Our eyes, so long adjusted to the night, look upon dawn’s flourish as a blinding horror. But the dogma that economic fireballs are terrible is itself terribly misleading. Those who ignore the shepherds, who profane the idols in their rollicking disdain for solvency —these lively paupers will prosper in the new epoch, although the new prosperity with be unrecognizable to the old. The shredding of our institutional infrastructure is ultimately no worse than the sun’s abolition of bleak shadows.
The tumbling trajectory of your lost job, your foreclosed home — all marvelous stations on the voyage back to age 20 — a return to ramen noodles, small apartment, laundry that’s “clean enough,” roommate you hate and/or sleep with, new smaller apartment and lots and lots of time to act on your astoundingly poor judgment. You were all, “Oh I don’t know if I should go out tonight — I have to get up by sunset tomorrow to go out tomorrow night.” Broke ass happy days are here again. Except this time you have years of bonus experience to make the most of it.
Those who thrive will embrace our breakneck return to the dangerous, wild western night of 1970’s New York City – the days when the five boroughs had less than five bucks between them, when the streets ruptured to reveal the fertile dirt beneath, when the bankrupt metropolis asked for bailouts and the president said drop dead. Those few subways that did run also derailed, you could smell the uncollected garbage from space, and the term “get home safe” was uttered every time you left anywhere.
It was also the moment when the mythic New York of creative foment last existed in rapturous earnest. When neighbors banded together because who else had your back?
When nobody had money and, because nobody had money, its pursuit became secondary. People made it rain in the cracks and empty lots, developing schemes to buy the time and invisibility needed to write, paint and create good relationships. Without the constraint of 60-hour workweeks to cover rent, people could be human. There was no economic reason to come here, and every reason — safety, comfort, convenience — to stay the hell away, which is precisely why it was such a glimmering time and place.
The grim shoulder to the grimy wheel is what made it great. And the only reason not to go hear some poetry was because somebody stole one of your shoes.
Do you have both your shoes? Then put them on and go to a reading, or a gallery, a gig or some other cheap excursion into the liminal. You can read this on the way. And if you are missing a shoe, go out anyway and perhaps recognize your future comrades in the lopsided gait of their one-bare-footed march on the desultory new world of romance and adventure.
Devastating collapses are necessary in any evolutionary leap forward from a gilded age of dereliction. But this disintegration, like most others throughout history is less destruction of a system as it is revelation that the system we all relied on never truly existed as anything more than communal delusion. A terrifying revelation, but one that points to the even more comforting conclusion: If it never existed, we never needed it.
Beyond a glitzy façade, our imaginary way of life was unsustainably flawed: savage in intent and capricious in application. But while the flaws expedited the system’s collapse, it was our newly-developed ability to see them that caused the calamity. A new era doesn’t begin when the old ordering principles fail to apply — it begins when people realize this — Wile E. Coyote doesn’t fall until he notices he’s over the cliff. And when he does, his doomed impulse is to scamper back the way he came or cling to the empty air. But nostalgia for what when before or desperate paralysis are untenable responses, no more useful than the dirges we hear from every pundit’s lips. But there are some, perhaps you are among them, who have been waiting for weightlessness all their lives. And there are many more who have been waiting without realizing it until now.
Every asset only pulls us down faster. Did you seek out the illusory security of cash or did you develop equity in the overlooked crannies of the human spirit? Were you among those who resisted the lush world, mediated and divvied into property and holdings? When the writing on the wallet was scrawled in the currency of fear, maybe you held to the actual properties of the physical and social universe. The refusal to cower in the face of dire predictions is no foolish disregard for self-preservation. It comes from a bigger notion of what the self is, along with the desire for something greater than mere preservation. Nothing is collapsing because there was nothing there to collapse. And in the difficult transition from lives based on misrepresentation, a return to fundamentals will now protect us — fundamental defects which, in the new era, will become our strengths.
Every economic, cultural and spiritual shift is both cataclysmic and a breath of fresh air, end and beginning. Renaissance, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution and this unnamed departure — volatile choreographies of entire populations changing their deal. And with that volatility, liquefying every frozen cultural infrastructure they pass through. In such propulsive moments, the vestigial myths of class, nationhood, race, geography, gender — all the rigid old identities — are out the window.
