The longer we pretend this dystopian world is not imminent, the more unprepared and disempowered we will be. The ruling elite’s goal is to keep us entertained, frightened and passive while they build draconian structures of oppression grounded in this dark reality. It is up to us to pit power against power. Ours against theirs. Even if we cannot alter the larger culture, we can at least create self-sustaining enclaves where we can approximate freedom. We can keep alive the burning embers of a world based on mutual aid rather than mutual exploitation. And this, given what lies in front of us, will be a victory.
The 21st century must be a time of Eros, if we are to heal this broken, troubled world. Not because I say so. But because we need to heal from the ruinous malaises of the ages of capitalism and technology. The anxiety and fear and isolation and meaninglessness they brought with them. We need to grieve, and grieve deeply, for all that we harmed, hurt, lost, abandoned, and ruined, in order to live again. And that is what is really being tested in this strange, difficult, century. Whether or not we want to live again. The alternative is, as it has always, been, death. The age of Thanatos is coming to an end. But will the age of Eros begin? That, my friends, is the question.
It’s not easy living in a time like this. It sucks the life out of you, drains you, changes you. Just being there. Just watching it all go down. Just going on to fight through another day. That’s the truth. Give yourself a round of applause. You deserve it. Cry a little tear for yourself. You deserve that, too. You’ve been tested — in a difficult, deep, and painful way. But let’s think about what all those emotions really mean.
As the world grows ever darker, I’ve been forcing myself to think about hope. I watch as the world and the people near me experience increased grief and suffering, as aggression and violence move into all relationships, personal and global, and as decisions are made from insecurity and fear. How is it possible to feel hopeful, to look forward to a more positive future? The biblical psalmist wrote, “Without vision, the people perish.” Am I perishing?
In such a society, there is only one route left — each stratum, each caste, must prey on the one below it, punching it down further, for the illusion of prosperity to appear. Bang! Already, perhaps you see the problem: now, such a society is descending into the abyss. There is nowhere to go but lower when everyone is pulling the next now down a little further. Where is the bottom, exactly?
Many of the world’s richest seem to earnestly believe that some kind of apocalyptic “event”  is coming, and have prepared accordingly. You might have read about this before — such as in the New Yorker’s deep dive  back in January 2017 — but billionaire doomsday preppers are back in the news again thanks to a new viral article penned  by professor and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff. In it, Rushkoff gives some insight on the grave manner in which some of the business elite are going about preparing for a doomsday, which he learned first-hand after receiving an invitation to speak with some one-percenters.
But like all resurrections, something must die, for old America to live again. And that thing is new America. And that, my friends, means that democracy is the brief period American had in between two dark oceans of apartheid and authoritarianism
12 Reasons Why People Refuse To Address The Idea That We’re Headed For Near-Term Societal Collapse, By Jem Bendell
As I have been talking with people about this topic over the past few years, I’ve become aware of the barriers accepting near-term societal collapse and therefore barriers to rigorous and creative thinking and discussion about what we might do about it, personally and collectively. I have also become aware of the barriers I had for a few years to avoid addressing this topic with the seriousness it merits. So before outlining either the analysis of our environmental predicament or the new agenda this opens up, it may be useful to outline some of these barriers to useful dialogue. I do that as part of my invitation for you to either avoid – or momentarily suspend – such responses and adopt a “what if” perspective on societal collapse. Only then can one explore what a deep adaptation agenda might mean for oneself, one’s work and wider society.
Do Americans really understand what’s at stake in the midterms? Now, before you cry, “of course they do!”, perhaps it’s worth considering in a little more detail. Why? Because at every juncture of American collapse so far, the risks of, well, all this happening, have been vastly, fatally, lethally understated — minimized, denied, pooh-poohed away. Haven’t they? It’s not just that not a single mainstream pundit or thinker (go ahead, think about it) didn’t predict any of this — it’s that they actively refused to allow even the possibility, mocking and taunting those who did predict it. Instead, election season was spent pretending Trumpism was a joke, and the next year, sternly warning from on high that you and I mustn’t use words like “fascism” and “authoritarianism.”