We Are All Going to Die

We Are All Going to Die: An open letter and anti-manifesto to Climate Offensive, Extinction Rebellion, Earth Strike, and other nonviolent movements

When the world ends, people come out of their apartments and meet their neighbors for the first time; they share food, stories, companionship. No one has to go to work or the laundromat; nobody remembers to check the mirror or scale or email account before leaving the house. Graffiti artists surge into the streets; strangers embrace, sobbing and laughing. Every moment possesses an immediacy formerly spread out across months. Burdens fall away, people confess secrets and grant forgiveness, the stars come out over New York City...and nine months later, a new generation is born.

We’re going to die?

The Earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses. But us – me, you, even those who are killing the earth? We’re going to die.
In the worst case scenario, you drown, you starve, or you succumb to heat stroke. Not figuratively. You will drown, you will starve, you will succumb to heat stroke. Perhaps there’s the small chance that you will survive the mass migration to the last reaches of habitable land in and around the poles.
But let’s be realistic here: In all likelihood, you’re going to die. A slow, horrible, excruciating death at that. We would like to say this is the future we’re hurtling towards at an ever-increasing rate. But it isn’t: it’s the present, the material, graspable present. Islands are sinking into the ocean. The poverty-stricken are freezing to death on the streets. People are burning to death in gigantic wildfires. The collapse is not to be a single event. It’s a process, and it’s currently underway. In the best case scenario, death is liberation. Perhaps the real “you” – your body, your consciousness, your soul, what have you – won’t die, per se: instead, the abstract “you” – your way of life, your social relationships under capitalism, your system of meaning that’s been drilled into your head since day one – will die.

Can’t we reform the system?

No. We can’t. The system is the problem, and the system runs deep. The problem isn’t just capitalism. It’s also the state, but it also isn’t just the state. It’s the ideology of consumption itself: that beings – plants, animals (including humans deemed to be subhuman), fungi, even inanimate natural “resources” – are objects to be bought, sold, and eventually, consumed. This ideology is perhaps the deepest ideology we have. It permeates every form of knowledge: from science, to art, to politics. It seeps through our language (one must think how often we refer to feeling, living beings – ones with the capacity to suffer – as “it.”) It permeates our relationships. It is the very basis of our societies, if it cannot be deemed our “society” itself – the group of capital-h Humans deemed to be worthy enough to be circumscribed by the abstract Community, that constructs itself in opposition to literally everything else.

Your favorite pet politician isn’t immune to this. Not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not Bernie Sanders, not Jill Stein. Not the Democratic Socialists, not the Green Party, not the CPUSA, and not anyone else, either. Perhaps their hearts are in the right place – but sadly, that isn’t enough. To quote the amazing piece Anarchy Works by Peter Gelderloos:

Some people oppose capitalism on environmental grounds, but think some sort of state is necessary to prevent ecocide. But the state is itself a tool for the exploitation of nature. Socialist states such as the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China have been among the most ecocidal regimes imaginable. That these two societies never escaped the dynamics of capitalism is itself a feature of the state structure — it necessitates hierarchical, exploitative economic relationships of control and command, and once you start playing that game nothing beats capitalism.

What about nonviolence?

Concerning nonviolence: it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.

The struggle against ecocide was never nonviolent, and it never will be, because it cannot be. That’s because ecocide is violence: violence against me and you, against animals (wild and domestic,) against the trees and the grass and the water and the mountains. Climate insurrection is self-defense. Strict adherence to nonviolence – that is, the rejection of violence – is complicity in the face of ecological destruction. It is not “offensive,” it is not “rebellion,” and it’s not a “strike” at climate change. Many of us do not have the privilege of being nonviolent – namely, those of us who already marginalized. We will be the first to go. We’re the rural farm workers and their families being sprayed with pesticides. We’re the houseless freezing to death in polar vortices. We’re the indigenous peoples whose homes are being swallowed by the sea. We’re the poor who will not have the capital necessary to complete the long trek north to the last remaining habitable lands. If we aren’t violent – if we don’t rebel against the system that oppresses us – we will be crushed. Don’t be complicit in our death, in your death.

What’s climate insurrection?
Perhaps the only hope me or you have. It’s destroying that which destroys us - by any means possible.

Wouldn’t that hurt the movement?
No. A better question would be: what has “nonviolent” protest won us in the long run? The answer: absolutely nothing. Many supposedly “nonviolent” movements, such as the Civil Rights Movement, were incredibly violent. There were hundreds of riots throughout the United States, and of course, the existence of armed paramilitary groups such as the Black Panthers, or the Brown Berets. One could make the argument that this narrative of nonviolence is pushed by the very people whose power would be threatened by violence, because violence means (perhaps immediate) change. Hence: why those in the US celebrate Martin Luther King Day, a federally recognized holiday; but not Malcolm X Day. Even the most-oft example of nonviolent resistance, the Indian independence movement, was not so. Bhagat Singh, who after his execution became a folk hero of the cause, was inspired by French anarchist Auguste Vaillant to bomb the British Raj’s Central Legislative Assembly. Less than a year before, he had assassinated a British police officer in retaliation for the death of the nationalist leader Lala Lajpat Rai.

