James Howard Kunstler
KMO and JHK yak about the degraded state of American electoral politics, the Democrat Primary contest, potential campaign surprises, and the potential for cyber-mischief from unexpected quarters.
The first part of the conversation is to be found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/L1NxXzCVUok
KMO talks with an aspiring radio host and consciousness aficionado live in the WOOL, 91.5 FM studio.
The policy priorities:
If Liam had to have a political platform right now, his first draft would be like this:
1. Drastically reduce war/ "defense" spending and divert most of it to...
2. Set up "transition corps" of young people (and displaced soldiers) looking to contribute to a resilient civilization and providing access to basic services/resources in case markets fail during a capitalist collapse/transition:
Building Corps- building eco villages and sustainable urban, energy and transportation infrastructure to ensure communities have access to housing +food
Food Corps- growing (mostly) perennial based food systems and marine permaculture
Health Corps- providing a baseline level of preventative and "low hanging fruit" healthcare available to the public- including alternative and emerging therapies. Also producing various generic drugs/medicines where markets are keeping prices artificially high
Science/Teaching Corps- Performing basic research and providing support for local school systems
Art/Spirit Corps- Why the fuck not- building fun, beauty, self expression and community connectedness into our public priorities.
3. Energy: Investigate and disclose any classified energy/propulsion technologies and develop and deploy ASAP if they are indeed available. Otherwise, or in tandem, deploy recyclable and safe nuclear plants per boy genius Taylor Wilson's vision supplemented with solar, wind and geothermal - tax nonrenweable electric use beyond a certain threshold (luxury use)
4. Increase taxes by orders of magnitude or outright ban dangerous/unsustainable products like pesticides, and herbicides while providing limited exceptions for reasonable transitional uses
5. Democracy Revision: Publicly fund elections, set congressional term limits and MODERNIZE and protect political institutions from power concentration to reflect democratic will (no electoral college, senate seats are population linked, ranked choice voting, ballot initiatives, public input via social internet technologies, restructured supreme court etc)
6. Cancel MANY debts, (at least the interest portion) -at least for federal debts. Interest is a bank's profit from pulling money from thin air. They don't even risk their own money. Depriving them this profit is not an ethical dilemma for me, yet freeing people to do not be forced to earn income to pay taxes in order to pay down federal debt is a clear benefit to me.
7. Tax wealth, not just income. The power gap we have now is not closable by taxing the wealthy's income alone, they hide that too well and, regardless, income represents a fraction of their real power, we must actually tax the wealth they've accumulated.
8. Incentivize/support workers cooperatives, eco villages and community organization. Assume that most solutions will emerge from these organizations and set up conditions for them to thrive and cross pollenate their innovations and insights
9. Education: Find a new way to fund education which is not property taxes as to level the playing field of education so it doesn't disproportionately benefit the children living in wealthy districts. Set up education to focus on individual's interests instead of set curricula, (maybe even make 4th grade and up more like a college, where kids pick courses, teachers and material)- maybe ALSO make meditation as fundamental a skill as Reading, Riting and Rithmetic. Develop "credentialing service" able to compete with colleges to attest that people have gained subject matter proficiency in respective skills.- enabling self learning to be recognized as equally valued to the expensive formal education alternative.
10. Invest in cleaning oceans, greening deserts, restoring habitats, and repairing eco systems
11. Immigration: Focus on the root cause by sending skilled people and resources to developing nations to HELP build democratic and regenerative infrastructure THERE so they are not compelled flee their homes. Enforce borders. Encourage open seasonal migration. Recognize that unregulated flows of people are not sustainable and destabilizing, therefore compassionate humane refugee camps are better than cages UNTIL the root causes are addressed. Train refugees with the skills needed to join our efforts to build better infrastructure in their homelands
12. International Affairs- prioritize nuclear disarmament, demilitarization, and sharing of advanced energy insights. Prioritize educating girls and providing basic needs (stemming overpopulation pressures) Ban weapons in space. Develop international system of protecting and regenerating remaining ocean resources. Upgrade United Nations to develop representative and democratic international collaborative bodies to further cooperation
13. Criminal Justice: Decriminalize/encourage responsible use of most drugs. Release drug offenders. Reorient corrections to reparations/reform and remove profit motive from prison. Fund public defenders more on par with prosecutors. Create community review boards of police departments, ensure police misconduct is held accountable. Encourage more diverse/representative/de-escalating police departments
14. Regulate internet giants like public utilities. Remove censorship algorithims and privacy invasions
15. Drastically reduce/reform congress people’s pension plans. $170k/ year for life for two years of work is ridiculous
Liam asks: Would you vote for this? What would you add/take away? My premise is that I don't have a complete vision of what a more regenerative and wise civilization would look like. I assume I/we can't even see or articulate that vision until we move more intentionally in the less work/ more free time, less power differential/more democracy direction I am pointing toward here. The vision will emerge if we move to "higher ground". Does my platform look like higher ground to you?
#postcapitalism #transition #interbeing #Automationiscoming#Preventecologicalcollapse #amorebeautifulworld
KMO welcomes Ben Burgis, author of Give Them An Argument: Logic for the Left to the C-Realm to talk about why so many people on the left are averse to using logic and rational argument and default to shaming and moral denunciation instead. Ben also explains why the logic bros on the right may not have all that firm a grasp on what makes a compelling argument, even if they have memorized the names of lots of informal fallacies.
KMO talks with Bill Ryerson of Population Media Center about that organization's decades-long mission to help people in developing countries overcome maladaptive cultural narratives and live more effective lives.
David Blacker returns to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about the themes in his new book, What's Left of the World: Education, Identity and the Post-Work Political Imagination. KMO has been reading Andrew Yang's book, and David has also read it and followed Yang's candidacy, so the discussion circles the topic of Universal Basic Income for a good portion of the conversation.