Growing up in the 90’s in a Western liberal democracy, I lamented the fact that I was alive during such a peaceful, stable, and, to my eyes, boring era. I learned about times of immense struggle -war, revolution, exploration of ‘new’ worlds- and thought that these exciting times were now passed. In those days there was a feeling that history was over, that the great turmoils and upheavals of human civilisation had passed, and we could all now settle down to our 9 to 5 jobs. If we were so inclined we could learn about these struggles from the safety of the couch, projecting our will for adventure onto the screen.
Looking back on that time, I now wonder did this feeling of utter certainty that things will not change, of unwavering confidence in the current order, stem from the naivety of youth, or the naivety of an entire era. Whatever it was, the certainty and confidence in the current order is now gone, replaced by a certainty that we are entering a period of immense change. Although it was already clear in the 90’s to anyone who cared to look, it has now become an unignorable fact that the current order will not last so much longer. Roman civilisation lasted around 700 years before it collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions. Our current civilisation, we can call it ‘modern’, ‘capitalist’, or ‘industrial civilisation’ has barely been around 200 years but the end is already in sight.
A social order based on constant ‘growth’ (which in capitalist doublespeak means the rise in production and consumption of commodities) on a planet with finite resources is not only short sighted, it’s suicidal. In this blink of an historical eye, industrial civilisation has brought the natural world to the brink of collapse. Modern industry has been the earths 6th major extinction event, bringing death and destruction on a scale not seen since the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs. Although many of us have forgotten, human beings are a part of the natural world, and are dependent upon it to live. Because of this simple equation – human beings depend on the natural world to live & industrial civilisation depends on the exponential destruction of the natural world to sustain itself – it’s pretty clear that our current order will be quite short lived. Industrial society is a castle made of sand and the tide is quickly coming in.
The difficulty is, now that we realise our current order is bringing about the imminent destruction of life on earth, how do we change it? Human beings are finally faced with the existential threat that Hollywood movies have been fantasizing about for decades. It is finally time for us to act, to take matters into our own hands, to save an uncountable number of lives – ours included. Radical action is needed, we cannot expect governments or scientists to fix this problem. It is up to us, to you, to each individual to dedicate themselves to the task at hand. This site is about some of people who have already begun to do that; some of the ideas behind the social transformation already underway; as well as some practical guides to empower yourself, and insights into the natural world.