In fact they have been for a long time, but it is only now that our languages are failing to maintain the myth of solidity. Welcome to the fluid dynamics of a borderless planet perpetually articulating new relationships, a churning solution of bonds and affiliations, dissolving and resolving with no respite — for life itself is uncontainable and grows infinitely from nothing into something and then something else. The key to society reorganizing itself in a manner most fulfilling to the people of the planet, a society best equipped to embrace the universal drives of all living creatures, able adapt to the results of new transient arrangements, is the very attribute that our leaders have used to keep us at each others throats for millennia: forgetfulness.
Forgetfulness? But our leaders have used that dull blade against us since there were leaders in the first place. Cultural amnesia has allowed profiteers to slice populations along arbitrary divisions and to pare us from our own history. Unable to recognize allies, nor the repeated patterns of misbehavior, we are needlessly isolated and unaware of our well-worn trail. Not only have we been led to the brink of collapse before, we’ve been led here by the same steps: A fiduciary tango of ravenous and accelerating speculation followed by a crash once the concentration of wealth can no longer be sustained. When there’s simply no more wealth to be redistributed into their hands, the exploiters identify themselves not as the destroyers of the economy but as the economy itself. They demand covert bailouts, in the form of laundered money through war, or in the case where a war has ceased to be profitable, in the form of socialized direct payment from the treasury.
A war’s political attractiveness has everything to do with its effectiveness as a money laundering operation, moving public dollars into private accounts via the occupied region. Vietnam and Iraq were both very popular among our rulers, more popular that World War II had been, and why not? For years both acted as conduits for cash from the treasury into private hands. But once a war stops making money it becomes politically distasteful. World War II was written into history as a good war because it was still making money when it ended and, through the Marshall Plan, made even more once it was technically over. Of course the Nazi regime had to be stopped, but history’s overlooked, even condoned atrocities indicate morality is an afterthought when nations go to war. Where was the invasion to stop Columbus’ elimination of three million Arawak? Who stepped up to prevent the murder of 25% of all East Timor? In both cases there was a lot of money to be lost by doing the right thing.
Cultural amnesia allows our leaders to present themselves as shocked — Shocked! — every time a new war or bailout looms. This had never happened before! But we will get through this through (your) sacrifice and unified anger at those portrayed as responsible for our problems. When talking to people who’s memory doesn’t extend past a 24-hour news cycle, it’s easy to find a scapegoat — a Saddam, a Madoff, or even a Bush — to sacrifice Aztec-style in the name of convincing the people that the system itself is sound. It’s a few scoundrels mucking up a great system — but we’re bringing them to justice.
The anger we are allowed to levy against said scoundrels illuminates the need for people under duress to look to something bigger than themselves to make sense of the world. Our leaders intercept the human impulse to connect to a larger context, highlighting symbolic individuals or issues in order to keep people alienated, disorganized and xenophobic — and therefore unable to recognize non-symbolic issues, let alone act on them. Every political campaign since Caesar has identified emotionally figurative issues like gay marriage or abortion as a means of dividing people who would otherwise have everything in common. A poor conservative is convinced he has more in common with Bush than with the poor “liberal” in the next door trailer, and the “liberal” is equally convinced he’d have more to talk about with Obama than with his own neighbor. Red states can’t wait for the blue to burn in hell and the blue hopes the red will secede.
But maintaining these divisions requires constant reminders. We have to be told to hate our neighbors or we’ll forget to. There have been moments in American history when grassroots organizing threatened the order, when people began to recognize each other despite the propaganda. In the mid 18th century, white indentured servants, black slaves and Native Americans began staging unified rebellions against the propertied classes. These joint ventures alarmed the gentlemen who would later become our founding fathers. They responded by pitting the rebels against each other, erasing their alliances with measly rewards for obedience and punishment for collusion. This worked for a time, but ultimately, the masters realized they needed something more — a common enemy — that would divert the underclasses’ attention away from the true source of their unhappiness. Using the language of the dismantled rebel alliances, they launched a marketing campaign against the tyrannical British that hobbled the nascent movements of the truly oppressed. The Revolutionary War merely replaced the British royal aristocracy with American capitalist aristocracy. Through the warped bifocals of racism and nationaism, humanism was rendered grotesque, useless, the last bastion of the idiot.
