Peak Capitalism

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Damnthematrix's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Peak Capitalism

I lifted the below straight from a Yahoo list I have blonged to for at least eight years. The author of this post is the originator of If you haven't been there yet..... well you're REALLY missing out.

Anyhow, I thought it would be interesting to readers of this site. ENJOY! Laughing



Capitalism died on, or about, 2007
(production fell with prices climbing!)

Oil prices roses in 2007 with Brent gaining $7 a barrel (11%) to average
$72.39 for the year, but global oil production fell by 126 thousand
barrels per day, or 0.2% to 81.5 million barrels per day! In July and
August of 2008, while oil prices were still very high, global crude oil
production fell nearly one million barrels per day! M.K. Hubbert was

Capitalism is dying.

"Peak oil" now limits global economic growth (in the physical
sense) and any attempt to surpass previous levels of global economic
activity will cause oil prices to spike again, driving the world back
into a recession. Moreover, no viable alternative exists to replace
petroleum. [1]

On Jan. 14, 2009, the "Killer Ape" Yahoo group will initiate a
discussion based on the assumption that President Obama will ask us for
advice on how to form a new "sustainable" (one that will last
last longer than 1k years) way of life here in the United States to
replace moribund capitalism.

When the first free trade episode (1846-79) ended, it led to WW1 & WW2.
[2] Our leaders realize that 2007 marked the end of the second free
trade episode and are concerned that it could lead to WW3. We are
pretending that our new president will take our advice, and that he has
the absolute power to do anything he feels is right.

We will begin with a discussion of background material from Plotkin's
EVOLUTIONARY THOUGHT IN PSYCHOLOGY. [3] We will spend up to two weeks on
Plotkin's material so we all can understand the basics of human thought.
Then we will move on to designing our new "sustainable" society.

Where would we start? First, we need a definition. Here's one for
A "sustainable society" is one that intentionally limits both
consumption and population to stay within its territorial "carrying
The preceding definition seems like a reasonable, simple definition. But
what's "carrying capacity?"
"An environment's carrying capacity is its maximum persistently
supportable load (Catton 1986)."
Footprint analysis [4] shows us that the United States is over carrying
capacity. In other words, we cannot support our present way of life with
our own natural resources. To be sustainable we must live a less
wasteful lifestyle or lower population, or probably both.

We will look at HUBBERT'S PRESCRIPTION FOR SURVIVAL, by Robert Hickerson
<> and my SOCIETY OF

Do we really need a new economics? If "economics" is invariably
"political," why isn't it called "politics?" Are
economists simply trying to avoid responsibility for their political

We will look at the work of William Ophuls. What were his suggestions?
How do they hold up in light of evolutionary psychology?

Did Marx and company have any good ideas worth incorporating into our
new political system? Do we have anything worth saving in our present
form of government?

One of our tasks will be to understand what is "natural"
(supported by genetic material) and what is "not natural."
Obviously, any social system that doesn't account for genetic algorithms
will fail.

For example, the desire for "private property" (things) is
natural, but the desire for unlimited amounts of fiat money is obviously
a social construction. That's more-or-less what Locke said, and I
believe he was correct.

The desire for higher social status is genetic but culture largely
determines how high status is achieved (e.g., Potlatch ).

Perhaps if people were limited to only the "things" they could
comfortably place on a standard house lot - AND those things were
constructed for durability - AND advertising in the mass media were
banned (or something like that) - AND we completely redid our food
production systems - AND (several other things we will think of once we
get started...), then perhaps a sustainable society could be

Obviously, the difficult part will be human nature. If we can identify a
few key sustainability principles that can be accepted by realistic
people, then the rest will be easy to imagine.

Our discussion concerns "theory" only!
We are not going to discuss implementation!
Language that promotes violence will not be tolerated!

I am making the starting date for our new discussion Jan. 14. I hope you
all will do your homework. If you are already a member of the killer ape
list, you do not need to resubscribe. If a new person wants to join my
list, they must send me a message at

After On Jan. 14, no new people will be added to our list!

Once we get going, I WILL allow constructive criticism, but I WILL NOT
allow sarcasm and pointless bitching. I will not allow talk promoting
violence! If you don't want to contribute, then just keep quiet.

Do your homework,




[2] "By the end of the seventies the free trade episode (1846-79)
was at an end; the actual use of the gold standard by Germany marked the
beginnings of an era of protectionism and colonial expansion… the
symptoms of the dissolution of the existing forms of world economy -
colonial rivalry and competition for exotic markets - became acute. The
ability of haute finance to avert the spread of wars was diminishing
rapidly… For another seven years peace dragged on but it was only a
question of time before the dissolution of nineteenth century economic
organization would bring the Hundred Years' Peace to a close." [p.

"The origins of the cataclysm lay in the utopian endeavor of
economic liberalism to set up a self-regulating market system." [p.
29] THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION, Karl Polanyi; Beacon, 1957;





Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Re: Peak Capitalism


Thanks for sharing this excellent post!

At the request of the moderators, I have changed the title from PEAK CAPITALISM to Peak Capitalism. In future, please avoid ALL CAPS topic titles.




cmartenson's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5971
Re: Peak Capitalism

Thanks for the post Mike.

I just kicked off an email to Jay for inclusion in the study group.  I really admire how his brain works and would be fascinated to listen in on that conversation as it develops.

Damnthematrix's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Peak Capitalism

You're welcome.....  I'm looking forward to it too.

Re the caps, the original was titled that way, and I just pasted it in.  I can't really see the problem with a heading in caps though...


DrKrbyLuv's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 1995
Re: Peak Exploitation

I don't think that capitalism has anything to do with the big problem. I think the real problems are that all of our markets are manipulated (FOMC & PPT) and our monetary control and issuance is held in the private hands of a few private bankers.

Eradicate these two problems and capitalism would become prosperous, fair and sustainable.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments