Worldview: Philosophy: The rise of class entitlement as the war on individuality

We live in an era of entitlement. Many people, if not most, believe they have the right to demand access to everything from cheap food and clean water to health care and retirement funding, usually with the smallest or no investment on their part. They make these claims on the theory that, somehow, they are the victims of some grand conspiracy against them and those like them and that such entitlements represent repayment of this injustice.

Yet beneath this belief lies an even more insidious one: as people come to believe they have the right to demand more and more of what they have to worked for, they also come to believe they are not responsible for themselves and, therefore, their actions. Their lives begin to become a never-ending claim against what they perceive has been done to them rather than an accounting of what they have done.

The result of this process is the death of individuality. As people see themselves more and more as hapless victims among hordes of hapless victims, they gravitate toward the mob of people all saying the same thing. They begin to identify themselves as the group and the result is that the actions of the group become the justification for what they do as individuals.

In sacrificing their individuality to the group, people lose the ability to realize that they can freely act and choose. Certainly, all actions and choices have consequences, even for the mob, but actions and choices by an individual are often more deliberate and likely to produce predictable outcomes. By losing their individuality to the mob, the consequences to individuals become more arbitrary and destructive.

The solution to this dilemma is to reject the notion of entitlement. It is possible to do so and therein lies the first choice anyone has to make to resecure individuality. If someone rejects entitlement and chooses instead to embrace actions consistent with personal responsibility, that person immediately separates from the mob and becomes an individual again.

Now there will be those who claim that individuality has no place in relation to the notion of community and that this argument is not just against entitlement but community as well. However, the distinctions between community and the mob are enormous, especially in that community demands individuals taking responsibility for their own actions while the mob demands rigid sameness.

Without individuals, the path toward the chaos of the mob is clear. Every one of us must look at our own lives and decide for ourselves what we want our lives to be. In doing so, we assert ourselves as individuals and stem the tide of the mob.


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Worldview: Philosophy: The single family household is the worst idea ever

It is my opinion that, in the history of the worst ideas ever conceived, the idea of the single family household is among the worst of the worst. If we take a survey of the things done wrong in the 20th century, I think many people will be amazed at how many of them are tied to the ridiculous ideal of the single family household.

Detachment from extended family and community

The extended family died the day Americans decided they needed to have their own place, and with the family went the communities those families supported. There was an era when the grandkids could walk to grandma’s house or, at worse, take a sleigh ride over the river and through the woods. Cousins, nieces, and nephews could walk to school together. Brothers and sisters could watch each other’s kids when someone was busy. Sunday dinners with the family were things everyone looked forward to.

No longer.

Instead, we now live dozens, hundreds, or thousands of miles away. For all practical purposes, we’re cut off from our own people, adrift in a sea of strangers, trying to find solace for our violated souls in a never-ending indulgence in the anesthesia of technology, media, and excess.

Our society is dying because of it.

Immense cost and duplication of effort.

When people lived in mutually supporting families and communities, everything they did cost less. Families and communities shared meals, appliances, tools, work, happiness, and sadness in a way that made everything better for everyone.

Now, everyone, sometimes down to the individual, has to have their own version of every single thing that defines modern life. We’ve spent the wealth of the wealthiest nation that has ever existed accumulating a mind-boggling assortment of stuff that serves no other purpose but to reinforce that we live alone.

Consider the cost of your own household. How much more would you have if you could share something as simple as a ride to work? What if you could share your meals beyond just yourself and your immediate family? What if your home was your work because your worked for yourself or your family business?

If you look at the United States at the turn of the last century, before the urban boom and before the income tax used to support it, ours was a wealthy nation. That wealth was slow and hard-earned, but it was a growth both sustainable and able to be passed on for generations.

What do you have now that you plan to give to your kids besides debt?

Insane consumption of resources.

Do you ever wonder where all the wild spaces went? More than likely, you’re living where one used to be. The suburbanization of the United States has meant its denuding as well. We cut down forests and pave over farms to build new subdivisions as if our forests and farms will go on forever.

Never mind the fact that we’ve consumed the world’s resources in oil paving our roads, putting tires on our cars, keeping those cars in oil, and burning gas just so we can live dozens of miles from where we work.

And because we live such a frenetic life, we eat everything out of boxes and cans. Do you say you don’t waste? Look at the trash cans you put out every week or couple of weeks, then follow them to the dump being built as a monument to your waste.

