Thursday, February 02, 2012

manifesto #5

At the Adbusters site, a short essay at which bears the style if not the signature of Kalle Lasn, the godfather of the #Occupy/99% movement, lays out our prospects for the near and the long run precisely and unemotionally.

we awoke one morning to the dark realization that humanity is being dragged into a black hole of ecological, financial and spiritual catastrophe … that our democracy has been seized by a corporatocracy … that every day two hundred species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become forever extinct … that a deluge of advertising is sleepwalking our civilization to the brink of insanity … and that unless we fight back in the most visceral and creative way possible all will be lost.

And yet, what sets our struggle apart in 2012 is that we are not fighting to save a distant future. We are not trying to prevent some terrible event that is still to come. This is not about our unborn grandchildren. Instead, many of us sense that the threshold has already been crossed; the tipping point has already happened and what we are fighting for is our present. We are living in that tragic moment of eerie stillness where the fatal damage has been done, widening cracks can be seen, yet the edifice still stands and business as usual continues … but for how much longer?

If you see this analysis as accurate in any degree -- and I do -- then it's apparent that the most potent creative tool in our arsenal at this moment is the wrecking ball, and that we need to identify demolition sites. Several come easily to mind.

1. The mega-banks -- Bank of America, Morgan/Chase, Citibank, Wells-Fargo -- all will be gone by the end of this decade, since these are the very institutions whose reckless greed crashed the economy, then proceeded to vacuum up more in tax monies than there was money in existence before 2008. They no longer serve the needs of the communities where they do business, so what good are they? These gigantic institutions, along with their illegitimate cousin, the trading house Goldman-Sachs, are parasites who have corrupted our political system beyond redemption, in order to promote a permanent, institutionalized parasitism.

2. Satan's bracelet, the Pentagon, which over the past 70 years has unleashed perpetual war on the wretched of the earth, has been with us much too long. The pentagram, that ancient symbol of evil, has the shape of a pentagon at its heart, and the infernal aura of the place is amplified by its short history, bookended by the building's dedication on September 11, 1941, and the message delivered there by a raggedy band of radical and violent Saudi Wahabbists exactly 60 years later. Since then the bureaucrats inside this unnatural pile have tried to carry on as if nothing has changed. They're soon to discover that the world has changed, and no longer has room for a tribe of predator-parasites in a five-sided building, whose only purpose is to inflict pain, misery, and death on the planet's voiceless and helpless populations.

3. The oil giants, Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco, British Petroleum and Royal Dutch shell appear to have no interest in facilitating a transition away from the sunset industries of oil and gas, and toward a future in which forms of energy we presently call "alternative" predominate. These dinosaurs continue dominating and cumbering the landscape, but if they persist in their folly, will, in the phraseology of Ambrose Bierce, "cease to cumber; they fertilize." (s.v. "aboriginies")

Our days may be shadowed by this dark realization, but there is reason to be deeply optimistic for “where danger is, grows the saving power also.” Never before has the tantalizing possibility of a Global Spring, a worldwide people’s insurgency for democracy, seemed as close. For perhaps the first time in human history, we just might be on the edge of an everywhere-at-once revolution against the financial fraudsters, corporate lackeys and the ideology of consumerism that has brought the Earth to the precipice of collapse.

In this, the era of the total and transcendent indignato swarm, we look to each other, not to the masters above, to find out what it will take to pull off the ultimate culture jam: spiritual insurrection.

As the demolition proceeds, we need to take care not to disturb the rubble too much. We're going to need a lot of what's in it for salvage, for building the new structures of the world to come.

Photo and colored pencil drawing: the Five of Diamonds, by Dave B and ©Dave B, 2012.

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