Monday, February 9, 2009

Status Quo Ante

leaky wine barrel.BMP

It is what everyone appears to want. A quiet return to the fabled past of easy credit, rising home prices and a fairly polished simulacrum of the good life. I really can’t say as I blame them, given my druthers, that would be where I would want to return, provided I could forget what I have seen in the last few months.

Like the character Cypher in “The Matrix”, we want to go back into a hallucination. In the scene where he sells out, one of his demands to Agent Smith is that he not remember any of the truth and that he comes back as somebody important, like an actor. In a sense, that simple twenty-second scene is a wonderful exposition of the concept of hedonism and its appeal.

We have seen the truth now, that is the old paradigm is dying. The world leaders of today are just trying to keep it on life support long enough for a miracle to kick in.

I just don’t see how this can be done. The hard truths of peak oil, climate change, overpopulation, and a poisoned financial system have sealed our future. These hard truths have cast our lot into a future of material scarcity. But that scarcity does not constitute a loss of a good life, it merely means a life of fewer trinkets.

The truth of the matter is that as a culture and a world we are bereft of ideas, money, and accessible credit. The barrel is leaking and the governments of the world are trying to fill it up with garden hoses of money. They are not fixing the holes, just trying to get it back to full. But it is still leaking. I would even go so far as to suggest the barrel can’t be fixed, it can only be filled up with the money of our grandchildren.

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