by Mary Harrington
Monday, 14
November 2022
Idea
15:35

Today’s biggest political divide is over growth and tech

The question of how to live within limits has paralysed both sides
by Mary Harrington
Noted growth fan, Peter Thiel. Credit: Getty

Have we passed Peak Progress? Do we need to live within our limits? Both Left and Right are hopelessly muddled on this question. 

Anyone who’s in London this Thursday and interested in these debates may enjoy a forthcoming talk at the British Interplanetary Society, by Dr Richard McNeill Douglas of the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity. In Douglas’s view, 1972 really was the apex of modernity: the year that saw Apollo 17 visit the Moon for the last time, and also the year the Club of Rome released its report Limits to Growth, which argued that infinite growth is impossible on a planet with finite resources.

A great deal of today’s political paralysis on environmental issues, Douglas will argue, comes from not having grasped the contradiction between this frontier-ist vision of infinite human expansion and the simultaneous realisation that this vision must eventually hit the hard barrier of limited resources. Indeed, both sides of the legacy political aisle are riddled with contradictions over technology. 

The mainstream Left will agree that we must urgently slash emissions to curb climate change. But, it’s implied, we must manage this somehow without imperilling the many liberating aspects of high-emissions culture, such as economic development, birth control, or domestic washing machines.

For the mainstream Right, meanwhile, the idea seems to be that we should roar ahead with economic development. And yet, implicitly, this should be managed somehow without the ongoing liquefaction of aesthetic, social and cultural norms that inevitably accompanies technological advancement. 

For the Tory Party this insoluble dilemma has well and truly come home now, in the form of NIMBYism and the immigration debate. The growth paradigm, that is, demands more housebuilding, and more people, but the impulse to conserve demands the opposite. And every conservative domestic dispute is now fundamentally characterised by the fact that pursuing economic growth implicitly means degrading quality of life for their core electoral constituencies.

There are of course voices on both sides who see the contradictions — and many who want tech to break the deadlock. One such, on the Right, is tech investor and philanthropist Peter Thiel, who — like Douglas — dates an era of ‘stagnation’ from the release of Limits to Growth. When I interviewed him earlier this year, Thiel explained that he views this as a problem that needs to be resolved by restarting technological advancement and returning to the unbridled tech-vanguardism that gave us the Apollo mission. Whether that’s biotech, space exploration or curing dementia, Thiel’s philanthropy is, like his tech investment, focused on re-orienting the culture — especially on the Right — toward an unabashed focus on the future. 

Meanwhile, on the other side, eco-modernism appears to have largely captured the progressive consensus on how we get out of the increasingly obvious difficulties posed by climate change. But as that programme has begun to roll out, from the top down, many on the receiving end experience it less as green progress than as class war. 

Unsurprisingly, then, dissidents are emerging on all sides. It’s difficult to see, for example, how Thielite tech-optimism squares with the type of ‘trad’ conservative subculture that reads G.K. Chesterton and Wendell Berry, and takes an interest in regenerative agriculture. Meanwhile, the emerging eco-modernist ‘green’ consensus leaves formerly Left-wing tech-sceptics such as Paul Kingsnorth profoundly concerned that anything which opposes this vision of tech-enabled limitlessness is now traduced as fascist.

In this confusing maelstrom, my sense is that the emerging 21st century political divide is the one Douglas’s talk pinpoints. That is, the conflicts over how (or even if) technological advancement and growth are still in the service of humanity — or whether, implicitly, the hierarchy is now the other way round. The political realignment this is already driving will take us well beyond Left and Right.

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Matt M
Matt M
16 days ago

Limits to Growth envisaged an ever-growing population (until the resources ran out). But the reality – which they failed to factor into the famous computer model – seems to be that once people hit a (relatively low) level of prosperity, they start having fewer kids. Global population my well have peaked and its decline might be very rapid, if Japan, South Korea, Brazil, China or Germany are anything to go by.
We might well find that soon the global population falls to a point where the finite resources of the earth are no longer threatened with exhaustion.
The problem will be adapting to a world with many fewer workers and consumers and with lower young to old ratios. Maybe the goal for technologists should be to make this new, less populous world as comfortable and rewarding as possible.

