Not Just Peak Oil. Peak Everything.
Can the Megamchine stop? That was the question David Ehrenfeld put in a notable essay a few years ago in Tikkun Magazine entitled “The Coming Collapse of the Age of Technology“. I’ve referred to it a few times in The Chrysalis.
Writing in today’s Guardian, the paper’s economics editor Larry Elliott foresees a similar scenario unfolding — Peak Everything. And particularly peak anger.
Those of you who have studied Gebser, and know how he relates the issues anger, Angst, and his “maelstrom of blind anxiety” to the meaning of angle, and its significance of “narrowing” and the seeming contraction of all horizons, (but which is also the nature of birthing), will probably recognise the significance in that. It was also related to that “Age of Diminishing Expectations” (at least, for most) that Christopher Lasch saw as problematic in the context of “the culture of narcissism“.
“Age of Diminishing Expectations” — in most cases, deliberately legislated and enforced as “austerity” policy — is just another way of saying low to no growth. As Elliott points out, much of whatever economic growth that has occurred since the market meltdown of 2008 has been debt fueled. Serious debt.
“Peak anger” brings to the fore Gebser’s discussion in his Ever-Present Origin of the significance of “the wrath of Achilles”, a wrath that was irrational and berserk (most recently rendered again in the movie Troy). Although mad and destructive, in Gebser’s interpretation that wrath attended a significant restructuring of human consciousness.
I doubt that Mr. Elliott knows Gebser’s work, and so may not quake in his boots at the very thought of the unconstrained, transgressive, destructive, and murderous potency of “peak anger”. If the “machine stops”, we might breath a sigh of relief. Others will not respond with relief but with rage and fury, like the demon serpent “Leviathan” that Blake encountered in one of his “memorable fancies” recorded in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
Worth reading that “memorable fancy” in fact…. just to inoculate yourself against “peak anger”.