original artwork w/ permission

What Does The UK Election Mean?

by Ben Warner

The result of last week’s election was both unsurprising and, oddly helpful. It demonstrated what many of us already know; that most of the electorate are ill-informed, and incapable of making even a basic, reasonable decision. We know that the media is corporately controlled and designed to protect corporate interests. We know that this culture’s downward spiral is accelerating and that it will not voluntarily transform itself into the promised “better society”.

It was perhaps the starkest choice the British electorate has ever had to face. On the one hand a racist, sexist, upper class, proven liar at the head of a political party that offered very little (in reality) for the people. On the other, an imperfect but, seemingly,  honest man with a history of integrity, who has fought for disadvantaged people for decades. A man at the head of a party whose policies might at least have helped those less well off in the UK, people who really needed immediate relief from austerity. I normally spoil my ballot paper because I want radical not incremental change . This year I voted.

I knew that my vote would not be enough. Corbyn’s policies, at least less destructive than the Sociopath’s, did not go nearly far enough in terms of halting the destruction of the earth. I knew that even if Corbyn won we would still have to resist. I voted because it was a choice between a vile self-centred man who craves power and a decent human being whose aim is  to help the disadvantaged.

I was disappointed but not surprised when the country elected the Sociopath. This is a profoundly dishonest and sociopathic culture. Psychologist, J. Schumaker (2016) claims “Human culture has mutated into a sociopathic marketing machine dominated by economic priorities and psychological manipulation.”, so of course it would elect a dishonest sociopath to lead it. In actual fact, the more you learn, the more you realise the situation is far worse than that. Life on earth is facing extermination. Everyday 200 species disappear forever, climate change accelerates, this culture continues to poison our air, water and land. If life is to survive we need to create a vibrant diverse culture of resistance.

According to Umail Haque, Anglo-America is “entering a death spiral, from which there’s probably no return.”  The “only two rich societies in the world with falling life expectancies, incomes, savings, happiness, trust — every single social indicator you can imagine — are America and Britain.” In fact the whole world is in a death spiral, or rather, industrial civilisation is killing life on earth. Every single ecosystem is in decline. You might think this is an exaggeration, in which case I invite you to investigate. It is a hard truth to face but we ALL NEED TO face it and ACT. We need to resist or we die.

In the The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (2014) Elizabeth Kolbert and the scientists she interviews, identify three main causes of global extinction; climate change/ocean acidification, habitat loss and foreign species introduction. Pre-industrialised humanity did not cause climate change and ocean acidification. Habitat loss was not caused by indigenous people, it was caused by agriculture and the spread of civilisation. Foreign species introduction only became a global problem with the rise of globalisation. Industrial civilisation is not causing the 6th mass extinction, rather it is committing the first mass extermination of life on earth. It is not an extinction event. It is genocide.

Both Umail Haque and psychologist John F Schumaker have noticed that Who we are has never been more incompatible with who we need to be. What we have become is the greatest threat to ourselves and the planet.” This culture celebrates stupidity, rewards the selfish and reveres the rich. How else can explain that a Grimsby fish market worker would describe the Tory leader as “a normal working class guy”? Empathy as a social characteristic is, according to this study, in decline. We are all, to some extent, as Jack D. Forbes has shown, infected by the Wetiko virus, an indigenous reference to pathological selfishness.

Johnathan Cook claims that this election has helped to burn the illusion that we live in a functioning democracy. We do not. As Chris Hedges points out, the corporate coup d’etat took place decades ago. The media is owned by the elite and they would not permit a man who posed a threat to their ability to thrive, to be elected. Cook also points to part of the solution, stating we must take to the streets. We know this alone will not be enough.

We need to stop the idiocy, we need to increase people’s ability to think things through, we need to take this whole mess down. We need a resistance movement that knows what the root cause of the problem is; industrial civilisation. A movement schooled in the strategies and tactics that have led to unlikely victories in the past. We need support networks. Sabotage. Educated, underground, militant, direct action groups, who are willing to take any necessary action to stop the machinery of this cannibalistic system from poisoning the air, the soil and the sea. We need peaceful protests. We need boycotts. We need strikes and we need people to support the strikers. We need all truly effective actions. We needed it decades ago. We need it now before it is too late.

