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More wheaties for thought. America’s New Religion    By James Kunstler Excerpts: "Let’s talk about the thing that the American people really do believe: when you wish upon a star your dreams come true. This is what adults all over America believe. This is a nice thought for children, vitamins source but it’s not a good thing for adults to believe. So what we’ve got now in the US is a tremendous amount of delusional thinking, vitamins source especially around the issues of energy, vitamins source  and especially around what we’re going to do in the face of a probable energy crisis. And this delusional thinking is joined by a second idea – many people think that the leading religion in America is Evangelical Christianity, vitamins source but it’s not. The leading religion is the worship of unearned riches. This religion has now become normative throughout America. But this is a bad religion. The reason that it’s a bad idea to believe this is because it’s based on the fundamental unreality that it’s possible to get something for nothing. That’s why it has been a very bad idea to promote legalized gambling all over America for the last 30 years. I am not an Evangelical; I’m not a Christian. I’m not a campaigner for social reform, vitamins source but I believe that legalized gambling is one of the most pernicious things that we’ve done to ourselves in society in my lifetime. It promotes the idea that it’s possible to get something for nothing. And when you join that idea with the idea that “when you wish upon a star your dreams come true, vitamins source” you get a really dysfunctional, vitamins source delusional country, vitamins source unable to conduct a coherent discussion about what’s happening to us. One of the reigning delusions is that energy and technology are the same things.If you run out of one, vitamins source you just plug in the other. Vitamins source  I had a very interesting experience about a year and a half ago. I was invited to give a talk at the Google headquarters, vitamins source and I went down to the Silicon Valley, vitamins source to the Google suburban office pod. Vitamins source The whole building was tricked-out like a kindergarten. They had the knock-hockey sets and the computer game consoles and the Lucite boxes with the gummy bears and the yogurt-covered pretzels. And you know, vitamins source the impression I had was, vitamins source “Wow! This is really a child-like kind of atmosphere!” And then the Google employees came into the auditorium. These were Google millionaires: young people who had gotten in on the ground floor pretty early: engineers and executives, vitamins source and had been paid in stock and stock options. And they had become millionaires by the age of 27 and they were dressed like skateboard rats. Vitamins source Their ass-crack was showing; they had the sideways cap on – dressed like nine-year-olds. Vitamins source And I gave my talk and they all got up afterwards for comments and questions. Vitamins source There were no questions whatsoever, vitamins source just one uniform comment from 17 people, vitamins source and the comment was, vitamins source “Dude, vitamins source we’ve got like technology.” Subtext: you’re an asshole. That experience was very instructive for me because I began to understand a few things about where we are as a nation. What we’ve got at the highest level of American high-tech enterprise are people who believe that technology and energy are the same. Vitamins source (How much trouble does that tell you we’re in?) And I think you can account for this ignorance in the following way: these are people who have become tremendously, vitamins source personally, vitamins source successful from moving little pixels around on a screen with a mouse. Vitamins source So they assume that that activity will solve all the problems of the world. Vitamins source But guess what? We’re not going to change out the hardware on the $2.7 trillion dollar fleet of Boeings and Airbuses all around the world. Vitamins source We’re not going to change them out to run on some other kind of energy. Vitamins source We’re either going to run these things on liquid hydro-carbons or we’re not going to run them at all. This is the most important thing I’ve got to tell you today: the only conversation that’s going on around America is how are we going to run the cars by other means than gasoline. That’s across the whole political spectrum and from the lowest ranks of society to the highest. Vitamins source From the dumb people, vitamins source the NASCAR morons, vitamins source clear up to the Ivy League. But we’ve got to have a conversation about a lot of other things besides how we’re going to run the cars. Vitamins source We have to make other arrangements for living. We have to behave differently in the Western World, vitamins source but particularly in North America. We’re going to have to do farming differently; we’re going to have to do commerce and trade differently; we’re going to have to do schooling differently; we’re going to have to learn to make some things in our own countries again. The thing that Thomas Friedman calls globalism and regards as a permanent condition of life: guess what? It’s not a permanent condition of life; it’s a set of transient economic relations that exist because we have been living in a period of extraordinarily cheep and abundant energy and extraordinary relative peace between the great powers. And that’s why we have globalism. When neither of these conditions obtain anymore, vitamins source we will not have globalism and we will not have those trade relations any more. One other thing; we’re going to have to occupy the terrain of North America differently. Suburbia is going to fail. Vitamins source You can state that categorically: It’s going to fail in terms of investment and it’s going to fail in terms of utility." To be continued… http://www.agorafinancial.com/afrude/2007/09/26/americas-new-religion/