"What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?"
Moloch! The well-oiled stink of capitalism permeates every crevice of our lives. Some days the MSG headache of mass-produced culture, the cog movements of worldwide exploitation, the carbon-monoxide-smothering of my ignorance chokes me with despair. The real pain and broken lives I could see every day is too much; from-a-distance despair is all I allow myself. My back hurts clenching off my awareness from how hellish we've made a world of angels.
Almost as much as it would hurt to close myself off from all the hope. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes that we slow-burn our world and ourselves to every day, there's another world bursting out in a million different ways. The baby fire bird is still just stumbling around, unfamiliar with the strength in its limbs and the heights its wings were built for. But it's growing every day-- some days, today, I can hear its call.
I could never catalog all the evidence for this new world, but fortunately, I don't have to.
Howard Zinn wrote the popular account of its history, and it's just a condensation of what anarchists and others have been telling us for years: our world has never been the just, free, healthy, people's world we're told it's supposed to be, but that has never crushed the spirit of the people who believe it can be.
WorldChanging has collected and published the methods and stories behind building the new world, and that's just a snapshot of the ever-evolving world-changing knowledge. The UK government did the same thing a few years ago with The Rough Guide to a Better World. Both their messages? That there are a million campfires getting ready to light up the future, and that's just the beginning.
And recently I found another catalog, this one for the present. CrimethInc. Ex-Worker's Collective published Recipes for Disaster, a direct-action, fuck proper channels, anarchists' cookbook manifesto on how to fight, and how to love. I've just flipped through it, and it's rough, the way I imagine any agglomeration has to be from people who are more interested in doing and learning than recording. But it's worth the gems.
What inspires me most about CrimethInc. is the love they put into their work and get out of it as a natural consequence. They speak of magic and love and joy no more shame-facedly than they talk about sabotage and collectives and mainstream media. The clear, hopeful, wisdom-filled eyes that saw Europe by hitchhiking between squats in Off the Map seem to be a dime-a-pair in their world.
And that's just what I've encountered so far. The internet is of course the baby phoenix's playground, with a different vision of the future born every minute, and more experiments than I could experience with a hundred lives.
We have so much reason to hope. The quote above is from Howl, praise to the beatniks who gave their generation "the absolute heart of the poem of life butcher out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years." We are all crucial parts of all the worlds' problems and all its dreams. I wish I were strong enough or smart enough to machete my own path out of this dark wood, but at least I have the ability to find others, and together we can make it.