It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

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Damnthematrix
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It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.
WELL DONE
GW:
IT'S A DIRTY JOB BUT SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT.

Ted Trainer

11.1.2008

I think you have all been most unappreciative of President Bush's
achievements. Not just uncharitable but lacking in insight about
the way the world works and what has to be done to maintain our way of
life. President Bush has done a great job here in very difficult
circumstances, and he does not get due credit.

Let's sketch the basics. We 1.5 billion in rich countries could
not have anything like our affluent living standards, our good health
standards, our security, indeed our cultural life if we were not
getting far more than our fair share of the world's resources.
We consume something like 17 times the per capita amount of things
like oil that the poorest half of the world's people average.
Now that doesn't happen automatically. It has to be organised,
and that takes a lot of difficult work. Billions of poor people
in the Third World would rather not see their resources and
their own labour used to produce wealth to ship out to enrich the
corporations and the supermarket shoppers in the rich countries.

So the first task is to make sure they don't see the situation as
illegitimate. This is fairly easily done by the economists who
explain that the only and the right way for things to be produced and
allocated is by allowing the market to make the decisions. Or
course markets always let the rich take everything, because they can
outbid the poor. If there's ever any grumbling about this the
IMF, the World Bank and the WTO are on hand to let them know that if
any government was silly enough to depart from sound market principles
then they would get no loans, or assistance with their impossible
debt, and they would
be banned from exporting anything. They usually get the
message and shape up.

Ah, but unfortunately there are always a few knucklehead governments
and rebel groups which persist in wanting to devote their nation's
resources directly to the improvement of their people's welfare rather
than see them flow out to enrich others. These people often call
themselves "nationalists" but of course we identify them as
subversives, insurgents, communists and/or terrorists. They do
things like cut oil pipelines, wage civil war, sell drugs, and
try to depose legitimate governments, and cause refugees and famines.
Nice people in orderly rich countries despair at these silly people
who don't understand proper economics and seem to delight in beating
each other up and disrupting sensible development.

So from time to time we have to take on the burden of straightening
things out, banging a few heads together, supporting the correct
faction with money and arms and getting rid of "uncooperative"
governments, so that peace can be restored under governments that will
rule properly. Sometimes we have to act pretty decisively to
restore order, in fact sometimes we have to smash the country to
shreds and kill several hundred thousand people in the process, but as
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said when our sanctions
killed an estimated 500,000 people in Iraq, it's worth it.

Look, people at the supermarket checkout counter don't understand how
serious the situation is. If we can't go on getting oil at the
rate we have become accustomed to those shelves will be bare.
The stuff's getting scarce now. The Chinese are after it; that's
why they're supporting murderous regimes in Africa without asking any
questions. Now you can't secure the stuff just by being nice and
asking to buy some; you have to go after it strenuously and
sometimes you have to throw a little weight around, or some other
bastard will get it first. That's what geopolitics is about.
It's dog eat dog and devil take the hindmost out there. Most
wars in history have been about grabs for resources. That's what
The Great game in central Asia has been about and is about now.
We have to secure our oil fields and we have to get safe routes for
those long pipelines to sea ports, through foreign countries, some of
which don't like us much. We can't build them and we can't
protect them unless we have military bases and unless we bribe or
bully some of those regimes into doing what we want.


So can't you see that we had to take Iraq and Afghanistan. And
what if Saddam had decided to stop trading oil in US
dollars! GW and the team bit the bullet; they did
what was necessary. And GW has been a great front man; he's
taken the flak for a tough and dirty but crucial job. When
everyone's criticising and you can't tell them what you are really
doing its best if the mess looks like a mistake made by a buffoon.

Yes of course they were clumsy. In the past they have pulled off
most of the coups and assassinations and invasions neatly and quietly
- got rid of Noriega, Lumumba, the Sandinistas, put in the Shah,
supported our kleptocrat Suharto in Indonesia for 30 years, eliminated
deviance in Haiti and Grenada (especially important that, can't let
the little ones get away with deviating - sets a bad example the rest
might see they can follow) with not a grumble at home. Mind
you they did stuff up a bit on Cuba and Venezuela.

So yes they did miscalculate in Iraq and Afghanistan but securing the
empire is a difficult job, and it's a vital job. You cannot live
in the way you have become accustomed, let alone have the 3% p. growth
you insist on, unless we go on getting control of most of the
dwindling resources an that means running those countries to our
benefit not theirs. George and the Neo-cons have done it for
you, in difficult circumstances. I think their critics should
just be a bit more understanding and appreciative. If you want to go
on living with your too-big houses and your plasmas and your jet-away
vacations just quit the backchat and support your empire and those who
secure it for you.