Wouldn’t it be counterproductive?
Counterproductive to what? Getting meaningless reforms passed? Getting empty pyrrhic victories in the legal circuit? Performing impotent marches through major cities that don’t achieve anything other than receiving lukewarm press from second-rate newspapers? Ask the battery hen liberated from cramped cages by animal activists, or the old-growth forest protected indefinitely by logging saboteurs (and all the animals who call those forest home): is direct action productive?

Anarchist action— patient, hidden, tenacious,
involving individuals, eating away at institutions like a worm eats away at fruit, as termites undermine majestic trees — such action does not lend itself to the theatrical effects of those who wish to draw attention to themselves.

To quote the great magician Georges Méliès, "I must say, to my great regret, the cheapest tricks have the greatest impact."

If insurrection is so great, how come people aren’t doing it now?
They are. You just haven’t heard of it because the media is smart enough to hide it. Hearing about the heroic stories of those who fight back would be too dangerous for most to hear – it runs the risk of radicalizing them. Movements like the Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts, have been waging war against ecocide since the 1970s.

I don’t want to go to prison.
We dream of a world without prisons.

I’m scared.
We’re scared too, friend. We should be, but we should be
strong, too

What can we do?
We’ll let the great animal activist Keith Mann speak for us.

Labs raided, locks glued, products spiked, depots ransacked, windows smashed, construction halted, mink set free, fences torn down, cabs burnt out, officesin flames, car tires slashed, cages emptied, phone lines severed, slogans daubed, muck spread, damage done, electrics cut, site flooded, hunt dogs stolen, fur coats slashed, buildings destroyed, foxes freed, kennels attacked, businesses burgled, uproar, anger, outrage, balaclava clad thugs.

What if I don’t have the ability to fight?
You do, even if you can’t physically. Despite the tone of this letter, we aren’t totally opposed to above-ground action. In fact, in some cases, we think it’s necessary. Groups like the Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Group and the Animal Liberation Front Supporters Group are active in representing and advocating for operatives. As Sinn Féin, the Irish political party once associated with the militant IRA has been described:

Both Sinn Féin and the IRA play different but converging roles in the war of national liberation. The Irish Republican Army wages an armed campaign... Sinn Féin maintains the propaganda war and is the public and political voice of the movement.

What happens next?
We don’t know. But with any luck, we’ve laid out our options.

There are 25 Comments

ideological anti-pacifists are just as annoying as ideological pacifists.

destroy the ideologue within!!!!!!

Is "annoying" the metric tho? Thought it was - what works and what doesn't?

"what works and what doesn't" is Utilitarianism, and a bit sketch. what do you mean by "works"? what if what "works" is antithetical to your values? If torture worked, would that make it chill? What if hierarchies worked?

good points. and this:
"What if hierarchies worked?"

unfortunately, for most folks they do.

Only "good points" in a vacuum … critiques of utilitarianism notwithstanding, it's still about 1000% times more useful than your internet attention span being how you decide what has value, if any.

Some people on this planet are really overrating human's importance... to the pov of Gaia we're just a bunch of microbes gone awry, or rogue. While we're totally a threat to most other species even before our own, it's totally overboard to think we got an impact on things like the Earth's crust or the ionosphere, just because of hydrocarbons.

A few more decades left before eco-liberals realize the eco-devastation's been happening right under their nose, that they could have opposed it, yet instead been focused on Leftist bandwagons and quasi-religious processions, in addition to their daily schizophrenia.

around 250 million years ago, was vastly worse than anything Late Capitalism will manage to do before it collapses. Nature regenerated (and continued evolving). "Nature ultimately eliminates anything that harms what it depends on." - Jag Bhalla, Scientific American, 7-12-13. There will be a vast, protracted orgy of destruction without any help from our puny capacities. All we have to do is get out of the way.

Some of the most "marginalized" people - the "savages" and near-"savages" of the "4th World" in the remoter parts of the world are the best equipped to outlive the Collapse and thrive. The resource extractors will no longer be invading their homes. It is the "mainstream", (techie)"with-it" people in the "developed" world who are the most pathetically helpless.

