Collum doesn’t mean “nationalized health care”. He means health care dictated by national political/commercial considerations.

  318. @Steve T; very good points. The oldest village site in North America was discovered on Vancouver Island in 2017, and dates back to 14,000 years ago. My favourite write-up about it is oddly by a brewpub: https://www.longwoodbrewpub.com/triquet-island/

    “That the dig even took place is somewhat remarkable. Generally, archaeological expeditions stem from some form of concrete historical records to justify an excavation. This team, however, acted solely on account of the indigenous oral histories they had heard, and they had to travel roughly 500 kilometres from Victoria.

    Not only did these excavations confirm indigenous oral tradition stories, but the artifacts that the team was able to uncover give vital clues about how early civilizations formed. Notably, the dig suggests that humans crossed over from Asia much earlier than previously thought. The find also challenges long-held beliefs about the ice age, indicating that not all coastal areas were covered in ice, and that some islands, such as this one, seem to have acted as refuges. The discoveries of 2017 have led scientists to say they will continue to lead archaeological expeditions to other remote islands in BC to see what other traces of early human inhabitants can be found.”

    Notably, it is in a site that has been continuously occupied all this time. The sea level has remained stable there, and people moved back after two tsunamis, so it is an important discovery of a human cultural refugia that demonstrates pre-glaciation occupancy of the northern continent. Obviously anything older would have been wiped out by the glaciers, but now they know where to look for things that can predate that.

    Even more interestingly, there are newer sites on Vancouver Island that clearly indicate a culture with a different set of technologies to the First Nations that currently occupy any of the northwest coast:

    “There were once at least 3,000 Pentlatch people living in more than 90 large villages and small settlements around the area. They spoke a Coast Salish language related to K’ómoks, but carried on a technologically elaborate and culturally complex way of life down the centuries that was quite unlike anything the first anthropologists and linguists encountered among the Indigenous people around the towns of Courtenay and Comox in the late 1800s.

    The only way to get a glimpse of the former life of the Pentlatch is from what they left behind, from the archaeology. And sometimes, the Pentlatch dead declare themselves in the strangest ways. On the morning of June 23, 1946, an earthquake struck Union Bay … Most of the town’s chimneys collapsed, but it was 15 km north, in the shallows of the Courtenay River estuary, that the earthquake had its strangest effect.

    Hundreds of wooden posts popped up out of the sand and mud, revealing one of the most vivid still-existing pictures of the lost world of the Pentlatch—a vast complex of intertidal salmon and herring traps that is now understood to be possibly the largest pre-colonial fish trap complex in North America.”

    https://www.macleans.ca/news/human-remains-found-on-vancouver-island-have-opened-a-door-into-a-lost-world/

    In that article, they describe a find with Pentlatch “coins” at another site, but in other articles, they are described as “tablets”:

    “They have uncovered myriad artefacts: herring rakes; deer, dog, and elk bones; harpoon points; bone fishing needles; and, perhaps most excitingly, the flat stone tablets, each marked by symbols on one side.

    According to an interview with Muir by the Comox Valley Record, the markings on the tablets could be seen as symbols for trees, feathers, or fertility. In the interview, he described the site as “very unusual,” referring to the tablets as “a little mystifying.””

    https://the-peak.ca/2016/08/sfu-archaeology-studies-2000-year-old-artefacts-found-in-comox-valley/

    It is also only very recently that any systematic examination of stone construction practices in the region has been done, since most construction has been of easily degraded wood, but there are stone forts and defensive structures all throughout the Fraser Canyon and Vancouver Island that were built by Coast Salish peoples (the Sto:lo being confirmed to have occupied the Canyon site for 10,000 years, since the glacier receded), similar to the ones created by the Tlingit further north. The fact they were built suggests that even the current First Nations at one time had a vastly greater centrally organized civilation born out of warfare (the specific group mentioned in this article is the same one that was partially responsible for the demise of the Pentlatch) but we have no other evidence of what those civilizations looked like, as they have likely all rotted away: https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Behind+Sto%3Alo+walls%3A+a+rare+archaeological+discovery+reveals+that…-a0112818479

  319. Well, speaking of incursions in the pre-historic Americas from other lands, I couldn’t let you miss one of the Oklahoma’s enigma sites: the Heavener Runestone.

    https://www.heavenerrunestonepark.com/

    The enormous slab of sandstone is in a deep rugged valley at the head of a stream. It’s been housed in a rough building for at least a generation. The runes are currently believed to be from around 700 AD, written in Elder Futhark. The runes have been translated several times, with slightly different meanings. The most recent one, and the one I like best, is ‘This valley is owned by Glome’… basically, a “no trespassing” sign!

    A nearby river can be followed back to the sea, but not easily.

    I imagine a group of hardy Viking types, sailing along the gulf coast and finding a little river to check out. They proceed upstream, navigating twists and turns, finally arriving at the headland — decide it’s a nice, protected valley, and stay.

    It’s quite a hike down into the valley to see the stone. Lots of beautiful old stonework walls (modern era, but still…), wildlife, trails, multiple scenic photo options, etc. Hiking out takes longer, but there’s benches where you can catch your breath.

    With a sign as big as that one, Glome must have like it there.

  320. @info

    My ex lived through the Romanian revolution. He told me once he had a cousin take the train to Bucharest to visit from somewhere else. She arrived several hours late, disheveled, and quite stressed. Revolution had broken out somewhere along the route, and no one in the town she left or in Bucharest knew there was a war going on in the streets. This was in the 1980s, so the technology was phone taps and secret police and total control of the press. He said if the government could hide war on their own streets, what else could they hide?

    Technology is usually asymmetric, with those in power having more of it than the general population. There are cracks now, there will be cracks in the future, but whether there are proportionately more or less cracks doesn’t depend on the total amount of technology, but on the technological differences between the top and bottom and more crucially on the level of fear and psychological control over the population, and especially on how effectively information itself is controlled. If you didn’t have the internet, how would you get your news?

    There’s always a black market but that doesn’t mean it will make life better. Right now in the US the black market is fentanyl-laced drugs and sex trafficking. That’s not helping anyone. Later it might also be sugar and coffee, but that doesn’t mean life is better.

    I’m not saying a dictatorship is guaranteed, I’m just saying it’s still possible. But drone surveillance of ordinary citizens, all devices reporting to the government, etc… the technocratic dictatorship is less likely with every drop of oil that gets burned. It’s by no means the only form of social control or oppression, and it may be a good idea to study some older forms of social control so you can recognize a dangerous idea when you hear one.

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  321. Your Kittenship, duly noted!

    Augusto, the separation of science and state is just as difficult to conceive of now as the separation of church and state was in 1500 — but it happened. As for the fun guy with the fungi, what he’s doing is the wave of the future; you might want to consider very seriously doing the same sort of thing, and using crowdfunding and other end runs around the institutional system to get the money you need.

