Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Our way of life is non-negotiable

1. As the Tao Te Ching makes clear, the inherent processes of life will always regularly produce perverse phenomena (the irregularities that must emerge from the confluence of different regular phenomena).

2. These perverse phenomena will always be intensified in societies whose behaviours and manners of cultural expression are accentuated by the application of abnormal levels of (fossil-fuel derived) thermal energy.

3. Those that accidentally gain the greatest benefit from the introduction of the perverse phenomena will attempt to regularise them via ideological myths that stress their inevitability, necessity and normality.


W. Kasper said...

A generic counter-argument, posted on the same day (and no, I don't agree with him - the huge gaping hole in his thesis is obvious):


Besides that, I may adopt your post as a 'chat-up line' from now on...

Phil Knight said...

Well, the cheeky fella is utilising a familiar sleight-of-hand technique which posits that all proposed scenarios that aren't progressive-optimistic are therefore apocalyptic doomerism.

My position is that we're in decline (I mean this should be obvious by now), but really decline is a bit of a dull, long drawn out affair. We'll be playing less Grand Theft Auto, and more dominos.

There'll be a few riots along the way, though, esp. among youth deprived of their GTA.

Phil Knight said...

Also, from a Taoist point of view, all chat up lines are prompts for unexpected responses that have to be countered by the real chat up line.

Which has to be generated impromptu, but with insightful acuity.

Hope this helps etc.

W. Kasper said...

Where I live, elderly people with the healthiest social lives tend to be Caribbean - and they fuckin' love dominoes! Can you imagine 80 year-olds having a lively get-together over GTA? Not even teenagers do.

Perhaps related, before the uni cuts, the most committed activists I knew tended to be on the old side. I'm starting to think the old may be our only hope - but I'm sure you're aware how our obsession with youth only accelerates our decline. To adapt (or rebel?) I think we need much more oldie input now, from all corners. Look at Noam Chomsky or Tony Benn - I'd have much more faith in both than L**rie P*nny. Police are (still) less likely to baton pensioners too. Faith in the young may be as misguided as faith in technology - you always need awareness of the 'old ways'. Even if they were proven wrong.

BTW - I'm putting your Taoist tips into practice. Would make a change from horoscopes and Thelema anyway... everyone's using that schtick these days.

Phil Knight said...

Do the Jamaicans slam the dommies on the table as hard as they can? That's what they used to do around here.

The Hall & Ames version of the Dao De Jing (as it's called now) is the one to get. I wish I'd read it when I was twenty - it would have saved me no end of pain and hassle.

Amazing that the Chinese 3000 years ago had a better handle on how life works than we have now, but there you go.....

W. Kasper said...

Yes, dominoes are slammed.

I think Tao may be something most people are fated to not read until they're way past their twenties. They usually go along the blind alleys of the I Ching first.