An exclusive focus on climate change ignores other biosphere degradation will undo Late Capitalism as well: topsoil destruction, deforestation/forest degradation, depletion/contamination of increasingly pressed fresh-water supplies, including aquifers. Then there is cyberwar. Great Depression 2.0 will slow biosphere degradation down a lot. If this is followed by race war instead of a widespread rising of working people, this will greatly hasten the Collapse.

"Some of the most "marginalized" people - the "savages" and near-"savages" of the "4th World" in the remoter parts of the world are the best equipped to outlive the Collapse and thrive."
Yes my most feline-esque individual fellow survivor, and do not underestimate the exceptional hardiness of the nihil-esque dendrochronologist anarchs who include the savage brotherhood as their mentors.,.

People like John Michael Greer have a better analysis of the actual ecological state of things then the climate reductionists who seem to forget that ultimately the biosphere is an unpredictable system that cannot be captured in general models.

There will certainly be strains and bends to come and I suspect that capitalism will be controlled out of existence if a revolution against it does not happen. You can already see signs of it in people like Andrew Yang who is introducing things like human happiness index as a replacer to GDP. I more or less expect technocratic stabs at resource substitution which may or may not be successful. What I don't expect is Mad Max by the year 2112. It'll be a different world no doubt but not the end of it. Humans are basically cockroaches as far as survival goes.

If something ends this species it will be cosmic not terrestrial.

That is so true, the incredible primal potentiality will shine through the veneer of polluted eschatological cultural capitalism. The innate creative imagination of the human genome shall see the species scraping an existence in the most dire circumstances, boldly and with the characteristic anarch grin greeting the morning sunshine rising above the wastelands.,.

Fracking is causing earthquakes wherever it is done in North America. But yeah, humans can't affect the earth's crust.

I hope the Koch brothers and Heartland Institute are paying you well.

Sunrise to the list. sunrisemovement (dot) org. Take a look at that logo. *shudders*
The first 2 anons make fine points, I'll just add we are all going to die and not because the climate is a disaster but because that's what bodies do. Come to terms with that and get on with making a world worth living in.

these urgent calls to action, anarchists should be the radical voices in all movements.

Thanks to everyone for reading our newest piece. You are all our friends. We our the change we all want to see in the world. Let us come together in the streets. We are the future!

We both contracted the memetic communism through the viral vector of internet. Now all that's left is to consumate our union, we must find each other in cyberspace. Put your finger on this button © and it is done.

you might like to watch a short orientation video for the imaginary party. It will help you to see who we are and get to know us.

And The War Has Only Just Begun

Exclude me from your "we" list, please. Masses of irrational idiots (think of Bolcheviks) may eventually unite and fight and win against the bad bad oppressors, 'til the more intelligent wake up a few weeks later to the reality that they just changed oppressors. And ever since, they're selling their kids to mafia gangs for slavery (as living fuck toys and otherwise) coz they can barely feed themselves. Bravo, comrade!

When you get fooled into a lie, you'll deserve what you get. And the Imaginary Party are bad at lying... furthermore, who are these oppressors they're fighting against? Oh yeah... dem Individuals and the eco-anarchists, too.

If the authors of this spent anytime at all trying to assert what they claim to be about outside of sessions of guzzling suds with their buds, they would have honed the minimal social skills to grasp that nobody is going to be motivated to act by being told that everything is hopeless: people fight back, and fight back best, when they feel some confidence that they have some chance of winning.

And in liberatory social struggle terms the worthless of the author's perspective is shown in their fanboy identification with the total fucking scumbags of Irish nationalism. Irish nationalism has more in common with the Bank of England than it does with any authentic liberatory tendency in the modern world.

Being the unofficial Anarchist News nihilist in residence I have to inquire: shouldn't we be destroying our enemies before they destroy us?

I'M the @news resident nihil-esque individual and there's a distinct nuance between our approach to existence. You obviously haven't an ounce of empathy or creativity in your dark evil soul, and I want to destroy you!

Whoa! Would this be like highlander if you two believed in anything? That'd be more entertaining to watch.

I will sit down with Nihilist Weirdo and discuss empathy, and if he be non-responsive and belligerant, I SHALL THWART HIM WITH THE WRATH OF ETERNAL ABYSMAL CREATIVITY AND BIRTHDAY PARTY ORGANIZING!

When the extinction event hits, a small group of about 1000 people will survive, mostly comprised of street-smart nihil-esque Stirnerians, because,,,,,well just because that makes sense, and they will go on to reproduce a successful and sustainable population throughout the new cleansed world.

There is NO evidence that we are entering a structural extinction event. If you notice extinction events tend to be tied to plant life. Do you see any of this happening right now? There are significant LOCAL extinctions which are horrible but theoretically solvable via various things from neo wild tending to even some machineological solutions as well as the rise of sentimentality for non human life which is increasing not decreasing.

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