    Lathechuck, it’s a refreshing surprise to see us doing something right for a change. As for your solar panels, sure — but I remain skeptical that those will be anything but a transitional technology due to the energy cost of the technosystems needed to create, maintain, and use them.

    Piglet, it wasn’t my favorite L’Engle novel, but I enjoyed it. Madoc seems to have had quite a presence in fantasy fiction!

    Lathechuck, that’s an excellent point.

  322. Falk and JMG re nuclear weapons and major wars:

    major wars involving non-nuclear nations could happen while nukes are still around elsewhere. I understand the war in central africa in the 1990s centered on the DRC killed about 5 million people.

    And civil wars in countries with populations in the hundreds of millions can kill ten million or more people, and draw in a lot of meddling. I’m thinking of Russia (1919-21) and China (from before to well after WW2). 9 and 15? million people respectively. We’ve got a lot more countries with 100million+ populations now than there were then.

    So I think there’s a possibility of very large wars breaking out before all nuclear weapons are inoperable.

  323. “JMG – Just to be clear, my solar panels, operating on annualized average of 1/8th of their rated capacity, ”

    That’s consistent with what I’ve seen. My example solar panel is running a radio link and a level probe on a remote water tank.

    In summer it outputs 1400 milliamperes.

    In November it was down to 1200 ma.

    Near the winter solstice it was down to 1100 ma.

    The real problem is clouds.

    Light overcast takes it down to 700 ma. Moderate overcast down to 300 or so. Heavy overcast, as in late November inversion looks like snow but it doesn’t down to 100 ma. So a factor of 14 energy loss.

    My house is all electric and takes about 60 kw-h per day. At 300 watts a panel and 8 hours a day of sun in the winter, and at 1/14 rated power on a cloudy day, well you can do the math.

    And wind is no help either. The same inversions that bring the clouds also bring dead calm.

    Oh by the way, the oven element takes 5 kw, so three dozen cookies is 5 kw-hr. The entire range is rated at 11.2 kw according to its label, not that it’s common to have all four surface burners and the oven going at once, but you have to design for that, or accept some operating limits that might interfere with holiday meals.

  324. @Pixelated

    Big Sisters/Big Brothers is a good agency that’s been around for a long time. Simple concept, little bureaucracy, no fancy DBT stuff… very helpful. Unfortunately a lot of mental health services and support services are shutting down or virtual currently. There is a galaxy of mental health workers in Ontario that have been sitting at home for 2 years now administering services virtually. Still not really sure how that works to be honest, pretty sure it doesn’t work.

    As to the school piece – I have been going with the phrase ” online learning sets kids up to fail.” I tell the families I work with quite candidly that their kids won’t benefit from virtual learning if they don’t like it. In the region I work there is little resiliency…I guess I’m using this fourth lockdown as leverage to point out folks need to try alternatives. The local shinny pond was sure busy today;). If there is ever a time to learn a craft, explore your creative side, exercise it’s definitely now.

    I guess the trend toward outdoor education and for schools is going to just keep getting stronger

  325. @Steve T, #329, who writes:
    > In some fields, “There is no evidence to support such a claim” is an okay reason for disbelieving the claim. Not a great reason, ever, as absence of evidence is not and never has been evidence of absence.
    > Especially once History gives way to Archaeology, “There is no evidence” is actually a very, very bad reason.
    > To reason from the evidence, therefore, is to guarantee that you will be wrong.

    If you take that to its logical conclusion, then all theories with an absence of supporting evidence are equally likely to be correct. So how do you choose?

    I do agree with your point about normative science!

    @JMG, who writes:
    > Or are new and novel hypotheses only acceptable if they come from within the narrow circle of paid archeologists?

    Oh, certainly not! I am as far from a credentialist as you could hope to find. But surely the issue is clear. I can spin up hypotheses all day long, and you could do better than I. Without an accounting of the supporting evidence, our hypotheses are entertainment only. Please understand that I enjoy entertainment quite a lot.

    @Jeanne, #334:

    I’ve been to America’s Stonehenge, back in my Lovecraft-adjacent pilgrimage days!

    I prefer the old name “Mystery Hill” which sounds slightly less like a theme park. As you mention, the site is spoiled beyond the reach of historical research, nevertheless it is really quite pretty in September!

  326. “…you will own nothing and you will be happy.

    “The birth certificate will be replaced by a document called the Right To Life certificate. All existing birth certificates are automatically deemed to be RTL certificates. For new births, authorities will determine in advance how many RTL certificates will be issued in a year, depending on forecasts of food supplies, energy supplies, housing availability, etc. We do this to ensure the best chance for a happy and productive life for the new person. RTLs will be issued on merit, depending on the health, genetics, and support structure of the newborn. Non-holders of RTLs will be terminated. Termination will also take place in the event of chronic illness, mental or physical disability, and reaching the Age of Termination, currently set at 65 years.”

    (Joking. I hope.)

  327. JMG, it seems Tomorrowland is still open for business, at least according to Finland’s largest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. An article published today lists ”22 technologies to keep an eye on in 2022”. Here it is [drumroll]:

    Geoengineering, hydrogen aircraft, direct carbon capture, vertical farming, virtual exercising (jumping around wearing vr-goggles), 3D-printed bone implants, space tourism, mRNA-based HIV and malaria vaccines, drone delivery, quiet supersonic aviation, 3D-printed houses, ”sleep technology”, precision nutrition apps, smart health monitoring, the metaverse, quantum computers, virtual influencers, neural links, artificial meat and fish and last but not least: flying taxis!

    So, I’m afraid you’re wrong; it says so in the paper!

  328. Replying to lathechuck #335: The biggest drawback with solar power in temperate zones is seasonality – you get least power in winter when you need it most. Here are some numbers relevant to Europe from a book Renewable Energy by Boyle, I think from the mid-2000’s, which would be virtually the same now. They are in kWh per square metre per day which may not mean much to many people but you can see the relative amounts: southern Spain in July 7.4, southern Britain in July 4.8 (not so much less but obviously a big variation day-to-day), southern Spain in January 2.5, southern Britain in January 0.6. Inter-seasonal energy storage for heating whole countries is almost impossible, so you need something other than solar in winter whether you are on-grid or off. Save the energy storage for lighting and what few appliances you really need and maybe get used to living mostly in one room in winter with your cooking in there too so you get the waste heat from that. That is basically how my grandparents lived until the 1980’s though they were on-grid.

  329. Wow, what a lively discussion being had here! For those folks discussing the seeming political shift in the nature of the comments since the ADR days (and I was reading it back then too) I have to admit I’ve taken the same journey. In the early Obama days, I was convinced the government was, though ineffective, at least trying to help people.

    Nowadays, I’m on the far side of that: actively building personal relationships and networks that lets me and others operate outside of the behemoth as much as possible. I also took seriously the advice to Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush. If it wasn’t for the work of JMG, JHK, Martenson and similar thinkers, I might have gone down the groupthink highway. Fortunately my contrarian mind was able to find others dismantling the narrative.

