Ljubodrag Simonović:The integration of people into capitalism
THE INTEGRATION OF PEOPLE INTO CAPITALISM
Capitalism, as a totalitarian order of destruction, created appropriate means and methods to destroy critical and visionary consciousness and such other forms of mediation between man and world as prevent man from abolishing capitalism and creating a new world. In the past, people’s consciousness was controlled by the clergy. Today, it is controlled by TV presenters and other capitalist manipulators, united in show-business, who use the results of modern science and technology, and the myths based on them, in conjunction with an instrumentalized mysticism that produces a quasi-religious consciousness. Instead of being directed towards disclosing the destructive processes that call man’s survival on the planet into question or towards creating a vision of the new world, the mind is directed towards the production of spectacular phantasms that destroy man’s critical mind and visionary consciousness. Hence the popularity of various “Coca-Cola” mystifiers and intellectual con artists with their stories about mysterious “world rulers”, “extra-terrestrials”, “mystical forces”, “parallel worlds”… The art of mystification replaces historical analyses, while mysticism replaces visionary imagination. Modern, technocratically based “fairy-tales” are one of the ways by which capitalism degenerates the mind and creates a mass idiocy. With the existing world being less and less human and with man being more and more lonely and, thus, less capable of changing his life, the need to retreat into an illusory world is increasing. Illusions are the most demanded commodity on the “consumer society” market, resulting in a hyper-production of illusory worlds. The production of illusions has become one of the most important ways by which capitalists deal with humanistic visionary consciousness and the efforts of the oppressed to organize and fight against capitalism. Manipulation no longer resides in the ideological, but in the psychological sphere. The story about a “bright future” and the “American dream” is gone. To flee from that ever darker reality has become the obsession of the average (petty) bourgeois in the “democratic world”.
The destruction of the mind and the historical self-consciousness of the oppressed is a link between the contemporary entertainment industry and Nazi propaganda machinery. Here are Adolf Hitler’s instructions to the Nazi leaders (1942) intended to “help” them establish efficient domination over the “conquered peoples”: “Hence we should not allow the appearance of teachers who might suddenly ask for compulsory education for the conquered nations. The knowledge of the Russians, Ukrainians, the Kyrgyz people and others, of reading and writing would only do us harm. It would enable those with bright intelligence to acquire certain knowledge about history and thus develop political ideas, which could somehow be directed against us. – It is much better to set up a radio in each village, in order to inform people and offer them some entertainment, than to enable them to acquire their own political, scientific and other forms of erudition. Also, rather than telling the conquered peoples their history on the radio shows, we should play music, the more the better. Because popular music improves work efficiency. And, if people insist on dancing, according to our information and systematic approach, this we could welcome.” (Cursive Lj.S.) Hitler’s instructions on how to manipulate the consciousness of “lower races” are, actually, the basis of the contemporary capitalist strategy for establishing domination over the working class in the most developed capitalist countries and over the peoples on the “margins of capitalism”, who are doomed to be exterminated by the West.
Giving a spectacular dimension to the marginal – on which both the advertising industry and the entire ideological sphere of capitalism are based – is one of the most important ways for destroying the quality criteria. As a result, people cannot realize the true nature of the ruling order and, at the same time, see the actual possibilities for the creation of a new world. Without the possibility of recognizing quality, it is not possible to acquire a true visionary consciousness. When everything becomes “fantastic”, “ingenious”, “incredible” – then the true values sink into the mud of the trivial. The public “dispute” over sports events is a typical example of marginalizing the important, of people’s depoliticization, of the creation of false sociability and mass idiocy. The ruling media are broadcasting increasingly aggressive and primitive entertainment programs in order to destroy people’s interest in truth and separate their mind from the real world created by capitalism: the destruction of nature, mass deaths from lack of food, water, and from diseases, the criminalization of society, the creation of a police state, increased chances of using nuclear weapons, monstrous technical projects for causing earthquakes and fatal climate changes, mass killings of children to “obtain” their organs, the disposal of nuclear waste in the oceans, nuclear plant accidents, white plague, increased illiteracy, destruction of national cultures and historical self-consciousness … In the “curved mirrors” of capitalist ideology and in the lights of spectacular advertisements of “consumer society”, the important things become distorted and marginalized, while the marginal acquires a fatal and spectacular dimension. Advertising slogans, such as the “Coca-Cola“ slogan: “Can’t beat the Real Thing!”, which are constantly broadcast by TV and radio stations, impair man’s ability to discern and comprehend what is really important. Contemporary spectacles do not involve the creation of classical illusions through mental manipulation, which means the “seduction” of man by way of his prejudices, fears and desires, but on the creation of spectacular illusions, devoid of all content, which comes down to aggressive stimulation of senses by technical means. Instead of a melody, what we hear is a deafening noise; instead of a visual effect, we have a dazzling light… There is no emotion, no imagination, no reason… In addition to being marked by escapism, the creation of illusions serves to impair the senses and destroy the need and possibility for meditating about a humane world. The illusion is not only a spectacular manifestation of a destructive capitalist nothingness. It is also a technical means for destroying humanity.
