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The Conversation #59 – Charles Hugh Smith

We’re in an era of over­lap­ping crises, and I think that’s what makes it sort of unique. We’re aware of the finan­cial aspect, which is sort of expo­nen­tial increase in debt. We’re also aware that ener­gy, the cost is going up because we’re reach­ing to deep­er and more expen­sive reserves of ener­gy, at least fos­sil fuels. So that’s anoth­er if not cri­sis then um… Well, actu­al­ly it is a cri­sis, because the world we’ve con­struct­ed is based on cheap fos­sil fuels.

The Conversation #53 — Carlos Perez de Alejo

I per­son­al­ly think that we need to move beyond this sort of grow or die moti­va­tion that exists with­in the cur­rent econ­o­my. And I think that the coop­er­a­tive mod­el is suit­ed to address­ing those con­cerns, espe­cial­ly because the co-op mod­el is geared toward serv­ing mem­ber needs and not dri­ven by prof­it at the end of the day. That is some­thing that bodes well for the mod­el in terms of sus­tain­abil­i­ty.

Sleepwalking into Surveillant Capitalism, Sliding into Authoritarianism

We have increas­ing­ly smart, sur­veil­lant per­sua­sion archi­tec­tures. Architectures aimed at per­suad­ing us to do some­thing. At the moment it’s click­ing on an ad. And that seems like a waste. We’re just click­ing on an ad. You know. It’s kind of a waste of our ener­gy. But increas­ing­ly it is going to be per­suad­ing us to sup­port some­thing, to think of some­thing, to imag­ine some­thing.

The Conversation #47 — Oliver Porter

To me…we all draw our sat­is­fac­tion from what we our­selves have been able to do with our lives. And if some­body, some gov­ern­ment or some­one else is just giv­ing to me, I’m not going to be a hap­py per­son.

Roger Scruton on Alternatives to Idealism

The 20th cen­tu­ry was cre­at­ed by ide­al­ism. Communism and fas­cism and Nazism are all based on ide­al­ized sys­tems, what the world should be ide­al­ly, and how it isn’t what it should be, and there­fore we’re enti­tled to change it rad­i­cal­ly and take con­trol of it in order to do so.

Sean Wilentz on Donald Trump and the Crisis in American Democracy

I don’t think we’ve had any­body quite like Donald Trump before, in terms of the pol­i­tics of celebri­ty, which is what I think he’s real­ly about. It’s not sim­ply that he’s rich. We’ve had rich peo­ple in pol­i­tics before. He’s not sim­ply a busi­ness­man. We’ve had busi­ness­men in pol­i­tics before.

The Conversation #44 — John Seager

In 1962, the Food and Drug Administration approved the birth con­trol pill. I would sub­mit that that’s one of the four or five most trans­for­ma­tive tech­no­log­i­cal changes of the last mil­len­ni­um. Not just the last cen­tu­ry. Because for the first time in the his­to­ry of the world, half the peo­ple on Earth no longer have to depend on the oth­er half for the arc of their lives.

Planetary Initiation

I think that Western mod­ern civ­i­liza­tion end­ed up kind of caught in a trap locked in its egoic struc­ture, and based our whole trip on kind of hyper­indi­vid­u­al­ism, accu­mu­la­tion of resources, and so on. And we’ve now reached a point where we can’t go fur­ther than that.

The Conversation #33 — Priscilla Grim

I was at a par­ty one time where I was talk­ing to some guy who had been pro­filed by Adbusters because he was a big cli­mate change guy. And he basi­cal­ly told me…that I need­ed to be mak­ing my own food, I need­ed to be mak­ing my own clothes. So you’re telling me that as a work­ing moth­er going to school full-time, along with those respon­si­bil­i­ties in which I am at home study­ing most the time, I should be mak­ing my daughter’s clothes. I should be whip­ping up meals from scratch. Um…no.

The Conversation #30 — Henry Louis Taylor Jr.

We don’t have a con­cept of bal­ance. Not only do we not have a con­cept of bal­ance, but we have a very dis­tort­ed sense of social jus­tice that has been reframed to jus­ti­fy a soci­ety that is fun­da­men­tal­ly anchored around the con­cept of imbal­ance. The resources of the world clus­ter toward a hand­ful of very very pow­er­ful coun­tries, one coun­try hav­ing an even greater share. In order to jus­ti­fy this greater share, it’s made them believe that this high­er con­cen­tra­tion of pow­er is nor­mal, and that any­body in all coun­tries can have it, and that all coun­tries should aspire for it.

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