Return conversation with James Howard Kunstler, on Living in the Long Emergency, on the decline of community, morality, & humanity in times of immersive dishonesty and death wish culture.
Part One: Riding the Long Emergency (0 – 27 mins)
Making out in Hope, BC, riding the long emergency, parallel worlds, a frontier town, villages in Europe, the future of Europe, the shifting economy, rebuilding local communities, an agricultural county, industrial dairy farming in Washington county, New York, artisanal changeover, Living in the Long Emergency, covid-19 shutdown, Amazon’s effect on authors, extinction of the music business, the fate of movie houses.
Part Two: Emergent Societies & Emergent Pathologies (27 – 53 mins)
Business and community, the interrelationship of community parts, the acceleration of energy supplies, emergent societies, economic & social roles, human tendency towards hierarchy, the natural order of disorder, when parts of an interdependent system fail, human pathologies & pathological societies, from history to mythology, difference between growing up in the UK in the 1970s and the US in the 50s, an existential solution, the pervasion of dishonesty, education & medicine rackets, college loans & debt saves, race & gender hustling, the covid contraction, hostages of the healthcare system.
Part Three: Death & Eternity (53 mins – 1 hr 23 mins)
Perversions and inversions within institutions, macro-perversity, morality vs. spirituality, right relationship to reality, conscious life force, a death wish culture, immersive ugliness of the US landscape, entropy made visible, agencies of death, terror management theory, the driving force of nihilism, death & hyper-activity, an absence of grace-notes, the degeneration of high-art, Samuel Beckett’s dictum, the comedy of unhappiness, contemplating the eternal, the astonishment of existence, the elasticity of time, Jim’s disciplines, Kunstler’s astrology, the top-heavy human, a tale of two cats.
Part Four: A Still Moment (1 hr 23 – 1 hr 45 mins)
Monastic life as solution for civilizations in trouble, the preservation of culture, The Canticle of Leibowitz, the fall of the Roman Empire, a time of great quietness, utopian communities of the 19th century, sexual & financial problems in communities, bundling Shakers, Fourier’s phalansteries, social organization of numbers, the question of hierarchy, the inverse hierarchy of monasteries, the measure of authority, rank presidential candidates, the president’s new clothes, how to make authority credible, becoming a reality-based person, constructing a coherent consensus, a common culture, an economic crack-up, the pain of deceleration.
Part Five: The Shale Oil Miracle (1 hr 45 mins – end)
The oil situation, peak oil, Gail Tverberg, prices dropping, demand destruction, shale oil, debt to cover oil production costs, an orgy of lending, the shale oil miracle, fracking, up to 13 million barrels a day, the evaporation of capital, the final contraction, stopping the pumping, Saudi & Russia, metroplex mega-cities, human gerbils.