--

Ted Trainer
School of Social Work,
University of New South Wales,
Kensington. 2052. Australia.
02.93851871
Fax: 02 96628991
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/

stpaulmercantile's picture
stpaulmercantile
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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Aww, c'mon, tell us how you really feel about Americans. 

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barrt
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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

That's a great piece! A quality slice of sarcasm, thanks Dtm

I was a little disappointed though in that list of countries, he could have gone on a lot longer than that, haven't I read somewhere that the good old US has invaded or 'changed' the regime in around 50 countries since the 2nd world war? and that's just the ones we heard about.

I remember years ago we used to always be shown "mad mullahs" on the TV crying and shouting about the Great Satan, we all used to think they (the mullahs) were mad, bad and dangerous, everything looks different now though doesn't it?

and stpaulmercantile I think you're being over sensitive, I dont think the author was attacking the American people but the US govt. and their psycho foreign policy. You guys are great, its just that your Govt has pillaged, raped & enslaved the world, killing millions of people for monetary gain in the name of freedom and democracy and your morally bankrupt media has covered it all up and corrupted the values of the western world in the process.

In the face of all that, what else can you do except be sarcastic?

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stpaulmercantile
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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.
Damnthematrix wrote:
If you want to go on living with your too-big houses and your plasmas and your jet-away vacations just quit the backchat and support your empire and those who secure it for you.
Uhh, yes, I think he was talking down to Americans, not just our government.  I thought it was a tirade that revealed a deep hatred for my country. 
If that's what he wants to believe, that's his right.  I don't see how spewing like that has anything to do with the subject matter on this forum. 
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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

stpaulmercantile -

The author of the article 'posted' by Damnthematrix (DTM) was Ted Trainer and 1) as an example of the kind of beliefs held by many in the 2nd and 3rd world nations and 2) given that it touches on the extent to which all nations (not just the U.S.) will go to keep "on getting oil at the
rate we have become accustomed"
then I think it does have some bearing on the subject matter in this forum.

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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Oh, so you don't think Damnthematrix agrees with the author, you think he was posting the article for our benefit, so we'd understand how 2nd and 3rd world countries feel about us.  I read his post in the context of some of his other America-bashing posts, and I stand by my comments.  I think he just thought that nobody could say it better than Ted Trainer, so just quote Ted Trainer.

The only thing these guys know about America is what they see from Hollywood or from the biased media.  If he posts crap like that, he deserves to be answered.

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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Oh I think he bashes the EU, his own government, and just about everyone else who feel entitled to living an un-sustainable lifestyle - but if you want to fall back on nationalistic pride then feel free.   As an ex U.S.Navy officer I'm comfortable enough to accept the sarcasm (I only swore an oath to uphold the Constitution - not 'our American way of life' - one of those phrases that always made me cringe when it came out of President G.W. Bush's mouth (along with phrases like the 'New World Order' and 'Evil Doers')

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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

I don't think any of us reaping the supposed benefits of extracted carbon can claim the moral highground. The Australian government supported GW in Iraq and they have some pretty big problems from apparent climate change. Lots of coal power stations.

But people frequently are not their governments. Some people everywhere have been raging against the party of excess for a long time. Some of those people are in the place presently called the USA and some of them aren't. Perhaps most of them are in subjugated places but their first language is seldom English. 

I don't read Ted Trainer as supporting the politics of any country and I do read his satire as directed at all our national governments and their supporters. They have big screen TVs in Australia. Hell we are even starting to see a few here in NZ. 

Don

__________________________________

7 billion people can be wrong, very wrong

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stpaulmercantile
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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

I don't even own a plasma TV.

I do have a 61" LCD TV - does that count? Wink

Chickens - I've got chickens - does that count for something?

 

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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

First you are offended, then you lay in with some boast about your TV and ability to consume.  Do you still believe in fairies and Santa too?  The US is the world's foremost MILITARY power, thats how we are able to borrow ourselves into this mess, and that is how we are fending off our creditors at the moment.  What an empire does in a practical sense offends you, as in you cant handle the truth?  You think we went to Iraq to spread democracy?  OIL, baby, OIL.  You and I and the western world are its beneficiaries, so what?   I still sleep at night, even if others believe we are the evil empire.  I dont make the rules, I just live here.

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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

I understand your anger, friend. I am angry too. I am deeply upset by the fact that our beautiful country has fallen on such dark times. I am revolted by the suggestion that I am in any way complicit in the above mentioned atrocities. Sadly, this is the case. The fact is that our nation has become the military-industrial behemoth Eisenhower warned us of in his departing speech as president is a difficult one to stomach. This speech is here:

. I wept for my country earlier tonight. The position she is in is nothing short of tragic. My love for America and her ideals is among the dearest I hold along with God and family.

