Development: target for a better future… or any future at all!
Today, the American continent is still the main front for the biggest operation of imperial conquest. Horizontal, or suburban development, is by far one of the worst ongoing ecological disasters, along with monocultures, the nuclear/biotech industries and the whole natural resources industry, all of these being the only reasons why our former colonies have sprung out of European empires; while imperialism was swept under the carpet in our History classes, while it has become viral, and exponential since the so-called post-war «decolonization movement», and especially the ongoing devastating military invasions carried by NATO abroad. More than this, the process of continuous invasion has gone into full battle mode here, right under the veil of social order, and one has to got to live in suburbia for not to see it, because everywhere else, it is an easily observable fact.
Obviously, there is something bigger at play behind all the machines of destruction and their restless, mindless soldiers of the construction industry, tying them all together in a same never-ending process.
The machine of development
The continuous need for expansion, progress, or growth, is the only rationale allowing imperialism to persist and prevail, if we understand this « need » as being firsthand the one of the class that profiteers from the empire, before everyone else. This is why outside of this primary necessity, development will forever be devoid of any substance or rationality, other than the vain hope of improving one’s living conditions, that merely derives from the industry’s marketing campaigns, as none really goes on such glorious adventure solely out of faith, or love for their empire, while expecting no gains in return.
Therefore, to give it a rationale, it’ll have to be supported by nationalism (or internationalism), faith in God (or the State), conservative (or liberal) values as well as even more blurry creeds, as the quest for Happiness or humanitarianism; all this acting as an ideology that provides an inclusive, generalist rationale to an invasion which in fact doesn’t have any. A unifying Grand Illusion that’s only there to fuel more production and further invasion by the masses while generating profits for the big parasites, and dividends for all the substrates. The accumulation of profit is the engine of growth, and this, even the craftiest of these professional liars, the economists, will admit it.
As in every dogma generated by the selfish decrees of industrial capitalism, at every age or location on the planet, there are no popes and bishops to instate and regulate the doctrine, and no priests working hard and steady to enforce it. There, are the center of the dogma, the one they have to answer to and work for, once they are done with their experimental years at college and university, where they could discover its value through domination and consumerism, is the very sacred principle of accumulation of capital. This what ties the disciples of Che Guevara, Noam Chomsky, Jean-Paul Sartres and Ayn Rand, from the most gruesome aspects of the Left to the most bloody fascistic of the Right, including all the flimsy and softy liberals in between. These are the intellectual caste, the higher-skilled proletarians. These, are the symbol manipulators, who later become dispassionate designers and conceivers of the capitalist dogma. Accountants, lawyers, designers, journalists, real-estate agents, speculators… the careers are countless, but the role is always the same. Throughout the rest of their lives, both golf-playing business people and the liberal artists chatting after theater plays will together come to serve this dogma with the same enthusiasm, but relatively reluctant self-awareness. In other words they’ll do it because it grants them wealth, power or social status, but not exactly out of passion, or love, since they cannot be expected to identify personally with their job. As with the rest of workers, they make their shift and go home for serving another day.
In comparison, priests of the distant past used to direct their religious devotees into building temples beyond human proportions -at Ur, Babylon, Luxor, Rome or Paris- as well as towns made of gigantic stones on steep, elevated mountain sides, mostly out of elevations of faith (even though it wasn’t always purely selfless). They were also torturing themselves and others to get rid of some « Evil », and seeing their condition of poverty as a form of wealth, and not exactly as a basic condition of happiness. This is the kind of insanity that the power of faith allows. But this faith had become so impersonal and profound that it couldn’t respond to the lesser material imperatives of the sex-food-and-drugs market, when capitalism became a dominant system and these things became pillars of the economy. When Rock’n’Roll and TVs came as flagships of the new dogma, it became the ultimate satanic blend to strike the final blows. This was later used against the “Red Menace” of communism, as TV tubes were sent all across the slums of the Third World as “humanitarian aid”… to evangelize the poor with “Dynasty” so they too learn the way of material success, through becoming crime lords and sex slaves. So the big winner in this industrial-era spiritual conflict, Capital, ends being a much more selfish -and self-serving- dogma, yet it is purely universal, as it already broke all boundaries, gives the biggest exploiters a World Citizen passport, and is now reaching to the stars for more savage exploitation. In a way, frees us from the old order of the Christian doctrine, although it puts us in a more pervasive form of slavery, as God, just like any good friend should, did not use to want us to perform, or be good-looking.
