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What schools don't teach you

Short story:

 

Short story:

ESSAY

Almost no more diseases. Wealth all over. And opportunities like never before. We’ve been liberated!...

 

1/5

Self-loving power

Yes but. A comfortable past may have never existed, but there was a past when disasters were averted. Now something wicked this way comes, it proves hard for us liberated people to do anything. See, power is still among just a few people, as it was ever since the first surpluses in early agriculture 10.000 years ago. And power cares about power, not about averting disasters.

Our priority should always be a liveable world that's not burning, not politically, not environmentally. Minor conveniences (someone's stock, heated outdoor terraces, instagram likes...) should not overrule our major priority. But priorities and decisions don't come about very democratically if we consider society critically. Influence is disproportionately distributed. Influence is bought with money. You can buy newspapers, Twitter,.. Eventually it all goes to the bosses, the speculants, the haves. They don't care about their partner, their kids, the people in their street, the environment, peace.. all they care about is having the fattest car, the most expensive watch and the biggest yacht. We've got to stop them! We've got to halt how their alienated a** influences where society is going.

2/5

 

The old (now irrelevant) societal systems, each installing a new self-loving power

The old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters (deliberate mistranslation of Antonio Gramsci’s words). Those monsters initially were radical society models (see table beneath) but now the monsters take new shapes while we look for more complex political-economies that actually work. Old monsters:

Ideological Politic-Economical system

What defines the piece of pie you get?

Review

 

Communism

 

Redistribution

 

  • Nice idea in a book or a cafe, doesn't work in reality.
Capitalism Markets
  • Initially brought prosperity, provided that the worst system failures (‘market failures’) got corrected.
  • Brought freedom, but only for the winners.
  • Averse to social welfare.
  • Imported more prosperity, exported cultural violence and war.
  • Natural resources for grabbing.. The biggest grabbers become the richest people.
Radical socialism Markets and redistribution
  • Initially brought emancipation, solidarity with those in need, and better worker conditions.
  • Provided the most important push towards our current diversity, wealth and opportunities.
  • Brought freedom, but eventually mostly still for market winners, and (due to lack of government) for system abusers (e.g.: some left the cities’ jobs and colonized nature by illegally expanding trailer parks, cultivating a failed macho culture that was paid for by the community.)
(Italian) Fascism Markets
  • Echoed a capitalist idea of success, and capitalist averseness to social welfare, but refuted decadence and individuality. Profits are diverted to the nation and its violence-system, not to an upper-class.
  • Offered violent Darwinism and nationalism where capitalism would place individualism.

*: To keep these systems and their power distributions stable, the systems were mixed with extremely orchestrated nationalist and patriotist propaganda that helped to keep the people sheepish.

Today (mostly online) propaganda still talks in these simplistic ideologies, favoring one, demonizing another. Talking baby language to the voters. But none of the systems still exists purely as it grew crystal clear how they all fell humanity short.

 

 

3/5

New (more complex) societal systems ~ Shared vibe: commodification

Current monsters:

Luckily, today, states wield more complex systems. There are big differences on many aspects. Compare the US’ free enterprise and corporations politics, with the Nordic model in Scandinavia.

Recurring themes:

  1. The game of winners and losers is an incentive for a healthy economy and for the maintenance (and creation) of wealth.
  2. ..brutalizes into a game of the greedy and the cornered,
  3. …brutalizes into a game that pushes for constant inflation of the pie.

Problem is that it's not important anymore if the pie is still very edible, let alone tasty. Live trees are not part of the economy, but dead trees are. In just the same way healthy lungs aren't counting, but cigarettes are, hospitals are,...

 

 

Hence consumerism, hence the sneaky invention of fashion, of keeping the mass discontent and deprived, of having landscapes depleted and sanitized of all life. Hence the commodification of arts and culture. If you grind life and commons through the big market machine into consumable packages, you will privately win, if not, you’ll lose.

Innovations have become greed-oriented. Certain governments and non-governmental groups do some incredible bending to make innovations just a bit more multigoal-oriented. But in vain...

Like cattle we are herded into this life-size dull boardgame.

The current political-economical vibe remains dominant in its full toxicity, however it is totally relying on the people’s compliance on four fronts:

  • Think in simplistic ways politically.
  • Think in market-friendly ways:
    • numbers are holy,
      (numbers are taken out of science and applied on everyday life, as if you would take apples out of desserts and start to put them in pastas, on pizzas, on bread, in wine, in soup (maybe soup works),…)
    • unidirectional scales are central
      (be rankingminded)
  • Think individually and self-unaware.
  • Be distracted.

 

 

4/5

New (more complex) societal systems ~ Shared glue: toxic ideas of success

The failure of the current international culture is highlighted by the millions of active followers, drooling over, and worshipping many social media channels that boast with kitsch and excess through magalomanic yachts, $600.000 watches, a flashy car collection so big you cannot drive them, more conspicuous spending, illegally kept pets, endless golf terrains, other agressive land claims,...

The dictate orders a pre-occupation with unrealistic, anti-social and non-sensical success: we are encouraged to be like the following ‘heroes’ of the system: the biggest psychos claim the system’s biggest awards:

These #notmyheroes are the tiny tip atop the iceberg:

  Elon Musk
  • Thousands of South-African mine workers' life-long efforts.. Nature's riches.. All of it was claimed by one family wanting way more than they needed and deserved.
  • The kid went gambling with a big part of the money. Now he's one of the (market-centred) world's most powerful people, and he's got no clue how not to be an alienated narcissist.
  • Claims to be an inventor and visionary engineer.
  • Is strictly a narcissistic businessman, one of the kind that makes big gambles. When lucky they will rely on the self-reinforcing mechanisms of capital.
  • Instagram is stuffed with memes worshipping him, paid by himself.
The status-anxious  
  • Tend to conspicuous consumption.
  • Easily believe online crap on get-rich-easy-fast, lured by meaningless numbers and the promise of passive income.
 
  • It’s all numbers from here on.
  • Easily end up as crypto bros, not realizing how eventual gains are made from other crypto bros losing.
Marck Zuckerberg
  • Started a platform to give girls on campus a score from 0 to 10.
  • Commercial motives.
  • Dreams of a dystopian future.
  • His social media('s social engineers) stuff our heads full of garbage, from Kardashian bull** to incitements for Rohingya-genocide.
Martin Shkreli  
  • Another rich bully. Officially a Hedge fund manager.
  • Bought the rights of life-saving drugs and multiplied the price 40x.
  • What he did was 100% legal according to the system (that people like him had ordered).
 
  • One of many people doing this, but on top of that he bought famous cult objects, bringing a corporate crook (himself) for the first time into mass media..
  • Shkreli highlighted the sick system too flamboyantly, so the others in power (via the system) shut him up by jailing him for unrelated felonies.
Jean-Sébastien Jacques  
  • Ex-CEO of Rio Tinto
  • Ordered the blow-up of Australian archaeology and nature, for a few dollars more.
  • After public outcry he gratuity made public excuses, and saw the money raining down in his pockets million-dollar-bonus by million-dollar-bonus.
Salt Bae and his clients  
  • Hyped random guy that serves steaks wrapped in tasteless gold, to excessively wealthy people.
  • Would sell his mother for attention and money, one video shows.
  • Shows the blown up success that we're promised and distracted with. In that way unintentionally an artist.
Captain Schettino  
  • Only mind yourself.
  • Crash the ship and gambol off (silently before anyone knows).
  • Shows the true contemporary spirit.

Beneath the water dirty money is made by countless greedy wackos.

Beneath the water these clowns’ thinking is force-fed to the youth. Role models don’t tell us how cool it is if we care for communities or the planet. No. They are often the bullies holding us up to beat the money out of us, for the topbully to collect.

