Capitalism has declared war on the planet, on you!
Zombie Apocalypse 13th July 2021
By Gordon Liddle
Well, the football is over, and the drunk yobs have left Leicester Square and the young heroes have gone back to being abused on social media and by right-wing MPs including ministers and some journalists. The only good thing to come out of it is the backlash in support of these boys, from their team-mates to the manager and across social media from thousands of fans, including many who never have or will watch football. Some racist brain-dead idiot defaces a mural in Manchester and the local community turn out in droves to cover it with love and affection. There is something good coming out of something very dark. Even the poison dripping from the PM and Pritti Patel has been turned back against them. So, things can change. And very quickly once a meme starts to run. So, this offers us a little hope, among all the gloom of what is happening today. Remember that.
Some racist brain-dead idiot defaces a mural in Manchester and the local community turn out in droves to cover it with love and affection
I don’t mean this just with regard to the Saars/covid ongoing clusterfuck here in the UK and some other parts of the world. The world is watching the giant petri dish that is the UK where our government, having messed up virtually every aspect of this crisis are now set to do it again. Having started with the idea of herd immunity at the beginning of the pandemic, we are back there with a vengeance. It isn’t surprising that a government of eugenicists with an extreme right wing ideological bent are willing to gamble on herd immunity via infection rather than herd immunity by vaccination (not to mention denying vaccines to the Global South). So, we open up on the 19th, (we’ve already crammed 65,000. people into football stadiums), slow down vaccinations and make children exempt, sit back and watch what happens, as if we’d just placed a bet on the horses. Which way will it go? How fast? Do we win or do we incubate the next variant? Winner takes all. What japes. We are led by psychopaths.
The world is watching the giant petri dish that is the UK where our government, having messed up virtually every aspect of this crisis are now set to do it again.
Meanwhile, the planet is burning. Since China was co-opted into global Capitalism the fire has got immeasurably worse and the system propelling the flames is regarded as almost sacrosanct by all our politician’s world leaders and corporations. They cannot conceive of a challenge to Global, Fossil Fuel based, Predatory and Accumulative Capitalism. The very thing that is pouring fuel on the fire in the first instance. The very being of Capitalism, that of expansion orientated and accumulation driven juggernaut, is driving a rift between humanity and the natural world.
Marx understood this, he called it an ecological rift. Sustainability in relation to the earth as a requirement of production was very much part of his theory but one that Capitalism is compelled to violate. It is rooted in the alienation of the metabolic relationship to nature. For Marx, production was a means of expanding needs and powers but at all times it was subject to the material limits imposed by nature. For Capitalists, nature is a vast store of free commons to be exploited at no cost to capital and the exchange does not stop there as the pollution and destruction in the other direction, is also cost free. We see it every day. Here in the UK the water companies pollute our river, streams and seas and the rare fines or hand sanctions are just absorbed as business costs and the looting goes on, accumulating more wealth to the few at the cost of the earth itself. Capitalism is not capable of self-sufficiency. If you challenge this hegemony you are painted by their media and propaganda teams as a crack or worse still, a terrorist.
The very being of Capitalism, that of expansion orientated and accumulation driven juggernaut, is driving a rift between humanity and the natural world.
In our postmodern paradigm our philosophers see things as the end of history or in relativism and we have been deluged with fantasy and fairy tales of our relationship to the planet and nature. But, contrary to this, as Marx understood, reality exists to which science is the stumbling path to try and learn about it. Yes, we do have a social relationship with nature, but this is materialistic, not constructivist. We have a dialectic with nature, but we can’t wish the problem away or pretend global warming and ecological collapse is a human construct of our imagination and not the very real materialist result of our actions.
Whilst the governments give us bread and circuses, the planet is dying. Since the first meetings of concerned bodies, we have just added fuel to the fire, emissions, ecological destruction, pollution and looting has accelerated. I haven’t heard one single politician or corporate leader fully understand or even mention the Jevons Paradox. That, since the beginning of the industrial revolution, as we made more and more efficient machines, the need for more and more power has risen, and the use of fossil fuels has increased. First, we started with timber, then as we moved to coal and more efficient engines, the use of timber increased. When we added oil and gas, both timber use and coal use increased all adding fuel to the growing fire. As we add wind turbines and LED’s, batteries and solar panels, all are consuming more and more oil, coal, gas and timber, as well as other minerals, adding to the flames.
I haven’t heard one single politician or corporate leader fully understand or even mention the Jevons Paradox.
Mines are taking the tops off mountains, destroying plateaux, strip clearing old growth forests and deserts, causing untold death and destruction to indigenous peoples, and mining operations are turning soil to poison, rivers to sewers, and oceans to acrid voids devoid of life. Countries are destabilised for access to their resources and coups enacted to get to the hidden gold, or in this case, copper and lithium. It is said as a joke that the US for instance is an oil and mining company with an army, as was the old East India Company during Britain’s days of Empire. It is still a truth. Capitalism is not a balanced exchange. The bounty is pumped or drilled out of the earth and transported to the core with nothing flowing the other way.
In 1850s our Western soils were so denuded we scoured the earth for Guano to supplement the degradation, destroying islands and coastal communities in the process as well as the nesting sites and ecosystems of the bird populations; and in at least one case causing a war (between Chile and Peru for Imperial access to more guano). Now we use oil and nitrates from the air itself, all of which are ebbing out of the soils into waterways and then to poison the oceans themselves. Another planet boundary broken. We are building a pyre to humanity and we are determined to carry every other living thing with us to it. Meanwhile our oligarchs build their yachts and dream and enact holiday trips to the edge of space whilst avoiding tax and driving their workers into indentured slavery.
