Are you radical?? Do you believe that society is radically flawed and that the answer is a radical restructuring? How does that effect your thinking when thinking about small improvements? Like, if there is some minor change you can make to industrial production which will lessen its detrimental environmental impact, is something you care about? It can seem that when people tout these sort of moves they also hold them up as an example of how the system works (to an extent). In the mediated world we live in everything becomes propaganda for something, and most of it for the very idea of capitalism itself. Also, if you feel that the world is effectively doomed until there is a revolution in the core of our society, how we produce and how we share in what we have and what we make, then surely incremental improvements is basically just completely irrelevant window dressing on a house that is on fire? So why on earth would you care?
‘yes we’re very happy with the grass, we really are improving…’
But then, maybe, that is all just a form of arrogance and narcissism. It is a feeling of ‘Why would I bother doing something small and potentially inconsequential? I am not small and inconsequential! I refuse to be so! Unless I can act on a grand scale I shall act on no scale at all’. Well perhaps you should reduce the scale on which you feel on act, Marxism denotes that everything must be seen in the context of the ‘Totality’. You must contextualise all small problems and dynamics within the whole, to see thei origin in the all consuming dynamic of capitalism, a dynamic which originates from the private ownership of the means of production.
To pick a particularly convoluted case. Someone was recently telling me about advances in Industrial electric fans which mean that the cooling process involved in industrial production will, aided by these new industrial extractor fans, become more efficient and less wasteful, less environmentally destructive. These new fans will improve things. Can such a thing mean anything in the face of institutionalised destruction? Can such a thing ever matter?…
The central question of our age and perhaps the central question of all ages (politically) is: What can we achieve? You’ll notice these days, that the lines of political divide are not (in rhetoric) drawn up along lines of what people think we should achieve but what people think we can achieve. In this context goals that used to be seen as reasonable, or even essential, roles of the state have now become idealistic fantasies that can be dismissively ridiculed with no actually insight or analysis. The key form of power in our world is not so much the power to stop things happening, but the power to form what we think is possible in the first place.
But this has also been the case, and it has always been the role of great movements and people to change what we think is possible. To push us to achieve what the dominant political powers and climate do not want us to think we can achieve. You have to take a position in this life, a position based on what you think is right first, and then you make that possible. Our world is as we make it, it is created everyday by the attitudes people have and the decisions people make, all that you have to be able to do is change those attitudes and that is always possible.
Timber Packing Cases. Timber packing cases are a more environmentally friendly way to transport. They are practical, green and deserve funding. Some choose to deny climate change as a way to avoid the things we have to do to combat it and moderate it’s effects, I think a lot of people manage to actually believe their climate change denial is somehow justified. It isn’t based on the facts. But we make decisions based on a whole load more than facts, we make them based on cultural allegiances and personal emotion. You have to recognize that, even when the people you’re trying to convince don’t. Also, recognise it in yourself! Climate change is real, but you didn’t arrive at your feelings about the issue in some truth vacuum were you evaluate things as truth prospects and then follow them if they appear to fulfil your wonderfully scientific minds truth conditions. You’re at this point because of your background, because of the friends you have, of the friends you want to have. Because of where you feel you belong, where you feel you don’t belong.
Timber Packing Cases. Something as small as that. Something as big as THE FUTURE OF OUR PLANET.…
The world is being destroyed at an alarming rate. It is not by an invading alien army and not necessarily through war or robots or anything like this. It is through indifference and greed. It is through a mantra that centres on the impossibility of making the world a better place, the essential selfishness of human beings, and the easy nihilism these ideas results in.
This type of Nihilism is different to the traditional philosophical position. There’s a big difference between ‘there is no objective moral reality and actions only have the meanings we, as humans, give them’ and ‘because so many others act with little or no care for anything but their own accumulation of capital and power, and in doing so are creating an unjust and unequal society and wider world, there is nothing I can do to oppose them so I may as well adopt their values to best profit with in the society of competition and exaggerated reward those values have created’. That position holds a whole host of moral positions in it, but combines it with a nihilism of the potential of personal action, a core belief no that nothing matters but that you are personally powerless to do anything that ‘matters’. It is not a position that contests that there is no morality or no moral positions, but that the world around us is so fudged that it does not give us any true opportunity to put any morality into action. So, it is not that any form of Nihilism is, it is that Nihilism is the only position you can take and live by. That’s the idea: not that there is nothing, but that there is nothing you can do. And that idea is bullshit.
That form of Nihilism, Nihilism that comes simply as a weakness in the face of the morality (or lack there of) of those around you, is simply a cop out. It’s cowardly. It is a way of excusing yourself from morals that you do feel are right and good. It’s away of letting yourself be a raging twat.
Don’t be a raging twat.…