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  1. All Life is struggle. That is, it is the nature of living organisms to complete for limited resources, to devour each other in order to live, to carve out territory for themselves, all at the expense of the weaker or less able of other species or of their own species.

    Since The Enlightenment Western Society seems to believe that Civilization has tamed man’s drive to get more than his “fair share” but this is false. The world is currently experiencing one of the most serious crises in human history. Looked at through the lens of politics this is called “The crisis of neo-liberalism”. In this narrow perspective, the excesses of capitalism, with its tendency to widen the income gap between rich and poor, abandoned the halcyon days of “Fordism” replacing it with a credit based society whose people were led to believe they had a higher standard of living than they did by borrowing against the future. Corporations and both parties were complicit in this. Now the piper has to be paid and no one dares tell people how bad it really is. Nor is debt the only way expenses are deferred into the future. It has always been less expensive to generate energy in a way that has serious future consequences which we choose to ignore, to produce food in ways that are contrary to biodiversity, to manufacture raw materials without regard for the air or water, and to depend on infrastructure that is well beyond its engineered lifetime. We have done all of these things while deliberately blinding ourselves to the consequences. Deliberately because we are not really that stupid but because the true cost of our lifestyle is not what we want to know. It is our biological imperative to get as much as we can convince ourselves it is “fair” that we should have. Civilization may try to ameliorate this but cannot, especially in times of increased scarcity, like the times we live in.

    One of the difficulties civilization has dealing with these problems in a free society is the multiplicity of social alignments. An individual may advocate for himself, or others, through political parties, unions, trade associations, corporations, religious groups, civic groups, state governments, international organizations, etc. Indeed, there are so many avenues for individuals to try to gain their own ends that it is probably hopeless to expect these to be fully controlled in a free society. And we have seen the misuse or abuse of power in all of these. Unions that, like the Eastern Airlines Mechanics, put their company out of business. Workers, like the police and firemen who can retire with full pay after 20 years, not realizing or caring how expensive that really is. Moreover, as long as those taking do not appear to be villainous, are taking from an indefinite future time or from people they don’t know or care to see, it will all usually be sanctioned as alright. We can change some of this, but as populations increase, as need become more acute, as those who already have gotten more than we can afford to pay defend their benefits, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to avoid disaster. And disaster will come.