Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) was one of our Countries biggest proponents of progressive politics. Through government initiatives like The New Deal, which created Social Security, and his Second Bill of Rights, FDR made a major impact on our Country’s social landscape. This new social landscape promised services to individuals as if they were rights. All of these services required additional resources and energy to maintain the social landscape that was being promised by the government. These promises were easily maintained when cheap crude oil was abundant, making continued growth seem eminent. In order to maintain these new rights, our country will be required to have continued energy production growth from limited energy resources, but continued growth can not continue.
As the world continues its plunge towards and beyond Peak Oil, creating a society that is energy efficient is very important. All aspects of society must be considered, even the type of government that is implemented. In a lower energy society anything that can promote hard work, innovation, and self-reliance is very beneficial. I believe the United States Constitution creates the best government structure possible for post-Peak Oil. The Constitution creates a system that does not require continual energy gathering in order to maintain a fully functional, and healthy nation; this is because The Constitution does not promise services to individuals, it only promises freedoms and creates basic structure. Any philosophy that promises services to individuals will require the government to constantly take energy (resources) from one entity to give to another entity, in order to keep the promises made to the people by that government.
In a world where energy prices are high, and conventional crude oil has peaked (according to the 2010 IEA World Energy Outlook, pg. 6) is it possible to continue the never ending resource gathering? The short answer is NO, so how can we expect ideals like FDR’s Second Bill of Rights, and services as rights be sustainable when the only way to maintain these ideals is through continuous gathering of limited resources (i.e. oil, natural gas).
What do you think, do you believe limited resources will shape our government structure? Comment below.