I’m on the wrong side of heaven
and the righteous side of hell.Five Finger Death Punch
There’s a lot more to talk about, on the other side of ideology. So glad to finally meet you here!
By following this guide you have totally abandoned the philosophical coordinates and mental habits that undergird virtually every commodified cultural activity and intellectual edifice. As a bonus, you are now immune to wisdom’s mindrot too. Most of the entertainment and cultural artifacts that capitalism produces will no longer hold any interest for you – because it’s all coming from the same homogenized position of enunciation that (wisely) assumes that it’s ‘neutral’.
It’s propaganda, and you are both its victim and its product.
Or once you were. A little less so now, perhaps.
You have the sciences and the greatest thinkers the world has ever produced on your side, and you’re more than capable of updating your shit and exploring on your own now, a journey that will easily last a lifetime – as short as that may be. By deconstructing your conditioning, you’ve been able to see how concepts are structured, and from there it’s pretty easy to start building your own – which allows you to start building narratives that are themselves not commodified or commodifiable. You are now in a position to think something genuinely new!
In short, you have begun to think for yourself.
Very exciting times!
You sure as hell don’t need me anymore.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to the other side of ideology. You can’t change your social practices by yourself, so you need to find some way of exerting positive agency with others outside of commodified activities, if only to stay sane. This is hard ass work. Find your people!
One of the biggest downsides I’ve found is that ideology functions like a drug – you’re supposed to be getting a little hit of dopamine every time you interact ‘properly’ with the system, and you’ve just ripped out the software layer that fulfills that function. It’s much easier for me to get addicted to drugs now, simply because the drugs of exchange-value, commodified activities and entertainments no longer generate the enjoyment that they’re supposed to. I didn’t see that coming, and it sucks. Gotta stay clean. Life on the other side of ideology, watching the machine churn everything to ashes and dust, can be unbelievably bleak.
It’s worth it tho. Freedom always is.
Another peril on the other side of ideology is – you can still see it from both sides. You’re a walking embodiment of the parallax structure of commodity society now, a living contradiction, the truth of a truthless world. You can see it from the top, and you can see it from the bottom, and you can do it simultaneously. There will be a lot of whiplash. I’ve found various thinkers and logics of contradiction to be invaluable in dealing with this. The only way to be mentally free while still living a commodified existence is to be a contradiction embodied.
The demands of the contradictory ethical injunction are fairly complex to navigate as well. The stuff that makes up our minds is all socio-historical constructs all the way down, and if you’ve passed through essentialism all the way it becomes clear that minds are processes that happen between brains, not in them. Your individuality is nothing but an emergent property of the entirety of human sapience – the totality of social relations and their history is the precondition for there being a conscious ‘you’ at all.
It goes like this:
You don’t owe the exterminatus machine a single goddamn motherfucking thing.
However, you do owe your species and your biosphere everything that you are.
I don’t know how to square that circle.
You’ll have to figure it out on your own.
A Brief Retrospective on Humanity
The view from the Post-Holocene is spectacular! Now that you’re here with me, shall I try to evince its contours to you once again? Listen:
The only purpose any sapient species must never forget after becoming sapient is the mastery of their environmental relations – establishing and maintaining a regulatable metabolism with their enabling conditions that reproduces or improves those same conditions.
All other purposes are secondary to this –
or all purposes are devoured by time’s gaping maw.
This is the way of things.
This way, and not some other.
I will call the hypothetical society that could (even begin to attempt to pretend to try to) do anything like this – socialism.
Capitalism cannot do this because capitalism’s resources/capital/labor allocation mechanism is, well, just a mechanism! (And an extinction magdump at that. Accumulation and extinction are the same process!)
An EcoLiterate Socialism could try to do this, because it would be able to allocate resources/capital/labor with conscious forethought in a non-mechanical way, for a greater purpose than number-go-up. This society is the only industrialized society that could or would ever have a chance of lasting more than a few short centuries, or at getting out of the gravity well.