Life, itself, degenerated by capitalism, has become the means for drawing people into the values and existential orbit of capitalism. The “consumer society” is directly reflected in the political sphere. For Marx, workers’ disposable time is the result of their struggle against capitalist exploitation, which gave them a chance to develop class-consciousness and start an organized political struggle. In the “consumer society”, non-work time has become consumer-time, which pulls workers into the spiritual and existential orbit of capitalism. Through the “consumer society”, capitalists created a new market, enabled further development of capitalism, and (temporarily) purchased “social peace”. At the same time, they drove people into debt-slavery and thus integrate them into the ruling order. Capitalism has degenerated the workers’ class consciousness by creating a consumer mentality. The need for freedom has turned into the need to purchase and destroy. Workers have become “consumers”, who contribute, through their working and consuming, to the development of capitalism. Not only do they make “their own chains” (Marx), they also destroy life and cause their own perishing as biological and human beings. At the same time, the increasingly deep existential crisis turned proletarian youth in the most developed capitalist countries into mercenary soldiers, the tool of the most powerful capitalist concerns with which to deal with “rebellious” peoples and establish the (American) “new world order”.
As far as the “social state” is concerned, the official ideology claims that it is the result of a “compromise” between the bourgeoisie and the working class. Indeed, the “social state” is one of the established forms of bourgeois class domination over the workers. Rather than being founded on humanism, it is the political answer from the bourgeoisie to the ever deepening crisis of capitalism and the changing (revolutionary) potential of the workers movement in the most developed capitalist countries of the West. Its purpose is to establish a “bearable exploitation” of workers by capitalists, which means to reduce their existential threat and thus prevent the workers’ class struggle and enable a stable development of capitalism. Essentially, the “social state” is a legal form of plundering the workers, who, through the taxation system imposed by the capitalist state, finance their own “social contributions”, which should enable them to survive the capitalistically created existential crisis without any complaints. At the same time, the “social state” serves to destroy workers’ class consciousness and pull them, by instilling a consumer mentality, toward the value horizon of the “middle class”, as one of the pillars of capitalism. Ultimately, the “social state” enables the survival of capitalism and consequently contributes to the destruction of life on the planet.
The criminalization of workers is one of the most efficient ways in which the oppressed are being pulled into the spiritual and existential orbit of capitalism. It is the worst possible form of degeneration of people and society, which perfectly corresponds to the ruling spirit of capitalism. The criminalization of the oppressed turns the society into a capitalist menagerie. The workers’ struggle for a just society becomes a struggle by atomized citizens for survival. With the ever deepening crisis in the capitalist states, the chances that criminal gangs will take power and establish dictatorship are increased. These gangs will undoubtedly be supported by capitalists and the bourgeoisie if they are seen as a chance to prevent radical social changes and enable the survival of capitalism. It should be remembered that during the economic crisis of capitalism in the wake of the World War I, Italian and German fascists were financed and brought to power by the aristocracy and capitalists attempting to deal with the workers’ movement. By destroying social institutions, capitalism creates conditions for criminal gangs to become the sole social power capable of dealing with workers and preventing the demise of capitalism. Indeed, cooperation between mafias and the ruling capitalist groups has for many decades been the key factor in establishing power in the most developed capitalist states. Destruction of the emancipatory legacy of bourgeois society, acute ecological and economic crisis, a high unemployment rate, the degradation of democratic institutions, mafia-style capitalist political organizations, deeper social differences, general criminalization of society, religious fanaticism, a flourishing of fascism… – all this creates the preconditions for a crisis of capitalism to turn into widespread chaos, which could then easily breed a new fascist barbarism. General chaos is, actually, capitalism’s “response” to the capitalistically created existential crisis, as well as to the existence of objective possibilities for the creation of a new world.
