We are doomed

No, not in this instance, a Greek default (though it is very interesting that everyone behaves as if they should be surprised by this, when many will admit to its virtual inevitability in private) but a deeper doom.

Last night at dinner in conversation with the chair of a highly respected consultancy that works with top companies on their sustainability agendas, it was admitted that many of the more enlightened CEOs he knows recognise that the system is bust and have no obvious remedies - except working at improving their performance within the existing space.

All the indicators - social, resource constraint and environmental - are moving in the wrong direction.

Like a Greek default, we all 'know' this except we remain fixated in denial - perhaps we will see ourselves out before it all unravels; perhaps the happy technological miracle (multiple miracles) will come along to change the parameters, perhaps God will declare game over and pronounce the apocalypse, perhaps...perhaps...

Perhaps the best we can hope for is a benign collapse in which we all come to our senses and begin a new world forged out of community and constraint - that we collapse into our better natures rather than fragment out into our worst.

In order for this to be possible, we probably do need both sites and narratives of resilience - rather akin to the role of monasteries and Christianity in the post-Roman collapse. Lights to remember human possibility by - both in story and actual practice.

As I listened, I could feel both in him and me furious resistance to this possibility, and there are many possibilities that draw different pathways (we can hope), but it was striking how the weight of his experience pressed against such hope.

We are promised interesting times...alas...


  1. Hi, I am From Australia.

    First the good news re the possibility of something new emerging


    then the bad news - 200 or so points




  2. Like one's own inner journey - think Dante in the dark wood, confronted by the beast - perhaps it is only breakdown that can be truly transformative -and the journey forward is through the hells to the foot of purgatory, not around, sobering as the thought is.

    After all it took a Depression and a World War and a polarised cold global conflict to get us a financial system that worked for us (rather than for merely elites) and that lasted only twenty years before greed and delusion unpicked it!

  3. Nicholas,

    Beautiful post! Charles Eisenstein, author of "Sacred Economics", recently had an interview on Michael Ruppert's radio show. On his blog, Eisenstein wrote:

    "Something important is happening on these shows, which are in a sense a meeting of worlds. In the case of Michael Ruppert, the meeting of worlds is between the optimistic, upbeat new economy movement on the one hand, and the gloomy collapsist world on the other, whose discourse includes Peak Oil, cataclysmic geopolitical events, and the collapse of industrial civilization. In this conversation, I was deeply moved when Michael spoke of his newly awakening hope, borne of his experiences at Occupy Santa Rosa, that maybe we are turning the corner, that maybe we will awaken in time to prevent catastrophe. I wouldn't call it 'optimism' yet, but it is surely an awakening sense of possibility."

  4. Art,

    By nature, I am an optimist and continue to witness the power to implement real change (that includes significant changes of value) around the world.

    However, we do need to face the possibility of breakdown whilst assembling, in tandem, new narratives of resilient communities, breakdown can be breakthrough if borne with imagination and hard thinking and practice at new economic and social models.


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