On False Solutions: Video From Max Wilbert Of DGR

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Max is a prominent and very vocal member of the radical environmentalist organisation Deep Green Resistance, often uploading videos where he speaks on the subject of anti-civ action. Here is his latest one on false solutions –

 

Click here for Max’s website.

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Cyber Activist Group Anonymous, WW3 And The Left

The hacker group Anonymous have become a fond favourite of liberals and radicals, particularly those of an Occupyist persuasion.

Their Wikipedia page states –

“In its early form, the concept was adopted by a decentralized online community acting anonymously in a coordinated manner, usually toward a loosely self-agreed goal, and primarily focused on entertainment, or “lulz“. Beginning with 2008’s Project Chanology—a series of protests, pranks, and hacks targeting the Church of Scientology—the Anonymous collective became increasingly associated with collaborative hacktivism on a number of issues internationally. Individuals claiming to align themselves with Anonymous undertook protests and other actions (including direct action) in retaliation against copyright-focused campaigns by motion picture and recording industry trade associations. Later targets of Anonymous hacktivism included government agencies of the U.S., Israel, Tunisia, Uganda, and others; the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; child pornography sites; copyright protection agencies; the Westboro Baptist Church; and corporations such as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, and Sony. Anons have publicly supported WikiLeaks and the Occupy movement. Related groups LulzSec and Operation AntiSec carried out cyberattacks on U.S. government agencies, media, video game companies, military contractors, military personnel, and police officers, resulting in the attention of law enforcement to the groups’ activities. Some actions by members of the group have been described as being anti-Zionist. It has threatened to cyber-attack Israel and engaged in the “#OpIsrael” cyber-attacks of Israeli websites on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) in 2013.”

In recent days/weeks they have uploaded a number of videos, with a common theme of impending doom –

The sad fact is though, their video’s, more than anything, appear to support the same culture they seek to resist, through being accumulated into the Spectacle of contemporary culture through the production-narrative of recuperation. And this appears true of the entirety of the leftist project.

To quote prominent anarchist primitivist and post-left philosopher John Zerzan –

“It isn’t that there’s no energy afoot in the world. On any given day on any continent, one can see anti-government riots; direct actions in support of animal liberation or to protect the earth; concerted efforts to resist the building of dams, superhighways, industrial installations; prison uprisings; spontaneous outbreaks of targeted vandalism by the fed-up and pissed-off; wildcat strikes; and the energy of countless infoshops, zines, primitive skills camps, schools, and gatherings; radical reading groups, Food Not Bombs, etc. The list of oppositional acts and alternative projects is very considerable.

What isn’t happening is the Left. Historically, it has failed monumentally. What war, depression or ecocide did it ever prevent? The Left now exists mainly as a fading vehicle of protest in, say, the electoral circuses that fewer and fewer believe in anyway. It hasn’t been a source of inspiration in many decades. It is dying out.” John Zerzan, The Left? No Thanks!

Perhaps Anonymous will help civilisation redeem itself; perhaps they will hasten its collapse through perpetuating the same narratives that it is collapsing under. We will have to see. Whatever is the case, it is apparent that something is happening.

To quote from The Coming Insurrection by The Invisible Committee  –

“It’s useless to wait-for a breakthrough, for the revolution, the nuclear apocalypse or a social movement. To go on waiting is madness. The catastrophe is not coming, it is here. We are already situated within the collapse of a civilization. It is within this reality that we must choose sides.”

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Two Contemporary Political Commentators On The Value Of Abandoning Hope

No hyper-bol; no exagérations; no inaccuracy; no fake news; no religious dogma (theist or atheist); no conspiracy – just the situation laid bare: the planet is being killed (not dying) and we know it. The mass extinction event currently underway, along side climate change, air, land and water pollution, and just about everything else that surmounts to the day-to-day normality of this culture presents us with an impending apocalypse (in any meaningful sense of the term), which this culture will have to face up to eventually.

