recently i get some free zines from friends from the states called the fifth estate & discovered this article which i find interesting & typed it out myself. enjoi
Fifth estate zine
section: Cul De Sac
Title: Are we in hopeless dead-end?
by Le Garcon Dupont
FE Note: Usually,Fifith Estate essays are filled with the vision that alternatives exist to our current predicament. This article explores the possibility that humanity has already been extinguished and that there maybe no hope of fashioning a different world. If that's the case, do we just cease our resistance?Comments welcome.
When many of the original people who inhabited Australia realised that their culture was being wiped out, they refused the entreaties of anthropologists and took their knowledge with them when they died.
They knew the world was being changed, that human things were being snuffed out in favour of a new,anti-human form of social organisation. To enable the survival of an empty culture, one with form, but no content, would be an absurdity, they reasoned.
Their culture would become an academic product, an ideological or political product, and a product for sale. The heroes who took their knowledge with them may not have articulated this possibility in the way i just have, but they knew it. Their intelligence far outstripped the intelligence of those kind anthropological scientists who blew in on a blood-soaked breeze.
Their intelligence was greater, but in this battle between two forms of social organisation, their power was less. They were strong enough to be still and quiet in their last breaths of their community when they could have been remembered and celebrated in the new culture as the last of the true people. They knew their words and knowledge, if spoken out loud, would be put on show, or worse would be misunderstood. In the face of circumstances that were consuming them, they remained tightlipped.
When i speak about the original inhabitants of Australia, I mean all people across the world who lived in pre-civilisation societies. In its most basic definition civilisation means living in cities, and the best definition of civilisation is a society organised by the power residing in the cities.
Other definitions of the word civilisation, for example, one where it is defined in opposition to 'savage' or 'primitive', only strengthens the validity of the above definition. Civilisation has only occurred whenever city power has arisen.
The civilisation we live under today is global with one economic system. This system is capitalism; it is a perfected from of civilisation.
The formal definition of Capital (the root word of capitalism) is wealth available for use in the production of further wealth.
Wealth is all goods and services which have monetary or productive value.
Productive means producing goods and services that exchange value.
Exchange means to hand over goods in return for equivalent value in kind or the representation of its value.
The key phrase here is exchange value. What things in this world have exchange value?It is disconcerting when you realise that the only useful part of you is that which can be sold or made part of an economy. Have i really exchange my time and effort, my life, for the dubious pleasure of continuing to survive?
Ah, but, we are no longer tied to an endless search for food and shelter; we can rest and relax. We have our time after work, our weekends, our retirement, It is in these moments that we can do exactly as e please and pursue our own idle pleasures; listen to music, play computer games, carve wood or go camping. Life is not hard as it once was.
HOWEVER, HISTORY TELLS US that most mediaeval European serfs only worked for two-thirds of the year and that pre-civilisation humans generally lived in the state of relative abundance.
When the aboriginal people of Australia met the Europeans, they had no concept of work. They did not understand when Europeans told them that if they did tasks for them they would be paid in food or others items. They could not make the connections underlaying the system of economic exchange.
Why are we led to believe that the past was a place of hardship and travail? Maybe it is because there was indeed one period of history that fitted that description, but it is quite recent.
My father and mother lived through the end of this period; they saw the world change from one of genuine struggle to survive, to one where survival was assured. This period lasted from the end of mediaeval times tot he years immediately after the Second World War. This is the period that encompasses The Industrial Revolution and world colonization, and was the time during which modern economy, capitalism, established itself and refined its operations.
People of my age grew up being told that we were getting everything on a platter, and we heard the stories of hard ship from our parents. We grew up thinking that the past was hard and uncomfortable. Maybe this is why we think that progress, in general terms, is a good thing.
All societies are determined by the way people "make a living" In Pre-civilisation societies that living was directly connected to the land. In modern society we all make a living by serving some function in the economy, for which we are paid money. Once we have this money we are able to buy what we need to live.
Capitalism, which has replaced all other modes of living, is an economic system that has reached so deeply into the heart of humankind that is able to recreate itself automatically within the mind, brain and creative impulse of human beings. Our economic system is based on the large-scale brutalism which resulted in the successful spread of this single economic system to all parts of the world. In this massive process of revolutionizing the way the world works, we have also changed as human beings.
When rural workers were forced from the land to work in the factories of Europe and North America, they were physically and emotionally shocked at the new work routines they encountered. They fought these new regimes by not coming to work. By breaking machines. They would claim spurious Holy Days as justifications for a sleep in and a day off. Such obstruction could not be allowed to continue, so life in the factories become more authoritarian and brutal.
This new regime for living spread beyond the workspace. When pre-civilisation people were used in factory situations in the new empires across the globe, they simply died from the trauma of it. In Medieval Europe, ordinary people worked far less that we do now. They would be aghast at how little we know of the land, and how much of our time we spend working for faceless others. They would understand, however, why we are consumed by stress and mental illness. We are not the same people that our distant ancestors were. The survivors amongst us are harder, we glint, like steel. We have lost our sensitivity, our kindness.
In pre-civilisation times the occupants of the land travelled and exchanged tools and artifacts across continents and beyond. This was a kind of economy, but it in no way resembles the one under which the world we lives today. The point of what was done in a pre-civilisation society was to reproduce the human community in which the people lived.
The capital of this society (and any pre-civilisation society) is the human being. It is the human being that is recreated and reproduced. In modern society we live under an economy which only reproduces human as a bi-product.
What is recreated and reproduced now is wealth, or capital.Modern society is geared to recreate the wealth of individuals, business and corporations; while most other humans play only a part as small, interchangeable cogs in this process. Their part is equal to the materials or land used. Just like oil or land, most humans are now a commodity to be used in the re-creation of profit and wealth. Even those individuals who seem to benefit from great wealth are only part of a process in which they have also sold themselves. Like the rest of us, they are commodities too.
Humanity has lost its animal status, and this is not a good thing. All animals adapt to their environment in order to keep that environmental healthy. Non-adaptation results in strange phenomena. It can result in massive population explosions, for example among rabbits introduced in Australia, or humans who have divorced from the land and turned into slaves of wages.
These population explosion are signs of non-suitability; they will be accompanied by massive, periodic epidemics, famines and constant battle.