We are building a pyre to humanity and we are determined to carry every other living thing with us to it.
At this stage, one has to take a personal decision. Do I become a passive observer, or do I resist? An active rejectionist? Every one of us has this same dilemma but not many realise this yet. The Corporate and Oligarchy owned media is blurring your vision, filling the airwaves with doubt and misinformation. Chomsky once said we face three threats, nuclear, ecological and deliberate misinformation, and the third could bring on the other two. One the one hand they have spent decades telling us Global Warming is not real, and even changing the naming of it to ‘Climate Change’ as is sounds less threatening, and more recently they are saying it is too late to tackle it and we will just have to adapt. Let the fire rage, we can move to our shelters and it will all be OK. We can move to Mars, or the moon, but the accumulation and rape of the planet by Capitalism must keep going, whatever the cost.
Chomsky once said we face three threats, nuclear, ecological and deliberate misinformation, and the third could bring on the other two.
Never forget, the people peddling these lies are psychopaths. About 800 people died across the Pacific Northwest during the heat wave last week, a number that will probably still go up as officials examine medical records and statistics in the coming weeks and months. The peak temperature was 121.3 degrees Fahrenheit on June 29 in Lytton, British Columbia. After setting heat records for Canada on three consecutive days, the town was mostly destroyed by a wildfire driven by hot winds in the dried-out forests nearby. Oregon Washington and Canada were severely hit.
If we link Saars/covid to ecological deaths, possibly caused by our kettling of nature into smaller and smaller untouched ecosystems, we lost about ten million people last year to the flames of the pyre. These figures will grow exponentially over the next few decades. And when people are under threat, they do what they have done for centuries when threatened by war or famine, they migrate, they become refugees. In the UK and the States, new laws are brought into being to address the issues of refugees and migrants, and here in the UK new laws to stop dissent are in Parliament as I write this.
Forty-four officers into an art studio to arrest a group of charity artists. Not a terrorist bomb in sight.
Last week forty-four police officers broke into and entered a cooperative art studio to confiscate a sculpture the Home Secretary didn’t like. Forty-four officers into an art studio to arrest a group of charity artists. Not a terrorist bomb in sight. You can see where this is going so what are you going to do? Kids are striking for climate; they understand it’s their future at stake. Greta Thunberg has issued warning after warning, but it is still misinterpreted. She knows full well what will happen. It will end in violence. Despite all the XR protests and happy clappy sit down moments reclaiming public squares and dancing in front of Parliaments, the politicians will ignore it and the Fossil Corporations will carry on as normal. Eventually something will snap. There will be distractions, already Biden is talking up a war with either China or Iran, but eventually the flow of peoples from unliveable or resource drained communities will be unstoppable. And then? Do we machine gun them in the Med, as has been suggested by one of our psychopaths already? Do we sink the boats? Build walls? If they come, how do we feed them and us? Do you see the problem?
eventually the flow of peoples from unliveable or resource drained communities will be unstoppable. And then? Do we machine gun them in the Med
Where do you stand? I refuse to believe we simply give up, give in to the doomsters who say nothing can be done, it’s too late, we will have to just ‘adapt!’ Just remember, as we have seen during this pandemic, the government can move like lightning. Remember how posh frock companies suddenly turned their hands to making masks and PPE equipment at the government’s bidding? How whisky and gin manufacturers were able to switch production to create alcoholic gels to fight viral spreading, how engineering companies suddenly started making ventilators? Almost as if the government was on a war footing. It’s time to fight back, any way you can. Violence will start soon. Then you will be forced to pick a side.
whisky and gin manufacturers were able to switch production to create alcoholic gels to fight viral spreading
If attacks on fossil fuel fire making plants start, the backlash from the established elite will be ferocious. You will hear these desperate activists being called terrorists. A threat to civilisation. Not the fossil fuel corporations of course, the ones piling fuel on the pyre. They will be the innocent party, the ones being ‘terrorised!’ Don’t believe this for a second. Bright Greens think we can persuade corporations to change their ways, that governments can be persuaded to move to stop the ecocide, that a few technological tweaks will change the outcomes, but they are deluded.
Capitalism has declared war on the planet, on you! We need a war against Capitalism. We need the government(s) to change sides and make peace with nature. A wartime pact. Comrades to a shared goal. If we don’t, we will not survive. It is a simple and as horrifying as that. The pyre is building, much conflagration is now inevitable, built into the system, but the final catastrophic burn can still be stopped.
Time to pick a side. Are you ready?
Gordon Liddle was born 1956, Horden, County Durham, United Kingdom Married, lives and works at his Derbyshire studio. BA Hons, Sheffield Psalter Lane Art College Gordon has had numerous positions and travelled extensively through the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain, Africa and Europe, with particular interests in religion, democracy, politics, economics, MMT, and culture. The results of these studies form the basis of the series of works now under way. Numerous works bought by private collectors #Madonna Victorian Mood Bought by Andrew Cavendish the 11th Duke of Devonshire is owned by the Chatsworth Collection. ‘Celestial Teapot’ was exhibited at La Galleria Pall Mall in London for one week in 2013, 4 days at Art Basel in 2014. Currently working on Gaia, The Sixth Extinction Series, of paintings, woodcuts and hopefully etchings soon. Also writing two books and a book of poems and rants. Gordon is on Twitter @sutongirotcip and his website is pictorignotus.com