Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Apply the breaks

Frederick Engels once wrote that human beings are a revolutionary species. He had a point. Clearly, we have travelled a long way in the last 10,000 years or so. Marxism is very good at interpreting history - obviously something clicked to trigger the neolithic revolution. We were happily hunting and gathering for hundreds of thousands of years, then, in the space of 10,000 we've gone to the moon. Things have been speeding up: we were stone age farmers for approx. 8,000 years, then master smiths for a couple of thousand. For a mere 1,000 years we were Lord and Serf, and, for no more than 300 years, we've been something like bourgeois and proletarian.

There is a pattern here - things are developing rapidly, becoming unstable, unsustainable, and something has got to give. Over the next century food and water supplies will pose a huge problem and we cannot rely on technology to save the day. Indeed, technology is part of the problem. The growth of technology has facilitated the growth of consumerism and the rootlessness that goes with it. Modern consumerism is suffocating the human spirit - natural tribal and national instincts are fading into an almost forgotten background. The much praised 'global village', made possible by technological 'advance', coupled with the triumph of materialism has been partly responsible for modern man's current identity crisis. It has helped in moving him away from his family of folk and locale, toward the false identity of class or whatever the current one-world fancy.

We need to apply the brakes. But how?

Radical tribalists, anti-globalists and nationalists should champion and nurture movements and trends which advocate a regressive steady state and the simple life, for which there is certainly a growing popular appeal. Strategies to work toward this should come through working within political parties, green consumer groups, the slow food movement, co-ops and self-help groups, tribal initiatives within our communities and back-to-the-land projects. We should not seek to overthrow anything, dream on. When the crash does happen (no empires are eternal) the alternatives, the networks, the projects, the neo-tribes should already be in place. All the work of those who could see it coming.