Two quotes before the People’s Climate Mobilisation

But now that industrial capitalism is fast burning down the entire ecosphere the problem has become now more than ever how to link local and partial struggles to a larger vision that can assert itself as a movement and a cultural transformation carried out by millions of people. We must begin to talk openly and defiantly of the mass strike and revolutionary uprising that it will take to stop the megamachine from grinding up the planet. We must begin to consider what it will mean to “put ourselves out of work”, to halt production and destroy the economy, creating a free society based on social and ecological cooperation in place of the work pyramid. (Watson 1997, 68)

What would an authentic Earth Day look like? Wouldn’t it look like a general strike, a moratorium on production, a reduction of mechanical movement, and with it of the industrial noise that drowns out the wind? When all of the former cogs of the megamachine take a long look at the world, perhaps for the first time, and begin the process of becoming living subjects once more? Wouldn’t they engage one another in a face-to-face discourse for the first time, taking stock of hands and feet and head and heart as the real material bases for a new society? Wouldn’t they simply ignore the television stations, rather than attempting to capture them to broadcast the pronouncements of the latest revolutionary-industrial junta? Wouldn’t they begin to retrace their steps, back away from the edge of the precipice, turning things off and beginning to rely on their communities and their own human powers to meet their few basic needs so as to get on with the real adventure of living, of singing, of dreaming? And that first night — wouldn’t the sky be dark and beauteous and studded with stars for the first time in memory? Wouldn’t a different language, spangled with eternity, find its way into daily discourse as the conditioning of industrialism and manufactured values began to be shed? (ibid., 40)

Watson, David. 1997. Against the Megamachine: Essays on Empire & Its Enemies. Brooklyn, NY & Detriot, MI: Autonomedia & Fifth Estate.

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