The ‘Cassandra-Culture’ Complex


There is a psychological phenomena referred to as the ‘Cassandra Complex’, in which one’s accuracy of predicting future calamity is either dismissed b/c they’re perceived to be lacking in merit, inaccurate, or out of spite for their advocate(s).

To be brief, Cassandra was the daughter of Priam, the King of Troy. Supposedly she was so beautiful that the god, Apollo, bestowed upon her to gift of foretelling the future. Which was all to the good until Apollo’s entreaties of a liaison were rebuffed by Cassandra, he summoned a curse that made her prophecies go unheeded and derided by all who heard.

James Howard Kunstler ( is a man whose work seems to be on course for verifiable registration as a casualty of the ‘Cassandra-Culture Complex’.

i use the phrase ‘Cassandra-Culture’, b/c there’s no shortage of data-based, meticulously collected research, and studies that have been done, in order to clearly understand and take action on the most urgent of our existential threats. I mean that not simply as an American or Oklahoman, but as a member of this Cultural Enterprise.

Since his 2005 book, THE LONG EMERGENCY, he has criticized and inveighed against Suburbia, misguided energy policy, financial-system corruption, and the decline in our collective capacity for contemplatively appreciate our abundant society.

He, like I, fear for its continuation, and both share the prophecy of the inevitability of its demise.

Energy sources will diminish as population continues to rise. The results in a ‘Sophie’s Choice’ (for those who don’t remember the reference, Sophie’s Choice, was a film in which a mother, Sophie, had to choose which two of her children to save). In the advanced societies, we’ll be faced w/ the choice to either minimize our own wastage and allow the rest of the undeveloped world to linger in their misery, with of course, the token trip taken by a celebrity, or a monthly ‘food drop’ by the UN or US; a true ‘crumb from the table’.

What Citizen Solutions is proposing is that we confront both issues at the same time, while managing the worker-displacement (Creative Deconstruction to ReConstruction). Like many methods of solving the problems wrought by hyper-complexity, it’s the most simple solutions that go overlooked.

1st: if U live in Suburbia, stop investing fuel, money, time, & quality of health on mowing & edging your yards. Our homes can look so beautiful and have such lovely geometric lines, but that’s what we have to change. We have to change our sense of ‘beauty’. We have to recognize that the investment in conformity is the misallocation of the finite resources to which we (as a species) have temporary access. Every watt that goes unconsciously used, and every milliliter of petroleum that gets accidentally spilled, or used foolishly, is some measure of offense against the future grandkids’ of our grandkids’ kids. We can not, and it is the position of Citizen Solutions, that it is an ‘immoral’ act to perpetuate the superficial use of Oklahoma’s energy. We waste it b/c the visual cortex is most at peace when the ‘reality’ of our lives, can be viewed on the verdant ‘green screen’ of Nature.

I don’t think that the ‘powers that be’ are evil or corrupt, b/c I don’t know w/ ‘certainty’, but I do think that, by virtue of action’s absence, they’re ignorant to the reality of Energy exploitation and the coming conflict-convergence of the atmosphere crisis, exponential population growth, and massive energy & food restrictions. I have lived a life in which, the consequential seriousness that it demands, went unheeded. Thus, having been saved by the modern, technological surgical arts, feel a great burden to reveal and educate those who may not have learned the lessons I’ve learned, met the people I’ve met, or had the opportunities I’ve had, or dealt w/ the pain I’ve been dealt.

The situation is urgent & each one of us, in all of our complexities, can be a significant part of the foundational solution. Plant your yards full of fruit trees, productive shrubs, medicinal herbs, and useful native wild flowers. Build soil by reinvesting fallen limbs & leaves back into the soil. Terrace sloping-yards to be like Asian rice paddies. Park in your yard. Take cold showers instead of using your air conditioning. Dry your clothes w/ the sun & wind. Eat more of a plant-based diet. Take down your privacy fences and instead employ our fence-builders & grass-cutters to fabricate build green-houses for winter planting, and to tend the front-yard garden-food-forests. All of which were once members in the wasteland of suburbia.

Until we alter the fundamental policies that we control, at both the educational, parental, social & government levels, our country will continue to be victimized by the Cultural Cassandra Complex. IT silences those who know, it diverts those who need to know, and IT appeases everyone IT needs to appease. How easily we forget that IT is derived from us, and not forced upon us. It’s the Citizenry who create the Markets that work more ‘perfectly’, it’s not the Market that creates US.

Thanks for reading me writing.
Evan A

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