Monday, July 1, 2019

Prodigies of Peace

I’m not sure what to write about. I’ve been stuck in a kind of mental turmoil, my thoughts frozen on the event horizon of a black hole of catastrophe. Logic and reason can only take you so far and then you end up being snarled up by your own inconsistencies. For example, it’s pretty clear that civilisation is killing the planet – and by civilisation I mean our own one – the one that decimates ecosystems, poisons our mind and bodies, and hates nature.

So do I want this civilisation to crash and burn? You bet! But then that would likely mean the death of many of the people I know and love (including, probably, me) – and isn’t it a bit hypocritical to write such a thing on a computer and share it over the internet instead of scrawling it in charcoal on a piece of dried bark and parading around town with it on a stick?

So then, I think, maybe civilisation can be reformed. Perhaps we can all re-learn how to live in harmony with nature, stop fighting wars and filling the oceans with plastic. We could all listen to Greta Thunberg or AOC and demand a Green New Deal and everything would be all right again – capitalism with a nice shiny layer of green paint on it.

Or maybe not.

For some reason, and I’m not sure why this is, but for the last year or two I have been waking up in the mornings with music playing in my head. No, I haven’t fallen asleep with my headphones on, the music seems to be coming from somewhere inside. Perhaps it is because I have spent the last 18 months sitting in an office watching the hours and days tick by and my subconscious mind has been screaming at me to escape (which I did, last week, BTW). 

It’s a different track every morning, and it could be anything. Two days ago it was a pop song from the 1980s – Into the Groove by Madonna – whereas yesterday it was the theme music to the sci-fi series Westworld by Ramin Djawadi.

This morning, when I woke up, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were performing a concert between my ears. They were playing Righteous and the Wicked, which includes the lyrics:

The righteous and the wicked
War and peace
The killing fist of the human beast
P.O.P., prodigies of peace
Hear me when I'm calling you
From my knees

I am playing for a better day
Playing for a better day, anyway
Oh yeah, I'm playing for a better day
Holy Mother Earth
Crying into space
Tears on her pretty face
I thought she had been raped

Killing your future blood
Fill her with disease
Global abortion pleas
That is what she needs

Perhaps my subconscious has got fed up with being too subtle, eh?

So what can we – I mean I, or each of us individually – do about this everlasting shit show?

Well, I suppose we can fight it.

But how does one fight against this nebulous, all-encompassing beast that we all live in the belly of? It seems pretty obvious by now that it’ll fight to the bitter end – it would rather kill every last man, woman, reindeer, tree and stag beetle than give up even an inch of ground. That’s the nature of, what my friend Thomas Sheridan calls the Psychopathic Control Grid (PCG) and Dmitry Orlov calls the Technosphere, that is effectively what our civ has become. It will take down the planet rather than relinquish control.

And just who is ‘us’. I seem to know a lot of people who are all of a sudden proclaiming themselves to be environmentalists. Lit with the fire of fervour, these people are demanding that the guvmint reduce carbon emissions to zero, practically overnight. Their strategy seems to involve wearing facepaint and glitter, stomping around in the streets holding up placards and drawing chalk outlines around children whilst shouting ‘Extinction!’

Are these privileged people? Sure. Do they demonstrate their commitment to their cause by curtailing their own impact on the environment? Maybe some of them do, but not that I’ve seen. Have any of them done a bit of research into how feasible their demands are if they were to be turned into public policy and what that would mean to society? Ummm …

Here’s another question: do I feel bad for mocking them? And the answer is: yes, I probably do. I mean, from my point of view they are likely being exploited by ‘green’ capitalist corporations who are trying to inflate a bubble of ‘renewable’ energy (not that such a thing exists, of course, unless you are talking wooden windmills and passive solar energy to heat your house) so that one last big money bubble can be blown up before everything comes crashing down.

But from the protestors' point of view they are fighting an evil tyranny of fossil fuel companies who are dead-set on being dastardly and evil because they are … dastardly and evil. Never mind that their form of protest – publicly having fun and dressing up – is a media-friendly gift to governments and corporations who can now claim to ‘have listened to the people’ and will gladly cut off the energy supply to the bottom 90% of said people (preserving, of course, their own privileges) and will then proclaim in truly Orwellian fashion that all CO2 emitters are bad, but some CO2 emitters are less bad than others.

