Children are not allowed to sleep in the house after they are “put out’, which is at three years old, four at the latest. Needless to say, this does not endear children to their parents. Rather, it makes them quite happy to later see their aged parents starve to death. — Dmitry Orlov, writing about an African tribe known as the Ik whose culture has completely collapsed.
The future can be nothing but a mirror of the past. What you put into it is what you get out of it. The pessimistic professor Guy McPherson reminds us that the environmental impacts we are feeling now are but the results of the industrial pollution of the 1970s. So if we live that long, we can look forward to 50 more years of garbage in the lungs of our planet to affect us more significantly in the coming years. If you think that’s going to be like getting hit by a speeding freight train, you’d be correct. Needless to say, it becomes difficult to contemplate scientific projections that will erase us all from the foreseeable future.
But how much can we lose before we can no longer endure? And will that survival be something we can continue to call human?
Even as the Siberian tundra now erupts in an epidemic of methane-fueled forest fires, you look ahead and the forecast is disaster. Panicked, you turn to the past and see nothing but the rubble of an endless series of calculated catastrophes and misunderstandings that have led to this unfolding apocalypse about to explode upon us.
Which way to turn? It’s as bad looking backward as it is looking forward, as the corruption of the past creates a hopeless future.
Look back on the loves we have squandered, the people we have betrayed, the children we have abused, the forests we have ruined, the oceans we have poisoned, the species we have extincted. And the millions of people we have killed for reasons that were lies. This is a past we can run from. But there’s no running from the future. It’s about to hit us head on.
Turn toward the future and witness the silence, see the blindness, hear the world all tied up in lies by which people can absolutely not find themselves. Or any solutions to any of their problems.
Then swallow this one. We killed the world on our watch.
Don’t think I’m trying to scare you. These are only details. If you’re not scared, you’re stupid.
Mind-controlled schools dumbing down anorexic sociopaths, self-absorbed professors insisting their political analyses are the most important issues, righteous preachers diddling porn stars on the side, homo actors pretending to be our leaders gratuitously comforting the grieving parents of children murdered in a false flag government exercise, and conceited children ridiculing their parents for naively prioritizing justice over power.
Nowhere to turn, forwards or backwards. Or even standing still.
The future looks like flames, toxic garbage, mindless people eating shit, dying in landfills, not trusting anyone, savaging each other. The past feels like tragedy, missed opportunities, betrayed friendships, missed opportunities, lost loves, abandoned children.
That thing you said you loved? You killed it. You said you didn’t mean to. But it’s dying right before your eyes.
A history that likely will never be written would show that the entire world was conquered and ruined by button pushers and number crunchers who disconnected grandmothers from the family system.
Dmitry Orlov, in his book “The Five Stages of Collapse, Survivors’ Toolkit,” calls the institution of the grandmother “an evolved human adaptation and an integral part of the human reproductive strategy.”
It turns out that only one species experiences menopause, and that would be humans. What could possibly be the reason for nature to limit a human female’s reproductive ability? Most other species ovulate all their lives. This reason could be this.
Children who are brought up with the help of their grandmothers have better outcomes. “This allows us to say with some confidence,” Orlov writes, “that the normal pattern in human culture is an extended family encompassing at least three generations.”
Today we farm out our children to caretakers, paying strangers to bring up our children who will become strangers. All the while our grandmothers languish in sterile nursing homes, treated like insects to be put out of sight by their too-busy children, guaranteeing, among other things, loneliness in old age for all the generations.
Humans tend to develop large-scale, complex societies, which then all fail, Orlov writes. A failed society fails to maintain a psychological healthy sense of belonging to a greater whole . . . When the dominant culture fails, the human mind regresses to a pre-verbal state, where it is ruled by innate, subconscious impulses that are common to higher social animals.
When it comes to aggressive young males, the sense of disconnection produces in them a heightened sense of insecurity and anxiety, which directly affects the sympathetic nervous system. This may cause an animal to behave more aggressively, or, in the case of the human animals, to gather rocks and to find and sharpen sticks, or, technology and finances allowing, to purchase semiautomatic weapons and lots of ammunition. . . .
The end result is the spontaneous development of a warrior mentality — a cultural universal marked by a desire to prove oneself in battle, contempt for death and a tendency toward what Emile Durkheim called “altruistic suicide”.
