[ExI] Dollar a gallon gasoline

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 5 14:13:38 UTC 2007

On 10/5/07, hkhenson <hkhenson at rogers.com> wrote:
> At 07:04 PM 10/4/2007, Mike Dougherty wrote:
> >I'm surprised Keith would suggest we would even consider doing real
> >work to get cheaper power.  As long as the "haves" retain enough
> >influence to squeeze small amounts of energy from increasingly larger
> >amounts of the "have not," then there is no motivation to risk the
> >status quo.
> I am not adverse to your basic thesis, but I don't see your
> point.  How about some examples?

Pharaoh had no reason to enlighten his people.  The entire society was
so convinced of the legitimacy of Pharaoh's rule that when Ankenaten
tried to bring change, he was tolerated for the duration of his reign
(as god on earth) then his changes were undone and the old regime was
reinstated.  Is this an extreme case?  Possibly, but it is blatantly

The Indian caste system is another example of how the status quo is
defended against change by those who hold power.  I'm sure there have
been improvements in the public perception of this culture, but the
personal biases remain long after the official policy has been made
more palatable.

European monarchy managed change by granting concessions to feudal
lords - giving them a vested interest in preserving the "order" that
kept resources flowing up the chain.  The average person lived in
deplorable conditions while those at the top were in luxury. For
example; who would turn down the opportunity to live at Versailles in
18th century France?  If not Versailles, consider the Forbidden City
in 15th century China.  Those who had consolidated power were not
about to allow change that would threaten their standard of living.

I don't think that basic premise is much different across recorded history.

The motivation I asked about being a requirement for a space elevator
is probably analogous to finding a sea route to Asian spices and
textiles for European entrepreneurs.  I believe educated people in
Columbus' day knew the world was not flat, but then-common knowledge
was that his proposal was incredibly dangerous and probably not worth
the risk.  Cortez was another opportunist who secured a huge win for
those in power in exchange for some of his own.  Imagine where we'd be
today if European expansionism wasn't so resource-hungry (and damned
clever about it) in the 16th century.

(I jumped around a lot, citing no sources for my proposition.  I hope
I can get away with a referral to General Knowledge since I've only
referenced the commonly covered history topics that I have been
exposed to)

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