No War for Oil: US Dependency and the Middle East


WhiteIndian's picture

Ivan Eland is ignorant of the facts about peak oil. He then proffers Cornucopian fallacies, as if "free" market economics can somehow negate the laws of thermodynamics.

He writes, not to discover the truth, but to support his tottering libertarian ideology that city-Statism (civilization) isn't inherently aggressive and doesn't operate on the game theory of the Prisoner's Dilemma.

The US empire expanded into the Middle East for one reason: the Prisoner's Dilemma, briefly explained as follows:

"The Prisoner’s Dilemma provides the logical foundation of why civilization must always continue to grow. Each society faces a choice: do we continue to intensify production, adopt greater complexity, and increase the size or scale of our society, or do we happily accept the level we’re already at? If you choose not to intensify, you will be out-competed by those who do–and your lower level of intensity and complexity will become a resource they can absorb to fuel their further acceleration, whether by outright conquest or more subtle forms of economic or cultural exploitation.

"This is the underlying logic of Joseph Tainter’s argument concerning collapse in peer polities in The Collapse of Complex Societies. If one peer polity does choose to collapse, that region becomes a resource that can be exploited by its neighbors. Whoever conquers it first will have an advantage over the others in the continuing race of escalation."

Thesis #12: Civilization must always grow.
by Jason Godesky | 23 October 2005