It should be reiterated that the Bamiyan comparison contains one element that was not mentioned in its original presentation. Of course the orange-clad prisoner is not Buddha, as little as an Islamic state fighter is Mohammed. While the Taliban in Bamiyan removed what could possibly have been a dishonest depiction by bigot followers of a honest person, in the censorship of the prisoner statements this is not the case. These prisoners are not representing anyone other than themselves. They are not sculptures but – at the time of the recording – living beings. The difference is that the sculpture may be a forgery – and if the one depicted by it says so it definitely is – while the prisoners are authentic. So if someone at IS read this and said oh it´s like Bamiyan so we blow it, then he made a mistake. It is only so until the fork of motivations occurs, and behind that it is no longer longer like that.
From the perspective of the prisoner who is going to be dead at the time of the broadcast, the recording is not a recording but a live broadcast and it matters to keep the substance in the statement to the last word to avoid being cut off before. But from the perspective of the external observer it is obvious in this instance that the particular prisoner holds no illusions about Cameron and its use of the parliament, yet nevertheless the handling of the message is as if it had been “don´t respect any requests by these people” and not “get along respectful with these people.” This points to the fact that apparently there had not been any defiant prisoners yet, so that the distinction would have meaning. For the sculpture in the comparison it matters whether the message expressed by it is “listen to the king who built this stuff” or whether it is “listen to the sage who already lived like that before.” In the Bamiyan case this ambiguity had remained unresolved due to historical reasons. But with the prisoners there is no ambiguity. Nevertheless once the choice had been discussed, the Islamic state chose to act as if it was negative, even when it is positive, because in the comparison at that point there is ambiguity. The blind person is grasping for the railing although in this place there is no step.
The nature of the blind spot can also be understood from what IS itself is saying about Cameron in its messages to followers. There the despicable murderer is being described as a swine. But beyond the Islamic taboo on the species, pigs are actually clean, respectful and strong animals when they freely live in Nature. Only once their freedom is limited they turn everything into a mess quicker than anyone else. This makes the pig the “canary in the paradise,” whose devolution indicates that the garden is gradually turning into a prison. The swine is the first to notice that and let everyone know. Of course when Nature is already degraded to the rank of a desert there is no place for such a species, and due to its own nature it cannot live in a zoo. The Islamic taboo on it is as meaningful as the instructions how to reduce the water use for body care or the regulation of the fasting ritual by the cycles of night and day – it is the best possible adaptation to a certain natural environment, that of the climate catastrophe which has already happened, and in others it is as helpless as an insect that mistakes a candle as the sun for navigation. But this comparison as well has a missing dimension, as if the mosquito was stronger than the flame.
To sum it up, it is the dialectics of weakness and strength at work. The source of the strengths of the Islamic state also is the source of certain extraordinary weaknesses. Whether it will decay into some form of capitalist state or whether it will become an Anarchist instrument to get done with the old order depends on the evolution of that balance. The particular issue in question at this point is the distinction between the cultural waste of capitalism and everything else that is more than that. Again, the Bamiyan case shows as benchmark that the ambiguity of such a decision can vary from archaeological to much smaller dimensions. But only when the memory of what came before the extinction-bent system is recognised and taken out of the false context it has been confined to there can be renaturation. This is at least as necessary a condition as the defeat of the old system, and in fact one alone cannot be sufficient for it.
It is more than obvious that it is merely a matter of one generation or two that as a result of the current exploitation an anew climate catastrophe that could drastically discontinue the status quo is in the realm of possibility. Huge changes require to be made to the world economy and political system, and current institutions cannot be reformed because they have been complicit or guilty in the abuse of the planet. The “peak population” at which the current population size exceeds the number of members of the species that have ever lived over the entire hitherto time of its existence might be reached or has already been reached, but it cannot be kept up very long. Probably each historical instance of that condition was the beginning of a climate catastrophe. In this sense the problemacy is anything but unique to Islam that there is not sufficient memory of most of the time of the existence of the species. The few thousand years of documented history are even less than would be enough to properly evaluate the archaeological remainder thereof.
Besides the material aspects of demography there also is a religious one. It seems that the size of the population which the planet can carry without serious degradation is limited by the number of people that can coexist if all of them come to the same place at least once in their lives. In the example of Islam however even the seventh part of the current world population already is too much and the issue of Hajj administration remains a problem of mathematical nature beyond the whims of corrupt administrators. Although no precise number can be calculated how many people fit through the pilgrimage sites in a certain period of time, there seems to be a rather tight upper limit to it, such as there is for the duration of the human life. Measured by this religious criterion the current world population is by far too large to sustain in Islam.
