“I really don’t know if there is hope beyond the black hole; if there lies a future beyond the immediate future”
The black hole to which Franco Berardi refers is the state of late capitalism and perhaps specifically the financial crash of 2008, the most recent global catastrophe before the present SARS-CoV-2 moment. Now we live in the bubble of an immediate future whose parameters shrink nearer to a simple present by the hour. Perhaps for capitalism this state is its ultimate aim: do not consider the future at all, hopeful nor hopeless – just believe in the lie and live with it.
But we all know now that capitalism is no future. In a novel virus-ridden world seemingly without end the vast bulk of the structure of capitalism is of no purpose. As a universal organising principle it has failed disastrously. Investment in anything not real or of benefit to the planet is revealed as an obscene, genocidal farce. All that matters now is global public health, food supply and the implementation of systems capable of stopping (or mitigating) climate breakdown, the biggest black hole of all.
To have any impact on global health it’s perfectly clear there must be an international transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor, because when consumerism is necessarily dead and money becomes irrelevant for its own sake, all resources available need to be mobilised to defend humanity against its own destruction. The only jobs that matter will be in farming, science and education, health, and social provision. If this redistribution doesn’t begin now when it has been made so abundantly obvious by the pandemic then as a species we’re essentially doomed to scrabble around helplessly in an eternal present, too afraid to face the dark looking glass of the future for fear of what we know we’ll see. Food, clean energy (if such a thing exists), housing, education and health for all, planet-wide now. Let innovation flower not in the service of profit but for the construction of a living future that inspires, rather than terrifies. We cannot survive the black hole. We require a black hope.
4 Responses to “Black Hope”
Agreed, Justin. Capitalism is in a state of ruin now (and has been for some time), and the oddest thing has happened that I never thought that I’d see in my lifetime–big business being bought out by bigger business. The lesson to be learned is that only the biggest survive, even amongst the big; just offer more cash and everything is fixed.
The needle returns to the start of the song.
Without hope and effort, we have nothing. Abuse of planet and animals are payback and instrumental in our potential destruction. This is just the start. Don’t want to be overly pessimistic as human beings are nothing if not survivors and even those most obtuse amongst us can see the writing on the wall. The younger generations who re-use, recycle, rebel more than we ever did lead the way but how human procreation, as the only real answer can be controlled is beyond my imagining.
This is so terrifyingly true. After living without electricity for most of the past week here in NJ from that storm that ravaged the Northeast, I couldn’t help but reflect on your brilliant writing on climate change. I think it is prophetic. In my opinion I believe there simply is no other choice than exactly the proponents you put forth in this piece. But living in the belly of the Capitalist beast so to speak frightens me beyond description. Selfishness…me first…the I’ve got mine you get yours mentality of many in this country keeps me awake at night. America is falling to Fascism. Trump is my worst nightmare realised. If I were inclined to believe in a personification of evil like “the Devil”, he would be it. He is trying to destroy our postal service so that we can’t mail in our ballots during this pandemic. He is a despicable despot who will not go quietly. He is the enemy of humanity.
I think the world of you Justin. Always have. Thank you for writing this.
Love, Jeanine (aka Glinda)
The planet is fucked and blaming individuals or entire class systems or nations is pointless – as is offering any delusional hope. Stop being frightened and enjoy the sunshine through gaps in the ozone layer.