Last edited 16 days ago by Matt M
Chris W
Chris W
16 days ago
Reply to  Matt M

The idea of everything ‘calming down’ and becoming manageable fails if you factor in the huge movements of population which have started and will continue unabated.

The idea of people having fewer children will only work for certain types of people, not for others. So, as a whole, things might indeed get better but – to misquote an old TV programme, “It will be life Jim, but not as we know it.”

Matt M
Matt M
16 days ago
Reply to  Chris W

Yes, mass migration is a big problem – both for the rich countries with falling native populations who risked getting swamped and the high population, poorer countries who risk losing their best and brightest young people and so never achieve the level of material comfort that leads to smaller families.
The solution is to make immigration into rich countries from poor countries extremely difficult and therefore rare. At the same time we should allow the poor world to export to the rich world with fewer barriers.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
16 days ago
Reply to  Matt M

“we should allow the poor world to export to the rich world with fewer barriers.”

I disagree. If I go to a shop in Australia, almost everything has come from the ‘poor world’ – China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia … even cars are coming from Thailand or somewhere like it. I’m not sure about other places, but Australia has very few tariffs now. And then, in places like the U.S. what do you do with the workers who would lose jobs to those in poorer countries? You are also losing skills you just might need some day.

Matt M
Matt M
16 days ago

It is a difficult balance I agree. Some protection is needed for some strategic industries but not too many as to retard your economy or the prospect of third world growth.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  Matt M

Very nice of you to throw a few crumbs to those poor nations! You exploited and starved their populations, destroyed their cultures (and languages forcing English on them: hence their reluctance to remain in France!). You looted their resources and continue to do so to this day via neocolonislism propping up corrupt regimes (far easier to exploit) and now you think they should be kept out of your country that still has all their wealth (yes, it still exists in the UK: why would it not? Wealth makes more wealth). So now your only real option is to return that wealth to those you stole it from and stop deposing popular governments so that they can finally develop their countries. Either that or accept millions of English speaking immigrants who are merely following the wealth you looted from them.. You cannot have it both ways!

Matt M
Matt M
15 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Ah, good evening Liam.

Looting? Sure, when we wanted the real hard cases on the job we would send in our brothers in the famous Irish regiments.

Remember Wellington’s words of praise for their bloody-minded obstinacy at Waterloo:

“It was mainly due to the Irish Catholic that we (the British) owe our pre-eminence in our military career.”

Last edited 15 days ago by Matt M
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  Matt M

While population growth is indeed in decline in most developed countries there is still huge population growth in several African and some less well developed Asian countries ( such as Indonesia, Philippines etc).
Sadly many of these countries, improverished through colonialism (and subsequent neocolonialism supporting corrupt regimes) are also likely to be severely affected by climate change.
Given those factors what is likely to happen is that declining population countries will need to ‘import’ young fit and fertile foreigners to keep such countries functioning and viable for the future.
Of course this is seen, not as a solition in the UK but as a threat due to the xenophobic nature of the UK (especially the English) psyche.. but presumably commonsense will win them over in the end. Immigrants are not just good for highly developed nations, economically they are the only hope for those nations!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
15 days ago
Reply to  Matt M

There is no sustaianble way to get 2 billion Africans to the level of prosperity where they will start having fewer children. What prosperity have is entirely propped up by the west (not sustainable) and only serves to fuel population growth. The global population may very well fall but it will entail hundreds of millions of deaths by starvation and in infanthood.
However, this is unnacceptable to western sensibilities, we will continue to throw wood onto the fire until we destroy ourselves.

Matt M
Matt M
15 days ago

 What prosperity have is entirely propped up by the west (not sustainable)

Maybe that is the answer: stop propping them up, stop robbing their talent, let them sell us their goods, let them find their own way to prosperity (without lectures on giving up petrol, fertilisers and the like).

