- Date published:
3:00 pm, October 11th, 2016 - 104 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, Deep stuff, quality of life, useless, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: change, inaction, normality, psychology, stupidity
You and I, and just about everyone, knows that capitalism’s going over the cliff.
When it does, the various institutional memories and purposes that make up current political, cultural and economic realities, that together by the way they inform and interact with one another give capitalism systemic integrity, will all be gone. Everything those institutions give rise to and all the meanings they provide will be gone. Anyone who remains psychologically tethered to any of these soon to be disappeared or irrelevant institutional and systemic norms will essentially be gone too. How that might manifest itself at an individual level is anyone’s guess, but its probably safe to say many people will be exhibiting a distinct lack of vibrancy and healthiness.
Yet oddly, in this space we occupy between inevitability and actuality, this time we could be using to identify those things that are going over the cliff, this short time we have in which to disentangle ourselves from those things – we’re spending it throwing grappling hooks and pulling closer to everything we should be abandoning.
Capitalism’s going over the cliff, and yet we want to pay our mortgage. Capitalism’s going over the cliff and yet we want to work longer in a better paid job to pay our mortgage and save for retirement. Capitalism’s going over the cliff and yet we want to put some money aside for our children so they get a head start in life.
Seriously. What’s wrong with us?
We know that no change will come from any institutional quarter. We know that the only game in town from the perspective of institutional preservation, is pretend and extend. And we know that game’s going to end very badly. We also know that many of the people occupying positions of influence and power within our major institutions are the self same people (the 10% of us who produce 50% of our carbon waste or the 50% of us who produce 90% of our carbon waste) who are doing many more of the things than most that we shouldn’t be doing at present – not unless we want to guarantee a bleaker future for us all with the distinct possibility of an impossible future for many of us thrown in as some kind of sauce topping. We know that the sense of entitlement and the privilege these people enjoy is very much tied to us all continuing to do as we do. We’re not doing anything differently and we’re not demanding that things be done differently.
Many of us want a blue print, a plan, a map of the way forward, and so delay acting, or excuse doing little or nothing, while perhaps imagining some messiah or committee made of prophets, awesome dudes and wise dudettes putting The Thoughts down on paper that will show us where to go and how to get there.
There is no messiah. There are no prophets, no wise ones, no awesome ones. There is the option to act; to get out the way. It just means stopping. It just means dropping a lot of psychological shit in the dirt and moving on. It’s not difficult.
Alternatively, there is going over the cliff and being mangled with the rest of the wreckage. That’s not to deny that if we are intelligent we might get mangled in some other way anyway. That’s just how it is. So maybe in light of that, we’d rather bide our time and wait for some optimum moment to be on us before we act? There is no optimum moment. There is only a series of increasingly sub-optimal moments from now on in – there will not be any time as good as the present coming around again in the life time of anyone alive on the planet today.
But we’ll do nothing. We’ll all just keep on waiting. Nothing’s going to happen. Not tomorrow, next week, or next year. Nothing’s going to change.
I can almost see us all, knowing full well that the future doesn’t stretch away in some seemingly endless grassy vista before us in every direction, clinging to whatever familiarity we can muster, staring like bewildered snotty nosed children into one other’s faces plaintively exhorting each and all to offer comfort as we join the rising wail and bellow of the herd repeating – “Say this ain’t so. Say this ain’t so!”