“Many fear the fall of empires for the same reason. They look at the erosion of capitalism’s power in the world and fear that chaos will follow. Forgetting that Chaos is the origin and fate of all things. They fear violence will cause or result from capitalism’s fall. Forgetting that capitalism was born of some of the greatest violence in history — the genocides of colonialism and slavery and the cultural genocide that was the eradication of the remnant indigenous cultures of western Europe through the forced privatization of the commons. Forgetting the military violence and police violence and economic and structural violence that are considered business as usual in our late capitalist culture.
As Ursula Le Guin said, “We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable . . . ” so it seems impossible to imagine anything outside it.
But the fact that we can’t yet see what will follow capitalism is a deep comfort to me. We have lived for 500 years in a culture that has insisted that there is one reality, one truth, one right way to sense and perceive that reality, one ever expanding political and economic system destined to control the world. Most large scale attempts at building alternatives have involved the replacement of that totalizing system with another that carries the same DNA. (eg Soviet “communism” that amounted to a form of state capitalism.)
The lack of a single, clear vision of what world might follow tells me we may finally soon break free from the domination of jealous gods who insist on their unique right to exercise total authority over our lives. Though I am under no illusion that either militant monotheisms or the capitalist triumphalism that is their ostensibly secular heir will go down easily — indeed we are witnessing a world marked by the brutality of these ideologies last efforts to fight for survival. But even here we see the unraveling, the loss of the ability of any one narrative to hold together. And as narratives and worlds unravel, we witness the emergent quality of chaotic systems beginning to take fluid form.
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If we are to remake our world, let us remake it in the image of dark, curved mirror of time and space, which reflects back infinite possibilities to which love and desire can give life.
Let our revolution be one of multiplicity, they that come to know their infinite complexity and infinite possibility in the darkness of the longest night…