Self-Crit

I’ve learned a lot since I started this project. Even though it’s only been about 5 months, going back and reading my first essay is like reading something from another person.

I originally shut this thing down after encountering the Maximum Power Principle. At first, it seemed to shatter the foundations on which I was writing. I’m kramering in here insisting that our imminent demise is political and not natural, but then oh shit – all of a sudden here’s a way to do a thermodynamic anthropology that I’d never encountered before, that seems to almost guarantee eventual extinction.

Through a combination of MPP anthropology and historical materialism my theory of history has dramatically changed from where it was in 12/21 – which is when I finally overcame years of staying silent and decided to say some shit, with words, to all yalls, loudly (redly). Through what I’ve learned doing this experiment I’ve been able to touch what seems like an historical absolute – and my god, it’s thrilling.

I’ve got a better understanding of the eco-side of shit now too, having gone through Catton’s Overshoot a bit. Here’s the problem – much of this is only visible in hindsight. 19-20c communists weren’t aiming at some kind of survival track eco-literate society within the Holocene biosphere’s thermodynamic structure, nor were they embarking on a self-conscious terraforming project. Their eco-literacy was still pretty malformed, even though there’s tons of incredible resources for understanding ecology within historical and dialectical materialism. As insurpassably heroic as the Paris Commune, the Bolsheviks, and the Maoists were – they were all still aiming to outcompete capitalism, on its own terms. Which is to say, they were still following the MPP.

And like, well – you kinda have to, doncha, if you want to have a chance at standing up to an energy-maximizing exterminatus machine like capitalism.

But that’s exactly the problem – unless you have an energy-command advantage to start, you will usually get overshot by energy-maximizing overshooters. And you don’t have an energy-command advantage against overshooters – at least, not until after they’ve died off.

And our conceptual horizons were just broken the whole time. Not enough of us learned to think systematically, and few do now. Reified exchange value + all the various hallucinations it generates makes the planet appear first as a thing-to-be-exploited on our world horizons – or as nothing at all. And of the pre-ecoliterate apes, only the communists really even tried or valued systematic thought.

The majority of Holocene conceptual apparati were not systematic, and value-form conditioning actively works against learning how to think systemically. Very few people ever put all the pieces together – and my perspective is only possible because of when I am.

So I’ve come around to this: while this is still a political extinction – we had the cards stacked against us a long time ago. There’s propensity and opportunity for overshoot dieoffs built into the physics of our environmental relations, and we’re super good at killin thangs.

Also, we invented capitalism long before we had the science to correctly grok the biospheric parameters for long term civilizational survival. And somebody was going to invent capitalism eventually – it is an energy monster enabled by the parameters of the laws of thermodynamics.

So even though ‘socialism or extinction’ is still right and is also built into the laws of thermodynamics, it was always highly probable that we were going to finish ourselves off like this, hurfing and durfing our way into oblivion.

It is too late to stop the trainwreck.

Nothing can stop what’s coming, we can only try to prepare/organize for the Filter.

We are too far away from any kind of survival track to turn back now. The Filter is here, the Cliff is Now – we will have to adapt on the way down. And because of the MPP – something like this was bound to happen eventually. Somebody was eventually going to invent an energy maximizing exterminatus machine like capitalism – and capitalism is the Great Filter. The final test of a species is whether they’re able to evolve beyond it.

And like, the culture of homo-economicus should be all the example anyone needs as to ‘are we gonna cut the mustard’ (no lmao).

So, we have the ‘opportunity’ and the imperative both to try to wake people up from the delusion of exchange value, and to try to pass something through the filter, down to our hypothetical descendants. The survivors of the filter need to have the knowledge contained in this site and the offsite stuff I’m linking if they want to have a shot at building a new eco-communism out of the ashes. If we somehow end up in a situation where the eco-literates have hegemony – then they could prevent an outbreak of ecotards like capitalism before it ever gets off the ground – if they remember the historical necessities involved in any survival track eco-literate project.

So basically future social projects have to be conscious of the MPP and our capacity for overshoot. This awareness has to be built into the structure of possible life practices. They have to be willing and capable of practicing thermodynamic eco-literacy, and stopping overshoot outbreaks. A kind of ‘dark forest’ bureaucracy on a planetary scale, capable of detecting and wiping out overshooters before they spread. Energy-efficient egalitarianism during peacetime combined with the ability to obliterate ecotards with extreme prejudice over long distances.

Plausible? Definitely.

Possible? Maybe.

Likely? lol..

So the history of our species is indeed the history of struggle. Social antagonism is inevitable in conditions of energy scarcity, and conditions have always been energy scarce. Underneath all the myriad different historically specific flavors of social antagonism (master/slave, lord/serf, capitalist/proletariat, men/women, white/black, &c &c) it turns out that there is a transhistorical constant – ecoliterates vs ecotards.

Survival tracks vs Overshoot tracks.

So we still get to keep social antagonism, now with a solid (if sobering) thermodynamic foundation, I still get to keep political extinction, and the site can continue. I’m still rolling with a political-extinction line in essays like ‘Why you should be an Eco-Communist‘. I’m using the Eco-prefix now to differentiate my universality from that of 20c red stuff and 21c Dengism, which don’t really have an accurate eco-literate horizon yet.

So it’s a political-extinction because it is possible to care, and it is possible for human beings to not be ravenous biosphere exterminating overshooters. Homo-economicus is a transient and failed historical emergence, not something permanent or natural.

It’s possible to stop reifying exchange-value and do something else guys – so like, we could. We could stop doing this shit and try to do something else. The possibility exists.

We could all snap out of the hallucination of reified exchange value.

We could be Eco-Communists. And according to the demystified, empirically revealed, objective scientific universe – we also should be.

So the site stays up.

This version of the site is 1.2 because even though I had a dim awareness of something like the MPP in 1.0, I hadn’t yet started incorporating it into my theory of history.

Now I’ve got a totally new working model, and although I’m just a weirdo theory nerd, I feel like I’ve stepped into theoretical terrain that has barely been explored yet.

…which makes all the editing I’ve been doing even more embarassing. So many mistakes! So many typos! So many unclear sentences, even some incorrect terminology. Ugh. Humiliating.

Writing is hard. I need an editor.

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