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Editors Note: This essay was written by Michael W. Foley (TOD user greenuprising), a former professor in the social sciences. He wrote the following for The Oil Drum and we thank TOD for permission to post it here.
A sizable subset of what some on this site call “doomers” are convinced that the demise of the petroleum economy will bring social breakdown and a violent struggle of all against all. Some are even preparing for the chaos to come. I’m convinced we have to take end-of-affluence scenarios, including the scarier ones, seriously. But it can help everyone confront these possibilities if we try to think more intricately about how people might respond. In particular, we need to face head-on the question whether social breakdown and violence are inevitable.