FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Future Free For All

Reading Pepe Escobar’s beautiful memory of Jean-Paul Sartre reignited a thought process which I had previously set aside on several occasions because of my tendency to submit to a sense of futility in the face of the seemingly ever expanding human proclivity for degradation. My interpretation/analysis stems from a consistently chronic sense that I have, for most of my life, been as much an outside observer of human social pursuits as I have been a participant. In the face of what appears to be an ongoing expansion of planetary domination by humanity, I cannot help but strongly suspect (I dare not believe) that humanity is not capable of transcending its own seeming essential characteristics which, in themselves, negate any possible belief in freedom.

Human nature has us longing for inclusion while we simultaneously desire rising above the banality of our social structures. These desires seems to underlie the majority of our precepts and the necessity of laws for guiding what might be called our fragmented global social body.

The belief in different strokes for different folks is consistently clashing with authoritarian limits, while both are portrayed as necessary for maximizing human potential. This is where I tend to wander into the vicinity of B.F. Skinner – even as I know that that piece of property is not where I want to be.

The great problem of the unending repetition of leap-frogging from the desire for liberation to the implementation of another authoritarian tyranny as the all too typical solutions to the seemingly never-ending cycles of a survivalist game usually has the exact same result. It is a result which is always based within a singular belief. The belief that the dominant humans at any given time are the most exceptional of THE exceptional species. Any and all aspects of a society are used as mirrors by whichever society has risen at whatever time to vainly convince us that we are the promise of a new future. This desperate religiosity repeatedly fails to bring about the necessary rise in consciousness which sees beyond the prosaic gimmickry of the limited time in which we live. Shortsightedness is worshiped as if it is visionary and the same shortsightedness depends upon a devout avoidance of any clear comprehension of the most consistently salient characteristics of our species.

Phantasmagorical gods are created as fig leaves to shame us into continuing the absurd denial of our inescapable insecurity and as a way of denying our genetic predispositions which might, by way of consciousness, raise other life forms to a realistic and equitable level.

In short, there is nothing which humankind has created which is much more than a crutch and most of these crutches, from religions to economic theories to pathetically enormous skyscrapers and methods of transport, are dependent upon continued degradation of this planet.

There is one characteristic of humans which is our greatest danger. It is as central to our existence as the air we breathe. In fact, it is within the very air we breathe. Like all other animals, we depend upon taking in oxygen and we exhale carbon. In reality, it is the plants of the world which are what makes our lives possible. We are no more superior to any plant than any plant is superior to any animal which feeds upon it. This condition in which we need oxygen and its complementary release of carbon in order to survive is merely the base of our character which makes us similar to other animal life. There is something else about humans which sets us apart from other lifeforms. It is the extraordinary amounts of carbon we release which is way, way beyond what any other animal releases as they attempt to survive.

Up until now, our self-given title of Homo sapiens could not be further from the truth. The term “sapiens” means wise. It is a fantasy. Yes, we are at times clever, but, as a species, we are desperate and foolishly impressionable. Often, we are our own worst enemies.

Throughout the history of mankind, as the population increase went from a long, gradual rise over thousands of years to where it has more and more rapidly escalated from 1 billion in the early 19th Century to where we now add another billion people to the planet  every 12 to 15 years, the carbon released through our cultural practices has also escalated.

We are an extraordinary agent of carbon releasing behaviors. From our earliest existence  as humans, we have used the carbon releasing agency of fire for comfort and protection.

As we grew in numbers and cultural desires, the burning of plants was superseded by the  burning of various plant and animal oils, peat, and coal until we realized the possibilities for  mobility of ourselves and most of our cultural accoutrements which are dependent upon an addiction to petroleum and natural gas. Now we have reached the grossest combined  amounts of carbon releasing toxicity we never imagined possible. It seems that the vast majority of people can’t even imagine their own lifestyles might be part of a problem. The  main concern for huge numbers of people seems to be managing a way to get enough  money so that they can expand the amounts of carbon they release and this is inextricably tied to the belief that the activities involving increased carbon release are the reassuring  proofs of their freedom. Through our misguided behavior, the devouring deforestation and the spewing of carbon is heading toward being beyond the inconsistent volcanic  eruptions which may have triggered the demise of dinosaurs.

It seems we just can’t stop ourselves. We obsess over identity politics while we argue for greater access for more people to the very lifestyles which will inevitably lead us all into the same, shared nightmare of global environmental collapse. We postpone the necessary responsible behavior and while some limited measures toward changing our  behavior have been appearing, they are often portrayed as infringing upon our freedom.

It seems most of us haven’t a clue about the limits of petroleum reserves and what effect the future shortages are going to entail when they drastically decline.

We spout vapid pablum about “freedom” while we present our wastefully reckless addiction to carbon releasing excesses as if they are the proofs of our proximity to some god. If the fires of some hell is the abode of demons, then we appear to have an outline of where we are headed.

Forget about the idea of a “carbon footprint” because that awareness is too limited.

How large are your carbon tire-tracks and how many lifeforms are you running over in your delusions of freedom?

More articles by:

December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail