January 9, 2019

The Housebroken Environmental Movement


You can’t “vote” against this. Indeed those who vote all vote for it.

As a rule, people’s principles and goals boil down to what they personally want to do. Every religion started with the invention of the kind of gods the inventors wanted, and everything followed from there. One starts with desire and ramifies a philosophy and program from this all-too-human wellspring. There are few exceptions, the main one being understanding of the physical and biological crisis of the global ecology.
Ironically, the mainstream environmental movement is one of the worst examples of self-indulgence. It is congenitally hobbled by the fact that its participants and supporters mostly are middle class types who have faith in the Extreme Energy Civilization, who desire its high-energy, high-maintenance, high-input, high-impact junk, and therefore whose “environmentalism” can only be an afterthought to these and can exist only within that consumerist framework. They then generate the political ideology which goes with this consumerism – statism, regulatory bureaucracy, politics conducted through government-controlled elections. All quite prim and proper and well-monocultured. This is why all mainstream environmentalism is performed within the framework of productionism-consumptionism, capitalism, technocracy. That’s why all its prescriptions boil down to “Keep Shopping!”
In many pieces over the years I’ve offered my corporate regulator template. Its explanatory and predictive power surpasses any other model I’ve seen. It goes:
1. Corporate productionism must always go forward. Its core imperatives of profit, power, control, and techno-religiosity must never be hindered.
2. Given (1), the regulator may sometimes work to mitigate the worst extremes, illegalities, “abuses” of corporate action. More often it only pretends to be taking action but never does. Often it doesn’t even pretend.
3. The regulator then puts its imprimatur on the corporate project, assures the public that things are orderly, sound, safe. Most of all it conveys the message that knowledge and action can be left to the regulator, and that the people should be content to accept the dispensation, relinquish all public responsibility and concern, get on with their private affairs.
Thus the regulatory bureaucratic model is anti-political, anti-participation, anti-democracy, but rather works to enshrine and reinforce authoritarian technocracy (but with a pseudo-democratic facade – that’s what the fake elections, and the ideology of electoralism, are for).
The regulatory ideology is an outgrowth of liberal ideology, which rose out of capitalism as a mode of indoctrination against the cooperative social primate nature we evolved over millions of years and into a competitive, privately-oriented, self-indulgent individualism. In this case the public faith in regulators, and the corporate state as such including its fake electoralism, dovetails perfectly with the brain-washed urge to fixate on one’s individual predicament, ignore our collective plight, and automatically reject all thought of real organization and organic community.
I first developed the template to apply to pro-corporate regulators like the EPA, FDA, USDA in their context of assisting poison-based agriculture. I quickly found the template applies just as well to all regulators, the media, academia, the legal system, the scientific establishment, establishment funders and NGOs, individual opinion leaders. In every case (1) is the same: Corporate productionism, or the productionist civilization no matter how it’s formally organized, must continue. Nothing the entity does must try significantly to hinder productionism or call it into question in any way.
This applies especially well to mainstream environmentalism, and most of all to the climate-industrial complex. Climate scientists, all mainstream activism, all mainstream media coverage (for that matter almost all “alternative” coverage), all academic study, all prescriptions (here too mainstream and “alternative” meld as one), all adhere to this template:
1. The productionist Extreme Energy Civilization, usually in its capitalist form (some alternatives call for “socialism”, but only as a cosmetic formal change – it’s still the same extreme energy productionism), must continue no matter what.
2. Given (1) they may try to reduce some emissions in some cherry-picked way, preserve some wilderness here, an endangered species there, all on an ad hoc basis. More often they only pretend to do these. Their touted climate solutions are usually based on inherent false accounting, including the monumental “offset” fraud, and are ecologically highly destructive in themselves such as the mining required for industrial “renewables”. Of course electric cars, biomass, and biofuels are both horrifically destructive and examples of fraudulent carbon accounting.
For Big Green NGOs (1) is always primary and getting big funding always second. Or we could conflate these – they combine to give the NGO a mandate to collaborate with the destroyers of the Earth rather than oppose them. And indeed many NGOs are nothing but corporate front groups, while others pick and choose where to explicitly collaborate and where to pretend to oppose. Even those who sometimes do oppose do so firmly within the civilization’s framework and assume the productionist imperative as God-given.
And then good liberal individualists can mouth the words, sign a petition, contribute to the World Wildlife Fund or the Nature Conservancy, vote Democrat. In other words do nothing, and in fact support the ongoing massacre, but attain cheap grace.
3. Then the “movement” puts its imprimatur on the state of things. Corporate collaboration deals mean progress, they assure us. If the NGO says a deal has done real preservation work it must be true. At any rate the official NGO-coordinated Movement is on it, and all the people need to do is support the movement, accept its prescriptions as sufficient and practicable, sign and vote where told, of course donate, and otherwise get on with their non-political, apolitical, anti-political private lives.
Today, indeed, Politics is Dead. To a big extent this is because the natural political space has been constricted and filled by the kind of fake politics described here. One might shrug and think that’s all the more reason to go with the private individualist flow.
But the vaster reason there are no longer meaningful politics is that all struggles internal to civilization pale and shrink in the face of the mounting, already catastrophic ecological crisis being driven by the war this civilization has launched against the Earth. By now everything fades in the spotlight of the only real Either/Or left: Are you willingly part of the onslaught or do you oppose it.
To be clear, one can’t burn down one’s house and live in it too. In the millennial war of Man vs. Nature, “man” always was doomed to lose. Homo domesticus certainly will become the showcase victim of this Sixth Mass Extinction event it has launched. Just as prior mass extinctions are named after the formal time periods they cap and bring to a close, so the most appropriate use of the otherwise suspect term “Anthropocene” will be to denominate the (very short) period which closed with the extinction of “civilized” hominids. Whether the hominid species will go physically extinct depends to a large extent on how many people choose a new ecological road home now, and how well we work to endure the imminent great storms of history, climate, biology.
It’s an irony that the movement which first had inklings of all this seems to have domesticated itself out of any potential to help with this necessary transformation. But anyone fixated on a “green new deal” amid their ongoing dealing gaming life isn’t going to be able to help escape the casino, or indeed even to understand the concept. And in fact they love the casino, love the gamble, love the rush. And to switch to a closely related metaphor, they’re addicted to the drug. They only squabble with fellow addicts over who’s using too much etc. Where it comes to the productionist civilization that’s barely a metaphor; it pretty much directly describes the psychosis of stuff.
And this, along with the theological urge to destruction all the civilized have in common, is what the civilized truly desire. Their “politics” never will transcend this. We who want the great transformation, and we who recognize the ecological necessity, must burn our bridges once and for all. As we see, Gaia shall insist regardless.


  1. […] environmental movement has perfect consensus with the corporate destroyers of the Earth on total commitment to the production-consumption economy. Therefore all prescriptions touted by the establishment climate movement really have zero to do […]

    Pingback by A Desert of the Soul | Volatility — January 17, 2019 @ 6:43 am

  2. […] sums it up: Productionism as such is prior to anti-capitalism or any other value. (Like I say in my production template.)   Needless to say it comes far prior to the ecological crisis. Elsewhere Kautsky hails […]

    Pingback by “Left” Behind | Volatility — January 31, 2019 @ 4:25 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: