What we actually face is a 'systems management crisis' with two major components. A: over population and B: operating within a closed resource system aka Planet Earth. In simple terms, too many people and not enough resources where said people happen to live.
Which brings me to my mantra, “Population Down/ Industry Up”, the latter being shorthand for 'all heavy industry off world'. That paradigm is really our only path to survival as a species. [Whether such is warranted is the subject of another discussion.]
What I am addressing here are The Doomers, who reject any such notions of the above nature with both contempt and vehemence. They are not End Timers in the classic sense, like The Rapturites and The Twenty Twelvers. Those types want Death and The End of The World. Their motivations are much like the Addict and the Alcoholic; they 'want the pain to end' and do not care who suffers in the process.
Doomers on the other hand are essentially people who just want Modern Technological Civilization to end. Generally speaking, their high profile spokespersons are educated white males [So what else is new?] who have never been able to truly adapt to Modern Technological Civilization. In that, I am much like them, being an educated white male and seeing that significant portions of said civilization are insane and destructive.
Where I part ways with them is that I do not blame the technologies created by civilization for its basic ills, but rather place responsibility upon its fundamental psycho-social underpinnings, which are grounded in Masculine Egotism aka Patriarchy.
Let me state clearly that I do not believe Masculine Egotism to be inherently evil, though it can certainly manifest in that fashion. It is simply an expression of male psycho-biology and has actually been key to creation of this civilization, the irrepressible male drive to Become. And, like certain childhood behaviors which served us well as children, now that we are passing through our species adolescence with its increasing capacity for large scale destruction, that behavior not only no longer serves, but could be the death of us all.
But most Doomers are steeped in Masculine Egotism. Jim Kunstler and John Michael Greer, two of the most important Doomers, both advocate a return to a semi-medieval social order that would make men essential once again. And as such reveal fully from where their unabashed hatred of Modern Technological Civilization truly originates. Such a civilization has no real need of males; it would actually be better off without them.
We must grant that contemplating ones own extinction, even on such an esoteric level as the last sentence, is an uncomfortable thing. But true wisdom means taking ones own ego out of the equation. In my own experience and observations, that is where most humans, of either gender, fail at achieving such an outcome and withdraw to back to 'safe' territory.
We humans tend to operate within an envelope of emotional safety, often in contradiction to our own intellectual observations. If something makes us genuinely uncomfortable, we rationalize our way around it, through, or over it. That process can range from blowing off simple life style change like giving up a favorite food that is bad for us [”Eh, what could it hurt?”] all the way to the ideological justification of active genocide [”The Jews are responsible for my failure as an artist.”].
I personally understand that, being a diabetic who loves cake and a writer whose substance abuse damaged his art much more than his insane family, though Goddess knows they tried their damnedest. The latter was particularly tough to swallow. We love to 'blame someone else' for our shortcomings, especially when they are those who rejected us when we sought their acceptance. 'If only' is so often spoken.
Very recently James Kunstler noted that he had voted for Barack Obama and was now 'disappointed'. This is a clear example of operating from within the aforementioned 'envelope of emotional safety'. Though Jimmy has written and spoken extensively upon his firm belief that the paradigm of 'peak resources' – specifically oil – is going to take Modern Technological Civilization over the brink of catastrophe, when push comes to shove, he tried to vote his way out of that.
For all his tough talk, Jimmy is still a bourgeois urban intellectual at his core and I personally don't think he has the stuff to really face the world he claims is nigh.
I call him 'Jimmy' because that is how I knew him as an assistant camp councilor nearly half a century ago. He was a pudgy adolescent [about fifteen I'd say], sensitive, Jewish and intellectually precocious, which back then was read as 'fag'. [still is in many places] Even though I was not even eleven, I could see how much he wanted to be accepted by the older councilors, men in their early to mid twenties, masculine, athletic, Gentile.
America was still a Golden Nation, prosperous, confident – though the Cuban Missile Crisis had scared us – and in the last summer of JFK's Camelot. Those older councilors were very much what I call True Men. That some of them were alcoholic brutes and degenerates was not so apparent, though I later discovered that quite intimately.
That last summer I had already entered puberty and, while I too had been pudgy, sensitive and intellectually precocious, for whatever reasons, I was far more cynical than Jimmy seemed to be. By then I knew that Violence was an essential component of Masculinity. I suspect that while Jimmy has discovered that by now, he has never truly accepted that in his heart.
And so, somewhere inside, he still tries to earn the respect of those long dead True Men of his youth by advocating a world were they would once again be essential. I consider his work a series of 'love letters' to them, albeit cloaked in genuinely legitimate concerns, many of which I also share.
But while Kunstler may be a 'romantic' Doomer, Greer has turned out to be an Evil one.
For quite a while I though of Greer as being the more reasonable of the two. Kunstler's words are scathing and razor edged. His contempt springs off of the page like a rabid dog. Greer, on the other hand, though obviously sharing Kunstler's feelings and opinions, speaks in far more measured tones, almost Olympian in their detachment.
But then he crossed a line. I do not think anyone else noticed, but it struck me in the face like a blow.
In his June 9th, 2010 post, Waiting for the Millen- nium/Part One: Peak Oil Goes Mainstream, he speaks with great insight and eloquence about 'cultural myths' – read 'envelopes of emotional safety' – and how a number of them are specific to Modern Technological Civilization. But I had noticed a trend to disparage what he called 'revitalization movements' and to do so with a hint of desperation.
'Revitalization movement' is the label he applies to any and all types of solutions that could possible prevent the socio-economic collapse that both he and Kunstler firmly insist is coming, no matter what. But then he crossed that line.
Now, for those who are not metaphysically inclined, what he did may seem silly, but that is not the point. Greer is an Archdruid after all and a serious believer in the meta- physically, so what he advocated was, in his model of the world, quite real.
I quote him here:
“For the moment, though, I want to pass on the counter -spell against incantatory thinking that I mentioned at the conclusion of last week’s post. Like the magic spells in fairy tales, it comes with a taboo that limits what you can do with it. The taboo is this: you can use it to guard yourself from incantations, if you think about it and understand it, and you can pass it on to someone else who’s ready to receive and understand it. If you give it to someone who’s not willing to accept it, though, it will cause exactly the flight into incantation and fantasy it’s meant to prevent. Here it is:
Keep it secret; keep it safe.”
That is a fucking Evil Meme at the very least and pure Black Majick at the very worst. In his need to bring about his Desired Outcome, he has Invoked Darkness and Disaster and all the Death and Pain that would surely follow. But this is the essence of Masculine Egotism. The Male must be right even at the cost of bringing down endless and unimaginable suffering upon the lives of billions. Nothing must be allowed to disrupt his little ego maniac empire.
I can see the path that led him there, and that is largely 'paved with good intentions', and how such transformed him into a vest pocket version of Sauron. I can see it because it is a course that I worry about taking myself. Power is the most sublime addiction and Greer has obviously succumbed to it, though the taste he has gotten is actually still quite small. But already his Masculine Egot drinks deeply of its well.
And it is Masculine Egotism, not Modern Technology, that our species must eschew if we hope to survive. The semi-medieval societies these males and their kind seek to establish is as much an evolutionary dead end as any Father/God theocracy. And would be just as brutal and mean-spirited...
And so I Swear by The Ten Thousand Names of The Goddess that I will do all in my power to prevent either of those from manifesting.
Now let me propose a 'counterspell' for the Archdruid's monstrous Invocation, one uttered by a far better man than I: