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March 1, 2024 44 mins

Andrew and Garrison discuss theories of collapse and different responses to notions of doom.

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Speaker 1 (00:02):
Zone Media.

Speaker 2 (00:05):
Hello, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.
I'm Adressage and I run the YouTube channel Andrewism. But
this is not Andrewism. This is it could happen here
today with Garrison yet again, and we are tackling really
the genesis of this podcast everyone's favorite subject, collapse.

Speaker 3 (00:29):
Oh wow, yeah, you know, just a.

Speaker 2 (00:32):
Light topic for your morning or commute. I mean, if
it's twenty twenty four and you don't know what collapse
is allowed me to illuminate.

Speaker 3 (00:45):
Also, why are you listening to this podcast? It is
ostensibly about collapse.

Speaker 2 (00:50):
Indeed, in essence, collapse is the significant loss of an
established level of complexity towards a much simpler state. It
can occur differently with him areas, orderly or chaotically, and
be willing or unwilling. It does not necessarily imply human
extinction or a singular global event, although the longer the
duration the mod resembles a decline instead of a collapse.

(01:14):
So collapse is really a lot of things happen all
of once. People typically side. You know, you're talking about
the climate, talking about resources and the decline of resources,
talking about vast extinction, talking about societal unrest and break
down and the inequality and truly pick your poison. Rather,

(01:35):
we're talking about, you know, the f increase in global
energy demands, to graddingly slow transition to renewables, the destabilization
of our food and water systems. There's no one cause,
but several compounding pressures, as Pablo Serlophine and Raphael Steven's
aptly summarize. To maintain itself and avoid financial disorder and

(01:57):
social unrest, I'll industr your cap with civilization is forced
to accelerate, to become more complex and to consume ever
more energy. Its dazline expansion has been nurtured by the
exceptional availability though this will not last long of fossil
fuels that are very energy efficient, coupled with their growth
economy and highly unstable levels of debt. But the growth

(02:20):
of our industrial civilization today, constrained by geophysical economic limits,
has reached a phase of decreasing returns. Technology, which has
long sail to push these limits back, is less and
less able to ensure this acceleration, and locks in this
unsustainable trajectory by preventing the development of new alternatives. Sounds familiar.

(02:40):
At the same time, the sciences of complexity, discovering that
beyond certain thresholds, complex systems, including economies and ecosystems, suddenly
switched to new and unpredictable states of equilibrium and may
even collapse. We are more and more aware that we
have crossed certain boundaries that guarantee the stability of our
living conditions as a society and as a species. The

(03:03):
global climate system and many of the planet's ecosystems and
major biochemical cycles have left the zone of stability that
people familiar with herald in a time of sudden, large
scale disruptions which internally stabilized industrial societies, the rest of
humankind and even other species.

Speaker 3 (03:21):
Yes, I agree.

Speaker 2 (03:25):
In terms of the hows of collapse, you know, it
might be slow, or it might be quick, It might
be happening now already, or maybe just really kicking off
seriously in their future. Today we'll really be talking about
the sort of different ways of conceptualizing collapse, different frame
devices we can use, and addressing the variety of responses

(03:47):
that people have to collapse in a future episode I
want to take a look at. I suppose a more
this could be like the pessimistic episode in a sense
and the next one will be a bit more. You know,
how not to spiral into despair?

Speaker 3 (04:07):
So yeah, how do I have a good understanding of
the reality of our crumbling systems, but not just be
a doomer who stays inside and scrolls all the time.
It is just depressed.

Speaker 2 (04:19):
Well, but thankfully you have more options than just being
a duma. And we're going to get into all of
those responses very soon. There are quite a few interesting ones.

Speaker 3 (04:27):
Alrighty.

Speaker 2 (04:28):
First of all, we need to talk about some different
ways of conceptualizing collapse. For example, we have Dmitry Orlovs
five stages, which is like a roller coaster of chaos,
which each stage more intense than the last. First, we
have stage one financial collapse. Everyone losing faith in business
as usual, financial institutions going belly up, savings vanish, financial

(04:53):
free fall, say goodbye to your savings, account, loans, pensions,
basically what went down in Argentina. Back into the and
one sounds familiar.

Speaker 3 (05:02):
Yes, yes, yes, Next.

Speaker 2 (05:05):
We have commercial collapse. Now it's not just about money,
it's about losing faith in the market shall provide commodities
and up being hoarded. Shopping centers are closing for business
and we might even bring back barter, and then boom,
we have the next stage, political collapse. Trust in the

(05:26):
government will take care of you crumbles. Governments try to
maintain oiler with curfews and martial law, but local corruption
takes over services, the roads un maintained, the rubbish piling
up all of actually makes a really bold claim here,
and that is that the US might be on the

(05:48):
track of these like stages. Like I know, I know,
that sounds like a really like a radical claim to make.

Speaker 3 (05:55):
I feel like everyone listening to this has a decent
understanding that, like, these things aren't just switches that are
either on or off. This is like a sliding scale,
and the US is a decent ways on this scale already.
I mean, that's that's what the first five episodes of

(06:15):
the second season of this show was really all about,
specifically in terms of the climate and how it's not
like everything all falls apart at once. It's that these
systems that we've grown to rely on will slowly crumble
away until they've become basically nothing, or they've just become
like corporate puppets, or they've just become like like they're
not actually real anymore in any kind of impactful way.

(06:37):
And I mean we saw a little bit of this
during COVID. How many systems that we relied on just
weren't really around anymore, or weren't we're not actually reliable.
And you see this whenever, like whenever there's a massive
amount of wildfires that takes over a whole region and
it displaces hundreds of thousands of people. Usually the response

(06:58):
to that is not the government's going to come in
and say everybody, it's a whole bunch of really poor
anarchists set up a series of tents to give people
food and to get people organized, to find places to sleep,
and like that's the actual response to these crumbling institutions.
It's not just like you know, fallout New Vegas, We're
living in the apocalypse immediately. It's a lot more fuzzy.

Speaker 2 (07:24):
Yeah. Yeah, And in a sense, I kind of get
people who wish it was a bit more straightforward. And sure,
you know, because if it's like if it was like
a major event, right like if it was an alien
invasion that just happened, I think it's a lot easier
for people to conceptionize something like that and respond to it.

(07:45):
And I just mobilize, all your efforts and all your
focus is on solved in this issue, because it's right
in front of your face. We're talking about like geological
time skills and multiple decades of you know, slowly break down,
and you know, I have all these election cycles, and
you have all these tipping points the scientists are telling

(08:10):
you about, and then you know, someday eventually it's raining
during the dry season and dry during the rainy season,
and there's no snow in January, and all that jazz onward.
The social collapse. This is where, according to all of

(08:31):
faith in your people will take care of you, disintegrate,
civil wars brew the population becomes a thing, clans take
over like a post apocalyptic drama unfolded. And then and
then the grand finale is cultural collapse, which is a
loss of faith in the goodness of humanity. And as
a result of that loss of faith, kindness, generosity, empathy

(08:55):
all falls out the window. I completely disagree I think
with loves solution here. I think that these types of
crisis kind often bring out the best in people. Of course,
we also do see the worst in people. But I
don't think it'll ever reach a point where the bad
of people's behavior so vastly outweighs the good to the

(09:19):
point where people just completely lose faith in our capacity
for mutual aid and that kind of thing. There is,
of course, a bonus stage that all are throughs in,
which is ecological collapse, where reboot in society in an
exhausted environment. It's like good luck with that, you know,
it's very difficult to do. It becomes a sort of

(09:41):
a well that we end up trapped in. So that's
one way of understanding collapse. And there's also C. A. S.
Halling's four phase model of ecological change, and according to him,
all systems go through cycles of four faces. A phase
of growth where the system accumulates matter and energy, phase
of conservation where the system becomes more and more interconnected,

(10:03):
rigid and therefore vulnerable. A phase of collapse or loosening,
and then a phase of rapid reorganization lead into another
phase of growth in often very different conditions. This is
more of a I suppose optimistic I mean I read
it as kind of optimistic because it recognizes that, you know,

