Volatility

July 27, 2015

Climate Change Requires Change of Consciousness

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The specter of climate change hovers over all considerations. Industrial civilization has been founded upon the near-instantaneous release into the atmosphere of billions of years worth of compressed organic and solar energy. For comparison, ponder the difference between a billion years worth of rainfall upon a plain, versus this billion years of rain accumulating behind an unfathomable dam which then breaches and releases the entire flood in a moment. This depicts the radical global action of industrial capitalism upon humanity, the environment, and agriculture. Climate change is one of the most radical, if relatively gradual (from the human point of view; it’ll take centuries to draw its full conclusions, as opposed to the decades agricultural poisons are requiring), of these industrial effects. It’s inextricably bound up with industrial capitalism as such. This means it can never be “fixed” through the same industrial capitalist methods which are driving it.
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That’s part of why it’s so hard to find anyone who really cares about climate change. A litmus test for who seeks the real solution to climate change, as well as the real solution for the other crises plaguing humanity, comprises the following.
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1. The recognition that the crisis is endemic to industrial capitalism and will continue and intensify for as long as industrial capitalism is the economic and political mode of society.
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2. The will to fight the trend of the crisis by hindering industrial capitalism, hastening its downfall, overthrowing it.
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3. The strategic and tactical realization that industrial capitalism has committed itself completely to the corporation as its basic organizational form. This includes the corporate organizers of today’s political, religious*, scientific, academic, and journalistic paradigms.
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[*Today’s corporate religion – “Progress”, scientism, technocracy, globalization, belief in the reality of money, “wealth creation”, “jobs”, “growth”, “trade”, the moralization of debt, “contracts”, corporate personhood, intellectual property, austerity and its “there is no alternative”, and other pure fictions and malign distortions which corporate system indoctrination seeks to instill as verities.]
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4. Therefore, the strategic and tactical commitment to abolish corporations, as the great human necessity and mission of our time.
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In the case of climate change we can emphasize immediately that the main driver is corporate industrial agriculture, as by far the number one emitter of greenhouse gases and destroyer of carbon sinks. Therefore an overriding operational goal which can be accomplished prior to the complete abolition of corporations as such is the abolition of corporate agriculture, in particular the abolition of a particular technology to which corporate agriculture and capitalism as such has committed itself, GMOs.
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(There are many other reasons it’s imperative for humanity to abolish GMOs and transform our food production to agroecology on a Food Sovereignty basis. These include the escalating poisoning of our environment, soil, water, air, crops, food, and bodies; the fact that industrial agriculture must soon collapse and fail, dependent as it is upon fossil fuels, non-renewable fossil aquifer water, and industrial phosphorus, vulnerable as it is to soil collapse, the critical narrowing of its genetic basis and subsequent ever-heightened vulnerability to pests and disease and endemic crop weakness; the socioeconomic evils; and how industrial agriculture promises to bring the worst evils of famine and disease. GMOs do nothing but intensify and escalate all these pathologies, since they do nothing but intensify and escalate corporate industrial agriculture as such.)
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Therefore climate change cannot meaningfully be confronted other than through a total commitment against industrial capitalism and corporations across all economic sectors. This is why we need an anti-corporate abolition movement across the board. This is the firm demarcation line identifying the movement which will have a clear vision, a clear rationale, a clear philosophy, a clear operational goal, a clear target. Here’s where we can define ourselves and from there encompass all other factors which motivate people, because there are literally zero problems which aren’t either completely caused, or greatly aggravated, by corporate rule, and there are no “solutions” within corporatism which aren’t one form or another of collaboration and treason – selling out, ladder-pulling, or simply direct continuation of the status quo behind some technological or rhetorical facade. This has most recently and spectacularly been demonstrated by the neoliberal corporate con-men of Syriza.
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While researching my piece on climate change deniers I checked out what the classical “right wing” deniers, the likes of ALEC, the CEI, the Heartland Institute, the UK’s Scientific Alliance were saying. These days they tend to avoid direct denial, but instead focus on obfuscation and advocacy of counterproductive techno-pseudo-solutions like GMOs, fracking, “clean coal”, biofuels, and geoengineering. These are all standard elements of disaster capitalism, criminals using the crisis they themselves are causing in order to push even more destructive, yet profitable, gambits, fraudulently depicting them as “solutions”. Joe Romm has long called them climate policy “delayers”, because their goal is to indefinitely forestall real consciousness and real action through every kind of misdirection. Romm focused mostly on such corporate astroturfs as the pseudo-environmental Breakthrough Institute, whose real purpose is to shill for such destructive technologies as nukes, agrofuels, fracking, and GMOs. The likes of Discover Magazine fall into the same category.