We have launched ourselves into the age of scarcity because we all think the American dream is to live in cookie cutter houses in cookie cutter subdivisions in cookie cutter towns-for-the-sake-of-local-taxes-for-services in a cookie cutter country that is as disposable as the boxes and cans we eat out of.

What will we have gained for all of this? I do not think our descendants will remember this era with much kindness. The irony is that they will share that bitterness about the past they could not control over family dinners in close-knit communities brought together by the excess and scarcity we caused.


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Worldview: Philosophy: Working ourselves to death to bore ourselves to death

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul? –Mark 8:26 (paraphrase)

Over the past several decades, I believe society has convinced itself of an insidious lie: that the goal of life is to work and save and build wealth and assets until such time as one believes one can retire and “enjoy life.” This lie came into its own in the 1960s with the advent of modern Social Security. At that moment, Americans institutionalized the idea that it was a right to stop producing at some point and live off the fat of the land.

Yet the irony in that institution is that many, if not most, people define themselves by what they do. They are their work, whether they love that work or not, and when they have no more work to do, their lives tend to become vacuous and boring. It’s no wonder that part of the dramatic increase in recent years of the prescription of powerful antidepressants has happened in the over 65 age demographic.

Further, most Americans never anticipated the consequences of this institution. While in the 1960s, the median lifespan in the mid 60s, by 2010, it had reached 78, and for the generations who will retire during the 21st century, the median age may well reach over 100. This means that the period defined by retirement, 10 years in the 1960s, will quickly stretch into 30 to 40 years before the end of this century. The amount of resources it is necessary for someone to possess to do nothing for that long is staggering to consider.

What has happened to allow this lie to take hold, I believe, is the demise of the idea that life should transition from one kind of thing to another. Our society no longer has rights of passage defined by taking on new, different, and defined responsibilities as one’s capacities and age dictate.

I blame this failing on the demise of once time-honored traditions like the cohesive extended family, the family business as the primary employer, the community as the center of everyday life, and the trend to average everyone at the national level. As these ideas and institutions have failed us, the rights of passage they naturally created have faded and died.

The circumstances of the 21st century, I believe, will demand we tackle this problem head on. Our society simply does not have the resources available to support a rapidly aging population that could foreseeably spend a third of its life not producing and, therefore, not supporting itself. This problem will be exacerbated by the incredible upheavals that resource scarcity will inevitably bring and by the fact that, at least in the US, the so-called working age population is and will continue to shrink.

And the solutions are relatively simple, actually, as long as people are willing to accept their necessity. Individuals will have to work longer, likely in a variety of jobs. They will have to change how they spend and save over the course of their lifetimes. As a society, we will have to stop focusing on accumulating stuff and start focusing on taking care of ourselves. We will have to build or rebuild social structures that allow us to share the burden of the cost of living among larger groups of people. We will have to redefine what we expect of ourselves as we inevitably pass from one age and capacity to the next.

Unfortunately, I do not believe these solutions will happen because people suddenly think they are a great idea. Instead, I believe they will come as the inevitable result of the scarcity and want the future promises to hold. But, for those who care to pay attention, their is the benefit of being able to prepare now, before things become desperate.

What must happen, though, is that we must start preparing now. These changes will be hard. They will be dramatic. They well may be controversial. But they are also necessary and will save us in the long run.


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Worldview: When you look at your country, who do you see?

To me, last night’s State of the Union Address represented the same kind of drivel that I’ve come to expect from all of our politicians for years. Obama went right to the boasting and political pandering that has defined national politics since I first started paying attention to it decades ago.

The centerpiece of Obama’s pandering is the idea that Americans need the government to take care of them. To the people in Washington, it’s no longer a government of, by, and for the people but a government above, around, and in front of the people.

That thought leads me to the thing that has been bothering me about this election cycle since it began way back after Obama was elected in 2008: why do we spend so much time worrying about presidents and Congresses and national politics at all? Shouldn’t those things pale in comparison to what each of us are doing as individuals wherever we are?

Last night, Obama said, ”I’m a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.” The problem is that what he believes the people cannot do better themselves and what I think have nothing to do with each other at all.

