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Chatting with Larry Kummer. Are these the Crazy Years in America?
Larry is The editor of the Fabius Maximus website.


He has 37 years experience in the finance industry in a variety of roles, retiring as a VP and Senior Portfolio Manager at a global investment bank. He was a Boy Scout volunteer leader for 15 years, running a Troop for 7 years and retiring as Director and VP-Finance of the Mt Diablo-Silverado Council. For 20 years he was an active Republican, working on many campaigns — until the party abandoned its traditional principles. He began writing about geopolitics in 2003

A sampling of important posts from Fabius Maximus:

America isn’t falling like the Roman Empire. We’re falling like the Roman Republic.
Welcome to ClownWorld, the final meme for America – It is the next phase of the “crazy years”, long ago predicted by Robert Heinlein.
A new, dark picture of America’s future – our institutions are falling like a line of dominoes.

Larry says, “I’ve written 140 posts about ways to reform America. They are the least popular posts. We want simple morality tales, to cheer the good people and boo the bad. We flee from talk about responsibility and work like vampires from daylight. None of the risking ‘our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor’ for us. We see ourselves as customers in a restaurant, whining that the menu isn’t good enough for people so awesome.”

Direct download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/kunstlercast/KunstlerCast_322.mp3

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

13 Responses to “KunstlerCast 322 — With Larry Kummer editor of the Fabius Maximus website. Are these the Crazy Years in America?”

  1. Walter B November 28, 2019 at 8:26 pm #

    “We don’t want to take the effort to govern ourselves”. Wow Jim, thank you for bringing someone to the podcast that is willing to speak out about exactly what ails us. A government of the people, by the sellouts for the sellout is NOT what we used to be. Those of us little people that are actually busting our balls in the Arena in a fight against small, local corruption know exactly what this man means. It will be nine years soon that we have taken up this battle and earlier this month, we finally won the vote that shall turn our committee of 2 against 3 to 3 against 2 and the bleeding will stop. The fight rages on until 02 Jan 20 in our Township Hall and the prosecutor’s office, but the enemy is finally up against the wall and out of ammo. Check out our website after reorg in January and see what we have done. All the three of us have to do is live that long and change will be upon us. Assuming the recent death threat is hollow that is.

    It is a sad and sorry shame that this cannot be accomplished at any other level.

  2. Walter B November 30, 2019 at 8:59 pm #

    We had better print out a list of this guy’s predictions because I do believe that he is going to be able to maintain a pretty substantial batting average.

  3. DC Jones December 1, 2019 at 2:44 am #

    Americans don’t get anything from America being an empire? America is a consumer economy. It consumes more than it produces. Americans have been getting a free ride for decades. The Dollar wouldn’t be the reserve currency of the world if it wasn’t for the machinations of the CIA and the American military being posted all around the world. There is no great mystery why Ukraine is so important, and everything is Putins fault even though anyone with a mind to, can watch on You Tube that America was behind the coup that started all the fuss to begin with. What appears to be insanity of the political class and the media is nothing of the sort. America was set on a course of military aggression to secure control of the worlds resources, most critical of which is oil, and it’s too late to stop. The endless stream of bald face lies in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary is all the proof required to understand what’s going on, and that the American citizenry are being played for fools. If the resources existed, there would have been massive public works programs implemented after the 2008 crash. There is nothing for banks, or business to borrow against when the resources for almost all of the tomorrows have been spent on yesterdays and todays. The final solution for the avaricious class that control America is to manage the liquidation of the surplus population, and the evidence for that is “in your face” everywhere. The “Lock Down” of Boston and the door to door searches for a teenager accused of killing people with a “pressure cooker” bomb, which broadcast to all of America that they had no civil rights if the government decreed it so. If any person is accused of killing a thousand people and actually did, and their identity was known to the authorities, then fuck you to the authorities that want to establish a precedent that circumvents the civil rights of over 300 million Americans. National security, terrorism, really? What a fucking sick joke. Just wait and see America, how many Americans are going to be sacrificed to the ideological god of National Security. All of the citizenries civil rights have already been sacrificed to a demonstrably false premiss that promotes a policy of public cowardice. When a nations security is threatened from abroad, the authorities of that nation give rousing speeches to inspire courage for socialism, even in capitalistic and class oriented societies, because then they need the populace to protect them. Capitalism for the poor and working class, and socialism for the Capitalists when their policies fail and the burden of their failure is shifted on to the public.