“Globalism” is the most important political manifestation of modern imperialism. We are witnessing the creation of a globalist bourgeoisie, unfettered by any national identity or, therefore, any cultural and libertarian self-consciousness. Rather than having a “supranational” character, this globalist ideology is based on the destruction of nations and the creation of globalist institutions, to be used by the most powerful capitalist corporations to establish global domination. It is, actually, a modern form of imperialism, based on the American neo-con “New World Order”, which appears in the form of a destructive capitalist totalitarianism aimed at laying waste to entire nations and any “superfluous” proletariat. In that context, “globalism” is the means for destroying proletarian internationalism and the worldwide anti-colonial movement based on international cosmopolitism. No longer should man be responsible for the survival of his nation, or perceive it to be a space that lives and has its own history. This tendency is about the creation of a “globalist man”, a being suited to the nature of modern capitalism. He is deprived of libertarian and visionary consciousness and, particularly, of any responsibility for global destruction. The chief task of “the globalists” is to cleanse the world of its libertarian history and national cultures and turn it into a capitalist concentration camp. A globalist class is being created throughout the world, ready to use the means of mass destruction in order to defend its consumer way of life and privileged social position. The more dramatically capitalism reduces the living space, the louder are the calls from the most advanced capitalist states in the West ruthlessly to exterminate billions of “superfluous” people and, thus, “prevent the demise of humankind”. The increasingly militant character of “globalists” comes from the increased ruthlessness of capitalism’s destruction of the planet. The globalists’ cynicism towards “traditional humanity” and the suffering and hardship of the oppressed all over the planet indicates that we are dealing with capitalistically degenerated people. Capitalism is causing a deluge while building a new “Noah’s Ark”, which will be boarded only by the “chosen”: the capitalists, their politicians, monstrous-scientists, members of secret agencies, high-ranking army and police officials, certain clergy, the kings of the underground along with their prostitutes, show-business stars … and only a small number of “ordinary people”, who will do the “dirty jobs” and service the “elite”.
As for “Masonic Lodges”, capitalist democracy includes two forms of political organization and activity. One appears in the public political domain (political institutions, parties, media, elections…), and the other under informal capitalist groups governing from the shadows. They work in unison in their defense of capitalism and disagree only when it comes to defending their own particular interests. “Masonic Lodges” belong to political groups acting behind the public political sphere. They are based on a class order and the ruling spirit of monopolistic capitalism, which means on an order enabling a relatively small group of people to own the means of production and capital and, consequently, govern the society. Rather than being masters of the world, bankers are slaves to capitalism. Without the capitalist system of reproduction, “their” money has no value. The story about the “omnipotent Masonic Lodges” serves to imply that the ruling power mysterious and illusory power and, thus, diverts people’s attention from the actual banality of power, as well as from capitalism and the most powerful capitalist groups. These groups are possible because capitalism’s is a class society where economic, military and political power is alienated from citizens and concentrated in the hands of capitalist oligarchies. Their power does not come from their racial or national origins, nor from mystical or sources of this or any other world, but, specifically, from the expansionist economic power of capitalism, with its totalitarian and destructive character. The ruthless economic war between the most powerful capitalist corporations, based on the ruling principle of monopolistic capitalism, “Big fish devour small fish!”, means that financial, military, scientific, technical, political and media power is increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer capitalists, with mega-monopolies seeking to gain control over the entire world. The so-called “multi-national organizations” are but a long tentacle of the global power centers, which define their policies in proportion to their economic, military and political power. The political, economic and military power of capitalist monopolies is based on the ever-deeper, and unavoidable, crises of capitalism. They are all at the edge of a volcano emitting an ever-more terrifying roar. They all say the same things and their actions have one and only one purpose: how to ensure their own survival, with the existential logic of monopolistic capitalism, “Destroy the competition!”, as their guide. The terror over their citizens is the expression of their inability to stop the spreading crisis of capitalism coupled with their fear that people might rise up and overthrow their capitalist system. In their attempts to stop its collapse, they “create the future” using the consequences of capitalism. Capitalists can destroy the world, but they cannot prevent the demise of capitalism.