If Obama believed those words the way I do, he would do exactly two things: first, he would demand that Congress include the Constitutional justification for every law it passes. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t go into law. Second, he would demand that Congress begin systematically dismantling the federal government until it returns to the size and scope of powers enumerated in the Constitution and its amendments.

But, Obama doesn’t believe in that at all. No, instead he believes in a government of the government, by the government, and for the government. In his view, the people need to be taken care of. They need to be ruled.

And the reason he can get away with that idea is because of you. It’s because you’re so worried about electing a president who can fix your problems instead of you fixing them yourself. It’s because you’re so worried about what’s going on in Washington that you’re not worried about what’s going on down the street. It’s because you’ve decided that the idea of being taken care of sounds kind of nice, and if you’re honest with yourself, that’s what you’re paying attention to and voting for.

So, look around you. Who do you see? Do you see a nation full of exceptional individuals who should all be given the maximum opportunity to succeed by the merits of their own work? Do you see opportunities to help others and, by doing so, help yourself? Do you see a future that lies in your hands and a destiny you determine?

Or do you see a bunch of things you want someone else to do because you don’t feel like doing it?

The sad part is that, as our government systematically dismantles our liberty in order to make us all safe and comfortable, it guarantees our demise. The history of great nations tells us that is true. And, the ones who will survive and flourish in whatever comes after that demise are the ones who take matters into their own hands.

Now, look in the mirror. Who do you see? Do you see a person ready for whatever comes next?

If not, do something about it.


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Worldview: Stop SOPA/PIPA

Tomorrow, Worldview and the rest of my active websites will be blacked out from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act/Protect Intellectual Property Act wending their way through Congress right now. These are bad bills conceived for bad reasons intended for bad purposes and they should not have ever been put forward let alone have the chance to go into law.

These pieces of legislation also represent part of ongoing actions on the part of our government, bot the executive and Congress, to encroach on the liberties of individual citizens for reasons that have nothing to do with making those citizen’s lives better. Examples include the latest iterations of the Patriot Act, the social media surveillance of social media by the Department of Homeland Security, a provision in the Defense Authorization Act that allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens suspected of terrorism links, and the individual mandate provisions of the health care law.

Unless we the people–which people the government is supposed to be of, by, and for–stand up against such abuses, we have no hope of securing our liberty for ourselves or for future generations. We must act now or lose more. You can start by speaking out against SOPA/PIPA by contacting your representatives using the form from the menu on the right. Then you can go further by carefully considering how you vote in 2012. Finally, you can realize that the next election begins the moment the last one ends and become involved in the entire political process.

Act now or lose more.


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Worldview: Occupy Yourself, or a better way for the Occupy Wall Street protesters to succeed

One of the ironies of the Occupy Wall Street protests is how many of the protesters refuse to acknowledge the contradiction of their outrage against the rich and corporations even as they demand taxes, jobs, and benefits from the rich and corporations. They seek to overthrow the very institutions they also want to depend on for their livelihoods and well-being, and they seem to have no plan for the chaos they could unleash if they succeed.

From my point of view, the protesters need to stop depending on Wall Street taxes, jobs, and benefits if they want to end Wall Street corruption. What they need to realize is that they can’t have it all and that they are the ones who are going to have to make something else happen if anything is going to happen at all.

I think the protests have a place in the grand scheme of making things happen because they draw attention to problems that do exist, but the protesters need to define what they’re for as much as what they’re against. And, no, they are not creating this definition by demanding more taxes on certain income earners or better benefits.

Instead, the protesters need to put their money where their mouths are, sometimes quite literally, and stop supporting the very corporate enterprises they are protesting against with their consumer habits. The sea-change these protesters could awaken in the United States, if they chose to do so, is a return to local economies for the benefit of local people, the very thing they claim, after a fashion, that they want.

And they could do so as part of their protests by seizing the opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship the protests themselves provide. Why does the City of New York have to provide sanitation for the park where the protest is being held, for instance? Why hasn’t someone in the protest community figured out how to make this happen?

Establishing self-sufficient sanitation is one among the thousands of things the protesters and their supporters could be doing to change the way Americans think about how they do just about everything. There are opportunities in food, clothing, shelter, logistics, and even medical care that present themselves if they would take the risk to make them happen.

But they need to show the creativity and initiative to do these things first. The world is watching and waiting.


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Worldview: Divided we fall

Have you thought much about our way of life?

