Friday, May 30, 2008

See The Elephant

The book that started me thinking about all of it was Robert Kaplan's The Coming Anarchy. A lot of people have thought that Kaplan was shilling for Zionists seeking American intervention in the Middle East, but I regard him as something of an entirely different order and largely inaccessible to most people because of his objectivity. Kaplan in his narrow obsession is one of the first modern writers I discovered who could see the elephant. I think that Robert's fear is that we are all one giant ship of fools headed in the same direction, as the story by Ted Kaczynski goes. I believe that Robert is not an advocate as a result of his perception of what the real problems are.

"Kaplan offers no vision, no strategy, nothing beyond accurate descriptions of the current state of warfare inside the Gap. He is the global war on terror's best sideline reporter, but he's the wrong source to cite on how to run the entire franchise." -- Thomas P. M. Barnett

There is a parable about six blind men and an elephant. Partisanship caused each blind man to claim he understood what an elephant was, based randomly on the part he had grasped at random. None of these men understood what as elephant was because they were hyperfocused on their own experience of the thing. None saw that the elephant was the union of all these things at once, making it more than the sum of it's parts.

Some people think that the biggest problems for Western civilization are economic. There is some truth to what they are saying. It's definitely an end to the empire.

Others say the biggest threat to us is Peak Oil or the coming Clash of Civilizations between the West and underdeveloped nations. There is some truth to all these allegations. Worldwide there is an omnipresent threat of emerging super plagues which tend to flourish during periods of warfare and mass migrations.

Some say our society is being destroyed from within. There is certainly truth to that. There are a few who see that nuclear proliferation is becoming uncontrollable. That's very accurate.

Others closer to the truth note the preparations of China for what they consider to be inevitable. Getting warmer. Some say the Cold War never ended. They're starting to smoke.

Those with an even bigger perspective point out all this is taking place during an era of pronounced climate change and a long term shift to colder weather. Now that is a broad insight ... but it still lacks something.

The fact is, all these things are taking place at the same time. That's the elephant.

At Vault-Co we call it the Apocalypse Trifecta. That's how we lost interest in politics and started a hobby digging instead.


Anonymous said...

Great post that links it all together.

Many a survivalist has a pet theory and some are pretty closed minded to anything conform to what they believe.

trueaim said...

I have had my hands out feeling for that elephant and i reckon its no elephant - its a giant wooly PREHISTORIC MAMMOTH! and its just about to go ballistic....

Anonymous said...

That Unabomber story was quite something;I had never read any of TK's writings before. I find myself wavering between grim amusement and simply not caring anymore. Ship of fools indeed.


Anonymous said...

Naming the elephant

IHNEV: inminent human near-extinction event

Nice post. You call it "trifecta", I've been calling it "highly-chaotic highly-convergent series"; meaning the details of the near future are unpredictable and the system responses are wild and go all over the place like a bouncing rubber ball on crack, but in in the end it doesn't matter because the main system state-landscape is one big deeeeeeeeeeeep convergent sink with Hell-on-Earth at the bottom and the IHNEV as the 99.999% probobability outcome.

Gotta go sharpen my machete even more :-P