Using and abusing cheap oil
“The Energy of Slaves”
The root of much evil
Thesis: Global slavery was abolished not because of an evolution of human morality, but because the emergence of the steam engine made it the more expensive option. The “energy” system we’re dependent on comes with another set of problems.
Part of the cost of managing a slave empire is that enslaved people have to be kept “under control.” The “security” infrastructure was vast and necessary. Also post-slavery, the maintenance costs associated w serf-like labor which persisted post Civil War were shifted to workers.
We’ve built an economy that depends of lavish amounts of low cost energy. “Economy” should really be called humanity maintenance system. We’re already gravely cheating people nutritionally by serving up low cost garbage in place of real food. Sadly, US leads the way.
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