Monday, February 26, 2007

extremism: a follow-up

This is just a quick follow-up to last night's post on extremism. There is, of course, more going on than just intolerance run rampant. Jared Diamond's books Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel make a pretty good case that one of the things we're seeing is resource constraints, such as the effects of intermittent electricity, extremely high fuel and food prices, and rampant unemployment. Essentially, he makes a pretty good case that, when a human population's resource base shrinks below the level that will sustain that population, one of the things that tends to happen is enough warfare to reduce the population down to a sustainable level. Unfortunately, I've lent out my copies of both books so don't have them here to get into more depth. The scary implication, though, is if Diamond's right, then there may be no good reason to think it couldn't happen here.

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