The idea that any system we have developed thus far as a species is going to be the one that saves us is extremely unlikely. Everywhere you turn, the current ways people think about politics, culture and biology are a wasteland of half-thoughts that land us nowhere. So, let’s locate the pulse of the problem.
The current media landscape is incredibly ‘woke’. Buzzfeed has more views than any socially liberal website could ever hope to achieve. All other players in the online publishing game follow their lead. So why, then, when leftist thinking is so read and disseminated on social media, is the American left at such a place of stagnation?
The simple fact is that capitalism is more powerful than any attempt to subvert it within its confines. Being ‘woke’, or essentially commodifying A People’s History of the United States, with an extreme shading of identity politics, has exposed America’s crimes but made them only a larger swirling chunk of garbage in the downward spiral. The ‘truth’ is just another source of profit, and websites like Mic and Fusion profit off social justice while denying their writers the right to unionize or form collective power.
The left, as it currently stands, is like a small virus that ultimately only serves to improve the immune system of capitalism. Micah White, one of the key organizers behind Occupy Wall Street, has called both Occupy and Black Lives Matter almost total failures as movements. Perhaps they got us to discuss a broader range of issues, such as class and race. Or perhaps they merely poisoned us with more bad conscience, more guilt, more sinkholes of cosmic depth with no known solutions.
It seems to me, plainly, that there are two general trends that will occur on Earth in the next hundred years. Of course, climate change and global capital will sculpt this battered planet, and we will merely fill the pockmarks left by their trails. But in the wake of advanced industrialism and globalism, we do have two choices:
Unite to form a world government,
Fracture infinitely into thousands of nations.
This tension, between the global and the local, the cosmopolitan and the rural, the global city and the town square, has been at the root of our politics for a very long time. Donald Trump postured as an icon for citizen and country over global community. It is tempting for the Trotskyite, or the left-internationalist, the multicultural cosmopolitan, to completely dismiss the concerns of the fragmented, the regional, the local.
But consider seriously what we are doing. In transforming all the world into a global city, are we not gentrifying and obliterating every last strand of culture, of human essence, that exists on this globe? I live in New York City. It is a place without identity, where old men in their dying months stagger the streets alone, where no neighborhood is yours, where there is no community, no understanding of place, only the infinite stimulation of millions of people you will never understand, who are all starving, and you, who like Donald Trump, are starving, and seek attention, and validation online.
The global diverse mega-city will be a techno-hell, the exact future we understand to exist beneath the boot of Facebook, Amazon and Google. I do not want it. I do not wish to centralize beneath the sword of algorithm. I would rather fracture. I would rather let numerous centers of power operate in isolation, to allow the United States to fracture, to break apart. You cannot seriously believe that this country has any universal unity, not any more. Let the south secede. Let California, New England, the rust belt and the Midwest all become their own nations governed as their populations see fit. The cosmopolitan liberal has nothing in common with the Pennsylvanian conservative farmer. Citizens of Paris and New York would be more successful in coming to agreement on any given issue than we ‘Americans’.
So long as corporations and nations consolidate power, they will create a world without humanity. Only fragmented sovereignty, thousands of innumerable competing interests, can destroy the single Leviathan that would make us into a new primordial ooze.
I do not wish to see mothers become artificial wombs birthing beasts with IQs of 200, born to conquer the world. I do not wish to see humanity usurped by the central systems of corporate-digital power, mausoleums of code, monuments to the evaporation of the human essence and will. I wish to preserve literature, religion, the great achievements of the past, the knowledge of Christianity, and alchemy, Hermeticism and the poetry of Sufis.
I do not wish to dissolve all in the grand cosmopolitan spirit of international capital. I do not wish to see specificity washed away by the vague. I do not wish to be Nieztsche’s ‘last man’, which we are all surely in the process of becoming.
If we are human, we must live like humans. The left doesn’t know how to do it. The right doesn’t care to examine the question. The center is content to dissolve into pus. What will we do, we humans, who stand to become machines? What will we do to prove that we were worth our own lives, to our children, if we sorry nihilistic lot ever even have them?
What will we say to justify our own births at this most crucial turning point, this international artificial intelligence that can be compared to demonic intelligence, seizing the globe?
The old ways are done. The only question remaining is the preservation and flourishing of the human spirit and dignity in the absolute grip of all-consuming capital. If we centralize power, we will be as lost souls in the hydro-fluid of the antichrist. Right now, I believe in fragmentation and many centers of sovereignty. Break up Google, break up Silicon Valley, then break up yourself and let the pieces fall where they may.