Inversely, it’s rather among the enforcers of the dogma, these cold-blooded workers of this dominion -the cops, construction workers, nurses, ticket controllers, drug dealers, professional athletes- that we can observe such mindless, selfless passion. But mainly cops, without whom all this enforcement business would lose most of its serious; as we all know -or feel- how fear is still efficient as ever, to provide with a strong, irrational argument to the masses for submitting to the dogma. Cops, and the lesser private security guards, are the few ones willing to put their lives on the line for handing out a ticket or punishing a hobo for stealing a chocolate bar. As Christian priests used to police youngsters in the streets who dared kissing each other; cops, with their thunder-shooting devices and their threat of immediate damnation -to a Hell of concrete blocks, from one night to an entire lifetime- inherited this lowly, dangerous job of playing the Hero for a higher order they aren’t even supposed to understand. Capital surely doesn’t care about the fate of our souls after death -at least for now- but it works tirelessly to make us into soulless drones, who as they reach the adult age of production, may go as far as sacrificing themselves for a paycheck. The absolute nonsense of religion.
And for the workers who do neither of these businesses, well, they are just proles. Hired labor, unattached workers, legal prostitutes, wage slaves; as opposed to being purchased labor, those who are “bought” by the system through education, like the ones mentioned above.
Here’s for the individual aspect of its machinery. Of course, we do support development by other means than paid labor in our non-lives, but it’s always dependent, one way of another, on the efforts we do for the same system that feeds from it.
On the more general scale, accumulation of capital and expansion are two mutually inclusive and dependent variables in the capitalist industry, working in perfect symbiosis, the same way than breathing in and out are the vital basis of the cardiovascular system. If you happen to not understand this very intimate relation, please repeat that sentence everyday in your mind, by looking at how the world around you works, you’ll soon get it. This has got to be understood fully, before pretending to break down this system. Many revolutionaries of late, in fact, have only looked at one flip of the coin, without being aware that this dual polarity is what makes it so strongly persistent… just as with any other natural or unnatural system in the universe. This is understandable, since this system seems to have become fully reliant on the spectacle industry since the Cold War era, where the spectacle has replaced faith as a main drive for colonial expansion, and the older revolutionary paradigm couldn’t allow grasp this dynamic soon enough. Every single revolutionary who seeks to go onward the capitalist system should see how this system is desperately dependent upon development.
And just as in any unsustainable system, if it’s expansion is compromised, it begins to suffocate. This is why the traditional religious society did last for such a long time, because the void of its dogma became an absolute value -above all human spirit and flesh- that is the vacuous entity known as «God» (or Allah, of Yahweh); while the void of capital doesn’t convene any spiritual ardor, or model of enduring enterprise whose value goes beyond the one it creates on material goods. On the other hand, it systematically generates people like Anders Breivik, car and truck-driving psychopaths and other human slave bombs by the thousands -who not so surprisingly all turn out to be males- through its nihilistic, “one against all” models of performance and success; by first enslaving us to the “everyone for his/her own butt” mentality. In simpler terms, capitalism uses society against itself, and makes this social war profitable, as with any other war it has started in History.
Hence why no capitalism can ever be sustainable. In practice, it generates a collective mutually-assumed destruction, on a massive scale…
Hence why any form of development -industrial, humanitarian, spectacular/democratic, techno-scientific- has become the main war front of capitalism; its most sensitive, and surprisingly, yes, its most vulnerable…
Through the land grabs, Police State measures, military invasions, toxic mass-spraying of wild areas and the spread of cell phone antennas; expansion has become the central mechanism of war-profiteering. A mechanism which seems very abstract, intangible, but that is depending upon very concrete devices; these are all the instruments that allow the broadcasting of its own propaganda and to physically establish itself, formatting the land and building its many infrastructures -roads, buildings, pipelines, power/communications lines and so on- in the present and ulterior phases of expansion. These devices are diverse, although universally redundant, and are directly attached to a specific form of specialization in the whole process of development (real-estate, tourism, mining, oil, etc); but it’s obvious that the most important of all these are the fluxes of exchange that are the inevitable supports for expansion movements. The fluxes go also in straight parallel with the flow of investments in the means of production, from which profits are derived further down the line.