    I’m in East Tennessee, and one year before I was born, Knoxville hosted the 1982 World’s Fair. The theme was all about alternative/renewable/free energy. The Sunsphere, the fair’s signature building, was supposed to represent the power of the sun. Ever since the fair, the Sunsphere has mostly sat empty and unused, with only short sessions of occupation, mostly due to being in a sort of no-man’s land with regard to parking/access. I think (at least pre-covid) they kept the observation deck open, which allowed views of downtown and had historical notes on the fair itself.

    Likely every other city, we’ve barreled head first into suburban development, strip malls and other unsustainable silliness. Folks buy a home in a new subdivision then boo-hoo when the pretty farm that is their view gets bulldozed for yet another cookie cutter neighborhood. Dissonance, dissonance everywhere.

    Knoxville is a mid-sized city and sits on a riverbank. We might have been in a position to pivot well to a post-industrial future, but our leaders have the progress goggles tightly secured to their faces. We’ll see what it brings.

    I’m sitting on some of the last green space on the west end of the county that hasn’t been gobbled up by mcmansion development. My plan for my 40s onward is to find ways to keep it that way.

    I just finished a re-read of Retrotopia. It brings hope and gosh does the timeline seem prophetic, JMG.

    Winter is for resting, planning and preparing to make the next moves folks. Ya’ll hang tight.

  330. Veering off into the Covid thing again, but this article, if true, is alarming: “Bill Filed In Washington Would Authorize ‘Strike Force’ To ‘Involuntarily Detain’ Unvaccinated Families”. Any reader in Washington care to comment if s/he knows more? This really sounds like they’ve upped the ante and intend to hunt down every unvaxxed person in the state.

    From the article:
    “WAC 246-100-040, a proposed revision to include Covid protocol under the state’s Communicable and Certain Other Diseases act, outlines ‘Procedures for isolation or quarantine.’ The measure would allow local health officers at ‘his other sole discretion’ to ‘issue an emergency detention order causing a person or group of persons to be immediately detained for purposes of isolation or quarantine.’

    Health officers are required to provide documentation proving unvaccinated residents subject to detention have denied ‘requests for medical examination, testing, treatment, counseling, vaccination, decontamination of persons or animals, isolation, quarantine and inspection and closure of facilities’ prior to involuntarily confinement in quarantine facilities, the resolution states.

    The amended law would also allow health officers to deploy law enforcement officials to assist with the arrest of uncompliant Washington residents.”

    So often in these last two years I’ve heard or read something that, not all that long ago, would clearly have been the stuff of nutty fringe conspiracists, but has later turned out to be (mostly) true. I hope that this is not one of those things, because this could get really, really ugly.

    More here:
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/01/bill-filed-washington-authorize-strike-force-involuntarily-detain-unvaccinated-families-already-set-internment-camps/

  331. @JMG

    “Info, did you think that the technologies in question lack fallibilities of their own — or fail to amplify the fallibilities of their users?”

    They are amplifiers in both directions. Although I would shudder if AI gets advanced enough to operate drones and gets employed by said surveillance state.

    Although in the more low-tech society. Social technology increases in importance.

    So measures to disrupt the totalitarian power structure would have to involve throwing wrenches into that. Especially the Bureaucracy.

  332. @Jessi Thompson
    “My ex lived through the Romanian revolution. He told me once he had a cousin take the train to Bucharest to visit from somewhere else. She arrived several hours late, disheveled, and quite stressed. Revolution had broken out somewhere along the route, and no one in the town she left or in Bucharest knew there was a war going on in the streets. This was in the 1980s, so the technology was phone taps and secret police and total control of the press. He said if the government could hide war on their own streets, what else could they hide?

    Technology is usually asymmetric, with those in power having more of it than the general population. There are cracks now, there will be cracks in the future, but whether there are proportionately more or less cracks doesn’t depend on the total amount of technology, but on the technological differences between the top and bottom and more crucially on the level of fear and psychological control over the population, and especially on how effectively information itself is controlled. If you didn’t have the internet, how would you get your news?”

    What was interesting is that Bibles that were smuggled into the Communist Bloc were “Not seen” for whatever reason.

    And that the themes of willing martyrdom for the sake of future reward and glory would break the control through fear by upholding morale and being willing to endure suffering.

    This notion of Human Dignity due to being made in God’s Image means that less people are willing to put up with cooperating with a regime that degraded human dignity.

    Orthodox Christians were quite willing martyrs in such a system and many of them won the respect of other Political Prisoners in the Gulags. And helping them throw off unseen psychological chains in the process.

    There were Supernatural Events like the “Unseen smuggled Bibles” that eventually led to the fall in 1989 of the Iron Curtain and the Soviet State.

    There was a lot of Prayer against the Soviet Regime centered on Moscow no doubt helping to cause those events to happen.

  333. @JMG

    I was reading your 2019 essay on ecofascism, and after reading this essay as well, I couldn’t help thinking that maybe, the flurry of recent YouTube videos on ecofascism are indeed an indication not just of the fact that people are calling out the hypocrisy of celebrity climate activism, but also of the fact that Tomorrowland has indeed fallen, made abundantly clear by the pandemic, the chip shortage, and the blackouts in China (not sure if the last one actually happened or not).

    It seems to me that Progress is indeed ending, and true believers, in addition to governments in the West, are doubling down on their belief, resulting in crazy vaccine mandates and outright meltdowns in the form of “…oh, let’s band together against those nasty ecofascists!”.

  334. After reading all the postings about various enigmatic sites around the country, I find myself hoping that all those buildings in Brutalist style get utterly razed before the end of the century. Can you imagine what people of the distant future will think of those things if they come across them in the ruins of cities, their history long forgotten?

  335. @ Robert Mathiessen – re #326. Your conclusion that we are transitioning from a nation-state model to a corporation-state model is troubling, and very similar to what I have been surmising myself for many years, especially since, following the 2008 bank crash, the Irish PTB basically handed the keys of the kingdom to the banks, and said (in essence) “here – have at our peasants, take whatever tribute you wish from them, just leave us alone.”

    Those PTB have simply not yet realised the extent to which they made themselves expendable (apart from providing the essential “circus” that is needed for distraction purposes). Their superfluity has become readily apparent over the past two years during which guidelines and suggestions made by corporate health czars have become more powerful than laws and constitutions and declarations of rights.

    I do recall raising this possibility (nation states becoming superfluous, as corporate states take shape) on this blog several years ago, although the responses I received then appeared to line up with the view that nation states still hold all the power and can void corporate power whenever they like. However, I do find your scenario all too plausible, although its ultimate shape is still not clear.

    Your advice (stay off radars), however, is top notch. For which, thank you!

