With time, the kibbutz members’ sense of identification with the kibbutz and its goals decreased. This process originated both from personal frustrations among the kibbutz members as a result of internal processes and from the growing stratification and inequality due to the growth of capitalistic practices.  Over the years, some kibbutz members established professional careers outside the kibbutz, accumulating power, privileges and prestige.  The balance between individual values and values of the kibbutz began to tip, and work motivation was affected. An emphasis was placed on social compensation to encourage productivity. These processes occurred in parallel with a severe economic crisis.Nice idea. Might work in heaven, or on another planet...
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Its a Cold, Cruel World - The Final Analysis
OK, I've laid out the "Why" (BTW... the "Why" comes after "If" and before "Then").
But before we move on, I want to sum it up again:
The already overwhelmed, overburdened, and overtaxed productive people in our society (if this were not true, we would not have deficits, right?) are steadily losing their "energy slaves" (we all know what is meant by energy slaves, don't we? If not, for brevity sake please google it), AND the "tax receivers", those people that are subsidized in their daily lives by the productive tax payer, are ALSO losing their "energy slaves", leaving them MORE dependent upon the Net Tax Payer, a Net Tax payer that is has been maxed out. (Don't worry about money, cash, printing presses, etc... the only real measure is goods and services produced and then the percentage confiscated as transfer payments of those goods and services).
Now that we have established the issues for ANYONE, ANYWHERE on the political spectrum... how does it all turn out?
Well, that's very complicated.
How much longer will industrial civilization be able to increase the volume of nitrogen fertilizer? What will be the world population at "Peak Fertilizer"? How will the international community compete for declining volumes of energy exports from OPEC? How much and what form of resistance will those populations losing government support give? During the transition period will we endure a string of bad luck... or good luck? (You can fill in the blank with your favorite boogey man. Mine? I rather think that a massive California earthquake at this time would be the disaster to end all disasters. The state is broke, and that would really, really finish that off... and they supply so much of America's food with a water supply that is entirely manmade and would be destroyed in an earthquake... oohhh! Such Hollywood script!)
To my mind the humanitarian crisis brewing in the coming decades for America's elderly is mind boggling and it will make Haiti look like a small potatoes. Social Security was established to provide comfort and support for a reason - many people did not or could not provide for their final years during the early part of the 20th century. Social Security did not change the Facts of Life, it likely only enlarged the elderly population and condensed the issue into the future where the demographic time bomb will, IMHO, be of biblical proportion.
Eventually, there will be a Jay Hanson-esque "Die Off" (google him and "die off"), and it could be 5 years or 50 years from now, but all of my readers are familiar with the mathematical concept "e", and "e" says the probability of that outcome approaches 1.00. But we knew that, didn't we? Nobody wants to sound like party-pooper, but in the back of our minds we all knew what had to happen at some point on the time line. Well, when it happens, it will happen to the elderly - primarily to those without family. If you have ever traveled DEEP into the third-world (I hate that term, but is the best I've got... "developing world" does not, to my mind, describe living in an abandoned Inca home in Peruvian Andes and living the same way as your ancestor's did before the arrival of the Conquistadors... I have spent a great deal of time there, traveling by foot, bike, bus, and hitchhiking... If you live in the West and you have not experienced this, you might want to tune me out and surf over to a Home & Garden dot com type site...) you know why people celebrate the birth of a child! No children = a very, very tough old age for people in these countries, and it will be so for people living in the West, too.
The rest of us will muddle along, IMHO. We will live with more people in smaller homes, and will heat and cool a much smaller portion of our homes. We will be thinner. We will be poorer. But if we were to live like those Indians I lived with in Peru or Costa Rica or Honduras or Mexico... we will not be NEARLY as busy nor as stressed - they seemed to have plenty of time for soccer and socializing (well, I don't know about people living in the far North and having a 6 month winter to contend with... in most of my travels in the third world, there was not a big requirement for heating as they were in the tropics and sub-tropics (think Malaria)... I cannot imagine the cabin fever of spending a winter in upstate New York or Minn., Wis., etc...in the era I foresee). The very rich will lose most of their "wealth" (for the most part, its already gone... they just don't know it) and the very poor, those depending on government for their daily bred, will adjust by making other arrangements - or else.
The Middle Class will lose most of their wealth, too, just as I described the wealthy above. Since they are already used to working hard and budgeting, etc... they will get by, too. The issue will be for the weak - the elderly, disabled, the sick, etc... the resources simply will not be there in the form that they now exist. The only thing you will have is family.
I read a lot about "Community". I believe this is PC speak for Liberals. Your tribe, your clan, your DNA will matter a great deal to you. Your "Community"? Not so much, but good luck with that... let me know how it turns out in the long run. If you look at the history of "Community", Israel's Kibbutz experience is pretty telling:
As I have said at least 2 GAZZILION times before, there are no macro solutions. There are also no individual preparations one can make unless one is either rich or semi-rich. Read this link. Here's a family that bought a homestead and is finding out that this is really not a solution if you have to have a 9 to 5 job to fund it. "Its a Cold, Cruel World". If you did not have the luck or foresight to do something like regular commenter here at the AEC, "Kathy", did - namely, build her LIFE around this lifestyle and become accustomed and GOOD at it and do it from Jump Street (don't know Jump Street?) - well, you better have the resources to treat a homestead like this as an insurance expense. My bet is, this fellow is going to be stuck there for a while, and with any luck forever without having to pay back his mortgage. I wish him well. It has taken me 4 years (this is my 5th growing season and I can't wait to get at it) to feel somewhat competent at running a homestead - and I had the luxury of not sweating the mortgage.
In other words, I have NO SOLUTIONS for most folks - you are on your own. Still, I think I laid out the issue reasonably well (well, at least I think so). Of course that and $4 will get you a grande mocha frapacino....
Posted by The Short Story Man at 6:23 AM