Addiction to Fossil Fuels, Arctic Ice Melt, Capitalism, Climate Change, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Consumerism, Corporate State, Eco-Apocalypse, Economic Collapse, Environmental Collapse, Extinction of Man, Financial Elite, Gross Inequality, Inverted Totalitarianism, Nate Hagens, Peak Oil, Security and Surveillance State, Social Unrest, The Elite 1%, Two-Tiered Justice System, unwashed public, Wall Street Fraud
I was thinking about something Nate Hagens said:
On a higher level, we have a superorganism, our civilization, which has accessed an energy gradient the same way that old growth forests have.
The human population makes up this superorganism’s myriad of cells. The nervous system is made up of the various mediums that transmit information – internet, television, phone, print media, etc… The circulatory system is the transportation system providing paths of production and distribution – roads, bridges, trains, airline and shipping routes, etc… Of course energy, primarily oil and fossil fuels, are the life-blood that fuels this system. If you have ever tried to fight against this Leviathan, you will have its immune system, the law and security apparatus, thrust upon you so that you may be hammered into conformity or isolated and quarantined in a tiny prison cell. Of course there are many malcontent cells within the belly of the beast, but capitalist industrial civilization is fortified with self-perpetuating social structures which ensure its survival.
Take for instance its education system which churns out countless drones who lack the ability to think critically and are filled with fragmented and specialized knowledge which prepares them as cogs for the corporate world. Everything, including one’s relationship with fellow humans, is reduced to a “business relationship” or “investment”. The various institutions of modern society are configured to reinforce capitalist industrial civilization. The media are corporate mouthpieces and echo chambers for the dominant capitalist system – materialism, conspicuous consumption, atomization and alienation of man from nature and from his own humanity, etc… The entertainment industry fosters an acquisitiveness for high consumption lifestyles. It relies on the corporate state to mass market and mass produce these values. The primary metric of social worth in the corporate state is money, and the class which has managed to accumulate vast sums of it are those who have usurped the levers of governance. You have heard of the two-tiered justice system we have in this country which coddles the elite and discards everyone else. Thus the ethos of society flows downward from those who have at their disposal the power to mold and influence society’s perceptions and norms.
I talked about this in the essay Kill the Messenger:
Will man go extinct? He certainly seems to be doing everything in his power to make sure it happens:
…the worship of an economic system that reduces everything to a financial object.
…the continued exploitation and burning of an increasingly more expensive and environmentally damaging energy source which is causing the climate to swing out of control with various feedback loops.
…the dismantling and perversion of regulations and the rule of law to satisfy greed and a grossly unjust social hierarchy.
…the indoctrination of the population into a materialist society detached from the appreciation of nature’s fundamental role in our survival.
…the degeneration of public debate into infomercial sound bites by way of mass media manipulation.
…the wholesale destruction of the natural world and the latest attempts of a so-called green economy to monetize every bit of nature in order to save capitalism.
…and the spread of the above described culture through globalization.
If you think about the modern globalized civilization as a super-organism, then you come to realize how futile it is to think that an organism, any organism, would voluntarily starve itself or constrict its own growth. If you plant a tree in a pot, it will eventually become root-bound or send its roots over the lip of the container or straight through the ceramic wall. This is exactly what our capitalist industrial civilization is doing.
It has utilized every resource available to sustain growth, and now speaks of manipulating the weather in order to avoid the threat that climate chaos poses to its vitality. As far as mineral depletion, there has even been plans drawn up to mine asteroids for their deposits. The next frontier is to break the bonds of Earth itself. But we have irreparably cracked the vase that is our home. The Arctic will soon have an annual “window” in September through which the sun’s rays will work their way inside, prying that annual crack ever wider every year. In addition, we have pushed most other species, the building blocks of biodiversity, out of their habitat and onto the one-way path of extinction. The life-giving fluids of our vase have slowly been poisoned and acidified by the waste from our fossil fuel energy slaves. The hydrologic cycle within our little world has been hopelessly fouled with. The superorganism of capitalist industrial civilization is now starving the majority of its cells in order to keep healthy a few of its privileged cells who sit in places of power and Mammon worship. This potted plant or superorganism we call industrial civilization is looking rather pale and shriveled these days. As a matter of fact, it’s like a tree whose bark has been peeled off. It’s still standing at the moment and it does not know it’s dead, but its days are surely numbered.
The hope of environmentalists can no longer be that this corrupt system will run out of energy(Peak Oil), that the money presses will break down, or that it can be changed through capitalist schemes of “greening the economy”. The only thing that would have stopped the destruction would have been to build a new system that holds the health of the natural world as the primary metric through which all human activity is viewed and planned. Suffice it to say that such a system would not have been capitalism. Of course such a sentiment would brand you as an “eco-terrorist”, but the purpose of this essay is not to give hopium, but to describe the entrenched power structure which has laid waste to the environmental movement and our planet. Although small and ineffective, individual acts of moral courage and sacrifice are all that is left as this Beast of industrialized civilization tumbles to the ground, dying from self-inflicted wounds too numerous to count.
Since I was young, I knew I’d find you
But our love was a song sung by a dying swan
And even now you’ll hear me calling
You’ll hear me calling
And in your dreams you’ll see me falling, falling
Breathe in the light
I’ll stay here in the shadows
Waiting for a sign, as the tide grows
Higher, and higher, and higher…