  336. Great and thought provoking read @JMG and thank you for reminding me about the Newport Tower. One theory you and your commenters haven’t mentioned was put forward by Gavin Menzies in his controversial book 1421 which posits a Chinese fleet mapped the world during that period. He suggests part of the fleet was wrecked off the east coast of North America and some crew members had to be left behind because of overcrowding on the surviving vessels. The community built the tower as a lighthouse to guide in the promised rescue mission. Apparently similar constructions are extant on the coast of China. He suggested two tests to test his hypothesis. One was to look for Han Chinese genetic markers in native local populations. Presumably difficult owing to the depredations of epidemics and mayhem generated by subsequent colonisers. Two was to examine the mortar in the construction which should give a C14 date of early 15th century. In addition the mortar should contain rice a common mortar additive used by the Chinese. He claimed the local authorities would not allow such tests, fearing the truth! Do you know if these claims have been scientifically refuted?

    @PygmyCory, I live on the east coast of England which is sinking due to perhaps a similar issue to New York. In the ice age the weight of ice over Scotland depressed the part of the earths crust on which the British Isles sits forcing the SE of England up in a seesaw motion. When the ice melted the crust under Scotland “rebounded” levering the SE of England down. The process is continuing at a rate of millimetres per annum.

  337. @Robert Morgan (#332) thank you for that story!

    I had been coincidentally thinking of exactly this problem while on my walk yesterday, but in terms of language change over time; a lot of evidence for migration on the west coast is based on language families or tools, but at some point a widely enough shared word or tool might not get recognized as an ancient borrow anymore. Especially for tools, where the adaptation to a given environment almost guarantees development along a common path, convergent evolution of new arrivals with local technology and then rapid dissemination of superior versions will muddy the waters rapidly.

    It is analogous to animal and plant distributions.

    There’s also that colonization from adjacent populations during primary or secondary succession always occurs in pulses; some years conditions are more conducive than others for seedling survival, and for different species within the same community, so there are always distinct seral stages and communities arising within even a homogeneous edaphic landscape and source population simply due to founder effect (I’m thinking mostly of Gleason’s work in the Clements-Gleason debates, here.) And that’s stating the obvious: evolution in the isolation of the Galapagos has always been studied intensively, because it simply doesn’t happen in nature elsewhere with enough frequency.

    I was going to name the principle after myself, but I’ll give credit to a real researcher instead 😉
    My first attempt:

    Knight’s Corollary
    1) Any sufficiently naturalized organism will be indistinguishable from an indigenously evolved one.

    Arising sub-corollaries:
    2) Any sufficiently provable path to colonization will be taken repeatedly by the same founder populations whenever adequate conditions arise.
    3) Evolution driven by stable environmental conditions over a colonized landscape (terrain) will produce convergent evolution in colonizing and indigenous communities, yet
    4) Fluctuating conditions in the migration corridor and colonizing environment (climate or weather) will still be capable of creating different outcomes from identical founder populations over time.

  338. @ Sébastien Louchart #237

    Can you confirm that email address? I tried sending you a message relating to your game, and got ‘Address not found’. I tried it with ‘Sebastien’ and ‘Sébastien’, and several other variations and in all cases got ‘address not found’

  339. @Olive, the Other (#305):

    One last note on Jim Egan’s theories about the Newport Tower. (As I noted before, I’m sitting on the fence about those theories, which are indeed “fantastic”–as you say–in various senses of the word.)

    Egan does not seem to be aware of it, but quite recent discoveries have shown that as early as the 1560s Humphrey Gilbert was working intensively with pretty much the same sort of ceremonial magic with a skryer which John Dee was later famous for doing. Indeed, Gilbert and Dee had even used the same skryer (John Davis) at one point, way back in the days before Edward Kelly came into Dee’s life. So the two men were connected with one another long before the 1582-83 expeditions that Egan writes about, and connected in a context apart from Queen Elizabeth I’s court.

    [See now Phil Legard & Al Cummins, An Excellent Booke of the Arte of Magicke (2020), publishing a contemporary manuscript that records some of Gilbert’s magical work with John Davis. Also Frank Klaassen’s earlier article “Ritual Invocation and Early Modern Science: The Skrying Experiments of Humphrey Gilbert,” available on academia.edu, situates Gilbert’s magical work in the larger context of 16th-century magic. There is even a foreshadowing of Dee’s famous “hieroglyphic moand” in Gilbet’s magical work. The manuscript in question is in the British Library, Additional MS. 36674.]

    As I see it, Egan’s startling claim that there was a magical component to Gilbert’s expeditions of 1582-83 seems not all that fantastic now, and this magical component need not have been derived solely from Dee’s magic. Indeed, as the recent work I cite has shown, Gilbert’s magical activity differed from Dee’s in that it was more “necromantic” and less pious.

    Of course, this new discovery hardly settles the historical question of why and when the Newport Tower was build. It has merely encouraged me to take another look at Egan’s work, a more careful look than I had given it earlier. Earflier it had struck me as too fanciful; now I am not so certain …

  340. Hello JMG,
    Regarding Madoc, there are many different stories of the number of voyages, number of ships and places of landfall. My own notes from the defunct websites are similar to the account on this site:
    https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofWales/The-discovery-of-America-by-Welsh-Prince/

    This is a site with some useful information:
    http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-3033

    This site mentions Howard Kimberley, the person I knew in the 1990’s:
    https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2007/07/22/will_dna_turn_madoc_myth_into_reality.html

    This is a link to a large pdf file of Madoc material collected by Cor Hendriks:
    https://robscholtemuseum.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Madoc-internet-file.pdf

    This site seems to have seen no activity for many years. It has links to the defunct websites I mentioned:
    https://americymru.net/ceri-shaw/group_discuss/132/madoc-international-research-association

    This mentions the DNA study which seems to have been carried out at a later date than I had thought. It is a shame the report itself seems to have disappeared as I recall it went into great detail about the genetics:
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303051618_The_Propaganda_of_the_Defeated_The_quest_for_justice_for_maligned_figures_in_our_past_forces_us_to_question_the_notion_of_historical_truth_and_objectivity

    There is also this:
    https://metallicman.com/laoban4site/the-mystery-of-the-lost-madoc-expedition/

    The Madoc story could do with looking into with fresh eyes, as I suspect that the previous investigators in Wales have either died, lost interest or are too old to do any more. I don’t know if Kimberley himself is still alive as I lost touch with him many years ago.

  341. Ian Duncombe(#356) I think your take on the virtual learning is accurate. I know one school has agreed that if a ‘functional shutdown’ is needed because of too many teachers out sick, then nothing taught during that week will be tested, and the kids will only be optionally expected to attend the classes provided, “only if they’re interested in learning”. Check mate, province. Re: virtual mental health services – I am uncertain too, but so far have seen some good results.

