Almost everyone knows that we are in some sort of end time. Not only is it apparent from our own experience, our own walking about in the world as things fall apart, but every cultural system predicts and acknowledges it. Those of you familiar with my own thoughts can surely appreciate that it took me just a second to think of the Christian term for the obvious, which is perfect for my instant use in its perfect wrongness, which is the perfect adjective for Christianity itself. Which is to say, not so much that its myths are wrong – in fact, they are pretty universal and universally plagiarized – but the context in why they are set is a perfect example of the extreme egocentrism of its Jewish provenance.
We, as victims of our hijacked cultural history, even when we react against it, tend to think that we are living at the apotheosis of the war for civilization. And indeed we are, but our mistake lies in thinking that is the war for the civilization. We are merely living at the end of modern Western Civilization as we know it. Because of the dominance of that Civilization, as manifested in the bloated walking corpse of the American Empire, we may in fact take the rest of humanity and of the world itself with us when we go – although I somehow doubt that will happen, completely. Nevertheless, with regard to the rest of the people of the world, this battle which has raged and has come to a head, is not their battle. They are merely the victims of it, and their attempts to understand it point out the most fascinating perspectives of this struggle which has swept them up, which is not their own – witness the Japanese. For some reference, see my previous musings on Masamune Shirow’s works, but more to come…
And because of the blindness of the Semitic paradigm with which our culture was infected and has led to its death from the Disease, we lose perspective on our little battle for survival. William Gibson, my favorite author of fiction, in reference his latest work The Peripheral and his use of the term “The Jackpot” for the events that lead to the turning of the wheel, points out in an interview that we tend, because of our distorted and Biblical perspective, to think of “Judgment Day” as something that happens all at once. From that point of view, it hasn’t happened yet. In Gibson’s latest near-future semi-Dystopia, “The Jackpot” was a set of events and disasters, biological and otherwise, that led to the destruction of the mass of humanity. It also occurred over a period. From our perspective, it is not something that will one day happen to us. We are living in it now – which is actually the culmination of the Holocene or Sixth Extinction, of which the cultural battle between the Aryans and the Jews has only been a part, and only one of the ways the end of the world could have come.
It is, I insist, a matter of perspective. Some of my theoretical readers could lie on either side of that conflict, and some may feel themselves to be (and in fact are, except to the extent they are dragged into, used and affected by it) uninvolved. It is clear to me that there are at least two other perspectives on the matter – that of Africa and the true “Third World” who have no real understanding of it at all, and that of Asia, whose leaders are anticipating that the spoils of the War being fought in the west will fall to them, and salivating on the prospect (without understanding that without us, those spoils will in fact go rotten). We needn’t speak here of those like the Muslims who are merely being used as weapons in the “Apocalyptic” battle – beasts unleashed in the center of town to wreak havoc while the true crime takes place unnoticed.
I think I have been more quiet lately because I have grown weary of my friends’ constant exhortations to battle. Yes, if we are a member of one of the factions, as I am by dint of my karma and history, we must fight. But those of us who are capable of perspective must also look beyond.
We have to decide, for one thing, if we even desire to survive this conflict, in whose early stages we find ourselves. I say “early stages” from my own point of view in America, which is possible the most naive perspective on the planet. To the residents of the war-torn countries, we are and have been “in it.” Sometimes it occurs to me (and to some meme-generators) that we are the only ones who do not know what is coming. If I were twenty or thirty with a family, I might be going to ground about now, getting off the grid and preparing to try to survive, or at least to ensure that my progeny did so. Since I’m older and have no progeny (and nothing good to be done about that now, and spare me your chiding, we all have done what we have done), I find that I’m not interested in a bleak future. From my perspective, if it ends it ends, and if I end with it, I have had the experience I have come to this world to have.
To all you doom-sayers, you hand-wringers, you whiners and cowards and unappreciative brats, who do not understand that you are living in the best of times, I say: You have witnessed the culmination of history! I personally was born into the peak of the Empire, the decade after the end of the War that ended the last hope for the triumph of higher civilization and doomed us to the death of the merchants. I saw the tide crest and roll back (to paraphrase Hunter Thompson). And if I am now to experience the end as well – what good deeds I must have done in past lives to be here, in this place, in this time, to see these things! If I, as a time-traveler, could journey to node points of world history, to watch the important changes unfold, this time, right now, right here, in the Belly of the Beast, is the one I would not miss.
So I will not concern myself with the raising back up of a civilization that may occur, after most of humanity is gone – which must happen, one way or the other, sooner or later. Hopefully sooner, that the earth herself may survive, as I have faith for some reason that we will. It will be a grim process and a slow one. Some of you reading this may see the start of that.
But there are alternative realities. Things may go sidewise. One of the best things that we learn from history, is that unlikely things happen. One of the most common symptoms either of the Disease or merely of human nature, that I see, is the constant ignorant presumption that all things will go on as they are, “as they always have been” – when things have not “always been”, any way at all! For example, there is the hope of technology. There was a blind faith that started in the 1940’s or maybe the century before, that science would save us from everything. This was reflected in the fledgling science fiction of the time. Later it became our preoccupation that science would doom us. Both sets of hopes and fears persist, with reason.
But I find myself returning to the speculative fiction of Gibson and of Shirow and of the best of Neal Stephenson, and the writers who present us with the hope that some of us will survive the inevitable in some interesting way. I had always been an advocate of the assertion that technology is neutral. There are the assertions for example of Jason Resa Jorgiani in his Prometheus and Atlas that it is not. I guess what I’m saying that I want to think survival is possible, for some, and technology is necessary to make the survival interesting, in the sense that it need not be merely a slow rebuilding of what was before, with a different balance of genes, into a new form.
I find Transhumanism to be more and more interesting. The interface of man and machine has of course been the main theme of science fiction since its exception, from its earlier imaginings that machines would serve man, to The Terminator and that presumption’s antithesis. I read in recent years someone’s meditation on where early SF had gone wrong. The most interesting observation was the common presumption that machines would become more like man. That may have happened to some extent, and it may be early; the AIs are still being born as we speak, and only the Japanese have robots. Yet for the most part man has become more like a part of a machine; we are subservient, not dominant. We become, as my friend James says, eusocial.
And yet, perhaps if we realize that, and if in this one way and on this one front some of us have the courage to stand up and take back our own, we do have a chance. A chance to preserve our genes, even if our non-physical ones, in a new form. Cyberization, space colonizaton – all things are still possible, if unlikely.
I find it more likely, of course that all technology will fail when our civilization collapses. I find the hope that we can someone establish community on the internet that will enable to survive, culturally or physically, naive. Not only will the internet be gone when the grid goes down, but the Powers That Be can seize control of it at any time. All your websites and Facebook groups and social boards, and this blog, can be gone in a flash. The only possible community will be that whose other members I can reach in a car, or on foot.
But I can hope and dream, while I fight this everyday battle to the extent I am obligated – can I not? And I can do my best to be secure, to protect myself. I’ve spent a good amount of time lately researching things you can do to be more secure online, from government snooping and other. There’s only so much you can do, of course; they have all the tools, and if they want you they will get you, whether you do anything wrong or not. I can write this blog and assert to my failing breath my right to do so, yet I will urge you to commit no crime.
I can write someday of my explorations and discoveries so far this trip, on this side trip I make every few years to see what has changed. But for now I leave you with this query:
Is it unmanly to like the rose gold Macbook?