“Conspiracy theories” are one of the ways in which capitalism is removed from any responsibility for the destruction of the world. Their main task is to misguide critical thinking. Thus, they serve to conceal the fact that capitalism is a class society and that it is the capitalist class, and not some mystical groups, which is causing the deep and growing existential crisis. Similarly, they serve to conceal that capitalism is in its essence a destructive order, which means that global destruction, rather than being brought about by any self-will on the part of individuals or groups, is actually the inevitable consequence of capitalist development. At the same time, “conspiracy theories” devalue the emancipatory struggle and the emancipatory potential of citizens, of oppressed working people and of colonized nations. People deprived of their rights appear as blind instruments for realizing the economic and political interests of capitalist groups. It follows that an authentic libertarian movement of those deprived of their rights is not possible, just as it is not possible to create a world of free people. It is actually a fatalistic logic, abolishing the emancipatory potential of the historical development of society and, in that context, the libertarian practice and creative potentials of the oppressed, that is to say, eliminating the possibility of creating the future. Now that capitalism has brought humanity to the brink of annihilation, such an ideology not only has an anti-libertarian, but also an anti-existential character. The example of the International Olympic Committee and “international” sport is the best illustration of the hypocrisy of the proponents of “conspiracy theories”. They do not bother to question the legitimacy of the International Olympic Committee as the first “supranational” organization with a global character, with Olympism as the first globalistic religion. The reason is that Olympism embodies the underlying principles of capitalism (bellum omnium contra omnes and citius, altius, fortius) and that the Olympic Games are a spectacular service to the gods who rule the world. If we consistently stick to the “conspiracy theory”, according to which everything going on in the world is based on the (self) will of “shadowy rulers”, then it follows that the critics of the “conspiracy theory” are but the tools of the world oligarchy seeking global domination.
“Non-governmental organizations” are a form of the legal activity by political groups working for the most powerful private capitalist concerns and, as such, are the tentacles of the globalist jellyfish. In spite of the small number of activists, their actions are given disproportionately more coverage in the capitalist-owned media than those of millions of working people. “Non-governmental organizations” serve to create a capitalistically degenerated “public” to be used as the advertising space for the most reactionary political powers in the West. Their “public word” comes down to public appearances by their salaried employees, who are the proponents of the interests of their “sponsors”. Through “non-governmental organizations”, capitalist groups from the West seek to privatize the public sphere and stop the critical mind from appearing in public, the mind that can unmask the ecocidal and fascist nature of the “New World Order” and create the vision of a humane world that can integrate the oppressed in their struggle against modern imperialism. In that context, their task is to deal with the national self-consciousness (which means with man’s cultural, historical and libertarian being), with the state (civil) sovereignty, based on the emancipatory legacy of modern society, and with the workers’ class consciousness, based on the idea of collective (social) ownership and social justice. Ultimately, “non-governmental organizations” will create such political “atmosphere” in the public as will force the country under their policy domain to become a Western colony and a training camp for its military, with citizens being “Coca-Cola” slaves.
Capitalism destroys man as a spiritual being. Religion is less and less a spiritual need and more and more man’s escape from capitalist nothingness and the expression of existential fear. In contemporary capitalism, appealing to “God” is, actually, a way by which the petty-bourgeois relieves himself of any responsibility for global destruction. Religion used to be the means for the development of capitalism (Protestantism), but it turned into the instrument for dealing with spirituality and life. In spite of the fact that capitalism is detrimental to spirituality, churches will do anything to protect the interests of private capital. They have survived by discarding the humanistic legacy of religion, which enables a critical attitude towards capitalism and a spiritual integration with humanity, and have become part of the mechanism of capitalist reproduction and, as such, the lay institutions that use religion to deify their private ownership and class order. Today’s religions do not only deal with the emancipatory legacy of bourgeois society, but also with the belief that the preservation of life on the planet is possible. Their claim that man is only a “guest of the Earth”, their concept of “Doomsday”, belief that life on the Earth is “worthless” and that “true life” shall begin in heaven – all this indicates that the so called “great religions” are complementary to capitalism as a destructive order. The idea of an illusory “heavenly world” (“paradise”) becomes not only the means for devaluing the fight for a just world, but also the means for devaluing life and escaping responsibility for global destruction. Apocalyptic fatalism produces defeatism. From the means for destroying man’s libertarian dignity, religion has turned into the means for destroying man’s life-impulse. In spite of everything, religion cannot be identified with church dogmas and church activity. Although the churches’ religion has become an anti-existential thought, an increasing number of religious people, who are aware of the fatal consequences of capitalist “progress”, try to affirm the notion that the world is “God’s creation” and that man must fight to preserve it. Ultimately, people are not divided into theists and atheists, but into those who fight for capitalism and those who fight against it in an attempt to preserve life and create a humane world.
