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Guy McPherson: The Iron Cage

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  • Sun, Jan 03, 2016 - 09:07pm



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    Guy McPherson: The Iron Cage excerpted below

…”The paragraph below comes from the final pages of Max Weber’s 1905 book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism:

The Puritan wanted to work in a calling; we are forced to do so. For when asceticism was carried out of monastic cells into everyday life, and began to dominate worldly morality, it did its part in building the tremendous cosmos of the modern economic order. This order is now bound to the technical and economic conditions of machine production which to-day determine the lives of all the individuals who are born into this mechanism, not only those directly concerned with economic acquisition, with irresistible force. Perhaps it will so determine them until the last ton of fossilized coal is burnt. In Baxter’s view the care for external goods should only lie on the shoulders of the “saint like a light cloak, which can be thrown aside at any moment.” But fate decreed that the cloak should become an iron cage.

Weber’s reference to capitalism as an “iron cage” has become famous among sociologists. There is no escape from the iron cage. Weber calls it capitalism, but it applies much more broadly. The iron cage is civilization. Quoting Tim Bennett, I refer to our fate as, “born into captivity.”

There is no escape from industrial civilization. Believe me, I’ve tried. I left behind the privileged life of scholarship at a major university several years ago. I developed a homestead and tried to throw off the shackles of culture. Pursuing agrarian anarchy while adhering to the principles of permaculture, I threw abundant money and hard work at a failed project.” …

To re-enforce Mr. McPerson’s quandry one notes:

“CARVE aircraft measurements of atmospheric methane show that large areas of Arctic tundra and boreal forest continue to emit methane to the atmosphere at high rates, long after the surface soil freezes,” said Róisín Commane of Harvard University

  • Mon, Jan 04, 2016 - 04:11am

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Is there an OH SHIT forum?

So how does this effect my 401(k) retirement strategy. I didn't see a "We're Fucked 2020" targeted fund.

  • Mon, Jan 04, 2016 - 05:45am



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    Don’t worry, be happy

A five point plan:

  • Embrace the fact that we are screwed and get Zen with it. 
  • Realize that the "Oh Shit" exit was about 100 miles back. You missed it. You're not alone.
  • 401(k)? Get ride of that. How? Quit. Then "pull it" (the 401(k) that is, not your neighborhood steel framed building please).
  • Then find a better job(s) that's more in line with what you love and pays less. Why less? Less to earn, less to feed the u-know-what. Then grow your own veggies to offset.
  • Realize that you/we are gonna fucking die. Each and everyone one of us. At some point. And then go live your life.


P.S. If you are gonna pull that 401(k), do it quick before you get MyRA'd.



  • Wed, Jan 06, 2016 - 12:27am


    Sterling Cornaby

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    Yep we are going to die.


love your plan.

on the final point, a scene from Fight club says it best.  "You have to know, not fear, know that some day you're going to die."

  • Wed, Jan 06, 2016 - 04:20pm

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Larger sea mamals die-off begins?

Ailing or dead seals and sea lions washed up on California beaches in record numbers in 2015; this year could be worse…

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