Why you Should be an Eco-Communist…

…even though it is impossible and too late.

The truth of our epoch is only accessible from the perspective of the interests of the biosphere. However, if you take the side of the biosphere exclusively, you end up against historical beings and civilization – because we are currently an extinction event. And if you take the side of civilization-as-it-is-now, you are siding with the Event.

These interests, while opposed, have one thing in common: mass death on a scale hitherto inconceivable. The biosphere’s survival, of course, takes precedence – as the biosphere is what is necessary for the continuation of Life.

I take the side of Life, and of the Future. These are the interests of future-life: biosphere survival + human survival + historical survival = eco-communism. In this order – because that is how the chain of causal dependencies operates. (The caveat here being that all interests are only accessible as always already historically mediated).

Taking the side of biosphere survival is already taking the side of human survival, which is necessary for historical survival.

This is the side of life. This is the side of the only conceivable historical future left.

We were born and shaped by this matrix of antagonistic interests, and we will all die by them. Social antagonism is an irreduceable part of human existence, especially when the interests of civilizational reproduction and life itself are at odds with one another. Pretending to be apolitical is just lying to yourself. Every decision we make is fundamentally a political one.

The ‘should’ bothers the libs. ‘Telling people what to do with their lives’ – as if capital doesn’t already fulfill this function. (Whatever life you are living is one you were told you could have by the division of labor, an impersonal algorithm. And like – ‘maybe we shouldn’t kill everything?’ ‘don’t tell me what to do!’ What else do you need to know about liberalism?)

The ‘should’ is inherently partisan, exclusive, and authoritarian is why – at least, viewed from within an equally partisan, exclusive and authoritarian bubble that believes itself beyond such things.

All politics have these attributes, of course.

When they’re unconscious they’re just dishonest.

The ‘should’ is the entire point. We should be Communists.

This is not a should from me, but from our historical conditions in the disenchanted universe,

of which I am but a flawed pupil.

We should educate ourselves and one another, without end.

We should combat ignorance and delusion.

We should endlessly self-critique.

We should encourage each other to be truth-seekers.

We should see the potential in everyone, and help each other to be the best versions of ourselves.

We should believe in ourselves and our species.

We should pro-actively relinquish victimhood, and courageously struggle against our conditions.

We should be on the side of the biosphere,

the poor,

the exploited,

the oppressed,

and the downtrodden,

the side of the future: because these are all the same side.

The side of life!

We should have been doing all of this, the whole time.

What is the alternative? The empty loop of commodity hedonism. Enjoying a planet to death. Rotting away in the prison of market relations. School with no future. A ‘career’ without a legacy.


Pick a point here at home, yes the picture’s the same –
There’s a field full of slaves, some corn and some debt,
There’s a ditch full of bodies, the check for the rent,
There’s a tap, the phone, the silence of stone,
The numb black screen that be feelin’ like home.

Rage Against the Machine

What is there to see here? It has been done already, and we know where it goes. If the meaning of our acts is always linked to their future outcomes in some way – then nothing is happening.

The Wasteland is here already!

You are always already following a ‘should’ anyways:

Capital bellows you should enjoy! – and so you do.

Why not follow a ‘should’ with some substance?

Surely there is enjoyment to be found in trying to build a future,

rather than eating one.

So there is always a ‘should’, because there is no neutral. This ‘should’ is, relative to the plane of immanence – always political.

The Should of Survival.

I used to think the ‘should’ was a contingent historical construct, but I now have come to understand it as transhistorical – properly ontological.

Which is to say we are going extinct for one reason and one reason only: we were insufficiently Communist. We didn’t treat the biosphere, humans and non – as equivocal parts of our selves, even though they are. So, we ended up devourers of our own future. A timeline of rank bestiality, the most animal of all animals.

Apes that extinct they own selves – shameful indeed.