The newly minted nation was founded on an important principle: It’s easier to get juice from a sliced orange. Since then, time and time again, wars have been used to divide populations against each other, to redirect popular grievances away from their true cause and to corral resources from the people who really need them. In the early part of the 20th century, the labor movement was gaining momentum. Spearheaded by the International Workers of the World, anarcho-syndicalism was becoming a notion entertained by even well-indoctrinated Americans. Living conditions began to improve for the first time in decades. Then World War I arrived, increasing sectarian mistrust within the labor movement, replacing global class awareness with xenophobic patriotism, and channeling assets back into the uppermost echelons. In the light of global conflagration, demands for living wages and better working conditions were petty and un-American. WWI destroyed the I.W.W. and with it the hopes of millions of people.
The Great Depression was the next period of widespread unrest in which those traditionally sheltered from the cruelest caprices of capitalism were brought to their knees. As the crisis worsened, socialism presented itself as a more efficient, stable and humane system — the arguments of wealthy industrialist were drowned out by their own collapsing portfolios and even the president had no choice but to make small gestures towards socialism to keep the nation intact. But FDR’s WPA programs were nothing compared to WWII’s impact. The war immediately refilled the most refined coffers. But just as importantly, it put to rest the growing clamor for a socialist America.
After World War II, the military cash faucet was left on, permanently siphoning resources away from social programs to defend against Russia. Ten years later, The Korean War worked to suppress dissent in urban areas during the 1950’s. The Vietnam War wasn’t able to galvanize the same jingoist spirit. It instead stoked the fires in the civil rights and radical student movements. Part of the reason it backfired was the failure to anticipate the effect of new technologies on the generally obedient, highly centralized media. While war in newspapers had traditionally imparted a sense of rakish adventure, televised battles — and commentary colored by new attitudes — conveyed a martial brutality that overwhelmed the original rationale for going to war.
But the system is adaptive and learns from its mistakes, just as swiftly as the people within the system forget. After our misadventure in Southeast Asia was over, the war was recast as a national trauma — not for Vietnam, but for America. By the time America invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, Vietnam had been reduced to a good war that ended poorly because Americans didn’t support the troops. As the final US helicopters left Saigan, the only way to honor the fallen was to never engage in war again. But twenty years later, the only way to honor them was to declare another war and to do it right. The lies used to justify the invasion of Iraq, almost indistinguishable from those used in the early stages of Vietnam were absorbed readily by an eager public. As with Vietnam, most of the country was totally gung ho. But unlike Vietnam, where dissent emerged only after years, average Americans turned against the war in Iraq relatively quickly. The government was spinning the story the with the same refrain and the mainstream media was regurgitating it dutifully. Something else had changed.
What changed was the very concept of communication. Since long before the Revolutionary War, our leaders have used their lines of communication, the only lines available, to manufacture tensions within populations. Most readily divided among races, religions, genders and geographies, these factions still fight each other for limited resources rather than unite and go after the people at the top — the ones who limited the resources in the first place. The actual nature of our relationships have always much too complex and swiftly changing for the shepherds of our society to be able to respond to, let alone shape in accurate ways — but this has never before been an issue — what are the balkanized, disenfranchised people going to do? Complain on the corner? So what! But as lines of communication expanded out from under our bosses auspices in the past few years, the existence of malevolent social engineering has become obvious, and the ability to resist is presenting itself.
Before now, humanity has never been able to mount an effective resistance to the top down arbitration of social structures. Tastes and mores often emerge outside our leaders’ plutocratic grip. Effective leaders allow them to run their innocuous course and even point to such minor expressions of personal liberty as examples of their respect for the will of the people. But any time this amounts to more than fashion, or when balkanized movements begin to coalesce into something more substantial, they have always been crushed or co-opted into the hierarchical stratification. Martin Luther King, Jr. was given the Washington Mall only after he agreed to excise all mention of capitalism’s class structure from his Dream. He initially complied, but soon thereafter began expanding the scope of his oratory to illuminate the economic basis for racism. Not long after that, the system that had failed to permanently co-opt King, silenced him altogether.
Once in a great while ideas and the means to communicate them extend beyond the ability of a society’s wardens to contain — this marks the end of one epoch and beginning of another. The 1960’s, for all its newfound idealism, was not such a time because it’s radicalism was easily folded into consumerism, liberation expressed in terms of brand identity. The system learned from the turbulence and expanded its ability to preserve itself. What differentiates an epoch-changing moment from a period of turbulence is that epoch-changing moments emerge out of necessity — the change is unavoidable. A time of mere turbulence can be smoothed over with reforms, leaving the system itself intact. If there is the slimmest of possibilities that a system can preserve itself, it will — even at the expense of almost everyone in it. There have been frightening comparisons between our current situation and the Great Depression, a crisis resolved with reforms and war. The economics may look similar to 1929, but we have to look much further to find a moment when the economics and culture itself were under so much duress. The last times history offers a parallel was on the eve of the Renaissance and then again just before the Enlightenment.