I think about it a lot, and I rarely come away from such thoughts pleased with what I concluded. Our way of life, as I see it, represents a lot of the reasons our nation–and really the entire western world–is in trouble.

My previous statement, as grandiose as it is, will cause most people to tune out, and perhaps that is for the best, because I am not sure it’s possible to convince them that something else has to be done anyway. For those of you who are still reading, all I can ask is that you stick this out with me because it’s going to be hard.

I have concluded in all my thinking about our way of life that the reason that we don’t have enough money, are so dependent on government, and have such a hard time figuring out what to do now is that we have destroyed the complex fabric of life that used to be knit together in the form of families, communities, and shared origins that used to define all of us.

This destruction resulted in the creation of one of the most inefficient periods in human history, defined by the word “consumer” and underscored by the word “debt”.

I am certain of this fact because I have spent a lot of time studying the period that just preceded our own, and it’s remarkable how different that period looked than our own.

The official narrative is that, before the passage of the 16th Amendment in 1909, the United States was a poor, backward nation, and it was the government’s job to change that fact. Yet, if you dig into the actual facts, you discover that the people of the United States were doing just fine. It was the federal government that was poor and backward, just as the founders intended it to be.

If you look at the United States in the 1880s, you discover a vast amount of personal wealth stored up in sprawling family farms and the impressive and beautiful retirement homes many farmers built in nearby towns. It was these families and farmers that started so many of the businesses and industries that are now household names today.

I am not saying that there were not poor people, nor am I saying that there were not huge inequities just like there are today. What I am saying is that the distribution of wealth and power in the United States in the 1880s rested with the people, and left alone, no one can say whether or not those inequities would have righted themselves or not.

So what happened? My conclusion is that the United States and the western world became the victims of one of the most destructive deceptions any society in history has ever inflicted on itself.

Think about what has happened since that time: the children of wealthy farmers in the 1880s became well-to-do business owners in the early 1900s. Their children became middle-class workers by the 1920s. Their children saw the combined wealth of their parents and grandparents wiped out in the 1930s, and by the 1940s, most Americans were content to work anywhere that would pay them. By the 1950s, the goal most Americans shared was to work long enough to enjoy a short retirement, and by the 1970s, even such retirements began to be in doubt. By the 1980s, most of what defined the “American Dream” had been replaced by massive personal and government debt, and starting with the Dot Com bubble, things began to slide.

At the same time, people left the family homestead in droves, selling off their land and flocking to cities for the promise of jobs whose wages stagnated in the 1980s and which have been in decline relative to inflation since then. The drive toward individual ownership of houses, cars, and consumer items has driven the average family to the point that it spends somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of its annual income paying for stuff while the same family spends less than 7 percent of what it earns on food.

What we have now is a nation full of people living isolated lives that consist of working themselves to death as individuals to pay for the same groceries, rent, mortgages, cable, cell service, car loans, and credit card bills that, if we shared even some of these things, would return us to a state of solvency in short order.

This labor in isolation serves to destroy everything that defined what America was in the 1880s: small towns filled close-knit extended families and community networks built around common work and trades. People in 1880s American rarely went hungry or unemployed for long, and even in the worst of times, everyone helped everyone else until things got better.

I do not point these things out to create some sort of idealization of those times, because there were things wrong back then too. Yet most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, know it was better then than it is now.

And now, we face stark realities whose immensity only a few can understand in their fullness:

  • As many as 50 million Americans (16 percent of the population) living below the poverty level
  • As much as 18 percent of the population effectively out of work
  • A debt that will exceed the total earning potential of the United States as early as 2015 (4 years from now)
  • Debt payments that may exceed $1 trillion a year by 2020 (9 years from now)
  • A Medicare program that will reach insolvency anywhere between now and 2024 (13 years from now)
  • A Social Security program that will be bankrupt anywhere between 2017 and 2037 (26 years from now)
  • A population that will have more adults collecting retirement than producing income as early as 2025 (14 years from now)

From my point of view, the only way to fix these problems is to work toward rebuilding the things 100 years of consuming and debt have destroyed. We need to rebuild our families, our communities, our towns, and thereby, our nation, and we can do it by returning to the things that worked.

What worked was a society where things were shared. Homes were shared. Meals were shared. Work was shared. Success was shared. Hardship was shared.

