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A Reading from The Death Cult

Humanity faces a bottleneck of crises which threaten the collapse of industrial civilisation.  Of these, most people are only aware of climate change, which most believe can be solved via electrification and a range of simple changes to our lifestyles. But climate change is just one of myriad crises, including: antibiotic resistance, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution, cyber-attacks/AI, energy shortages, famine, financial crises, governance failure, infrastructure failure, microplastic contamination, migration waves, natural disasters, nutrient run-off, ocean acidification, resource depletion, soil depletion, war, water shortages, weapons of mass destruction, to name but a few.

Any one of these crises threatens to undermine our complex industrial civilisation. But taken together, they constitute an existential threat to humanity as a whole. And yet, faced with this dire predicament, no “great leader” has come to the fore. Nor have “we the people” rallied to action. Instead, our self-identifying leaders seem impotent, while the population at large is passive. Why should this be?

In one word – Technocracy. In The Death Cult: Technocratic failure at the end of the industrial age, Tim Watkins explains the origins of our ruling technocracy, and how it became a “class for itself” – no longer interested in the little people whose lives it desires to take ever more control over, and is, indeed, even hostile to planet Earth.

Watkins outlines the graft and corruption at the heart of technocratic rule, together with the abject failure of various protest movements even to slow the pace of technocratic misrule.  Not least because our own protest has been co-opted by the technocracy via so-called “stakeholder capitalism.”

Watkins demonstrates that the technocratic vision of a digital future – variously known as “the fourth industrial revolution,” “the green new deal,” and “the great reset,” – lacks any grounding in reality and has been proven to be impossible given the material resources available to us on planet Earth. In the pursuit of its impossible techno-utopia, not only is the technocracy setting itself up to fail, but in the process it will inflict untold hardship on those it deigns to rule. And the worst of it is that by the time failure becomes obvious – most likely when the technocracy itself experiences some of the hardship it is exposing on others – it will be too late to prevent all of those other crises from overwhelming us.

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