If we had been sufficiently EcoCommunist, we would have included the biosphere in our self-conception from the beginning, so we would have figured out the thermodynamic structure of the organismatic ecototality sooner than way too late, and then we would have tried to organize our social practices around it – so maybe, just maybe: we wouldn’t be on extinction track.

Learn, learn, learn.

V. I. Lenin

The regulatory ideal here has never been clearer –

EcoCommunism is the survival-track industrialized-in-some-way scientifically capable social project that maintains a regulatable energy metabolism relative to planetary thermodynamic parameters, and improves its conditions rather than destroying them.

This would require at bare minimum an egalitarianism of energy production, distribution, and consumption, a democratically and scientifically planned division of labor – which necessitates a high level of general education – and the end of the domination of abstract time (in favor of the new kind of concrete/abstract mix that would be generated by a functional eco-socialist terraforming praxis).

It is only this obvious now because of the extent of our abomination. The hindsight of the Post-Holocene is a brutal clarity without precedent: insofar as we live in the Scientific Universe that has always been about survival amidst scarcity and nothing but – all religions were just prototypes of Communism. All social projects were just approximations of Communism. All philosophies were measureable by proximity to the Communist Exigency. The maelstrom of Art swirls around the Communist event-horizon, the telos of the sciences-for-themselves: Communist.

All humans should have been Communists.

Maybe if they had known, they would have been.

If they had been, they would have made knowing their business – and we might still have a future.

To be a Communist is to treat self and other, subject and object, present and future – as a mutually equivocal dynamic inter-relationship. To understand that there is no me without you. And there is no you and me without us. And there is no us without the biosphere.

The totality of organismatic relations and their history – this is the precondition for there being a conscious you, or me, or anything whatsever. Every aspect of our selves is always in a dynamic relation with all of it. Every forgetting of this, every failure to notice – an horror unspeakable, a life barely lived.

Remaining a disconnected observer or a disembodied passenger in your own existence is leaving most of it on the table. Neutrality is impossible for partial, fragmented beings like us, and is furthermore always in service to capital. Even in terms of pure self-preservation – being on the right side of a scientifically plausible counter-history is a better way to ride this out. It’s not scary when you know what’s happening – and scientific conceptual apparati come in with built in emotional dampeners.

Our full potential as human individuals is only accessible when we realize we were always already on a side; and then make a conscious choice.

We could choose life. Maybe one day we will.

But ‘could’ is not enough for the Scientific Universe. After disenchantment becomes total, nature only howls mutely in impersonal imperatives.

Decoding is simple – we must evolve.

So, even if it is hopeless, all is lost, the biosphere has already collapsed – the Communist ‘ought’ will persist. We are doomed, but we could try to survive, so we Ought to. We are the bearers of an unspeakably precious historical legacy, after all.

This would mean a revolutionary program to replace bourgeois ‘liberty’ and the ‘pursuit of happiness’ (folk-econ and folk-psych concepts for ‘determined by capitalist accumulation and dopamine regulation’) with socially-practiced thermodynamic ecoliteracy as the hegemonic social good.

You gotta do it to participate, just like you have to sell yourself on the market to particpate now. A population wide self-re-education and adaptation to our actual material conditions, in a process that would go on for the forseeable future. A multi-generation civilizational vanguard project with no end.

Impossible!

and necessary.

As both and equally impossibility/exigency – this is not just the condition for our survival as any kind of civilization worth being associated with the name, but also the survival bandwidth of any social project in a universe with our thermodynamic structure. This then is an Ought that has some ontological clout within the empirically revealed plane of immanence. Even if its exact parameters could only ever be roughly triangulated over centuries of praxis – it is there, built into the laws of physics.

So then, what can we say about this Ought? How about this –

the Eco-Communist Ought preceded us,

it generated us,

it will outlast us,

and it will confront other sapient emergences after us as just this and nothing more:

the indisputable absolute threshold of continued existential self-justification.