    In BC, they developed a program called Confident Parents, Thriving Kids to deal with either problem behaviours or anxiety that is delivered online and by phone. You get a counselor who calls you once a week to check in on how you felt the exercises suggested and information from the online modules were working for your family, and to help or refer extra resources if you were still running into trouble. You have to attend the phone calls for the next module to be released, and your counselor can see whether or not you’ve completed the modules, so you are still kept on task. It’s by referral only through a school counselor or healthcare provider, though, since it is vastly oversubscribed; I think all of my son’s friends’ families from school have been through the anxiety program, and – you probably guessed it – I’m doing it now for him. It’s like, boys of above-average-intelligence and will don’t do very well in the school environment these days… weird… but all the other mothers had said it really helped them. In my case, I find it just confirms that what we’re already doing is what they would have suggested *shrug*… so still works, I guess. What is notable in this program, and the in-person programs they ran before, is that they no longer send children to counselling, reasoning that children’s mental health problems are really parent’s mental health problems, or, at least, that the parents are the ones who actually have the mental capacity to be helped by professional psychological intervention, and changing their parenting is actually what would help the child. Having been both a child and a parent in counselling… I think this is probably correct. One was deeply scarring, and the other has actually been helpful.

    forecastingintelligence (#365) if I may, the article is paywalled, but my first reaction would be this is an indicator that our own governing classes realise they’ve messed their own bed. The primary Canadian identity is “not Americans”, and so whenever we’re really facing something about our own country that blows, we default back to crowing about how “at least we’re not Americans” Look what goons they are!”. I’m not sure though, since Homer-Dixon’s The Upside of Down was very on point (mandatory reading for graduate students in environmental sciences at UVic), and like I said, I can’t see what he said.

    My additional evidence that someone knows we messed our own bed, but is trying to defuse the situation is that the CBC used the “come crow about not being an American!” urge as clickbait title (it was the top trending article this morning), but then managed to write a fairly balanced article on actually useful reforms: How the American health system is holding up compared with ours.

  342. JMG,

    Thanks for putting through those comments from people who have fallen into a binary regarding COVID – i.e., since you don’t think it is the end of the world, you must think it is equivalent to the cold or seasonal flu. I am quietly amused that so many people fall into binary thinking traps on so many things. I’m sure the ongoing political thaumaturgy has a lot to do with encouraging this way of thinking. Makes it easier to direct people’s thinking.

    One point in support of the seriousness of COVID and that can be used to argue for shutdowns/lockdowns is the potential collapse of the hospital system, which seems to be quite a real possibility to me. Now, why is this a more serious problem with COVID than it was for the 1958 and 1968 flu pandemics? Well, take a look at this chart:

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.MED.BEDS.ZS?locations=US-CA

    Those most pernicious of managers, the MBAs, have cut per-capita hospital bed capacity by 2/3rds since 1960. The same just-in-time mentality that has wrecked the supply chain is destroying the medical system. So, while in 1958 and 1968, the hospitals could take the extra influx in patients in stride, now, the slightest ripple of an increase has the whole system stretched to the breaking point.

    Regarding the shift in political tone, I suspect I am not alone in that I shook my head at the Bush administration stealing the 2000 election, then lying about the nature of the 9/11 attacks to gain unconstitutional spying power and launch a foolhardy war in the middle east (I suppose this was Dick Cheney’s policy to address Peak Oil), with the press falling in line, suspiciously in unison……and then, see Obama elected, very few policies change, followed up by the political knifing of Bernie Sanders, the incompetent loss in 2016 to Donald Trump, the alarming use of the intelligence agencies to hamstring Trump with baseless accusations, again with the press in an amazingly uniform chorus, use of riots by both sides, and finally the pandemic revealing the corruption and rot in the federal bureaucracy. I am only left to conclude that the opposite of one bad idea is another bad idea, and the opposite of the Republicans is the Democrats.

    One thing I always wondered about the shutdown of the old blogs – I remember there were a few alt-right people commenting, who started politely but then managed to slip in some very uncomfortable racist comments…did that poison the well, so to speak? Did that have anything to do with shutting down the old blogs? Or was that a coincidence?

    Cheers,

    Brother Kornhoer

  343. At least some anecdotal information in vaccines is what I can give second or third hand:

    – A colleague was sick for 10 days after the third shot, he told me it got worse with every shot
    – Another had a few days of extreme breathing problems and high fever after the third. The doctor said if it isn’t for a certain amount of days, he will not report it, and he didn’t.
    – I hear of blood clots in a young woman with no such history and her doctor saying it certainly cannot come from the vaccine.

    I think the idea of vaccine adverse events isn’t too far off, especially what concerns immediate consequences. I assume there aren’t really late reactions like years later, because all
    that remains is the body’s memory of the antibodies to produce in case.
    I didn’t have any reactions from the three shots really. Granted I wasn’t sick anymore since the end of 2019 due to life style changes and collected experiences.

    anecdotal evidence is hard to quantify because the degree of trust and social intelligence in people bringing forth the anecdote is immeasurably in many parts and thus barely
    existent for a method that only works with quantified measurements and definitions of expected results.

    Austria’s media has put the mandatory vaccination on trial, delivering also arguments against it. There are stories about youth psychiatry and triage there. My guess would be
    if the newspaper writes about it moderately it may easily be very bad already.
    “It’s normal for adolescents to think about suicide, but not to this extreme extent” the Psychiatrist in interview says. I think it hasn’t been normal at all throughout human history for adolescents thinking about suicide anyways.

    There is a law that requires wearing masks outside on the street if you cannot have 2 meters distance to each other. Once again, this regulation is formulated so that nobody is sure
    about its exact meaning.

    Politicians also here produce the scandal of partying despite law saying otherwise for everyone else, and managing to get pictures out for the public.
    Seems to be quite the trend in all Western countries right now. I don’t care much but I think it has quite the absurd symbolism. Our minister of the interior has corona now, the papers tell us.

    So in summary Austria’s press isn’t 100% behind harsher measures right now. There is a lock down for the unvaccinated and bars may open until 22:00, and no dancing. No harder lockdown has been issued for the time being.

    Home Office is recommended but not mandated for jobs where this is possible. I sure hope it won’t be mandated, for myself.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————–

    In the late 90s cartoon “Ned and his Newt” I remember where little Ned finds to his horror that his morning flakes are now 100% more slurpy. During the episode he walks his heroic path up to the CEO of the flakes company to complain- along his way up to the CEO, everyone tells him :”that’s progress!
    There’s nothing you can do about it!”.

    I think it was the same cartoon where he visits future land theme park and finds out it is the same as it was when his dad was little.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————

    Young women of the instagram generation are no often paranoid of men and think they are all rapists. A friend sits with those in his nursing school course, I have noticed it personally too. I walk up to the train station at night, I stand before a glass door I have to enter because that’s where the ticket machine is,
    and my train is already coming. The young woman looks at me with panic in her eyes. I am unnerved and pass by.

    These things haven’t generally happened to me in the past, but recently they do so often.
    I don’t think I look very special or threatening. Somewhat Hippie like, probably.

    As a man, you can do nothing right here except looking very harmless.

    My friend in his nursing school course tells me these kids he is with are always on their phones, unable to concentrate on anything practical, no patience, no focus, and most of all no manners whatsoever.

