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The New Surburbanism

THE NEW SUBURBANISM

Many people in industrial societies live in the suburbs which are really neither city nor country living. Many people have openly criticized the suburban way of life as the apex of consumer lifestyle highly dependent on fossil fuel input. Suburban life is a sort of pseudo-rural life where affluent middle and upper-class people purchase land “in the country” in order to enjoy the tranquility of being close to nature and having less population density surrounding them.

However, this proximity to nature is superficial and superfluous since the majority of suburban people have little direct contact with the land on which they live. They are, in essence, people who make their living in the city and who have an urban mentality but who have the affluence that permits them to commute from a very human-controlled rural area to the urban areas that sustain them monetarily.

Besides the enormous amount of fossil fuels used simply in commuting back and forth, another hallmark of wastefulness that characterizes suburban neighborhoods is the lawn. Those vast expanses of pesticide-filled green monocultures that surround every house actually began in Victorian England. Lawns were a way for the rich to show the rest of their neighbors that they had enough land that they could afford to leave large parts of their holdings follow and not grow anything productive.

What began as an arrogant display of wealth has grown into an essential part of almost every suburban home. When considered from a distance, lawns are the quintessential display of the insanity of our current civilization. The typical suburban family in any industrialized nation probably has between 1-2 acres of land that they dedicate several hours to each week mowing, fertilizing and spreading chemicals in order to maintain the “weeds” at bay.

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Battle of the Behemoths

As the empire deliquesces into a fetid slurry of economic failure, we stand ankle deep in the rising swamp waters witnessing the futile battle of the giants, Walmart and Amazon.

Neil Howe, co-author of The Fourth Turning, wrote this week that “[t]he Amazon-Walmart rivalry will determine the future of retail.” Well, it seems that way, perhaps, and I understand why a lot of people would imagine it, but I would draw some different conclusions. What we’re seeing is more like the battle between Godzilla and King Kong, two freaks of nature produced by a toxic culture, fixing to finish each other off.

The condition that will flavor events going forward is scale. Everything organized at the giant scale is going to fail. We have made all the systems of daily life too large and they will not function in the long emergency (and the fourth turning), an age characterized by universal contraction. This is true of corporations, institutions, schools, hospitals, farms, governments, virtually all organized enterprise. Retail is currently just the most visible example at the moment, since it is a commercial battleground that doesn’t enjoy public subsidies. The organisms on that field are exquisitely sensitive to economic reality, and the salient reality these days is the impoverishment of their customers, the former middle class.

This has been a sensational year for retail failure so far with a record number of brick-and-mortar store closings. But it is hardly due solely to Internet shopping. The nation was vastly over-stored by big chain operations. Their replication was based on a suicidal business model that demanded constant expansion, and was nourished by a regime of ultra-low interest rates promulgated by the Federal Reserve (and its cheerleaders in the academic econ departments).

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James Howard Kunstler: The World’s Greatest Misallocation Of Resources

James Howard Kunstler: The World’s Greatest Misallocation Of Resources

And why we appear poised to repeat it 
James Howard Kunstler returns to the podcast this week, observing that despite the baton being handed to a new American president, the massive predicaments we face as a society remain the same. And it seems the incoming administration is just as in denial of them as the old.

Kunstler adds fresh critique to his now decades-old warning that we are sleepwalking our way deep into the Long Emergency. The longer we delude ourselves and waste our energies in pursuit of reviving the failed “endless growth” model, the farther our journey back to a sustainable way of living will be when our current system collapses:

I don’t think there is any sense that they really know where we’re headed, what our destination is, and what the imperatives are and what the future is actually telling us that we need to do. Don’t forget that the so-called psychology of previous investment is a very powerful force in American life and it’s prompting us to do everything we can to maintain the investments we’ve already made. Those investments are the ones I have already mentioned: the freeways, the suburban housing developments, the strip malls.

A lot of the hope pinned on Trump is based on the idea that he’s assembling this team of mega-competent capitalist movers and shakers who know how to make deals — the Wilbur Rosses and Rex Tillersons of the world — and that they are going to conjure up a tremendous surge of economic activity that will be majorly fruitful going forward in the future and produce a tremendous amount of new wealth. Of course the stock market has been pricing that in.

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Affirmatively destroying America’s neighborhoods in the war on suburbia

Affirmatively destroying America’s neighborhoods in the war on suburbia

north carolina town houses, sidewalk

Few of us understand patient gradualism. We live and have our being within a few years and mostly in an unconscious automated state of mind.

But people in power are long-term planners. They absolutely understand human nature and how to channel it to the evolution and refinement of the authoritarian state.

Authoritarianism is based on long-term planning. Authoritarianism is a philosophy of collectivism. Some call it democracy. Some call it communism. Some call it fascism. Some call it National Socialism. But whatever you call it, it is all collectivism or authoritarianism; and in its ultimate form it is globalism.

The goal is perfect docility and perfect harmony with authoritarianism (economic, social and spiritual). Until the people accept collectivism under some pretext, they are not docile and completely subdued. Once they do, rebellion and confrontation are impossible. This is the ultimate goal of the globalists, and the American system is nearing this state.

As I told you last week in “Why is the war on the Confederacy still going on today?,” the dismantling of the middle class has become the appointed, full-time task of the largest government alphabet soup agencies and Wall Street on behalf of globalism. The purpose behind this is that if those big middle-class producers and consumers can be decimated once and for all, then they can join the ranks of low-wage workers and more readily accept government largess and, thereby, become “hooked” on collectivism.

 

Collectivism is a certain means of social, economic and religious control. Politicians regularly espouse individualism, human liberty and democracy at the same time. Impossible! Individualism and human liberty are opposite to democracy and any other form of collectivism. The collectivist mentality or the mass collective mind is the spirit of the New World Order.

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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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