Wednesday 31 December 2008

New Year 2009- The Final Countdown

I have deleted a post, because, because, because, it's not important.
Well yes it is.

We live in a messed up world and pretty much most of us are messed up as a result.

And I know many of you think I'm crazy for caring.
That I'd sacrifice every single thing in my life just to get this across.
But if you saw it with the clarity I see it, you'd understand.
And I don't just mean the understanding you get from skim reading my posts.
I mean SEE it the way I see it.

It happened in stages, getting the point. Seeing the whole house of cards, the whole pantomime, the whole sordid game.
And no, I didn't get it.

Not for a long time.

Your life is composed of apparent contradictions, because all of society is.

During my early twenties, I led a total double life. Two completely contradictory lives.
And yet linked.

On the one hand, Conservative Party activist, respectable employee of the Corporations. On the other, extreme connoiseur of the rave scene.
And yet- weren't those two visions linked?

I think in your heart of hearts you always know that much isn't right. That this clearly is NOT the best of all possible worlds. Even then I often used to say 'Rome before the Goths came'. I felt it even then. That there is something inherently decadent and corrupt about our way of life in the west.
And I don't mean that in terms of our sexual morals, or any of that. I mean the values of our culture itself.

Shallow. People sitting in boxes, watching boxes, dead to the world. A culture whose only values are material ones.

Things bothered me, they did. Things that just COULD NOT BE RIGHT.

How could it be that the FUTURE cost too much? Why weren't we sending people to Mars? Surely this showed a culture incapable of long term thinking, incapable of taking risks- real risks. Our ancestors weren't so slow. It didn't take much to convince them the world needed circumnavigating.

And the Third World. Quite clearly it's infrastructure was retrogressing. Why? It seemed all too easy to say- as many do- that these countries were given independence too quick. I even knew a Bangladeshi argued that regarding Bangladesh. But I couldn't accept that.
The third world is regressing in so many ways. If you talk about gap between rich and poor, the gap in terms of quality of life is growing, between first and third world.

And the underclass in the west. It bothered me. Because I couldn't see a solution to the problem. And yet, it was a problem that was evidently growing.

I can remember when I first expounded the problem to- my mother as it happens, probably about 2001. And in those days, being a Tory, the answer I thought was the first one that sprung to mind when you elucidate the problem in plain terms.

And it is this.

History creates the illusion of improvement. Because things will always develop. It will always be a guaranteed fact that people know more at the end of a century, than they did at the beginning. Technical knowledge will ALWAYS have improved. It will never decline, in fact, never has. People will always have made- and utilised- technological advances. This disguises the fact that often, real progress HASN'T been made. The overall systems have deteriorated and quality of life has got WORSE. And since the end of World War Two, the overall quality of life across the globe has declined. Forget the material goods, forget the gadgets, look at quality of life. It's declined. People generally, are less happy.

People talk to eachother less, they trust other less, they hate eachother more, they have little to no interest in the future.

And like so many on the right, I blamed the sixties. Nice and easy.

It fitted well with my Catholic values system. The one I tortured myself with guilt for, for failing to live up to.

But in time, I began to lose faith in all that. It just wasn't that simple.
This period kind of coincided with a personal crisis in my life vat that point.
And I guess I decided to go back to brass tacks and try and work out what the TRUTH was.

I suppose it began with reading people like Tom Paine and Rousseau. I found myself agreeing with pretty much everything they wrote and realising that much of what they said was still quite radical today. That our so-called democracies were rather corrupt, when looked at by the ideals expressed. JS Mill was another that moved me, especially his piece on the rights of women.
Though the philosopher who most moved me at this point, was Nietzsche.

I found that in spite of my Catholicism, he didn't offend me. Reading him sent electric shocks through me, like almost every line he wrote I thought 'YES! I've always thought that, but always thought it was somehow wrong to think that. Thankyou, Nietzsche for showing me it's not just me'.

Nietzsche is such a beautiful thinker. Such a positive system of values. He envisages Man dragging himself upwards, unashamedly striving to be God. A Mankind not afraid to arrogantly seize control of his own destiny. He puts the whole system of morals into a new perspective and rectifies it.
Most people see Nietzsche as Anti-Christian. He isn't of course. He valued Christ. He just didn't much care for the religion that came after. He called 'Paulicianity' and said that the only true Christian died on the cross.

And I guess from that point onwards I kind of always see Christ, to some degree through Nietzsche tinted glasses. Morals generally, through Nietzsche tinted glasses. And I maintain to this day, if you've not read Nietzsche, you can have no conception of morals. Because you're entirely conditioned by Judeao-Christian ethics, without having analysed which bit are genuinely moral, and which bits are historical acquisitions. In other words, you haven't accepted moral relativism, in which case; you're ignorant of what morality is.
I realised at that point that anyone who refuses to accept moral relativism, is kind of a moral imbecile. Because they cannot understand the basis of morality in the first place. If you think morality rests in something other than reason then- your morality is psychopathic.

All this was very well, but it didn't get me much further with the initial problem. Why life on Earth was getting progressively worse and why so many of us clearly hated it, unless we anaesthetised ourselves to it.
Until I decided to read a book which I initially only read to find the flaws.

Yes, it's true. I had read so many critiques of Marx and the apparent flaws in his logic, that I thought I better read the book myself. To understand why it was that Communism didn't work.
So I went into Das Kapital intending to find fault with it.

I came out having found none.