People in that era of shared life could cushion the burden of things as diverse as paying for a house or sending a kid to college through a network of people who all had the common good in mind. Wealth could be accumulated in such networks and disbursed through those networks in a way that benefited everyone in it.

This is not some kind of appeal toward some sort of communistic system, although it does represent a kind of practical socialism that has dominated human societies since there have been such things. What’s more, this kind of practical socialism worked, and everyone was better off for it.

Until we, as families, communities, towns, and an entire society realize this is the only way it can work, I believe the problems we face as a nation will only grow worse. Coming back together is the only way to survive.


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Worldview: The day no one fought back

Last week, a madman visited a terrible tragedy on the nation of Norway, murdering 76 people in a rampage that included a car bomb and a shooting spree at an island camp for youth.

Yet in the hour and a half that shooting spree occurred on that island, a even more tragic thing occurred: no one fought back.

I do not blame the victims for this fact because, frankly, they had the idea of fighting back robbed from them by a society that indoctrinated them into believing all violence is wrong. Because of that indoctrination, someone who rejected it was able to systematically take 76 lives without fear for his own safety. Reports indicate he surrendered peacefully to the police when they finally arrived.

What is even more sad to me than the event itself is the response it will illicit from the very people responsible for the fact that no one fought back. These people will call for more laws, tighter regulations, and more pacifist indoctrination, all the while ignoring the fact that none of those efforts succeeded in preventing this terrible tragedy.

And it is a tragedy that will happen again and, more than likely, soon.

The only counter to this kind of madness is to teach ourselves and our children that there is a time and a place for violence. There is a time and a place to fight back. Defending oneself and others threatened by violence is not wrong. We need to teach ourselves again that no human can have greater love than to die defending others from harm.

Until we begin to teach this ideal again, more senseless tragedy of this magnitude will follow, but it will not have had to.


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Worldview: Stop trying to preserve government programs and do it yourself

As the budget and deficit talks between Congress and the White House drag on, I have been reading a lot of articles, especially from progressive sources, about how people need to act to preserve this or that spending program because of how beneficial it is. Almost every one of those programs shares very specific characteristics: they are almost always focused at a local problem and are almost always focused at helping individuals do something.

Here’s my idea: why not abandon the federal programs and try making these things happen ourselves if they’re really worth doing.

“But,” you might say, “where is the money going to come from?”

Isn’t that kind of the whole point? Because the federal government is taking so much money out of the the economy in taxes, there is no money for local people to do local things. If that reality is the case, then it makes sense to let the federal programs expire, let the money reenter the economy, and let local people take over doing local things.

Of course, the problem is a lot more complicated than that. For instance, even if the federal government makes these cuts, it won’t add up to the $1 trillion in deficit spending projected for next year, nor will it really dent the $14 trillion in debt the federal government has already accrued.

No, even if these locally focused federal programs expire, there still may not be money, and that reality must force local people focused on local things to consider an even more aggressive approach. In my view, it’s time for us to rebuild our localities so that they can withstand the disaster our federal–and state, really–governments have inflicted upon us.

This aggressive approach means abandoning the government solution in favor of hard work and sacrifice at the local level. It means accepting that the government, and the people who continue to benefit from government spending, is going to continue to rip us off. It means deciding to work together to find local solutions to local problems even when there is no money. It means caring enough about what happens to us and our neighbors that we’re willing to do what it takes to make things work for us.

These things can happen, but people have to do them. I will give you an example:

This year, the village of Covington, Ohio and several enterprising individuals started a farmer’s market (Facebook) on Friday nights in the parking lot of the government building there. It’s a small market, one I participate in, but it has the distinction of having no government involvement except at the local level.

Now, this market will live and die on two things: will people from the area who are doing things participate, and will people who live in the area frequent it? Frankly, this is a test of whether people believe a local thing can work, and it’s up to the local people to make it work.

Some might say that it’s just a farmer’s market, but I say it’s more than that: it’s local; it’s independent; it’s focused on the community; it’s the way jobs and the future will be created. But, these things will only be true if people actually participate.

So, here’s the test: will people participate locally, or will they keep expecting someone else to solve the problem for them? It’s up to you to decide.


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Worldview: An oil tale

I doubt very many people give much thought anymore to the tired media adage that the United States is addicted to oil. Sure, people see the price of gas, and they understand that price is somehow tied to oil, but what they’ve never comprehended is that the price of almost everything else is also tied to the same price of oil.