    I think things don’t bode well for my ethnolingual group, the “natives” of this European country, as well as the natives of the other more wealthy countries. I hear other stories of a guy wanting to be a “video game streamer” and calling in sick for work, and his boss whom we know tells that “he sits there streaming, while his pregnant wife is smoking, and his two children are eating McDonalds and playing on their phones”.

    Really, I think a good whole part of the younger generation in Europe is as unprepared as you could be for a future of genuine shortage and crisis.
    I was disabled and damaged by modern life styles as a youth too, more so than my middle class peers on average back then; the internet age had not yet found that much into the mainstream.
    Outdoor action was still more of a thing for most kids.

    But guess I did it a little before it was all too cool to do it for everyone, to that sickening extent.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    Nafeez Ahmed Mossadegh has written a little summary study “Biophysical Triggers of political violence”. About the connection of resources peaking and violence.
    No doubt borrowed much from Gail Tverberg (she’s even cited I think) and maybe also our host.

    His scenarios seem to play out once again…

    What I pick up as news mostly from Gail’s forum is that for example Pakistan is running into electricity shortage seriously hurting its clothers export industry, there’s Kazakhstan but I also think Algeria is peaking, Poland is said to have coal miner strikes because the amount of coal per hour a worker can produced
    from remaining sites has declined so much and he is paid less, accordingly.

    I still muse about the probability of blackouts. It wasn’t very cold in the past days, at least in Austria.

    Fertilizer production of the biggest plant in Europe and on of the biggest in the world has reduced output bsyy 40% one or two months ago, so papers have reported. Am I right in the assumption that those chickens will come home to roost next autumn, where the next harvest should be? Last years harvest is already in.

    And for the 3rd world, next spring might mean a real hit…like we haven’t seen in a long time probably.

  344. Beekeeper in Vermont,

    Wow! Haven’t pulled up the links you posted, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that jumping blufish Jay Inslee were to .. given the opportunity, to actually codified such onerous dreck into law.

    Some folks in Olympia appear to be Playing • With • Fire .. it might just backdraft on them, the mendacious fools!

  345. Stellarwind, thanks for this. Of course they think they can fix it, which is typical.

    Pygmycory, of course! I should have been more exact, and said “major wars between great powers, on the order of the two world wars.”

    Siliconguy, exactly. We’ve built our entire lifestyles around having 24-7 access to frankly absurd amounts of energy. There are other ways to stay warm, cook meals, etc., that use a lot less — and, er, we’re going to have to relearn those.

    Olive, and if you keep on dismissing any alternative hypothesis as “fantastic,” and insist that only the hypothesis you favor ought to be researched, why, the only supporting evidence you’ll find is the kind that supports the status quo. Once again, that’s why Clovis-First had its long and inglorious reign; anyone who suggested an alternativegot put down with snide comments about “spinning hypotheses all day long,” and any evidence that contradicted the status quo was dismissed as irrelevant or never researched in the first place. As Robert pointed out a little ways up the stack, further research into British magical traditions has already confirmed one of Jim Egan’s “fantastic” claims. If more scholars were willing to treat alternative hypotheses as something other than entertainment, and look for possible sources of evidence bearing on them, it would be very interesting to see what turns up, now wouldn’t it?

    Martin, don’t say that too loudly. Klaus Schwab would doubtless think that that’s a great idea.

    Tommy, well, of course! Two hundred years from now, when the most common occupations in Finland are “peasant farmer” and “reindeer herder,” and only about ten per cent of the population has ever seen an electric lamp, there may still be little circles of Old Believers who go out onto hilltops every Sunday and wait for the flying taxis to arrive. Cargo cults are always an option.

    Patricia, glad to hear it.

    Kerry, a lot of people have made that journey over the last decade or so. I wonder — how much of the appropriate-tech information from the Knoxville 1982 Worlds Fair do you think is still accessible? It would be extraordinarily helpful if as much as possible of that material were to be put together on a website or in a book; we’re going to need to hit the ground running to get appropriate tech up and running again over the next decade or two, and having that as a resource would be a major help.

    Beekeeper, doesn’t surprise me at all. The left coast is the heartland of stark staring crazy right now.

    Info, exactly. Different tyrannies, different monkeywrenches.

    Forecasting, it’s a typical expression of the terror of the managerial aristocracy as they face the end of their era of power. Remember that to them “democracy” means that they get to keep running things; the fact that they’ve unbent so far as to use phrases like “illiberal democracy” — translation: people vote for candidates the corporate elites didn’t choose for them — makes that even more transparent than it once was. I think the author is quite correct that in the not too distant future the US will be governed by a new class of charismatic populist politicians and self-made entrepreneurs, and the managerial class will be out on its ear; how that happens is of course a question hard to settle in advance, but our Constitution has withstood equally sharp transitions in the past and I’m hoping it’ll manage this one intact as well.

    Viduraawakened, that seems quite plausible to me.

    Jeanne, oh, I don’t know. I can imagine people in the wake of the deindustrial dark ages, who happen to have preserved a few battered copies of Tolkien’s trilogy and don’t realize that it’s fiction, pointing to the ruins of Brutalist monstrosities and saying, “Yes, children, these hideous fortresses of evil and despair were designed by the Nazgûl and built by legions of toiling orcs back when this land was ruled by the Dark Lord Sauron. Aren’t you glad that the Ring was destroyed?”

    Phil, I haven’t looked into Menzies’ specific claims about the tower. His theory in general seems like a great example of taking a valid bit of neglected history (the immense Chinese naval presence in the Indian and western Pacific oceans in the 14th and 15th centuries) and stretching it very much further than the evidence will go. That’s a useful thing to do, since — as I noted to Olive above — it’s by pushing the envelope and daring researchers ot challenge their preconceptions that new discoveries get made. That said, not all such hypotheses turn out to be correct; I’d encourage Menzies and others who are researchng his claims to look for corroborative evidence and see what they come up with.

    Robert Morgan, many thanks for this! I’ll bookmark those and get to them as soon as time permits.

    Brother K, thanks for this. Of course the gutting of the US hospital system by for-profit corporations is a major issue, and plays a massive role in the mess we’re in. I also notice, however, that all-cause death rates — especially heart attacks and other circulatory system problems — has risen well above normal since, oh, about halfway through 2021. No idea what could be causing that…

    As for my shutting down the old blogs, no, I simply decided to get my blogging off a site run by a big corporation that could shut me down at will, and go for a paid site; it seemed appropriate to change names and themes at that time.

    Curt, many thanks for all these data points!

  346. Ha! Pulled up the link, and low and be hold, said bill certified as of .. wait for it – Oct. 25th … !2019!
    Who woulda thunk it .. did our good Gov ALSO get schooled by Mad Dog Klaus??

    I suspect that, should this be ‘activated’, this thing ain’t gonna fly too far without major flack..

  347. JMG:

    “The left coast is the heartland of stark staring crazy right now.”

