29 April 2003


> if our situation is so bad that we're literally doing our best to plan for the coming grande collapse of it all

I respond: I want to be clear about this. When I refer to "collapse," I'm talking about the collapse of the current framework of capitalism, not of "it all." Think 1945 or 1973, not Armageddon.

If you want to discuss a situation that is "so bad" that the "grande collapse of it all" has already happened, you need look no further than Argentina.

Capitalism has dispossessed huge working classes before, and survived to tell the tale. The difference in the current historical sense is that, today, the regression of capitalism to Victorian-era mass slavery is accompanied by an unprecedented level of ecological devastation. Maybe capitalism will survive that too? How is Nike going to market expensive tennis shoes with no cheap oil to move them from a labor market in Vietnam to a consumer market in Chicago that doesn't exist anymore?

then he (Richard Kahn) says:

> what if we got offline, off tv, off books, off newsprint, off radio, and back into direct experience of the world and community? ah, a fucking luddite (i knew it)! but seriously, though, just as a thought experiment -- wouldn't this be tipping the scale politically, economically, and culturally towards sustainability in a way that the internet is not?

I respond: All experience is culturally mediated, the main question being "mediated by what?" Sustainability, on the other hand, is a matter of treating the world right... let me just suggest, briefly, that we consider as some of the main elements of sustainability principles such as conservation, and practices such as the increased cultivation of legumes, the decreased consumption of meat products, and the phasing-out of the capitalist economy. So, Richard, I guess what I'm saying here is that I'm not quite sure I understand. Connect the two things "media (non)use" and "sustainability" in a way that makes sense to me.


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