Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Reply

I don't call it "post-carbon" because all life is carbon based.

I call it post peak-oil and post fossil fuel. The lifestyles of the "Western" world is so melded to the use of fossil fuels for all aspects of luxury and survival and irrational interaction and it has arisen in the last three hundred years as an integral part of the Capitalist system which as an extension of Feudal and Imperialist Military hegemony has raped and squandered the North American continent and others in its colonialist pursuits.

I thought that the Capitalist system was reformable, but now I see what a virulent madness it is... Good planets are hard to find and we are almost through with this one. I am riding out my days in the belly of the Capitalist Imperialist beast. I still think an equity union is a superior idea for economic relations, but it will not be of the real world.

I look to the Moslem world for leadership and would recommend that they resist the decadent temptations of Western life. The US Imperialist goal of World Manifest Destiny has been a hard and violent ride. It is now almost over. The meaning of almost is not clear. 5 years? 10 years? 100 years? and there will most likely be no clear line of demarcation defining the end. They will go on with their inanity in an oblivious crusade of the ultimate paradox between evil and righteousness until there is no fuel to fire the ignitions for their chariots of luxury, for their fleets and chariots and thunderbirds and drones of war.

Perhaps the Evilest Empire of All Time, the USA, is very near defeat. Perhaps not. However long it takes to strangle the beast, I know that all that will be left is a squandered planet.

It is a shame, because with rational, equitable, humane, altruistic, education and action the overshoot of population and the scarcity of resource availability could conceivably be dealt with. Instead we are running full speed into the worst period of suffering that Man has and will ever face.

If I weren't so stir crazy from the deafening silence of an irrational people then I would be fretting about how my life will play out in the collapse.

I've tried to make positive contributions all my life, I will continue to try given any chance.

In Peace, Friendwalkin', Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin

Thursday, January 21, 2010


By "The Coordinator Class", I'm guessing that you mean the Management and Staff Workers of the Capitalist System that may or may not have ownership holdings in Capitalist Enterprises.

To whatever extent their ownership holdings are tied up in their expected income or their "good consumer" participation in the Capitalist economy have placed them at odds with an imagined Participatory Economy based on inclusion, equity, voluntary simplicity, wellness, peace, and sustainability there must be a vehicle of transition for these relatively skilled potential members of the working class.

A radical overhaul of the current Capitalist equity trading, equity return, credit system to one of sharing equity (an Equity Union) for purposes of ecological economic redevelopment/community betterment organizaions (CBOs) would be a possible transition vehicle in that Institutional Investors of all sorts could become altruistic and self-help contributors and participants in community/worker hybrid cooperatives forming inter-community alliances with the purpose of eventually transforming to an all inclusive cooperating system of sustainable, equilibrious, participatory economy, worker-owned and managed, entities.

Given that it is at best a longshot, and highly utopian, a grave concern is the ridiculously inflated cost of real and capital assets, and the collective holding of liabilities within the Capitalist system, that make it impossible for workers to employ capital in the pursuit of a right livelihood.

We need the vision of long range planning in a post-peak resource constrained world and we need to maximze participation among ALL PEOPLE, or at least among the current and past workers of the Capitalist System, including the "Coordinator Class".

The Ownership Class may fall into our safety-net system and the transition for them will seem unbearable and the support onerous to what is now a shell of productive capacity.

In Peace, Friendwalkin', Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin
Eugene, OR, USA

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Swan Song?

I am a 57 year old Environmental Studies/Socialist Economist with a MBA who works full time in the reimagining of a paradigm of ecological economic redevelopment and seeks to organize people around the mission of a world unity and cooperation effort to altruistically and fully and peacefully meet the needs of people based on the fundamental principles of inclusion, equity, humanity, environmental/public health and wellness, sufficiency, towards relocalization, peace, and sustainability.

I have just said nothing new, only stated it differently.

I do not kid myself, we are so small as to be invisible - except among ourselves, We are up against over 400 years of the Capitalist Institutional Leviathan and we are beset with an exploding population running dry of productive faciltative resources that we are accustomed to.

At risk of understatement, we are working against huge odds.

Yet those of us who believe that the work is worthwhile must come together and work together to make the noble attempt(s).

Will you join with me?

Let's discuss.

In Peace, Friendwalkin', Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Response to AFL-CIO

Washington politicos lack not only courage, but along with Labor “Leaders”, lack historical perspective.

We are in the decline phase of the Capitalist system. It is not cyclical phenomonon, it is dying, almost dead. So it is also that we have long passed, overshot, the limits of growth on a finite planet with finite resources.

