by Forrest Palmer (Wrong Kind of Green Collective)
April 8, 2013
Whenever I see the cities now, I see what will soon be the death knell for the industrial age. If not totally gone before I leave this Earth, it will most definitely be unrecognizable if I live another forty years. Since the industrial age of West has paved over every stitch of the city landscapes due to the arrogance of continuous progress and growth, in my mind’s eye, I can see all of these buildings being like the ruins of the Coliseum after Rome fell. It will be just wind blowing and no one around because people will only be able to exist in the interiors or the hinterland of whatever is left of the world after we are done fucking it up beyond repair (at least repair for our existence). We will be left with only distant memories of a time when people lived in a way that was entirely unsustainable with the understanding that the false belief someone was going to come down from a heaven and spirit them forestalled any planning for GENERATIONAL usage of all these systems we need to live on this planet. The accepted practice of going to work, driving 30 miles away, sitting in a heated or cooled public or private building that uses resources 24 hours/7 days a week, going home another 30 miles, hitting the local watering hole, bullshitting for an hour or two watching whatever insignificant sporting event, ordering up a 12 ounce ribeye steak with french fries, heading back to the crib to do it all over the next day without having to think about how your entire day is inextricably linked to the exploitation of a resource base that is on the precipice of collapsing will be no more.
Although I live in Houston, the fourth most populous city in Amerikkka and probably no. 1 when it comes to unintelligence, the fact of the matter is that even in Los Angeles, where I grew up and saw a much more progressive mentality among certain of its residents, the collective city, including these individuals, is wholly unprepared to deal with the coming resource collapse not just from a physical standpoint in their daily lives, but even more importantly from a MENTAL standpoint.
Stokely Carmichael said that from a foundational level, there is either a capitalist structure of accumulation of wealth and resources in the hands of a few or there is a socialist redistribution of these things amongst the masses. I truly agree with this. Now, how these two ideas are realized in actual circumstances has seen a mixed bag of state and market economies trying to mesh certain portions of them together to little or no avail. What isn’t being discussed from all circles that emanate from these two basic schools of thought is the AVAILABILITY of resources. WHAT RESOURCES DOES MAN NEED TO SURVIVE? The masses of economists, political leaders, scientists, teachers, schools, institutions, et al. in the Global North and South, with some even being revolutionary in nature, do not act upon the idea that the resource exploitation is not an open ended line that shows our use of these ultimately few materials from the mid-nineteenth century going out to infinity.
Thus, if I was to succinctly describe what it is I have seen before me every day of my life on this Earth, I would have to say it has been the ability of this particular culture to replace the common sense acceptance of nothing lasting forever with the idealized fantasy of there always being more and/or Western man’s ability to replace whatever it is we lack due to his ingenious capabilities. If I had to describe it with words, it would be the “Infinity Principle”. Infinity is nothing more than a numerical designation for something that is unquantifiable since there is no end to numbers because you can always add one more to any number. IN REAL WORLD APPLICATIONS, AN INFINITE SITUATION IS IMPOSSIBLE; HOWEVER, WESTERN EXISTENCE IS PREDICATED ON THE ACCEPTANCE OF FOREVER AS A FOUNDATIONAL STANDARD. Thus, the ‘Infinity Principle’. This belief has had more of an infectious effect upon man than the indoctrination of the Global South into the North’s religious practices, which were seen as the salvation of the ‘savage’. The reason I say the ‘infinity principle’ has been a much more effective tool of Western indoctrination than even religion is that there are innumerous people who are totally secular, but STILL BELIEVE IN THE INFINITY PRINCIPLE CONCERNING ALL THIS. I hate to say it, but much of the struggle in the Global South is for the attainment of ‘Global White Privilege’, to supplant the European male as the exploiter of the resources and the END-USER. The belief is that there are all these resources that will at best allow us all to experience this life to infinity or at worst, they can replace the European and have this modern existence which is slowly on the decline for even the current end users
This ‘infinity principle’ will be the hardest thing to extract from the global community, bar none. The process of lobotomizing this from the collective mind across the world is mind boggling in its expansiveness and also what will be the shell of a creature left once it is done. It is happening regardless so I suppose it really doesn’t matter.
To use an analogy, we are at the initial impact of having a runaway car with no brakes run right into a brick wall at 120 miles per hour. We are right at that millisecond when the front bumper barely touches the wall before it begins to fold in like a smashed tin can. In this scenario, The Western world is the driver and the car is the totality of the world of resources and denizens who must do the bidding of the Westerner whether they wish to or not. The Westerner believes that he can drive the car right through the brick wall (physical limitations) destroying the car (killing the world) with nary a scratch on his body as if his existence isn’t inextricably linked to the car (world). Since the Westerners aren’t feeling the effects first and believe using the car (the world and its people) as a buffer will alleviate ALL problems he may experience if he is wrong about his calculation of his own genius and ability to run through the physical limitations of that wall. I suspect that as the car starts to fold up around us in the West, the driver is going to start to think to himself “Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea”. I say us because even the few conscious people I know on this Earth are just passengers in this ride. We want to save the car (people and the world), but ultimately we are tied up in the back and just along for the ride. And science plays no favorites. I don’t have to tell any sane, lucid individual who is going to win this game of what is the mightiest in the age old question of reigning supreme: the irresistible force (Western man) or an immovable object (the Earth)
I might be wrong though about the ‘Infinity Principle’. I think I might be seeing the only infinitely unlimited thing on this Earth: Man’s Stupidity. It seems boundless and endless. I would say that it might be the only unlimited thing in the universe, but I never want to assume that there are other creatures somewhere out there in time and space that are as bad or worse than us (as hard as that is to believe). But if I was a betting man, I would put my money on man being the dumbest of all the beings that can reason across all time and space. Any takers?