Blog Archive

10 April 2010

The Future & Buddhist Vegan Militias

A very interesting view of the future written by Reihan Salam in Time Magazine.

I really enjoyed this article. Salam sees the convergence of technology, energy costs and an emerging view on education as fundamentally transforming our society into one that (except for the technology) would probably be rather familiar to our ancestors. One can already see this transformation taking place in places like Detroit where thousands of abandoned homes, which once housed the massive labor force required for the car industry, are being torn down and redeveloped into other uses including urban farms.

"The cultural battle lines of our time, with red America pitted against blue, will be scrambled as Buddhist vegan militia members and evangelical anarchist squatters trade tips on how to build self-sufficient vertical farms from scrap-heap materials. To avoid the tax man, dozens if not hundreds of strongly encrypted digital currencies and barter schemes will crop up, leaving an underresourced IRS to play whack-a-mole with savvy libertarian "hacktivists."

Salam also makes the point that the federal debt implosion that I fear is coming might actually be a mixed blessing which weans our society off the government teat and returns us to a more individualistic society which relies on the support of neighbors rather than taxpayers-

"Look at the projections of fiscal doom emanating from the federal government, and consider the possibility that things could prove both worse and better. Worse because the jobless recovery we all expect could be severe enough to starve the New Deal social programs on which we base our life plans. Better because the millennial generation could prove to be more resilient and creative than its predecessors, abandoning old, familiar and broken institutions in favor of new, strange and flourishing ones."

Indeed, Salam notes that society could undergo a quiet, fundamental revolution as citizens decide they will not participate in a blood sucking system that consumes the majority of their effort and will instead turn to solutions that would have made Proudhon turn misty-eyed-

"Faced with the burden of financing the decades-long retirement of aging boomers, many of the young embrace a new underground economy, a largely untaxed archipelago of communes, co-ops, and kibbutzim that passively resist the power of the granny state while building their own little utopias."

Regardless of one's view of the world, we can all see that our society is headed for a transformational brick wall whether we like it or not. The old systems of massive government, the social safety net and bloated bureaucracy are simply not sustainable and people are finally waking up to the fact that they trade off in terms of taxes paid is simply not worth it. The nanny state will crumble not from political pressure, but from being starved of the revenues that allow its existence.

Hopefully, the transformation to a society such as the one described by Salam will be relatively peaceful. Unfortunately, history shows that such massive upheavals in the order of things usually result in terrible violence. Buddhist Vegan Militias- it's time to stock up on tofu and .223 ammo.

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