Thursday, December 10, 2009

How fragile our society really is?

Julia said...
What's frightening about all of this is that the veneer of civilization is so thin. And, most of us have no experience with this. Perhaps our grandparents could handle it better without breaking down....

Leftists have no idea how fragile civilization is...
December 9, 2009 8:04 PM

Hi Julia,
You know, I’m not so sure how fragile our society really is.
Granted, in some of the most advanced part of the world the society has reached incredibly complex networks but in other places its still technologically modern but much more rugged.

What I mean is, if Bolivia has power and a somewhat functional society, anyone can.
Most of the third worlds works in such a semi-organized chaoes.
I think that in a worst case situation, that’s as far as you can fall in global terms. You dont go back to cavemen or pre industrial revolution times. What has been learned and such cannot be undone.

We’ve been social creatures for so long, a functional society is part of who we are. Even though events can disrupt that for some periods of time, I don’t think its disappearing.
A lot of people don’t know it but the social organization as we have it today ( except for the technological advances of course) has been around for thousands of years.
Since the times of the Babylonian empire, there’s been complex social threads.
Today middle east is largely ruled by some laws and religious traditions that are brutal, yet almost 2000 years BC, on that same region the Hammurabi code had surprisingly modern laws about real estate, divorce, etc.
My point is, there are some fragile technologies and networks, mostly regarding complex logistics, but we can have a modern society without many of them because many countries do.

Buenos Aires may be nicer than the cities in Bolivia, but its logistics and infrastructure is patched as it gets broken in a similar manner. Apparently always about to crumble, but gets patched or fixed and we keep going. The logistics mostly consist on independent truckers and drivers, chugging along the roads in poor conditions, in vehicles just as poorly maintained… and yet here we are.

Lets also keep in mind that there always will be fatalists and doomers. For them the world is always about to end. This year, or the next, always predicting the feared end of the world because one well founded reason or another, just to come up with a new one when that prophecy wasn’t fulfilled.

I think the greatest fragility our society has isn’t physical, but psychological; the idea that there’s always a punishment for a crime, that the police are the ones that are responsible for your personal protection, the government will watch after you and is responsible for your well being. All these ideas some people have and have a rude wakeup call when they learn otherwise.



Don Williams said...

But just because a society survives doesn't mean things can't turn to crap for individuals.

Being a drafted soldier in WWI or WWII was no fun --especially if you were in an infantry unit. And ESPECIALLY if you were a German or Russian on the Eastern Front.

And the Russian occupation of Berlin at the end of WWII was brutal for many of the German women there (mass rapes, etc.)

Jared Diamond looked at past civilizations that have died in his book "Collapse". However, most of the collapses seemed to have been slow motion. Scholars even argue whether there was a collapse or just a change or migration elsewhere.

The ancient Roman Empire , for example, collapsed only in the West -- it survived in the Middle East for another 1000 years. And even the collapse in the West was slow motion. The Italians may even have welcomed the Germanic invaders if they got rid of the Emperor's predatory tax collectors.

Today, the richest men living in the height of luxury will still die of old age. And dying in a hospital room vice dying in a ditch is still dying.

Even if the US collapsed somehow, the conditions would be no worse than what many of our low-income citizens in our urban ghettos have to already deal with every day.

Major nuclear war, of course, would mess up our hair a bit.

Anonymous said...

And the Russian occupation of Berlin at the end of WWII was brutal for many of the German women there (mass rapes, etc.)

Unfortunately, this is so. But for some reason you have not written about the German occupation of the Soviet Union (not only Russia but the whole of Europe). What did German soldiers during the occupation? Rape - this is very simple, that they did. This is only the soldiers of the German army. Think about units SS ....
You can not talk about one of the army, and forget about the other.
Good luck, Dmitry from Tajikistan and Russia

Buzz Kimball said...

hum, it's easy to argue about was it the germans or the russians that raped the women first ? you won't see it in offical 'approved' accounts of WWII of the approx. 5,000 american soldiers who were shot for rape....

nor, forgotten in history, the million limeys cut down by german machine guns during WWI, because their generals were fools...but then that's war and the insanity it fosters.

american's sat silent when king bushy the lesser ended habeous corpus and turned the country into a budding totalitarian police state. since then they have turned away from their humanity and become cheerleaders for torture....

i don't think that they see that they're being set up for a perfect storm... they sat quietly for decades as the drug war spiral into endless conflagration and hundreds of south american labor organizers were gunned down instead.

they sat quietly for a decade watching the new crusade to convert the infidels to 'freedom and democracy' turn into a death trap and not cheap gas for their SUV...

from a practical perspective, for about 1/3 of the american people and 1/2 of the rest of the world, except for police repression, governments have ceased to exist. their on their own. as the giant easy money bubble burst has laid waste to the banking establishment and tapped out the government coffers- worldwide, the poor are considered expendable by the ruling class.

Joseph said...

Both the Germans and Russians were brutal as occupiers, often due to propaganda. The civilians were victimized on both sides.

4.11.44...5,000 American soldiers shot for rape in WWII? One of my hobbies is military history. What are your sources? Be specific, please.