The Death Of Globalism
Alexander Gordon Jahans
I am bored by the despair in the news, bored by the anger and the outrage and the hate. Bored by the stupidity, malice and greed fucking over the people. My general mood right now is that I am all out of fucks. We’re fucked more than the guy with a thousand dicks from Hydrogen Sonata. It’s just a case of what order the catastrophies are going to devastate us.
So I’m focusing on my fiction. After all I did just nuke everything I have ever written and there is something reassuringly overtly separate from our own reality about a world on the back of a giant fish swimming through space where elves give lectures about mythology to half dragon students. Even if I have already decided that Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal tv series basically exists as a work of fiction in this universe. If Bryan Fuller, George RR Martin and Rhianna Pratchett ever want to write The World Fish fantasy version of Hannibal I personally allow them license to pillage from my wretched fiction. Even if that is a bit like telling three great monarchs that they can eat your faeces if it it pleases them.
I used to think we needed globalism. I got the Star Trek Syndrome. We’ll have an Earth gov and then a space colonies and earth Gov then outwards and outwards until, well the Logicios and the United Civilisations of the Multiverse. Because even though England can’t please Yorkshire and London at the same time the Logicios certainly won’t have trouble with a fucking multiversal empire.
Yet games make Empires look so easy, because they are balanced to be winnable. I’ve spoken before how I feel the gamer mentality of “fire at the glowing weak spot” has encouraged trolls to be more racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic for the simple reason that they here “Please be considerate that I am sensitive to this” as “say this now to defeat me”. I’m starting to feel like games encourage fascism for similar reasons.
Games are designed to be balanced and games are designed to be fun and it’s fiction so who cares right. But physical conflict is simply more visceral, more involved and it allows more control. Even in games with stealth or speech as an option you don’t have the same kind of involved game play. There is button masher for diplomacy, no tactical retreat and and use of terrain in a conversation. I realise we might have far worse problems if games did train people to to manipulate others in conversations. Though arguably the first game to have really enjoyable debating mechanics may greatly improve discourse online.
The point is that I despise war, I despise genocide. I condemn President Josiah Bartlett as a lying war mongering war criminal. And yet despite having won diplomatic victories in civ 5 before I basically always play a game of total conquest. It makes fascism seem possible. It gives an armchair tactician perspective where I’m convinced I am a total military badass despite sticking to cheiftain level of difficulty.
In a video game there is no weather or climate change, no global economic disaster caused by some bankers in a different country discovering a fun way to gamble debt and it getting out of hand, there are no newly created cartoons or videogames that hit it big and suddenly the economic landscape is over turned. There is no programming for the sense of the average citizen who doesn’t get involved in politics because it’s all too depressing but they have noticed hospital times getting longer, more people out of work or struggling to find work and at the same time more people in work from demographics they aren’t used to seeing. There is no programming for idiots who decide to do something terrible for a laugh and how that can snowball.
The Neoliberals won but their victory is coming to an end and as much as I want a new age of compassionate capitalism or feminist socialism I think globalism is dying. I also think that the way this age of outrage has to shake out is with the creation of safe spaces for everybody.
Now yeah nazis are bad. Genocide is a threat to the survival of the human race but dos patriotism have to be so toxic? Does misogyny, racism and homophobia have to be so toxic? Could we quietly ring fence a small country for all the bigots and say. “Here you go, enjoy, but we will squish you if you try to get forceful outside your borders.”? Probably not but we will never really kill bigotry so the question becomes if empire isn’t possible what happens then?
Well we’re seeing it already with Scotland, Catalonia and yes even Brexit. People are waking up and saying. “No, when the plane is crashing you apply your own gas mask before helping others.” The problem is that I believe Corbyn could make the bold strokes necessary to make a post-Brexit Britain even semi viable but the conservatives are allergic to the idea that anything other that pandering to the rich and fucking the poor will save them. If you are going to sever your ties with the European Economy you need to be willing to make Britain self sustaining. You need to nationalise and incentivise industry and farming again, not just finance and media.
It is interesting the note that increasingly Universal Basic Income is being talked of as viable. That is capitalists seeing the writing on the wall and screeching “If we just give everyone money maybe we can save scarcity as a system of geoverning society.” Universal Basic income is not communism, it is neofuedalism. It is the peasants who watch ads, buy things and vote so that politicians and corporate bosses can continue being the elite and better than everybody else.
Here’s what happens if we don’t get Universal Basic Income. The state stops justifying itself. The tools that governments have used to maintain control and order are coming to an end. 3d printers are undergoing development, as is VR. Renewable energy and GM crops are making it increasingly easy for poor farmers to sustain themselves. That’s not communist propaganda, that is capitalist reality. Yes the state has spies, the military and the police force but what have two decades of the war on terror taught us? That a bunch of mad men buying into horseshit online can scare the shit out of governments and people.
I like the state, I like regulation, I like police (I am white, English, cisgendered and male) but a small government can only really work when individual citizens can’t be self sufficient.
Now granted we live in an age where people still care enough about the state to respect it, when massive housing prices are leaving people desperate but still safe and relatively obedient. The danger of underfunding the police force and the military, the danger of defunding the welfare state is that people stop caring.
Now ideally I’d like to imagine a world where capitalists institute universal basic income and this can happen legally through purchasing, I’d also like to imagine a world where racists realise their arguments are nonsense.
So the neoliberal governments retreat, a combination of an underfunded police force and examples of fascism on the rise stops people giving fucks about the law. They kick in the doors of unused buildings and start squats, then they start using farms of gm crops and set up renewable energy generation through solar panels or wind turbines. In age age of tablets and smart phones guerrilas power generation to keep connected becomes much more viable since your computer only needs charging for a few hours every day rather than constantly.
Those who don’t work the land or work to provide power will go out to raid the high streets superstores and rich houses. Looking for things to sell on the black market or simply additional tech. One advantage the young and poor will always have over the old and rich is that they will understand the new technology much better and be able to crack the tech and use it without being traced before it is too late.
Of course you’ll have the actual communes with their own premises and proper farms and power generation facilities.
And then you’ll have the new American dream of working your minimum wage until you can buy your own house and get your own farm and 3d printer.
And you’ll have the one percenters who are already off the grid.
This is not a future a want but this is a future I see as possible. If the state can’t come to its senses and remember what it’s great at then it shall suffer the worst fate any monster can have. It will be ignored to death.