It's All Coming Down!
by John Zerzan
The October 11, 2001 issue of Nature magazine contains "Catastrophic Shifts In Ecosystems" by five researchers from three continents. It argues that the gradual degradation of "lakes, coral reefs, oceans, forests and arid lands" may not simply proceed in a smooth pattern. Rather, sudden shifts to the complete destruction of such ecosystems may instead occur.
This disquieting verdict finds its parallel in the sudden collapse of the World Trade Center towers and Enron, the seventh biggest U.S. corporation, within three months of each other. Or that of the entire Soviet system about ten years ago. Who expected any of these very rapid melt-downs?
Today, in fact, it is no longer unthinkable that the global techno-capitalist empire may not itself quickly fall, say within the next five years. Cracks and vulnerabilities in the machine are certainly already visible. This civilization could go down in the not-distant future. How do we strive to prevent it from recycling into a next and likely even more destructive and alienated one?
By contributing to a social movement that is totally different from those preceding it. By naming and attacking the institutions basic to every civilization: division of labor, domestication, patriarchy, domination of nature, work, standardization, and centralization.
Playing the old games of the perennially superficial and opportunist Left, endless masochistic reform efforts that reform nothing, pious, moral gesturism of "non-violence" - all these are pitiful approaches that, no matter how they are repackaged, still miss the point.
The empire of techno-capital pushes forward on its inherently expansionist, destructive course, bringing forth heightened resistance all over the globe. This is the time for us to step up against the Machine rather than succumb to defeatist paranoia. Now more than ever our efforts at public, critical resistance are needed.
We are heading rapidly toward crunch-time, which will definitively expose the tragically irrelevant nature of politics-as-usual. Fortunately, there are voices of reality, people who do not fear speaking radical truth. Among the publications which indict technology and civilization - the necessary depth - are Anarchy, Fifth Estate, Green Anarchist, Live Wild Or Die, The Final Days, Green Journal, Disorderly Conduct, Cracks in the Empire, Do Or Die, and Quick!
We all need to confront the unmistakably deadly direction in which we are being taken. In its accelerated trajectory, the end may be much closer than any of us realize.