KEY is that the institutions are not OK (note how the Wall Street Journal has endorsed torture supporter and Amazon Basin destroyer Bolsonaro for President of Brazil, for instance, calling him a “swamp drainer“).
Then, there is this piece on climate change and fascism, which has basically convinced me one must be a committed socialist. What interests me in particular is what it says about the workings of ideology. Emphasis is added here, and I believe I have seen another version of the piece. The author, in that version, goes on to say that eco-disaster is courted and desired because it is a “final solution” — the world is rid of those climate disasters drove to migrate.
Noam Chomsky has said that the Republican “party is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organized human life. There is no historical precedent for such a stand,” with modern fascism directly correlated to the increasing chaos of climate change itself. Roy Scranton in We’re Doomed. Now What? writes that as the “gap between the future we’re entering and the future we once imagined grows ever wider, nihilism takes root in the shadow of our fear…. [Y]ou can see it in the pull to nationalism, sectarianism, war, and racial hatred. We see it in the election of Donald Trump.”
What must be reckoned with is how this situation was directly engendered by industrial capitalism, and in particular by the partisans of its most extreme ideological manifestations of libertarianism and neoliberalism who have provided cover for policies that have enflamed the crisis. Past centuries were circumscribed by their worldviews . . . but while our adherence to the market is as all-encompassing as a Babylonian’s loyalty to Marduk, it is only our dark religion which actually threatens Armageddon.
Unfettered, unregulated, capricious, vampiric capitalism has brought us to the brink, and the mass inability to comprehend this fact evidences how ingrained said ideology is. Our blinders are such that human tragedy that is attributable directly to our economic system is often naturalized as simply being “The way that things are,” thus precluding even the possibility of different ways of arranging our world. Deathdue to differing ideologies is always interpreted as conscious and preventable, but capitalist tragedy is simply understood as how life operates.
While admitting that capitalism provided for unprecedented class mobility and technological innovation, an honest consideration of its death toll in any hypothetical Black Book of Capitalism would have to include not just the obvious fatalities of those who died in industrial accidents . . . but indeed the victims of colonialism, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and of fascismo corporativo, which is simply capitalism driven to its horrifying end.
Invisibility of such atrocities through normalization is a species of what the philosopher Louis Althusser termed “interpellation,” that is to say that we’re all molded subjects of the ideology that governs our world so that we mostly hold uncritical assumptions about capitalism’s normativity. Writer William T. Vollmann addresses future generations in his new tome on climate change Carbon Ideologies, explaining that “We all lived for money, and that is what we died for.” As 2040 approaches our ignorance is a form of collective suicide.