(10:24):
something like things break down and that's it. Like even
in death, there's like a life, and there's like a rebooth,
and then there's of course the conditions that rebooth will
be different. But it's not like things completely come to
an end. It's just that the conditions that growth and

(10:45):
healing might be kickstarted with would be very different from
the ones that with the conditions that were there originally.
Another author's views on the subject, a guy named John
Michael Greer One said that quote. The difference between my
view and that of many others in the collapse field,

(11:05):
it's a lot of them assume that the first wave
of crisis will be followed by total collapse, and I
argue that it'll be followed by muddying through and partial recovery,
then by renewed crisis and so on. Thus, I don't
think it's actually that useful to have a single metric
for what counters collapse, because collapse is a process, not
an event. The collapse of industrial civilization has been underway
for quite some time now and will still be a

(11:28):
going concern for longer than any of us will be alive.
And then there's David Krowitz's sort of choose your own
adventure style collapse, where we have sort of three options
that we could go down there's one of linear decline,
there's one of oscillating decline, and there's one of systemic collapse.

(11:49):
First step, we have linear decline, which is optimistic in
a sense. It's assuming everything will respond proportionally to its causes. So,
for instance, if oil consumption goes down, GDP follows suit.
It's a very gradual and controlled decline, which gives us
time to transition to renewable energy and to change our ways.

(12:10):
It's kind of a dream scenario for some dee growth enthusiasts,
So some of those who champion a transition to a
greener future, we kind of want it to be a
slow collapse, not a rapid collapse, because it gives us
time to respond and adjust accordingly. Of course, the other
side of that, the catch is that when it is

(12:32):
that slow, it also sort of gives an excuse for inaction,
an excuse for delay and putting off and procrastinates in
on the changes that are necessary. A more realistic scenario,
according to to Coross, oscillating decline, where you have economic

(12:52):
activity bounce in between peaks of recovery and recession, but
with an overall downward trend. It's almost like an oil
priced roller coaster where the higher prices lead to recession,
then a dipping prices sparks bit of growth. Both each
cycle the system loses a bit more of its mojo

(13:13):
for lack of a better word, The debts the pile up,
the investment possibilities dwindle, and it's kind of like the
catabolic collapse idea that John Michael Career came up with.
It's not too fast and so innocence. It still gives
society some room to adapt. And the last model that
Chris has is the systemic collapse model, which is our

(13:36):
civilization as a super complex system with all these intertwined
feedback loops and so by crossing these invisible change over
points and deal with small disruptions can end up leading
to unpredictable changes. It's like a roller coaster without a
clear track, nonlinear, pumulative and potentially brutal. You know, it's
like no kind of safety approval was passed on this

(13:59):
roller coast to whatsoever, a death trap and there's no
telling where the cart will vy. Of course, really the
how of collapse depends on who you ask, But with
all these models, they do seem to be a couple
of clear points best articulated again by Savine and Stevens. One,

(14:21):
the physical growth of our societies will come to a
halt in the near future. Two we have irreversibly damaged
the entire system, at least on the geological scale of
human beings. Three we are moving towards a very unstable,
non linear future where major disruptions will be the norm.
And four we're now potentially subject to global systemic collapses.

(14:44):
Prospects look bleak to me. They look extra bleak when
you consider that some people are still stuck on the
is climate change real ha ha ha global warming and
yet it's cold ha ha ha level of discourse. But
for those who are made away of the issues, I've
noticed people adopt a range of responses. I think one

(15:17):
of the first responses that I see to collapse is slumber. Right.
They catch a whiff of what's going on and decide
to just turn over and go back to sleep. To
purposefully embrace ignorance, disregard new information, and shun any understanding

(15:38):
of what's going on. Perhaps you know their garden, their
fragile sanity, which is understandable, but people sleep in or
we need to face these issues is a disaster waiting
to happen. These issues are not going anywhere, and we
really need people to have the courage and the boldness

(15:58):
to face them seat of turn and over and going
back to sleep. Similarly to that response, we have to
denial response, where people face with this reality, reject it
consciously and construct their own or they search for information
that comforts them rather than exposes them to the truth.
They construct a media bubble that shields them, or a