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These all have in common that nowadays they usually dodge the question of whether climate change, anthropogenic or not, exists at all, in favor of touting scams for how, whatever the environmental problems are, we need more corporate domination, more capitalist technology, more corporate welfare, just stay the course, always nothing but more of the same. We find a basic affinity between these and the corporate “environmentalist” outfits as the Nature Conservancy, EDF, and NRDC, in both rhetoric and “solutions”. We see how corporate environmentalism provides the ideological bridge between ExxonMobil and the broad but shallow liberal consciousness of climate change which helps satisfy so many people that cap-and-trade and clean coal are systemic solutions, that CAFOs can be part of a constructive and ecologically sound society, along with individualist mannerisms like buying a fracking car or even changing one’s light bulbs. The end result? Shell moves on to ravaging the Arctic, now backed by a full liberal/conservative near-consensus.
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A malign ideological gambit currently being touted in the corporate media and among pseudo-radicals as well is the notion that humanity has entered a new “Anthropocene era”. Whether propagated under that term or some other, this is the Big Lie that humanity “naturally” seeks to transform the Earth to the fullest, most radical extent possible, as some sort of genetic imperative. It would follow that the ravages of fossil fuel-driven capitalism are not to blame for the great environmental and socioeconomic crises of our time, but rather are caused by a neo-Malthusian inner imperative or depravity. The point is also to rescue Malthusian notions from dystopic contexts and repackage them as neutral or even exalt them. This is also intended to bolster the prior lie that there’s no meaningful distinction between human action which is in harmony with the rest of nature, and human action which is destructive of nature and therefore of our own basis. We are inescapably part of nature and can never lift ourselves out of it by our hair, but the “anthropocene” lie is designed to validate the modern mindset of man being at war with nature, recasting this as itself just as “natural” as anything else. Pure destruction, homicide, and suicide are supposed to be seen as the same type of action as actions of love, healing, building, renewal. Here, as in so many other ways, we see the religious character of modern economic and scientistic ideology.
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The fact is that the totalitarian mindset is endemic only to modern industrial capitalism, and if it has any natural basis at all this is not in our normal nature but in our addiction to fossil fuels and the world-historical rush they gave us. Crises like climate change and the wholesale poisoning of humanity and the Earth are not “natural” ramifications of the human condition the way the anthropocene ideology would have it, but have a specific cause: fossil fueled industrial capitalism. Therefore they have a specific solution: Humanity must break corporate power.
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But in the hands of direct and indirect corporate flacks the “Anthropocene” notion will be used in a malign way. It’ll be used to say, “Capitalism isn’t worse or more destructive than any other form of civilization as such, assuming you find any of this bad at all. So there’s no need or call to fight capitalism. We’d have to want to devolve civilization as such. Since we’re not going to do that, we might as well do nothing and stay the course.” We can trace this basic mindset across the spectrum of advocacy groups and themes I briefly surveyed above. In truth humanity does not have to devolve anything or settle for less in the way of prosperity, comfort, health, and happiness. On the contrary, it’s the ever tightening death grip of the corporations which is strangling all of these and is clearly forcing us all toward the most desolate poverty, misery, sickness, starvation, and death.
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Indeed, the direct flacks and techno-fundamentalists now revel in humanity’s destructive and self-destructive power like Hitler watching spellbound as his planes bombed Warsaw. For them the Anthropocene and climate change are to be idols of religious worship. That’s why they’ve contracted their cult of GMOs and agricultural poisons – they revel in their power as Poisoners.
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So we have the de jure deniers and “Anthropocene” scammers who openly call for escalated destruction as the answer to destruction – “clean coal”, fracking, nukes, agrofuels, GMOs, geoengineering, and finally the elites leaving the planet completely once it’s no longer capable of sustaining life. We have the system environmentalists and corporate liberals whose ideology is basically the same, and even much of the rhetoric, with just a few minor variations. Thus for example cap-and-trade was always a de jure scam (fraudulent “offsets” as well as “safety valves” or “offramps”), as well as a stalking horse for further corporate welfare bonanzas for Wall Street, coal, nukes, and Big Ag via agrofuels and even GMOs. (Monsanto lobbied for its Roundup Ready system to qualify for Clean Development Mechanism credits.)
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We have a small group of writers and activists who correctly identify capitalism as such as the great driver of climate change. Now we must go one better – it’s corporations which are the actual form of globalized capitalism, so to fight and overthrow the latter we must tailor organization, strategy, and goals to destroy the former.
