“Dies Irae” – The Post Capitalist future

The mediaeval day of judgement as a metaphor for the impending calamity humanity faces. Well…at least in the original conception there was delivery and salvation for a few souls. The economic and political system that we live under is destroying our planet and, if left to its own exploitative desires and devices, it will soon destroy its originators. This ‘free market’, ‘neoliberalism’, ‘free enterprise economy’, ’laissez-faire model’… call it what you like. The differences are as the differences between the varied shades of the Abrahamic faiths. They all maintain the same core underpinning foundation to variously ornate or austere architectures. But, despite the incessant onanistic devotions of its adherents, Capitalism isn’t a religion. Capitalism isn’t even a faith. It has surpassed those stages of development and is now fully at the level of a deranged and impending, implosive death cult. Billions unwittingly worship this cult and support it uncritically; deferring to the supposed intellectual authority of its economics department academia priests with their mysterious cult language that proposes their natural order and alleged rationalism. Continuing to insist that it alone is the only true path to not only economic but social freedom. Its acolytes repeat its cliched mantras without critical analysis like a sacred liturgy.
Capitalism, since its origins in sixteenth century European mercantilism, always seeks to grow, to profit… to enable it grow… and to profit. And in the four to five centuries since that sick seed was first sown it has exhausted the potential mine of exploitable resource. Both material and now human. We currently extract resources at a rate of exploitation that exceeds the capacity to replace them. But this increasing scarcity, that in any other circumstance would be seen as a suggestion towards moderation is in the mind of the capitalist seen only as an opportunity to price gouge and profit. Climate change disasters are good for free market capitalism. They are seen as an opportunity.
We need to limit global warming to a maximum increase of 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels. And it needs to be done at the very latest, with the most optimistic predictions, by 2050. Currently the average global temperature on Earth has increased by just over 1° C since 1880. Two-thirds of that warming has occurred since 1975, and it continues at a rate of roughly 0.15 – 0.20°C per decade. Work out the numbers and you see that 2050 is cutting a pretty fine line.
“Confutatis maledictis” – When the wicked are confounded.
We need the culture of community. We do not need the cult of individualism. The cult of the self at the expense of the group is what has brought us to this critical historical juncture and we have two choices. We can work together as a natural body to survive and grow or we can fracture into artificially constructed divisions and blow away like dust. There is more that unites us than unties us, particularly when we examine the near future’s designs on the living biosphere. The future will only be post-capitalist. Because the alternative is nothing. It can be achieved through consensus and pre-empt the worst environmental cataclysms that are currently predicted or it will be the natural outcome of humanity’s extinction. That is the choice we, and the next few generations face.

‘days of wrath (confutatis maledictis)’ mixed media drawing, 150 x 150 cm 2021

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