Saturday, September 20, 2014

Many Attribution

This post came around in a most complicated manner.

The writing started by beginning a response over at "Squeezing the Hourglass".  The post in question was:
Ain't that a bitch 

The last guy at least vaguely understands the reality that he's better off personally by accepting that the world is a racket. I guess oil traders do possibly deserve to earn more money--this one clearly knows to jump off a sinking ship (though sadly, his time horizon excludes even one generation of progeny, which is prima facie evidence of evil to all active parents).
Alistair Darling, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer who led the No campaign, admitted that the closeness of the result was a wake-up call. (DD note: I see no further exposition on this in any other sources. To the contrary, I see the on-schedule offensive against those who dared to vote for independence. Source. )“Today is a momentous today for Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole,” he said. “While confirming our place within the union, we have confirmed the bonds that tie us together — may they never be broken.” 
Pubs across the country were staying open throughout the night with customers both anxious and excited to see whether the historic union would be consigned to the history books. 
Greg Waddell, a doctor working in Glasgow, tells TIME that he voted Yes “because disempowerment breeds dependency; because the current extent of social inequality in Scotland demeans every one of its people.” 
Others among the 4.2 million registered voters were less optimistic about prospects for going it alone. 
Nick Allan, an oil executive from Aberdeen, said the Yes campaign promises were enticing, but he voted No as it would be impossible to pay for them — especially not with North Sea oil. 
“The problem comes down to money,” he says. “How on God’s earth are you going to be able to afford all of these improvements? The country will be bankrupt in a matter of years.”
If you really look at it, look at the people they to whom they asked the question and the responses. The responses probably say more about the individual motivations than the quality of the argument.

Doctor, probably working for the NHS, trots out the "social inequality card, greater Scottish government access to North Sea oil income means more money in his pocket.

Oil Executive, cheerfully being well-compensated for his spot at the table sees the losses of revenues and redistribution as anathema. Bankruptcy for the current systems are the order of the day.

At the end of the day, this is the sole font of any "Independence" movement. A struggle between the haves and the have-nots over the control and distribution of resources and wealth.

The next seed came from Ugo Bardi over at "Resource Crisis".

 Few people understand that depletion does NOT mean that we run out of anything. It means that producing a mineral commodity becomes so expensive that fewer and fewer people can afford it.

One of the next seeds came from the Archdruid.  These next couple of paragraphs got me to thinking:
The process that drives the collapse of civilizations has a surprisingly simple basis: the mismatch between the maintenance costs of capital and the resources that are available to meet those costs. Capital here is meant in the broadest sense of the word, and includes everything in which a civilization invests its wealth: buildings, roads, imperial expansion, urban infrastructure, information resources, trained personnel, or what have you. Capital of every kind has to be maintained, and as a civilization adds to its stock of capital, the costs of maintenance rise steadily, until the burden they place on the civilization’s available resources can’t be supported any longer.
The only way to resolve that conflict is to allow some of the capital to be converted to waste, so that its maintenance costs drop to zero and any useful resources locked up in the capital can be put to other uses. Human beings being what they are, the conversion of capital to waste generally isn’t carried out in a calm, rational manner; instead, kingdoms fall, cities get sacked, ruling elites are torn to pieces by howling mobs, and the like. If a civilization depends on renewable resources, each round of capital destruction is followed by a return to relative stability and the cycle begins all over again; the history of imperial China is a good example of how that works out in practice.

If a civilization depends on nonrenewable resources for essential functions, though, destroying some of its capital yields only a brief reprieve from the crisis of maintenance costs. Once the nonrenewable resource base tips over into depletion, there’s less and less available each year thereafter to meet the remaining maintenance costs, and the result is the stairstep pattern of decline and fall so familiar from history:  each crisis leads to a round of capital destruction, which leads to renewed stability, which gives way to crisis as the resource base drops further. Here again, human beings being what they are, this process isn’t carried out in a calm, rational manner; the difference here is simply that kingdoms keep falling, cities keep getting sacked, ruling elites are slaughtered one after another in ever more inventive and colorful ways, until finally contraction has proceeded far enough that the remaining capital can be supported on the available stock of renewable resources.
 So again, it comes down to resources.  And the Scottish, Catalunyan, Texan, and other such sundry "Independence" movements come down to is a movement away from increasingly unstable central systems that are too dependent on supplies of diminishing resources.

The idiot politicians such as Alex Salmond who promise their constituency more than what they are currently getting doing the right thing with all the wrong reasons trotted out to the media as their rationale.

Scotland would have been much poorer should they have split away from England.  But now they will be poorer still and have less a chance of splitting away when it becomes truly necessary.  London will continue to centralize power and will work tirelessly to infiltrate and immasculate any erstwhile independence movement that raises its precocious head.

More and more, we are moving toward a state of events where the center cannot hold.  Scotland might have well provided an example of a "calm, rational manner" for devolution and change.  But now things will get dicey.

Bit of bad luck there.

1 comment:

russell1200 said...

The critical vote for "no" was the older voters who lopsidedly voted against leaving the U.K. My guess is that they would remember some of the shared tribulations better than younger voters, but a cynic would say that they were most concerned about losing their pensions.