Oil

What happened to a bedrock assumption of sustainability: Peak Oil? Remember the logic of Die Off? What of King Hubbard’s prediction?

Oil companies among the most sinister of any capitalist industry.

Matrix as Method

Simply, the mapping of capitalism on top of bioregions. The systemic needs of capitalist expansion may conflict with the vibrancy of bioregions and communities. That tension will identify specific arena where the future will be contested, so identify these contests early.

The HotSpots require immediate attention.

Examples:

  1. Long term land lease contracts in the Congo.
  2. The Bolsonaro assault on the Amazon.
  3. The sabotage of the Kurds by President Trump, to the advantage of President Putin.
  4. The dissolution of democracy in the USA.
  5. Hong Kong’s challenge to China.
  6. Brexit: Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales.
  7. Most regional areas, many distressed, eg WV re coal.
  8. Siberia melting, releasing methane.

Disaster Capitalism

Naomi Klein argues that disaster creates opportunities for capitalism to expand. If so, opportunities will abound. Perpetual war will do the same.

Consider the plan by NYC to provide a protective wall around Lower Manhattan. First, the protection extends only to the rich, not to, say, the Bronx. Second, the plan confers expansion opportunities for real estate industries. Third, the $10 billion price tag is way too low.

Miami, for example, recently floated a bond issue for about $600 million to protect Miami from a rising sea with more intense storms. You get the picture: armoring cities and regions will cost a whole lot, so where isĀ  Dick Cheney’s Hallarburton?

The Iraq War provided lots of lucrative contracts Hallarburton. Indeed, never forget President Eisenhower’s warning about the Military Industrial Complex.

Public Policy

Notice that I rarely advocate public policy as a path to a sustainable, just, and peaceful world. Like most US citizens, I have little faith in government, rather regarding the US national and state governments as having been captured by the behemoths, thus serving the interest of plutocrats, if not kleptocrats. I see little innovation emanating from governments around the world.

Further, I have little confidence that corporations, citizens born of the Roberts’s Supreme Court, will behave as good citizens, rather than profit-driven organs of capitalism. So what’s left?

The people? Granted that citizenship, civic organizations, and social capital (producing real value but not profit-driven) can do much. However, necessary the polis must be, civics is hardly sufficient.

In the Braudel-Polanyi Synthesis the lower levels of capitalism thrive within the polis, local communities, and civic virtue. That shift, as I see it, must take the lead. Again, necessary but hardly sufficient. So what’s to do?

How to frame a strategic approach to a sustainable and just reinhabitation? I turn to ThreeFolding as a macro-sociological model contributed by Perlas:

Recession ==> Green Economy

I heard somewhere that a recession provides the opportunity to pause, to reconsider direction, strategy, and next steps for the organization. Many savvy observers see a recession on the horizon — although I see a robust consumer, low interest rates, and lots of opportunities for investment. This expansion is long in the tooth, lots of geopolitical risks threaten, and China slows.

However, should a recession hit I anticipate that:

  1. A period of at least three years before growth ensues again, not a short duration, will diminish further the legitimacy of capitalist.
  2. The opportunity for innovations and investments, particularly much needed infrastructure, opens up a needed transition to a green economy.

A recession could, should, become the gateway to an adaptive green economy, labor intensive and fair. Why not?