What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Washington and Beijing?
As the smoke slowly settles on the bucolic hills of my farmland community and many others, the Coronavirus nightmare may be far from over, but the worst of it appears to be in the rearview mirror of the pickup. The worst also appears to be far less horrific than the self-appointed television experts had predicted, at least in the parts of the country already skeptical of such institutions, further dredging the chasm of trust between us simpleton country folk and the metropolitan slumlords who always seem to know better. Maybe if we had taken a page from Sweden’s book and displayed a little more trust in our citizenry… nah, never mind such strategically fruitless distractions. Never mind the swelling police state behind the curtain. The important thing now is who do we blame? What monster of the week do we scapegoat to keep people from asking the annoying questions about transparent democracy and honest journalism?
After a good zeitgeist-rattling catastrophe, America, like all propaganda-weaned state-subsistent sheople, loves a good boogeyman to blame for a complicated mess. The right in this country, now represented by not one, but two rapists headlining both major parties thanks in part to Coronavirus, has stuck to the tried and true strategy of blaming the filthy foreigner. Clearly, bark Jurassic candidates Trump and Biden on opposing commercials, this plague was brought to us by that fearsome red dragon clothed in the sun called China. Aha! Communism, an oldie but a goodie. And these syphilitic oligarchs aren’t without a grain of truth, however blunt they may have rendered it with their nursing home grade racism. This thing did creep out of a city with a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory. The kind built curiously with US funding to keep up with Uncle Sam’s post-anthrax lust for black death. But ‘the brown guy did it!’ still feels more than a little played out in this day and age, like some white suburban bluebeard in Salt Lake City wailing that the Dominican drifter is responsible for the blood on his Brigham Young sweater.
What remains of the Quixotic left after Bernie’s latest screw-job has taken an admirably more thoughtful approach by laying the blame on a boogey with some actual fucking teeth; capitalism. But even their wails, that if only we had single-payer like, say China, none of this shit would have happened, falls a little bit flat. I know, I’ve been hanging out with too many libertarians again, drown me later, but I think the creature most responsible for this latest late-capitalist disaster is something far more ancient and complex. The errant decadence of soulless state-sanctioned crony-capitalism is but one symptom of its malevolent presence, as is the bureaucratic industrial nightmare that has become of my old friend communism. I speak of a beast far more insidious than any one political ideology. What great poets have referred to as Moloch, Ozymandias; that rough beast which slouches towards Washington and Beijing to be born.
I speak of the rough beast who has disintegrated the earth’s atmosphere and poisoned her oceans with mountains of plastic. I speak of the rough beast who created borders and prisons to contain the poor, and shitty trade deals and global banking monstrosities to free the worst ambitions of the rich. I speak of the rough beast who built a bomb that could wipe out all of mankind simply to prove it could, before unleashing its demonic fury upon another filthy foreign populace even after it had already surrendered, just to brag to the neighbors about its power. I speak of the rough beast who turned war itself into a competitive sport between industries far greater than the nations they razed. I speak of the rough beast whose death-belching smoke stacks stained the skies of Europe black while Ludd raged bravely if vainly against its twisting gears. I speak of the rough beast that brought us the progressive horrors of capitalism, communism, imperialism, globalism, and commercialism. That devious rough beast who first whispered in the savage’s ear to drop his heavy spear and plant seeds in the soil that would grow property and all the genres of slavery that came with it.
The rough beast I speak of is modernism, the bane of humanity’s devolution that continues to be marketed as some kind of progress even as it destroys us all. The same malevolent force which has driven us from our rightful communities and into the raw isolation of the suburbs, where food only grows on box stores. We were warned, by sages on every side of an aisle reduced to two by the binary violence of the left-right paradigm. Christ, Mohammed, Marx, Malthus, Spengler, Heidegger, and Marcuse all warned us in their own languages. Lovecraft wrote stories, Blake made paintings, and the aforementioned Ginsberg, Shelley, and Yeats all wrote poems to warn us of the storm we reaped and reap we did. More current thinkers like John Zerzan, his enemy Murray Bookchin, and Kirkpatrick Sale were practically laughed out of academia for repeating such treasonous suggestions. Dear old Professor Kaczynski felt compelled to leave his hovel and speak with bombs just to be heard. But even bombs fell on deaf ears.
Will we listen now? Now that this thing has slithered out of labs and wet markets to bite us in the night. Now that the seas are rising and the soil is carcinogenic. Will we finally realize that any species that cannot evolve at the pace of its own technology is in fact inviting a kind of suicidal devolution with the same devices? Even if we do, it is woefully likely that our “solution” will only deepen the problem. A globalist disease cannot be cured by world governance. A statist disease cannot be cured by an involuntary police state dressed in the clothing of full spectrum social welfare. The only hope we have left of even surviving this battle is retreat. Retreat to localism, agrarianism, communalism, tribalism, voluntaryism and mutual aid. A return to the verdant bosom of our scarred ancestral farmlands. I peer out my window, and even as the smoke in the distance settles, the only sign of hope my senses can grasp is the sound of chirping birds. Could this really be spring?
Take care of yourselves, dearest motherfuckers. And take care of each other. If you don’t, no one else will. Catch you on the next wave.
Peace, Love, and Empathy- Nicky/CH