This election result should not dispirit us. It must galvanise us. I WILL SEE YOU. I will see you in the streets, in the trees, and at the gates of the elite. I will see you at night dismantling the machines of destruction. I will see you in the jungles in front of bulldozers or chasing colonizers from your land. See you at the rivers letting them run free. See you anywhere life is under threat. I see as all working together to turn the tide of this merciless destructive culture. And I see us all regenerating this wild beautiful bleeding world. I see us.

Ben Warner is a longtime organizer with Deep Green Resistance UK. He is a white, urban-raised, middle-class male, who recognises that cities, white supremacy, male supremacy, human supremacy, and capitalism need to be dismantled.

Featured image: original artwork provided by the author.

18 thoughts on “What Does The UK Election Mean?”

  1. “most of the electorate are […] incapable of making even a basic, reasonable decision.”

    This kind of elitism is one of the reasons why the left keeps losing elections. You need to stop treating working class people as if they were stupid.

  2. Thanks, I. You took the words right out of my mouth. I’m getting fed up with well-off Greens and Leftists – and I’m both – showing their arrogant contempt for people poorer than them. Is it any wonder they’re so often hated by ordinary people?

  3. It means “abandon all hope.” Corbyn and Labour getting beaten was one thing, but to get trounced like that could not have been more discouraging. Oh well, we fight on regardless.

  4. @I.
    Stating facts is not elitism. The masses ARE badly uninformed, which is proven by the rise of Donald Trumps in multiple countries (and in the U.S. too), along with the rise of right wing parties that support the rich and powerful above all else, even though the former are a small minority.

    No one said that working class people are stupid. What Ben Warner said was that the culture rewards political stupidity and the large majority of people are badly uninformed. A functioning democracy depends on an informed electorate, and what we have is just the opposite: a badly uninformed brainwashed electorate. If you’d talk to average, regular people instead of just those in your lefty bubble you’d know that, unless you’re badly uninformed yourself.

    The vast majority of people are worker bees and have neither the ability, nor the desire to do the necessary work, in order to make decisions about how human society should run and should treat the planet and all that lives here. That is not an insult and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s a fact. Most people shouldn’t HAVE to make these types of decisions. In an ideal world there would be far fewer people, and leaders would be chosen based on their wisdom and on their empathy for all life, not based on who could lie and deceive the masses the best. Our faulty election systems, wherein the best deceiver (who BTW is almost always the one who spends the most on the campaign) wins, is yet another ill effect of overpopulation. Naturally small societies, of which there are very few remaining, don’t have this problem because everyone knows each other.

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill, democracy is a terrible form of government (because the vast majority of people are so ill-informed), but it’s the best one we could have in a grossly overpopulated society (in order to put at least some limits on the rich & powerful). But without an informed electorate, you get results like this.

  5. IMHO, the most effective type of resistance at this point is the sort of symbolic act that gets people’s attention, by temporarily impeding the worst examples of industrial excess and waste.

    Two examples are the cut flower industry and international poultry processing. Few people are aware that dozens of airliners make daily, international flights that do nothing but transport cut flowers from the growing centers of the world (some of the largest being in Northern California, North Carolina, South America, Kenya, and The Netherlands) to the flower shops and supermarkets of the world, where they are purchased for idle amusement, and then dumped into landfills.

    Likewise, there are numerous daily flights from the U.S. to China, carrying freshly slaughtered chickens to be cut up, processed, packaged by low paid or slave labor, and then sent back to the U.S. to be marketed and eaten.

    These shipments need to be prevented, interrupted, or halted before they reach the airliners — along with a publicity campaign that exposes these shamefully wasteful industries for what they are.

    When the public becomes educated to these crimes against nature, we can then expand efforts to end ALL global trade that exists solely to increase profits. Much of the U.S. beef and pork industries, for instance, exist solely to satisfy the status-driven appetites of newly affluent Chinese for more dead pigs and cows in their diets.

    Ditto the American appetite for German beer, French wines, etc. Why are potatoes exported from Britain to Germany, AND from Germany to Britain?

    We must (among myriad other things) put an end to trade in anything that can’t be made domestically, and begin to educate people back toward a sane philosophy of commerce, where next to nothing is consumed beyond the range of horse-drawn wagons and sailboats, and where people begin to aspire to consume AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, rather than wallowing in waste and excess.

    I tire of repeating this fact, but we all need to memorize it: In 1900, the world’s 1.6 billion humans used just over 4 tons of raw materials per person per year. By 2008, per capita use was over 9 tons, while the population had almost quadrupled. By 2030, the projections are for 10 billion people using 12 tons per person, with 75% of it going to waste.