The Islamic state obviously is not made to be scaled up to the size of the capitalist state for replacement, and if it were to be it probably would split up like an amoeba. In its own conception, the only possible victory for it is remaining from a catastrophe in which most of the world population were to be lost. But that is sort of a vicious circle, as it has already happened and the result was so unsatisfying as to lead into the current situation. In fact the more desirable scenario is a victory which defeats the culprits of the present and leaves most of the world population alive. The reduction of the population size and density is not an immediate measure but more of a project like the renaturation of a forest where a type of tree that does not fit in is not being removed all in a sudden but slowly reduced until the desired replacement has grown. Likewise, the reduction of the population size means that most people are to die from natural causes rather than catastrophic ones, and a buffer of resources is to be kept available that allows for the slow reduction whose effects come to the fore after a generation or two.
While capitalism is just hell-bent to swallow everything, expand and grow into any direction where it can consume what is already there, anything with the capability to outmatch it must be totally different by nature or it would already have been assimilated, and entirely clean of the ideology of the capitalist state, nationalism. The upper limit of the Hajj population again is not an absolute parameter of the entire planet, it is referring to the part of it where climate catastrophe has already happened. The number of people that can live in places where they entirely depend on external food support by these people who live in natural environments where they can produce their own food is the same as can as can visit the same place once in a lifetime. Hence, the sustainable size of the world population is the sum of all sustainable populations in arable environments plus the size of the group that is not, but can still find together in the same ritual. This number is the sum of a function of the planetary environmental condition, biodiversity and other resources, plus another function of the organisational, logistical and moral skills of humanity.
For a limited time it can be exceeded, but only at the expense of the inheritance balance. The bankruptcy estate of the capitalist system cannot directly be tailored to that size, because the actual number can only be obtained experimentally since not all the parameters of the mentioned functions are known. But it is to be qualitatively transformed in so far as certain elements of it are being entirely removed, namely the repressive system and its perpetrators, enabling it to the self-adjustment of its size that is currently blocked by their domination. Then the goal of Islam of as many people as possible being able to live in the currently uninhabitable areas of the planet can be reached, while at the same time as many people as possible can remain in the inhabitable areas independent of any collective organisation or outside support. If the way of life of the desert were to convert the remaining arable land into desert such as one nationalism or patriotism claims supremacy over the other, there would be nothing left to it. The paradox of the anchoring of the own existence in the post-catastrophic conditions resulting in ignorance of the pre-catastrophic ones is visible in this constellation as well.
An analysis of the overall situation cannot be complete without a look into the propaganda outreach IS does to external observers. Certainly it is to be called propaganda, although it does not appear to be micromanaged, when a prisoner quotes the defeatist provocation of a spy shill who is capable of little more than harassment. Such references do not have any value other than teasing spies looking at it, and probably that is precisely their purpose. Beyond that it is only true that the capitalist states have lowered the general standard of dignity and respect so much that even with a house as unclean as Arabia with its crass exploitation of foreign workers an opponent can hardly exceed the depravity of the existing political and economic leadership. This class is so bad that, at least for the moment, any random thug is better, even if that does not yet open up a future. There are much worse things than the Islamic state to be defeated, which is why it came up in the first place. But any capitalist state can verbally vilify imperialism and actually mimic it, so that it is not enough to offer an alternative. The emergence of the Islamic state is the result of the decay of that system, as manifested in its own irreconcilable internal differences, and would not have occurred otherwise. Were not the international system in the condition it is, IS could never have emancipated from its role as a proxy of imperialist interests. And even as it has, it still has to clean itself from the remainder of nationalism and capitalist competition. The irritations around and within its first attempts to pursue international relations lay proof of that condition. And the capitalist ideology of growth cannot be a prototype, since it is the cause of the current situation in the first place.
The alliance of these who have nothing left to lose and these who do not want to lose what they have despite of complementary interests of the involved has been the strongest factor in any recent political successes of social movements. After all independent movements to overcome capitalism were quenched by means of covert financial tactics, including the direct warning of the long term consequences of ignoring peak oil, and the open outbreak of irreversible financial crisis, this has been the core element of all movements aimed at defeating the capitalist system and its perpetrators, providing the source of their successes. Neither group can challenge it alone and bring about its complete removal, yet that is the absolutely necessary precondition for anything better to flourish. It is the very nature of a struggle for independence that it does not matter so much what is being defended against the pressure of assimilation, but only that it remains in fact independent. As a result, these movements have been successful where they factored out any specific interests from their struggles.
When independence is achieved, anyway everything has to change and these who did not lose what they kept up may have to re-evaluate it just like anyone who did. E. g. some people may be defending an idea of democracy against the capitalist state, but when they succeed in concert with these who have no faith in any form of representative government altogether, their views have to evolve. Nevertheless it is not useful for the struggle to smash them, because they draw their strength from it, and once the old system is in fact irreversibly defeated, these illusions will anyway be given up like dry wells. Some people protesting against austerity fascism might be defending their jobs, although winning that struggle means that it will no longer be necessary to have a job for a living. The Islamic state defends the religion of its fighters, but if the fight is won (and winning means a lasting change of the planetary system, not just the symbolic breakaway of large chunks of territory as it was the case with the Soviet Union) it will not be necessary for everyone to live in the desert, with the desert and for the desert, because if the entire planet were to be converted into uninhabitable lands it would not be a victory for anyone. Someone struggling against climate catastrophe to keep the forest that is the source of all life might find it difficult though to convince these who have never experienced one that it is of the value it is for the survival of humanity.
