Sunday, December 20, 2009

Coping with Copenhagen

As expected, the Copenhagen Climate Conference was a bust, showing once again the inability of government to cope with the unprecedented crises confronting us. The problem is not so much the concept of government per se, but the fact that governments worldwide have been captured by global exploitative capitalism. Governments serve their capitalist masters, not the people or the planet.

An increasing number of people correctly predicted an unsatisfactory outcome to the Climate Conference. This means that more people are waking up to the reality we are living under.

Predicting the future is simple in principle. The most important step -- and also the hardest one -- is to correctly assess present reality. Then you plug in whatever parameters seem the most likely to occur... for example, “more of the same,” or “slight improvement,” or “radically worse,” whatever the case may be in that situation. Since most people live in a delusional reality to begin with (believing, for example, that we live in a democracy), it’s no wonder that their predictions don’t count for much.

It’s gratifying to see that more people are seeing reality as it is, and are therefore able to see into the future to some extent. Not that this makes any difference at this point, but at least a few people are awake to present realities. Many people, for example, predicted that Oblahma would be a vast disappointment... and sure enough, this has turned out to be the case. In short, we was had. (Even though Obama has received many nicknames already, I’m surprised that nobody is calling him Oblahma yet. This seems like an obvious nickname for him, because when it comes time to assess his legacy, he will be known for three things: blah, blah, blah.)

I was struck by how the robo-cops are the same the world over, even in “enlightened Scandinavia.” This is because it’s a Global Empire, not just an American one. Every element of the Empire has the same goals: maximum profits, maximum resource extraction, maximum exploitation. They care not a fig for “survival of the biosphere,” “social justice,” and other such poppycock. They are the Masters, they rule, the rabble are now powerless (in fact the rabble barely noticed as the Masters of the Universe took total control during the 50 years after World War 2).

Back in the old days – 1968, say – cops were vicious in a hot-blooded way. If they didn’t like your demonstration, they would crack your head with a billyclub and throw you in the paddywagon and haul your ass the jail. Then you could all sit together in a cell and sing “We Shall Overcome” all night. But not these days.

These days, cops – or at least the anti-demonstration robo-cops – are trained to be cold-blooded torturers. At Copenhagen, demonstrators who got arrested had their hands handcuffed behind their backs, the first step in the arrest ritual. (Cops do this now as a matter of course... supposedly for the protection of the cops, but actually to reduce the arrestee to a helpless and uncomfortable state. It’s a dominance ritual.) Then, the demonstrators were forced to sit on the cold pavement for hours, to the point that some of them had to urinate on themselves. More dominance. (This might not seem like much of a torture, but I urge you to try this for a few hours, and let me know how it makes you feel.) When the demonstrators finally got hauled off to jail, they encountered facilities specifically designed to be as inhumanly uncomfortable as possible.

Modern-day demonstrations are ineffective, and don’t accomplish anything. No doubt getting beat up by cops gives demonstrators status points with their peers, but so what? If the demonstrators armed themselves and battled the cops on a more equal footing, so what? The Masters of the Universe would remain untouched. Why isn’t more monkeywrenching going on? It seems obvious that the Empire is vulnerable to some extent: its exposed flank is everywhere. Either the hot-blooded young revolutionaries aren’t desperate enough yet, or they’ve been successfully programmed into passivity. (Not only has the Empire colonized the entire planet, but our own minds as well.)

At any rate, once again we find that the politicians and bureaucrats fiddle while the planet burns. People – for the most part – still don’t dare to speak the most likely outcome of all this madness. After all, there’s not much you can do with “massive dieoff.” You can’t make a career out of it. People aren’t going to give you a standing ovation when you enter the room. It’s deemed better to be an Al Gore or Bill McKibben, fighting the good fight till the very end. Whatever. We’ll continue to do what we’re already doing, as long as circumstances allow us to do so. Then we’ll start doing something else.

In my case, my internal guidance is telling me to start thinking about dropping back out. I was pretty well dropped out at one time. It was a magical time of great freedom and relatively little impact on the planet, but I didn’t have any kind of act together back then. Now, seeing what’s coming, I feel like I’ve taken the “laying up treasure on Earth” routine to as ridiculous an extent as I can bear. It’s time to change my evil ways. Then maybe more guidance will come.