|Caitlin Johnstone 4/22.21|
We’re in the thick of it. Nobody gets to hold themselves as separate from the madness of our species. Not if they are being truthful.
Our minds are touching right now by virtue of an internet that is responsible for 3.7 percent of global greenhouse emissions, using expensive gadgets built by human beings who’ve had to work far too hard for far too little in return. We are in all probability sitting, standing or lying at this very moment upon land that was stolen by violence from someone else, perhaps recently or perhaps a bit further back.
Our entire lives are at this very moment interwoven with the suffering of other sentient beings. Inseparably so. Our whole lifestyle is wrapped around an infrastructure of suffering and death.
The gears of industry have filled our oceans with plastic and led our world into a sixth mass extinction that has caused a drop in insect life so precipitous that once-commonplace things like firefly-filled evenings and bug-splattered windshields have become exceedingly scarce just within our own lifetimes.
We cannot with intellectual honesty separate ourselves as individuals from humanity’s industrial ecocide. If our species had not been behaving in the way it’s been behaving on this planet, our parents would never have met. Neither we nor our loved ones would exist. There would be no one sitting here right now to sigh at the mess our species has made for itself. If we do sigh at the mess, that sigh is made of that same mess, and so is the one who sighs.
The people you look at in your day to day life are fed by factory farming and industrial agriculture. The cells in their bodies are literally made from the suffering and death of other organisms, and of the exploited farm and factory workers who made their food available and affordable to them.
We live in civilizations built by toil, theft, slavery, exploitation and ecocide. The things we wear and use in our day to day living, the fuel which powers our vehicles, the vehicles themselves, the roads we drive them on, the buildings we pass on the road and the buildings we work in, the cities, the nations, all are inseparably unified with this globe-spanning network of violence stretching back to the dawn of recorded history. All are built from resources around the world collected and assembled by exploited and overworked human beings, by processes which take a deadly toll on the other living beings with whom we share this planet.
If you live in a region that is part of the US-centralized power alliance, everything you encounter in life will also be inextricably intertwined with the lifeblood of empire. Your money, your goods, your fuel, your way of life. All will have come to you, at least in part, via a vast international power structure using violence and coercion to bend a very large percentage of humanity to its will in order to serve its interests.
We are not separable from this mess. We might reject it, but we do so with minds that are made of it. We might criticize it, but we do so with mouths that are made of it. We might cover our eyes, but we do so with hands that are made of it.
Humanity, at least at this point in its development, is inseparable from the destruction it’s been causing. A human opposing humanity’s destructiveness is kind of like a plastic bottle in the Pacific Ocean opposing pollution. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just an inherently absurd position, because it wouldn’t exist to decry what it’s decrying if not for the thing it’s decrying.
I don’t really have a happy “but” to add to any of this, and I don’t think I’d be speaking authentically if I tried to. It is a mess. It’s a big, violent, destructive, deadly, oppressive, exploitative, omnicidal, ecocidal mess. And we’re all part of it. We’re all one with it.
And that’s really the most positive and truthful way we can look at this: yes, it’s a mess, but it’s not like any of us are really separate from it. At least we’re in this mess together.
We’re all weird naked monkey mutants constructed from the fibers of murder. The most self-righteous among us is just a self-righteous murder monkey. The most wicked among us is just a wicked murder monkey. The saddest loser among us is just a failed murder monkey.
And there can be a kind of ego death in that. In not holding ourselves separate, or higher or lower or better or worse, or in any way apart from the sweet sloppy chaos of this blood guts and garbage adventure we’re all on.
And we can let go completely into our oneness with that chaos while also fully pushing toward change. Because of course we can change. Of course we can. Anyone who has changed knows this.
This isn’t our nature. It’s not how we necessarily have to be. There’s nothing inscribed upon the fabric of of our being which says we can’t transition into a peaceful and collaborative relationship with each other and with our ecosystem; the only thing stopping us is a few screwy sociopaths and an advanced system of propaganda designed to enslave our consciousness to the status quo.
But we have every ability to drastically shift our consciousness. We have every ability to move into a wholesome relationship with mental narrative that’s much more fluid and fearless than the conventional psychology which propagandists exploit. Nobody who’s ever experienced such a shift can doubt this.
And we’ll either make it or we won’t. Whether we transcend our self-destructive patterning or float along this current over the waterfall of extinction, we’ll be in it together. We’re all united in this weird wild murder monkey adventure that our mothers birthed us into.
And I think there’s something strangely beautiful about that.