It is very difficult for me to live in this culture.
I just can’t psychologically survive in the high performance society, where everyone is passionately exploiting themselves while all life on this planet is being destroyed.
I have severe depression and anxiety disorders and I have to take good care of myself to be able to take care of my son.
It is very difficult for people who have never experienced poverty to understand what poverty means. The constant nagging fear. The permanent stress and psychological terror of state authorities on which you are dependent, that harass you and try to keep you small and oppressed.
Now they want me to work underpaid, shitty jobs again. I already had a stroke not long ago. I can’t do these jobs, and I can‘t stand the pressure.
I live in the age of the greatest mass extinction in 65 million years. And the cause of this mass extinction is our glorious western civilization.
Indeed, almost all imperial forces have joined into one: The West.
“In the last eighteen months, the greatest build-up of military forces since World War Two — led by the United States — is taking place along Russia’s western frontier… The United States is encircling China with a network of bases, with ballistic missiles, battle groups, nuclear-armed bombers…”
Looks like the West is encircling the strongest probable future enemies, preparing for war.
Full spectrum dominance.
The understanding of the fact that this culture is always at war and will indeed kill all life on planet earth made me shift my loyalty and become an activist. My loyalty does not belong to empire and industrial capitalism. My loyalty belongs to the suppressed, the poor, the dying planet.
Where are you when we need people to take responsibility for our fellow creatures, human and nonhuman, and defend them? Always working on your professional self-fulfillment, performing until you burn out. Do you distract yourself so manically with your work, so you don’t have to see what is happening around us? That the insects disappear, the songbirds disappear, the masses impoverish?
That the West is already bombing the near and middle east to ashes and dust and prepares for more, while you try to overtake yourself, become faster and better, without even stopping once to understand the obvious fact that this system is heading for collapse? Instead you wonder where all the refugees come from. (Of course they come for a share of the cake of our western wealth, they might even try to take your precious job! You better join one of the aspiring right-wing movements.)
“Imperialism creates the illusion of wealth as far as the masses are concerned. It usually serves to hide the fact that the ruling classes are gobbling up the natural resources of the home territory in an improvident manner and are otherwise utilizing the national wealth largely for their own purposes. Eventually the general public is called upon to pay for all of this, frequently after the military machine can no longer maintain external aggression.”
Capitalism 2.0 comes with a like-button and a smiling emoji, and it will always tell you that everything is fine. Capitalism is exploitation, but Neoliberalism is the smart self-exploitation of the alienated and indoctrinated individual. Exploitation on steroids. Indoctrination is cheaper and more efficient than violence. It is thus called “Soft Power.” It works with research-based psycho-politics and the smart manipulation of human feelings and desires.
Capitalism creates an exploited class of workers that will probably organize and resist (as it did many times). Neoliberalism creates a population of totally alienated and indoctrinated machine-like zombies, who suppress their own humanity. Each individual a perfect slave, with a software programmed in its brain. Owner Inside®.
You might already be a zombie, living in your middle class-bubble or your digital hallucination, but I am still a human being, sensitive as a frightened child, with a healthy portion of empathy and love. I‘m trying to live awake and conscious in this real, physical world, and what I see is mass extinction, ecological catastrophe and imperialist wars. Trauma.
Facing the truth isn’t easy. I carry a trauma with me from reading A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Bartolome de Las Casas. I carry a trauma with me from reading Jack Forbes’ Columbus and other cannibals and Only Approved Indians. He writes:
“If a creature learns to completely accept captivity or slavery, if they erase all thoughts of freedom, they can suppress the pain. But if one wants to be free, one has to face the pain; one has to agonize, to suffer, through all of the terror.”
That’s where you are. Completely accepting captivity and slavery, driving out the pain. That‘s where I am. Going through all the terror. Trying to free myself (and the world) of this culture.
I carry a trauma with me from reading Derrick Jensen‘s Endgame. And I carry a deep trauma with me from seeing that he is right, from seeing my fellow beings and relatives disappear, the insects, the birds, the amphibians, all of my beloved nature in rapid decline, my frame of reverence destroyed. I most certainly carry a lot of trauma with me from my parents and grandparents, since I was born only 34 years after World War II. I certainly carry a trauma from watching all the documentaries and from visiting the concentration camp in Dachau.
You do not understand my language. I can say what I want, but you don‘t understand. You do not even understand the language “stroke” (red alert; Individual doesn’t function anymore within this insane culture).
“Government to medical complex: Repair individual and re-integrate into the machine.”
Sorry, doesn’t work for me. I’m out.
I need a lot of quiet and peaceful time to deal with all the trauma. I can’t just rush through my life and work ever harder to help to accomplish the neoliberal agenda and make Europe more competitive for the global economy (that’s how the politicians sold it to us; in fact, the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, as always).
“Mental illnesses such as depression or burnout are the expression of a deep crisis of freedom. They are a pathological sign that today freedom often turns into coercion. We think we are free today. But in reality we exploit ourselves passionately until we collapse…
“Neoliberalism is even capable of exploiting freedom itself. The performance society creates more productivity than the disciplinary society, because it makes excessive use of freedom. It doesn’t exploit against freedom, but it exploits freedom itself. Everything that belongs to practices and expressions of freedom, such as emotion, play and communication, is now exploited. It is not efficient to exploit someone against his or her will. With the external exploitation, the yield is very small. Only self-exploitation, as the exploitation of freedom, produces the greatest yield. The first stage of burnout syndrome is, paradoxically, euphoria. Euphorically I plunge into the work. In the end I collapse and slide into depression.”
What will you do when the next economic collapse hits? What will you do when you loose your job and can‘t numb yourself anymore with your work? Alcohol, drugs, suicide?
Better to face the truth, go through all the terror, declare your loyalty to justice and life on planet earth and become a revolutionary.