    Well then, thank goodness for the left coast! It makes us here in Wokistan on Lake Champlain look almost sane in comparison.

  348. Beekeeper in Vermont (# 363)

    For all its worth, the Washington State Board of Health denies it.

    https://sboh.wa.gov/News/Articles/ID/3050/Clarifying-Online-Misinformation-about-the-Jan-12-State-Board-of-Health-Public-Meeting

    “Agenda item 9, while related to rulemaking on chapter 246-100 WAC, is scoped only to the implementation of ESHB 1551 (Chapter 76, Laws of 2020) and does not include changes to isolation and quarantine policies nor does it suggest law enforcement be used to enforce any vaccination requirements.” (Emphasized in the original.)

  349. David by the Lake, thank you for your response to my question about libertarianism. I am afraid your experience with regard to front yard gardens does tend to confirm my belief that all too many believers in freedom and independence are hypocrites, plain and simple. Sorry, and please don’t take that personally, I don’t include you among those who are all for independence for themselves but not for others. I have never understood the hot button personal issues. I care a lot more about whether my neighbor is a serial killer, or thief or back-stabbing trouble-maker than I do about what happens in the person’s bedroom

    What I would hope to see in a new party platform can be boiled down to the following points:

    1. A robust anti-war, anti-interventionist foreign policy. Armed neutrality is the way to go. The ancient city of Argos practiced such a policy successfully for centuries and Argos was a near neighbor of Sparta.

    2. Nationalize the Federal Reserve, impose a transactions tax on stock trading, including derivatives, or maybe outlaw derivatives altogether, and vigorously enforce anti-trust laws.

    3. A moratorium on new immigration, including family unification–they chose to come here, the families are not our responsibility–for a designated period, somewhere between 5 and 10 years, followed by an immigration policy either favoring or limited to migrants from this hemisphere. At this point East and Southwest Asia are richer than us, as is Europe.

    4. Resign from the WTO and revive the American System of national development. “Free trade” is like free lunch; there ain’t no such animal.

    Constitutional amendments I would like to see: one six year term for presidents; strengthen the 13th amendment to explicitly prohibit not just slavery but also the buying and selling of human beings, and yes that would include dowries. That is not how we do things here.

  350. @Karim #303

    If we return to propeller aircraft, it is not only range that will be curtailed, it is speed also.

    I got a good illustration of this when I took my first trip in a big aircraft, from Cape Town to Johannesburg. It was a four-engined propeller-driven aircraft, either a Vickers Viscount or a Douglas DC-4. They were both in service with South African Airways at the time. I remember the plane was slow and creaky and made a low droning noise like a WW2 bomber, so it was probably the piston-engined DC-4, not the Viscount which was a turboprop and much smoother and quieter.

    We had been in the air an hour or two when the Captain came on the intercom and said, “If you look out of the left-hand window you will see one of the new Boeings. It took off an hour after us and will land in Joburg an hour before us.”

    We looked out of the window to see a brief silver flash and the 727 shot past as if we were standing still. It was in a whole different league.

    Speed incidentally is why one aircraft can transport more people across the Atlantic than a ship. In the time the ship has made one crossing, the aircraft has made so many more crossings that it compensates for a much smaller number of passengers per trip.

    Not that speed is necessarily a good thing. A slower, less stressful life is probably better for us, and the planet.

  351. JMG, Tommy (#359)

    Is there some kind of campaign going on right now? Swedish media is also filled with news about the flying taxi cabs, both newspapers and public service TV.

    Ha ha.

  352. Hi John Michael,

    I ain’t arguing with you either. For your info the state I live in I believe has had its pandemic powers legislation extended for three months. Isolation I’d have to suggest is not the path to end this madness.

    Mate, I went out to dinner last evening and the nearby town was like a ghost town. The restaurant called me up beforehand and apologised for only being able to run a limited menu – down to pizzas – as a lot of staff were at home isolating and it had hit the kitchen hard. And when we got there, they further explained that there were supply issues with ingredients. I’d been there enough and recognise that it is a well run business to know that they weren’t just making this stuff up.

    You know what I’ve noticed, and maybe it is my own experience as a young bloke being made redundant in the recession ‘we had to have’ (that’s how the left leaning government described it as) and facing 10% unemployment and scrambling to keep a roof over my head, doing the horrendous job of debt collection for four years, and being only one pay away from, I don’t want to think about it. Experiencing the callous disregard from those who were otherwise doing OK at the time kind of guided my understanding as to what our species are capable of when things get ugly. I’m seeing a bit of that rearing its head again nowadays – and it doesn’t make me feel at all comfortable.

    And those sorts of defining experiences change you in subtle ways, and if your understanding of history is good enough, you’ll recognise that what has happened once, can happen again. No wonder history is very poorly taught – if at all.

    Cheers

    Chris

  353. I think that the Brutalist buildings will survive for quite a long time:

    1) They tend to be fairly squat affairs that will crumble rather than topple
    2) The rebar inside them is much harder to get at compared to a parking garage, so the salvage value of them is low
    3) Many of them have small windows, so even if the glass is broken or salvaged, it will take relatively longer for the elements to really ruin one

  354. I wrote above that limits on society-wide imagination and hope during a decline need to be recognized. However, Ksim has a point that a message of political change needs to contain some hope.

    There are two pessimistic visions that I think are unfounded or at least exaggerated. Among irreligious cosmopolitans, there used to (maybe still is) the fear of a fundamentalist takeover, which expressed itself in the screen success of “The Handmaid’s Tale”. This is a 1980s book that was somehow considered relevant during the presidency of Trump, the least religious American president in decades, and while the number of conservative churchgoers was dropping.

    Recently, conservatives have started to nurture fears of techno-totalitarianism, as evidenced in countless comments here. While I do not discount the risk of authoritarian government, I find it hard to believe in digital perfection. Working as a programmer to put out fires in a large company, I find it very much easier to believe in face-recognition software crashing constantly, digital passports locking managers out of their own offices and digital money evaporating, than in any dystopian vision of techno-totalitarianism.

  355. @ Jeanne #368: regarding Brutalist buildings. Any reinforced concrete building is subject to destruction by water infiltration. The water slowly causes the steel reinforcement to rust, the rusting steel expands and flakes off the outer layers of concrete, more water gets in, and the cycle repeats. The consequences were made manifest a few months back in Miami Beach with collapse of the Champlain Towers in June. The only way to keep the building intact in any other than a desert climate is through careful maintenance of the roof. Since most Brutalist buildings were built with flat or almost flat roofs, keeping the water out is difficult. A couple centuries should cure that particular concern of yours, as most Brutalist buildings contain the steel seeds of their own destruction.
    However, monolithic concrete buildings which do not reply on steel reinforcing, such as the Pantheon in Rome, should be around for millennia to be admired by our descendants. The Hoover dam is another monolithic concrete structure, relying on its shape and weight to resist the thrust of the water.
    I like to think that the next generation of intelligent species will end up having arguments amongst their archeologists, some thousands of millennia hence, whether the form of the remains of Hoover dam proves that the Earth has had multiples of intelligent species, or whether they are the summit and final endpoint of evolution.

