In the week of the Brexit vote an article I’d written for the radical environmentalist/ecofeminist group I work with was published. I long lost my faith in the electoral politics of modern “democracy” (probably from having read my anarchist heroine Emma Goldman at 17 and am yet to find evidence to refute her arguments/positions). So for me this referendum has consistently felt like another spectacle of choice, completely divorced from any substantially meaningful difference in this culture (ultimately it’s still gonna be the same neoliberal nightmare). But many ideologically purist followers of Anarchism (which can often have little to do with natural anarchy) would disagree with my not dissuading people to use the vote as an incremental means of dismantling some of the institutional apparatus of this culture (as a means towards the collapse needed for living systems to survive) and a means of potentially lessening some of its violences. From having been a teenage cancer patient I know that if someone offers to pray for you, even if I don’t believe in its power (and aren’t likely to travel to your home for you to pray for in my presence), I’m not gonna turn down or reject your offer of prayer; you use anything, juices, surgery, the meds, prayer, crystals, the whole fucking lot if any of it will help kill the tumour (and we all know that cancer is predominantly a disease of civilisation). So fuck it, you wanna vote then please don’t let my anarchist cynicism get in the way of that; fuck my thoughts on it! But I asked people to focus on the features of Marxian-Fascist style superstatism, the EU’s colonial basis/effects and it’s ability to undermine effective gains that are desperately needed for the natural communities that literally are the living world.
While I have long distanced myself from the left and find many of it tactics to be hugely ineffective (as well as its ideology being predominantly dogmatically anthropocentric and moralistic in ways that divorce it and alienate it from the real world), I agree with Marxist-psychoanalyst Zizek in his argument that Brexit holds potential for a radical turn in our political landscape. For far too long, notions of protest has been co-opted into this cultures very means of production, rending it largely useless in the west and little more than something for liberal westerners to enjoy doing. What substantial effect has Occupy had in dismantling the neoliberal corporatist system that we all (I assume) hate? None! Black blocs and tree sits; chants and marches; you name it, it has done nothing – I mean you can now purchase your protest within the very act of consumption and the whole “Green Capitalist”ideology is quite possibly the worst aspect of the contemporary political left and it’s passivity. So like those monkeys you see using rocks to smash the shell of a nut to get to the yummy yummy inside, I think that those of us who choose to ally ourselves with the living world and in opposition to this culture have a rock now at our disposal, to help us smash this fucking nut!
In a single day the Brexit vote caused the riches 400 individuals to lose $127bn. Now given that you’re still reading you’ll probably share my position that money is little more than an arbitrary abstract technology of this culture, divorced from the real world and little more than institutional apparatus (or will be open to the idea). But we are talking here about this cultures institutional apparatus – and honestly, does that number not just make your heart sore for a moment, when the global richest 400 people have the same total wealth as the poorest 50%? Honestly, I can’t help but smile at that figure. Yeah, sure, this won’t do a hell of a lot, But that number is a tasty one to imagine them losing! The economic effects have come to hit Britain too, with the British poor initially to feel the bulk of them in the short term. But Britain’s way of life is predominantly based in the importation of suffering abroad and the exportation of weapons to produce suffering abroad, so while I’m not unsympathetic to those in Britain who didn’t choose to be born here and have not actively participated in the production of this situation, this seems a small (near meaningless) gain in the long run. British people could potentially use this for their own liberation from the shackles of this system that through ideological tyranny and statist power forces us into participating in this corrupt and abhorrent system.
What particularly stuns me in reaction to the Brexit vote is the leftist outrage at the decision to leave this highly reactionary political body, who’s neoliberal capitalist ideology is near totally contradictory to many leftist positions (save for the historical similarities in desire for superstatism). Progressivist liberals have reacted to this like it is the greatest political injustice since ……… well ever (and you may call me cynical for this but is very revealing of the insincerity within this particular ideological group). To quote Frantz Fanon “Europe is literally the creation of the Third World”! As a (perhaps cynical) individual who aligns themselves with what are considered “radical” positions (I’d say sober, unromantic and necessary positions), I’m welcoming of this leave vote, despite how it might make my life a little less comfy and many of those who enjoy the luxury of this culture. So if Brexit is a potential incremental means of collapsing this colonial culture, then I welcome it.
I saw several of my Facebook friends share an article about Stephen Hawkins criticising this cultures “stupidity” (which I find funny because I have as a Facebook contact a guy called Stephen Hawkins who every time we’ve discussed anything has pushed Tory neoliberal ideology consistently). It doesn’t take it being said by one of the worlds most brilliant scientists (I share many (near all) anti-scientism positions but won’t deny his ideas are freaking amazing!) for us to know it is stupid to destroy the planet, but this culture and the EU as one of the leading political bodies implementing the destruction are doing it anyway. Failures in EU legislation have lead to the arrival of wood in Britain from illegal loggers in South America, who are destroying not only the homes of the indigenous cultures, but one of the planet’s most crucial ecosystems. The EU just announced research funding for shale oil corporations of €113m; the same form of oil extraction that has toxified large areas of the USA and other areas of the planet. We all know the environmental effects of this culture (only the ignorant and the stupid deny them). We’ve just seen the first known mammal extinction from global warming and statistics like 50% of the wildlife gone in last 40 years from this culture only emphasise the point. This culture is stupid. This culture is death. The EU is a huge institutional aspect of this culture and so anything that undermines this seems desirable to me.
Given that you’re still reading this I’ll raise one last point, that basically leads from all the others I’ve made. There are human costs in this situation, predominantly for westerners. Many of these costs are undesirable and undeserving for those who are not active members in this cultures destruction. But this is about pragmatism. This is about being sober, cynical and honest about our situation. An eminent microbiologist, Professor Frank Fenner, stated recently that humans will be extinct in 100 years. Now again, I’m not one for the church of scientism, but look around you. Try and find what you can of the living world within this colonial techno-culture of death. We know how disconnected this culture is physically and psychically from the living world through this techno-culture. We know that he is probably right and that already many of the effects of this culture are irreversible. Not some humans; humans. Not rich humans; humans. Not poor humans; humans. I hate to be so anthropocentric in my argument (but you’ve gotta be practical and reach people in ways that can be reached (screw ideological purity)), but this is the death of most of humanity and it will only get worse if we don’t use every means at our disposal to hasten the collapse and reduce its impact. In 100 years time I hope the offspring of my offspring will be able to wander across the landscape of the British isles and see deer, weasels, badgers, hedgehogs, bees, butterflies and woodlands, on a planet damaged but not destroyed by this culture. It will undoubtably be a future for them (if they are born) where the weather is far less stable and they will not enjoy many of the comforts we have enjoyed across the western world. But if we manage to stop this culture, at least they can live in a living world; if you deconstruct everything and remain purely cynical, nihilistic, unromantic and iconoclastic thats all you arrive at: being as living.