And understanding the entire history of the last two hundred years. Understanding why Two World Wars had been fought in the twentieth century, understanding the REAL points Marx was making. And understanding why they are glossed over.
And realising, that anybody who'd read the book properly must have seen that he was right. It is as clear and logical as 'The Origin of Species'. Once you have read 'The Origin of Species', you just think 'Of course. The argument is pretty clear really, it's just if the evidence backs it up'.

If Marx was right, then from the point he wrote the book, the Capitalist system would have expanded, carrying itself to every corner of the globe. Until a point came where everybody on the face of the earth was a consumer within the same system. At which point, there is a problem. Because you can only keep paying off the interest which fuels the system, if more money is paid into the system, than the system costs. If all the world IS the system, where does the surplus come from?

And that might seem simplistic. But if you actually sit down and actually work it through, you realise it actually IS that simple. And then you realise WHY WW1 happened. It was a fight for scraps. A fight by the powers for places in the sun- markets. And 1929. That was when it really ended. And could only be solved by printing more money, year in, year out. And by finding ways to keep a permanent war economy going. That was what Orwell meant in 1984. And it failed in 1939. Because everyone was rushing about it crazily. Oceania and Eurasia (the Allies and the Axis) actually ended up at war). But since then, they've managed it better. But they've needed to keep it going. It distracts us. Distracts us from the fact quality of life gets worse. Those nukes pointing at us make us oblivious.

And he said the gap between rich and poor will get ever wider. It has. In the way that matters. The quality of life gap. The gap in terms of quality of life between rich and poor grows ever wider. In real terms, a higher proportion of the globe live in misery every year. And the obscenely rich get ever richer- the corporations, many of them far, far richer then the British Empire in it's heyday.

And then it hit me. Why so much credit was about. Because that's all they've got left. Printing more money every year isn't even enough. They have to invent the money. They have to have people spending money that ISN'T THERE just to keep it going.

So I found I had to agree. Marx was right on the economic argument. Just it seemed clear Communism wasn't the answer. That had been tried and failed.

It was actually only a couple of years ago I came to the conclusion that that argument was flawed and that in fact, Marx was right about that too.

Marx himself said the revolution couldn't be forced. It would come naturally when Capitalism ended. What the Bolsheviks tried to do was cut down fruit that was still ripe. It wasn't Marx' revolution.
Because Marx said that Capitalism will take over the world. Therefore, it's collapse will be a global event. Therefore, what succeeds it will be a global change. The end of Capitalism WILL lead to a Communistic World State.

Though not a state as we see it. The state in a sense, would wither away. It would be an anarchy in the positive sense of the word; no central executives.

And I realised that Marx was right. You couldn't talk of Communism and Democracy as being separate ideals; truly practised, they're both one and the same.

It means all the people democratically voting on all the decisions involving all aspects of the society they live in, with no parts of the infrastructure being controlled by unaccountable cliques. If it's not Democratic, it's not Communist, and if it's not Communist, it's not Democratic.

And the fact is, I'm absolutely certain that within my lifetime, the final collapse of Capitalism will occur. I think personally, within twenty years.
I'll be alive to see it.

And I believe Marx was right, in a sense.
Much of what I advocate here on this blog, Marx would have agreed with. He actually believed in Free Love as well, for much the same reasons. Much of the vision of the future I expound is merely following the logic of the ideas envisaged by Marx- how it should be done properly, not the way those who took his name in vain took it.

I also quite value this little insight which occurred to me. Not sure Marx ever saw it quite like this. But it basically explains how we all get conditioned and what the history of that is. But it's something we can live without, now.

But I also two possibilities Marx didn't. Marx was an optimist. He didn't envisage that there were two possible alternatives to his vision of optimism.
But there ARE only two.
And one of them is NOT the return to some nineteen-fifties Pleasantville world.

One is that when the collapse comes, we won't succeed in shaking off the system. That in the years leading up to the collapse, we'll have allowed themselves to arm themselves too heavily, to dig into deep.

And the collapse of Capitalism will mean the end of cunningly hidden INGSOC, and the advent of raw, naked INGSOC.
Or at least, until it grinds the world, decaying, into a new dark age.

The other is starker yet.

The collapse will lead to Nuclear War and we'll blow ourselves up.

This is the future.

So yes, it's important.

And if people really think they've got something better to do with their lives than trying to make sure it's option one wins, rather than the other two options, fine.

But I really don't think we have that much time to waste.

No, I don't think, by comparison, things like my own life are overly important. Do I think this is so important I'd sacrifice having a family of my own to get this message across?
Yes. I can't put it any clearer than that.

There isn't the time to be pissing about with crap. There isn't REALLY time to be worrying about love lives, or long holidays abroad, or getting away from it all. Because all of that essentially, is time wasting. If that sort of time wasting crap can be fitted in, all well and good, if not, it can't be.

This is too damn important. It's our future at stake.

Because if we don't start planning NOW, none of that will ever matter again.


Anonymous said...

This is a good post. Your path to enlightenment is very interesting. I don't share all your views, but I understand them. I especially agree with your ideas of history. I also think we are heading down a path to mass destruction, and people fail to see the links that form their own chains.

Anonymous said...

Neo. Never lose your passion. Happy New Year, my friend...

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you have to read Nietsche to understand morals but it probably helps. Anything that takes you outside of the narrow box most of us were raised in.

Anonymous said...

good post .. like your previous posts too. i can't always keep up. you are such a prolific writer and thinker.
and .
yes, something needs to change ..
and one of those things is the ability of war to create capital for certain groups ...

i do wish you a happy new year ..
sans hangover hopefully?