A cheerful post for the weekend of the “Big One”.
Okay so here is a cheerful post – which is not really my style as you know. And yes it truly is cheerful though in a certain way as you will see in a minute.
The basic idea is something we have all experienced – you are in a crappy relationship, or a shitty job (or regime) and one day you just snap. Maybe you flip around a bit but fundamentally something changes in you. You leave your partner or your career – or become a revolutionary – the regime is over for you. It’s great as you know. At last the liberation of THE DECISION. But this is the real world, there is still the washing up to do and all the kickbacks and complications and stuff, but fundamentally you do that most human of things – made the decision to make a change. To begin afresh.
Well of course I have been going on about doing this change for a good while now. The decision to leave behind the psychic quagmire of reformist, gradualist depravity. The spiritually and intellectually soul-destroying world of dishonesty and expediency. To face the reality of this system we live under is utterly and irredeemably fucked. It just is – isn’t it?
Let me give you two examples from the past few weeks. I took my kids to a kids’ museum thing and it had stuff from there from the Amazon (all good in 1990) but there was a note by one of the displays saying coolly that the forest will be gone in 40-80 years. Then on another note, it said the world's coral reefs will be gone in 10-20 years along with 25% of the world’s fish supplies. Like it was saying something like “Please take your litter home with you”. The children entered and exited the display areas just like they would have 50 years ago. There was no panic. It was just that in plain sight they have been told that their future is going to be totally fucked.
Then there was a video on artificial intelligence put on youtube by the two guys who did the big documentary on social media for Netflix. They merrily told us over half of the “top” people in AI think that AI has at least a 10% chance of causing human extinction. So just read that again. Half of the supposedly brightest people in the world are engaged in a project with at least a 1 in 10 chance of killing 8 billion people.
I’m laughing as I write this because I would never have believed 20, 30, 40 years ago that I could have lived in a society which accepted such things completely… something.
But here’s the cheerful thing. I think that we are finally getting to the point when a critical mass of people, in Western societies at least, are ready … not to want to have to die for all these bollocks.
Part of the story here is that there is a pervasive and necessary depressiveness about doing anything that is going to just “try to improve things” – why – because obviously until we change everything we will be unable to change anything and so why attempt to change any “thing”. There is an undeniable logic to our desolation and despair.
But this is a dark hour just before dawn type of “thing”. Because so many people are now ready to change everything in order to be able to save anything. Maybe we will not succeed but as I have said in many of my posts – it is better than sitting around waiting for the “brightest” people on the planet while you die.
I could give you a bunch of data points here but I will go into them in future posts. I don’t think I’m bullshitting you about this. Because I’m not that type of person as I hope you know.
What I do want to do is just give you a taster outline of a top-level design that I am working on with a great bunch of other people. Of course, it is not the final deal but it points I think in the direction of travel.
First – it has to be organised – have a core of trusted and competent people that can run a big operation with integrity and a profound sense of service to the historical moment we face.
Second – it has to take control of the state. Yes, there are a load of complications and pitfalls here but a project simply is not credible unless it is going to go into the pit of Mordor as you might say.
Third - and in a way this is the most exciting thing – it has four interlocking elements which move forward in mutually supporting iterations. That phrase is a bit of a mouth full but there are no good words in the English language for how flows in the social space work – how society changes.
The four elements are resistance (civil disobedience), assemblies (citizens, local, peoples), culture (production, financial support and amplification) and elections (local and national) … the latter with a demand that removes the political class from power and replaces it with a checks and balances system of assemblies of ordinary people (randomly selected – ie “sortition”). And yes just in case you thought otherwise capitalism is going to have to go.
Any of these projects on their own has become boring and depressing because we have lots of experience of them not working. But altogether – the whole is not just greater than the sum of the whole but a gateway to a whole new social universe. A semi-decent twentieth-first century rather than the selection of horror shows our elites are serving for us.
I am going to leave it like that for the moment. But don’t doubt for a minute that this is not a totally 100pc serious proposition. And more details will be coming down the road. As we said at the beginning of XR – it will most likely be a “glorious failure” – but any glorious success can only be built on the glorious failure. Or as we used to joke, we go first and then the French come in and finish the job.
I thought I would write this post on the weekend of the Big One. We could all write lots about why it simply is not enough and all the rest of it – but we all know that. The point is that it is happening and we know what we are all thinking. The point is that what comes next has to be the real thing – and thus has to be designed to be the real thing. That’s the job for all of us now. With all the humility and love we can muster.
I am writing this from a hospital bed. See the picture. I fell off my bike and crushed my leg bone. But I’m still writing a cheerful post. So really you don’t have any excuse, do you? Enjoy the Big One if you are going to it. Remember to do the JSO slow marches if you are in the UK (sign up below).
But most of all remember we are going to have the biggest life experiences imaginable in the next decade and we all need to stick by each other and push on through. And be cheerful about it.
Lots of love from the hospital! x
(thanks to the NHS)
To sign up to civil resistance, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A cheerful post for the weekend of the “Big One”.