A Great Whirlwind
Forget anything the denialists say. We’re destroying the planet, the one and only biosphere in the known universe. And that’s kind of an understatement. We are consuming the planet into oblivion.
But the new Nintendo video game is out so who gives a fuck anyway, right?
Earth is currently hotter than ever recorded and it is also experiencing the sixth and largest “mass” extinction event ever. Yes, more extensive than even the end of the dinosaurs.
If things continue like this, with the global population reaching 10 billion, and the rate of roughly 80% of the world’s population living in fluvial areas holding the same—up to 8 billion people could become internally displaced refugees due to sea level rise by 2060, in a worst-case scenario. A worst-case scenario that seems all too plausible.
A mere glimpse of the holocaust happening in a country like Syria, with maybe 8 million internally displaced refuges, and it’s hard to imagine an event 1,000x times that’s magnitude. But that’s what’s coming. And currently, in the Spring of 2017, it looks like the great leviathans of China, Russia and the US are trying to tease at the idea of starting World War III at the same time. (Who will fight? Mercenaries and robots. But who would die? In the era when everyone that’s poor is an enemy combatant.)
I heard about a powerful genie which takes the shape of a whirlwind. They say the djinn can easily carry away even the tallest trees in the forest, and make their roots look like broken spindles of an old spider web being dragged by the wind. In fact, it will carry off everything.
Will you try to hold on or let it happen?
Jacques Camatte, like some of his Italian contemporaries (which many including myself wrote off in the early 2000s), doesn’t think there is anything exquisitely revolutionary about the legendary Proletariat…at least any more. The Proletariat, that Rumplestiltskin who never woke up and maybe never will. What Perlman called the leviathan has gone unchecked for too long and grown too powerful and we’re all it’s domesticated slaves now. We’re cows and some of us love being milked.
If that language is too much for you, perhaps go fly a kite. Because seriously, in my lifetime, shit has never felt so rough and desperate. The whirlwind is coming. You can feel it in your bones.
Look—the workers aren’t doing shit. I’m a worker, been working since 15, and I’m literally not doing shit because I’m young and jobless, and despite all my efforts, I remain that way.
The second coming? Armageddon? The end of the world? Blah blah blah blah blah. What happens now is this shit continues to get worse until the point where bourgeois hedonism blows up the fucking planet. We have no armies to stop them, and even if we did, armies and armor and strongmen and “lugals” are how we got here to begin with. The fucking Trots or “anarchists” sure as fuck aren’t going to march into town and liberate us. So what happens now? Seriously. What happens? I have less and less faith in the old Bolshevik proverb “decades can happen in weeks” by the second.
When I was around 19 years old, I went down to the beach to see the love of my life. Little did I know at the time she was also the “love of my life” to three other boys. Not that I cared, I was also guilty of the same at a different time in our relationship. But when I was with her nothing mattered. I just wanted to be near to her. Cliche, I know. It was intoxicating.
Anyway. In the middle of the night, closer to dusk than midnight, she asked me, “Would you jump off a bridge for me?”
“Show me the bridge”, I said.
So off we went. She counted to three, and neither of us jumped. She counted again, but hesitated, and I jumped anyway. She followed close after.
We fell so deep into the canal to the point where you actually had time on your ascent to wonder how long that rise would take. Young and fearless, both of us. Her way more than me. We we’re just laughing. It ended up being really fun. We even went back with her sister and jumped again later that summer. At the time it seemed particularly relevant considering how often my mother would ask me “If so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you follow them?”
These days I’ve unfortunately developed a healthy fear of heights. But I feel as though I am confronted by that same bridge-jumping dilemma. Standing in the wake of the great leviathan, determined to destroy it or die trying, I ponder that leap again but this time as a question of how far things will go, had bad they will get, before the leviathan dies and class society ends forever.
How many will die? How much will be gone forever? How far will we have to swim to resurface? How much of this is within the boundaries of our influence? Is collapse unavoidable? Because really the question of how to end society, bring it’s complete collapse, can be approached mechanically. The more important question to ask before is how much collapse can we, the “pro-revolutionaries”, prevent? It would seem immediately on some levels like we should try. But how many people die each year as a result of capitalism? We aren’t superheroes. In the context of dead Palestinian babies in ice-cream freezers due to the over-capacity of graveyards and morgues, where do we draw the line?
We’re not pacifists, nor blanquists, nor Bolsheviks. No, actually, I think what I’m talking about have to call communization. Collectivization. Anarchist communism in practice in the 21st century, Because in order to prevent dead babies in freezers, which I remind you is already happening (see about “mowing the grass”), we have to learn to unplug from this system and support ourselves again. Because I don’t want to live in a brave new world of fucking Marxist grocery stores.
Ending capitalism would be as difficult as destroying the pillars of the leviathan’s foundation. Capitalism of course relies on labor; human and non-human. The non-humans, unlike the “adults” of civilization, still try to revolt and flee from the leviathan at every opportunity. We animals could learn something from the non-humans. Every non-human I know is on strike at least some of the time.
Another pillar of capitalism is food, what people eat. Almost all of that comes from just seven plant species and five species of domesticated animals. If everyone had that Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s bullshit growing in their backyards or community and neighborhood gardens, we could do without the fucking capitalist bourgeois food supply and eat chick peas and shit. Then we could even sabotage or expropriate the food of the bourgeoisie with no problems. We could just eventually ideally disregard it in total for that matter.
The last pillar I will highlight for now is the pillar of Energy and electricity. I’m sure with non-nuclear renewables and batteries the vital services could be provided to people at a super low cost, once again, if we build the networks for this and have them remain anarchist and communist—that is against any government and any class society. Destroy the hydrocarbon industry along with the other pillars and I can see capitalism come tumbling down. But we have to be prepared to the ultimate degree for what happens next so that for 99% of us it seems seamless.