The Renaissance used the mechanics of the old regime to destroy it. Moving European society from religious aristocracy to a secular one, the movement turned the ecclesiastical tools developed by the church against it. The spirit of inquiry encouraged by scholasticism, and the communication network established to share ideas about theology naturally gave rise to concepts that were as antithetical to medieval leaders’ teleological aims as they were unstoppable. Contrary to what historians say, it wasn’t the corruption of the church that demolished their authority. The emergent properties of a complex system forced that system to become something altogether different than the creators intended. As rife as the corruption was, it was these new properties — encrypted into the structure of the middle ages from the outset — that ultimately deposed the entire system. The Renaissance composition of humanist-based resource allocation more closely mirrored the state of actual human relationships. It allowed for greater intellectual autonomy, but in practice offered little more material support and often far less, to the average person.
The Renaissance did however create a new mode of thought and communications — an apparatus that, centuries later, would destroy itself in the Enlightenment. When a population is illiterate or has no access to means of telecommunication, a small ruling cadre can dictate the nature of the people’s lives. But embedded within the Renaissance was the idealization of the intellect, and the development of entire population’s organizational abilities. An increasingly literate population began seeing the monarchy, with is god-given right to rule, as without merit. In the 18th century, the very idea of a single person as sovereign was dethroned by the rule of The People. This, the paradigm under which we’ve been operating for the past couple hundred years, has been the basis for countless other nations’ evolution from monarchy or dictatorship to systems couched in the language of democracy, socialism or communism.
But there’s a big difference between a system couched in the language of freedom and one that actually is libratory. The emergent aristocracy of the bourgeoisie was little different than the royalty it replaced except for the assurance that anyone might, through hard work, migrate up the class ladder. The problem for all systems that overthrow existing ones with the promise of something they’re not is that it gives people the desire for that promise to be fulfilled. Any system will collapse when enough of the people within it recognize the chasm between description and reality. The Renaissance framed itself with ideas that the Enlightenment actually abided by. The Enlightenment dominated the world with ideas of liberation and freedom that may actually be made to exist by the next social form. But are we really at that moment now? A look back to the origins of this evolution is revealing, and yields optimistic results.
Social upheaval connected to the means of communication can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia. A new invention, written language, simultaneously created the idea of the large scale concentration of resources and provided the means to accomplish that concentration. That conceptual schism from the more loosely banded hunter-gatherer societies immediately spelled the end of the prevailing order of things. With stunning rapidity, a few cuneiform parchments turned the fertile crescent into the Cradle of Civilization and the foundation for the model of all western societies since.
Generally tenuous but equitable small scale societies were coalesced into a much larger society whose vertical structure replaced uncertainty with security and comfort — but the change was made under duress and the fruits of the transition were made available only to a select few. The opulence of the upper echelons was unconceivable under the earlier form of social organization, but was achieved only through the conversion of most citizenry into slaves. Over the millennia that model has become entrenched under the rubric of efficiency. It has transferred more and more resources into fewer and fewer hands. Great calamities have been set in motion in the name of necessity — and they have been necessary to ensure the continued health of this organism, albeit at the expense of those living within it.
It would be an audacious claim to say writing, the technology at the foundation of all civilization, is evil. It would be just as silly to claim fire is evil — it’s hurt a great many people but it has also provided us with fantastic opportunities — like the chance to survive through the winter. It might be more accurate to say writing is a tool that caught us off guard. When the first wedge shaped ideogram was carved in downtown Ur, humanity wasn’t ready for what it had created. But now we are.
Our ability to communicate with each other has continued to evolve, and that evolution has accelerated remarkably in the past century to what may be another Mesopotamian event. Within our society are right wingers who’s first principles are based on medieval belief systems — and faced with evidence that refutes their beliefs, they burrow ever deeper into a moral scheme grounded in anti-humanist traditions and utter hypocrisy. Left wingers are followers of Enlightenment ideals who, after centuries of compromise and insincerity, have descended into red vs. blue state isolationism. What social scientists bemoan as the splintering of our society into uncooperative niches too small to be categorized is actually the manifestation of a fantastic reassembly of society into groups that are not too small but too swiftly changing to be categorized, manipulated or controlled. Demographics measured not in age, race or locale but in vectors, flow and friction. Hastening this is a sudden, radical decentralization of communications.