Now, every human being who has ever lived has had the choice to take up this ur-purpose. It is a necessity built into the laws of thermodynamics themselves. We are always terraforming with everything we do, and we could have chosen make this miraculous power’s scientific deployment the highest good, the only commandment. Instead, we choose to terraform in a way that prioritized only ourselves at the expense of all life in the known universe.
We chose to kill everything, year after year after year –
So like – there’s just not that much to mourn here! We did it to ourselves, after all. We are now an evolutionary dead end. Nothing this stupid, shortsighted, dishonest and selfish could, would, or should ever have existed for very long – and now, we don’t anymore!
So it goes.
This is just how the universe works,
and it is endlessly surprising to find oneself living in a very just universe indeed.
This shit is as linear and mechanical as Newtonian physics. You could teach it to a dog! Infinite growth algorithmic economic apparatus + finite planet = ???
You can’t make this stuff up kids!
Make no mistake – this may have been an extinction/extermination event for the biosphere, but it was a suicide for the species. It only happened because you were a conformist/careerist instead of an activist/revolutionary, as were your parents, as were theirs, and so on. It was possible to see this shit coming straight at us for two fucking centuries, but we didn’t just ignore it, we accelerated right off the cliff.
Ideology is a helluva drug.
Take: ‘to each their own enjoyment’. This was commodifed ‘morality’, a cornerstone of Capitalist ideology. But given that we are animals before we are humans – with this ‘morality’ we just ended up with a society of stunted, narcissistic adolescents.
Ethically: it is utterly unconscionable if one’s enjoyment is had at the expense of others – and there was never any enjoyment to be had that wasn’t; unfathomably reprehensible if that enjoyment comes at the expense of there being a future – and there was never any enjoyment to be had that didn’t.
‘To each their own’ is the endstate telos of a functional eco-socialism that has already structurally decoupled enjoyment from extinction practices, not something you do while being forced to participate in a totalitarian, poor-mulching, biosphere-exterminating ponzi scheme.
Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!
The prosopopoeia of omnicide.
Most of the GGE in the atmosphere now were put there by the Cores, and 85% of them weren’t there in 1945. There wasn’t any plastic around then either. We had a population of 2 billion people then – our last moment to slam on the brakes and recalibrate. Instead, it took just a few short decades of the so-called ‘Pax Americana’ to annihilate an entire living, breathing, shitting, fucking biosphere.
‘Peace, peace’ they said! But there was never any peace to speak of. In the Post-Holocene it is very clear: capitalism was a war against everything, including itself. A systematic extermination of every living thing under the guise of ‘peace’.
That the Event fell the hardest and fastest on the innocent younger generations and the oppressed and ravaged global south is a bitter pill, but it came for us all regardless. Even the last humans left alive, probably the billionaires in their bunkers, were ultimately just as helpless against biosphere collapse as anyone else was.
There’s really just a very narrow window of biosphere parameters under which it is possible for mammalian life to exist. That’s all over now – likely forever, as there’s really no necessity for it to ever return. The whole shebang turned out to be incredibly fragile in the end – and there was absolutely nowhere to flee. Space colonization was an absurd phantasm, Star Trek canceled before it even aired.
We were a sapient extinction event – the riddle of history solved.
So, we sucked,
we fucked it all up –
and then we died, taking everything with us.
There are still some things about us worth mourning tho:
That we produced art, well –
it was our noblest achievement!
That we produced revolutionaries, well –
they were the best of us!
That we were once able to love and love well –
this was purpose enough all in itself.
That we did science, well –
it was awesome,
and it would have been cool to see where it went.
But by choosing extinction, we retroactively canceled ourselves out of having ever existed in the first place. It was all for nothing.
– the human story
But you! My Comrade! You are something different.
By willingly and determinedly tunneling through the matrix,
by relentlessly seeking the truth,
by staring the horror in the face without flinching,
by having the courage to think for yourself –
you have proven to yourself that there was something worthwhile in humanity;
because there was something worthwhile in you all along.
Something worth fighting for.
I’m glad you get to die knowing that.
I’m glad you get to die with a free mind.