Nihilism and Revolution

Apocalypto-Nihilism

Three fatal system errors and three mass “aha!” moments.
Apocalypto-Nihilism
Post Krieg, 2009 – Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

Imagine our global system disintegrates. Hunkered down in scattered pockets of survival, people try to adapt to the savage new landscape: scavenging for bits of food and water and defending themselves against marauding bandits. Imagine the recriminations and the finger-pointing as this dark age dawns … the gut-wrenching autopsy of our murdered way of life. What picture of blame would emerge? What were our fatal system errors and who among us was responsible for making them?

Culprit #1 would undoubtedly be the economists. How could this prolific class of scholars, wreathed in medals and PhDs, have led us so far astray? How could they not see that every product in the global marketplace was valued incorrectly, and that every purchase pushed us deeper into the cosmic red? And how could they, like villagers with their backs to Vesuvius, simply keep counting the money while the end drew so ominously near?

Culprit #2 would be the unholy alliance of commercialism and communication, which transformed our information delivery systems into tools of mass merchandizing. Why did we allow a cavalry of marketing hits to assail our minds every minute of every day, each of them telling us the same lie: that to live is to consume and to consume is to live?

Culprit #3 would be the corporation, or rather the way we abdicated our reason and endowed it with the legal rights of a human being. In doing so we created more than a person – we created a living monolith, stronger than any man and impervious to all assault. A supreme being who, once animated, could never, ever be stopped.

Now … imagine the power of three incidents of collective recognition. Three mass “aha!” moments in which we identify our fatal system errors and fix them, preempting the ultimate crash. First we break the unholy alliance of commercialism and communication and clean up the toxic areas of our mental commons … then we design a global marketplace in which the price of every product tells the ecological truth … and, finally, we kill the corporate “I” and get capitalism bubbling from the bottom up again.

Are we capable of such meta-level systems tinkering? Can we pull this thing off?

—Kalle Lasn

86 comments on the article “Apocalypto-Nihilism”

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Diamond.46

Infantile thoughts disguised in flowery language. If we could just get rid of corporations, consumption, and economists, we'd be alright!

Diamond.46

Infantile thoughts disguised in flowery language. If we could just get rid of corporations, consumption, and economists, we'd be alright!

mikezephyr

i have vivid visions of people living in the future cursing us for not derailing the economic machine that accepts nothing short of world-destruction. this is largely based on me cursing my elders that stood by or actively participated in the decimation of lakes and rivers previously teeming with salmon, pike, sturgeon and trout. the pores of my yet-to-come peers will ooze cancer, their breast milk be laced with dioxin and their bellies will be empty. "there is no future" won't be a snarky mantra they'll say to each other, but a devastatingly real inheritance they can't disavow, forfeit or transform into sweetness with tender lies. as ever, for the wild.

mikezephyr

i have vivid visions of people living in the future cursing us for not derailing the economic machine that accepts nothing short of world-destruction. this is largely based on me cursing my elders that stood by or actively participated in the decimation of lakes and rivers previously teeming with salmon, pike, sturgeon and trout. the pores of my yet-to-come peers will ooze cancer, their breast milk be laced with dioxin and their bellies will be empty. "there is no future" won't be a snarky mantra they'll say to each other, but a devastatingly real inheritance they can't disavow, forfeit or transform into sweetness with tender lies. as ever, for the wild.

media joe

Who cares about corporations, consumption and economists when we got Argentinian love adventures, the death of an icon and Wimbledon to obsess on.

media joe

Who cares about corporations, consumption and economists when we got Argentinian love adventures, the death of an icon and Wimbledon to obsess on.

Gibb's Free Energy

M. Lasn, I will address your blaming the economists and scholars argument. First of all, you are blaming this “prolific class of scholars” for “leading us astray”. It is not the role of scholars to lead society; they instead do research, by observing objectively an area of the world. In this specific case, economists look at one basic feature of any human sedentary society (or even nomad in some cases): the exchange of goods between its consisting individuals, whether it is framed by a capitalist, arnachist, anarcho-capitalist, or communist system. Research in this domain is obviously focused on capitalism, as this is the current system in which most societies work in. But I would not be surprised that there is a large amount of research also done on alternative economical systems, evaluating their pros and cons objectively. Secondly, scholars, “wreathed in medals and PhDs” as you put it, also teach people. This duty is probably their most honourable one, as it allows a large number of citizens to better understand the basis of, in this case, the economic system in which they live in. It is then up to the students to decide if it is good or not, and if they will partake in it or not. But they will do so having good arguments to reason with, provided by specialists with PhDs and medals. So please leave the scholars and the economists in peace. They are only trying to make this world better through research and education. If I understand your first argument well, you are actually blaming the people who are participating in the system and making it work. But who are they? They are people who are paying for an internet connection to read this article, who are paying their rent each month, who are buying food at the market, in other words, every individual who participates in our current economical system. Finally, please refrain from using lyrical writing and poor arguments to spread a message of nihilism and pessimism, because it leads nowhere. Yours truly, Gibb’s Free Energy

Gibb's Free Energy

M. Lasn, I will address your blaming the economists and scholars argument. First of all, you are blaming this “prolific class of scholars” for “leading us astray”. It is not the role of scholars to lead society; they instead do research, by observing objectively an area of the world. In this specific case, economists look at one basic feature of any human sedentary society (or even nomad in some cases): the exchange of goods between its consisting individuals, whether it is framed by a capitalist, arnachist, anarcho-capitalist, or communist system. Research in this domain is obviously focused on capitalism, as this is the current system in which most societies work in. But I would not be surprised that there is a large amount of research also done on alternative economical systems, evaluating their pros and cons objectively. Secondly, scholars, “wreathed in medals and PhDs” as you put it, also teach people. This duty is probably their most honourable one, as it allows a large number of citizens to better understand the basis of, in this case, the economic system in which they live in. It is then up to the students to decide if it is good or not, and if they will partake in it or not. But they will do so having good arguments to reason with, provided by specialists with PhDs and medals. So please leave the scholars and the economists in peace. They are only trying to make this world better through research and education. If I understand your first argument well, you are actually blaming the people who are participating in the system and making it work. But who are they? They are people who are paying for an internet connection to read this article, who are paying their rent each month, who are buying food at the market, in other words, every individual who participates in our current economical system. Finally, please refrain from using lyrical writing and poor arguments to spread a message of nihilism and pessimism, because it leads nowhere. Yours truly, Gibb’s Free Energy

Darryl Thomas

CULPIT #4 SELF-INTEREST AND THE INABILITY FOR HUMAN BEINGS TO RECOGNIZE SELF-RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMON SENSE. The fact is this: people ALL OVER KNOW that this world is in SERIOUS trouble, AND YET NOBODY WILL lift a finger to do ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Human beings are disgusting, self-absorbed, walking shitbags busily consuming the world with- not one consideration to anything other than THEMSELVES. "AS LONG AS MY LIFE IS ALRIGHT, THEN THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS! SCREW EVERYONE ELSE, BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY "GOD" LOVES ME BEST. WHERE ARE MY AIR JORDANS?" Kalle, you've just scratched the surface. The only thing that might... might make a difference whether or not we make it through the Next Dark Ages is a one-world government and monetary system (although No Money is preferable to me). The problems in this world are too difficult for one country to tackle properly.

Darryl Thomas

CULPIT #4 SELF-INTEREST AND THE INABILITY FOR HUMAN BEINGS TO RECOGNIZE SELF-RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMON SENSE. The fact is this: people ALL OVER KNOW that this world is in SERIOUS trouble, AND YET NOBODY WILL lift a finger to do ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Human beings are disgusting, self-absorbed, walking shitbags busily consuming the world with- not one consideration to anything other than THEMSELVES. "AS LONG AS MY LIFE IS ALRIGHT, THEN THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS! SCREW EVERYONE ELSE, BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY "GOD" LOVES ME BEST. WHERE ARE MY AIR JORDANS?" Kalle, you've just scratched the surface. The only thing that might... might make a difference whether or not we make it through the Next Dark Ages is a one-world government and monetary system (although No Money is preferable to me). The problems in this world are too difficult for one country to tackle properly.

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