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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Anonymous

Jacque Fresco: Banging his head against a brick wall since 1916! Look him up, watch his lectures on google/youtube check out his books this man and his ideas are well worth taking the time to investigate. in a bit!

Anonymous

Jacque Fresco: Banging his head against a brick wall since 1916! Look him up, watch his lectures on google/youtube check out his books this man and his ideas are well worth taking the time to investigate. in a bit!

Anonymous

"How could they not see that every product in the global marketplace was valued incorrectly..." Who, pray tell, does Adbusters think should be in charge of valuing products and commodities? "… 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." There Kalle goes again...so which is it Mr. Lassn? Are you for "capitalism bubbling from the bottom" or a designed global marketplace. To plagiarize right form the wonderful and still relevant 'In Defense Of Anarchy', the moral authority of the state is not reconcilable with the autonomy of the individual. "Meta-systems tinkering" is NOT what is needed.

Anonymous

"How could they not see that every product in the global marketplace was valued incorrectly..." Who, pray tell, does Adbusters think should be in charge of valuing products and commodities? "… 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." There Kalle goes again...so which is it Mr. Lassn? Are you for "capitalism bubbling from the bottom" or a designed global marketplace. To plagiarize right form the wonderful and still relevant 'In Defense Of Anarchy', the moral authority of the state is not reconcilable with the autonomy of the individual. "Meta-systems tinkering" is NOT what is needed.

ReasonRebel

Culprit #1: The economist? Since when did economists make money? And how did they lead us astray? The Job of the economist is to explain the workings of the economy. They do not determine product value, the people do, they simply help us to understand how we come to our collective conclusions on value. It seems to me there is no "Global System" to be destroyed in the first place and instead you allude to an idea of post apocolyptic "Western World". Which in that case one could strongly argue there is a positive correlation between commericalism and standard or living. Funny that people from places around the world that are stripped of media and advertising flock to our countries for refuge from much darker worlds. ReasonRebel

ReasonRebel

Culprit #1: The economist? Since when did economists make money? And how did they lead us astray? The Job of the economist is to explain the workings of the economy. They do not determine product value, the people do, they simply help us to understand how we come to our collective conclusions on value. It seems to me there is no "Global System" to be destroyed in the first place and instead you allude to an idea of post apocolyptic "Western World". Which in that case one could strongly argue there is a positive correlation between commericalism and standard or living. Funny that people from places around the world that are stripped of media and advertising flock to our countries for refuge from much darker worlds. ReasonRebel

Anonymous

Lierre Kieth: "Likewise, if you're hungry, why? Why don't you have access to land to grow food, or enough money to buy food? Who owns the land? Who decides who owns the land? And what will they do if you decide to take some land back? Answering those questions will lay bare a network of interlocking institutions that have the power to starve you. ..."So, how do we change the world? Persuasion is for liberals, so I'll leave that to them. Political action is ultimately about force. There's a continuum of tactics between nonviolence and violence, but they all start with the understanding that institutions only change when pressure is applied. In the immortal words of Frederick Douglas, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will...power depends on obedience, and we don't have to obey. The moment the oppressed withdraw our consent, the powerful are left with nothing...There's a tremendous misconception, particularly in the USA, that nonviolent action is about somehow trying to educate or convert those in power. It's not. That's pacifism, not nonviolent action. I mean, does anybody really think that the owners of the bus company in Montgomery, Alabama had a sudden epiphany? We've been so terrible to Black people, oh my god, segregation must end! Of course not. The boycott brought them to their knees." ..."The left in this country has come completely unhitched from any notion of actually being effective. Activism has turned into one big group therapy session. It doesn't matter what we accomplish--what matters is how we feel about it. The goal of the action isn't to change the material balance of power, it's to feel "empowered". For fuck's sake, who gives a shit how I feel. Our planet is dying. And radicals are just as guilty of what I call "emotional activism." It may feel good to smash that Starbucks window, but does it actually do any good? I'm speaking here as someone who's smashed my share of windows. This rerouting of the goal from political change to inner change is the reaction of both a spoiled, self-absorbed people, and the utterly desperate, desperate to do something, anything." ..."There are lots of people who are going to reject militant action for many different reasons, ranging from familial responsibilities to spiritual beliefs. But even if we're personally not on the front lines, there are many other ways to use our talents and skills to support the people who are willing and able to do what's necessary. Somebody needs to do the political outreach and proselytizing. Somebody always needs to do the dishes. And there's a huge task of building a life-affirming culture that's in opposition to the dominator mode. This involves everything from setting up alternate economic systems and sustainable food production networks to creating matrilinial family structures. All of that has to be done if we have any chance of planetary survival. And we're out of time. I guess what I'm urging here is for all of us who share a basic analysis of the problem to accept the necessity of militant action. We don't all have to do it. But it's a crucial component of whatever chance we have to stop the horror and destruction." ..."So let's talk about where the planet is headed right now. Peak oil is here. If the earth can sustain one billion humans, that means that the other five billion are only alive because of fossil fuel and fossil water, and they are going to die. I don't know how to comprehend the level of social disruption that we're looking at over the next fifty years. Now add to that global warming and climate change...Things suck now, and they're going to get dramatically worse if we do nothing. That "worse" includes a catastrophic melt down of civic society...As industrial culture falls apart, we aren't going to survive as individuals. We're going to survive as local communities, both economically and civically. Community policing and defense are going to be the way we protect ourselves from anti-social elements. Women and pro-feminist men could take charge of that task. We could make sure that rape counts as an atrocity and treat predators accordingly, both predators internal to the community and threats from the outside. But it's up to us to do it. If we continue to accept male domination, we'll keep getting male domination. The facts are not easy to face. They're painful and gruesome. Vast numbers of men are predators, and the looming industrial collapse and civic chaos are going to provide them with more opportunities to act like it. Perpetrators don't change. No form of therapy or rehabilitation makes a dent in their sociopath entitlement. So to put it bluntly: shoot them."

