These are the last hours on the deck of the Titanic, and the chamber orchestra is now playing "Nearer My God To Thee" as the ship continues to take on barrels of water per second, and all but one or two lifeboats have been filled to capacity and launched into the open seas of escape from the capsizing horror-and with no guarantees that they will survive. Throngs of the doomed are drowning in the steerage compartments below-those indigent, third-class, "racially impure" masses of humanity that the "first-class", who helped design the "unsinkable" vessel, kept locked away below the decks of obscene privilege and conspicuous consumption. Some say that economic depressions don't affect the poor because they are already poor, but I'm certain that a black mother in the projects who can now give her kids only two meals a day will become acutely aware, as will her children, when she can only give them one.
Yet, amid what is unfolding in front of us, I receive emails from readers who tell me that they are quite sure that somehow Obama is our hope and that if we just get the right leadership, things will turn around. I hear talk at the checkout counters of "all recessions eventually end" and "we just have to ride it out." I wonder what these individuals will be doing one year from now. I wonder how they will eat, where they will be living, what will get them up in the morning, and whether they'll be able to sleep at night. And as the hollow, trite, tired clichés assault my eardrums, I see and hear Richard Heinberg reporting soberly and assertively in "The End Of Suburbia" that we will soon enter "a recession that never ends." I also hear Matt Simmons telling us that oil is still too cheap, and I ponder his recent interview on CNBC forecasting $378 a barrel. I recall overhearing a man last summer saying, "Gasoline is now three dollars a gallon. What's happening to this world?" I wonder where the man is now; I wonder if he'll still be around for $378 a barrel.
This week in the Daily News Stories section of the Truth To Power website, a link was posted to the Channeliing Hubbert blogspot which noted that the father of the Peak Oil theory, M. King Hubbert, openly discussed the unsustainability of a high-growth economy with high-level officials of Chase Manhattan. Yet, "Instead, key individuals in government, think tanks, and corporations opted to use their influence and decision making capacity to forward a perpetual high-growth economy dependent on high-grade finite fossil fuels in the hopes that technology would make low-grade resources economic over time. They believed that speculative technological advances including coal to liquids, oil shale, breeder reactors, fusion, and enhanced oil recovery would become economic in the long run, thereby justifying the continuing growth of a consumerist suburban, car-oriented way of life and fueling the development of a highly industrial globalized system for the rest of the world."
In a 2004 article by Richard Heinberg published exclusively at From The Wilderness, he revealed a declassified document "The Impending Soviet Oil Crisis" from 1977, exposing the CIA's awareness of Peak Oil. According to Heinberg, "The real motives and long-term strategies of policy makers and intelligence gatherers alike will likely remain opaque to citizens who pay in blood and dollars for their government's military adventures. The Impending Soviet Oil Crisis gives us a rare, limited glimpse into the machinery of covert information analysis and decision-making that shape history as we live it."
Consider the administrations that have come and gone since 1977-all unwilling to tell the American people the truth about energy depletion. Consider the meaningless rhetoric of the current candidates who continue to delude us about Peak Oil and economic growth and consider the reality that they would not even be viable candidates if they were willing to expose the suicidal delusion of unlimited economic growth.
I understand how desperately many individuals would like to believe in a "savior" candidate who's going to make everything right. I recall how excited I was earlier in my life about the candidates that I was certain would turn everything around. I remember how angry I felt when I heard some cynic tell me that there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between any of them. Oh how I wanted-desperately wanted, to believe.
But only in America is the definition of insanity lived out with such oblivious impunity. Only in America do we continue to believe that "this time it will be different" in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Faith in any of the three leading candidates running for the presidency to have the capacity or desire to affect any significant change is nothing less than blatantly illogical and irrational.
In my recent article "Celebrating UN-President's Day: Why I Will Not Vote For A President In 2008" I laid out my case for not voting, but that was before I saw the latest documentary on election fraud, "Uncounted: The New Math Of American Elections". Anyone seriously considering voting for a president in 2008 must see this documentary as well as Bev Harris's 2006 HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy." You may, in fact, live in one of those rare areas where paper ballot voting still occurs, but "Uncounted" and "Hacking Democracy" reveal a rigged election system, so gargantuan, so blatant, and so foolproof that it is now safe to say that legitimate presidential elections in the United States are no longer possible. In other words, American elections no longer belong to you, but to those who manufacture the candidates and select the winners.