Marxist-Lacanian philosopher and sociologist Zizek, despite his reverence of Stalinist-socialist type-civilisation, has some valuable insights on the value of abandoning hope –

“The true courage is not to imagine an alternative, but to accept the consequences of the fact that there is no clearly discernible alternative: the dream of an alternative is a sign of theoretical cowardice; it functions as a fetish that prevents us thinking through to the end the deadlock of our predicament. In short, the true courage is to admit that the light at the end of the tunnel is most likely the headlights of another train approaching us from the opposite direction.” Zizek.

Radical environmentalist writer Derrick Jensen stated in his seminal text Endgame this –

“A wonderful thing happens when you give up on hope, which is that you real-
ize you never needed it in the first place. You realize that giving up on hope
didn’t kill you, nor did it make you less effective. In fact it made you more effec-
tive, because you ceased relying on someone or something else to solve your
problems—you ceased hoping your problems somehow get solved, through the
magical assistance of God, the Great Mother, the Sierra Club, valiant tree-sitters,
brave salmon, or even the Earth itself—and you just began doing what’s neces-
sary to solve your problems yourself …. When you give up on hope, you lose a lot of fear. And when you quit relying on hope, and instead begin to just protect those you love, you become danger-ous indeed to those in power.” Derrick Jensen, Endgame.

It is time we have the courage to abandon hope, stop taking comfort in it, take responsibility for our lives, the world our lives are immersed in, and start to act in resistance and revolt – defending wild nature and attacking that which seeks to kill it.

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What’s Scaring Scientists? Human Extinction Through Artificial Intelligence.

Executive director of Climate Nexus Jeff Nesbit suggests that humanity might be extinct by 2050.

“The human race could vanish in the blink of an eye within our lifetimes … there is a dark, threatening side to the AI story, and it is only now being discussed publicly.” Nesbit

Nesbit draws from the fears of individuals such as Bill Gates, Stephen Hawkins and Elon Musk in his article on the subject – full text here.

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The Confusion Regarding Air Pollution In The UK And Its Consequences: Human and Non-Human

In February last year, the far-right wing newspaper The Daily Mail reported that air pollution is “killing” 40,000 British people a year. Several months later, Greenpeace posted on their website that air pollution is causing 40,000 lives to be “cut short”.

These claims have been criticised within the British media and by scientists. And the truth seems to indicate that air pollution, rather than being the sole cause of these deaths, is actually a contributing factor in a situation that is highly complex and difficult to understand.

One of the central issues is throughout this debate has been that the figure of 40,000 was produced through statistical research. The problem here is that, statistical evidence, while it can be beneficial in some areas of scientific research, is reductive to the extent that it often limits the variables so as to remove all context from the findings and produce numbers that are don’t actually reflect the situational truth.

So the questions we really need to ask is, what is the truth, in its situated context? What can we say we really know, given that most of us aren’t scientists and are relying on evidence produced by those with personal agendas? Because the lies told by Exxon scientists regarding the harmful effects of oil and global warming serve as a reminder that scientific research isn’t performed in a non-political vacuum, free from authoritarian dynamics that serve the interests of elites.

It is highly likely that air pollution globally causes the death of more than 3 million people, 75% of which are in Asia, where economic globalisation has taken a foothold in, leading to the escalation of industrialism (often in the guise of “development) across the continent. This stands to reason, given the how much air pollution has risen across the worlds cities and the encroachment of urbanisation in the “developing” world. In fact, The World Health Organisation has previously reported that air pollution kills 6.5 million people a year and that pollution causes the deaths of 1.7 children a year. Proposed solutions to this problem, such as a new type of inhaler, are reliant on the production of technologies – technologies whose production are reliant on industrial production and distribution, which are the leading contributing factors in the global air crisis.

According to Carbon Brief, the UK’s carbon emissions fell by 6% in 2016, which would indicate a (slightly) improved situation. But primary air pollutants include – carbon dioxide, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulates, persistent free radicals, toxic metals, ammonia, chlorofluorocarbons, odours from sewage and industrial processes, and radioactive pollutants. So does this statistic reflect the situated truth? Professor Stephen Holgate, Medical Research Council Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology and Honorary Consultant Physician within Medicine at the University of Southampton, states in the video below that air pollution is “affecting our health in many different ways, that we’re only just beginning to understand”.

