Dark Days Ahead
Molly's Blog very correctly shows the limitations faced by any country or bloc of countries that tries to escape the totalitarian hold of corporatism. (see Aug 1 “Greek Truckers” – comments) Europe, the example in question, is highly dependent upon foreign supplies of petroleum and natural gas. Hostile nations need only interfere with this supply to bring any genuinely reformist or revolutionary government to its knees.
Molly says we must give up the fantasy of The Revolution and be prepared for the long haul, which involves organization and education as well as trying to overcome energy dependence. I agree with this and always have... except for one thing. We don't have time. If we had a hundred years ahead of us, I am certain that libertarian socialism would replace the corporate state. But we don't have a hundred years. Maybe we have 30 years before global warming becomes unstoppable (the Tipping Point), the ocean dies, the methane in the permafrost is released and the climate becomes unbearable for most life forms. Putting forward the need for organization and education - as much as I agree with this – at this point is like pulling out the driving manual when you are about to go over a cliff.
This matter of urgency does not mean I think radical reform or revolution is at hand or likely to be so. Revolutionaries are a small minority of the population and their organizations are measured in the hundreds when they ought to be – given the seriousness of our situation - in the hundreds of thousands. The complete capitulation of the social democratic parties to the ideology of neoliberalism has reduced the reformist milieu to the small parties of the anti-capitalist left – at best 15% of the vote. No one in any position of power in any developed country is willing to take either the issue of climate change or peak oil seriously. All is denial and deception. The system is decadent to the core. Furthermore, corporate capitalism by eliminating the possibility of reforms within the system, (unlike the period immediately after WW2) has boxed itself in. By deliberately destroying much of our gains during the last century of struggle and reform, it would take nothing less than a revolution to restore us to a 1970's level of social democracy. But no one other than a small minority is for revolution.
The corporate state hell bent for destruction, but no reforms, and no revolution. What can we do?
1. Concentrate on slowing the destruction and delaying the coming of the Tipping Point. If we could delay it to 50 years we might just have time enough to make the changes necessary, for not only our survival, but also toward a more humane and democratic social system. Long before the Tipping Point, petroleum will become too expensive and the corporatist system will go into an even deeper crisis than it is now (like the collapse of the USSR universalized) This must be our opportunity, but at the same time we must prevent the use of even more CO2 producing energy sources like coal.
2. Continue to build community, solidarity and alternatives to the corporatist system. As it slides ever further into barbarism, with the stresses of economic crisis, peak oil and climate change, the organizations formed by socialists, greens and anarchists will be like the monasteries during the Dark Ages. Not only guarding culture and learning, but also keeping alive mutual aid, the social, the communal. By any means necessary, we must survive. The satanic concept that it is right to dominate and exploit must be damned for all eternity in the consciousness of the descendants of the survivors.
This is the darkest vision I have ever had. But I am often wrong. Hopefully I will be this time.