"The Dinosaur, a large-scale society in which resources are being depleted at an exponential rate and yet nothing is done to rectify the problem because the ruling elite are unwilling or unable to adapt to those resources' reduced availability: In this type of society, rulers tend to oppose any solutions that diverge from their present course of action. They will favor intensification and commit an increasing number of resources to their present plans, projects, and social institutions."
"The Runaway Train, a society whose continuing function depends on constant growth. This type of society, based almost exclusively on acquisition (e.g., pillage or exploitation), cannot be sustained indefinitely. The Assyrian and Mongol Empires, for example, both fractured and collapsed when no new conquests could be achieved."
Capitalism is based exclusively on the continuing acquisition of wealth. People only exist to consume, consume, consume, and acquire more wealth to consume more. All while eating up resources, for no reason other than to prop up our system. Take for example, the iPhone. Everyone needs a new Apple phone this year. The next year, a new model comes out. The old is now artificially obsolete, and people buy the new model. There is no progress. Replacing the old phone is excessive, but it's done anyways. Most of the valuable metals in the old phone are lost to landfills. The fossil fuels used to produce the old phones are for naught. All that is accomplished it the masses shove more money our of their hands into the hands of the elite, for a product they don't even need. Bottled water is another example. It's an almost completely frivolous product that requires fossil fuels to manufacture, and the waste product simply ends up in the ocean. We are literally choking ocean life with plastic. We are killing one of out biggest food sources. We waste massive amounts of nonrenewable resources just so company stocks can be a tick higher, so thay CEOs can have a few million more in their personal bank account. So that bottled companies and other useless industries can give the rich more wealth. It's a monstrous snowball of waste and consumption that cannot be sustained.
Wealth is becoming increasingly stratified. The middle class is dying. Labor is becoming automated. Fewer and fewer jobs exist for an increasing workforce, and available wealth is being funneled into a small class of elites even as our overall wealth increases. Soon, the average person will not be able to acquire enough wealth to survive. Capitalism is a self-defeating system.
Yet how are we responding? By finding a better system? No, by consuming exponentially more every year! By tearing up natural land to extract every last scrap of nonrenewable resources. By buidling more infrastructure while thousands of usable buildings stand empty. By creating more plastic throwaway products. By pumping more C02 into our atmosphere. By ever expanding our fragile, monoculture farms and slaughtering millions of insects with pesticides. We are trading the base of the ecosystem that produces our food for a increased food production in the short run.
Our solutions to these problems are anemic and insufficient at best, yet people are still choosing to throw even that away. Our elected leaders promise to bring back the old, and more of the same. What they are promising is continuing plunder of wealth and resources. To throw away any hope of saving the environment, or more accurately, humanity's only food supply. They are choosing to sow more division, which will stagnate precious technology that could avert this disaster. They are building more coal plants and harvesting more fossil fuels for us to waste, in exchange for making the climate inhospitable to our crops. That is the dinosaur from the above quote. Our solution to our problems is dump more resources into our institutions and economy.
That's not the solution though, the economy is the root of our problem. It must be destroyed, not healed! Capitalism has to crumble from the top down for our civilization to stand a chance. Consumerism would have to be destroyed. We'd have to focus on using less resources, building utilitarian products to last and not be disposed of, on conserving and reusing the massive amount of metals and plastics we already have, literally sitting around going to waste. On rejecting automation and building an egalitarian society, to keep the monster of social unrest from tearing us apart. On growing our own crops and becoming sustainable.
That will never happen though, because the only incentive our system gives is wealth. A solution that results in less wealth will never be accepted, and therefore the right solution will never be chosen.
Will humanity survive? Of course. The cushy society you live in though, is going to end, and most of us will die. These are only the factors that are creating the collapse though. In my next post, I will explain likely ways the collapse itself will go down.