    “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender” — Winston Churchill, the leader of an empire that had subjugated a very significant portion of humanity to the will of a tiny few. Parasites that convince their host to fight and die for them.

    When a nations security is threatened internally from the largess and malfeasance of the ruling class, they promote cowardice in the citizenry. Politicians claim it is their duty to protect us, and we the citizenry must submit to the decrees of government for “national security”. The reality is that every member of Congress swore an oath to protect the Constitution, and if they would only do their duty, the citizenry could protect themselves. But, control is the aim of the government game, and its efforts on behalf of those that control it have been ceaseless.The only terrorists that threaten the status quo, are the millions of Americans that will come to realize that they too, are destined to be consumed by the beast of their own government. The executive muscle and legislative branch of Capitalism.

    The primary problem of the world is that there are too many people on it, so it should be no mystery that promoting wars to determine where the population die-off will start, and how long it can be delayed for America, is the aim of its government. A government that doesn’t exclude the liquidation of any of its surplus population in order to preserve the upper echelons of status quo. The fact that American decadence consumes 25% of the worlds energy resources, has only 5% of the worlds population, and the rest of the world would be far better off if one morning the world awoke, and everyone in America was dead, is not an enviable position to be in.

    The insane political clown show played out by main stream media is a choreographed circus to entertain, to titillate, and draw the public in to a false narrative. If blatantly betraying, and sacrificing the welfare of we the people at the cost of surrendering civil liberties, and starting multiple wars of aggression based on obvious lies is treason, then the US Congress, almost to the man, are traitors.

    To submit to the idea that the 535 members of Congress are stupid, and that the party leaders believe the lies the media publicly promotes is a retreat in to infantilism. To believe the Federal Reserve doesn’t know exactly what it’s doing, that it is just dumb luck that Ponzi Economics has continued so far past the point where it should have failed, is to be a fool. The greatest shortcoming of the human race may well be its inability to understand the exponential function, but the one group that can be counted on to understand it is bankers. The people that determine monetary policy are working in tandem with government policy makers to manage the coming collapse so as to mitigate the loss and destruction for those who hold privilege.

    The cabal that orchestrated 9/11 took command of the US ship of state, and they got away with it because they exorcised ruthless pragmatism, along with a few letters containing anthrax that left a daily reminder for years, via government office buildings quarantined as biohazards, forcing other government offices to share space with all the people that use to work in the anthrax affected buildings. Dick Cheney was the former CEO of Halliburton, and the Bush administration as a whole was inundated with big oil people, so they knew, and were acting on the knowledge that America’s future was extremely vulnerable to having less oil available for it to function. The decision to invade Iraq had been been made no later than 10 days after 9/11, and a few weeks later a list of 7 countries for the Pentagon to plan the invasion of, over the course of the next 5 years, was made public by retired 4 star General Wesley Clark, which unequivocally supports and proves the intent of America’s foreign policy.

    America was in desperate need of a leader, and its ideology being capitalism, coughed up Darth Vader, i.e., Dick Cheney. The gamble of profiting from the destabilization of the oil rich nations of the middle east and Libya, is also contingent on destabilizing Russia to the point where it could not pose a threat to American hegemony. That gamble is so far a failure, hence the renewed efforts in destabilizing Venezuela and Bolivia.

    Do the people that control economic policy in America really believe that global warming, if it exists, isn’t the result of how humanity has affected the biosphere? Or, is it more likely that they know that the affects of climate change can be primarily attributed to the emergence of hydrocarbon man? Of course they know the science of global warming perfectly well, but deliberately ignore or deny the issue, because they know that the entire financial, economic, and monetary system that supports modern civilization is predicated on economic growth, which in turn is reliant on the energy to do the work of growth.There is no substitute available to replace the energy from the hydrocarbons that fuel modern civilization. Nothing even close, in fact nothing at all. Modern civilization and the human population of 7.5 billion people is almost entirely dependent on the energy provided from fossil fuels. Unfortunately, capitalism is by far the prevalent economic system on earth, and one of its primary edicts is efficiency. Eliminating redundancy is key to efficiency, but eliminating redundancy eliminates resilience. Aside from the military, and the intelligence/security apparatus that have back ups for their back ups, the economy by design abhors redundancy. Eliminating redundancy increases profits so the eye of competition is always alert to redundancy.