Meaning is created out of meaninglessness through heroic acts of violence performed in keeping with a code of honor.
The gun cult in the U.S. is a strong precursor to this development.
So is the subconscious urge to cling to a strong lord-like father figure, and attack those who won’t follow the chosen divine leader.
There is a third subconscious impulse, a celebrity cult culminating in the sordid hope that Botoxed bimbos will give birth to a new messiah.
The inter-generational contract, where parents and grandparents bring up children who then take care of them in old age, and which is actually an evolved trait of the human species, has been largely broken.
Studies show that children who are brought up with the help of their grandmothers have better outcomes, live better lives. Yet, this is precisely the bond that has been broken by modern technological society.
What are we going to be like after this social collapse (assuming anyone is left to be anything) that now so obviously menaces our future?
When hope is gone but life persists
Examining what happened to an insignificant African tribe known as the Ik gives us a not-so-pretty clue. Clustered on the border of Kenya and Uganda, without hope and without love, they cling to life in a most pathetic way.
Their language is unrelated to their neighbors, although it is oddly related to classical Middle Kingdom Egyptian. Their skin is red, not black like their neighbors.
Once a carefree band of hunter gatherers, they are a post collapse society par excellence.
After Ugandan independence in 1958, their traditional hunting grounds were designated a national park and the Ik were banished, forced to become farmers on their beloved mountain ridge. There they were stricken by intermittent famine, making their farming both frustrating and useless. Their standard greeting in their native tongue became “Bring me food”.
For hunter gatherers, as soon as freedom of movement is taken away, family ceases to exist. The Ik came to be known as people who lived only for themselves, not even as a people, but only as individuals.
So far have they sunk into hopeless negativity that their only pleasure has progressed from joy at someone else’s misfortune to a truly perverse joy at one’s own misfortune, resulting in a gruesome hilarity with no emotion, a true madness of the spirit.
Their guiding philosophy is “a good man is one who has a full stomach.”
Everyone sits scanning the countryside for any sign of death, which might promise food: a vulture dropping down and narrowing its circles, or the smoke of a clandestine cooking fire after a successful poaching expedition. At the first sign of death, some number of people jump up and race off downhill in search of food.
Everyone eats alone to avoid having to share (because food is so scarce).
Children live on half eaten dates that the baboons have dropped and the old, when they lose their mobility, slowly starve.
Ik villages last only three or four years before becoming surrounded by a ring of human feces and infested with vermin throughout.
Children are not allowed to sleep in the house after they are “put out’, which is at three years old, four at the latest. Needless to say, this does not endear children to their parents. Rather, it makes them quite happy to later see their aged parents starve to death.
Children then join bands, starting out as the weakest member and finishing as the strongest, before they are then ejected by the rest of the group.
All girls became prostitutes. Marriage is by force. Divorced girls returned to their families but are forced to sleep outside.
There is no room in their lives for such luxuries as family and sentiment and love. So close to the verge of starvation, such luxuries could mean death, and is it not a singularly foolish luxury, Orlov presupposes, to die for someone already dead, or weak or old?
The Ik force us to question what it means to be human, and the answer they offer is one that few of us like to hear: the being human is a luxury, not a necessity.
But it is worse yet: when we cease to be humans, we do not become animals.
The last Ik who was still human preferred to be locked up in a Ugandan jail cell rather then be with her own people, and upon release, immediately attacked someone else so she would be put back in jail.
What kind of trap will the failure of our culture inflict upon us?
The very young and the very old share one great belief in common, a belief in continuity, and hope that is a hope for the past just as it is a hope for the future.
But now the elderly are marginalized outside the focal point of economic relevance, and children are abandoned to the state’s heartless educational system. As disingenuous functionaries usurp authority from mothers and fathers, the family lies shattered by mandated insane babble ordered by authorities who have robotic conformity foremost in mind.
With the Ik, the cycle has been broken. Is love essential to life? The Ik have proved that it is not.
We can survive cultural collapse, and the Ik show us we can survive, at least for a time, without love and without family, which Orlov believes would be a fate much worse than extinction.
Do you see any indication that this is not our future? If you see a reason this will not happen, please tell me what it is.
Written by John Kaminski, May 2014