As for Islam, what makes it an “aggressive” and “militant” religion is the same as what makes Christianity an aggressive and militant religion. Islam is the ideology of a class society and the means for deifying private ownership; as such, it is the tool of plutocratic clans for defending the ruling order. “Outward” aggression has always been an instrument for internal integration and for dealing with those who fight for social justice. At the same time, the fierce fighting among various Islamic groups (especially between Sunnis and Shiites) indicates that Islam (similarly to Christianity and other “great” religions) is but a screen concealing the plutocratic clans that fight for their own interests. To struggle against the class order and private ownership and for the emancipatory legacy of the civil society is the only way to combat militaristic Islam, as well as militaristic Catholicism, militaristic Orthodox Christianity, militaristic Judaism… This approach to Islam is not presented in Western media, since they want to “get rid” of Islam not questioning the “sacred” institution of private ownership and avoid questioning (capitalist) class society or Christianity, as the dominant Western religion. In addition, Islam appears in the West not only as a way of protest by oppressed Gastarbeiters from Islamic countries, who are deprived of the right to their own culture and relegated to performing “dirty” labor as members of a “lower race”, and also of any possibility of critically approaching spiritual hopelessness and the destruction of elementary forms of sociability (most importantly of family). The languages of Gastarbeiters in Western “democratic” countries are not treated as an appeal for respect of their cultural self-consciousness, but as an appeal to national and racial discrimination. A language is not the technical means of “communication”, but the most important formulation of a nation’s historical existence. It is the key to a nation’s cultural treasures and, thus, to the basic way of providing historical confirmation of a nation’s existence. Language enables nations to emerge from the darkness of the past and acquire historical self-consciousness. What is being imposed is not a respect for other cultures, but a “monoculturalism”, which is actually one of the ways in which capitalism deprives people of their cultural being and, thus, of humanity. The “integration” of Gastarbeiters into “democracy” involves a “voluntary” renunciation of their own cultural and, therefore, national self-consciousness and libertarian dignity. Rather than involving the development of their cultural and national (self-)consciousness and libertarian dignity, it involves their “education” (read, training) to perform the dirtiest jobs and unquestioningly obey their masters. In the “democratic world”, the Gastarbeiters from Islamic countries and “peripheral” areas of (Eastern and South-Eastern) Europe have the status of toiling beasts. While the “fight against Islamic fundamentalism” serves as an excuse for contemporary crusades (such as Huntington’s theory of the “Clash of Civilizations“), whose aim is to get hold of oil fields and territory that can be used as a military camp from which to attack Russia, the US and European governments have over half a century financed the most reactionary Muslim groups in order to prevent the Muslim youth from joining leftist movements. Ultimately, why would the integration of races and peoples not be based on the fight for the survival of life on the planet and for the creation of a humane world?
 “Guest Workers.”
As far as the faith in “almighty God” is concerned, how can any Jew believe in “God” after Auschwitz? How can any Serb still believe in “God” after the concentration camp at Jasenovac? How can any Arab man still believe in “God” after all the atrocities suffered by the Muslims in the past and present “crusades” by the West? How can any man aware of everyday crimes still believe in “God”? Every single day, over 30 000 children die of hunger, thirst and treatable diseases all over the world. Is this “God’s will”? If it is not, then why does a “merciful God” allows mass killings and the murder of children? Even Voltaire, after the horrific earthquake in 1755, which almost destroyed Lisbon and killed over 100 000 people, asked (in his “Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne” from 1756) what “God” would allow the death of thousands of children? The worst fascist criminals: Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Pavelic, Horti… were all “good Christians”. The SS belt buckles had the inscription: “Gott mit uns!” (“God is with us!”). Not only did the Catholic Church refuse to excommunicate Hitler, it even refused to put his “notorious” book “Mein Kampf“ on its “List of Prohibited Books” (Index librorum prohibitorum). As far as contemporary executioners of humankind are concerned, such as Bush, Clinton, Blair, Obama, Merkel, Sarkozy … – all of them are “good Christians”. Their political practice is under the control of the most powerful capitalist clans, who openly advocate the annihilation of billions of people. Of course, all “in the name of God!” Hitler is but one of the personalized manifestations of the capitalist’s genocidal barbarism. Today’s leaders of the American “New World Order” are far worse than Hitler. While Hitler wanted to exterminate the Jews, Slavs and the Roma people, the leaders of the contemporary “New World Order” seek to exterminate over 6 billion people! No doubt, they would already have managed to do so if Russia had not had military weapons capable of destroying the USA and Western Europe within seconds. Compared to the “future” plans made by the leaders of the “New World Order”, Hitler’s ideas from “Mein Kampf“ sound like a naive children’s tale.