(16:19):
social circle that could protect them and reaffirm their core beliefs.
Everyone is capable of denying reality, but it's become quite
prevalent in the age of technology, where we can easily
shut out any truths that make us uncomfortable. And this apathy,
you know, like slumber and denial. People respond with apathy
to protect themselves in some way. After all, if nothing

(16:41):
really matters, there's no need to try, no need to think,
no need to bother Jesus, just disconnect as humans. I
think we have a really tough time responding to non
immediate threats. It's been said, as I said earlier, that
no climate change isn't happening too quick, it's happening too slowly.
It's not ob us enough. Because it's not obviously enough,

(17:03):
it's very easy for this next response to be made manifest,
and it's preoccupation. Of course, this is more of a
fault of the system. But people these days are all busy.
You know that everyone can afford to invest and explore
and understand the world's problems, even if the threat is
so existential that their office busy work or ratail servitude
would ultimately amount to nothing. But I'm not talking about

(17:26):
those people when I talk about preoccupation. I'm talking about
the people who respond to the issues of the world
by purposefully distracting themselves with busy work, constructing a convenient
excuse to not challenge the structures that they are under
or maintained, like running away for the predicaments of collapse.
But the predicaments of collapse hatches up to all of
us sooner or later. And on the flip side of

(17:50):
the people who busy themselves with busy work are the
people who dive into mind less consumeris are which is
coupled with apathy to some extent. If nothing matters, everything's
falling apart, you might as well just indulge, consume, distract
yourself with games, music, party and drugs and drinking. It's
like slumber, except you're aware of the reality and just

(18:12):
plug in your ears to just dance. But at least
for those that plug their ears, they don't face what
I've called overwhelment. Some people respond by trying to wrap
their minds around the depth and complexity of collapse to
the point of obsession and just kind of end up

(18:35):
losing their minds altogether. I don't think there is any
human mind that can completely consume and comprehend every minute
problem we face. I think that's why we are social species,
because we can kind of distribute that understanding of all
the various problems so that no one person has to

(18:56):
handle all of it. We really are going to need
to come together to understand collapse, because as individuals, to
deal with something to a complex, abstract, far flung and frightening,
it's it's frankly, subjecting yourself to that is almost a

(19:17):
form of self torture or self flagellation. And what we
need is the opposite pity of people building each other
up and healing our communities and coming together so we
could solve this crisis. Of course, there is such a
thing as being too caught up in that sort of

(19:41):
hope and a trap that a lot of people fall
naturally into because in a sense we are biologically predisposed
towards optimism. We tend to hold on to hope in
some future outcome they'll just work out, you know. And
it's sort of a blind hope because it can't adjust

(20:02):
to the ever shift in reality. It strips us of
our ability to see clearly and to take realistic and
necessary action. We give up our agency and leave things
in the hands of the leaders and the experts. We
stay passive. We waste time, precious time that we spent
on real harm reduction, just going with the flow. We

(20:24):
prevent the necessary conversations with the blind hope when we
fixate so much and whether we can fix it or
how we can fix it, without considering what we need
to do. If we can't fix it, you know what happens?
Then blind hope manifests in a few different forms. But
I think whatever format comes into it ultimately and ultimately

(20:46):
and inevitably leads to disappointment. Waiting forever for a future
that won't come, that exists solely in one's mind, irrespective
of reality. It's quite frankly a form of denial. It
takes a bit of a journey to move towards a
greater level of emotional maturity, to handle the tough conversations

(21:09):
and let go of the false hopes, like the idea
that will somehow reverse all the damage our plant has
been dealt with scot free. But once we have done that,
and once we have strengthened or resolve and strengthen our
ability to process and to engage with the reality of
what's happening, we can take action with knowledge that no,

(21:33):
our leader is not going to do anything substantially enough,
and no, this moves far beyond reform. It really is
a hard pill to swallow, but if you can take it,
you'll be better off to resist. We really don't need
blind hope and resistance. I think hope is important. I'm

(21:54):
distinguishing it from hope blind hope. However, distraction and sort
of connected to the blind hope conversation are the people
who respond to this crisis with the obsession with individual change,
people who believe with a few tweaks here and there

