Western Civilisation Shows a Marked Reticence to Roll Over and Die
Doomers are a dime a dozen. According to such doomers as Ehrlich, Orlov, Kuntsler, Cobb, etc. the nations of the west should have dropped dead long ago from one malady or other — Peak oil armageddon, climate apocalypse, famine and mass starvation, pollution gotterdammerung, politico-economic holocaust, or whatnot.
Instead, the nations of western civilisation continue to lead the world in innovation and injection of economic, scientific, and technological rejuvenation into the global human system.
A technology-based civilisation cannot survive without a steady infusion of innovation, coming from a wide range of sources. In the west, universities are an important source of innovation, but their role in the broader schemes of development and creative disruption are often overstated. Innovation needs to flow from all sectors of a high-tech society or a civilisation, if the society or civilisation is to develop in an abundant and expansive manner.
It is often the “doomers’ champion” — such as Russia or China — that has a long history of collapse, mass starvation, and bloody internal insurrection — although doomers rarely admit their own logical inconsistencies. Russia and China are also the most prominent nations that are in deep economic trouble and at risk of collapse. India and Brasil also have serious problems, but then they are not trying to conquer the world in the manner of the doomers’ champions.
A Coming Anarchy vs. Disruptive Technologies of the Present and Future
Whatever humans build will begin to decay from the moment of construction. That is why critical technological infrastructures require constant maintenance to prevent breakdown. The need for constant maintenance to sustain advanced infrastructures helps to explain why Arabs and sub Saharan blacks are unable to support modern societies without significant outside help. Neither Arabs nor sub Saharan blacks have cultures or populations that can provide the maintenance needed.
There is also the question of raw intelligence:
A brief analysis of human occupations and their IQ requirements should be enough to explain to most intelligent readers why Africa is Africa, why Arabia is Arabia, and why the Third World is the Third World.
In the more advanced and innovative world, there are more than enough people to provide the maintenance needed to support high-tech infrastructures — if the societies were not so caught up in the “a university education for every child” delusion. The advanced world of the west is full of such delusions propagated by politically correct elites who are currently in control of political bureaucracies, news & entertainment media, universities, and most other cultural institutions. It is a problem, but not a problem leading to imminent collapse.
In the west and in some nations of the east, disruptive technologies are allowed to flow through economies in ways that allow for a rejuvenation and regeneration of economic vigour. That is not the main problem in the west. The main problem in the west is demographic decline — low birthrates among the more intelligent combined with relatively high birthrates and immigration among the unintelligent and violence-prone.
Disruptive Technologies in Space, Biomedicine, Cognitive Sciences, Information Science, Materials, Energy etc. Will Lead to New Markets and New Vital Areas of Enterprise and Investigation
Doomers seem unable to comprehend the many things that allow human societies to survive, grow, and prosper — and the many things that cause ever-turbulent societies such as Russia, China, the Islamic states, etc — to fail. That is why their prediction rates have been so abysmally poor (peak oil armageddon, climate apocalypse, etc.), and are likely to remain so. They tend to focus on one boogeyman or other, which becomes their focus. The rest of the mass of reality becomes their “blind spot.”
The Ascent of Europe
For the past 2800 years, Europeans have been responsible for most of human accomplishment in the sciences, philosophy, and the arts. But it was not until the past 500 years that Europe came to dominate the geopolitics of the planet. Part of the ascent of Europe is a result of the industrial revolution, and its application to military technology — and technologies of medicine, transportation, energy, communications, logistics, and other sectors. This has put “iron in the words of life and death” up to this point in the history of the west.
There is Iron in Your Words of Life … and Death
It is not enough for a civilisation to have intelligent and creative people, capable of organisation, innovation, and maintenance of critical infrastructures. The dominant civilisation and its sub-societies must have the ability and the will to put iron in their words of life . . . and death.
The Reign of the Impractical Leftist Intellectual Spells Stagnation in the West
Bad government constrains the ability of a society to innovate and develop into an abundant and expansive future. Comparing North and South Korea gives us a glimpse of the power of government to constrain the human drive. The same phenomenon was on display when East and West Germany sat side by side under different governments. Bad government chokes individual initiative. We see this most clearly in corrupt and ideological governments like those of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Turkey, the EU, and Obama’s US.
But just as Argentina and Venezuela are attempting to work their way out from under decades of corruption and perverse ideology, so is it possible for nations of the west — such as the US, other Anglospheric nations, and European nations — to come back after bad leaders are disposed of.
Wherever people and institutions are allowed to innovate — unstifled by bad government, corruption, and political correctness — western nations are likely to bounce back. As long as their underlying character has not been completely destroyed by dysgenic decline resulting from bad government policies in immigration and welfare programs.
Return of Jobs from China to North America
China’s economic implosion combined with a number of other global economic factors, are making it more rational to relocate back to North America, for many manufacturers.
