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celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

  1. Every mass extinction has resulted in new, frankly more beautiful forms of life. For example, the Creataceous extinction resulted in the ascension of mammals, many of whom have developed much larger brain-to-body ratios, the development of more complex forms of social communication, allowing for an incredible array of diversity. Now that the era of mammals may be coming to an end, it is better to celebrate the coming of a new world, than to despair in our era's decline.

1a. In doing so, we will be able to sustain much greater levels of political activity, relishing joy and positive vision, in the face of mass death, which is exactly what must happen if we are to exert our collective and individual wills in this critical historical moment. Which leads me to my next point:

  1. The ongoing collapse of agro-industrial society will offer unprecedented opportunities for restructuring social relationships. While we are facing the multiplication of terrible tragedies, both to human and non-human forms of life, the institutions which are responsible for those tragedies are at least as precariously positioned as those it renders disposable. It is irresponsible to engage in pessimism, in the same way that trans-pessimism or afro-pessimism is often utilized by liberals of marginalized identities (respectively) to justify inaction, a retreat inwards to the domain of philosophy. What we need now, to the contrary, is an advance outwards toward each other, and the pessimist discourse (as understandable as it is) does nothing to achieve that. For a more in-depth, engaging critique of this, here is a podcast which I found instructive.

  2. The current mode of production (which is, essentially, a mode of destruction when externalities are factored in) is already passing away. What I mean by this is twofold. First, that the current modes for extracting energy & resources, as well as the patterns of consumption for, are destroying themselves as part of this collapse process. Certainly not fast enough, which is the problem...however, the Second meaning is that there are alternative modes of being which are replacing the current oligopolistic options for sustaining ourselves and meeting our basic needs. Increasingly we have the technologies (solar, wind, bioengineering, tiny homes, etc) within our grasp politically (due to falling costs, reproducibility, etc) to enact different cultural ontologies (permaculture, post-consumerist sociality, back-to-the-land ethics, etc). In parallel with the historic rise in popularity of radical politics, with proportionate exceptionality being characteristic of anarchist philosophies, this historical moment offers incredible potential for building what I think of as parallel-figurative societies: in a phrase used often in our milieu, "dual power".

  3. Falling into the cliche of "natural vs. artificial" which many interested in the collapse reify (out of an understandable desire for narrative convenience & clarity), lets humanity off the hook for actually engaging in action to shift the ecological terrain. "Natural" does not mean good, and humans can, will, and I argue should transform the earth to account for the destruction which we have inherited. Whether that means changing the composition of the atmosphere to counteract greenhouse effects, engineering bacteria & archaea to consume the horribly toxic plastic waste we have created, or editing our genomes of ourselves and other life forms to better tolerate changing climatic conditions, we should consider all these options open to us.

4a. As a trans person who finds great potential praxis in deep green positionalities, I find the biological essentialism of "Nature" that is pretty prominent in many primitivist/deep green/etc spaces & discourses to be deeply off the mark. Life has always changed itself, and now humans have the unprecedented opportunity to engage in that process self-consciously. We should not retreat into reactionary essentialism, certainly not now the planet happens to be going through a major crisis. But hey, don't take it from me. If you reject what my arguments are, that's fine, you're entitled to it. However, if you start to notice that your movements are filling up, or have been filled, with reactionary fascist types, you may want to re-examine your own discourse for why you have been attracting these thanatic cult members.

  1. In thinking about the collapse, we should imagine ourselves not as a "dead end", nor imagine the collapse as a single or unprecedented event. In fact, there have been 20 mass extinctions in the history of multicellular life, and there will certainly be more. While rarely before have extinctions progressed so rapidly, never before has there been a form of life as culturally intelligent and technologically self-aware as humanity. It would be premature to judge our species as unable to engineer or hack its way into a new social niche of our own innovation-- one of anarchist/communist, rather than capitalist, bases. Insofar as I am able, I would rather not focus on the death of everything as an overwhelming determination of reality. Instead, I would like to help shoulder the collective burden of transforming our social relationships in a way that offers actual opportunities for praxis.

Others can criticize the "denizens of technology", the foolish leftists who continue to struggle for social change...but I prefer to focus on the ways we can actually engage with this historical moment, and form new beautiful connections with each other & the animals/plants/rhizomes that surround us.

It's not easy, but it is what revolution is. And frankly, I'll die saying it's a better way to live.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Interesting points! I've got some questions for elucidation.

Now that the era of mammals may be coming to an end, it is better to celebrate the coming of a new world, than to despair in our era's decline.

Would you celebrate a genocide if the future people would be prettier or smarter? It seems like you're setting up a dichotomy between celebration and despair/pessimism, but I don't understand why this is necessary or desirable.

I find the biological essentialism of "Nature" that is pretty prominent in many primitivist/deep green/etc spaces

Have you found that to be the case here?

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celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

Would you celebrate a genocide if the future people would be prettier or smarter?

well, no. I am also not using "beautiful" in an anthropocentric aesthetic sense, I am speaking more metaphorically; the beauty of time & change, of nature's ability to reconstruct itself even in the face of unbelievable damage/destruction. As we humans are part of that process, i find that beautiful, in a way that transcends what i as an individual acculturated human find attractive.

Don't get me wrong. shit is fucked. everyone is miserable, and the planet is dying lol. but if we give into our depressive tendencies, we have subsumed our better nature to a socialized affect, an emotional state which is designed to keep people docile, or at least redirect any revolutionary energy into useless side affairs. So I prefer us to be able to experience this collapse in a self-conscious way, and not get trapped underneath our own hearts & minds.

It seems like you're setting up a dichotomy between celebration and despair/pessimism, but I don't understand why this is necessary or desirable.

Actually, I think I am responding to the cult of despair which is well known on /r/Collapse & /f/Collapse, which does not really elicit a political force from the people who consume the content. If anything, it appears to neutralize many people from taking actions which are sustainable & positive. Instead, I feel that people are turning inwards, "prepping" in a very narrow sense, and cultivating this totally wack sense of misanthropy. Radical politics requires collective socialization, and this stuff (while not wrong per se in many respects) doesn't get us where I personally want us to go.

It is clear to me, at least, that I am not advocating for passively celebrating the dire future that awaits us. I am trying to engage in a dialectic, to push towards the kind of synthesis you refer to. Because right now, if you take my post in its social context, I think it is fair to acknowledge it is attempting to be a counterbalancing perspective.

I find the biological essentialism of "Nature" that is pretty prominent in many primitivist/deep green/etc spaces

well, this is not a space, not to get too pedantic. It's a forum. IRL, the primitivist scene utterly imploded due to prominent men coming out as transphobic, racist...not to mention, the FBI raids on the most successful direct actionists affiliated. It was a both internal reactionary split, and an external repressive force. divide-and-conquer. the scene has not recovered in over a decade, so the "spaces" we are talking about are just online forums.

But to address what you say, rather than get caught up in definitions: Here, there is something very interesting happening, in that there is a really large queer & trans presence on the site (wooo) but also a very large gathering of ecologically concerned anarchist thought/discourse. There are limitations in what a forum can do (and any anti-civs here surely would agree), but I for one am optimistic about what sort of dank memes and propaganda we can export, as well as the digital networks we can co-create. Perhaps some of us could even take some of these connections offline and do something real with them, but that's definitely quite uncertain, and even laden with some operational danger. But overall, I feel very positively about what raddle may do, and at the least what it can represent for the anarchist deep green discourse moving forward.