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I must keep on repeating my call for those who would not be slaves, those who desire freedom, prosperity, happiness, and human dignity, to develop the full movement consciousness and organize our lives according to it. As with GMO abolition, so with climate change we must recognize the inadequacy of the consumerist, individualist consciousness and the advocacy it inevitably extrudes. This is especially critical wherever this individualism sees itself as sufficient. An absolute minimum requirement for a sane, practical view of these struggles is the recognition that the corporations are totalitarian and will NEVER settle for one jot less than 100%. Therefore our one and only option is to reduce them to 0%. Given our current circumstance of mass stagnation and corruption, consumerist movements may sometimes be necessary starting points toward the real abolition struggles. But abolitionists can find such starting points only where these movements are on the vector toward the necessary anti-corporate goal. They must be seeking to delay, hinder, obstruct corporate power. But where we see alleged advocates of freedom, democracy, equality, social justice, human well-being, claiming that these ends can be served by enhancing corporate power, we can be sure that these are liars who in truth advocate nothing but corporate power.
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As in so many other contexts (regulators, system NGOs, academia, professionals, to name a few) the corporate “reformer” template applies:
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1. The corporate prerogative is normative. Under no circumstance must it ever be significantly circumscribed, let alone abolished.
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2. Given (1), a cadre may try to ameliorate the worst corporate “abuses”, or nab a few “bad apples”, or else may just pretend to be trying to do this. But under no circumstances shall they violate (1).
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3. The regulator, liberal NGO, etc. then puts its imprimatur on the “regulated” system, assures the people that things are under control, that the people can tend to their private individualist lives and leave public affairs to “authority”, to “the professionals”.
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Where it comes to almost all of the existing ways of talking, thinking, and allegedly doing about climate change, we have lame ameliorationists at best. But most of them are scammers.
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As for the pro-GMO activists and their supporters, they’re all climate change deniers, since they call for nothing but the radical escalation of what’s already the number one climate change driver, industrial agriculture. Whether they’re willful liars, cult fanatics, or just ignorant and stupid, makes no moral difference. Willful ignorance is as culpable as deliberate lies. They’re all climate criminals, in addition to their many other crimes against humanity and the Earth.
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The first great task toward a human renaissance must be to overcome the great lies which, along with brute force, are all the corporate system has. The pioneers of the new consciousness must devote ourselves to spreading the new idea, the new vision, enlisting all who we can for the duration of the stagnation time, undertaking whatever obstruction and wedge actions are possible during this time, the whole panorama of grassroots action Naomi Klein calls “Blockadia”, and building the new within the old. We must force into the public consciousness the alternative available for it to embrace at will, the knowledge of the truth that there is a much better road to all we want and need in order to make Earth a good place to live. This way is the only way, since this Earth is home, the only home we’ll ever have, whether we cherish it or let our house be burnt down, our fields salted, our wells poisoned.
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It’s true that there is no alternative, but in a sense directly antithetical to the lies of corporatism and austerity. We can take back and redeem our civilization and our world, we can successfully tackle all the problems we face, we can have all we need and all we want. But for any of this there can be no co-existence with the monsters which, by their innermost predetermined character, must destroy all. Humanity cannot coexist with the totalitarian corporations. No matter which problem you look at, environmental ones like climate change most of all, there can be no compromise with entities dedicated to complete destruction. Salvation can come only from the complete destruction of these complete destroyers.
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For humanity to have a future, consciousness of this great truth is a precondition. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, everything is not only possible but assured.

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3 Comments

  1. We in the USA are particularly challenged to realize that everything we know is wrong. I’ve found distance cycling to be the best transformational tool for waking me to how little we really need. http://bike4peace.com/

    Comment by vernonhuffman — July 27, 2015 @ 3:00 pm

  2. […] people to relinquish the status quo-conforming consciousness in whatever form, burn their boats and embrace a revolutionary consciousness. Enough people, first to build a movement outside of, out of synch with, where necessary in […]

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  3. […] all directly contradict their rhetoric. Clearly they’re liars when they claim to believe climate change is a growing crisis that must be faced honestly, rationally, morally, and without sha… . Those who do recognize the full magnitude and peril of the crisis know there’s only one […]

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