Archive for February 22nd, 2002

Enmeshed in the Machine

Friday, February 22nd, 2002

N. Arthur Coulter writes: Every human being is enmeshed in the vast and intricate world-wide system that I call the Machine. The Machine is a network consisting of a large number of social, political, military, economic and cultural components. I call it the Machine because its mode of operation is so very much like the smaller machines man has produced in such abundance. The essential characteristic of machine is repetition—it repeats a sequence of movements over and over again, always the same, though differing perhaps in speed or force produced. The pistons of an automobile engine move up and down, up and down, endlessly. The wheels of a locomotive turn around and around. A printing press goes through the same complex sequence of movements, over and over again. To mechanize a process is to organize it to repeat itself as exactly as possible. So it is with the World Machine. It imposes on each human being a variety of patterns that he or she is expected to follow repeatedly. Get up, make breakfast, wash the dishes, make the beds, go shopping, come home, fix dinner, wash the dishes, watch TV, go to bed, etc. etc. etc. —patterns we repeat again and again, patterns we follow exactly lest we be punished. The Machine rules us all. We are only cogs spinning around and around. (02/22/02)
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Outlook on Crude Oil Depletion

Friday, February 22nd, 2002

We may look back and find that the year 2000 was the peak: a turning point when the prosperity of the past, driven by an abundant supply of cheap oil-based energy, gave way to decline in the future. A discontinuity of this magnitude is hard to grasp. The poor countries of the world will bear most of the burden. But the United States will be in serious difficulties. There is a danger of some ill-considered military intervention to try to secure oil, of which the Afghan War may have been a foretaste. That affair may be seen to have been more of an act of defiance to impose global economic hegemony by military means than a calculated action to reduce the level of so-called terrorism. (02/22/02)
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