  356. It is a well known fact that banning books increases their circulation. For the same reason the censorship in the MSM and tech platforms has given rise to Hereticon:

    https://www.hereticon.com/

    Founders Fund is hosting a conference for thoughtcrime. Here’s why:
    From Galileo to Jesus Christ, heretical thinkers have been met with hostility, even death, and vindicated by posterity. That ideological outcasts have shaped the world is an observation so often made it would be bereft of interest were the actions of our society not so entirely at odds with the wisdom of the point: troublemakers are essential to mankind’s progress, and so we must protect them. But while our culture is fascinated by the righteousness of our historical heretics, it is obsessed with the destruction of the heretics among us today.

    https://medium.com/@foundersfund/hereticon-2bb9b23928d5

    I’m not thrilled with all of the topics, but a confrence for people who have been banned for their ideas seems like a great idea.

  357. Olive, the answer to your question, of course, is that it depends entirely on the end toward which the production of a given piece of knowledge is directed. Medieval theories of momentum were discarded when it was found that they were unable to account for the movement of cannonballs. If your aim is to accurately aim a cannon, then you ought to prefer the theory of movement which will allow you to do that.

    In history, archeology, and the social sciences more generally, the answer is more complicated. It is axiomatic that the production of historical narratives very often– you might say always– serves the end of power. Sometimes this takes the form of large scale political power, as when a conquering nation produces narratives that claim that undermine its victims’ claim to the land. Sometimes it works out on a personal level, as when a person attempts to gain power in a social group by the sort of “rationalist” posturing that denigrates in the sort of explanations and narratives that normal people prefer. You might even say that, all other things being equal, the production of conventional, boring, and uninteresting narratives in the fields of history and archeology and their dutiful repetition by members of the elite is directed is directed toward the exact same end in those fields that the production of ugly buildings is in architecture and ugly art is in art.

    All other things being equal, and given no practical or moral considerations, what is your reason for preferring different types of historical narratives to others?

  358. Beekeeper and JMG about Washington state.

    I don’t watch TV or read MSM but here is how things look from the boonies:
    You have to remember that Seattle + suburbs + I5 corridor is the home of the insane woke technocrats. It’s a small area of the state but it contains more than half the population.
    That area is completely gone mentally and it would not surprise if we see “suicide parties” if/when the high tech companies fail (JMG suggested those jokingly in the past).
    Outside of that area I have not seen anything except few people wearing masks.
    But – the crazies have the power and there is no organized resistance so I do expect to see problems for years to come.

    I go from hopeful to depressed on a daily basis but this blog helps me put things in perspective. We’ll live and we’ll see…

  359. Polecat, the possibility isn’t small.

    Beekeeper, there’s a reason my wife and I fled from the left coast twelve years ago…

    Tidlösa, no doubt Elon Musk is about to launch a new IPO, which will fly much further than the taxis will.

    Chris, I know. It could get very messy in the not too distant future.

    Aldarion, two excellent points!

    Team10tim, hmm! Not surprising, but interesting. Though their idea of what counts as heretical seems rather dull to me — they could have gone much, much further out on the fringes.

    NomadicBeer, that is to say, not much has changed. I hope you can hunker down and stay out of the way of the cuckoo clock brigade.

  360. @ Justin and JMG

    You’re probably both right about what will happen with the Brutalist architecture. To be honest, I was harboring a fantasy that people were going to finally stand up like they did in that classic scene from Network yelling “We’re mad as hell at this **** and we’re not going to put up with it any longer.” then go running out with their sledgehammers and whatnot to demolish them. But now on reflection they do look too durable for that and in centuries to come will wind up the subject of startling new mythologies, maybe based on Tolkien or more likely reworked stories about the Apocalypse which came and went. (“Demons built those things, son. That’s the only explanation. No human would ever build anything like that.”)

  361. What a relief to find out that the horrific Washington law does not appear to be legitimate, at least not yet. That’s one of the big issues with this whole Covid thing; the reaction by TPTB has been so over-the-top that even the craziest of rumors starts to sound like it’s something our rulers just might implement. There doesn’t seem to be a place on the dial for ‘normal’ anymore.

  362. JMG: Re: 1982 World’s Fair. I just did a quick check and Knoxville is actually holding a 40th anniversary set of events honoring the fair. I’ll dive in and see what I can find in the appropriate tech end of things. I’ve been collecting books and pamphlets from that era for a while but I know I’ve only barely scratched the surface. What’s one more iron in the fire?

  363. Just how bad was the past? Let’s see…
    I was raised on a farm in the 50’s in Michigan. We were quite poor, that is to say we didn’t have any money. I differentiate that from poverty which I take to mean no money and no control. We had more control than the vast number of people I meet each day.

    Let the trucks stop rolling for any reason today and things get tense quickly. Back then if the same happened for, say a week or so, and we would read about it in the papers. A little more down time, we would discuss it over coffee and cider after church. It would be interesting to research just how long it would take for true desperation to set in. My guess is that we could have done OK for about a year.

    We had our own dairy, poultry, meat, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, fire wood. Each farm had 500 to 1000 gallons of gas and/or diesel. We also had each other. When our barn burned down the neighbors started down the roads toward us before the fire had even gotten well under way. When need arose, we reciprocated. It was a way of life.

    Yes, we worked hard, but hard work that leads directly to a payoff on the dinner table is satisfying in a way that many people never find out now days.

    Hooray for progress.

  364. Tildosa,

    Whenever I now hear some so-and-so establishment response mention ANYTHING regarding ‘the dissuasion of ‘mis•in•for•ma•tion’ .. all I hear or see is – !”I’M LYING!”

    as in ‘X’ days.. weeks… months… years??…. to do ‘Y’ ______ (Pick One).

    So, to grossly paraphrase G. Marx: ‘and if we don’t like those .. well, They have others!’

    Oh … and Show your Papers’.. Tatoo’.. Sewn symbol denoting one as a filthy ‘Other’.

  365. @JMG,

    You’ve mentioned a few times here that the all-cause deaths rate has gone up sharply starting in mid-2021. Data like that seems a bit harder to find than the official covid numbers; I’m curious as to what sources you’re getting it from?

  366. Jeanne, well, the Saxons were sure that the Roman buildings in Britain had been put there by giants, so there’s a precedent!

    Kerry, excellent! I’d go digging myself but it’s a long way away.

    Michael, exactly. That sort of local independence is going to be essential as things proceed down the slope of the Long Descent.

    Athelstan, there are abundant sources on that; if you do a search on an uncensored search engine such as DuckDuckGo with the search string “all cause mortality increase” you’ll get scores of hits. Here is a good set of charts; I’d also recommend this summary as a good general overview.

  367. @JMG

    “dsearch.com” is also another search engine that could be used as well as “bing.com” for now