Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition

Category: Earth Sciences
Author: Jared Diamond
This Month Reddit 3


by ParameciaAntic   2019-07-21

We can always dream that politics and short-term interests won't overshadow an existential crisis.

by DiscreteToots   2019-07-21

I'm a socialist with anarchist/Marxist sympathies, so I'm probably more receptive than most people to the economic/materialist critique you're offering, but just about everything you wrote here is wrong. It's historically uninformed. It romanticizes and idealizes. And it badly misses the point:

> Consumerism was forced upon the populace by profit-creation machines like corporations and advertisement agencies to drive our natural need to consume up beyond sustainable or even logical levels

Human beings have been destroying ecosystems since long before the birth of capitalism. The indigenous people you romanticize are guilty of it as well. It's not the fault of the elite. The elite are exactly what the rest of us would be and do what we'd do if we had their resources and power.

Humans are no different from any other animal, and the rich are no different from the poor; when you let us, we'll devour everything in our path until there's nothing left.

> Humans didn't always seek status and elevation - in fact, most peasantry throughout history was quite content with the wealth given to them by the natural world.

This isn't true. To the extent that it's even a claim that can be tested, it's false in every single instance I can think of. Human beings have always sought power, status and resources. Always.

If all you were saying were that corporations are parasitic, disastrous, amoral and hostile to the flourishing of any and all life that can't be extracted and converted into profit, I'd agree with you. But your historical critique is wrong -- and also dangerous, misguided and irresponsible. It deflects blame. It goes out of its way, very, very incorrectly, to argue that this is all the fault of a single economic system and a small sliver of the population.

All people are the problem, not just the rich or people who live in first-world countries. All social and economic systems have contributed to it, not just capitalism.

by pavlovscats1223   2019-07-21

Collapse by Jared Diamond

by null000   2019-07-21

Collapse has a lot of information on these types of problems.

Short version is: I'm not super optimistic that, if we haven't been able to solve these problems in the past, we suddenly will going forward.