So far the focus here has been entirely anthropocentric – that is, with a focus on the impact on humans. So what of the non-human impact?

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Air pollutants like sulphuric acid, when combined with the water droplets in clouds, can cause the water droplets to become acidic and form acid rain. This leads to physiological damage to plant cells and geochemical changes in soils and soil waters that obstruct growth by affecting absorption of nutrients by roots and by leaching nutrients from soil. In British trees this causes damage to their leaves, which limits the nutrients available to them.

Air pollution can also cause eutrophication. This is the process whereby rain can carry and deposit the nitrogen in some pollutants on rivers and soils, which adversely affects the nutrients in the soil and water bodies. This impacts upon the living beings, such as the fish, frogs, insects and birds who make rivers their homes, which impacts the wider biodiversity of these islands.

The ground-level ozone, produced via air pollution, is also highly harmful for vegetation and can have a drastic impact on ecosystems and the animals who make those ecosystems their homes.

So it is apparent that air pollution is a problem, for the human animal and non-human-living-beings, and the situation is one that is highly complex, confused through the mediums that attempt to reduce the context of the discussion to only those variables that suit their particular interests.

Proposed solutions are highly reliant on the effectiveness of state measures, which have so far failed to improve the situation, and technologies that involve the same industrial processes that are producing this worsening situation. The eco-extremist journal Atassa states – “We are now entering an age of extremes, an age of uncertainty, where leftist illusions and conservative platitudes can no longer prepare us for our future course”. This is a truth than anarchists and environmentalists need to embrace.

I’m going to end this with a quote from a book I am currently reading, available through Little Black Cart (who also published Feral Consciousness).

Biodiversity is the expression of healthy ecology. It may seem distant to these Isles because these Isles are sick. It has been said that civilised man walks the earth leaving deserts in his footprints. As the frontiers of this civilisation opened up, so the cedars of Lebanon and Broadleaf forests of this island were trampled underfoot. With the great forests all but destroyed the soils of Lebanon eroded, and washed and blew away. Thanks to this island’s mild temperate climate, its fate was to remain a different kind of desert. A desert of ploughed fields, of a thousand swaying barley stalks – from Cracks in a Grey Sky an anthology of Do Or Die: Voices from the Ecological Resistance

Anti-Tech Revolution by Theodore Kaczynski review

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Theodore Kaczynski’s infamous status amongst radical environmentalists is unparalleled. His life as an underground activist and work as the Unabomber, for which he now serves 8 life sentences with no possibility of parole, have branded him a domestic terrorist within popular culture. And while he isn’t always viewed positively by environmentalists or anarchists, his influence in the world of tech-critical and radical-activist thought is undeniable.

Kaczynski, Harvard graduate who holds a PhD in Mathematics, is obviously a highly intelligent and analytic thinker. His cipher journals stumped the US intelligence agencies, “cracking” his code 10 years after his arrest after finding his own key to the code. So reading his book, Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How, with the intent to write a review was personally quite a daunting task.

Kaczynski starts the text by inviting the reader to look past the writings of similar thinkers and to focus on strategy, in such a way he suggests has not previously been done. He states that the book is not one to be read but one to be studied, suggestive of a program to be analysed by the reader and followed – a program he argues should be practiced “thoughtfully and creatively” rather than “mechanically or rigidly”.

The first section, The Development of a Society Can Never Be Subject to Rational Human Control, is extremely well argued. Kaczynski presents a well constructed argument as to why the “green revolution” has been “nothing short of catastrophic”, arguing that “(i)n order to control the development of a society you would have to be able to predict how the society would react to any given action you might take, and such predictions have generally proven to be highly unreliable”. He analyses predictions regarding macroscopic systems and argues that “(i)n some contexts, reasonably reliable and specific short-term predictions can be made …”, but ultimately concludes that “no society can be consistently successful in planning its own future in the long term”. He covers historical attempts to rationally control society by humans and states that “… not even a powerful dictator like Francisco Franco can overrule the laws of economics … (e)very complex, large-scale society is subject to internal developments generated by “natural selection” operating on systems that exist within the society … (t)he result will be that the development of the society in the long term will wander at random, rather than being steered in any consistent direction or in accord with any consistent policy as to what constitute desirable or undesirable outcomes”.