Made in the U.S.A. is hot again, and the number of manufacturing jobs that are returning to the U.S. — or coming to the U.S. for the first time — from overseas has hit a record level. __ http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-flips-the-script-on-jobs-reshoring-finally-outpaced-offshoring-in-2014-2015-05-01
Even Chinese companies are starting factories in the US to take advantage of genuine economic demand, as opposed to the “bubble demand” that is so prominent in China.
New jobs coming to US (once Obama is out of the picture)
Doomers are Buggering Themselves
Intelligent people remember the many failed predictions of peak oilers, climate apocalyptics, and collapsitarians of all stripes. As the senile readerships of the doomers fall prey to the illnesses that are prevalent among those who refuse to think for themselves, the doomers themselves will go the way of Matt Simmons and others whose predictions failed miserably.
It has always seemed to us at the Al Fin Institutes that one would better spend his time in the attempt to solve problems, rather than wallowing in disease-ridden orgies of doom. But that is just us.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.
Some civilisations are indeed doomed if they cannot learn to do for themselves:
Ever since Napoleon, the Russian economy has been weak. It is hard to think of a period when it was booming, save perhaps the 1950s when its boom was tied to rebuilding after the devastation of World War II. Yet in spite of the paucity of economic success, the Russians have fought appallingly expensive wars, and either fought the enemy to a bloody standstill or defeated them outright, as they did with Napoleon and Hitler.
Modern weapons are expensive to develop, but deploying precision-guided munitions is cheaper than deploying and arming many millions of men as the United States did during World War II. It is possible, within the existing budget, to create capable weapons developed by what we used to call Soviet R&D-the KGB. Today technology just behind the cutting edge is available, and the cost of fielding it is cheaper than a World War II mechanized force.
So in Russia, one sees a hybrid eastern/western schizoid personality, surviving on technological leftovers from the west. Mighty China, on Russia’s long border, must also steal technology developed elsewhere, to survive.
If spying is the world’s second oldest profession, the government of China has given it a new, modern-day twist, enlisting an army of spies not to steal military secrets but the trade secrets and intellectual property of American companies. It’s being called “the great brain robbery of America.” __ CBS
Meanwhile, the west — a west that is perched on the razor’s edge between wild open-flighted development of disruptive technologies, and a timid self-hating leftist swamp of decay, must pass through a number of significant troubles — but perhaps not the troubles its own politicians, academics, media flacks, intellectuals, and other politically correct fools imagine.
An Interesting Future Awaits
In the end, the powers-along-the-fringe — the doomers’ champions — are living a precarious existence by stealing innovations that they themselves are unable to create. In the case of Russia, its ongoing demographic collapse is central to both its own inability to innovate, and its ultimate inability to maintain the pretence of global relevance beyond its natural resources.
China is a bit different, and has a stronger cultural and economic future. Its people are intelligent, hard-working, ambitious, and very numerous. China is likely to survive as a culture for a long time, although perhaps in an increasingly fragmented geopolitical manner.
Doomers are a Waste of Time
If you are sending money to doomers, you are funding your own coming dementia. Kuntsler, Cobb, David Suzuki, Martensen, James Hansen, Bill McKibben, Gore, Orlov, and a long list of other opportunistic doomers have made it their careers to hold you in fear and ignorance. It’s a living for them, and caveat emptor.
On the other side are the heroes who dare to speak out against the politically correct tsunami of doom that undermines the futures of so many young people. The heroes:
- Bjorn Lomborg Getting the facts straight
- Brian Wang’s NextBigFutureOptimistic Science & Technology Future Website
- Grey EnlightenmentConservatively optimistic economics/finance
- John McCarthy: Sustained Progress How Scientific and Technological Progress can be Sustained
- Julian Simon Online works of Julian Simon, eternal optimist
- Lifeboat Foundation blog Blog of the futurist Lifeboat Foundation
- Matt Ridley Rational Optimism
- Patri Friedman and SeasteadingProjects of Patri Friedman, grandson of Milton, son of David
- Peter H. Diamandis’ website X Prize, Singularity University, Planetary Resources, etc.
- Ray Kurzweil Kurzweil’s Singularity
- Robert Bryce Better Living Through Technology
- Seasteading Institute Quest for Free Living on the Oceans
- The Arts Mechanical An exploration of the technologies that affect our lives
And there are so many others, living and dead, who devoted their time and lives to championing human ingenuity and a brighter human future — rather than stealing hope and coin from the gullible by appealing to the all too numerous fears that humans carry with them.
A constant flow of innovations creates abundant new niches for new enterprises, and ever expanding R&D. Innovation feeds into more innovation, at the same time that multiple spinoffs create new worlds of economic activity.
A Stable Platform Aids Innovation and Creativity
A doomer’s blind spots make up most of his visual field. A doomers’ forum is a case of the blind leading the blind in a grand circular-jerkular. Many sources of valid information are freely available to everyone with a library card or an internet connection. But most people — especially doomers — get caught up in the currents of superficial fashion.
For doomers, the word “inconceivable” does not mean what they think it means. 😉 Shrinking minds, shrinking possibilities.