I think about that addiction a lot these days, because I think both its existence and its end will come to define who we are as people here in the early 21st century. I think about it mostly because I wonder how any of us are going to succeed at providing for ourselves–and I’m not talking about whether or not the internet will still work or whether we’ll have cell phones, but whether we’ll be able to feed, clothe, shelter and protect ourselves–once the oil’s gone.

For me, this point is driven home by our precarious food system. Right now, virtually every part of the process most people depend on to feed themselves depends on oil to work, yet most people don’t even understand that it is true.

If we start with, say, seed corn produced to plant, the seed itself is already so laden with oil from the previous year that it’s kind of amazing it even exists, but for my purposes here, I will concentrate on this year. Most seed corn is grown hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of miles from where it is planted, so oil fueled, lubricated, painted, and upholstered semis must haul it from where it has been stored on oil-based tires across oil-paved roads to get it to the seed salesman.

Often, the seed bags are printed with oil-based ink, as are the shiny sales brochures and the price sheets, along with the oil-based dies used in the hats that were shipped from somewhere in the far east in oil-powered cargo ships. Farmers come to get their seed and paraphernalia in pickups as oil fueled, painted, upholstered, and tired as their semi brethren across similarly oil-paved roads.

Once back at the farm, the seed goes in the oil lubricated and painted planter, sometimes manufactured overseas and shipped to the States in oil-powered cargo ships and hauled on oil-powered locomotives and semis. But, before the farmer can use the planter, he must sometimes plow with his similarly oil-dependent plows using is oil-guzzling tractor, and then spray oil-based fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides using the same tractor.

Then, finally, he’ll actually plant, using the same oil-dependent tractor, followed by more spraying throughout the spring and summer, all dependent on oil to even exist, let alone happen.

When fall comes, the farmer will pull out his oil fueled, lubricated, painted, upholstered, and tired combine, shipped via oil from who knows where, to harvest the corn and dump it into his oil fueled, lubricated, painted and tired semi to haul it to the elevator where oil fueled, lubricated, and painted locomotives will haul it to processing facilities where the corn will be rendered into its constituent parts, then packaged and shipped by other oil fueled, lubricated, painted, upholstered, and tired semis across oil-paved roads to other factories where those parts will be combined into other oil-soaked parts into what most people think of as food.

And, it doesn’t end there, because then the food, as they call it, will be packaged in oil-based ink printed cardboard and loaded on yet other oil fueled, lubricated, painted, upholstered, and tired semis to be hauled across more oil-paved roads to warehouses stuffed full of oil-saturated goods from all over, to then be hauled again to your grocery of choice, once again using oil.

And we’re not done yet.

Because, you will get into your oil fueled, lubricated, painted, upholstered, and tired car and drive, sometimes quite a distance, to get to your oil-filled grocery to by your oil-based things you call food, but on the way home you’ll be so tired that it’ll just be easier to burn some extra oil waiting in the drive-through of your favorite oil-saturated fast food joint that was actually five extra miles out of the way.

When you finally get home to eat your oily food–let’s face it, even most of the carbon dioxide the corn plant used to make whatever part of the corn ended up in your food came from oil somewhere along the line–you’ll do so unironically in your house on your couch in front of your television watching cable all of which could not exist without the consumption of billions and billions of gallons of oil.

And to think that, just a little over a hundred years ago, most people had no idea what oil even was. Most of them lived on farms, still farmed with horses, and planted seed corn they grew the previous year using the same horses they fed with grass from their own pastures. They hauled their corn to the local market in wagons drawn by the same horses, and the people who came to buy it walked or rode horses themselves.

Now, I’m not saying we should go back to how things were a hundred years ago, but then again, I don’t have to, because the question that should be on everyone’s mind is how expensive oil has to get before we won’t be able to afford to do it any other way than the way they did it a hundred years ago. And how many people will be able to even do anything like that living in their suburbian sprawl, floating in a sea of oil they depend on everyday for their very survival, yet are so unaware of that the fact that they are probably sitting on, touching, eating, drinking, even exhaling oil right now that the idea would be a shock to them if they bothered to notice.

No, Americans aren’t addicted to oil, they’re consumed by it, and they have no idea what is going to happen to them when the oil runs out.


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