(22:15):
that we can continue or perpetual growth. We just have
to switch to veganism or recycle or cockpool every once
in a while, and that that individual level action on
a large enough scale would resolve the crisis. They place
a lot of stock and blame in individuals entirely, and

(22:36):
they don't engage with the wider structures of society. A
lot of liberals, of course, fall into this camp. And
speaking of liberals, we see a very pernicious trend of
progress worship as another response to collapse. The author Dennis

(22:57):
Meadows actually points out a curious trend over the past
four decades. There's a constant shift in justifying why we
shouldn't change our behavior. Back in the seventies, critics were saying,
no limits. You know, anyone who thinks they're limits, they
just don't get it. The eighties they're saying, oh, actually
there are limits, but they are very far away. We

(23:17):
have nothing to worry about, nothing to lose sleep over.
And then inta nineties, the limits are no longer at are,
no longer is distant. And then the supporters of growth
they chiming with, oh, well, you know the limits are close,
but no worries. You know, the markets and technology will
swoop in and fix everything. And then you reach into
two thousands and it becomes clear that the tech and

(23:40):
the markets might not cut it, and then the narrative
spins again. Regardless of whether not the markets or tech
and cut it, we still need to push for growth
because that's the goal and ticket to the resources we
need to tackle our of problems. It's basically a game
of justification hopscotch. It's almost a cult of progress that

(24:02):
any and all growth is good. That don't matter the
consequences of on our finite earth. We can just expand
and expand eternally. A lot of the responses I get
to my discussions of the growth or post growth or whatever,
it's like, yeah, but you can't do that because then
the GP you wouldn't grow and wouldn't elevate people's sounds

(24:23):
of living. And you know, it's not fair that global.

Speaker 3 (24:28):
Wait Andrew, are you a Malthusian?

Speaker 2 (24:35):
Nothing of the sort, Nothing of the sort. But I
think that we should not be fallen into this shop
of being like, oh, well, you know, it's not fair
that these rich countries they get to reach that level
of development, and then we have to like and then
what we're going to step in and stop other countries
from doing so when it's not that I mean, I'm
speaking from a not rich country. What I'm saying is

(24:56):
that the what I say to the equal is that
the path of development of these rich countries took it's
not sustainable. It is literally dooming us all. Yes, the
entire population cannot strive for the level of consumption that
Americans strive for. Do I think the development days take place, absolutely,
but not on the trajectory, not following in the footsteps

(25:18):
of these rich countries, this Global North and it's legacy
of decimating the world. You know, places like India, place
like the Caribbean, places in Africa. You know, we do
need to, you know, improve housing, and improve access to water,

(25:42):
and improve access to education, all these different things. But
chasing after this sort of careless economic growth narrative and
path is just going to accelerate all of our destruction.

(26:06):
I agree with the need for reparations from global not
to Global South, that will allow us to reach the
level of a they could, to reach the quality of
life that I think every human should have access to.
But I don't think that that is the same thing

(26:26):
as saying that, oh, well, you know, every country should
have their own equivalent of Britain and the US's Industrial Revolution,
and who cares that that ship has sailed, that window
of opportunity has passed.

Speaker 3 (26:46):
Yeah, And I think going back to like your series
of episodes on cults, when you're talking about the cult
of progress, I think that is that gets thrown on
as like a very trendy term, but I think it
has a lot of truth in it for this specific reason.
In order to maintain the type of progress that is
necessary to sustain this at this current point, what seems

(27:11):
to be a very unsustainable method of interacting with the planet.
You have to rely on growth as this thing that
you can't actually like predicts, You can't actually predict a
real endpoint for it. You have to only assume and
only hope that it will get there. It's this that's

(27:33):
why there's this real sense of accelerationism throughout these whole industries,
because people know that if we continue just doing this way,
the planet will not be functional, at least for us
in like a hundred years, probably you know in much
less time as well. But the reason why they're all
continuing is that they have the people have it have

(27:55):
this idea in their heads that if we just keep
accelerating if we keep going, we have to go fast,
sturn fast and faster, because we'll find something along the
way that will magically fix the problem. Well, if the
only way to fix the problem is to continue accelerating,
and we'll find this thing that doesn't currently exist, but
we'll find like this like supernatural device or discovery that

(28:18):
allows us to kind of fix the little problem we've
made for ourselves. And it is a very like religious
belief that if if we just keep going, we'll like
get some like deep this, some like some like deep
special insight.

