Dec 13, 2010. Ashvin Pandurangi
[giant snips and rearrangement of material]
Machines of societal oppression, whether they are equipment or computerized devices, cannot continue to function at their current rates of activity without access to increasing amounts of net energy. Currently, there are no forms of renewable energy or technologies of energy efficiency in place which could realistically offset the terminal declines in net energy faced by global society. The time after which a wide-scale implementation of such energy infrastructure becomes impossible is approaching very soon, if it has not already passed.
It is significantly likely that developed societies will re-organize at much smaller scales of economic and political activity, in which states, cities and local communities become more important to the “individual” than regional blocs or even nations. People will be forced to rely on their immediate environments as a means of acquiring basic goods and services. The mechanisms of discipline and control, if they exist at all, will only be able to operate within a localized range for limited purposes.
This scenario should not be taken lightly, however, because it will certainly involve a transitional period rife with disorder and violence. These symptoms are especially likely if there is an initial period of physical conflict between governmental power structures and their resistant populations, which should be expected. Although the increasingly impoverished citizenry of the world obviously outnumber the disciplinary elites by a large factor, these elites have a not-so-secret weapon to combat many of the obstacles mentioned above.
The roots of discipline can be traced back to the army, which, throughout history, has disciplined its soldiers to be obedient, self-regulating and deadly efficient by implementing strict restrictions on their movement through time and space. Everything about a soldier’s existence in the barracks is tightly controlled through confined quarters, strict daily schedules, drill exercises, required conduct, etc. Although modern global society is publicly characterized as a place of diplomacy and peaceful negotiation, it has actually retained the most deadly military forces with the most deadly weaponry to match.
The U.S. military, for example, may eventually face a legitimacy crisis of its own, but the unwavering loyalty of its commanders and soldiers should not be underestimated. The structures of command within the military are kept almost entirely under the purview of the executive branch, and this design will make it difficult for elements of popular dissent to infiltrate its operations. After all, it is only natural that the institution to first, and most powerfully, implement disciplinary principles within human civilization should be the last to lose that disciplinary character.
In this sense, military institutions and arsenals provide the last line of “defense” for desperate power structures battling the scarcity of vital resources and the chaos of popular dissent.
The U.S. has already strategically positioned its military throughout the Middle East, which is obviously the most oil-rich region in the world. When availability and expense begin threatening the U.S. share of global oil production, these forces can be readily mobilized to secure production facilities and trade routes.
It is also most likely the case that detailed plans are already in place to institute martial law on the American population in the event of disciplinary break down. A program called “Unified Quest 2011”, consisting of war games, seminars, workshops and conferences, is self-described as being “the Army Chief of Staff’s primary mechanism to explore enduring challenges and the conduct of operations in a future operational environment”. It would be naive to assume that American states and cities are not some of the “future operational environments” that they are preparing to conduct operations in. The government, of course, will insist that it is simply maintaining stability and doing what’s best for its citizens, but the crucial question is whether the masses will voluntarily submit.
The U.S. citizenry is the most heavily armed in the world (90 guns per 100 people, and they may refuse to submit without a fight. The American people were more than willing to relinquish many of their Constitutional rights after 9/11 for the sake of perceived security, but this time the circumstances will be drastically different. There will be millions of painfully destitute people, who possess rapidly diminishing faith in their government’s ability to aid or protect them, and have precious little to lose from active resistance. During the chaotic, unpredictable release of a complex system, even the best laid schemes of disciplinary governments and their military forces could go awry.