“Heart of Darkness (1899) is a novella by Polish-British novelist Joseph Conrad, about a voyage up the Congo River into the Congo Free State, in the heart of Africa, by the story’s narrator Marlow. Marlow tells his story to friends aboard a boat anchored on the River Thames, London, England. This setting provides the frame for Marlow’s story of his obsession with the ivory trader Kurtz, which enables Conrad to create a parallel between London and Africa as places of darkness.
Central to Conrad’s work is the idea that there is little difference between so-called civilised people and those described as savages “ ( Wikipedia)
Conrad’s novella was used to very good effect as the base story for the Francis Coppola film : Apocalypse Now..but set in Vietnam..a truly memorable and frightening film…one of the greats of cinema. The opening theme and song from The Doors, an unforgettable moment…
“In the most general sense, libertarianism is a political philosophy that affirms the rights of individuals to liberty, to acquire, keep, and exchange their holdings, and considers the protection of individual rights the primary role for the state. This entry is on libertarianism in the narrower sense of the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquire property rights in external things…
Libertarianism can be understood as a basic moral principle or as a derivative one…” (..Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Capitalist Extinction Theory and the God Salvation.
Was watching this chappy from the fossil fuel lobby on “Lateline” the other week extolling the benefits, nay ; DUTY, to “emerging economies” of using Australian “clean coal” to raise their peoples out of poverty with the proven technology of coal burning power stations which in turn , because of the Australian “clean coal” reduce carbon emissions accordingly..
On the same program , at the same time was the revelation of the decline of the Great Barrier Reef with bleaching and pollutants. This did not seem to be the concern of the coal lobby, as they claimed there had not been a coal spillage on the reef nor were they responsible for the run-off of waste and nutrients into the reef waters…
The next day I was embroiled on Twitter with a supposed “Professor” (a Libertarian) about the fatalistic acceptance of coral “dying and coral renewal”…because as he explained ; “…it’s the way nature works..I’ve seen it happening many times over the years”..and then went on to reveal what I believed from the start that; “ I don’t see climate change because climate change is not happening..”
And there we have it ; There is no damage to the atmosphere from burning coal and if there was , mother nature will easily adjust. There is no damage to the reef that would not happen anyway over time and if there is, it will renew itself..in short..; there is NOTHING catastrophic happening at all to the climate to the environment, to bio-diversity of species or to the interconnectivity of the above to humanity that is not a normal, natural evolution and if there was “Mother Nature” , who is bigger than all of us will fix it with a tad of adjustment. Sure, some of us on the planet will suffer..(but hey!…it sure as hell won’t be us in the first world..nudge, nudge…) and so the Libertarian juggernaut rolls on.
“ …the belief (in luck) comprises at least two distinguishable elements—which are to be taken as two different phases of the same fundamental habit of thought, or as the same psychological factor in two successive phases of its evolution. The fact that these two elements are successive phases of the same general line of growth of belief does not hinder their coexisting in the habits of thought of any given individual. The more primitive form (or the more archaic phase) is an incipient animistic belief, or an animistic sense of relations and things, that imputes a quasi-personal character to facts. To the archaic man all the obtrusive and obviously consequential objects and facts in his environment have a quasi-personal individuality. They are conceived to be possessed of volition, or rather of propensities, which enter into the complex of causes and affect events in an inscrutable manner. The sporting man’s sense of luck and chance, or of fortuitous necessity, is an inarticulate or inchoate animism. It applies to objects and situations, often in a very vague way; but it is usually so far defined as to imply the possibility of propitiating, or of deceiving and cajoling, or otherwise disturbing the holding of propensities resident in the objects which constitute the apparatus and accessories of any game of skill or chance.”..(Thorsten Veblen )
If it can’t be fixed, then adjust. If it can’t be saved, then it must be weak and doomed anyway. There is an ingrained fatalism of extinction theory in the capitalist free-market mantra backed by pseudo science and pseudo anthropology that is quite unhinged and frightening. It is a belief in keeping with economic Darwinism that any environment, species , culture, in like kind to any economic situation, that cannot survive on it’s own “bottom line” justification does not deserve to stand at all!..a kind of ; everyman for themselves world and the devil take the hindermost, as if economic rationalism can be crossed with survival rationalism and succeed!
“They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force—nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to be got. It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind—as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness. The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea—something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to….” (Joseph Conrad ; Heart of Darkness)
What can one say that would be persuasive enough to counter such absurd ambition? I have my doubts there is any. I doubt the cocooned persons who manage this barbarism and vandalism on our world could even hear the cries of a drowning child outside their double-glazed luxurious apartment full- height windows. Their idea of an extinction of a species or the loss of an environment as not a bad thing as it allows new ones to grow in its place is a kind of connection to the absurd monotheist principle of ; “Dying being a ‘release’ from this temporal suffering life..this vale of tears”..so one can live harmoniously, eternally under the one God in a confected, secure heaven.
“ The guiding habits of thought of a devout person move on the plane of an archaic scheme of life which has outlived much of its usefulness for the economic exigencies of the collective life of today. In so far as the economic organization fits the exigencies of the collective life of today, it has outlived the regime of status, and has no use and no place for a relation of personal subserviency. So far as concerns the economic efficiency of the community, the sentiment of personal fealty, and the general habit of mind of which that sentiment is an expression, are survivals which cumber the ground and hinder an adequate adjustment of human institutions to the existing situation. The habit of mind which best lends itself to the purposes of a peaceable, industrial community, is that matter-of-fact temper which recognizes the value of material facts simply as opaque items in the mechanical sequence. It is that frame of mind which does not instinctively impute an animistic propensity to things, nor resort to preternatural intervention as an explanation of perplexing phenomena, nor depend on an unseen hand to shape the course of events to human use. To meet the requirements of the highest economic efficiency under modern conditions, the world process must habitually be apprehended in terms of quantitative, dispassionate force and sequence.”..(Thorsten Veblen ).
This distortion of environment reality is perhaps the extension of “mother nature” fixing things. This is perhaps the capitalist great white hope of ; “God Salvation” that will redeem all things and right all wrongs..as long as one is on the ‘good side’..and if we look closely at those major venture capitalists, many..too many seem to be deeply ensconced within one or the other major religions. However, if one was to look closely at the complex arrangements of those manipulators of capitalist handles, one would be inclined to see more of a multitude of chancing of investments and the gamble of high return more in keeping with a Pagan system of worship of a multitude of gods, rather than all the eggs in the one monotheistic basket. For how can one juggle so many investments in both blue-chip and high risk across so many cultural and political borders without holding donative worship at many altars?…or is all financial speculation held in trust to the one supreme commander?…chancey stuff!
I quote :
“In this paper, I argue that the birth of monotheism was a major breakthrough in sociopolitical organization and that it had a returns to scale advantage relative to paganistic and polytheist religious traditions. That is, monotheist religions involve a strong degree of increasing returns to scale and the natural monopoly powers commensurate with it. Second, monotheistic faiths are unique in that they not only personalize the spiritual exchange relationship between the individual and the one deity, but due to the fact that this relationship extends into the afterlife as well, they also enhance individual accountability. On that basis, monotheistic faiths expand their adherents’ time horizon beyond biological life and impact the time discount between one’s lifetime and the after-life.
There are two implications of these features: First, due to the fact that institutions of monotheism possessed the ecclesiastical monopoly power to legitimize or undermine the temporal powers of the political elite, they helped produce political and ecclesiastical institutions that were powerful. In particular, the latter derived substantial Financial and political benefits from being associated with One God.” ( Monotheism.. Murat Iyigun)
The Horror…The Horror…