To a very significant extent, the economic crisis we experience today coincides with the collapse of the above described American Empire. When our compatriots are stripped of their imperial trappings, the results will not be pretty. Most do not realize just how inflated their lifestyles have been. The increasing possibility of civil unrest in America seems overwhelming. In times such as these, the best that we can do is to find the Truth, however painful it may be to bear and to bear it up for others to see, so that we may all prepare for the coming storm. And pray. Good luck with your chickens. I plan on getting some myself.  

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Damnthematrix
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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Oh I agree with the author....  he's a mate of mine, and a well known author of books, just google his name........  It was one of Ted's early books, "Abandon Affluence", that changed my life forever.  I feel privileged to have met him and befriended him.

Australia is not a 2nd or 3rd world country BTW.....

Mike 

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Damnthematrix
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The simpler way

The Simpler Way

Here's  a piece of Ted's brilliance I thought I'd share with you.

Mike 

 1.  THE GLOBAL SITUATION

Global problems are rapidly getting worse. 
The en vironment is being severely damaged.  Resources are being depleted.  
Third World poverty  is increasing.  Even in the richest societies
the quality of life is falling, cohesion is eroding and social problems are
accelerating.

These problems cannot be solved without fundamental
change,  because they are directly caused by our present socio-economic
system.

The basic faults built into our society centre
firstly on the demand for high material "living standards" in a world of limited
resources. We cannot keep up the present levels of production and consumption
and resource use for long, and there is no possibility of all the world's people
ever rising to these levels. People in rich countries have these high "living
standards" only because we are taking much more than our fair share of the available
resources and depriving the majority.

Even though present levels of production
and consumption are unsustainable this economic system must have constant and
endless increase in output, i.e., economic growth. A sustainable world
order is not possible unless we move to much less affluent lifestyles within
a steady-state economic system.

Our second major mistake is allowing the market
to determine our fate.  An economy which relies heavily on free market
forces will inevitably allocate most of the world's wealth to the few, produce
inappropriate development, destroy the environment, and ignore the needs of
the majority.    What is done must be determined by what humans
and ecosystems need, not by what is most profitablein a market.  Yet we
are now racing to a globalised economy in which transnational corporations will
be increasingly free to determined what is produced and developed, according
to what will maximise their profits.

We need much more than change to an economic
system that is not driven by market forces, profit and growth (although markets
and private enterprise could have a role in a satisfactgory society.) 
Our values and culture put far too much emphasis on competition, success, individualism,
acquisitiveness, wealth and luxury. There must be a value change to much more
concern with cooperation, sharing, helping, caring, collective welfare and living
more simply.

Technical advance alone cannot solve these
problems.  It cannot maked a big enough difference to levels of resoure
use and ecological impact.  It cannot eliminate the need for radical change
in our "living standards", values and  economy.

 

2. 
THE SOLUTION.

We cannot achieve a sustainable and just world
order unless we change to,

- Simpler lifestyles, much less production
and consumption, much less concern with luxury, affluence, posessions and wealth.

- Mostly small, highly self-sufficient local
economies,
largely independent of the global economy.

- More cooperative and participatory ways,
enabling people in small communities to take control of their own development.

- A new economy, one not driven by
profit or market forces, and  a zero-growth or steady-state overall economy, 
that produces much less  than we do now.

- Some very different values, especially
cooperation not competition, and frugality and self-sufficiency not acquisitiveness
and consuming.

The alternative is about ensuring a very high
quality of life for all without anywhere near as much production, consumption,
exporting, investment, resource use, environmental damage, work etc. as our present
society involves.  The important point is that there are many rich alternative
sources of satisfaction other than material acquisition and consuming.  Consider
having much time for arts and crafts and personal growth, living in a rich and
supportive community, having to go to work for money only two days a week, 
living in a diverse and productive leisure-rich landscape, having socially worthwhile
and enjoyable work with no fear of unemployment...and knowing you are not contributing
to global problems.

Many people now accept this view of our situation
and the solution, and are working for transition to the alternative way. There
is now a Global Alternative Society Movement building new settlements and systems
of the required kind.  The fate of the planet depends on whether this Movement
can provide many impressive examples of sustainable, just and pleasan tways
showing people in consumer society that there is a better way.

<MORE> 

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Re: It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Mike -I was not calling Australia a 2nd or 3rd world country - I was referring, instead, to the statement

Quote:

... Billions of poor people
in the Third World would rather not see their resources and
their own labour used to produce wealth to ship out to enrich the
corporations and the supermarket shoppers in the rich countries.

So the first task is to make sure they don't see the situation as
illegitimate. This is fairly easily done by the economists who
explain that the only and the right way for things to be produced and
allocated is by allowing the market to make the decisions. Or
course markets always let the rich take everything, because they can
outbid the poor. If there's ever any grumbling about this the
IMF, the World Bank and the WTO are on hand to let them know that if
any government was silly enough to depart from sound market principles
then they would get no loans, or assistance with their impossible
debt, and they would
be banned from exporting anything. They usually get the
message and shape up.