The energy fluxes above all else, even before the land, air and sea routes. For if there is no flow of energy vectors -such as water, electricity, communications signals and fuels- there simply can be no industry in any given area. And the root condition making these develop like a cangrene through healthy cell tissue, is none else than demand. It can be considered as an energy vector, but an energy of void, or antimatter. One that attracts, and then radiates all the flows of energy through its many different tentacles,
Both demand and its consequent fluxes can be eradicated, or at least incapacitated, from the start, without too much need for tiresome or dangerous warfare against more evolved phases of development. Because both aspects are often found to rely on infrastructures that are easily sabotaged or subverted. As through human affairs, it is, as opposed the naive misconceptions -or fraudulent lies- of economists, a completely artificial, created factor. It so appears dynamic, to a point where religious devotees of capital would describe it as “natural law”, because it is systemic; generated through an organized, standardized, regulated production process.
Demand is generated by the symbols of the spectacle and its industry. This is what sweet dreams are made of: symbolic links, to what is not, but what could or should be. This is the marketing side of it, without whom, as we have seen earlier, development wouldn’t gather many crowds into its destructive processes of production. These symbols can be found at every place where capitalist civilization is to be found, and they are an imagery of the non-existent, of what isn’t there. It always tries to be a projection of an idealized existence, no matter how realistic it may or may not pretend to be at all. It is in a film theater, on a advertisement panel, through the insipid acting job of some radio host, the overwhelming display of brutality by the police, or in the obvious mechanical smile of a waitress (to waiters-esses: sorry to be harsh… I know you don’t like it as much as it looks).
Deriving from the main topic, this is how a significant part of the East Berlin autonomous squatters movement of the ’90s was bought into becoming liberal artists and social programmers; they designed the very conditions of their own posh enslavement, through adjusting their demand(s) to the conditions of defeat imposed by the State. So in about 10 years, the situation has gone from +900 autonomous occupied buildings and spaces to a handful of State-sanctionned hausprojekts, that now serve as beds for the most vile and violent reactionary agents (commonly known as “Nazi punks” or “fascist metalheads”), hidden in plain view from their gentle pseudo-antifascist roommates. Just as in the romanticized Berlin of the ’20s, where social-democracy had produced sinister comfort beds were sexy and trendy liberal leftists slept with the disgusting, bloody freikorps, out of the public eye.
This shows how dreams of emancipation through compromises turn idealists into treacherous, mindless whores. True revolutionaries and struggling souls aren’t impressed by ideals, and don’t bow into compromise with the “powers-that-be”.
Destroying the machine of development
Not only for the survival of our species and the ones targeted by it, but for life itself. It creates possibilities for life by protecting them from what negates it, and in this aspect, it is far more creative than reproduction, especially when many of our progenies are bent on becoming mindless enforcers of the dogma and nature destroyers. At this point, we’re allowed to realize how freedom and life equate to the very same thing.
Above all this, it is also for unleashing a process of radical change in our relation towards nature. To force the idea that the land, air and sea simply cannot be owned, first of all, no matter the bureaucracy and police violence involved to justify this purely abstract idea of ownership. It’s the biggest mind job ever created by the Grand Illusion of capitalism, especially for making us believe it is a fact of human nature.
So how can we destroy something so vapid, so abstract as “development”, or “expansion” of industrial capitalism? At first glance this sounds crazy… a bit like trying to attack a god by standing on the roof of a church with a bow and shooting arrows at the clouds. But since what drives development is created though concrete devices, it is also where you can find its points of materialization; its frontier between the abstract ideals, and the material conditions of their fulfillment.
