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The youth that is supposed to be the future of humanity is angry; from the Middle East (Arab Spring) to South America, from the EU to the AU, from North America to Australia general sentiments are not upbeat, to say the least. On the other hand by and large, there isn’t much of an analysis behind the current youth’s disgruntlement. The general belief or engrained assumption that is still in currency can be expressed as; the youth will always do better than its parents. But that is now shaken to the ground. It is not only the youth that is quite slow in accepting the fact that the modern world system, which ushered unprecedented comfort and well being to a good portion of humanity for the last few centuries, is going, going, going and soon be gone for good!
To put it in a technically significant but easy to understand manner; the cheap energy (fossil fuel) that propelled what we still call ‘development’ is no more cheap, and soon won’t be available at any price. Before that however, humanity would probably eliminate itself from the face of the earth by its various shallow doings. Like it or not, we have now entered payback time and the youth knows it is in hock! Ecological disaster, resource shortages, stupid economic regime predicated on non-stop growth (on a finite planet), political, social, economic, cultural, religious, chaos perpetrated by dominant interests with increasingly dangerous view of life, are all serious challenges the youth is encountering! Naturally, none of these are/were doings of the current youth, but no matter as it is stuck with it now, unfortunately. Is it any wonder the youth is angry? Nonetheless and sooner than later, the global youth should start a coordinated effort to interrogate the existing global order without undue interference from the powerful status quo. The objective must be very clear; to install a more sustainable, peaceful, democratic and egalitarian world system before it becomes too late.
The current institutions that are set up all over the world are tasked to enhance the modern world system and not to question its fundamental shortcomings. To seriously reexamine its assumptions, the youth must be extremely critical of the current suffocating and stifling systems of orientations/indoctrinations, not excluding the very system of education, (paid) media, i.e., main stream media,(paid) entertainments, i.e., professional sports, music, movies, etc. We admit this is easily said than done, but without vigorously critiquing the foundational principles of the reigning order, one can not envision a livable transformational project. The youth should be vigilant in interrogating this visibly unsustainable human arrangement that is out rightly destroying the planet’s life support system. For instance the youth should start to disengage from destructive activities of the modern world system, which are parroted as life saving schemes by establishment doctrine. We will cite only one example. Examining modernity’s achievements from the point of view of energy EROI (Energy Return on Investment), a more natural parameter than the short term/artificial one ROI (ROI= Return On Investment), we get the following figures in the critical sector of agriculture. Here is a real shocker from an expert to what we commonly regard as development!
‘Hunter Gatherers could acquire food at an 10/1 EROI. Basically, they only burned one calorie of energy to hunt or gather 10 calories of food. However, our supposedly efficient looking modern agricultural growing, harvesting, processing and distributing food production system today devours 10 calories of energy to deliver one calorie of food on the dinner plate. Thus, our modern high-tech food production system (in the United States) is a huge net energy loser of 1/10 EROI. This is also true for all our modern technology. People just can’t see how inefficient it is because they are unable to look at the ENTIRE ENERGY MATRIX that produces and uses advanced technology. In 1920, with simple drilling techniques and tools, the U.S. Oil Industry was finding 1,200 barrels of oil for the cost of one barrel… 1,200/1 EROI. Today, with all the high-tech advancements, we are finding less than 5 barrels of oil for the cost of one. 5/1EROI. As U.S. oil and gas fell below 30/1 EROI after 1970, the amount of total government debt went exponential. The debt is being used to offset the falling EROI. The further the EROI has been falling, the more debt has to be issued. The Falling EROI of Shale oil of 5/1, is six times less than what we had in 1970. Unfortunately, the math here doesn’t lie. I would imagine most folks who don’t get this, will continue NOT TO GET IT. However, those who continue to discount science and thermodynamics will witness the disintegration of the Global Oil Industry within the next decade.’
Many countries in the peripheries, including ours, are hardly aware of the complexity of the trajectory they are ordered to blindly follow. They only repeat, like worn out mantra, the views of the Ivy Idiots (II), who are essentially at the service of entrenched interests (Corporations, Bretton Woods, WTO, Aid agencies, UN, etc.); therein lies the problem! Incidentally and not so surprisingly, Nassim Talab of ‘Black Swan’ fame has also labeled these clowns as I-Y-I (‘Intellectual-Yet-Idiots’.) We concede; his is a bit more civil and merciful than ours, which as usual borders the vulgar! We believe we should honestly face our predicaments. For a start, we shouldn’t encourage our youth to believe the fictions about real life, as currently portrayed by the status quo across the globe, as in Hollywood movies. We should be honest and tell the truth, particularly to the blindly ambitious youth that not all people in the world will be able to drive cars or have mansions, or travel the world over non-stop, etc. because to make these things happen would require six more planets like mother earth! Even if these things are physically possible (which they certainly are not) they are hardly desirable from the point of view of a fulfilling holistic life that is craved by the inner souls of individuals. Excessive consumption has not made the Western sheeple (human mass) content about its God given natural life, so why bother? Better to look for sustainable organic alternatives!
Understandably, the global youth doesn’t like what is in store for it. Its reluctance to earnestly delve into critical thoughts has resulted in a large number of them participating in extremists’ missions of all sorts; racial, ethnic, religious, political, etc. Empty appeasement will do more harm than good to the youth, as it inculcates false consciousness and phony self-confidence leading to empathic stupidity encouraging even more belligerence and shortsightedness. We should also realize deep inside, the youth is scared and in this kind of a situation as the British philosopher observed: “Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” Bertrand Russell. Good Day!