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
14 days ago
Reply to  Matt M

Then they’d die in their millions, which will never be happen. We won’t even let a few boats sink…

J Bryant
J Bryant
16 days ago

Squarely at the center of this debate is climate change. The left regard, almost as a matter of religious faith, climate change as caused entirely by human activity which must be curtailed. Many on the right still deny climate change exists.
Both sides seem to ignore the possibility that climate change is real but is primarily a phenomenon inherent in our global climate system and is not mainly caused by human activity. If climate change is not dependent on human activity then all we can do is adjust to the changes, and that requires a different strategy than anything currently proposed by left or right wingers.

Chris W
Chris W
16 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yes. I find the climate issue very confusing and strange. Your conclusion (I think) that climate change is not something we can control, I would agree with. But this could be an age thing.

When I read about climate change I find no evidence that we are responsible. I read calmly and weigh up opinions, as I was taught. But children are being brainwashed to try to make them feel guilty. I remember being in a queue in an airport in Japan and behind me was a Japanese student. He studied Environmental Sciences and it became obvious in our conversation that I did not believe in AGW.

He said, very politely, that he had been taught how to deal with old people who disagreed. He had to switch the conversation from global warming to the control of plastic waste. Then the old people would agree and there would be no arguments.

J Bryant
J Bryant
16 days ago
Reply to  Chris W

He said, very politely, that he had been taught how to deal with old people who disagreed. He had to switch the conversation from global warming to the control of plastic waste. Then the old people would agree and there would be no arguments.
LOL. That’s actually scary. Someone has studied the “enemy” (older folks) and figured out a workable strategy. As you surmised, I believe climate change is real but is mainly caused by global climate forces beyond our control. I also think there are sound reasons for moving toward a less consumer-driven way of living, not least of which is all the pollutants we dump into the environment.
Those darn young people are cleverer than I thought!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The climate forces beyond our control are happily, WITHIN the control of natural forces: ie the fine balance between CO² production and CO² absorption. Mother Earth can manage that very well thank you. It is the (relative small but accumulating) ADDITIONAL CO² that is tipping the balance. Think of the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Strong camel well able to carry straws but there is a limit. Now do you get it?

Matt M
Matt M
16 days ago
Reply to  Chris W

That’s a funny story Chris.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  Chris W

I’m 72. I’ve no problem seeing clearly that man-made CO² is causing climate change. Do you guys seriously believe the UN, all the world’s governments and scientists etc are ALL gullible and only you super clever guys can see the truth? I’m all in favour of a bit of arrogance but guys, that’s taking the biscuit! By all means be climate deniers and believe the Earth is flat but do keep it to yourselves fgs!

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
15 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I mostly agree with you, but I find it difficult to believe that any rational person would argue that the climate is not changing, like it has for the 4.5 billion years of earth’s existence. The argument is whether humans can do anything about it or not. If anyone reads about the dinosaurs, volcanos, the movement of the tectonic plates or the many articles on the various ice ages that have come and gone, it is quite difficult to deny that our climate changes. And it’s hard to fathom what humans, including bright Asian students, would do about it.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

You forget: modern man has existed for a mere 100,000 years and has been generating vast tonnages of CO² etc for like the last 10 mins of geological time! The rate at which the Earth is warming is incredibly fast (in geological time). Left to its own devices the Earth would heat up at maybe 10% of the current rate or even less. To deny man’s involvement in this cataclysm is just wishful thinking: classical ego defence (denial, projection, rationalisation etc.) blindingly obvious to even the amateur psychologist!)

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

..but climate change IS due to human activity! What most people miss is the simple concept of how finely balanced ecosystems are. Yes the bulk of CO² is natural but the natural world is able to absorb it. The additional CO² is what causes the tipping point and man-made CO² continues to build up because, although small relative to total CO² the planet cannot absorb it. To deny this simple fact is to reduce oneself to the status of a lemming!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
15 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Most people on the right think that. But saying it out loud gets one traduced to a “denier” (scary word). The reason you believe so many on the right are still “deniers” is because such false denuncations and caricaturisations still carry such weight in your perceptions and in those of the “”sensible”” “right of centre”. You hear the word “denier” and your prejudices are ready to go, how convenient…
Other that Bible literalists, who’s politcal standing is exactly zero in the UK, who on the right would disagree that:
1) There was an ice age.
2) It was a natural phenomena (non-anthropogenic).
3) It was in a chain of such natural phenomena.
4) Therefore such phenomena of such magnitude could happen again.
I’ll tell you how many: f*** all, outside of the fevered imgainations of those infected with the “sensible” media mindvirus.