As an example, to merely vandalize a bunch of real-estate advertisement panels in a region is in itself a way to turn a bunch of “Yes! You can colonize here” road signs to a “No. Fuck off and go home”, thus destabilizing the demand in this area, especially when it’s being carried during “peak” times (tourist season, some holiday, public events, etc). The second potential of such tactic is that -just as with the glass-breaking of chain stores, ATM-smashing and molotov-ing of banks or police infrastructure (cars, stations, CCTVs)- it can be easily reproduced to eventually become a culture of counter-offensive, allowing anyone out there who shares the same anger at the system to reproduce it and spread the message further, without the need of any direct contact with co-conspirators, thus building a “virtual” movement of resistance. In order to have a stronger, deeper effect on this machinery, you would probably have to sabotage more important infrastructures -like offices or fluxes, or spaces higher up In the social hierarchy- but this may demand a lot more in terms of organizing with others, since of course we can’t expect everyone to be a Don Quixote, or it’s modern version Ted Kaczinsky. What matters is to attack where it hurts, where we can, and to twist the knife!
Because the nature of this empire -a cybernetic one- is that it no longer has a physical center. It actually stopped having one long ago, perhaps during the purported fall of the great monarchic empires, or more likely under the bipolar world order of the Cold War. No matter when or how it happened, its getting fairly obvious that civilization has completely lost its heart, socially, morally and geopolitically. It relies upon a multitude of poles, turntables, energy capacitors that ensure the recirculation of capitals and their multiplication in a given area. These generators also provide with the structures of reinforcement and manipulation of symbols as described above. These poles can be as much techno-industrial/spectacular urban pivots such as Tokyo or New York, or the “Republic of Kosovo” for their heroin trafficking in Europe, just as the corporate universities, military bases planted in every region on the planet; and let’s not forget the Vatican octopus head, as well as all these sacred temples of global capitalism, banks. In the parallel “criminal” underworld, the prisons play the exact same role of capacitance, feeding off the mafia gangs until their capitalists integrate into the higher exploitation hierarchy. As opposed to a common misconception, there aren’t really borders between organized crime cartels and financial/political “business” networks; if there would be, the drugs and humans trafficking markets wouldn’t be around, or not so noticeable. It is how capitalism became global, by developing capacitors everywhere, interconnected into always wider and stronger networks of State-supported gangsterism.
This is why the rich are always on-the-move, with their posh residences and more temporary resorts spread all over the world; so are their continuous meetings, covering several distant locations in a same week, as they fly or roll in high-speed trains. The wealthier and more influent they are, the farther their homes are away -or up above- from the social Roman hypogeum they conceived for us, and the faster they move freely above the constraints of bureaucracy and police control; as opposed to the vast majority of plebeians below, who are fed to their lions and gladiators (the cops and the military) or work on others to be sent to this daily spectacular massacre. Being world citizens is the only trait they share with revolutionaries and terrorist organizations.
Since it is completely rotten to the core, the empire has now become ex-centric; depending not on a central kernel of power but rather on a eggshell-like superstructure, and this is the only structure holding it together, and allowing its existence to perpetuate. It does make sense that a global corporate empire that goes all around a planet needs to be structured accordingly, like a gigantic web that seeks to crush the world in its grasp. This is the face of capitalist oligarchy, which uses nets to distribute wealth, to be later concentrated in gigantic safes, somewhere in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Dubai or the City of London. These concentrators of capital are theoretically unbreakable fortresses (although, like it’s been proven with the burning of the Rabobank skycrapers in early 2011, it’s always a relativity), but everything that ties them with the large system is much weaker, and harder to keep secure.
This is in itself the concrete reflection of the decentralized nature of the current capitalist power structure. Since there is no imperial city or throne room to raid or bomb, the comfort lairs of the higher caste are spread all over the world. It is a benefit, in a way, for their posh areas of tranquility are closer to our arm’s reach -sometimes right under our nose- strangely guarded not often at their doorstep, but down in the streets where we survive within the walls and the fences of their society of control. These are the binding conditions -concrete, inevitable, terrible- of our enslavement, build through the imaginary social contract between ourselves and the State, but still we all have the freedom to break out of these. It only has to be shown to the entire mankind that it is possible, and that it creates a new situation that overcomes the bars and trappings of the very system we created.
In solidarity with all the oppressed animals of this world.