Moreover, in recent days Truth To Power has been covering the proposed purchase of the Diebold Corporation by United Technologies, a major U.S. weapons manufacturer and defense contractor. An analysis of the ramifications of this purchase, now put on hold as a result of UT's low bid, can be read at Catherine Austin Fitts's blogspot. Nevertheless, rocket science is not required in order to comprehend the significance of a major defense contractor having control of voting in America. Although the deal has not been consummated, Diebold is seeking a buyer and is likely to eventually sell its strategic position to a more powerful entity-the value of which is truly priceless because corporate control of elections represents the ultimate triumph of fascism in the United States.
In addition, no president, elected or selected in 2008, has the capacity to reverse the fascist trajectory of the republic launched by the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the myriad other ostensibly anti-terrorist measures resulting from either legislation or Executive Orders during the George W. Bush administration. In fact, all three leading candidates embrace the War on Terror and shamelessly behave as emissaries for the military industrial complex.
This week we've witnessed the overnight demise of Eliot Spitzer, so-called "sheriff of Wall Street" who vowed to bring the subprime mortgage mafia to justice. Many have speculated that Spitzer was targeted by the predators he was committed to investigating. But whether he is innocent or guilty, his fall is jaw-dropping in its significance: If Spitzer was set up, it confirms that politicians who are determined to operate transparently can no longer succeed in a system rotting with corruption; if he is guilty, then it becomes virtually impossible to trust any politician who pledges to function with integrity.
But one's abdication of critical thinking in the face of the U.S. election charade is neither the most disconnected or the most dangerous course of action. More deadly, in my opinion, is the failure to grasp the reality that not only the empire but civilization itself has entered a process of irreversible demise. This phenomenon is larger than the onset of a Second Great Depression. It's even larger and more momentous than the reality of a cartel of criminals who engineered a mortgage meltdown, the repercussions of which will be reverberating throughout the global economy indefinitely. As I have stated repeatedly, what is unfolding is absolutely unprecedented and is juxtaposed with the equally dire realities of climate chaos and Peak Oil. In their attempts to make sense of these momentous realities, New Age devotees tout the significance of 2012, and the Christian right insists that the rapture is imminent. Equally sychophantic are those who argue that while the current challenges are unprecedented, so is the technology which can alleviate them. Pervading all three groups is a profound disconnect from ecological, scientific, and human reality.
For example, Truth To Power has been consistently reporting appalling indicators of world famine and global water privatization by transnational corporations. Peak Oil, climate change, genetic modification, and the preposterous use of ethanol as an energy alternative have caused food prices to skyrocket as the food industry produces so-called "foods" that are devoid of nutrients and are dangerous for our health. Moreover, ethanol is increasing something besides food prices, namely vast dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico produced by ethanol-laden wastewater.
As the likelihood of famine escalates, as bankruptcies skyrocket and foreclosures surge beyond anything this nation has seen since the Great Depression, as unemployment becomes epidemic, as the dollar daily sets records for loss in value, as banks fail, as the price of oil flies off the charts, I can only marvel that anyone in the United States has the slightest interest whatsoever in a presidential election. My mind reels but recalls the terrified and traumatized passengers on the decks of the Titanic, hallucinating and in shock. Although we may be overwhelmed passengers on a sinking ship, there are lifeboats. This is not quite the same Titanic; we have options. So why would anyone re-arrange the deck chairs by putting any faith in a presidential candidate?
No doubt there are many reasons, but if you are one of those who hopes that one of the three corporately bought-and-sold candidates will save you, I have to ask you if you are storing food, and if not, why not? Readers of this site know well that the Survival Acres and Life After The Oil Crash websites carry extensive inventories of storable food items and other products for collapse preparedness, and within the past week, Sharon Astyk's wonderful article "Food Storage 101" was posted on this site. So I must also ask what you are doing to prepare yourself and your loved ones for living in a world of famine, thirst, lawlessness, lack of health care, a worthless dollar, and possible martial law. How are you building community with others to weather this scenario?
In a nutshell, there are three realities that every reader of these words must prepare to deal with: Food, fuel, and fascism.