    We are in a greed-driven race toward a planetary exhaustion of resources and mass extinction of species, our own noteithstanding. And as our children remind us, there is no Planet B.

  6. Correction to my earlier comment: The projected world population for 2030 is 8 billion. We’re expected to reach 10 billion around 2050.

  7. Lmao, “most people are too stupid to vote” is not a “fact”, it’s an opinion. But it’s good to see you guys showing your true colors.

  8. @I.
    You are the only one here saying that, “most people are too stupid to vote.” You are acting like a troll on this site; we are radical environmentalists who place all life above money and material concerns, and who do not place humans above other life. If you can’t get with that, you should comment elsewhere, these positions are fundamental to who and what we are here.

  9. @JeffHoffmann
    No, I am not the “only one” saying that. My first comment contains a literal quote from the article and I am not the “only one” who saw the elitism dripping from it.
    Stay mad.

  10. @I.
    You are the only one here saying that most people are stupid. The fact that your first comment said something else is irrelevant. If you can’t get the very slightly nuanced difference between not having an aptitude for something like electoral politics and being stupid, then you just don’t understand.

  11. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sure, tell me more about how “most people lack aptitude for electoral politics” is totally different from saying they’re too stupid to vote, and how if I don’t get the difference I’m stupid. Please do tell (not).

    You speak *exactly* like an abuser.

  12. IMO what Ben is pointing to is the insanity of the dominant culture. Though we may wish for a standard political solution, it ain’t happening.
    We are the modern industrial “civilised” humans. We swim in obscene energy throughput and toxic levels of consumption i.e., peak comfort driven by entitle-ism aka entitle-itis.
    Full blown revolution 40-50 years ago may have made a difference.
    Now? Better late than never?

    (We “civilised” are so absolutely f**ked up!)

    “The dominant culture is insane and unreachable, as are most of it’s inhabitants. It has a death urge. It is pathological and suicidal. It wants to kill everyone and everything, including itself. And it will do so, unless we stop it.”
    Derrick Jensen

  13. @Ted Howard
    I agree with your analysis, but you should forgo the predictions, they’ll only paralyze you and keep you from acting. If you keep trying you never know what might happen, so we have to fight on no matter what. I also agree that the situation looks really bleak — global frying/climate crisis, extreme human overpopulation and consumption, extinction crisis, plastic everywhere even in the air, etc. So the realistic expectations are not good, but keep trying and never give up hope!

  14. Thanks Jeff
    I have given up hope for us modern industrial “civilised” humans. Those who can transition from homo colossus back to homo sapiens may survive. Most of us won’t.

    The 6th Mass Extinction makes it very clear, change to local embedded ecologically sane ways of living, or join the die-off.

    On behalf of our kin going to extinction at 200+ species a day, I will do what ever I can to make a difference for them. By any means necessary. I will do this until I’m spent.
    I will never give up hope for fertile resistance and love of nature that drives us to make a difference.

  15. @Ted Howard
    That’s what I meant Ted. I don’t care about humans; they can either evolve mentally and spiritually and stop harming life on Earth, or they can go away. I’d prefer the former, but either way is OK with me. My fight is for the Earth and everything else here.

  16. It’s amazing to me how so many people will complain about voter suppression, targeted disinformation campaigns, the collapse of public media, the dismal state of our education system, etc. and then immediately become furious when you suggest that the majority of the population is not well-equipped for understanding the issues at hand. It’s like complaining about a famine and then getting upset when we suggest people might be undernourished!

    People nowadays want to talk about all the awful things this culture does, but they’re afraid of being honest about the logical results of those awful acts. But you can’t complain about the way the ruling class misleads the public while also refusing to admit that… you know, the public is misled! It seems to me that if the working class (and others!) are so thoughtful and ready to tackle these issues with a radical analysis, then you don’t really have anything to complain about regarding the state’s attempts to crush revolution, right?

  17. Henry,

    Good luck trying to bring people to vote the way you want them to by referring to them as incapable to make even basic decisions. (You didn’t; the author did.)

    I am working class. I SEE the left treating me like an idiot. No one told me; I *see* it every day. I see the left telling me that men are women, that prostitution is work, and that trickle down economics are a good way to solve climate change. If you want the left to become relevant again you need to ditch this postmodernist/neoliberal BS and bring Marxism back.
    Just saying.

  18. I absolutely agree there – most of the self-described “leftists” in the UK and especially in the US are more deluded and incompetent than any working class person you’re likely to meet!

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