Gap and Path
By John Taylor; 2010 May 17, Jamal 19, 167 BE
The Gap Behind the Gulf
Annotated Passage from Fuller's Critical Path
The Gap Behind the Gulf
I am burdened by what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. How did it happen? Back in '05 there was another instance of criminal neglect by the same oil company. It caused an explosion in Texas and the deaths of almost two hundred workers. In a just world, the board, CEO and all corporate executives responsible would have been dragged off to gaol within hours of the explosion. Instead, they were fined the equivalent of a few hours of operating profit and left to keep drilling, permit free, in ecologically sensitive waters. Their PR department did notice that the publicity from these pesky deaths and lawsuits was having a negative impact on their image. So, for a couple of years they did what remains unheard of in the oil industry, they spent seven percent of their yearly profits on renewable energy. They even changed their name from British Petroleum to "Beyond Petroleum." As soon as the green-washing had its desired effect, it was business as usual again, a mad rush to drill Mother Nature in her most sensitive areas.
Industry experts are warning that there will be major fallout from this disaster in the Gulf, and not what one might expect. By that I mean, investing in green technologies. No, that is not on the horizon, for reasons that I will discuss soon. The real reason to worry is that the Gulf fiasco may persuade the oil companies (seven of out of the ten richest corporations in the world are in oil) to reach a little deeper into their pockets and really game the system. Even in the world of the super-rich, these companies have massive, deep, deep pockets. It seems that you can corrupt Washington for mere millions. These companies have billions in unused cash reserves. They would like to use it to drill for oil, but they do not have to. They could use it to swing an election or two. In fact, they could buy an American election campaign every week, if they wanted to.
So the question that should be running through all our minds is: how did they get so all-fired rich? Why are they flush when even the most powerful governments are in hock up to their eyeballs? For an answer to that you need go no further than the hero of my youth, R. Buckminster Fuller. Fuller advocated a monetary system based on energy, since energy is, literally, what makes the world go around. He pointed out that the elites learned long ago how to be certain that a flood of money will permanently flow into their pockets. Simply separate energy from the purview of our accounting system. That is, put energy reserves into private hands, and let government handle the expenses and risks of exploiting those reserves. Here, in his typically poetic way, is how Fuller explained their plot in one of his last books, Critical Path,
"With legal planning of their lawyer-advised banking leaders, the "haves" have now succeeded in cornering all the world's monetary gold as well as the preponderance of the world's petroleum resources - along with their refineries and world-around petro-delivery systems together also with acquisitions of all the atomic power-generating plants, originally paid for by the US taxpayers - and thereafter in severing the monetary system from the wealth system while marking up the negotiable equity value of gold and petroleum tenfold." (from R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path. New York: St. Martin's Press, New York, 1981, 34-35, cited at: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5113)
To put Fuller's point a bit more plainly, government spends millions researching nuclear energy and when it finally comes time to reap a profit from the research, they give it all away; they privatize the knowledge, techniques and facilities for creating the energy. Same thing with oil exploration, government subsidizes risky exploration and private companies step in as soon as comes time to make some money. The slogan is better known now than when Fuller worked it out: "public risk for private profit." Once the money for the private energy infrastructure starts coming in, it never stops. The only way to stop paying them is to stop moving.
Richey Rich loves to hide behind his neo-liberal, capitalist ideology and his obscure accounting tricks like derivatives. He hides in plain sight. However, Fuller's point becomes clear as soon as you put your finger on the energy cycle and trace its flow from source to use, from payout to payback and blowback. This is the secret as to why oil companies would rather die than invest in green energy. Their whole business model is based on disrupting the flow of energy so that all money for all motion flows directly into their pockets. If a solar panel or wind turbine is set up on my roof or in my neighbourhood, the first thing people will want to do is to run their homes and cars directly on that. That would permanently end our addiction to Big Oil. If we get our energy straight from the sun we do not need middlemen; the cycle of energy is complete. Sun to user, from user to the good of all. After a brief payback period for the equipment energy becomes free. Unlike the moneyed elites, the sun radiates its energy forever, free for the taking.
A complete cycle where energy user and energy provider are the same thing would end one of the most important divisions upon which the divide and conquer magnate depends. There is no way that selling solar panels or wind turbines could ever compare to a money printing machine like a total energy monopoly. Green work is just that, work. It is actually earning one's money. Where is the mega-profit in that?