Speaker 2 (28:32):
We've reached the point where people are literally looking to
the havens like almost in a supernatural sense, yeah, to
find a sution. They're like, oh, well, we'll just be
able to keep on going because asteroid mining Da da
da da will just go on settle in other planets
and I'll continue our expansion endlessly and we could just
keep on going.

Speaker 3 (28:50):
Or you also see this with people like developing AI.
They're like, if we if we get into AI smart enough,
it'll be able to tell us how to fix our problem.
And it is a deeply spiritual drive. It is a
very cultish drive, like we have to keep going even
though we are currently dooming ourselves by continuing. We have
to continue because that's the only way that we'll get
this out of this problem. It's like we can, we can,

(29:12):
we can only dig deeper, Like we've gone so far
into the center of the earth that it's faster. Yeah,
it's faster to dig out the other way than actually
try to turn around and fill the hole again. It
is a very cultish spiritual drive to like continue this,
to continue and like explicitly like accelerate development because we've
realized we've done something that's uh from our current point

(29:36):
of view, almost irreparable. But there's this there is this
belief that if we owe that the only way to
fix it is is if we keep going, then will
somehow stumble across the magical the magical thing that will
fix our problem.

Speaker 2 (30:00):
I want to talk specifically about the sort of I mean,
I know there are other people in the world who
wars how there's response, in the Global South, who will
owls how there's response. But I see a lot of
Americans responding to my like degreth advocacy or whatever, saying, well,
what about the global cell you know, I mean, never mind,

(30:21):
I live in the Global South. What about the global cell.
And what really gets me about it is just how
it's almost like a way of comfort in themselves.

Speaker 3 (30:35):
Sure, it's it's using the struggles of marginalize people to
not interrogate your own role in the continuing destruction and
like systemic oppression that produces this great economic and u
and like a difference in quality of life.

Speaker 2 (30:53):
Because it's like you have to then you'll have to
confront the fact that maybe your lifestyle and the privilege,
some of the lifestyle privileges you enjoyed really should not
be enjoyed by anyone ever, Like maybe that level of
the thing was never sustainable in the first place, and
we could have done with lesson And I know it's

(31:14):
really I really hate having this kind of conversation on
the internet because I think it's very difficult to get
into the level of nuance it's necessary because then you know,
people will say, oh, well, I'm from a week in
class background from this and that I've also faced level deprivation.
I get all that, but then there are other things
where I'm like, you know, can we live in a

(31:36):
world where everyone has access to Amazon one day ship
in two dayship in? You know, can we live in
a world where everyone owns a car, even if it's
an electric car. I think there are certain standards of
I guess lifestyle or milestones of lifestyle that we've come

(32:00):
to accept that I think in retrospect we will look
back and say, Wow, that was an operation of human
history that we were even maintaining that sort of infrastructure,
even maintaining that level of consumption. You know, I'm sure
a couple of generations online people will look back and
be like, wow, to tell me nearly every household had

(32:21):
a car, and that everybody was just on the roads
driving all the time, and we built our cities or
infrastructure around vehicles. When we knew very early on, when
the oil companies knew very early on that eventually we
would run out, we just didn't care. I'm kind of

(32:44):
all over the place with this, But you were going
to say something.

Speaker 3 (32:47):
Well, I was also going to mention like in these
in these sorts of discussions, it also can be often
overlooked that just because you live in the United States
or in any other kind of big place, that doesn't
mean like it's that's not The United States isn't one place.
There is a difference between living in like a five
thousand dollars apartment in a downtown like city center, versus

(33:12):
living on the outskirts of town in like of house
that's falling apart right or living on the street, or
or living in the middle of Utah versus living on
the coast like there's or living in uh like a
montane like there's. There is such a large difference even
for people in the States, for like many many like

(33:32):
not everyone is able to live in this like very
are arguably very very unsustainable, very like hyper hyper modernity.
Way there is there is, there's millions of people that
of course like, oh no, I'm not saying that against
your point. I'm saying, like this is this is also

(33:52):
part of the problem, like we have we have tricked
ourselves into thinking that if you if you live in
the United States, that must mean you are like you
who are one of the elite few. But there's millions
of people who are living in like the like some
of the most some of the harshest conditions in the world,

(34:12):
even in the richest country in the world, like it is, anti.

