Hanson’s Last Stand

Here is the last letter Jay Hanson addressed to me before I unsubscribed from The Church of the Killer Ape of Peak Oil:

Re: Is Dematerialism possible?

In killer_ape-peak_oil@yahoogroups.com, Tom Wayburn wrote:

Jay and Ron too, 

If Dematerialism is impossible, so is War Socialism.

[Here is Jay’s answer.]  It probably is.  It was meant as a body of ideas which, if adopted by the powers-that-be (e.g., WW2), could reduce consumption of natural resources up to 90%.  Any parts of it will help and could be adopted incrementally if some sort of new systems politics were invented.  On the other hand Tom, your program is nothing but updated Marxism.  [http://dematerialism.wikispaces.com/ ]

Your program is fundamentally different than mine.

#1.  You call for "Equality of political power."  I do not.  My program (or some version of it) would have to be willingly adopted and administered by the existing powers-that-be.  The closest analogy would be US government rationing in WW2.

#2.  You call for "nearly equal distribution of wealth."  I do not.  I call for rationing of those commodities which are required to prevent human suffering.  Existing "wealth" can stay where it is.

#3.  You call for "mandating worker ownership of the means of production."  I do not.  I don't care who owns the means of production.

BOTTOM LINE: Given the choice of "death by business as usual" or death by "Neo-Bolsheviks raging through the country on a new cultural revolution," then I will choose former.

Tom, peddle your political bullshit somewhere else.  You are no longer welcome here.  [For those of you who feel my response is a bit harsh, Tom said on the_dieoff_QA he didn't care about how words were defined, which of course, means he IS NOT qualified for membership on any of my lists.

My answer:

As any careful reader of Jay’s list knows, I said that Jay could define a word any way he wanted and I would employ his definition in discussions with him.  As any intelligent reader of Jay’s list knows, Jay’s version of War Socialism will NOT save 90% of the energy because it permits the market to continue to function, albeit under some constraint, but with the myriad activities and occupations that are bleeding the earth to death daily.  [Note (9.29.2007).  The difference between World War II rationing and the rationing required to mitigate the worst effects of Peak Oil is that during World War II the economy continued to grow.  In fact, war-related growth propelled the US from world power to world superpower.]  Instead, he is calling for a systems-engineering dictatorship.  (Earlier, he called for a military dictatorship.)  Jay turns out to be a fool as well as a self-deluded tyrant.  Like the neo-conservatives, his preferred method of attack is to accuse his adversaries of the very faults of which he himself is guilty.  For example, he will claim that I hold on to my views with irrational religious fervor, which charge applies, instead, to him, which accounts for his inability to deal rationally with opposition to his doomsday message.  The same comments apply to Ron Patterson who is cast from the same mold.  Make no mistake; these are bad asses; and, when running scared – and Jay is definite running scared – they will commit all sorts of abominations.

Every good student of human nature, unlike Ron and Jay, knows that the bully, and this goes for the “intellectual” bully too, lives in stark terror of someone calling his bluff.  I have been dealing effectively with bullies all my life.  When you stand up to them, they turn tail and run like the cowards they are.  Many of us know that Jay will quit a group or simply walk away from a discussion.  What very few know is that Jay, subsequently, is plunged frequently into the depths of depression.  How sad!

It seems that every half-baked pseudo-intellectual bad-ass who reads Pinker or Dawkins grabs onto evolutionary psychology to justify every sort of bad behavior!  Just because you have inherited a gene for a mal-adaptive, atavistic trait like barnyard aggressiveness, does not excuse the incorrigible behavior that results from lack of self-control in people of goodwill and voluptuary pleasure in evil for the rest.

I have tried very hard to stop Jay in his tracks, make him think for a change, and, finally, give him a chance to become a decent person and do the right thing.  The reason people flock to Jay’s banner, of course, is they are clutching at a straw of certainty in a sea of doubt due to the flood of events in a very uncertain world.  For such people it is better to trust in error than face the impenetrable mystery that surrounds us all.

Finally, I have this to say to the people I leave behind having done the best I can do for them.  Things are not what you think they are, namely:

1.         Conservation within Capitalism could make the Die Off much worse if it postpones it while the population grows.

2.         People who don't want a state-planned or consumer-planned economy (with equal shares of emergy for all) probably consider themselves superior to some other people and don't want to jeopardize their eminence and other advantages.  A physics professor confessed, "I'm afraid you'll take away my money."  This is part of the authoritarian or Type Z personality.  This characterization does not apply to the many losers in the Money Game who are hopeless victims of authoritarian propaganda, such as the anti-abortion zealots who are convinced that communism is the same as abortion.

3.         Capitalism is like Rock and Roll.  The vast majority would reject both unless they had been subjected to merciless brainwashing.  If you are susceptible to Rock, Country, Rap, or any of the other popular products that masquerade as music, you are probably vulnerable to anti-communist propaganda - especially if you have not yet recognized that every school curriculum, every major sporting event, and every television program – not just the commercials – is anti-communist propaganda.

 4.        It's too early to plan on what to do to save yourself and your loved ones from the coming Crash, Ochlarchy, and Die Off as in "Children of Men", which was based on a different etiology but the same prognosis.  You must know where the bomb will land before you know which way to run.

5.         We should all support the Bolivarian Revolution until we have a chance to go a little further along the path to a Natural Economy.  Hugo Chavez will not oppose this process, the name of which is Dematerialism – not to be confounded with the Ideal represented by the Natural Economy.

For some of my friends, I would like to call your attention to the work of Roy Bhaskar.  Please see http://www.criticalrealism.demon.co.uk/iacr/.  And, do yourself a favor; take a gander at http://energybulletin.net/23259.html.

Tom Wayburn

June 14, 2007

Revised September 29, 2007

Houston, Texas