A thousand years ago the printing press allowed ideas to be disseminated — but the power of the press belonged to those who owned one — messages were always from top down. By the time individuals could print and circulate ideas without large financial backing, the medium had already been steamrolled by newer technologies. Radio and TV, with the real-time ability to reach many more people, remain dominated by the economic elite. The telephone allowed us the instantaneity of broadcast media, but the range was strictly one person at a time. Email, cellphones and the wholesale portability of wireless networks, created a more seamless atmosphere of connectivity that, for all the porous integration was still just an extension of peer-to-peer idea dissemination.
But now, the bottom-up broadcast capability of online social networks and blogs permit instant, transparent messages with embedded invitations to reply in word or deed. For the first time in history, unlimited numbers of people can broadcast to one another, thereby granting languages and ideas the ability to morph in concert on a vast scale. Every statement is direct source material for myriad responses. What would have taken years for a small group to arrive at is now available and surpassed by entire swaths of the population in seconds. For the first time, thanks to the speculative expansion of the communication backbone plus the popped bubble economics that have rendered that backbone dirt cheap, a great portion of all humanity can talk to each other. And they are, to the exclusion of top-down indoctrination.
The signs are everywhere of traditional media’s faltering ability to infiltrate the consciousness. Corporate journalism is ignored. Commercials derided. More and more traditional media is given over to trend pieces on the phenomena of newer media. Even individual blogs have a relatively short lifespan before they become authoritative and thus irrelevant. Paradoxically, the longer they stick around, the less influence they wield. All recognized as blowhards interrupting the real conversation. Sure, much of the new chatter is parroted propaganda, but much isn’t. And for a system based on artificially generated sanction for policies antithetical to our best interests, this disconnect spells real trouble.
I was born into a media family, but whatever public relations schooling I got is long since gone. My parents met at ABC News during the Vietnam War. My grandparents met at WLW radio “The Nation’s Station” during the Great Depression. I grew up hanging out with Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley and, more appealing to my 7 year old boy sensibilities, Gene Shalitt. In the days before building security, I wandered with impunity through the studios and hallways of 30 Rock. I picked up many lessons about how to manage a communications empire. Then I began writing poems and forgot all those lessons.
Shortly before founding Lungfull!, the final lesson slipped away forever, unpaving the way for a thoroughly uncategorizable publication to be born, neither zine nor journal, and with a completely insolvent target demographic. If I had retained even one Important Message from my upbringing, Lungfull! would never exist. And if, for some reason it did exist, such a legitimate journal would never weather the storm now pulping every other magazine and newspaper on the planet. The 75,000 trees cut down for each Sunday New York Times are happy about the new direction of the axe. The 12,000 employees of the increasingly ashen Grey Lady are not.
If Lungfull! were a normal magazine, it would be folding about halfway through this sentence, vanishing like every other form of print. All of Gutenberg’s descendents are scrambling to monster.com and media bistro in the hope some job similar to the last one might sustain their vestigial status in the leftover industries of a bygone economy. No such luck. The only reason Lungfull isn’t going out of business is because it was never in business. Institutional disorganization or organized deinstitutionalization — that’ll be for the scholars to figure out years from now at whatever universities had the foresight to operate without endowments prior to the great crash. My vote for number one college in the future: degreeinpjs.com who’s infomercials dazzle the predawn mind of people returning home from clubs or waking up to change diapers. But it’s not just print that’s closing up shop — its all centralized, corporate media.
The most dramatic and immediately apparent cause (and result!) is a departure – neither a conscious rejection nor acceptance — but an organic departure from the social forms that have been handed down to us by our leaders. All the normative conceits are revealed to have been artificially designed and are easily brushed aside as distractions. Those conceits were put in place to keep our extremely vertical society from teetering. The things that belong to us and the affinity groups to which we ourselves belong have always been described by lovely, comforting but willfully outmoded, inaccurate language. Even the word “belonging” depicts a specious concept of ownership that simply doesn’t apply. Property is owned through an amalgam of Enlightenment codes and 19th century capitalist amendments that serve only to drive a wedge between the things we need and the things we can have. Nobody owns a home, banks do — but a complex contractual lexicon smudges away the underlying fact: all holdings can be traced back to spurious claims and outright theft from individuals or entire populations. When did the earth first become owned? The institutional concept of identity, the group to which we belong, is no less inaccurate and unwieldy. Both our place in the world and the parts of the world in our pocket have always been too liquid to be contained by the consensual framework of a bygone age or the language invented to describe it.