If we have any hope to adjust, we must recognize these realities and overthrow the paper shackles of the puppets in DC. Labor leaders may be able to fill the void if they would adopt the radical perspective that challenges every given of the Divine Right of Kings/Divine Right of Corporations, Investment Banks, Banks, Bourgeoise Landlords and all the lackey politicians and media that follow in cue.

We need something completely different. A Peoples Equity Union dedicated to community betterment, meeting the needs of people in an inclusive, affordable, humane, equitable, artisan, sustainable, and peaceful manner.

We need a fundamental overhaul and reorganization of the economic system.

But without leadership, the idiots will get up tomorrow and do something all too similar to what they did today. Is it approaching nothing?

Get real, Trumka. Face the Dead Air, and get Radical, like REAL LABOR LEADERS OF THE PAST. It is our only hope.

In Peace, Friendwalkin’, Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin
Eugene, OR
Peoples’ Equity Union

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Epistle to Iver / US Transition


Do they drive all over creation, willy-nilly, and seemingly without purpose in Maine?

It is insane, the way that they drive around Oregon. Even worse than it was in Massachusetts. Don't they understand that there is a real opportunity cost for that fuel? If it is used for personal automobile use then there is that much less for home heating, cooking, and electricity generation. If they exhaust it today, it is gone forever. It WILL NOT be available tomorrow.

Did you know that in the USA, personal transportation accounts for 14 MILLION BARRELS A DAY of oil usage?

A couple of years ago, a friend in my apartment building went back to Minnesota to visit. He said it was absolutely insane how the people there drove foolishly, when in Minnesota, of all places, they should be sensitive to the opportunity cost relative to the cold. Maine is not so urban, and probably hasn't grown as much in the last century, but I'm betting that the development in the last 80 to 100 years has been mindless residential and associated strip malls.

What are the conditions of your old town and village centers? If made obsolete by Wal-Marts and other strip development, is it realistic to economically bring them back? Think about forming an equity union in the residential neighborhoods surrounding the old centers and pooling your money/resources to make your communities walkable again, reallocating goods and services to town and village centers so that people can get what they need within walking distance of their homes.

Economy of scale is important, so you will want to look to combining inter-community efforts on a regional scale (Define your regions as smallest identifiable and workable locale and work your way out, probably along watersheds).

If Teddy Roosevelt had listened to Benton MacKaye (The New Exploration:1928), we would be in so much a better predicament, but Benton's genius was marginalized in his day and the prophecy, like other unrecognized voices of genius in the wilderness (among the unthinking, ignorant normalcy) would be remembered as ultra-Biblical, if there will be anyone left to remember or recall (at least on this continent)

It's amazing to think of that when oil has only been known as a common resource for about 150 years and the automobile about 100 years. Think of what a fluke that is in human history. Why can't our leaders put it into perspective for the people of this country and implore us to recognize that the terrible overshoot in this resource use combined with population pressures calls for extraordinary short term and long term adjustments?

It seems so relatively simple to me, why don't others/leaders comprehend it and take and commit to action?

Talk about a foolhardy people and boomtowns, have you ever seen pictures of the huge Edmonton, Alberta skyline? And the graphic said -17 degrees. Oil's well that ends? Well?

Business as usual is genocide, ecocide, and suicide.

If you think that sprawl is a problem back east, you should see it here in Oregon (and other "points" West). That's all they know now.

I hope that I have helped you in your efforts to bring a true, workable transition to Skowhegan and sister communities. It feels so much better to post positive ideas than to vent the terrible frustrations of doom (no matter how realistic).

Please let me know if there is any way that I can help.

Enjoyed looking at the farm websites that you posted and watching your maple syrup video. Like organic gardening and food preservation, I think that many in the Transition Movement (especially the young) romanticize and oversimplify the age old knowledge and wisdom that is required, and hopefully for the folks in rural areas (who may have a chance except for the economic dominance/stranglehold of the metropolitan regions and the mass chaos and barbarism that will accompany the latters' failures) not lost.

Got a "charge" out of your electric range. I suppose Central Maine Power gets a substantial amount of its electricity from Wiscasset (a nuclear power plant on the Maine Coast).


In Peace, Friendwalkin', Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Blues

I find myself as a Radical with more of what you describe as the Conservative position, the very worst within me wishing for the precipitous decline of the "Evilest Empire" the Genocidal Aristocracy, their Bourgeoise Underlords, and the great majority of ignorant sheeple who eat the shit that they are fed.

Die-off was the mantra, and my Friend, Karl Davies, who championed the leader of such prognostication, Jay Hanson, did just that, died-off (colon cancer). Death is never pretty, but I am of the considered opinion that my Uncle Bill, who was murdered in New Hampshire (5 shotgun blasts), got out of this life relatively rather easily.

Sunny seems to bask in the impending doom and at my lowest moments I am full of hate for the evil and ignorance that has engulfed us, but at the same time, I worry about the hardship and suffering that will be MY path to nothingness. It's not like, they will all perish, leaving us, a chosen few, to inherit a eutopia (i.e. good place).

No, it will somewhere between a crash leaving us nothing for sustenance and a long agonizing twisting envisioning then eventually realizing the decline and failure of a false wealth built and operated on speculation, allegiance, rote, and oppression.

People on the North American continent will starve and freeze to death. Here in Driveland, Oregon they will cruise until they can cruise no more and as the weather is relatively mild, more will starve than freeze. But, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, New York, hinterlands, etc? I don't believe the non-reports in the Capitalist Commercial Media that it is not already happening, as save for us Pacific Breezers, the entire continent plunged to near zero and below zero temperatures. Hardy folk, some or most, or at least descended (population explosion) from hardy folks, but really without a clue.

I asked a Friend in ChiKaKu how he heated their place. Natural gas, he responded. Where does that natural gas come from? People's Gas. Where does People's Gas get their gas? Silence. Dead Silence.

August 1 will probably be the magic day when all in the Frigid North (They are reporting many freezing deaths in Europe - Russia anounced a month or so ago that they would NOT supply their precious oil and gas to the European idiots so concerned with Global WARMING), when all the frigid North decides that their currency will be best used as kindling and their urban/suburban slums best used for feeding the woodstoves to the tiny Transition Chosen, given the assumption that there will be gasoline to truck the dissassembled and squatterized ruins to their rural utopian hobbit nests

There may not be fuel for heat, but there will aways be gasoline for the rugged individualists in their SUVs.

Seriously though, I'm wishing you all the best and may we live in denial for the rest of our lives and may our blind faith be rewarded, for after all, it's not MY fault and I've tried to wake people up to the realities of finite resources but they prefer to drive out their own American Dream until it becomes the worst nightnare EVER!!!

Couldn't help but hear the merciless, insane, irrational drone of the Leviathan Highway beast as I walked back from picking up some produce from a neighborhood store. I wonder, how long 'til that drone is silenced and how will it all shake out? What will be the changes in my life?


Mike Morin

Perspective on 01/11/10

Looked up Carmichael in my Atlas. Suburb to the East of Sacramento?

I've been to Sacramento, it is a very physically attractive city, especially the old town/Lavender District.

IF ONE CAN AFFORD IT, California, with all its rich agricultural resources and clement weather, is probably the best place on earth.

My ideas center around the post-peak oil and other resources reality. It will be necessary to rebuild or renovate all neighborhoods with village centers, and to reallocate resources directly, to make necessities available within walking distance for almost all, thereby reducing personal automotive vehicle use by 80% in the next 20 to 40 years.

I envision the complete overhaul of the economy to a "plan and implement" ecological economic redevelopment One, where community/worker hybrid cooperatives will be the mechanism of equity sharing and evolution to such relocalization.

The huge obstacle that we face all over the country and Western world is the outrageous inflation in the price of real and capital assets. Unless we can find some way to collectively write off or down the "market values", we will face an increasingly paralyzed linear trajectory to resource and economic oblivion and ruin. The situation will continue to crumble and collapse and only those with total equity in their economic holdings will be able to carry out even the most primitive commerce.

I am not optimistic as there is an extremely overwhelming (understatement) gap between the conceptual and the realization.

We need desperately, to be organizing around unifying mission and principles, but the people seem oblivious and locked into the deadly momentum of the fluke automobile culture that is only about 100 years old (compare that to all of human history).

"Car" Michael, how ironic.

In Peace, Friendwalkin', Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

"Carless" Michael
(Mike Morin)
Eugene, OR

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Unless they can mechanize every aspect of the food production process, which of course they can't, they will eventually run out of willing and able workers to do their inhumane production work. It will wither away, the effects on pricing will be just the beginning. There will be no food.

It is not surprising that the attempting to profit-maximize corporate slavers and their servile educational and technological grunts have a total disdain for humanity in any aspect of their agriBUSINESS. They probably operate as loss leaders in highly diversified mega-corporations that falsify their records to show profits that don't and increasingly can't exist, eventually in all sectors of their fictitious entities.

The plight of farmers that you describe does not surprise me. As you ride the bus through Iowa, without exaggeration, one of every three farmsteads is abandoned and that does not count the ones that have been torn down.

Agriculture has always been a form of slavery and like I said, the enslavers will push it to the point of impossibility and we will all starve, unless we freeze first.

Ah, life in the gluttonous Pink Car Nation...

In Peace, Friendwalkin', Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin

Capitalism 3.0

Just finished reading Capitalism 3.0 : A guide to Reclaiming the Commons by Peter Barnes.

