We really live interesting times! We have entered the era when humanity will either decide to show that wisdom that it has always kept away from or will succumb to reckless choices that have turned the planet of which it is a simple son.
The universal law that regulates human behavior has proved irrefutable also on this occasion: the predictive ability of the species manifests itself - when it is good - in the short range, never where it is a question of governing long-term trends. The plunder of the world has continued for centuries in the belief that the goods of nature were free and infinite. Never the slightest suspicion that a long-delayed bill would have to be paid in the end. Now that the prospect is getting dark, frightened voices are heard that are clamoring for new thoughts to put at the center of life "values" different from those pursued so far.
The prospects are black: authoritative rumors claim that if the virus of wisdom spread in one night and the following morning an awakened humanity elaborated remedial policies, it would always be too late. The initiation of non-linear phenomena would not be deactivated and effects with disruptive results would occur.
It is difficult to know whether the dramatic apocalypse glimpsed in the imminent future by scholars like Jem Bendell (1) has a realistic basis or not. It is however difficult to imagine that the virus of wisdom spreads in one night, given that the policies of the States continue to beat essentially negationist paths, if only in real behavior. When the relationship with nature enters into crisis, politics should be the peculiar public space to determine the right solutions in order to restore the correctness of this relationship. Instead this does not happen. Not only are the unavoidable dangers faced by persisting on the old path ignored, but even the (economic) policies that should be abandoned are pushed towards a wicked acceleration. In this sense we can think that politics has been transformed from "art of governing" into "art for programmed collective suicide": therefore, in necropolitics (we borrow, with a slightly different meaning, a term coined by the philosopher Achille Mbembe).
What is the reason for this nefarious evolution? The reasons are essentially two.
The first is that the visions of the world have dissolved. They - for better or for worse - involve a distant gaze, a projection into the future. When this fails, social groups and political forces crystallize on the present. They only think of surviving. They cease to be proponents of the common good and become quarrelsome and identity tribes aimed at the mere safeguarding of their subsistence. There is the litmus test that verifies this thesis. Any opposition criticizes the failures of the ruling parties, but, on the practical side, when it comes its turn, the positions are reversed. The reason is that, all of them, find themselves caged in a reality that transcends them and that dominates them by posing the same problems that they do not want to consider. In short, we are faced with small men unable to initiate those far-reaching policies that would be necessary to bring the relationship between the economy and that environment that reproduces life (even ours!) into balance.
The second reason is that economics, that pseudoscience that possesses the characteristics of a theology - that is, something removed from the material world - has become the dominator of politics, now reduced to a miserable handmaid. But, going further, the liberal vision has made its masterpiece. It has shaped collective culture by imposing its false theorems to all social classes. So that, at every level, it can count on the support of armies of Praetorians who, while fighting over everything, are willing to make a common front against those who want to question the foundations of an unhealthy modernity.
This is the picture that will impose further waste of time that will bring us dangerously close to the scenarios described by Bendell.
Who can we count on so that human history can continue on the path of civilization, avoiding taking the descending branch of the "involution of the species"? The answer admits no uncertainties: on the human resources that are now mobilizing with passion to prevent the regression of the species Homo sapiens. Intellectuals, scholars, scientists (of the natural sciences) and, above all, the new movements! 2018 saw the birth of promising phenomena such as Extintion Rebellion and Fridays for Future, which added to more limited but equally interesting phenomena. Previously, Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato si had a very significant impact on world public opinion. Furthermore, it is easy to predict that, as more and more visible and devastating phenomena approach, other movements will see the light. It is not possible to know how this collective awareness outside "traditional politics" can coagulate or split or redefine itself over time. The hope is that unity, collaboration, convergence of intentions will prevail over the ubiquitous tendencies towards distinction and division that characterize human policies. Secondly, it will be necessary that the movement does not fade as a result of the powerful forces that are ready to counter it with any weapon: false smiles, pats on the shoulders, hypocritical benevolences, deceptive promises will be the means (already put in place) with which necropolitics and bad information will try to defuse the determination of the new protagonists.
But there will not be only the difficulties posed by the current conservative forces (2). An unavoidable question will also arise: the formation of a political subject who takes responsibility for the radical choices that must be made on the economic, political, social and cultural level. The fifth chapter of this handbook will attempt to clarify why the authors of these pages believe that the form "movement" is inadequate to promote the necessary change.
The difficulties inherent in the need to hurry and the uncertain decision of things to do will also play a tremendous role. Getting out of this dark alley is not easy. Therefore the following short chapters are proposed. Simple schemes, little more than "titles" around which to create a space for debate on a feat that is configured as titanic and with unpredictable outcomes. Traditional eco-environmental movements - essentially pro-institutional - have taken wrong paths that risk being a temptation for new current and future movements. Since the game can have dramatic results, we take the liberty of pointing out - albeit with all possible caution - what we believe to be dangerous roads that could be fatal, lacking the first of all objectives: the dignified permanence of life on the planet. If the desired discussions reveal that our reasoning is wrong, all the better. We will have identified wrong hypotheses by removing them from the table of possibilities.
2 By "conservative forces" here we mean the set of political entities that share the current view of the developmental world, regardless of their position in the traditional left-right arch.