 

 

5/5

This vibe pressures to standardize and spoil everything, also climbing

Commercial climbing media are pushing us to focus on rankings and grades more than we wanted to. Sure grades are cool and we like to push them. Sure it is interesting to know which community grade someone’s project is, to grasp the difficulty better. But what the f*** has this still got to do with our climbing?:

What the f*** is a 5.12-climber? A V7-climber? Or a 7a-climber? An evolutionary stage of some Pokémon? Would grade-inventor John 'Verm' Sherman still have a clue what happened here? I'd like to see an article: "How I went from a grade-fetishist to a climber in 6 months" .

NOTE: Sherman is now known for starting to project Midnight Lightning in 2016, raising money for the protection of the endangered Californian Condor.

Commercial interests – eying climbing – not only instigate grade-fetishism, but also prioritize consumerism and ignorance over rock site protection, environmental care, and community support.

  • 2009: Red-cow-logo drink: David Lama climbs Cerro Torre. Though already overbolted, the sponsor adds a bunch of bolts more. The rock monument’s top is turned into an industrial film studio.
  • 2014: Any sponsor: Sasha Digiulian tells us to buy and swallow anything on Instagram.
  • 2016: Red-cow-logo drink: In Fontainebleau I bump into a festival in the middle of nature. Key ingredients: 1) a boring competition where one boulder had to be repeated over and over; 2) loud electronic music (f*** the birds they say); 3) clownish stewards.
  • 2021: Fashion lifestyle brand: James Pearson needs content that generates publicity. Clickbait for the sponsor. So to get a photo opportunity he messes his way up stalactites in a pristine cave in the South of France.

Whom's bread you eat whom's word you speak. What did these ‘role models’ do for the community? They bolt a route only occasionally if it brings them a video or photo op.

Tiger and bear may be strong, but wolf doesn’t play in the circus.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

What we don’t need

Gibberish on micro-consumerist choices. It uses up people’s capacity to adapt. And for nothing, as mostly its troubadours are unaware of the hardship of changing some themes bottom-up by consumption alone, while at the same being oblivious to complex economic realities.

Groups claiming environmentalism as their niche lifestyle, pushing it in a political and societal corner, aversing the unlike-minded, given the polarised reality. Environmentalism is for all people and all political movements.

The false promise of self-regulating industries. How did DuPont spread its forever chemicals over the entire planet (PFOS are found in the Pacific Ocean). How did the banks and credit raters regulate and then crash the financial markets, just to be bailed out by the governments?

We also can’t have geo-engineering distraction, because it is clear you can’t just turn one screw in the middle, and fix global biogeochemical cycles. Only people who want to distract or be distracted blind themselves to the utter arrogance of merely betting the whole planet on the success of geo-engineering.

Like certain kinds of fossil fuels.. Crude oil consumption might be reasonably changed by changing consumption patterns. But gasoline consumption is more problematic. You can’t give up the car if it is still a necessary means to participate in this society, to escape your barren lands, flee from your gilded cage. Moreover combustion is defined actually by what leaves the ground (and incentives that make petrol leave the ground), and is then a result of market forces and competing sectors and consumers, all combusting what they can.

We also don’t need all this panic-screaming, or these pathetic messages that nature needs us. Nature is patient, nature has time forever. Nature doesn’t need protection. We need protection, from ourselves, through nature protection.

 

What we do need

Up:

  • International cooperation
  • Legal frameworks
  • A complex political-economy that is not merely designed for the power
  • Responsible leaders
  • Liability for businesses
  • Individual wealth from a certain level is morally unjustifiable.

↪ Honestly, the top won’t initiate change

 

Bottom-up:

  • Strong communities
  • Alternatives to markets
  • Sabotage and dismantling of society’s combustion structures (coal lobby, dairy lobby..).
  • Strategic consumerist changes:
    • Give meat back its status as top food instead of junk food.
    • Sure we have to mind multinationals that support deforestation and sanitation of wild nature (see non-profit ‘Global Canopy’).
  • With a combination of organizational and technological changes we should lower our impact, so that westerners (we are among world’s 10% wealthiest) can have the impact of the average Indian (the planet can have a few billions more of Indians when you look at their impact).

Essentially the world needs educated civilians.

  • People not dumbed by commerce or the promise of plastic success.
  • People engaging in non-profit organizations on many scales..
  • …with a focus on international cooperation.