Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Interview on Keiser Report Summer Solutions Series

Max Keiser, Stacy Herbert and I discuss two books which I recently published—150-Strong and Bureaucratic Insanity—as well my efforts to prevent World War III.


Dina Strange said...

Always enjoy your interviews...

Compound F said...

One of the most level-headed people on the planet is radically subversive; "radical" as in striking at the root of the problem, and "subversive" as in what was once right side up is now upside down. It's beautiful to watch. Few things give me such pleasure.

Compound F said...

I'll add that one of the beauties of distributed systems (e.g., 150 strong) is that they tend to be robust to disruption. The reticular activating system of the brainstem being a case in point. It has been estimated that a person can lose as many as 95% of the neurons in the nigral dopaminergic system before showing signs of Parkinson's. Whereas the centralized wealth pumps of the modern world might well be brought down catastrophically by Deutsche Bank alone.

tomo stojanovic said...

great interview as always - but I could not help noticing your description of how people turn into glorified slaves (aka rule-following automatons).
Totalitarians worldwide are basically just building on what religion has already achieved many years ago.
Modern crony capitalism is based on enforcing fraud - just like religion - the original totalitarian and the elephant in the room.
for someone confused and brainwashed at an early age to distrust reality and to be proud of believing nonsense - accepting the lies of crony capitalism comes naturally - it's actually the only thing they can do.

Dmitry Orlov said...

Tomo, you need to read the book. Religion (except for certain cults) does not destroy one's sense of identity. The depersonalization and the resulting insanity induced by modern bureaucracy is new and different. Lumping religion, authoritarianism and bureaucracy into a single ugly pile isn't helpful.

Norman Pagett said...

so where will we find such 150 strong communities, to offer examples of our future lifestyle.?

Maybe there are a few left in the Amazonian rainforest---or what's left of it. Or perhaps in the Australian outback, with the tribes who have sensibly decided to turn their backs on western society. What there will not be is a group of idyllic thatched English-style cottages so beloved by tourists.

Be under no illusion that Orlov's vision of our future is describing a society at the level of the bronze age--or at best, early European medieval.
While I agree with Orlov that we are headed in that direction, the rosy glow he puts on it is misleading to say the least.

True though--that disconnected communities offer ultimate resilience, in that destroying some cannot destroy the whole---though unpleasant for those destroyed I fear.

A community of 150 people cannot have the resources to build more than mud / thatch huts. 150 people means 30/40 basic huts.
No brick, no tiles, no glass and no concrete floors and no roads.
Why not?
Because those things use lots of heat to make.
There will be no piped water, no waste removal and no artificial light.
no medication--hospitals are energy guzzling factories
No mention of that.
Instead as we drift in that direction, the mass of people will deny there's a problem, and do what they always do, demand more and expect politicians to provide more (infinite growth---Trump, Clinton et al)
Instead there is no more, this book tries to explain why, and how we got into this mess of a demand economy:
And when more is not forthcoming, there will be violence leading to open warfare on a world scale.
The Middle East right now is just the start of it.

that we will end up in mud huts is not in doubt, but the means by which we will get there is going to be one of violent unpleasantness as we try every possible alternative.
We will only stop fighting when our communities have been decimated--(literally)--and world population is reduced to about 700 million. As above--roughly what it was in the early medieval period.

Dmitry Orlov said...

Norman, you couldn't be more wrong if you tried. Your "mud hut" tirade is long-winded and silly. The book you need to read is "Communities that Abide" (listed over on the right). Read it before chomping on your feet any more.

alex carter said...

I don't "do" anything online other than text so unless there's a transcript posted somewhere I'll not know what was said directly, but I have to ask this: Were hospitals energy-guzzling black holes of consumption in Louis Pasteur's time? No, of course not. They were no more energy-guzzling than the average hotel with a decent restaurant. In fact I don't believe hospitals even into say, the 1940s were all that energy-hungry.

So to me, a point goes to Orlov.

However, I do agree that world population has to come way way down from where it is, and I also think that from my observations, it's not going to be done in a nice way.

