Futility’s vicious circle

Perhaps more frighteningly, the decline of the Pax Americana.


The decline of the American Empire

by Dave Cohen

[T]he decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight. The story of its ruin is simple and obvious; and, instead of inquiring why the Roman empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long.
—Edward Gibbon, from the Decline and Fall

Perhaps you have noticed a common theme in my recent columns. Each policy proposed to solve our economic, oil or climate problems I have examined has a fatal flaw, and often more than one. New initiatives always seem dead on arrival……………………

………………………..The theme that unites our flawed responses to economic and energy problems is futility, defined as—

  1. The quality of having no useful result; uselessness.
  2. Lack of importance or purpose; frivolousness (unworthy of serious attention)

We can not seem to escape futility’s vicious circle.

Futility's Vicious Circle

As problems become more intractable over time, our resistance to making real changes to confront those problems, our social inertia, becomes more entrenched. Thus the solution to debt-based economic problems is more debt. The solution to liquid fuels problems is marginally more fuel efficient cars, not alternatives to driving. We study an expansion of the rail system instead of building it to provide an actual alternative to flying or driving between cities. We dream of hypothetical biofuels in the far-off future to solve an oil supply problem in the here & now.

See full article at http://www.aspousa.org/index.php/2009/06/the-decline-of-the-american-empire/


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