In the most advanced capitalist countries there is an growing number of citizens’ movements who regard the “return to nature” as the alternative to the increasingly unhealthy capitalist world as well as a way to fight for a “healthier” life. They are, actually, peculiar “naturalistic communities”, which exist in a parallel world. By viewing nature in contrast to “technical civilization”, they give nature an idealized dimension. Nature becomes a virtual world, where man is supposed to find his lost naturality and humanity. “Naturalists” establish a mythological relationship to the times when man used to live “at one with nature” and thus deal with the visionary consciousness and struggle for the future, and, consequently, with the emancipatory potential of people who used to live “at one with nature”. Instead of confronting capitalism with the life-creating principle, as the most important emancipatory idea, they create naturalistic myths, which are then used to deal with the idea of the future and become the means for immortalizing capitalism. “Naturalists” abolish the historicity of human society and reject the emancipatory heritage of humankind, which developed on the basis of man’s taming of natural forces and becoming an emancipated natural being. Instead of creating a humane world from the emancipatory potential of humankind’s historical development, they insist on the idealized life of “ancient people”. One gets a sense of absurdity: those who spend all day at computers and cannot imagine life without cars and cell-phones become the most fervent advocates for a “return to the natural way of life”. As for the idealized life of North American natives, it was no more than a small step in the historical development of society. Following naturalistic fundamentalism, why would we not return to even older forms of life, e.g., when man did not know how to make a bow and arrow; when he could not tame a horse; when he could not plant corn or potatoes; and when he was not aware of himself as a specific (libertarian and creative) being? Why would we not return to a caveman’s life?
“The technical intelligentsia”, which is largely deprived of humanity and reduced to well-paid and privileged specialist-idiots, is the most earnest supporter of the “return to nature”. They are a capitalistically degenerated petty bourgeoisie, with a technocratic and conformist mentality. They are not capable of understanding the emancipatory potential of man’s control over natural forces, meaning the emancipatory possibilities of technique and, thus, their own innovative (potentially creative) activity. “The technical intelligentsia” is the most authentic product of capitalist civilization and its relation to nature results from a capitalistically degenerated mind. Rather than viewing nature as an increasingly threatened living environment, its members view it as a space where they can “relax” and “forget their problems”. Many of them, living in a capitalistically degenerated world, have become mentally deranged and are no longer capable of treating others in a humane way. They speak about a “return to nature”, but they are, actually, trying to “solve” personal mental problems caused by their solitary hopelessness and enslaved position in the work processes, which only contribute to the destruction of nature and humankind. As capitalism ever-more dramatically destroys man as a human being, there develop increasingly extreme “naturalistic” movements, whose members “feed themselves on sunrays”, “talk” to insects, animals and plants, go into trances where they “connect with cosmic forces”, “communicate with extraterrestrials”, “reincarnate” into rats, pigs, lizards…
As a way of overcoming the aristocracy and creating a new bourgeois world, the European thought of the Enlightenment came up with the idea of a “return to nature” and a naturalistic movement that flourished in France in the second half of 18th century (Helvetius, Holbach, Rousseau…), and in early 19th century Germany (Fait, Goethe, Schiller). Naturalism was a way of fighting for the abolishment of a society based on privilege and for the creation of a society based on the (natural) rights of man and the citizen. Rousseau’s relation to nature does not have merely a “naturalistic” but also a political character. The call for a “return to nature” was, actually, a way of developing a critical view of the ancien régime and fighting for a new world. In Rousseau’s time, unlike today, nature had an intact life-creating force and stability: it was “healthy” and, as such, was a concrete otherness to the human world. A “return to nature” not only symbolized the strivings for liberation from the chains of the aristocratic way of life and aristocratic values, it offered man a realistic possibility to identify with a truly undisturbed life-creating natural forces and thus “return” to his original natural being. Capitalism, in the form of a “technical civilization”, integrated nature into its existential orbit, making it as impossible for man to “return to nature” as to his original naturality. Nature, under the increasingly ruthless influence of capitalism, “loses the quality of a different reality” (Marcuse). By becoming the global and totalitarian order of destruction, capitalism turned all of nature into the organic part of a capitalistically degenerated world. The air is polluted; forests are exposed to “acid rain”; radiation is increasing; rivers and springs are contaminated, while oceans and seas have become nuclear waste dumps; soil is contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals; aircraft emit exhaust gases and disperse contaminants; ice is rapidly melting in the Arctic and the Antarctic; the ozone layer is damaged and sunrays have turned into death rays; in the vast Nordic regions and in the depths of the North Sea, huge amounts of methane are being released, contributing to the pollution of the air; a number of animal and plant species are already extinct or belong to the list of endangered species… There is nowhere to run.
