Monday, July 21, 2008

"...Most of us spend our lives as prey, economically and psychologically"

Those of you who read my profile know that I have another blog, TH in SoC, where I discuss the unhealthy dynamics of churches classified as abusive, as well as how I believe those unhealthy dynamics have infected modern American evangelicalism. Having gone through an abusive church experience and having had my eyes opened to the true nature of that experience, I believe that I have become better equipped to recognize the dynamics of power abuse in secular settings as well, including the present American political scene. This has contributed to my understanding of the true nature of our present crisis and enslavement to a political/economic system that is breaking, as I have come to recognize the games played by those who seek power in order to make their fellow humans a prey. (One example: I have now come to the conclusion that President Bush is a clinical narcissist, as are some of those who ran in the Presidential primaries this year.)

As I was doing research for my last post on TH in SoC, I was thus intrigued by a blog I discovered, Gale Warnings ( The author of this blog discusses issues of abuse of power from the perspective of the interplay between victim and narcissistic abuser - often a one-on-one interplay, which is how abuse is often perpetrated and experienced between those who misuse their authority and their victims. But her focus also extends to the general societal problem of how to live well without becoming a victim, as stated in her "About Me" statement:

"I'm a former idealist turned 'defensive pessimist' who has concluded, after living on two coasts, two continents, and an island, that most of us spend our lives as prey, economically and psychologically. Awareness is the key to understanding this; but once we understand it, we may transcend it, choosing, when we can, to be neither prey nor predator."

This is a bold and noble goal - to choose not to become the prey of others ("You were bought with a price. Don’t become bondservants of men." - 1 Corinthians 7:23); and to choose not to become a predator, wherein lies damnation. How to live as neither predator nor prey is a puzzle to which the righteous will have to give increasing attention in the coming days, as Peak Oil and other resource constraints become more severe, as our present system begins to break down more rapidly, and as the rich masters of the present system resort to more desperate measures to keep their system running and to force the rest of us into continued reliance on that system.

I'd like to recommend Gale Warnings for those looking for another perspective on the times we are now facing, and I hope the author will be able to provide needed insights regarding some of the issues of life on the downside of Hubbert's Peak.

I'd like to say just a word about the focus of my blog, The Well Run Dry. While I sometimes venture into technical discsussions about the geological or production aspects of peak oil, I am not an expert. I won't pretend to dispense gems of wisdom along that line, although if something occurs to me, I will write about it. Nor will I delve deeply into grand analyses of our society's unpreparedness for the coming times or steps that could be taken to prepare. I believe that the time for grand societal initiatives is past, and that we have wasted an opportunity. The focus of my writing will be on individual preparation.

And regarding individual preparation, I won't be writing about farming a few acres of land miles away from other people, since I live in a city. Rather, I will be talking about the small steps I am taking to build a resilient community consisting of a few blocks - or one street - of well-connected neighbors. Much of what I talk about won't be glamorous, but very mundane. Yet I will try to show its relevance to preparing for a post-peak world. I'll tell you what works - and I'll tell you what flops grandly.

I'll also tell you about the attempts by the rich to turn us "little people" into prey as I find relevant news items. This is important, because preparing for a post-peak world consists of building a safety net of alternative systems to replace the system that is breaking. This must be done at an individual level. But there are powerful individuals teaming up with governments to hinder the building of alternative systems. It is necessary therefore to be ever vigilant.

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