Saturday, October 23, 2010
"...You see, upon close examination the English word “community” turns out to be all but meaningless..." [In Full]
"...suppose that our two communities are in an English-speaking country, which is likely to be afflicted with the irrational belief that the free market can solve all problems on its own, even problems with the availability of critical supplies such as oil. Just as one would expect, the invisible hand of the market fails to make itself visible,"How (not to) to Organize a Community
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Resource Clock Courtesy of Poodwaddle
[Pop out a larger version]
In the midst of all this organizational activity neighbors get a chance to meet, perhaps for the first time, and discover a commonality of interests that leads them to form acquaintances and perhaps even friendships.
As neighbors get to know each other, they start looking out for each other, improving safety and reducing crime.
As the community becomes more tight-knit, it changes in atmosphere and appearance, becoming more fashionable and desirable, attracting better-educated and more prosperous residents while pricing out the undesirable element. News of these vast improvements spreads far and wide, and the community becomes a tourist mecca, complete with food festivals, swank boutiques and pricy bric-à-brac shops and restaurants.
The undesirable element is forced to decamp to a less desirable neighborhood nearby. There, it has no choice but to suffer with high levels of crime, but is typically afraid to ask the police for help, having learned from experience that the police are more likely to harass them then to help them, to arrest them for minor offenses and to round them up and deport them if they happen to be illegal immigrants. They also learn to be careful around members of local gangs and drug dealers.
Since official jobs in the neighborhood are scarce, they seek informal, cash-based employment, contributing to an underground economy. Seeking safety in numbers, they self-organize along racial and ethnic lines, and, to promote their common interests, form ethnic mafias that strive to dominate one or more forms of illegal or semi-legal activity.
Growing up in a dangerous, violent environment, their children become tough at a young age, and, those that survive, develop excellent situational awareness that allows them to steer clear of dangerous situations and to know when to resort to violence.
When the fossil fuel-based national economy shuts down due to the increasingly well understood local ramifications of the global phenomenon of Peak Oil, both of these communities are harmed, but to different extents and in different ways.
Other countries may continue to function for another decade or even longer: these are the countries that have enough oil of their own, as well as those that were far-sighted enough to enter into long-term barter agreements with the few remaining oil producers that still have a surplus of oil for export.
But suppose that our two communities are in an English-speaking country, which is likely to be afflicted with the irrational belief that the free market can solve all problems on its own, even problems with the availability of critical supplies such as oil. Just as one would expect, the invisible hand of the market fails to make itself visible, but it is plain to see that fuel is no longer delivered to either of these communities, although in the second one some fuel is likely to still be available on the black market, at prices that very few people can afford.
Sooner or later, due to lack of supplies and maintenance at every level, electricity shuts off, water pumping stations cease to function, sewage backs up making bathrooms unusable, garbage trucks no longer collect the garbage, which piles up, breading rats, flies and cockroaches.
As sanitary conditions deteriorate, diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid reappear and spread. The medical system requires fuel for the ambulances and running water, electricity and oil-based pharmaceuticals and disposable supplies for the hospitals and clinics to operate.
When these are no longer available, the surviving residents are left to care for each other as best they can and, when they fail, to bury their own dead. Along with the other municipal and government services, police departments cease to function. Particularly important installations are guarded by soldiers or by private security, while the population is left to fend for itself.
The effect on the two communities is markedly different... In Full @ ClubOrlov
Visitors To Auntie Imperial's News & Blog Review
Thanks For Stopping By