The Crash as precursor to a new New World

Adbusters #82

This is my tribute to author David Graeber – never has my emergent belief system been codified so perfectly on two pages -- as perfect, compact and transcendent as Hank Paulson’s initial TARP proposal was evil, insidious and utterly combustive.

Hopelessness isn’t natural. It needs to be [mass] produced. To understand this situation, we have to realize that the last 30 years [Reagan Era] have seen the construction of a vast bureaucratic apparatus that creates and maintains hopelessness [through materialism].

Once one [erroneously] assumes that capitalism will be around for all eternity, the only kind of economic democracy left to imagine is one in which everyone is equally free to invest in the market.  [Thus] Freedom has become the right to share in the proceeds of one’s own permanent enslavement.

Whenever a genuinely democratic movement begins to emerge, particularly one based on principles of civil disobedience and direct action, the reaction is the same: the government makes immediate concessions (fine, you can have [your] voting rights) and then starts revving up military tensions abroad.  The movement is then forced to transform itself into a [weak, amorphous] anti-war movement

Consider the term “communism.”  Rarely has a term come to be so utterly reviled.

[But] In fact, communism really just means any situation where people act according to this [Marxist] principle: from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

If, for example, two people are fixing a pipe and one says “hand me the wrench,” the other doesn’t say “and what do I get for it?” [What’s in it for me?]

[Instead] they apply the principles of communism because they’re the only ones that [truly] work.  [All real and sustainable progress requires collectivism, whereas individualism and selfishness inevitably produce only failure for large-scale endeavors.]

That’s why even Republican computer engineers trying to develop new software ideas tend to form small [or large] democratic collectives [to succeed].

[Thus] Communism is already here [and always has been].  The question is how to further democratize it. Capitalism, in turn, is just one possible way of managing communism.  [But] It has become increasingly clear that it’s rather a disastrous one.

All this makes it much easier to understand why capitalists are willing to pour such extraordinary resources into the [mass produced] machinery of hopelessness.

Debt is the most efficient means ever created to make relations [between individuals] fundamentally based on violence and inequality seem [somehow] morally upright.  [But] When this trick no longer works everything explodes.

Think of the promise made by capitalism: we can live like kings if [only] we are willing to buy stock in our own collective subordination [to hopelessness].  [But now, today] All of this has come crashing down. What remains is what we are able to promise one another directly, without the mediation [and subjugation] of economic and political bureaucracies. The revolution [our revolution] begins by asking what sort of promises do [truly] free men and women make one another and how, by making them, do we begin to make another [new] world?