EATING THEIR YOUNG
When I mentioned the Druid Dude yesterday I forgot to pass on his mentioning that the next year or so his articles would lean heavily towards alternate tech ( you know, the funky homemade solar ovens and what not ). While you might groan and demean, preferring to paw through your stack of recent issues of Mother Earth News where their idea of alternate energy is thirty grand worth of solar panels enabling one to still use an electric dryer since no one advertises for clothesline or clothes pins, I find the prospect titillating. I love the Druid Dude’s writing, look forward to his take on the subject and would willingly buy a book from him on same. Even though he profoundly troubles me with his unwillingness to panic immediately, start shouting towards the heavens that the end is nigh, and warning that a stewpot is awaiting all who fail to heed, he is one of my favorite writers on prepping. As discussed in our last issue of wonderment, it is a good thing no one is panicking. Druid Dude does his part keeping the sheep docile, bless him. While you might think I’m being mean and sarcastic ( ME???), this isn’t actually a bad thing. Let the worthy read between the lines and survive the impending doom while the cannon fodder and meat on the hoof content themselves with planting asparagus and driving Prius’.
Kunstler (http://www.kunstler.com/blog/ ), my favorite commie Yankee slow collapse writer despite his embarrassing revelation that his deity Obammy actually has feet of clay, wrote a nice piece on the financial sector being a zombie. Which got me thinking on the death of capitalism. I never used to have such heretical thoughts but it has been going through my grey matter more and more lately. No, this has little to do with survivalism in particular, other than perhaps a general understanding of the economy afterwards. Half my drivel has only a tenuous grasp on our genre anyway. Be calmed, at least you may still bask in the glory and radiance of my wisdom. Back in the late eighties I subscribed to “The Economist” magazine. During my worst financial period, when I took home $400 a month on an income of twenty five grand ( supporting two households prior to divorce ), my one treat to myself was buying the fortnightly “Forbes” magazine and reading it at 3 a.m. ( I was working graveyards and kept the same sleep schedule on my days off ) in a coffeeshop serving a $1.99 special. Later, as the money situation became less severe I bought the Wall Street Journal at least once a week. I loved economics and business. And as a life long anarchist I worshiped at the alter of free markets. I’m still a true blue anarchist, but while my heart yearns to be free my intellect tells me that capitalism is in its death spiral. My current take on those publications are that they are mere whores, apologists and mouthpieces to the central banks, but that could just be my growing cynicism.
I do not advocate state run economies. I’m not for communism or socialism or mercantilism. Central run economies only slightly worked for short periods of time and only with surplus energy ( and then after a time created more problems than they solved such as the welfare state that grew from the make work employment of the Great Depression- although the central bank created the mess and the government created wealth redistribution more to placate mass dissent ). It is not that capitalism is bad, for it was the least worst system of money distribution, but that money itself will no longer be central to an economy. As we devolve away from oil age to sustainable decentralized groupings, money will only be precious metals and wealth will be what feeds us ( land or cattle, for instance ). Trade will not be the central part of our lives as it is now as we trade for 90% of our needs. In the future we will produce 90% and only need to trade for 10%. And it will be precious metal because there will be no central authority to certify any other store of value. In a sea of petty kingdoms the universal trade unit will be silver and copper ( gold being so rare as to be the wealthy or nobles savings- do not for a second believe gold is rationally priced right now. It is seriously undervalued in relation to the credit and paper currency is circulation ). Sure, ammo or plastic shoes or whatever might reign supreme during a collapse, but afterwards as villages stabilize to securely produce food and outside trade becomes possible, a universal currency will emerge. Just look at China during the chaos of civil war and invasion. Silver was universally used as currency regardless of which faction controlled any particular area.
If we look at capitalism currently ( no, not true capitalism but the kind we’ve grown used to over a few centuries ), the entire system is in trouble. Credit, arguably the mechanism lubricated the entire machine, is contracting. To save itself over the last decade ( remember-growth is the only model when you borrow to build, sell, or trade ) banks have created derivatives as huge as twenty times the total global GDP. It doesn’t take a math wizard to realize that if only five percent of existing instruments go bad the entire economic activity of six billion souls for a year is wiped out. Obviously, it wouldn’t take but about one percent to kill the economy. If the economy isn’t already on its death march. Since the economic direction is usually a hindsight proposition it might be hard to know until it is over. Look at it this way. Banks are no longer creating credit, to a large extent. Credit creation is how they profit and survive. No credit means the end is near. Western civilization will end as the oil disappears, but long before then our banking system will have collapsed. Keep that in mind as you keep cash in the bank instead of ammo in the foot locker or wheat buckets in the pantry as well as silver rounds buried in the back yard.
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