Even here in "Silicon Valley", one of the wealthiest areas of the US, which is ostensibly a wealthy country, I can see what *might* be construed to be efforts to decrease "undesirable" populations; those of the poor. We have thousands upon thousands of homeless people here and being homeless in the US means you're old and used up by the time you're in your 50s. Few make it into their 60s or if they are in their 60s when they lose everything, they typically don't see their 70th year. This is all perfectly fine with the wealthy elite here.

I keep wondering where our time's Maxim Gorky is, and then I realize that of course there are dozens out there who will never be heard, never be read. Gorky only attained fame and wide readership under an almost unique system, in which the rapacious hunger of the elites was beaten back for a while.

Nauman Abrar said...

Superb interview you took Apk.

Wendy Crim said...

The hot war/world war three issue is very frightening to me. I live in America and I don't want to die. Even more importantly, I don't want my daughter to die. I wonder which would be safer long term- Mexico or Canada? Canada is so expensive, I probably couldn't even afford a month there! Our passports are current. I wonder if we should go to Mexico if things get bad? How will I know? So scary to consider. I can happily endure many lost luxuries and a simpler life. I don't want to entertain what could happen to my daughter if we go to war with Russia. Man, our leaders are clinically insane.

My donkey said...

The last half of the interview is great, and needs a transcript.
Thank goodness for Stacy Herbert in moderating the discussion, because Max Kaiser is shrill and annoying. He seems to have a number of already-familiar talking points he desperately wants to cram into the alloted time, as though he's the person being interviewed rather than the interviewer.

the liberal hillbilly said...

The only thing that will save the human race is a spiritual paradigm shift. A shift in values. The first thing to do is to educate people which is hard to do especially in America. When I tell people to watch interviews like this or lectures from people like Professor Peter Wadhams, I get the you are crazy look or some stupid comment.

Patrick DeBoard said...

Great interview - I enjoyed it, especially the part about every American dying.

I would LOVE to join a community in northern Maine. Is there one? I will be buying 10 acres or so of undeveloped land in 13 months, will build myself a small off-grid homestead on it. I'm thinking passive solar, maybe with an integrated greenhouse, a root cellar, a barn/workshop. I'll be almost 71 when I buy this land. I'm very active - I jog and do weight training - and can pace myself to get things done. I really do need to be in a small community of homesteaders and small organic farmers, for bartering and mutual support purposes. How do I find such a group or community?

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

Excellent interview, Dmitry!

Note to Norman Pagett: What you call 'mud huts' are known more accurately by the non-derogatory name of cob buildings. It's an excellent building material: effective, long-lasting, and highly liveable. Also, always available locally for anyone to retrieve and mix easily at next to no expense. I've spent time in cob buildings, including the ones here:


some of which I helped to build. (see the Gallery page)

We have cob buildings in Britain still going strong which were made centuries ago. It's not a material to be scoffed at by suckers in love with hitechery at all times. I can assure you that experience at Cae Mabon makes it clear to me that 150-Strong communities can create a very good life for their members - when, not if, we can get the lunacies of hitech industrial 'civilisation' off our backs.

Bob - Kotare Village said...

I'm in the process of creating a 150 strong community. The point about going back to the bronze age is missing the point. There is no reason why each 150 community couldn't be part of a bioregional federation, and each bioregional federation be part of a wider federation to accomodate any requirements to produce appropriate industrial products. The main issue is about appropriate scale, and relationships. Currently business as usual is more likely to send us back to the bronze age or further. Bob

NowhereMan said...

RE "mud huts": I guess I have to side with Norman above. Mud huts, cob buildings, or whatever. That's pretty much how my grandparents in central Nebraska circa 1965 were living anyway. Outdoor privy with a pile of corn cobs next to it, water hydrant outside to bring water inside that had to be heated on the wood burning stove, plastic stretched over the inside windows during the winter, the whole nine yards. Not that long ago at all. When fossil-fueled industrialism fails it will fail completely for most of us.

Bogdan said...


of course i haven't read the book. must communities of "150" be survivalist?

how about a Waldorf school? the Manhattan Project? the neocons?
the R&D department in a major corporation?

V. Arnold said...

Dmitry; you killed it in this interview; absolutely killed it!
You hit every point; clearly, succinctly, and no holds barred!
Thank you so much; from a self exiled American in 2003, March 19, 2003.