[Those impatient with the style may skip directly to Futurology.]
Altho much of the following has been conjectured by others, it is specifically the 'collapse of civilization' that is of interest here; it follows that Homo sapiens ('knowing') can only but be superceded by some H cogitans (thinking) deliberating upon 'what the system can bear' instead of idiomatics.
The larger situations staging and manifesting the breakdown are these:
2 - Those assets, and knowledge in general, will become concentrated in an 'aristocracy' ('first World', classical sense) of more or less continued life-style-and-quality 'suffering' the drone/burden mass 'below' (essentially all others.)
3 - The momentum of 'life-daily-lived' ('consumerism' et cetera) and its institutionalized steward- and arbitership saturating the resource/environment will not be reducible before at least 'some potentials' of that resource/environment are exhausted.
4 - The aristocracy will come to sense 'its failing viability', but momentum, the 'autonomy of nations' and ignorance regarding 'reasonable course of resolution' in general will prevent it from intervening 'knowledgeably' before sapiens-
civilization breaks down.
[How do we know that man will not 'find some way' to solve these problems? Given the fact of human existence as manifest in 'life-style-and-quality', and the momentum influence (history) of the idiomatics, there is a 'suggestively growing'
(statistical) improbability of an off-setting deliberation about how 'viability' is to be defined and determined, and about 'what the system can bear', before it breaks down.
There is a System of Human Experience, and a momentum in 'how it has been operating':
6 AD 'The number of Romans receiving free grain rises to 320,000, up from 150,000 in 44 BC. Close to one third the city is on the dole.'
'Rome imports some 14 million bushels of grain per year to supply the city alone -an amount that requires several hundred square miles of croplands to produce. One third comes from Egypt and the rest largely from North African territories west of
-and the larger consequences already surfacing within various parts of the world are these:
Breakdown and Anomie
The idiomatics constitutes the 'massively primary qualifying philosophy' of thus-far hominid evolution; we must expect it to continue therefore (other forces not countervailing), as the massively dominant factor into econiche saturation and exhaustion -and all continuing evolutions and extinctions, thus-
The failing of any one element deemed critical to one's 'life-style-and-quality' generally precipitates a pecking-order/survival-of-the-fittest response as the only mechanism thus-far known to him, thus each such 'loss' is 'deliberated anew' by
the individual, percolates thru the system and skews the whole 'downward'. As potential of resource/environment dwindles then, somewhere in the hierarchy, some element of steward- and arbitership that supported
some element of civilization (saving gorillas, for example, or supporting a private swimming pool) becomes inapplicably, uselessly or untenably 'too large' (intelligence has nothing to do with it) -that economically supporting mechanism effectively
disappearing into the anomie seeping up from the bottom as the only likewise dwindling regulation possible -pecking-order/natural-selection.
The proximal situation for the First World -the next 10 to 15 years, is that as technology and scientific advancements support more people with less work, not only will there be more and more 'idlemindedness to be filled', but there being a 'rate of creativity' relatively fixed by organism genetics (The Unemployability Conjecture), 'filling' that growing drone/burden idlemindedness will become increasingly difficult -especially under constraint of 'what the system can bear', and indeed, it will be under abandonment found necessary by 'the aristocracy' that having nothing better to do and no 'viable directive', drone/burden idlemindedness will fill itself with 'taking to the streets' -the brute idiomatics 'from whence he sprung'.
[Altho much of the following hypothesization is extreme, it
is also 'already texturally true' in many parts of the world.]
-some time in the future-
The Damaged Laboratory
We know now that 'rebreeding' extincting (or extinct) species doesn't work very well: the 're-bred' organism either is gene-pool-limited or, having lost its 'culture' -the California condor for example, the animal is dependent on humans for survival. There is no reason to believe, therefore -given our rampantly undisciplined population growth, that 'the gathering momentum of ecological resurrections and technological improvements' -undamming rivers, organic farming and recombinant genetics et cetera- will stem system break-down; these 'improvements' are merely a technological product of our 'deliberative capability' -it remains that there is no integral whole-earth/econiche deliberation in place to run the system.
["A thousand years from now, when people are digging up our culture ... our debris and trash is going to be everywhere," said Brad Koldehoff, an archeologist coordinating the excavation through the University of Illinois. "They're going to be much more
concerned about what the natural environment might have been like before we filled in wetlands, paved over fields and built mile after mile of strip malls," Koldehoff said".
The study of archeology, he added, gives us a lot of perspective on the present."
Except for relatively isolated areas, the entire surface of the earth to depths of up to even several hundred feet -waters included, and the whole atmosphere above and all lifeforms for their influences, any and everything potentially affecting us in any way whatsoever within a 'geologic span of generations'- will be corrupted to the point of depressing viability -severely for the aristocracy and disastrously for the drone/burden in that no provision will (can) have been made for a non-polluting, generally replenishable power resource to supplement oil depletion (methyl hydrate withstanding), nothing of the quantity required nor 'accommodating attrition' made, thereby strangling all human endeavor -production, transportation and 'idlemindtime' -the whole of awake human activity.
[Our fossil energy resources are the product of millions of years of biomass growth under earth-crust churning and aging. There is, therefore, no real shortage of oil in the sense that it does exist somewhere; 'depletion' then, is the fact of naturally increasing difficulty of finding it and getting out of the ground under increasingly more difficult situations affecting both the resource/environment and human quality of life within it in ways of the future that we have absolutely no way of anticipating. -It takes energy to convert one form into another, and it being the nature of everything to run down, (e.g.) 'energy-saving' wind and solar-reflector generators must themselves eventually break-down and become useless in the absence of some oil-equivalent to parent repair.]
The aristocracy consists of those people who find each other 'inexpendable by virtue of their capabilities or connections' and so choose and can stay together, and it sustains itself largely upon the labor of the 'expendable' drone/burden. Political and governmental organization at large will depend less upon institutionalization and codification than upon 'simple idiomatics' and 'hierarchic well-being' -'ethical practices' and 'morality' in general long out of consideration -diplomatics given way to blunt speech and 'force mechanics'.
The aristocracy comprises the once marketably competent (and even then 'aristocratic' and only randomly efficient) frontier-pushers, do'ers, movers and shakers of civilization (now little market and less frontier), and a pseudo-middle-class of 'operators and dealers' -the whole, remnants of the once institutionalized steward- and arbitership, and various relatives, cronies and hangers-on of one kind or another, all 'functionally literate' and 'relatively skilled', living a relatively arbitrary and still relatively excessive life-style-and-quality cramped somewhat by 'serfs' and compromised by 'other lords'. Money barely talks; 'agreements' are better, and pecking-order works best.
The drone/burden is the mass of peoples everywhere to whom daily life is a matter not of 'life-style-and-quality', but of failing viability, a struggle in feral aggregation. It is the trickle-down-dependent, ignorant and generally 'useless', unemployable and moribund jammed inhabitation of once-municipalities and minor 'rural' populations superficially indentured to the aristocracy; 'expertise of genetic continuity' evolved into the aristocracy is here a scrabble life and environment in which the only institutionalization at all is that 'self-serving' from above. Money is useless; brute mechanics work best.
(9005) First posted: October 28, 1996; Last modified: May 10, 2004