Anonymous

Lierre Kieth: "Likewise, if you're hungry, why? Why don't you have access to land to grow food, or enough money to buy food? Who owns the land? Who decides who owns the land? And what will they do if you decide to take some land back? Answering those questions will lay bare a network of interlocking institutions that have the power to starve you. ..."So, how do we change the world? Persuasion is for liberals, so I'll leave that to them. Political action is ultimately about force. There's a continuum of tactics between nonviolence and violence, but they all start with the understanding that institutions only change when pressure is applied. In the immortal words of Frederick Douglas, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will...power depends on obedience, and we don't have to obey. The moment the oppressed withdraw our consent, the powerful are left with nothing...There's a tremendous misconception, particularly in the USA, that nonviolent action is about somehow trying to educate or convert those in power. It's not. That's pacifism, not nonviolent action. I mean, does anybody really think that the owners of the bus company in Montgomery, Alabama had a sudden epiphany? We've been so terrible to Black people, oh my god, segregation must end! Of course not. The boycott brought them to their knees." ..."The left in this country has come completely unhitched from any notion of actually being effective. Activism has turned into one big group therapy session. It doesn't matter what we accomplish--what matters is how we feel about it. The goal of the action isn't to change the material balance of power, it's to feel "empowered". For fuck's sake, who gives a shit how I feel. Our planet is dying. And radicals are just as guilty of what I call "emotional activism." It may feel good to smash that Starbucks window, but does it actually do any good? I'm speaking here as someone who's smashed my share of windows. This rerouting of the goal from political change to inner change is the reaction of both a spoiled, self-absorbed people, and the utterly desperate, desperate to do something, anything." ..."There are lots of people who are going to reject militant action for many different reasons, ranging from familial responsibilities to spiritual beliefs. But even if we're personally not on the front lines, there are many other ways to use our talents and skills to support the people who are willing and able to do what's necessary. Somebody needs to do the political outreach and proselytizing. Somebody always needs to do the dishes. And there's a huge task of building a life-affirming culture that's in opposition to the dominator mode. This involves everything from setting up alternate economic systems and sustainable food production networks to creating matrilinial family structures. All of that has to be done if we have any chance of planetary survival. And we're out of time. I guess what I'm urging here is for all of us who share a basic analysis of the problem to accept the necessity of militant action. We don't all have to do it. But it's a crucial component of whatever chance we have to stop the horror and destruction." ..."So let's talk about where the planet is headed right now. Peak oil is here. If the earth can sustain one billion humans, that means that the other five billion are only alive because of fossil fuel and fossil water, and they are going to die. I don't know how to comprehend the level of social disruption that we're looking at over the next fifty years. Now add to that global warming and climate change...Things suck now, and they're going to get dramatically worse if we do nothing. That "worse" includes a catastrophic melt down of civic society...As industrial culture falls apart, we aren't going to survive as individuals. We're going to survive as local communities, both economically and civically. Community policing and defense are going to be the way we protect ourselves from anti-social elements. Women and pro-feminist men could take charge of that task. We could make sure that rape counts as an atrocity and treat predators accordingly, both predators internal to the community and threats from the outside. But it's up to us to do it. If we continue to accept male domination, we'll keep getting male domination. The facts are not easy to face. They're painful and gruesome. Vast numbers of men are predators, and the looming industrial collapse and civic chaos are going to provide them with more opportunities to act like it. Perpetrators don't change. No form of therapy or rehabilitation makes a dent in their sociopath entitlement. So to put it bluntly: shoot them."

Anonymous

Culprit #0, Adbusters queen of the po-mo rags. Takin' that soulless advertising and amazingly finding a way to make it even more nihilistic and self-referential than it already was.

Anonymous

Culprit #0, Adbusters queen of the po-mo rags. Takin' that soulless advertising and amazingly finding a way to make it even more nihilistic and self-referential than it already was.

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