I, like you, disagree with the “sensible people” about causes of climate change.
I’m a “denier”.
I disagree with the “adults in the room” about the scope and timeframe of climate change.
I’m a “denier”.
I, like anyone with a sense of self-preservation on the right, think the people and organisations “tackling climate change” are zealots and political enemies who’s actions are horribly misdirected and who’s incentives have a perverse inevitability.
I’m a “denier”.
And after what you’ve just written, you are too. Congratulations, your badge in the post.

Last edited 15 days ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
16 days ago

This is basically a thermodynamics problem. Human economic development parallels our energy technologies. The more stored energy we can unlock, the more work we can do without human or animal power, and the wealthier we can become.
While this process certainly has a “limit” (in the sense of peak-oil, for example), as long as human ingenuity isn’t forcibly curtailed by WEF and greenie wackos, there is good reason to believe that people will devise new energy sources. We’ve done it before; many times.
There are at least 3 possibilities, one of which already exists:
1) small scale nuclear fission – Modern 50-200mW reactors are very efficient, very clean, and very safe. Demonstration units are working. Production units expected to be operational by 2030.

2) fusion – Yes, people have been talking about it for decades, but eventually someone is going to figure out a way to modulate and contain a H-He fusion reaction. Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe.

3) matter / antimatter – Pull out your dilithium crystals folks! Star Trek may have the physics a little off, but the basic equations have been understood for 100 years. This is the ultimate battery system. (Just ask Dan Brown.)

There are likely dozens of other possibilities too that either I don’t know or that no one yet knows. It’s pure hubris to believe humans have exhausted every energy source available to us. That’s like Adam coming back to his cave and saying, “Eve, honey, don’t get used to this fire thing; I saw the edge of the forest today and we might run out of trees.” Thank God he didn’t do that.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago

Only no.1 is viable given sufficient time (which we don’t have!) .. the other 2 are pie in the sky.. even allowing for their possible viability they are likely to come onstream just as the cataclysm is in full swing! Classic wishful thinking..

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
16 days ago

Growth doesn’t require mass immigration. We have mass immigration precisely because it makes asset owners richer without growth.

In the UK, for example, GDP per capita peaked in 2006. Yet asset owners have continued to get richer in every year since. The corollary, obviously, is that wage earners and rent payers have got poorer pro rata – not least because the addition of ten million new people without any concomitant investment in infrastructure has destroyed access to the social goods – healthcare, education, affordable housing – that actually constitute their share of our wealth.

Matt M
Matt M
16 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Most of the ten million new arrivals are low wage earners and so pay far less in tax than they receive in public spending. Hence investment can never match demand as the tax revenues just aren’t there. It is an utter disgrace!

Last edited 16 days ago by Matt M
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago
Reply to  Matt M

You missed the other inputs that immigrants provide:
1. Productivity: the wealth they generate (their wages are a mere fraction of that).
2. Services: public services are delivered not in money but in work done, by immigrants inter alia: eg nursing, caring, doctors etc.
3. Spending: immigrants’ wages are spent and that represents economic activity (+ growth).
You seem to think immigrants do useless work and spend nothing: you’re clearly not an economist are you??

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
15 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

