Tuesday, December 18, 2012


James Howard Kunstler
Even if the US economy were recovering, Americans would be stuck in a setting for daily life that has no future—the nightmare infrastructure of subdivision houses, strip malls and Walmarts, all rigged up for incessant motoring. And the economy is not recovering because there is no more cheap oil. If oil ever gets cheap again, it will be because nobody has enough money to pay for it.
In fact, the heart of the predicament is that the US economy came to be based on the construction of ever more suburban stuff, the financing of which became grist for a wave of epic swindles that has left the banking system a hollowed-out shell of accounting fraud. In short, America built even more stuff with no future, and ruined its society in the process.
The consequences of being stuck in such a living arrangement may end up being at least as problematic as the physical residue of it. It has left Americans in a network of alienation, anxiety and misery that defeats the mentality needed to break free of it. The US needs a massive re-ordering of daily life, yet there is no vision or will to get on with it.
Among the trials of living in a single-family home wilderness is the loss of connection between place and purpose often expressed as loss of community; by that Kunstler means duties, obligations and responsibilities to other human beings.
Many will rediscover a sense of purpose in the re-ordering of the social life that lies ahead, which includes a return to different household arrangements and probably much more hierarchical social relations.
“Implicit in the latter is the now-utterly-incorrect-and-taboo notion of someone knowing their place. The catch is: you need to have a place in order to know your place, and therefore know who you are—and in a society full of people for whom place means nothing, there is little chance of acquiring a real identity, other than the sham raiment of the app-suppor: 
source: 24hgold

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