An Annotated Passage from Critical Path
Let Fuller have the last word on this. Because his prose is thick and thorny, I have added subtitles and annotations.
We have more than enough wealth to go around, especially as knowledge grows. Technology is magical because it allows us to get more out of less material and energy. Sadly, though, we cannot get out of the rut of thinking in terms of scarcity and division.
"The plotted curve of the rate of gain for increasing proportions of all humanity being thus swiftly advantaged by the doing more for more people with less and less matter and energy per function - all accomplished with computers, satellites, alloys, etc. - indicates that 100 percent of all humanity will be thus advantaged before 2000 A.D."
Narrow mindedness becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy that fills important pockets at the expense of all. Instead, we should look forward to a bright future unbound by restraints of prejudice.
"... all humanity is scheduled by evolution (not by any world planning body) to become physically more successful and, metaphysically more interestingly occupied than have any humans ever been in all known history -- provided that humanity does not commit ignorance-, fear-, and -panic-induced total-species suicide.
Free flow of trade and recycling of materials are blocked by borders; this acts as a stroke to the world body politic.
"If people in many of the 150 nations succeeded in re-establishing their sovereignties and all the customs-barrier, balance-of-trade shacklings, it would soon be discovered that the 150 nations represent 150 "blood clots" imperilling the free interflowing of the evolution-producing metals and products recirculation as well as of the popular technical know-how disseminating."
The poverty and desperation of the "tea party" demonstrators Fuller predicted thirty years ago.
"There are millions in the U.S.A., for instance, who on discovery that their government was about to become bankrupt and defunct would become activist "patriots," and might get out their guns and start a Nazi movement, seeking dictatorially to reinstate the `good old days.'
The nation state is obsolete, causing accelerating inequality and a stasis of crisis.
"Reason number two for fear-wrought panic is because all of the 150 nations of our planet are about to be desovereignized by evolution; that is, they are about to become operatively obsolete -about to be given up altogether."
There can be no order or leadership of humanity until we choose a single government for that purpose.
"We have today, in fact, 150 supreme admirals and only one ship - Spaceship Earth. We have the 150 admirals in their 150 staterooms each trying to run their respective stateroom as if it were a separate ship. We have the starboard side admirals' league trying to sink the port side admirals' league. If either is successful in careening the ship to drown the "enemy" side, the whole ship will be lost."
Nations are products of an ancient, devious divide-and-conquer strategy.
"The historical consequence of this aeons-ago-commenced employment of this grand strategy of 'divide to conquer and keep divided to keep conquered" accounts for the "natural" acceptance today by world peoples of the seemingly "God-given" existence of 150 sovereign nations of the world and their respective geographical division of all the world's dry land. ..."
In such a system, economic hegemony trumps democracy, by definition.
"That division of world political power into 150 sovereign nations is a consequence of thousands of years of successive and individually independent contriving of history's most powerful leaders. The number-one strategy of the successful leaders of history's successively established supreme socioeconomic control systems has always been to induce the spontaneous self-divisioning of those designed to be conquered and to keep them spontaneously self-dividing and their divisions lethally interarrayed against one another in order to keep them conquered."
Divide-and-conquer leaders benefit from a climate of hysteria caused by their own willful ignorance
"Why might they panic? All the present bureaucracies of political governments, great religious organizations, and all big businesses find that physical success for all humanity would be devastating to the perpetuation of their ongoing activities. This is because all of them are founded on the premise of ameliorating individual cases while generally exploiting on behalf of their respective political, religious, or business organizations the condition of nowhere- nearly- enough-life-support-for-all and its resultant great human suffering and discontent."
Nations predominate because it is always easier to imitate the status quo than to establish justice from the ground up.
"The longer the self-divisionings can be self-perpetuating, the more spontaneously are the divisions accepted institutionally by the successive generations as being "natural" divisions ..."
Multiple languages, races and cultures are all part of the same divide and conquer ploy.
"The prime vulnerabilities of humanity, which make it subject to spontaneous self-dividing, are those of different speech patterns, skin color, religions, social customs, class or caste systems, political preferences and all varieties of individually unique `troubles,' suffering and discontent."