Nihilismo is available now: https://sole.bandcamp.com/album/sole-… “We have always been at war with Eurasia, always been knee deep in some wheat, begging bread from a savior…” – Hostage Crisis
Civilization is in a state of hostage crisis. Maybe we’ve been here all along, but never in recent times has it become so visible or widespread—perhaps thanks to the internet. Here in the US, we are held hostage between horrific worldviews, The neo-liberal imperial designs of Hillary Clinton, the fascist isolationist dreams of reality star millionaire Donald Trump. On the other side, we have ISIS—a tumor that has grown out of our failed invasion of Iraq that promises a slightly more apocalyptic vision for the planet. Beneath it all are the people, born into a system designed so they have no meaningful input or control and are forced to watch these events unfold with horror.
Those in the states that placed their hopes in the semi-utopian vision of Bernie Sanders are now being told to get in line and support a candidate that represents the politics that brought us this mess. American Democracy itself holds its “citizens” in contempt, because the system can never give us the true freedom that we all need and desire. The specter of electoral politics time and time again holds most of the population as hostages. Voting is held up as the highest civic duty while those working towards collective liberation are targeted, attacked, jailed and smeared. We are told that the stakes couldn’t be higher, global warming will drown our children, ISIS will behead them, cops will kill them, Hillary/Trump will use them as cannon fodder for empire, and late stage capitalism will continue to suck them dry until all this is left is dust. None of the so-called leaders fighting for control of the world have the answers—in fact, those running for office are the problem. They all offer variations of the business as usual: More war, more misery, and few real solutions that address the root of the “crisis.” The crisis IS the state, capitalism, and democracy itself.
“Young people everywhere were allowed to choose between love & a garbage disposal unit. Everywhere they have chosen the garbage disposal unit” – Guy Debord
This song, “Hostage Crisis” was written in the wake of the ISIS attacks in Paris on a nightclub in which over a hundred people died. Before the bodies were cold, politicians and pundits tripped over themselves to declare how they will “wipe out” ISIS, ss if an abstract organization that claims territory both in physical space in Iraq/Syria and the hearts of its supporters globally could be simply “wiped out” by inflammatory statements and military force. I listened in horror as people pointed to the Iraq War as the cause, with others blaming Islam and increasing the kind of rhetoric that can only deepen divides and invite more attacks. No one wants to talk about the experience of alienation that has become endemic, the sense of hopelessness that many youth feel, or how the psychology that gives rise to the spectacular killings of ISIS is a close-cousin to the mass murderers commonly committed by white men in the US. Like most things, the root cause of these terror attacks and the rise of ISIS rests on something more complex:
“…The deeper, more universal motivation of these acts is suffering. Because you just can’t understand a young person coming from London and going to Syria to kill and be killed only on the basis of their religious beliefs. We have to try to understand their humiliation…. we have to try to understand what kind of hell is inside this person.” – Franco Berardi (Vice)
The myriad of issues that seem to hold us hostage do not lend themselves to simple answers. We’re not going to bring jobs (that are never coming back) back by building a wall. We’re not going to create a revolution through the ballot box. We’re not going to eliminate despair and alienation by attacking more countries. We’re not going to end racism by constantly funneling our energy into a system that relies on it to function. We’re not going to vote our way out of this mess.
As Scott Crow succinctly puts it in the outro to hostage crisis:
“It’s our New Reality isn’t it? We are facing historic crisis from exploitative and destructive economic systems corrupt governments and civilization as we know it. Which are all causing disasters with many faces economic ecological and war. We will never vote or buy our way out through political systems or corporations. Our time is now to find other paths, to rely on each other instead of them. Our futures are open to resist, rebel and create our dreams on the ashes of theirs.”
Nihilismo is available now on Black Box Tapes.
Buy Setting Sights: Histories and Reflections on Community Armed Self-Defense