Fool’s Day

by

Fifth Estate # 404, Summer, 2019

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Since the anti-wizard who disenchanted the world was Capitalism, we must assume that Capitalism will have to vanish by evolutionary necessity in order for re-enchantment to triumph.

Is it really possible to embrace such optimism? Let’s try.

An April 1, 2019 article in The Nation, “Warning: The Plastics Crisis is About to Get Worse,” begins with a “midrange” estimate of the amount of plastic garbage that is dumped in the ocean every year—eight million tons.

The oil Industry, worried about declining profits in the energy market, is using fracked oil to ramp up plastics production. To combat this menace, the Town of Woodstock, New York is contemplating a ban on plastic drinking straws. Save the sea turtles! Never mind that every single item in the local health food supermarket is packaged in plastic. Never mind that the solar panels on the roof are made largely of plastic. Onward to victory.

But before we overcome Capitalism, we will have to abolish technology. Not just plastic; but pretty much all technology—except maybe sledge hammers, which the Luddites loved and used to smash machines in the early 19th century.

Smash driverless cars. Smash leaf-blowers. Smash pharmaceuticals. Smash guided missiles. Sex robots. Vaporizers, etc, etc. Because Capitalism is based on technology. But, how can we abolish the internet? The internet is the world.

In 1968, many believed that the consciousness revolution was about to re-enchant the world thanks to LSD and anarchism. What went wrong? Why is even ecologist Bill McKibben talking about the End of the World by 2050, if not sooner, unless consciousness somehow changes now, this instant, world-wide, all at once. Green!

Why aren’t we living on permaculture, fairy-haunted communes, and singing together on the porch in the cool of the evening after a fulfilling day in the organic gardens?

Is the sludge too thick?

Is there no way back?

Peter Lamborn Wilson has written numerous books and articles, many for the Fifth Estate. He introduced the concept of temporary autonomous zone in his book, TAZ. He lives in up-state New York.

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