    The economy is an extremely complex system that is interdependent on many other interdependent complex systems that all require, and are interdependent on a multitude of economies to scale. If the rare earth elements required to supply the population of America with cell phones ceased, then the businesses including the financial sector that depend on it would be unable to bare the cost of maintaining it. The IT network that supports cellular phone use is only affordable if many millions of people are paying for it. An earthquake in the far east shut down three automobile manufacturing facilities in Germany, because a computer chip made in Japan was no longer available. As complexity increases in any system, so does its energy requirements, as well as the risk of cascading systems failure. The margin between the energy required for our complex economy to function, and it ceasing to function is small.

    There is no way to reduce the usage of hydrocarbons to any meaningful degree, because millions of people will die in the best case scenario, and billions die if the global economic system collapses. If you were a US Congressman, and you know that an economic colapse is inevitable, would you prefer to live in luxury, or at least be held in high esteem among your constituents until the end, or would you alert the passengers on the Titanic that it was sinking, and thereby forgo any chance of a seat in a lifeboat?

    I am so tired of the meaningless drivel that “experts” in so many fields of human knowledge go on about in what they perceive to be useful information, but only by ignoring facts, that negate everything they are saying. I have been aware of humanities energy predicament for almost 20 years, and never have I heard serious discussion at any governmental level on how civilization can continue without the energy derived from fossil fuels. There has been no discussion or dialog in America since the Carter Administration, referring to the “energy crisis” aside from the Hirsch Report which was commissioned by the US Dept of Energy, was published in 2005 but, only by luck did it get published at all, amidst the efforts to suppress it. It is inevitable that the extraction/production of oil will peak in the first half of this century, which in of itself is ridiculously optimistic. Production of conventional crude oil peaked at least a decade ago, and unconventional oil that has filled the gap in demand, returns only a fraction of the energy invested to get a barrel of oil compared to the energy returned from producing conventional crude oil. Never mind that the fracking miracle is a fraud that will soon see production falling as precipitously as its rise.

    Isn’t it curious that the government has no energy policy? Never a serious word on how or what will provide the energy to run America’s economic engine in the future. A few sound bites and some big hurrahs announcing America’s, soon to come, energy independence by a few blow hards, but nothing substantial. No policy articulated, no debate, no vision of the future, because they know most Americans won’t have a future in the near future. There is no discussion of future resource constraints or conservation of essential resources that are rapidly being depleted, but the mantra of Growth is incessently repeated. Do you believe that when Obama was addressing the nation and he went through the litany of growth in this and that, and especially growth in jobs, that he really believed in what he was saying, or do you believe that he knew he was full of shit? When Obama made his case for the humanitarian bombing of Libya, do you think that he didn’t know that western intelligence agencies were coordinating their efforts, and sharing intelligence in order to foment dissent and violent rebellion within Libya? Do you think that Obama didn’t know when he announced that Syria had crossed a red line by using chemical weapons against rebels, that he was full of shit? When Obama said that what the bankers had done was extremely complex, not necessarily illegal though certainly ethically questionable, and that it was best not to dwell in the past but to look to the future, do you believe he was being sincere, or was he lying through his teeth to protect a shit load of greedy criminals that destroyed the wealth of millions?

    • Walter B December 1, 2019 at 8:24 am #

      Wow, what a dark dim picture of the future and a scathing condemnation of Dirty Dick Cheney. Unfortunately for me, I agree with everything you said there 100%. Thank you for being realistic.

    • George Wetherby December 1, 2019 at 11:44 am #

      DC Jones- So you feel that Larry Kummer was to optimistic? Just looking for your view.
      I notice that people who don’t care for Donald Trump and refer to him as a clown never give an opinion as to what the consequences would have been had Hillary been elected.
      We are just finishing a holiday were the networks at one talked about global warming protest and then smile and report the 50 million that will be traveling this weekend. Like JHK points out we want to keep living like we have been but are not willing to conserve.

  4. Chris at Fernglade Farm December 3, 2019 at 5:35 am #

    Hi Jim,

    It’s nice to encounter a true believer in the meme that technology will save us. I’m more pessimistic on such matters and believe that until technology does in fact save us in relation to energy then it is all talk. I’ve noted that it is extraordinarily common for folks who have won the lotto to retain the belief that they will do so again in the future.



  5. 100th Avatar December 3, 2019 at 1:32 pm #

    Another old man on the downward slide thus believing everything is on the decline.

    And worth saving.

    Pattern integrity. Your in it

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