(sorry for the confusion)

stpaulmercantile - I think chickens count Wink

 

 

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stpaulmercantile
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Re: The simpler way
Damnthematrix wrote:

The Simpler Way

Here's  a piece of Ted's brilliance I thought I'd share with you.

Mike 

 

2.  THE SOLUTION.

We cannot achieve a sustainable and just world order unless we change to,

- Simpler lifestyles, much less production and consumption, much less concern with luxury, affluence, posessions and wealth.

- Mostly small, highly self-sufficient local economies, largely independent of the global economy.

- More cooperative and participatory ways, enabling people in small communities to take control of their own development.

- A new economy, one not driven by profit or market forces, and  a zero-growth or steady-state overall economy,  that produces much less  than we do now.

- Some very different values, especially cooperation not competition, and frugality and self-sufficiency not acquisitiveness and consuming.

Damnthematrix,

The solution you propose sounds an awful lot like America in the 1800s.  I think our country will be returning to a lifestyle similar to that of 100+ years ago.  It will be a very rough road getting there.  I don't know if I'll still be alive when we come out the other end, but I'm doing all I can to prepare for the transition. 

I moved out of the city and bought a home on 10 acres in the mountains, 100 miles from the nearest big city.  I have a well and a spring.  If I have electricity, I heat my home 100% with wood (electricity required for the two water pumps).  If no electricity, I can cut the house size back to 1/2 or 1/3 and heat entirely with kerosene, propane or wood, depending upon which fuels are available.  I have written a comprehensive Family Preparedness plan that details where we are today and additional goals, tasks and timelines to become more self-sufficient.  I lied about the chickens - they're in the plan, but don't arrive here until April.  I am building a chicken tractor (movable chicken coop) for 10-12 hens.  Our goal in 2009 is just to have chickens for eggs, and to learn about their care, food requirements, etc.  In 2010, the goal is to raise an additional 50 chickens for meat, which will be canned. 

I make my living selling ventfree gas and propane heaters and fireplaces.  I also have a full line of kerosene stoves, lanterns, and an oven that works on top of a kerosene stove.  Also solar/crank powered radios, crank-powered LED flashlights, magnesium fire starters, water filters, fuel filters that remove water from fuels, etc.  I've been selling these to the preparedness community since 1998.  This line doubled in 2007 and doubled again in 2008, so it is no longer an insignificant part of my business.  2009 goals are to increase my product offerings in this product line and possibly sell the heating part of my business. 

We have not done any gardening, but will start our first garden this year.  I couldn't decide how many non-hybrid seeds to store, so I decided to just add them to my product line.  One pallet holds 90 #10-size cans of non-hybrid seeds, each can containing many varieties of vegetables - enough for a garden size of about 2/3 acre.  By carrying these as a product line, I'll always have enough seeds for personal use, plus barter, when TSHTF.  I also have 76 dozen canning jars, 300 dozen additional lids, a high-end canner that does not require rubber seals, and kerosene stoves and fuel to do the canning.  Plus an adequate food storage plan, home protection, etc.

I have other posts on this site that describe things like oil lamps, fuel storage, heating and lighting without electricity, etc.  And while I do own a 61" TV, I also have a 13" that uses very little power, plus a 9" DC TV, plus solar-powered radios that receive emergency bands, shortwave, and VHF TV.

I am doing everything I can to prepare for a simpler lifestyle, and I'm providing the tools for others to do the same.  I'm sure that you love your country as I love mine.  So perhaps we can suspend the "my country is better than your country" rhetoric and focus on preparations and transitional steps, and benefit from each other's ideas.

 

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Vanityfox451
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Re: The simpler way

Hello St P',

I have to tell you that I really love Ted's approach because, quite simply and no holds barred, he's right.

 As nations in the 1st world states, our governments have killed and mamed their way into getting the resources they've needed to sustain our fickle lifestyles. Be damned that you're born American and be damned to be born Australian as Mike is and be damned to me being born English. Mike is perservering in much the same way as you in readying his home to self support and I've moved to Hungary and bought a farm. I could give you a list of books and films that back up my whole line of thinking, yet for many, they're still not enough.

America has some genuinely beautiful people that have been screaming at the top of their lungs for change. I've been doing that so much I'm hoarse.

This site can get a little incestuous at times, but at its centre there is a unity of people who are all going to suffer the same consequences at slower and quicker stages, dependent on where you're geographically placed.

There are too many people on the planet clambering for resources to maintain ever increasing points of view. We're in for a cull; that should surely quieten a substancial number of voices. Ted's voice is louder than a YYYAAAWWWPP!! - yet still the cattle chew whatever the media lay down for fodder. Think about that...

Paul

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