So why can forgetfulness save us? We’ve been raised in the tail end of an era based on hatred — we been taught that the problem isn’t the unfair concentration of resources but their innate scarcity. Protect yourself from your neighbors — they want your things. The very people who have enough to sustain all of us teach us to march across borders and steal from others to survive, lest the others do it to us first. And once violence is committed, even artificially manufactured hatred takes on a self-perpetuating life of its own. Poor Israelis and poor Palestinians have everything in common, but they are not being given the opportunity to find out, consumed with the altogether reasonable hatred one side has for the other. The same was true of slaves used to battle Native Americans, true of General George’s rebels bayoneting King George’s redcoats and true of small-town Americans shooting small-village Vietnamese.
But something happens to people as time passes. Even in cases where people were pitted against each other, guns in hand, the enmity doesn’t just fade away — it turns into its opposite. Axis and Ally veterans meet for reunions at Normandy. Vietnam Vets return to the villages they fought in. The animosity of mortal enemies is replaced with the connection of a shared difficult experience and the understanding that they were more alike than their leaders let on. Absent the propaganda machine, the fears melt away quite naturally. The lies that turn us against each other prevent us from remembering the elements that connect us all — if we forget the lies, we will spontaneously remember those fundamental elements.
The very mechanism that made centuries of indoctrination possible, make it possible to move beyond that indoctrination into a stateless, unincorporated realm of horizontally organized transparency. Arbitrary divisions, be they on a map or between skin colors, will be seen for the lie they are. The people’s heterodox possession of the means to communicate ensures no one entity will amass power over all. Our schools, roads, food, medicine have been stripped by rapacious profiteers, but that profiteering can’t survive the bright sunlight. Our infrastructure denuded, economy demolished, the only thing we have left is the ability to pass ideas to the entire world, unclouded by our leaders’ swirling poison. Unlike the high-concept revolutions of the past in which we had to choose sides, there are no sides, our involvement is inevitable and our liberation — terrifying, wonderful — is unavoidable. Today we have no choice but to gain everything. All there is to choose is our attitude towards the absolute freedom of the new epoch.
Those who knew there never was a financial ground to have two feet firmly planted on are now growing out of business into a state of grace. But as with every migration from a played out age to the foggy realm of another there’s plenty of fear and disorientation to go around. Whether our new landscape is good or bad has little to do with whether we keep our jobs, houses, investments. Whether you think we are saying goodbye or hello to the neo-dark ages has everything to do with how your respond to the realization that brought about the crisis:
Civilization does not serve the best interest of civilized people. It’s not a few scoundrels ruining things nor of some incompetent bureaucracy impeding our happiness — the problems are systemic and the system’s demise has been inescapable since Hammurabi hammered and robbed his own people.
Mesopotamia, literally Land Between Rivers, was the basis for everything we have known — but through its own inevitable social mechanics we have arrived now on the banks of Tropopotamia – Land of Changing Rivers. This is not a moment of reform — all the reforms at our disposal have been used to no avail. The system wants to change — from many individuals ruled by one centralized authority to many authorities with no center, ruled by the knowledge that we are all one organism.
A great leveling of equity is about to occur – all assets and liabilities will be cast off like coarse mittens in springtime. Filling your hands instead: the grace of interdependence. To name this departure and arrival would be to miss the point. Labels are useful, but relationships are faster. The new language that brought us here is malleable enough to describe mist rising to meet low clouds, pliable enough to treat causes and effects as interchangeable. A language of infinite concert, of every voice on the planet drawn together into one conversation. Not a linear movement of class consciousness or gender identity, but an expansion that incorporates them and all other loci leading inevitably to equality, where power and ownership are invalid. Because as we all speak and listen simultaneously, there can be no hierarchy nor separation. “One for all” brought us the Enlightenment but all is one brought us here.
Welcome to the end of sequence, of discrete eras, of before and after. It is the end of you and me as meaningful concepts, of self and other. It is far from the end of history, only its constrained overture. Unshackled for the first time, the story of this planet is about to begin in earnest.
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