Apocalypse June 2022
Punks on Sylt
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is mocked and dismissed and ignored and shunned. Someone with a larger understanding, a larger vision, it doesn’t tend to end well for them (1). How does this advance my personal position? You have to think about that 24/7. Business as sport, blood sport. All empires are violent; paradise is something that could be here and now. Past 100 days of Putin’s war. Russian fascists pillage ancient monasteries, burn them to the ground. Flying the Z flag, eyes to the west. What kind of democratic society do we have if the infamous “red line” doesn’t actually exist, as the continuous cycle of war disasters always appears to be insufficiently unbearable to directly stop them? (2)
US Ukraine aid is ten times more than any other country, twice as much as all other countries combined. Sharp analysis from Zizek, looking further ahead, that due to the explosive development of China, Japan and South Korea, the main transport route will run north of Russia and Scandinavia. Russia’s strategic plan is to profit from global warming: control the world’s main transport route, plus develop Siberia and control Ukraine. In this way, Russia will dominate so much food production that it will be able to blackmail the whole world. This is the ultimate economic reality beneath Putin’s imperial dream … The European legacy will be lost, and Europe will be de facto divided between an American and a Russian sphere of influence. In short, Europe itself will become the place of a war that seems to have no end…
I’m sick of going to dinner parties and being embarrassed about being a Conservative MP, says one Conservative MP. I find myself surprised to feel hopeful for the next UK GE. Tories lose two by-elections on the same night — the Tory candidate locked herself in a fridge at the West Devon count, refusing to speak to the press. Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown says colleagues were simply defeated by the situation that we find ourselves in at the moment — So fuck off! Party chair Oliver Dowden resigns, says that we cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office.
BlowJob on manoeuvres. Likely to be drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless. If he does this every day, we start to feel hysterical. In the end he damages everyone he comes into contact with. Corruption and fear of the dictator lead to irrational choices, a facade of power and cover-ups. Government will no longer fund degrees where 60 percent of students don’t end up in so-called highly skilled jobs within six months. It’s an economy of slaps and tickles. Put it up the flagpole, see who salutes. You’ve won, because you’re corrupt and so is the world.
I detest the Game, but if we don’t play it well, our enemies will depict us as the villains. Keir Starmer cannot please everyone, he either supports workers or corporate bosses. Liberal — progressives on the side of capital. No one can feel represented by him. I’m reading the opinions — Faintly pink social democrats who can’t find the words to wholeheartedly support workers with legitimate grievances after 12 years of austerity don’t deserve to lead. It’s always the battle after this one that is going to be the one worth fighting. Starmer has got ‘loser’ written all over his permanently furrowed brow. But on the other hand — Labour doing what a real socialist party should do is the best way of guaranteeing a Tory victory at the next election. Starmer’s weaknesses might be his strengths. I yearned for dullness, but I wonder if we ever really want it. Boring is fine. It’s the two-faced lying thing that puts people off.
The Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending almost 50 years of the constitutional right to abortion in the US, pushing out the decision to states — but what’s this? Conservative Majority Led by Justice Thomas Strikes Down New York State’s Unconstitutional Licensing Regime for Carrying a Handgun in Public. Half of US voters against increased gun control believe guns are central to their identity, 74% say essential to their liberty. The gunman who killed four people at a Tulsa medical building underwent back surgery last month and the doctor who performed it was one of the victims, police said. His weapons included an AR-15-style rifle purchased hours before the attack.
Google engineer put on leave after claiming chatbots can express thoughts and feelings. The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. The Great Acceleration began in 1950. The world hasn’t dared look too far ahead — we have to actively work to flatten off the exponential curve, while the economy comes up against a limiting factor of one kind or another. If GDP is to continue growing in high-income countries, its associated resource use must fall not just relatively or absolutely but sufficiently absolutely to move back within planetary boundaries. And the standard of our ability to solve problems is at present evidently, woefully insufficient.
Right now it’s on a knife edge, of one half of the world order running away with it, the other half never winning a government majority again. Swaying, tipping. But it’s not a binary, the future will smudge on in between like it always has — but doesn’t climate make that bullshit? The market is a tragedy. We cannot rely on the private sector to bring about the kind of radical reshaping of the economy that is required. But even where you have a government committed to climate change, we have to accept that governments won’t do enough — pressuring businesses, financial institutions, individuals, XR — that won’t be enough! Climate policy is being dragged into the culture wars with misinformation and junk science used as delay tactics. We need systems thinking, biosphere stewardship, ending deprivation and degradation at the same time. The road ahead is quite narrow.
Ideological and economic frames of collapse and survival have the power to be self-fulfilling. Hope in the future is a spiritual faith. As John Stuart Mill wrote in 1848, A stationary condition of capital and population implies no stationary state of human improvement. There would be as much scope as ever for all kinds of mental culture, and moral and social progress; as much room for improving the art of living, and much more likelihood of it being improved, when minds ceased to be engrossed by the art of getting on. We have free will, it won’t happen unless we act — pushing transformative idea(l)s. But also, it either will or won’t succeed, the timeline will be one or the other, and the mathematics of that dichotomy presumably exist in the world already, whether we can see the full picture yet or not.
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(1) John Higgs
(2) Vasyl Cherepanyn