Sep 26, 2010

McGee speaks

"I remember one of Meyer's concepts about cultural resiliency. In the third world , the village of one thousand can provide itself with what it needs for survival. Smash the cities and half the villages and the other half keeps going. In our world, the village of one thousand has to import water, fuel, food, clothing, medicine, electric power, and entertainment. Smash the cities and all the villages die. And the city itself is frail. It has little nerve-center nodules. Water plant, power transmission lines, telephone switching facilities."


Anonymous said...

Should we be stocking up on supplies before you start smashing, or is this just an offhand comment?

TJP said...

The cities are self-smashing. I'm going at this without any context, but that sounds backward to me. The "village" where I live, and the surrounding villages supply a lot of the money that keeps the cities going, on account of the fact that none of them are competent enough to balance a budget.

We also surround the reservoir where their drinking water originates, own the land where the food is grown, and swathes of rural land is where industrial parks are placed--the workers that man the equipment would rather live out here than in some city where it is likely that they wouldn't be able to afford the taxes, where they wouldn't want to raise a family in a dangerous crime-infested environment, or send their children to a public school with a 50% drop-out rate.

Increasingly cities are a place inhabited by under-educated, unproductive people and lorded over by the worthless gerrymanderers. Any sort of chance at survival for the under-prepared is going to depend on books, and necessarily those who can actually read them. It's also going to depend on people accustomed to doing productive work. Those people are rare in cities.