Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism.
- Rosa Luxemburg, "Junius Pamphlet" 1916

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Foundations

Good morning folks! Hopefully not too many of you have removed this blog from your RSS feeds (people still use those, right?), because I'm rebooting Seldon's Gate. When Kir'Shara decided to take a step back from the project, he was the only regular contributor, and so naturally expected to be turning out the lights on the way out. He offered me the chance to continue the work, though, and I figured it was time to make good on my promise to myself that I would post more.

Maybe now, as the driver, I won't be able to make any more excuses!

When Kir'Shara founded this blog, he drew his inspiration from a series of novels written by Isaac Asimov. The Foundation series recounts the fall of an interstellar empire, predicted by a mathematician who develops a model for the behavior of human societies that is accurate at large scales, although prone to error at small scales--ironically similar to climate change models. Foreseeing the collapse of his society, Hari Seldon founded a group of individuals called the Foundation whose purpose was to preserve the collected knowledge of humanity, and to work to ameliorate the effects of the collapse, because preventing it had become impossible.

Sound familiar?

John Michael Greer, of the Archdruid Report, states accurately that what we face is a not a problem (problems have solutions), but rather a predicament, a situation that must be endured, that requires adaptation rather than solution. I think that Seldon's Gate has done an excellent job chronicling the continuing catabolic collapse of our industrial society, step by step and stone by stone, in the face of escalating energy costs and climate change. Anybody who reads through our archives will see the inescapable pattern of current events, drawn in strokes both broad and subtle by Kir'Shara. With my turn in the driver's seat, I'd like to turn out attention to building our own Foundation, to action in the face of this slow disaster we now know so well.

For we are not powerless. Yes, climate change will almost certainly exceed 4° C, and the trail off of fossil fuel production will result in inevitable and painful contraction of the world's industrial economy. But we need not watch it all fall down around our ears; even facing an unstoppable catastrophe with inadequate resources and ineffective leadership, the crew of the Titanic still saved a third of the people on that doomed ship. With luck, we can do better.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, good sir, and may the wind be at your virtual back.

    The action part of the response to the predicament still baffles me, and I will look forward very much to reading your thoughts on the subject.

    Also, as an aside, it's been weird for me thinking about writing on the topics of this blog... Maybe because I think in Mr. Greer's eyes I've chosen a profession that has nothing to contribute during the long collapse. I would respectfully disagree with him on that. But not with confidence. And I understand how he feels. Something I will keep in mind as I continue to follow the peak-capitalism, post-carbon community.