Friday, October 13, 2006

The evaporation of civilization

Has anyone read this essay by Hugo Salinas Price, posted at If I'm reading it correctly, "The Evaporation of Civilization" seems to argue that cheap energy is accelerating the decline of our civilization. Here's an excerpt:

Oil energy has overwhelmed almost all institutions in the world. This is a terrifying fact, for a society without institutions is the definition of a barbaric society. A world without enduring institutions which limit and order human life is a barbaric world. The last remaining institution is the one that characterizes barbarism: the Army. That is what we are approaching today.

Price feels that an abundant energy source has hastened the decline of our social institutions, helping to create a world in which we're always running faster just to keep in place. This stage of our human existence is also marked by the use of false "money" and an overwhelming regard for science of measurement in place of philosophy.

I'm not sure if all his points can be substantiated (I'll have to look up some of those bits about "free energy" and the like), but there is an interesting perspective at work here. Mr. Salinas Price has managed to weave these issues into a big picture view of the problems we face today. How does his view strike you?