Thar she blows!
Once every 600,000 years or so Yellowstone’s supervolcano erupts, making Mt. St. Helens, Pinatubo, and Krakatoa look like firecrackers. It blankets thousands of miles around it in lava and ash, casting a pall over the earth that lowers temperatures and hinders plant life for decades. Compared to Mother Nature we anthropogenic climate changers (if we are that) are pikers. Interestingly enough, that supervolcano is due for another eruption. Interestingly enough, so too is another supervolcano, one constructed entirely by humans. As to which erupts first, bet on the latter.
Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Coercion and violence generate a reaction, a countervailing pressure. They are historical constants, so like Yellowstone’s volcano, the pressure has been building for centuries, although not 6,000 of them. Like Yellowstone’s geysers, pressure-reducing steam has occasionally been released; coercion has abated and freedom briefly flowered. We know those periods as the times when progress mostly happened: the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution. However, the twentieth century marked a resurgence of pressure.
Their intellectual degradation complete, the coercive class meets any manifestation of countervailing pressure with still more coercion. The most pathetic case is the US government. Left at a zenith of power at the end of World War II, it has squandered its moral, military, and financial capital trying to squelch the forces that will inevitably topple its empire. After each disaster, it has sought new disasters. President Trump’s tripling down on Bush’s and Obama’s Afghanistan bets is yet another instance of the belief that force which fails can be “fixed” with more force.
The reactive opposites are decentralization and individual autonomy. Individuals now have unprecedented capacities to wage violence, communicate, and compute. Since World War II governments are batting virtually zero trying to suppress insurgencies waged by guerrillas fighting on their home turf. Try as they might to suppress the Internet, they can’t go too far without severing their economies from the backbone of the information economy. Individuals perform computing feats on their smart phones that were beyond the capabilities of room-size computers fifty years ago. These are the forces pushing back against governmental centralization and coercion.
Lately, not a day has gone by where an article hasn’t appeared arguing that the US government or the media or the globalists or some other nefarious entity is pulling the strings of some nefarious “divide and conquer” strategy. “Divide” needs no help from anyone. Unless humans develop the ability to split themselves, division has proceeded as far as it can go. A solitary soul can work, shop, eat, drink, find amusement and information, and do everything else necessary to sustain life without ever leaving his dwelling or coming into contact with another human being. Undoubtedly some do.
Dividing is a done deal. Conquering is more problematic and in fact won’t happen. A government that’s sixteen years on in Afghanistan and hasn’t won a significant military engagement since World War II is going to have a bit of a problem either maintaining its faltering empire or subjugating its own well-armed population, half of which doesn’t like it very much, the other half expecting a perpetual payday. What if its creditors pull the charge card from the Empire of Debt?
The same problems—imperial inefficiency and debt far in excess of the underlying economy’s ability to support it—will unexpectedly walk in on the globalists’ masturbatory fantasies. Governments at all levels have collectively plighted their troth to a spurious order maintained by force and fraud, resting on a supervolcano. The seismic portents have registered for decades. The Thousand Year Reich lasted twelve years, the Soviet Union sixty-nine. The Chinese government extended its life by rearranging its battery of forces, but the potential—so far successfully suppressed—counter-reaction leaves the rulers in a perpetual state of repressive anxiety.
The western welfare states are beset by bankruptcy, unsustainable expectations, faltering economies, Brexit, Trump, separatist and secessionist movements, and pitched battles over campus speakers, statues, and whatever else triggers the triggered. These are akin to Yellowstone’s recent seismic swarms, and they’ll only get more numerous and intense.
The list of irritations and grievances that can morph into confrontation and chaos is endless. It dawns on the debt-slave young that they are supporting their elders in a style to which they will never become accustomed. The productive tire of funding the unproductive and their government-sponsored rackets. Natives wonder why they should open their arms to migrants, especially those who hate them. Americans rebel against their government’s costly military interventions (okay, that one’s remote). Europe finds the Islamic chokehold increasingly choking and European manhood rediscovers its testicles (even more remote). It would be fitting if the first big morph came at some place like Davos or Jackson Hole.
The think-tank terms for today’s tremors are “devolution” and “decentralization,” always characterized as threats. Supervolcanos take no prisoners. When this one erupts, it will obliterate the rickety superstructures of global governance, finance, and economics. The proper phraseology will be, “blown to smithereens”: the just and unjust, prepared and unprepared, wise and foolish buried under lava flows and choked by ashes, reality beyond a hand in front of one’s face impossible to make out amidst the smoke and haze. The beloved order of the ruling class giving way to entropic atomization.
Atoms are life’s building blocks. Most everything worthwhile—family, community, trade, inquiry, innovation, production, progress—starts with individuals and builds. Most everything deleterious—repression, state-sponsored rapacity, tyranny, war—is imposed from the top by sociopaths masquerading as leaders. Bad as the supervolcano will be, it will blow this “top” to bits, giving the green shoots of decentralized freedom a chance to poke here and there through the ash. It’s about time.