The PCG is endlessly tormenting, that's just how it rolls. 

So what to do about the killing fist of the human beast, as the Chili Peppers put it? How exactly do we fight back?

Well, here’s a thought that I’ve been having, and it starts with three premises:

Premise 1: Like a virus, ‘civilisation’ (aka the PCG) attempts to colonise all life forms, including, and perhaps especially, humans.

Premise 2: When it does so it undermines an organism’s ability to live its life in a manner to which it has naturally evolved – leading to fields of GMO plants growing in chemically saturated substrate (‘soil’), animals reared and killed in giant factories, and humans confined to perfunctory roles in office cubicles and retail outlets, while being harvested for their profit potential.

Premise 3: The PCG is addicted to expansion and control and will not voluntarily stop this expansion until it has turned the planet into an unliveable wasteland.

Premise 4: Its expansion is enabled by abundant and cheap fossil fuels, which as everyone who has studied peak oil will know, are now becoming less abundant and less cheap.

Premise 5: As it senses its expansion and therefore its survival is under threat, the PCG will attempt to consolidate its power at the centre, sacrificing all extraneous and ‘unproductive’ sectors, such as me and you and the oceans and the remaining forests.

Let’s be clear, the PCG is what most natural non-industrialised cultures would recognise as a ‘demon’. In the observable world it manifests as a huge interconnected mass of corporate, military, pharmaceutical hardware, that isn’t under the control of any particular human being, but just exists to sow mayhem and death seemingly with an emergent intelligence of its own.

But given Premise 2, that it colonises organisms and that it needs space to do so, one small way that it can be fought is to get to work on the one thing that you have control over (for the time being) i.e. yourself.

Decolonising your own mind and body would seem to be the beginning of fighting back against the PCG. If you refuse to play along to whatever extent that you are able, then you become a useless cell in the bloated body of the PCG.

It's intuitive that all organisms have the right to live their within their own gods-given biophysical limitations and to the extent that their free will allows, without having to be dominated by others. This is necessary for full-systems integrity, so you could say it it a type of natural law rather than a human-invented 'right'. 

But how can we decolonise ourselves? I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know. I don’t think there is a book somewhere entitled “Decolonisation from the Psychopathic Control Grid for Dummies” and even if there was it’d be printed by a company owned by another company, that's owned by a media conglomerate that is part of the PCG, and it would contain dud information that'd get you killed. As I said, that's the way the PCG rolls: everything is coopted for its own advantage. 

So for the most part we’re going to have to use the one thing that the PCG cannot ever commoditise: our innate intuition.

My innate intuition tells me, for example, that people in industrialised societies like the one I live in used to live close to the land. They hunted, fished, gathered berries and herbs, were reverent to the sun and the seasons, respected the limitations of the soils and knew that when it was all over their own bodies would nourish the plants and therefore the animals that they had borrowed from during their own life span.

And so one way I am going to fight back against the PCG is to get to know intimately the land where I live. This will involve a lot of learning; about plant lore, human (and animal) history, sleeping under the stars, walking through it, nurturing it and writing about it. 

Really, at this stage in the ongoing train wreck of our civilisation it’s one of the few options left open to us.  Sure, we can all eat vegan diets, protest to career politicians, drive less, fly less, consume less … and that’s all well and good, but from the perspective of the PCG it couldn’t care less about our small individual actions as it simply allocates the resources we don’t consume to somewhere else on planet earth where they can be consumed more efficiently. 

It does this by getting the recently colonised (in ‘developing’ countries) to pick up the slack by offering them cheap credit and enslaving them that way. Let’s remember that every single government in the world is committed to infinite economic growth within our delicate planetary ecosystem, and that any serous challenge to this ethos is met by tanks and bombs and prison sentences.

But we don’t have to be slaves. If we each took a bit of control back and related to the patch of planet earth in our immediate vicinity new pathways of being could – and I reckon will – emerge. 

So, to go back to the Chili Peppers, we can but try and opt out of helping the Killing Fist of the Human Beast, instead be Prodigies of Peace.

I will have more information soon on my efforts in another blog.