I’ve been working on something that isn’t quite ready to be published yet, so this was a light week. I’ve been holding to my commitment to write more about climate change, and I did so again this week, when I discussed the plans of scientists from Harvard and Yale to spray sun-dimming chemicals into the atmosphere to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Queer and proud responded:
“It is easier for people to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism”
I can’t remember who said this originally but it is proving itself depressingly true with each passing day
That’s a great quote that I don’t think I’d heard before. And it is proving itself depressingly true. I’m really beginning to understand how powerful an ideology capitalism is. I don’t just mean in terms of its reach and the power it’s amassed and consolidated. I mean on a personal, individual level. It’s a part of some people’s identity the way the religion they were raised in is. So much of their self-esteem is tied up in “succeeding” under the system. There’s got to be some interesting reading out there on how capitalism has become enmeshed in the Evangelical belief system in particular. I’m sure there’s a good essay lurking in all this…
As usual, Marley K. raises some excellent points I wish I’d discussed.
We refuse to take on capitalism and consumerism. There are more new cars sitting on car dealership lots than consumers with resources to purchase and maintain them.
This is what’s so bizarre about the current iteration of capitalism. There’s all this overproduction in the face of ever-shrinking incomes. Wages are stagnant and being outpaced by inflation and cost-of-living increases. Rent in most major international cities is skyrocketing outside the reach of what should be comfortable upper middle class incomes. Consumer debt can shore things up for only so long. Then there’s the mountain of student loan debt that’s crushing people. This is all going to end badly. I honestly don’t understand how anyone who’s paid the slightest bit of attention can’t see that…
Used car lots are filled with old cars that are not much better at fuel efficiency than the new cars being created. We are bombing and destabilizing oil rich nations in order to conserve ours, meanwhile preventing those nations from ever being able to sustain themselves. We are bombing countries polluting our air, warming the earth, melting the polar ice caps, and flooding me down here in FL along with the people living in the middle of the ocean on beautiful tropical islands. We consume shit we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to chase dreams that are actually nightmares, and then we need anti-depressants that we piss out into our waterways, killing and altering the lives of fish and other wildlife relying on clean water. If we blot out the sun, how will food grow…oh yeah, we now use artificial lights to grow food indoors in abandoned warehouses, and now grow genetically modified fish in ponds, farm raising them.
Science fiction has discussed so many of these issues. I wonder how much of the failure to see the obvious consequences of the path we’re on is the degradation of the arts. In hindsight, I can see how much of the way I process what’s happening in the world is filtered through all the literature, cinema, and television I’ve consumed. I was taught that these media offered worthwhile critiques and valuable lenses through which to examine important issues. I don’t think it’s an accident that the gateways to much of the right wing violence we’re observing are through supposedly “hyper-rational” men appealing to people who believe themselves to share that same quality. I think the lack of humanity in their worldview is inevitable. All the “tech will save humanity” arguments are incomplete. Technology is a tool. Wielded by the wrong hands it becomes a weapon. Only humanity can save humanity.
Meanwhile, we don’t make anything anymore. We in America only consume. Politicians have shipped most manufacturing and industrial jobs overseas via bad trade acts which take 25–35 years to see the negative impacts of them. Capitalism has run its course.
Instead of Americans understanding that and moving on, we are fighting to stay in this domestic violence relationship where the provider abuses us, withholds money so we can’t leave and controls our every move. We are stuck. Americans are married to a violent abuser, but we just can’t let go of him/her. We just love America. What will it take for us to break free from the grip of our abuser?
It really is an abusive relationship based on withholding and threats. There is more than enough for everyone in the world to have safe housing, food and water, and access to medical care. We just have to choose to provide it to them. This is what I mean by what a powerful ideology capitalism is. Somehow, the scarcity is never the fault of the people we can all see hoarding the resources with our own eyes. It’s always the person who has less that’s the danger. We’re all angling to be the favored captive — the one who gets a bit more food and privileges and maybe a trinket every now and then. We’ll sell everyone else down the river for the crumbs…
We are going to destroy the world one way or another. No matter what we try to do, we’re damned.
I think you’re right. But I don’t feel like I have any other choice but to keep hoping. The despair is too soul-crushing.
Thanks for reading!