Once the finite fossil resources are left out of the picture, the situation becomes more transparent. Islam is spiritually self-sustaining, but not materially. If there is no external supply of water and food then it can be Ramadan any moment. On the other hand, for these remaining embedded into vegetation, throwing seeds into the desert is a worthwhile matter of renaturation, all the more so if they bear fruit. As a whole, a planet with a species which gradually produces more and more uninhabitable land can only survive when all these territories unite under one consensus, for if they were to compete then the system causing the destruction could not be defeated. Yet historically, that movement did not occur before the stalemate between classical imperialism and indigenous people that marked the degradation of the natural richness of the living Earth to a condition where it could bring about any further imperialism only by means of exploiting dead resources. The Islamic tradition is neither, it is not indigenous because it does not live off the land, nor is it imperialist because it does not lean on the faith of others. It is much younger and only emerged when the damage of the planet had already become so bad that mere conservation of the remaining vegetation could not be a sufficient strategy against the problem. The actual demographic weapon is not the genital and womb of the nationalist, which is more of an expression of their perceived uncertainty of the future and the fear of all-out competition over the last piece of food. The true demographic fuse and bombshell is the drastically degraded fertility of the Earth, and the ensuing necessity for all these who cannot feed each other from it to grow among themselves, however numerous they are, a consensus of global renaturation. There is now way to escape extinction as a species but to begin renaturation from within.
It should be supplemented at this point that the technology of the atom is no way out of the fossil dilemma, it only adds invisible deserts to the visible ones and does not leave time for renaturation. Furthermore, even though the mathematics of atomic devices is linear, that of the human body and soul in response to it is not. If a manufacturer says a reactor will experience a meltdown every 10.000 years and there are 400 reactors on the planet then the result is a meltdown every 25 years. Operators in one place might be a bit more careful than in another, but in the big picture that is it. However, when the doctor says that from each meltdown 100.000 people die earlier, this does not mean that a meltdown of all 400 reactors would merely kill 40 million people. Radioactive toxins accumulate depending on a variety of factors, and the probability of death increases with every additional incident. It is not unlikely that the species might be extinct before all 400 reactors are through. This calculation could be like the king who lost a game of chess to a sage and has to hand out one grain of rice for the first square on the chessboard, two for the second, and double that quantity with every further one. Before the end of the chain reaction has been reached the number will exceed all known dimensions. Even if the growth rate of death from one reactor failure to the next one is less than 100%, the amount of toxins a body can accumulate before dying of it is as limited as the age it can reach.
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- Hongkong: Tehran in a Cool Pool (3.10.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/10/518334.html
- Marx, Lenin, Mao and the Futurology of Scientific Anarchism (26.9.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/09/518310.html
- The Anarchist Guide to IS Psychology (19.9.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/09/518183.html
- The Islamic State Messages in the Light of the Climate Catastrophe (11.9.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/09/518121.html
- Atomic Testing in the Digital Age (13.8.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/08/517630.html
- Must Christians in the Islamic State Suffer Another Bloodbath? (11.8.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/08/517608.html
- Double Emergency Alert: Ebola Acceleration, Internet Smokescreen (8.8) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/08/517551.html
- The Gaza Massacre – Implications and Consequences (5.8.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/08/517537.html
- The Japanese Occupation Legacy – A Defining Ingredient of Totalitarian Democracy (28.7.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/07/517363.html
- Gaza – Vivisection of a Death Cult (20.7.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/07/517265.html
- Macropolitical Side-Effects of the Imperialist Occupation of the Philippines (4.7.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/07/517113.html
- Birth of an Independent Hope – the Revolution in West Asia (26.6.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/06/517081.html
- Hindu Supremacism – A Spent Force of Casino Capitalism (30.5.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/05/516814.html
- The German Sustainability Scam and its Fascist Purpose (21.5.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/05/516731.html
- The Pacific Fata Morgana and its Imperialist Origins (12.5.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/05/516662.html
- Boko Haram – An Image From The Future (4.5.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/05/516551.html
- How Deep Is the Atlantic Divide Really? (8.4.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/04/516271.html
- Palestine, the United Nations and the Refugees (21.3.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/03/516041.html
- Why is Poland a Nazi Client State? (15..3.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/03/515949.html
- What does the Invasion of Yalta Mean for the European Peninsula? (8.3.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/03/515828.html
- The Suicide Attack Against indymedia and its Cause (28.2.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/02/515677.html
- Obey or Die - The Pathology of Organised Treason in Europe (21.2.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/02/515538.html
- NATO. Obituary to a Nukepool (27.1.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/01/515002.html
- Triple Treason in the Caucasus (23.1.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/01/514946.html
- The Death of the Inclusion Policy in the East Asian Shelf Waters (16.1.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/01/514789.html
- Why is the Nonproliferation Treaty Failing? (9.1.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/01/514650.html