Have you read it?
It's well worth the read.

My impression is that Peter is a Socialist in Sheep's Clothing. He gives excellent historical perspective, and reading between the lines - some rather large comprehensive algorithmic possible solutions regarding transition strategies. His funding sources (e.g. Rockefeller Foundation) and Capitalist Publisher seem to place noticeable limits on his (what are otherwise bordering on radical) proposed fundamental, sweeping changes.

He makes good argument regarding the abuses of "the Commons" by Capitalism (Feudalism as precursor), and particularly the Corporate Variety, but awkwardly argues that the answer is to create Public Trusts of the Commons for the purposes of adapting (not replacing) the Capitalist/Corporate System in an absurd proposal to meet them about half-way. Such a supposition demonstrates either a lack of willingness to go beyond the constraints and desired target markets of funders and publisher and/or a fundamental weakness in the author's understanding of and/or willingness to challenge us with a Marxist perspective.

I believe it to be the constraints of the Capitalists more than the man's knowledge and perception base because he sneaks in some rather large equity and inclusion arguments in a book that ostensibly is targeting the "sustainability" crowd.

Nonetheless, it is a disheartening reality because it reminds me/us just how far into the Capitalist Corporate "game" and overshoot that we are, and what an overwhelming task it would be to try to reorganize the people into an alternative economic entity or entities. Barnes references Harvard Economist Mancur Olson's "Logic of Collective Action" in which Olson argues, "unless the number of players in a group is very small, people will not combine to pursue their common interests".

In Peace, Friendwalkin', Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Regarding Mondragon

Recently, the "Solidarity Economy Network" published an article that was printed in Time Magazine, about the Mondragon "Cooperative" Corporation (MCC), MCCs recent "letter of intent" with United Steelworkers (USW), and two very small workers cooperatives start-ups in Cleveland and SF Bay. While I applaud the efforts in Cleveland and SF Bay and wish them much success and a more honorable and principled and eventually all-encompassing "growth" than the original MCC, let's not get deluded by wishful thinking and political greenwash.

You must understand the cooptation that has occurred in the Mondragon "Cooperative" CORPORATION (MCC) which started small and highly principled, but has in reality evolved to little more than another predatory Capitalist Conglomerate. Starting as International Cooperative Alliance principled workers cooperatives, MCC has devolved to a Corporation, who according to this PR glitz article, has over 100 workers' cooperatives in a Corporation of 256 Companies. That translates to about 150 Companies, who are NOT workers' cooperatives, and knowing the history of Mondragon, it is a fairly safe bet that those 100 or so are probably functioning now as worker cooperatives in just about name only.

Early Mondragon experience can be a very useful model. But the bootstraps model that the Capitalists, including the lackey Labor Organization, USW, want us to get enthused about is a false promise and destined to fail like the MCC did in truely living out its original mission and intent.

Only a unified Socialism that precludes the corrupting missions and modus operandis of unprincipled Capitalist realities (Capitalism eschews externalities), will allow for the success of an economy that sets out to meet the needs of the people in an inclusive, equitable, humane, wellness oriented, sustainable, and peaceful manner.

Mike Morin

Friday, January 1, 2010

Transitioning US

Thanks for clarifying, David.

I, tambien, believe that we will not succeed without nearly a concensus of understanding AND participation.

"Unleashing the genius" is problematic because realistically I don't have much faith in the intelligence and commitment, or even the intentions of the normal population.

If we had better educational systems, better leaders, and more direct ways of reaching out to such citizens, we could have a chance. But most unfortunately, we have educational systems, propagandist Capitalist media, an elite system of whore politicians schooled by Capitalist pimp propagandists/elite and elitist dominated educational systems, as "leaders" and sheeple which DRIVE the denizens of the USA toward the seemingly necessary but overwhelming "Illichian" task of "deschooling".

I'm afrayed that we really don't have that kind of resource, nor do we have the time when we think of the enormity of the task of reschooling both from a conceptual and perceptual viewpoint, getting people to understand the alternative plans, and the technical re-education that it would take to implement those plans.

Yet, on the bright side, if our leaders (and it is important for any and everybuddy who can see themselves as such, to assume that role) and the consensual understanding could recognize the need for fulcramatic change then the unemployment and equity problems could be realized to such an extent that we would want to ENCOURAGE immigration.

Trouble is, we have an aging population in the USA and if we were to be dependent on a young "crop" of world immigrants then there would be probably even more of a "fresh" learning impediment and there would certainly be resistance from an indigenous USA population who may see it as a lost opportunity for them unless they have children and/or grandchildren who would definitely benefit.

As long as I am able, I will continue to try.

In Peace, Friendwalkin', Community, Cooperation, and Solidarity,

Mike Morin