Capitalism destroys the emancipatory legacy of bourgeois society by opening the door wide for ideologies that deal with the modern way of thinking and man as an emancipated social and natural being. This, above all, refers to Eastern religions, where man is not viewed as an emancipated natural, historical, social, political and reasonable being and where the so-called “meditative activism” amounts to the exclusion of man from the existing world. They are part of the increasingly aggressive escapism industry, designed to stop people from turning their dissatisfaction into a political movement capable of abolishing capitalism. Their aim is not only to deal with a critical and visionary consciousness, but also with people’s mental integrity. They appear, as with other commodities, in a commercial package, with an emphasis on physical and mental “health”. Essentially, they destroy people as social beings, badly affect their sensual relation to the world, and direct their mental energy toward certain “points” in the organism that connect man to the “cosmos”, as peculiar mental fixators. The “enlightenment” experienced during a meditative session actually serves to deprive man of his libertarian and historical self-consciousness and, thereby, precludes the possibility of maintaining a critical attitude towards the process of mental manipulation. It is a peculiar hypnosis session designed to sideline the subject’s rational mind and make him the victim of his own sub-conscious.
In the Eastern physical culture, based on immersion in the natural processes that acquire a mystified cosmic dimension, man relates to his body “from within”, by way of meditative activism, designed to exclude the senses and direct mental energy toward the nerves and muscles that condition the functioning of vital organs. It is about a peculiar self-hypnosis, which, above all, involves a particular pace of breathing and, consequently, heart rate. It also involves an environment that is suitable for meditation, as well as a meditative imagination, which creates the images that reduce the senses and increase meditative concentration. The most important pre-condition for successful meditation is to block the impulses and cut oneself off from the world, which, above all, means to stop the reaction of the senses to external stimulation. It is no accident that supporters of meditation are not people who are keen on developing interpersonal relations and changing the ruling order, but rather those who are prone to loneliness and escapism. The main reason why capitalist oligarchies in the West are so favorably inclined toward the increasingly numerous sects that promote meditation is the fact that they mutilate man as a social and, thus, as a political and libertarian being.
Why does the technical intelligentsia, which insists on “observing the facts” and on the “scientific mind”, accept the Eastern mysticism that is presented by (often illiterate) gurus, who offer the types of escapism that amounts to the worst sort of mental manipulation? It is because it does not have an emancipated historical self-consciousness and therefore lacks humanistic consciousness that offers the possibility of a meaningful life. The inclination towards mysticism is the other side of the technocratic mind. The “technologizing” of the mind is the worst way of making man mindless. The technical intelligentsia is a good example of how capitalism deprives man of humanity and thus abandons him to the influence of the most primitive ideologies, which draw him into a total nothingness. Without an emancipated historical self-consciousness and without the possibility of being realized as an authentic social being, man is inclined to search for the purpose of life in the sphere of mysticism and to fall into the trap of occultism. As for satanic sects, they are based on the personalization of evil produced by capitalism, which makes people feel close to the force that determines their destiny. When young people wear the horrible images of “Satan”, they feel protected by the power that governs the capitalist world.
Where does the self-confidence and aggressiveness of the “technical intelligentsia” come from? They come from its being the most important means with which capitalists ensure “progress”. This assures it a privileged social status and enables it to destroy nature and humanity without being punished. The worst criminals become “eminent citizens” if they can create the technical means to ensure expansion and profit. A typical example is the Nazi criminal Werner von Braun. Instead of being hanged at Nuremberg, this team leader of the Nazi monster-scientists from Peenemünde, who constructed the rockets (V1 and V2) used to destroy large parts of London and kill tens of thousands of citizens, played a key part in the development of the postwar American (military) aero-space industry. Today, over 85% of American scientists work on the realization of technical and biological weapons of mass-destruction, as well as on the designs for systems that can be used to establish totalitarian power. According to humanistic criteria, they are the executioners of humanity; according to the criteria of the capitalist oligarchy, they are the “heroes of the free world”.
