From Black Seed:
In This Issue:
- The End of the World?
- Activism and the Green Left
- An Introduction to the Anthropecene
- Interviews with Dominique & Knowing the Land is Resistance
- The Aftermath of the Katrina Disaster
- Anarcho-Primitivism and Green Platonism
- Nihilist Animism
- Reviews & More…
Editorial: Is the End of the World Upon us?
There are plenty of signs that would lead us to believe that this is the case. In this issue we focus on natural catastrophies, both the incredibly dangerous ways they’re minimized by government agencies and popular media, as well as our total lack of collective responsibility, demonstrated by our increasing consumption of finite resources. Our world has gone mad with profit-for-the-very-few and the political and social consequences of a world with as great a gap in income levels as there has ever been are dangerous. How will the next economic crash look compared to the 1930s? Will it take another war to end the next one? Can we survive such a war? Finally, is the end of the world visible in how we allow ourselves to be treated by the State? If Black Lives Matter has taught us anything it is that the human capacity to objectify and destroy other humans is as high today as it has ever been and that the rhetoric is even more sophisticated (and not) and even less forgiving. If the end of the world is a measurable event there is plenty of evidence that the meter for it is at a near high.
But if we were to predict what is going to happen we would not predict a technicolor, end-of-the-action-movie, discrete end of the world in our lifetime. What we would predict is instead something of a whimper. We would argue that the end of human progress looks like a thousand Space X capsules failing to make orbit, islands in South Asia disappearing, and the infamous air pollution in Bejing. The headlines will continue to scream about the end of the idea that humans are capable of thinking and acting in big and successful ways about our own possibilities. We will slowly starve.
The end of the world—just like ideas of human perfectibility or our progressive future of reasonable solutions to logistical problems—should be seen for what it is: a construction of the amazing myth machine of the particular society that we live in. Our four horsemen will not come with scythe, sword, arrow, and scale. They will just come with less: less resources, less political stability, and less capacity to see a way out. This is because ultimately what we call the end of the world will merely be the end of this particular humanist society, the end of a Western Civilization that spans the globe, the end of Global Capitalism™ as we know it. It may be the end of neo-Rome but it isn’t the end of us.
The problem we face is: who are we without the world as we understand it? Are we preppers whose future vision is limited to fences and feeding our (homogenous) children? Are we parochial victims of future strongmen as prefigured in so many movies and books? Or are we something else?
If rewilding has been worth anything in green anarchist thought and practice it’s been engaging as an intervention into this question. But along with gaining skills we also need to seriously reassess how we associate with one another. Perhaps it is too late for city dwellers, who appear to be no longer capable of caring for one another even in today’s world. We have plenty of examples of what co-existence can look like, what forms cooperation and mutual aid have taken, but we experience its impossibility in our daily lives. Perhaps the lesson we should draw from the upcoming Great Whimper is that we have serious work to do regarding the depth and sincerity of our interpersonal relationships. Other people may not save us but they do sometimes make surviving on less seem like thriving on more, a lesson that becomes more and more obviously necessary, as we have experienced excess and it has turned out to be less desirable than we could have imagined.
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