Speaker 2 (34:16):
Growth is not coming to take from one's meager lifestyle.
If one lives in those circumstances. You know, de growth
is really coming after those on the other end of
that spectrum of life style.

Speaker 3 (34:30):
No, if if any, it would be, and it would
be a greater equalizer between people living in countries.

Speaker 2 (34:37):
Elevation of your standard of living.

Speaker 3 (34:39):
Yes, as as as well as looking at you know,
quote unquote like the Global South or quote unquote like
third world countries, like there is there's this idea of
like I think we've had someone on the show to
talk about this before, Joey, like the fourth World, Like
you're you are living in third world conditions but in
a first world country. And how all of these, all

(35:01):
of these types of these all of these types of
systemic inequality and differences and uh like cost of living,
living conditions, they all they all come bined together in
really Gaussian fuzzy ways, even if you live in the
United States, Canada, England, like Germany, wherever, and and and

(35:21):
it produces this extremely extremely bizarre mishmash of of.

Speaker 2 (35:28):
Circumstances.

Speaker 3 (35:29):
Of circumstances. Yeah, you can you can walk by someone
who's driving like a five hundred thousand dollars car. Meanwhile
you are literally being forced to live on the street
like that is that is and that is such a
bizarre dichotomy.

Speaker 2 (35:44):
The few times I've been to the US, seeing that
dichot to me like in real is something else. I mean,
of course there's an incoming equality, and there's vastest parties
in wealth and turned out as well. You know, there
are people who you know live on the streets and
they are people who you know go to yacht parties
every weekend. What I want people to recognize is the

(36:07):
way that these elites get you to advocate against your
own interests is through that sort of and connect you
to their culture progress and get you invested in their
culture progress. Hook you in is through that sort of
temporarily embarrassed to millionaire mantra. They hook you in by saying, yeah,
they're coming for our stuff. Eventually you'll get to my

(36:29):
level too, and then you wouldn't want people to take
your stuff away either, you know, like my tech development
is going to rise or bring all of us up,
you know, and you shouldn't let these people stop you
rather than no, well, obviously these RuSHA guys are going
to get brought down a peg. But by bringing them

(36:51):
down a peg, everybody will have a better quality of life.
But instead of recognizing that they deceive people with this
techno opim they bring people into this trap of capitalist
realism that either you live in the deprivation of the

(37:14):
worst of the worst of people's livelihoods and the capitalism,
or you live in the excess are the best of
the best of people's lives and the capitalism, And there's
nothing beyond those two options. And so obviously the de
growth people want you to be living in the former option,
and you should oppose them because of that. Another response

(37:35):
I see is that there are a lot of people
who are just completely like have complete faith in our leaders,
who believe that, you know, once we get just the
right people in office, things will work out. The truth is,
of course, the system corrupts even the best of intentions.
Politicians are a class and to themselves, and their actions

(37:57):
reflect ultimately their own interests and the interests of their backers.
Nation states governments, rulers. Is their job. It's in their
job description to maintain structures that ultimately harm humanity, and
there's only so much they can do to affect the
status cho placing our salvation in their hands. It's an
exercise in futility. Invest in your future and the confines

(38:20):
of the electoralism is a waste of time, but it
also demonstrates how effectively mass media and schooling has broken
down and limited our imagination. I like to call that
status realism, the idea that there's no alternative to this
hierarchy of rulers and rule. The people just need to
submit to the wills and whims of others, rather than
organizing for themselves in their communities. There's, of course, the

(38:44):
response of apocalypse worship, rather classic response around those who
end up obsessing over collapse and honestly that the worshipers
of the apocalypse are also hould to a form of
blind hope. You know, the accelerat doomsday preppers, cultists, extreme survivalists,
zombie video game enthusiasts, believers in the end times. They

(39:07):
all seem to have a whole so they seem to
have a real excitement for collapse, or they fixate really
heavily on the ideal version of the end of the world,
like they can't wait for the world to end. They
embrace the sort of we're all on our own mantra,
barricade themselves, bunker down, stockpile weapons, and essentials. They get

(39:32):
en up for a violent future because they anticipate that
others will react to the situation similarly to how they
intend to react. So they've taken like a page from
ad Marxs and like, yeah, I'm going to be immortant Joe,
so I don't end up a thrall of immortant Joe.

