Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Libertarianism, individualism - or survivalism?

If we insist that "we're all in the same boat", we shall all drown, because the one boat will sink. Those who hope to preserve civilization must accept that it is likely to sink into chaos in much of the world. The survival of some elements of civilization will require lifeboats that can be constructed only from communities, regions, perhaps nations, that are not now in overshoot. To preserve civilization at least some of these must choose to stay out of overshoot, establish independence in the production of food, energy, materials, and crucial manufactured goods, and defend their borders against the migrations that will tend to spread overshoot everywhere.

More here.

I've argued before now that we may need to move away from the "efficient" way to do things, towards the survivable way - click on the label below for some notes on what I call "Diversity, dispersion and disconnection."


OldSouth said...

An admirable article, dispassionate and well-argued from long experience.

Hope it circulates widely, as an antidote to those childish types who declare 'It's no one's business but my own, etc....'

Thanks for sharing this with your readers.

Sackerson said...

Hi, OS: is this a comment on the Dalrymple article above, or the "Failing Civilisation" one?

Paddington said...

I don't think it can be done. People don't realize how much of the infrastructure relies on trace amounts of very rare metals, for instance, and a great deal of scientific exchange of information. If civilization collapses, we cannot rebuild, as the raw materials and cheap energy (gas, coal and oil) to make it will not be easy enough to extract.

Sackerson said...

Can you elucidate re the rare metals, Padders?

Paddington said...

For a start, no semiconductors can be manufactured without either Germanium or Gallium. None of our electronics works without those, and most stuff is now electronic.

There are small amounts of many other rare metals in most circuit boards, including Gold and Silver.

Add in the massive amounts of Lead, Copper and Zinc that we need, as well as the increased need for Uranium for electricity generation. Fortunately, we can move to breeder reactors, which actually generate more Plutonium than the Uranium put in.