The Dark Lords of the Silt #184 –Robert M. Shelby, 12-23-12. [640 txt wds]

A small contingent of illiberal folks here in Benicia qualify for membership in the above-named group. Both collectively and individually, they may be the least qualified people around to judge of President Obama’s competence in the office, but they are exceeding vocal in print. They reflect a more extensive tribe of negative viewers and casters of aspersive doubt across the land. It is as if they live in the earth’s shadow.

Individually, they seem to have lived successful lives. Comfortable in retirement, they live with their families in dire fear of the national future. It may be wondered whether or not their families feel that same, nagging fear of abstractions about possible realities. “Socialism” seems to be the great threat to their existence, yet were they to waken to larger vistas than they seem to view, that would be among the least of their concerns.

They might begin to sense that the glories of Capitalism and corporate domination as we have known them, and which figure so largely in their imaginings, light no clearly viable path into the future. The reasons should be easy to grasp. Capitalism and corporatism participate in the Perpetual Growth Paradigm. It is unsustainable. The entire, productive economy of the so-called “developed” parts of our world is based on petroleum, including agriculture. Massive, machine farming exhausts soil made fertile again imperfectly by nitrogen from natural gas. To draw nitrogen from ordinary air takes expensive fueling from coal or oil. Our immense and still growing reliance on electricity cannot in forseeable future be met by “renewable” means. Infrastructures they require can be built only from carbon-burning technologies. Finance is based now on fiat money and the manipulation of markets through computer-driven transaction and credit allocation. Markets are still vulnerable to human opinion. Not even the Fed seems able to govern buying and selling perfectly. Human opinion reflects general morale as well as events which can shock it into irrational decision-making.

The entire system seems to have become a “house of cards.” It may be that our economy  is sustained only by the inertia of its component systems. Perhaps, then, it is no wonder that “The Dark Lords” live as if with their heads in the tar sands of Alberta and Idaho. So long as they keep what they have, they stay above the trampling herd. They will naturally fear anything that might worsen their personal status, relative to the masses.

What seems unnatural is the religiosity with which they hold on to a Horatio Alger-like vision (of a past which never was quite real) as their model for tomorrow. Do they really believe their devotion to The Dark Side of this Farce will sustain their sort forever? Can they not grasp that the Perpetual Growth Paradigm leads a parade to the collapse of our world more surely than predictions from a Mayan calendar?

Hugely far-reaching, adaptive changes will be required of our descendants. It will take every last measure of ingenuity to salvage what is worthwhile in our world while going back in many ways to pre-industrial, even stone-age lifeways. Pseudo-conservatives will have to suck it up or pass away. Maybe the top fraction of our population will start cannibalizing us more directly than they have done, so far. No wonder they want guns!

Still more sad to contemplate is the fact that these local Dark Lords are relatively low on their own “food chain” compared to the “Lightless Emperors” at the top of the “flood gates” with whom they identify and seek hopelessly to emulate: namely, a few mega-rich who gave millions to Romney’s failed campaign and who still finance everything that can be wrong with peoples’ approach to life and living long upon this earth. No doubt these Lightless Emperors await the dark matter of the universe to coalesce a private solution for themselves.

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