Global temperature rises. Our poles melt. The poverty and inequality levels increases at the same time commodities and energy prices do. For some it may seem that we are on the edge of the end of our world, for others all this environmental and social discussion is just bullshit. Meanwhile there are people like the Spanish activist Jose Barcia who think we are just witnessing a systemic crisis of the foundations of our society and economy. Contrary to the common belief that capitalism and economic growth are the only way forward, the return to a collective spirit is, for Jose Barcia, the only way to save our world of disaster.
The environmental and social problems we are facing are actually synergistic processes of a huge systemic crisis. We are experiencing a global crisis that has different roots. One of them is based on one of the great fallacies that came with the theories of Adam Smith and is now supported by the neoliberal and neocon movement, which is “the possibility of infinite growth in a finite space.” The truth is that the Earth is a closed system and we’ve been living on a fallacy, thinking that our consumption could remain eternal and so that generation after generation these consumption would be able to continue rising.
The fact is that this is certainly not true; that resources are scarce and precious and they are located in very specific areas. In order to control these geostrategic global resources comes what I call the “Eco fascism” implemented by the West. The “Eco fascism” is that ability of the major powers -established political power and big multinationals- to control natural resources anywhere on the planet for the sole purpose of continuing to maintain their lifestyle. Through globalisation the West has demonstrated that it got a great capacity to generate a philosophy that supports this type of fascism, creating channels and synapses so that the entire rest of the planet’s wealth flows to the West and therefore what West can only export is higher levels of poverty. The West behaves like an unconscious junkie that needs the wealth from the rest of the world in order to keep not just a dream but an illusion that becomes a nightmare for the rest of the planet.
I think we’ve been subject to a process conducted with much knowledge and refinement with the only interest of breaking our collective projection, individualise us, and give us individual outputs. Somehow they tried to imbue within us the Adam Smith utopia, which pursue selfishness as the engine of development. Well, selfishness as an engine of development has failed. What it has done pretty well is to generate a West pole that has resulted in a deeply unfair and very delicate situation for the rest of the planet.
In order to cope with that culture of alienation and hyper-consumption that individualises us by telling us “we are a homo-consumerist”, we must create pathways back to a collective spirit. A whole new way of thinking based on “us” rather than in the “ego”.
The truth is that we have reasons for hope: in the words of Ernst Bloch in his formidable ‘Principle of Hope’: “If we can dream of a better world means that we can create a better world. And I still maintain that.”
But for this to occur, inevitably and inextricably there must be a different modulation of power management. We have to create a space for greater democracy, we must create a spirit which a greater power management; a power that is much more social, much more popular. We are in a crucial moment when equipment, people, social movements, collective research, and collective looks are needed rather than individual leaderships. How do we achieve that? Through hyper-responsibility processes; that is, I believe that now is the moment in which we must begin to think that we only can create a genuinely ethical process of happiness through the attempt to transform a world and a future that has been stolen from us.
I think we have to assume, first, that it is necessary to create an imperfect chimerical utopia that we have to invent and that is also going to be an unfinished utopia. On this planet, either everyone fits in, or no one does. I do believe in human intelligence so we are going to generate the nodes to live longer and better with less.
From there I think there are two important steps, one of which is the protest, the struggle, the dynamics on the street. Politicians and big corporations are not going to give anything away. We’ll have to scratch every word of dialogue and this can only be done through our presence in the streets, that’s inexorable. We also need to generate a dynamic of solidarity and positive instability. That is, we have to show the powers that we can generate a positive outcome at the end of this instability process and that this process and this situation will not
be stable as long as more and more people are dying of hunger in the world, and more and more regions of the world are being destroyed.
The second step is the creation. In parallel we have to generate viable processes of hope for our future. We have to find viability to our cause. We have possibilities; we have concrete facts that show us that we are able to manage our lives in a sustainable manner – considering social justice and fairness. This concept of future where we all can fit is being produced, little by little, through a process of ‘biopower’. There are plenty of people who are now generating many ‘hope’ nodes that are highly decentralised. There are many simple people doing beautiful and complex things that are absolutely open and networked. And that’s one of the things that makes me believe that this ‘principle of hope’ that I referred early is not the result of ingenuity but the result of an observable fact: there are movements, there are people who are doing beautiful things not only for themselves but for our planet. Such as for the energy sovereignty, food sovereignty and sustainable not speculative economy. The case of the energy is curious, because energy is transversal to the rest of our society. If we can produce our own energy (such as solar energy), each citizen can become a producer as well as a consumer. While winning the sovereignty of our energy destiny, we are fragmenting a power that is concentrated right now. This is one of the core struggles that will generate different future possibilities than the ones we got right now. We must dematerialise our lives and re-emphasise other human satisfiers through collective processes, processes of cooperation, collective pleasure, etc.
Well, to me these are the two main paths, the path of struggle and the path of creation. We need to finish and break this system, we need to dance on the grave of the system while creating something new, something different, a collective film where everyone are co-stars.
I’ve always said two things: 1) Leave your worries at home. Sadness generates immobility and spreads pain and fear. 2) Precisely when depression turns into a mandate, joy becomes kind of civil disobedience.