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.