There’s immigrants and there’s immigrants. EEA immigrants (read white Europeans) are net contributors. Non-EEA immigrants (read non-whites) are net takers. The difference is often concealed and obfuscated by dishonest actors.
The Fiscal Impact of Immigration in the UK – UCL (2013)EEA migration in the UK – Migration Advisory Committee (2018)
The mass immigration comes from the later category. They are subsidised by the taxpayer to do largely menial jobs in the private sector in order to supress wages and keep costs down which in turn helps put off a long overdue fall in the standard of living for the country with government spending. They’re here cleaning offices because they get far more from access to British public services and (rapidly diminishing) social capital than they do from the £9 per hour… Also there’s no added value in next day delivery or having a pizza delivered at 3 in the morning, just more spurious consumption fueled by debt.
One has to earn over £45,000 to be a net contributor and that’s before we count these immigrants’ children and dependents who would not be here otherwise. All their consumption is superceeded by what they are subsidised in services.
Likewise the sainted doctors, nurses and rocket scientists propping up RNHS!!!1!1 are long past the point of increasing marginal productivity. Keeping old people alive might be the raison d’etre of the British state in the 21st century but it’s not productive, it’s throwing money into a pit for votes.
Yes, Brexit was voted for, but it does not mean that
1) it is now impossible for productive EEA immigrants to arrive and
2) There is any good reasons to bring in millions of non-EEA immigrants.
Your ignorance finds not until it feels.

Russell Dale
Russell Dale
16 days ago

I agree that in any discussion about growth and sustainability we have to consider population growth- or population decline. the only countries with replenishment rates or new births are in Africa- China is predicted to have approx half the current population by the end of the century. Indias birth rate is declining too.
But within all this discussion we have to accept that technology and research and innovation has got us out of trouble as a species – vaccines being the best example, or clean water. If we stop economic growth, we will threaten investment in R and D- then leave ourselves open to a population collapse that we have conditioned ourselves to believe is impossible, but it is very possible – pandemics being the easiest to understand example.
So growth is probably essential but sustainable growth must be the target- can we do this as a species? Sure we can.

Matt M
Matt M
16 days ago
Reply to  Russell Dale

Wise words Russell. Your question is the right one: how do we maintain technical innovation in a world of shrinking populations and thus shrinking numbers of investors and consumers.

Last edited 16 days ago by Matt M
Neil Anthony
Neil Anthony
15 days ago
Reply to  Russell Dale

“Sustainable growth… can we do this as a species?” FYI the communists in China already have that pogrom. Not a healthy future for them just looking at their concocted data

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
16 days ago

Iain McGilchrist (addressing the AI World Summit 2022 on Artificial Intelligence | accessible via YouTube) speaks directly to the author’s prognosis in the final paragraph (that the future pivots on who serves whom: man or machine) by pointing out:
>> the assumption that human beings can be reduced to numbers is a failure of imagination
>> every decision affecting human beings is a moral one
>> therefore those responsible for letting the genie out the bottle must choose their projects carefully and positively turn away from those that will harm
In summary (quoting McGilchrist):

Machines will serve us well if they truly relieve us from drudgery but we must leave human affairs to humans, if not we sign our own death warrant

Last edited 15 days ago by Hendrik Mentz
LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
16 days ago

You mention “every conservative domestic dispute is now fundamentally characterised by the fact that pursuing economic growth implicitly means degrading quality of life for their core electoral constituencies.”
This challenge for Rightists to re-orient themselves in this brave new world may be simpler than we think. Their original, and most enduring definitive word is “conservative“.
And yet, truth be told, the major strategy of the (ostensibly leftist) green freaks amounts to conserving our planet’s resources.
So since there is a common word in both world-views–both strategies– perhaps we do have some common ground here that is being overlooked.
The impediment is in the two different fields of vision. Advocates for green conservation tend to think in terms of collective society, whereas their fellow-humans on the other end of the spectrum tend to think in terms of individual homestead and immediate family.
What’s the solution? Faith! Let us get back to what was formerly a common ground, religious belief. Jesus’ teaching in his sermon on the mount, and in Matthew 25 . . . these words of wisdom provide a basis for a re-unification of the collective body of Christ to emphasize both individual faith and collective (church) cooperation.
In Revelation 11:19, the wrath of God is shown to be directed at “those who destroy the earth.” Furthermore, Christ taught . . . “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Blessed are the peacemakers. . . Love your enemies . . . Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. . . I was hungry and homeless and you gave me food, drink, shelter . . . because whenever you have done it to the least of these (our fellow citizens of the earth) you’ve done it unto Me.
Or, as John Lennon sang. . . “Come together!” (and thereby conserve the resources of this earth so that every person will have a fair share.)
Conservative faith and conservative stewardship of God’s green earth may thus find some common ground that will be conserved, and thus protected from mankind’s voracious liberality.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
16 days ago
Reply to  LCarey Rowland

As this article mentions, conservatives find more common ground Paul Kingsnorth or Wendell Berry than with Greenpeace or the techno-environmentalists.