The second section, Why the Technological System Will Destroy Itself, opens with Kaczynski acknowledging foundationalist assumptions and that he will be drawing inferences from them. Over the course of this chapter, Kaczynski analyses self-propagating systems – “a system that tends to promote its own survival and propagation”. He presents an argument as to why “desperate competition among the global self-prop systems will tear the world-system apart … new self-prop systems will be arising all along to challenge the existing global self-prop systems and will prevent the hypothesised “world peace” from ever being consolidated in the first place … fierce competition among global self-prop systems will have led to such drastic and rapid alterations in the Earth’s climate, the composition of its atmosphere, the chemistry of the oceans, and so forth, that the effect on the biosphere will be devastating”. Most of this chapter follows this line of argument, covering Kaczynski’s pessimist and determinist positions on the potential for action.

In section 3 the line of argument takes a decisive and unexpected turn. Titled How to Transform a Society: Errors to Avoid, a number of postulations and rules for practical radical actions are presented for an anti-tech revolutionary movement. These rules and postulations are obviously written with the intent to create and maintain a structurally organised and pragmatic approach for the movement Kaczynski hopes to ignite through his work. Towards the end of the section he states “(a) neo-luddite movement would be able to gain control over the resources it needed only if it became big, powerful, well-organised, hence ripe for corruption. In order to carry out the necessary social reorganisation, the movement would have to be the dominant force in society, and the process of reorganisation would surely take at least a few decades … (c)onsequently, the reorganisation of society in accord with neo-luddite principles would never be completed”, which appears confused in conjunction with the rest of the chapter. Kaczynski draws from nationalist and Marxist political movements to support his arguments over the course of the chapter, stating “let’s follow Mao’s advice and ask what is the principal contradiction of the situation with which we are faced.”

The fourth section, Strategic Guideline for an Anti-Tech Movement, follows from previous one, presenting an argument that fits the politics of nationalists and Marxists more than those of anarchists and (even militant) environmentalists. Kaczynski’s Leninesque argument throughout this section draws from Castro, Trotsky and Stalin, in it’s appeals for organisational uniformity to his program. Later though he goes on to critique leftism and mainstream environmentalism, in a way befitting the typical green-anarchist criticisms of these movements.

The argument Kaczynski presents over the course of the text is highly reliant on determinist social-ontological presuppositions, drawn from a certain interpretation of evolutionary theory, which is open to criticism. Determinism is highly questionable in a metaphysical sense, as I argue in my book, and as such warrants exploration in radical environmentalist discourse. But if we do presume a determinist social ontology, following from Kaczynski’s arguments in the first 2 sections, why should anyone follow his program for an anti-tech revolution? Determinist philosophy seems incompatible with any radical project, so why should anyone who embraces determinist philosophy embrace any radical project?

Also, assertions like “(t)he principal contradiction, clearly, is that between wild nature and the technological system” presents a Manichaeist cosmic and moral dualism, of an entirely domesticated outlook – the ideology of the very system Kaczynski wants to stop. As I argue in my book Feral Consciousness, the struggle against this global system isn’t a moral struggle, alienated from the authentic Being of the individual, but an egoistic one; we aren’t living in a cosmic dualism of forces, but a corrupted cancerous monism, which should be treated as such; and, while tactical organised resistance is clearly needed to lessen the effects of this culture and hasten its collapse (with perhaps some strategic influence from similar movements to those Kaczynski draws from), we need to avoid alienating Symbolic narratives, that mediate us from the horrors of the Real we are immersed in, and forge personal subject-sensitive relations to the world.

Ultimately though, this book, even with its inconsistencies, is an important addition to radical environmentalist thought. It is engaging, well researched and is deserving of any potential readers time. I would suggest though that the reader doesn’t read it in isolation though as the-radical-environmentalist-book-I-read, as reading it alongside other writers who focus on this stuff, such as Zerzan, Jensen, the new Atassa Journal and (dare I say) myself, should help them identify the weaker aspects of Kaczynski’s arguments and separate them from the stronger elements.