Now comes Naomi Klein with a lucid analysis of one possible though not inevitable outcome from the Age of Covid-19, a post-pandemic shock doctrine that would retrospectively confirm Black Mirror as an anticipatory documentary rather than an exercise in the dystopian imagination.
The entire essay is worth close consideration; a brief excerpt below, with an image (caption added by DP) from the studio of Jakub Geltner.
Thus at exactly the time when we need to connect more deeply to the realities of the natural world, while also connecting with each other in more compassionate and immediate ways, the hubristic pseudo-titans of Silicon Valley invite us into a world of perpetual surveillance, behavioral algorithms and learned helplessness.
After all this grief and suffering, they propose to accelerate the Great Acceleration to warp speed, an appropriate tempo for such a warped, narcissistic and nihilistic vision. Shaped by terror of fleeting mortality, their wish to live in an untouchable world discloses a puerile refusal to acknowledge limits. At a time when we humans need to do (and be) less and then less again, their shallow understanding insists on more always more.
This too shall crash.
Among the hundreds of commentaries churning Tuesday’s bitter butter, two stand out for DP consideration, the first from Naomi Klein, with its core argument excerpted below:
HISTORICAL ROOTS FOR A BLEEDING EDGE PLATFORM COMPANY
Next we have The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, in an analysis that echoes his previous dissection of the Brexit “surprise”:
Now comes Naomi Klein, with excerpts from an excellent recent essay that explores the relationships among climate change, fossil fuels and violence by way of revisiting certain ideas expressed in the past by Edward Said, regarding the limitations of environmentalism. The images are from the richly recycled oil cans exhibited within the online gallery of Cal Lane.
For those who – perversely enough – continue to beat the [oil] drum of America’s “greatness”, let us keep firmly in mind that such ephemeral greatness has been achieved largely through cultural genocide; desecration of the landscape; the destruction of worker lungs and bodies; and the global export of our most precious “service”: violence.
What would it mean if we were to choose instead to become, as Klein suggests, great ancestors?