As far as the Green-peace movement is concerned, it is based on one of the most fatal illusions created by the capitalist propaganda machinery, namely, that within capitalism it is possible technically and by technical means to deal with the increasingly fatal consequences of capitalist “progress”. Instead of fighting to eradicate the causes of the destruction of life, they insist on fighting against the consequences of capitalist development. It is about “perfecting” capitalism, which only furthers the process of global destruction. This is the key point at “international ecology conferences”. At the same time, to place such importance on the fight against the consequences of the capitalist development becomes a way of diminishing the importance of the fight against the causes leading to global destruction. Actually, a fight against the fatal effects of climate change can only be effective if, at the same time, it is a fight against capitalism. It should be a call to abolish all production based on profit and establish production that does not destroy nature and is aimed at meeting genuine human needs.
Capitalists use technology to reduce the immediate adverse effects of environmental changes and thus make an even larger profit. The ecological crisis threatens man’s survival, but it is “controlled” by the development of technology that selectively reduces its effects. This is one more way of using technology as a political tool with which capitalists manipulate man’s living conditions and thus become the masters of life and death. Ultimately, it is not about creating a new world, but about creating a parallel world, to be used as a shelter for capitalistically degenerated man. Capitalism destroys the living world by producing its technical surrogate – capitalist catacombs. The creation of the myth about the “omnipotence of science and technique”; about the “cosmic future of humankind”; “man-cyborg”; the idea of man’s being based on technocracy; the Olympic maxim citius, altius, fortius, and the Olympic calculation of time with a mythological character … – all this is used to destroy both critical thought that could unmask the destructive nature of capitalism and the visionary consciousness that opens a space for the future.
One of the potentially most fatal lies, which the (petty) bourgeoisie, due to the increasingly deep crisis created by capitalism, more and more take to be the “truth”, is that “overpopulation” is the main reason for environmental pollution and, therefore, the biggest danger for humanity. Firstly, one billion people living in North America, West Europe and Japan, use (waste) a quantity of energy, food and water equal to the amount that could be used (hypothetically) by 500 billion people in undeveloped countries at the current living standard. Secondly, in the most developed Western countries, over one billion tons of food is discarded (one third of global food production), primarily in order to keep up market prices. If that food were rationally used, it could feed the whole of humanity. Thirdly, the oceans and seas could become the source of nutritious food for the entire population of the world many times over. Fourthly, economic development creates conditions for global social development, which means for women’s emancipation and family planning. If countries with the highest birth rates experienced improved economic and overall social development, humankind would, in the following decades, stabilize the number of people who could live in harmony with nature. It should be added that capitalism reduces the reproductive capacity of people living in the most developed capitalist countries. It is absurd that those who claim that “overpopulation of the planet” is the “biggest threat to the survival of humankind” face the increasing “white plague” in their own countries! The increasingly dramatic biological demise of people in the most developed capitalist countries makes the idea of exterminating the billions of “superfluous” people increasingly popular, particularly with members of the “middle class”. An existential panic is being created, similar to the panic caused by the economic crisis of capitalism in 1929 that led Nazi Germany, along with a great many European people, to welcome the ideas of the annihilation of the Jews, Slavs and the Roma people and the conquest of new “living space” (Lebensraum) in the East. The chances are increasing that the ruling capitalist clans in the West, supported by the bourgeoisie and the young people, who were turned by capitalists (among other means, through sport) into fascist hordes, might use the most deadly technical and biological means in a genocidal crusade against the “superfluous” population. Indeed, the basic pre-condition for the survival of humankind and life on the planet is not the destruction of the “superfluous” population, but the destruction of capitalism.
The loud outcry over the “environmental demise of the planet”, raised by political leaders of the most developed capitalist countries, is not the expression of a genuine attempt to prevent the destruction of life, but is the expression of their intentions to prevent the environmental demise from becoming the political platform to unite the oppressed and radicalize their struggle against capitalism. At the same time, the capitalist centers of power seek to use the environmental demise of the planet, caused by their ecocidal practices, to seize the territories which are not immediately under their direct control and to establish colonial domination over entire continents. As for “ecological engineering”, it mainly serves to create the illusion that capitalism, by way of science and technology, can reduce its own fatal consequences. The use of science and technology to “repair” the ecosystem, based on the development of capitalism, can only lead to even more lethal climate changes. Man cannot (and should not) manage the ecological system, but he can eradicate the causes of its destruction.
Translated from Serbian by Vesna Todorović
English translation supervisor Mick Collins