Image for Consciousness Lost. Looking back at 1972

I experienced 1972 as another letdown year of revived ‘business as usual’. The shutdown of the alternative press and progressive environmental and social thought was pretty obvious in the mass media at the time and it has continued to this present day. It is so hard to imagine, for those born in latter decades, that open discussion and heated debate on our most important and vital issues did occur for a short and glorious few years in the 1960s. Then blackout.


1972 – The World3 ‘reference run’ projected that the industrial output per capita (IOPC) would reach its all-time peak in 2013 and then would steeply decline through 2100. Moreover, the duration of Industrial Civilization (as measured by the leading and lagging IOPC 30% points) came out to be about 105 years. [Industrial Civilization, defined herein, began in 1930 and is predicted to end on or before the year 2030.] [1]


1972 Conference on the Human Environment. The Stockholm deliberations were confused by the fact that the luckier nations which happened to achieve industrial prodigality before the earth’s savings became depleted had already infected the other nations with an insatiable desire to emulate that prodigality. The infection preceded recognition of the depletion. The result of this sad historical sequence was the pathetic quarrel over whether the luxury we cannot afford is economic growth or environmental preservation. Neither was a luxury; worse, neither was possible on a global scale. [2]


1972 – 1981 – The price of oil increased nine-fold. This fueled stagflation. Important changes occurred within the World Bank as a result of the energy crisis. It moved from supporting protection for infant industries and state planning and lending for state-owned enterprises to a commitment to trade liberalization and abandoned its support for public enterprises.[3]


1972 – December. John Kenneth Galbraith restates that the neglect of power in economics serves conservative political and social functions. The state is the only social entity that could exercise countervailing power to the corporate oligarchy but this situation is problematic given the state’s ‘consanguinity’ to the very corporate oligarchy that must be challenged. [4]


REFERENCES:


[1] THE PEAK OF WORLD OIL PRODUCTION AND THE ROAD TO THE OLDUVAI GORGE
Richard C. Duncan, Ph.D.1
Pardee Keynote Symposia
Geological Society of America
Summit 2000
Reno, Nevada
November 13, 2000
http://dieoff.org/page224.htm

[2] Industrialization: Prelude to Collapse
by William Catton
(Excerpt from Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change)
Unrecognized Preview
http://dieoff.org/page15.htm

[3] jkissing on April 23, 2006 - 7:24pm
http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/4/22/23169/4783

[4] Galbraith and Robinson’s second crisis of economic theory.
Publication: Journal of Economic Issues
Publication Date: 01-MAR-08
Author: Wrenn, Mary ; Stanfield, James Ronald ; Carroll, Michael
http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-34227679_ITM
COPYRIGHT 2008 Association for Evolutionary Economics

First published here:
http://econospeak.blogspot.com/2011/07/consciousness-lost-looking-back-at-1972.html