Late-stage capitalism: Denying the Imperium of Death
The emotional and physical pain, anxiety, and depression inflicted by the trauma inherent to a system sustained by perpetual exploitation has proven to be too much for a sizeable number of human beings to endure thus their need to self-medicate. The tormented landscape, besieged by an ad hoc assemblage of late capitalist structures, emporiums of usurped longing, reflects the desperate, rapacious nature of late capitalist imperium. The forces in play impose a colonizing effect upon the mind; therefore, a large percent of the afflicted have lost the ability to detect the hyper-entropic system’s ravaging effects. Stranded among the commercial come-ons and hyper-authoritarianism inherent to late-stage capitalism’s imperium of death, the human psyche, like the biosphere of our planet, subjected, at present, to humankind-wrought ecocide, has begun to display the terrible beauty of a nightmare. Conditions will grow increasingly inhospitable in regard to the flourishing of inner life, personal and collective thus will continue, and at accelerating rates, to be reflected in the web of phenomena we know as human culture. I’ve known, over the years, hundreds of human beings, born into and ensnared by the crime against humanity known as poverty, broken by the culture of greed and social degradation, and blamed by the clueless and the callous for the tragic trajectory in which impersonal fate and the wounding culture, by no fault of their own, has placed them. Truth is the system, a hierarchy of ghouls, is maintained by harvesting the corpses of the powerless, by means of imperial slaughter and domestic, economic exploitation. The system’s psychopathic beneficiaries, in particular, are aware of the reality. Moreover the beneficiaries of the system promote the lie that shame should be the exclusive dominion of those broken by their system, a system, which is, in essence, a form of government-sanctioned gangsterism, by which they, the ruthless few, and they alone, benefit. We human beings, as a species, have arrived at a profound point of demarcation: paradigm shift or perish. The victims of drug overdoses and, in general, the large and rising, without precedent, untimely deaths of middle-aged, laboring-class people should be regarded as canaries in the coal mines of the late-stage capitalist order, an augury of calamities that loom due to the exponentially increasing harm being inflicted upon both humanity and environmental forces crucial to sustaining the continued viability of the human race. If reality is met head-on, if empire, external and its inner analog, is renounced and challenged, then a liberation staged by the heart’s partisans can begin, thereby freeing up a great amount of acreage – a fructifying landscape – wherein both the earth’s ecosystem and the architecture of human desire can begin to co-exist and cross-pollinate thus a crucial re-visioning of oneself and the culture can begin.
» Privilege & Oppression, Conflict & Compassion The Sociological Imagination
Now, most of our friends and colleagues have chosen to side with Jin Haritaworn in this conflict and with other critics of racial hierarchies within LGBT politics in other similar conflicts. Compassionate CommunicationOur preference in these kinds of conflicts, in general, has been to ask how such conflicts grow and how they might be resolved. We come to this as people who have practised, thought, and written about conflict, and who have some ideas, informed mainly by social constructionism, Buddhist philosophy, queer/anarchism & nonviolent communication, about what we regard as an ethical and effective way of approaching conflict. Our position on conflict resolution has, thus far, been as follows: that pretty much whatever the conflict, it is likely that both parties involved believe that they are right and that the other party is wrong. We certainly notice this pattern in the conflict mentioned previously. If the initial conflict involved discrimination, X-phobia or X-normativity, then does the equalising ‘we are all human and prone to managing conflict badly’ approach dismiss the existence of such power hierarchies and oppressive acts? There is also the extremely difficult question of where we position ourselves when the conflict is between other people or groups and we are called upon – or feel we would like to act as – mediators or advisers about potential ways of engaging. It is possible that – perhaps particularly if we are seen to share the privileged position of the ‘more powerful’ party – any attempt by us to help resolve the conflict can act as a further act of dismissal, rejection, or oppression of the ‘wronged’ party. Are we drawn to resolution in order to avoid acknowledging our own privilege? Do we simply find it painful to watch potential allies fighting and want peace? When does desire to resolve conflict stems from compassion and an ethical hope to decrease discrimination and conflict through mutual understanding, and when does it stems from cowardice and a defensiveness about our own possible privileges and problematic prejudices? Again, this is part of a compassionate opening to how it might be for those on the other ‘side’ of the conflict, and – more pragmatically – to consideration of what might work best in terms of changing the behaviours which we find so problematic. When we are the ones being accused, or called upon to mediate, we can notice in ourselves perhaps our aversion to conflict, the attraction to quickly close it down in ways which may leave important things unsaid or shift the blame, our defensiveness and fears that some problematic inner truth about ourselves may be laid bare if we continue to engage. We can encourage ourselves to remember the last such conflict when we ourselves were feeling excluded, marginalised and oppressed, and how important it was then for us to have a voice, to have our rage recognised, and to be listened to.