Speaker 3 (39:53):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (39:54):
I mean, if it's not obvious, the people who respond
in this way freak me out, you know, those who
look at what's going on and instead of resisting or
trying to change the circumstances, they just accept it as
things going according to schedule of prophecy, or they try
to make it worse. I don't know if you've seen
Leave the World.

Speaker 3 (40:14):
Behind, Oh my god, yes, horrible.

Speaker 2 (40:20):
Yeah, I'm sure you remember that one character and that
prepper and his whole response to the crisis before him
completing not a selfishness.

Speaker 3 (40:33):
Which is a betrayal to his character inspiration in the
movie Tremors, which showed the correct way to be a prepper,
which is to actually help the people in your community.

Speaker 2 (40:44):
I actually haven't seen that movie. It's my list.

Speaker 3 (40:47):
It's well, it is a It is an old movie
about a worm that takes over a small town. It's
pretty silly, but it's Stephen King movie. I don't think so.

Speaker 2 (40:59):
No, it sounds like something Stephen King would write.

Speaker 3 (41:02):
It's it's not really a horror. It's more of like
a comedy thriller. Like it's a comedy. Okay, it's not
a comedy, but it is a nately funny situation. Also
because it's like filmed in the eighties or nineties, like
it it just the way it's age just makes it
more funny. But it is also a good movie. And

(41:24):
and uh yeah, after after this, I mean it's it's
kind of like what if like an earthquake or a
tornado hits this small town, except this is more like adversarial.
It's like this like worm is like like like causing
like the town's buildings to like cave in because it's
like digging underground. And and we we see we see
this fantastic, fantastic prepper character is able to help everybody

(41:49):
out because he is he is prepared for such a scenario.

Speaker 2 (41:55):
How kind of film, Yes, unlike unlike that throuchebag and
and leave the World Behind. Yes, we'll talk about that
movie after Yeah, I mean the last response I really
wanted to cover was despair, pessimism, seeing the worst, expecting
the worst, living and utter defeat weighing down actual efforts

(42:19):
with pessimism jumping into my comment section to be more
in our faith. I mean, according to those in despair,
there's nothing that we can do to affect our future,
and in my eyes, those on this dumor pillarre just
as misguided as those who are hyped up with blind opium.

(42:41):
I think it's okay to admit that we don't know
what's going to happen. You know, I don't claim to
your profit. I don't think anybody should. The IPCC reports,
for example, are a consensus of scientists and their anistani
of situation. Some scientists are going to be more in

(43:01):
their reporting, others are a bit more catastrophes. But either way,
I really don't think we need to get into the
weeds of just how bad it is or exactly how
it's going to happen. With matters that things need to
change some way somehow. I think it's important to try
and understand as much as the situation as you could,

(43:22):
not to the point of obsession, to take note of
how we respond to the issue to look at the
various responses I cover it and see if you fit
into any of those camps, and to recognize that the
worst case scenario is far from inevitable. My advice is
really to prepare for the worst in whatever way you can,

(43:45):
and put hope and build for the best. Build community,
build connections, build your skills, build your strengths, and push
in any way you can, and whatever's fare, you find
yourself for meaningful change. Because say it with me now,

(44:10):
it could happen here, It certainly could. That's it for me.
I'm on YouTube andwism, I'm on peatureon dot com, slash
sent du and that's it. Well, paw what to older people? Peace?

Speaker 1 (44:32):
It could happen here? As a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
cool zonemedia dot com or check us out on the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
You can find sources for it could Happen here, updated
monthly at cool zonemedia dot com, slash sources. Thanks for listening.

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