This is a fundamental dispute among the greens: are they trying to conserve the natural world as stewards, or are they joining the perpetual growth train and just trying to alter its destination to something more eco-friendly.

Personally, I’m with Paull Kingsnorth. If your environmentalist strategy is to strip mine all the planet’s lithium to make solar panels and batteries, you’ve lost the “green” thread somewhere.

Jim R
Jim R
16 days ago

Maybe the question of ‘how to live’ can’t be answered until we can answer the question ‘why to live’? Are we hear to collectively achieve something grand, like colonize the galaxy, or just to carry on carrying on, with as many people as possible having as pleasant a life as possible? Or to sire as many people as possible, so long as their existence is somewhat tolerable, a standard that’s bound to erode? It’s a serious question. Takes us right back to Nietzsche – have we figured out how to fill the giant hole left by religion yet? Or did we just give up and decide to pretend its not there? Carrying on because we don’t know what else to do doesn’t really inspire much effort, does it? Only the fear of losing what we have inspires effort these days it seems.

chris Barton
chris Barton
16 days ago

Good analysis as ever Mary. The coming divide will in my opinion boil down to the question of should we do what we can (plastic & food waste etc etc) and adapt to the climate or do we return the majority of worlds population to the life of a medieval Serf who didn’t go too far from home (15 min city trial in Oxford anyone?) and was lucky to survive a harsh winter. Thanks to years of fear porn and “the science” (oh that again) I think people will choose the latter because “it’s for our own good”.

Rohan Achnay
Rohan Achnay
16 days ago

It is the law of entropy (2nd law of thermodynamics) that is the defining feature of human overshoot.

Green modernism increases the rate of entropy of the host ecosphere especially with human population growth.

Grey growth increases the rate of entropy of the host ecosphere especially with human population growth.

As human growth continues, energy and material throughput increases which increases the rate of entropy of the host ecosphere.

It is entropy that will kill us in the form of increased emissions, increased heat, increased pollution, increased waste unless we reduce throughput to ecospheric replenishment rates and reduce waste to align with ecosphere sink capacity.

Hence Paul Kingsnorth description of the modern technological society as The Machine and the notion of nine planetary boundaries.

https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/planetary-boundaries/the-nine-planetary-boundaries.html

Last edited 16 days ago by spiraltree
Jim R
Jim R
15 days ago
Reply to  Rohan Achnay

That’s the simple answer – it’s a machine, and there’s a technological solution for every problem. The question is, will human beings accept being consigned to their roles as cogs in the machine, directed by the elites for ‘their own good’? Or have we constructed a machine that few of us find fulfilling? It starts with the utopian vision of humans living in perfect balance directed by the best minds – then we find that a little coercion might be necessary to help people see what’s best for them. Then a little more . . .

Alan Gore
Alan Gore
15 days ago

“Meanwhile, the emerging eco-modernist ‘green’ consensus leaves formerly Left-wing tech-sceptics such as Paul Kingsnorth profoundly concerned that anything which opposes this vision of tech-enabled limitlessness is now traduced as fascist.”
That’s because anyone who lionizes the screed of a convicted terrorist serial killer IS an eco-fascist.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
15 days ago

The problem as I see it is not that a far better future (high tech with sustainable) isn’t attainable: it is. The problem is that those who determine our future aren’t at all motivated by what is good for people in general. On the contrary, they are motivated in the opposite direction: that is they delight in dumping on the ‘other’. Those in power, their malevolent puppet masters and their gullible supporters want materual luxury only for themselves and want others to have less and less: ideally nothing at all! If they starve or freeze or drown or rot that to them, is not an unfortunate side effect but rather an enormously satisfying added benefit! It is indeed a class war and the ‘enemy’ is hated so much that no abuse is too severe for them. Imigrants should drown or rot in Rwanada: benefit seekers are work shy and should starve. The disabled are scammers. Foreigners are to be ridiculed. I suppose that’s fascism?