Conscious reciprocal reproduction of the equivocity of Being(s).

Scientific self-awareness as praxis!

The end of scarcity is impossible in the universe we live in –

but the scientific management of scarcity was always the better option.

Capitalism is the Great Filter. Once an economic engine like capitalism intersects with deep geostorage of fast, dense energy like fossil fuels – a revolutionary political/economic/cultural transformation is the only thing that can slow down, ameloriate, or come close to halting extinction trajectories.

Successful long-term civilizations – if there are any (and we hold that there is every reason to believe that there are, or at least maybe will be) either never invent capitalism, or overcome it. Sapiences like us (idk how deep zoologically to go with this – mammals?) trying to industrialize have to be able to survive long enough to build and transition to long-term non-FF energy sources that are capable of reproducing themselves without FF inputs, and then balance production/population around energy availability within a given biosphere’s thermodynamic parameters.

You have a self-conscious social plan to accomplish this within the projected timeframe –

or you’re not even trying.

Them’s the breaks kids. We could not have picked a worse choice, and we are still tripling down. We’re just not real contenders in the ‘civilization’ category, full stop.

So, in the end: all humans were wrong about everything all of the time, but the Communists were the most not-wrong – at least, when they managed to remember we’ve always lived in a world defined by scarcity. There is no such thing as utopia or true post-scarcity.

In the disenchanted universe – there are only survival pathways, and extinction pathways.

The Communist horizon, however mangled its outcomes, contained survival pathways, and a profound conviction in the ability of humans to become better than they are – to be capable of building their own future.

Capitalism has always only ever had one pathway, and it is idealist, utopian, and pre-scientific to imagine otherwise.

And like, there is no third way. The third way is always Fascism.

Of course, there are no masses who understand this more than intuitively or vaguely, and no path. Path dependencies matter because historical conditions matter, so it is likely pointless anyways. Nonetheless – this is the deadlock of our times.

The EcoCommunist Exigency is barred by absolute impossibility.

There is no resolution here – God is at war with herself while we reproduce capitalist relations.

Everybody is losing this war.

Here’s the thing – while the outcome of capitalism was written in the structure of the objective universe before it was even invented (abstract time was always just a countdown to collapse), we can’t know the outcome of a revolution! It would be a social experiment – just like capitalism and all its attempted alternates have been. A leap of faith into the unknown – this time out of certain doom.

This, the leap for historical survival – it just wouldn’t have a forseeable end. It would be the permanent terraforming revolution of the Spaceship Earth People’s Project and the Green Army – a long tunnel through the darkness of the Capitalocene instead of a short ride in a fast machine into a brick wall.

An open, uncertain future is better than none at all!

There is not an adequate name for such an heroic task –

but it is the only scientifically plausible future-concept I have left to offer:

Spaceship Earth

metaphor courtesy of liu cixin, and a country with a recent revolutionary past.

Our hegemonic conceptions of human beings are exhaustible and inadequate – self-interested economic units, narcissistic emotional-fetishizers, helpless victims, – passive, reactive animals.

If this is all we are or ever can be, then we’re just doomed. After all, for animals – extinction is the rule, and survival the exception. Anybody who forgets this is foolish.

Fortunately it is not all we are or can be.

We can be humans, if we choose to be.

Our history shows this clearly: humanity is born from struggle. It is a choice and process, not something innate. Innately, we are indeed just animals. And if we have ceased to struggle against our animality and the brute contingency of our conditions, then we have not only failed to be human – we have forgotten that we ever even had the possibility of being human in the first place.

Everything now depends on enough of us remembering what it is to be human once again –

choosing life over death,

the pursuit of truth over delusion,

love over alienation,

struggle over sleepwalking,

and survival over extinction.

So for us, still undead after the Holocene, the universe is just this question whispered endlessly:

are ye sufficiently Communist yet?

While the answer is no: the struggle continues.

…even though it is impossible and too late.

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